April 26, 2022

Heat recovery and fresh air – Mirka expands its production capacity without compromising its environmental goals

Mirka’s manufacturing plant in Oravais, Finland, was expanded. To meet the higher energy needs, Mirka and its long-term partner Adven found a heat recovery solution that is combined with dust and fume extraction to improve air quality and decrease particle emissions.

Factory area of Mirka Oravais, surrounded by green trees, photographed from above during summer time.

Mirka Ltd, a world leader in surface finishing technology, has been growing rapidly in recent years. To meet the rising demand, Mirka needed to expand its Oravais plant that produces abrasives sheets and disks for both professional users and DIY renovators. With the expansion bringing new production machines to the plant, the energy need for the manufacturing will change.

“We needed to rethink our heating solution, so together with Adven we started to explore whether we could recover heat from our production process – that’s how this project started,” says Jari Lemberg, Project Office Manager at Mirka.

The current energy supply for the Oravais plant is provided by Adven’s pellet boiler. One alternative to meet the higher energy need would have been to invest in a larger boiler. Mirka decided to follow its environmental goals and chose a combined heat recovery solution. In this solution heat energy that is already produced with the current pellet boiler is recovered from the exhaust air of the factory’s production processes. This recovered low heat energy is transferred with the help of a heat pump for use in the plant’s heating system. However, before this process can be executed, the air must be purified.

Improved air quality with dust and fume extraction

What makes the solution in Oravais special, and environmentally friendly, is that particles are filtered from the exhaust air before the heat is recovered. Lemberg explains:

“We want to improve air quality and working conditions indoors as well as decrease the number of particles in the outgoing air. Even though our particle emissions are not high, we want show example in proactively complying with the constantly tightening environmental permit requirements and, even more so, we want to do our best to minimize our impact on the environment”

The combined heat recovery solution also elevates Adven’s role, as it will be tightly integrated to the production process and its development. A good example in this project is the implementation of changes in the exhaust air piping, which will increase the usability of Mirka’s production equipment, and help reduce maintenance costs.

“So, for us close collaboration and exchange of information with Adven is essential. Together with Adven we identify the opportunities. Adven’s specialists then come up with ideas and solutions from their portfolio to meet our requirements, and we can focus on our core competence and business,” says Lemberg.

Finding a comprehensive solution

In finding the right solution for Mirka, Adven had to think outside the box – dust and fume extraction combined with heat recovery is not something they come across every day.

“Heat recovery has increased its popularity drastically during the past years and it is a great way of saving energy. We have already implemented a heat recovery solution for Mirka’s plant in Jepua. A bit demanding at the Oravais plant are the particles in the air that have to be removed before any heat can be recovered. For us, finding a comprehensive solution was just going the extra mile for our customer.” says Account Manager Jani Moisanen from Adven.

Mirka and Adven signed an agreement on the new solution for the Oravais plant in January. The energy project will be finished in this year’s autumn. Adven produces energy and steam also for Mirka’s largest production plant, located in Jepua.

For more information:

Jani Moisanen, jani.moisanen@adven.com, +358 40 514 9387
Stefan Sjöberg, stefan.sjoberg@mirka.com, +358 40 824 7385

Article: Heat recovery should be harnessed as a driver for reducing industrial emissions

Mirka Ltd
Mirka Ltd is a world leader in surface finishing technology and offers a broad range of groundbreaking sanding solutions for the surface finishing and precision industry. The growing Mirka Power Tools department develops and manufactures advanced sanding and polishing machines, providing outstanding ergonomic and functional benefits to users. Mirka is a globally expanding company with 18 subsidiaries located in Europe, Middle East, North and South America, and Asia. Its headquarters and production are located in Finland. More than 97% of the products are exported and sold in over 100 countries.

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Adven is the leading provider of energy and water services across the Nordic and Baltic countries.