Interview: This site is seen as part of our long-term investments

Teknos is building a new plant in Steinau in Germany. We spoke to Paula Salastie, CEO and owner of the Teknos Group, about this investments and other plans of the company.

Paula Salastie

Will the new plant primarily focus on new products oroffer additional capacities for your current portfolio?

Paula Salastie: With the new plant, we are building a modern production facility in which we can integrate and optimise capabilities from our three current locations in Germany, as well as further enhance our customer experience by sustainable solutions.

This move was a strategic decision for growth in coming decades, could you expand on this please?

Salastie: At Teknos, we believe in building a better world for future generations. This site is seen as part of our long-term investments. For us it is vital to be present where customers, current and future personnel as well as supplier have easy access. Germany is seen as one of the Europe’s hubs engineering innovations and as such this will bring new possibilities as well as enhance life cycle thinking of products. On the new site we aim to test and showcase the opportunities that we can create together with our customers. The focus is to build solutions that enable sustainable surfaces and solutions that enhance our customers products longevity. In addition, with the new site located in central Germany, we hope to attract even more talents to join Teknos to further strengthen our processes.

Where do you see the key challenges and opportunities for the coatings market in Europe?

Salastie: In addition to the supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic and its aftermath in raw materials shortages, price impact and global transportation issues, we have had to deal with the Brexit burden of increasing double work and to deal with the less sustainable usage of resources.

Regulatory environment should find some clarity on how to view the whole industry and enable to look beyond individual chemicals to focus on enhancing sustainable surfaces and the longevity of what they protect. The predictability and long-term thinking from legislators would enable us as an industry to enhance the sustainability of many other industries. I believe that we will be fighting for workforce to support the investment gaps that have been created over decades in many industries. I see these challenges as opportunities that can be overcome by new solutions, services, additional capacity in supply chain and – especially for us being a Finnish family business – by long-term commitment to sustainability including the environmental issues.

Can we expect to see more collaborations with industrial partners?

Salastie: Yes, definitely. We should expect to see more of that in our industry. When it comes to suppliers, close collaboration with them is already the industry norm and that need deepening with the legislation requirements. When it comes to our customers, we need to collaborate with them in co-designing our service offering and innovate together.

More collaboration can be expected with universities, R&D institutions and start-ups as well as continuing the work that is done with the suppliers. We need to include these relevant stakeholders, not only big industrial players, when innovating and co-creating our future. This goes beyond the chemical industry to the coating production process, machinery providers and packaging designers as well as the logistic solution providers.

Do you have any further expansion plans on the cards in Europe or further afield?

Salastie: At Teknos, we are continuously reviewing and making adjustments to our global footprint. This is done with our values in mind and the target of expanding our service network and competencies while ensuring the most sustainable and efficient way to make the world last longer.

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