Since its founding in 1997, timber producer Puidukoda has become one of the cornerstones of the wood processing industry in Estonia.
Specializing in the production and sale of softwood planed timber and profiled boards, Puidukoda has a fully automated production line that includes sorting, cross-cutting, and shrink-wrapping. The company also offers value-adding services such as surface coating, cross-cutting, and end-matching, as well as an online stock system and stock management service.
Since 2013, Puidukoda has been a part of France’s Rose Group, a group of companies specialising in wood construction since 1949. Employing close to 100 people in Viljandi county, South Estonia, it now prepares for a significant expansion and modernisation of its business.
How wood meets automation
Puidukoda announced a major investment package worth €4,2M euros, backed by its own capital infusion and loans. With that money, the company wants to speed up its production and increase output, following the best practices that are being implemented across Estonia.
In particular, Puidukoda is automating its packaging process for wood briquettes by implementing an industrial robot and building a new production building and warehouse in Viljandi, South Estonia. The building will be finished in the following months, followed by the arrival of the new industrial machinery.
These projects aim to increase production capacity, improve technology, and decrease expenses on materials and labour per unit produced. The company also focuses on making data-driven decisions and implementing data collection efficiently to improve processes and the working climate within the company.
„Thanks to the constant availability of data, the company’s processes have become more transparent and making management decisions is quicker,“ Eveli Opmann, the CEO of Puidukoda, said.
Puidukoda is also focusing on improving its environmental footprint. The new warehouse will decrease the number of kilometres that forklifts have to drive and bring the materials warehouse and central production units closer together.
Timber as the source of growth
The surrounding region will benefit from the expansion too, advocates Asso Uibo, Estonian Investment Agency’s Director of Regional Business Development in South Estonia.
„Using timber as a construction and finishing material is a growing trend“, he said. „Huge market demand means competition, and to deal with this, the company has to be a trustworthy partner for its customers, produce effectively and be flexible to react to the turbulence on the markets.“
Timber usage is rising as it is an environmentally friendly and renewable resource. Timber construction is more sustainable, energy-efficient, and cost-effective, and the wood adds character and warmth to any project, whether indoors or outdoors.
Estonia, with vast forests and a continuous commitment to sustainable production, hosts a variety of timber-focused companies. Besides Puidukoda, the list includes Toftan, Graanul Invest, UPM-Kymmene Otepää, Lemeks grupp, Höövelliist, Barrus, Arcwood, Lasita Maja, Raitwood and others operating in South Estonia. Timber and wood are usually among the top five products in the country’s export stats, accounting for more than €965M in 2021.
With the Puidukoda expansion and other success cases materializing, the sector is ready for future expansion and digitalization „All those pieces of the puzzle contribute to Puidukoda’s success and create prerequisites for its growth to continue,“ Uibo noted.