Staffan Karlsson

Staffan Karlsson, Global marketing Manager of Sandvik Process Systems, bares his heart on their high quality steel belts, European market, global services of Sandvik and lot more. Read On.

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woodandpaneleurope Sandvik is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high- quality steel press belts for the production of particle board, MDF, OSB and coated boards. What are your main strengths?

Staffan Karlsson : Sandvik was actually the first company to design and to manufacture a continuous Double-Belt Press System. One can say that this design in principle still remains today. Sandviks history supporting the WBP-industry goes back even further. The first Single Opening Presses was equipped with high-strength carbon steel belts from Sandvik. Basically more than 600 presses were using our belts. So history and experience are important success factors, of course.

We have always had highly qualified metallurgist in house. On top of this Sandvik also have Northern Europe’s largest steel laboratory for developing new steel grades and surrounding technologies.

Sandvik have Own service and sales resources all over the world. This is to secure a top level of competence and know-how and to make sure that procedures are the same world-wide. Being and remaining NO1 is all about taking careful care of all the small details.

woodandpaneleurope How is the European market faring as of now?

Staffan Karlsson : The general economic situation in Europe is still a bit slow but showing some
improvemens. The wood-based panels sector continues to face significant
challenges such as the limited availability of wood and also some recent EU
developments which are not supportive of the industry’s recovery.
However, consumers’ confidence and other indicators continue their positive
development. Overall, and with the exception of hardboard, markets for all
types of panels are growing and with this our business for steel belts is growing too, expectations for the near term are optimistic.

woodandpaneleurope Four different steel grades to suit different requirements-Tell us which is most favorite of the particle board manufacturers.

Staffan Karlsson : Honestly Sandvik do not have a favorite. Of course not. We stepped out from building WBP-presses a long time ago. Our bread (and butter) is the Steel Belt. We aim to be the best partner to whoever decides to use the steel belt technology. This is what we can and this is what we will do, also in the future.

The most popular steel grade is our Sandvik 1650SM grade. This is the grade that been around longest now, exept from our carbon grades, especially developed for double belt presses and their need for an extremely high strength performance. But we are always together with our customers discussing what product will fit their needs the best depending on the special circumstances that every unique board manufacturer might have.

woodandpaneleurope It has been reported that Pfleiderer has been using a steel belt for more than 17 years now. Coming to steel belts, how long is the usual service life of a steel belt?

Staffan Karlsson : The working life of any steel belt depends on a number of different criteria’s. For instance the design of the unit, the speed, number of revolutions, pressure, length of belt, quality requirements of board. Also housekeeping, preventive maintenance and service trained own maintenance personal makes a big difference.

We have some customers in the bakery segment that been using the same steel belt for 75 years. We have seen other people crashing a belt after 2 weeks.

woodandpaneleurope Sandvik has also introduced a new global service organization. Tell us about your after sales service.

Staffan Karlsson : Our after sales service is our most important resource. Real people, local people, close to where our customers are located. Talking the local language. Our local service engineers are supported by highly qualified Global technicians that also can support at site when needed. Sandvik can also support OEM.s and end-users with a lot of information via our WEB.

One important part of the new service approach is training of customers own service groups. To minimize downtime after an accident or small belt damage and quickly be back up running are today more important than ever. Sandvik is offering in house training or training at any Sandvik location.

woodandpaneleurope What are the main benefits of QuickTool family of field services? Also, brief us about the new Quick Annealer.

Staffan Karlsson : Our Quick-Tool family is a series of repair tools securing that all of our Global Service technicians have the same precise equipment for installing, repairing and inspecting the steel belts at site. This gives us a good control over the procedures where ever a service action is performed. Training is efficiently carried out in regards of new standards, technologies, steel grades etc. The “Quick Annealer” is a tool helping us to create an environment for achieving the right microstructure of the steel belt material after performing a repair. One can call it a micro sized heat treatment oven.

woodandpaneleurope Do you have any plan of extension in Middle East and Asia?

Staffan Karlsson :We are closely following the development of all steel belt related industry and are frequently changing our service and sales support to meetany new customer demands in a pro-active way wherever this might be in the world . This goes for both WBP industries as for any other industry using our products.


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