Metsä Group’s innovation company Metsä Spring and Valmet were recognized with the second prize in the international Quality Innovation Award 2022 competition with their demo plant producing new Muoto® packaging products. The evaluation was based on novelty, usability, learning, customer orientation and performance.
The finalists were the winners of the respective national Quality Innovation Award competitions. Hence, the 3D fibre product demo plant won the category for potential innovations in the Finnish Quality Innovation Award earlier in 2022.
A renewable and recyclable moulded fibre product Muoto is a good alternative to plastic, for example in food packaging. The wood-based Muoto products are pressed into their final form using a completely new technology, and their properties can be tailored in the production process according to the intended purpose.
“The core objectives of our project have been high quality, safety and sustainability from the outset. We have succeeded in creating a wood fibre-based product that meets these objectives. We are now developing the Muoto product for the packaging industry for various purposes. International recognition confirms the value of our innovation and encourages the team and partner network in the development work”, says Jarkko Tuominen, Project Director, Metsä Group.
” This award is a recognition for Valmet’s forward-looking innovation mindset as well as for the hard work and dedication of the development team of Valmet, Metsä and our co-operation partners. The award serves as a testament to our commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is possible and driving technology forward in our field”, says Sampo Immonen, Director, Line R&D at Valmet.
From May 2022, the Muoto products have been be manufactured at the Äänekoski demo plant, which employs around ten people. Muoto is now at the beginning of its journey. During the demo phase, the product’s properties will be developed with different recipes and the product will be tested in various applications. The aim is to prove the technical and commercial competitiveness of the product on the market.
If market interest and the product’s performance can be demonstrated, Metsä Group will consider building a larger production plant.
The international competition attracted 728 innovations, of which the 24 best were recognised.