The story of Fiblon
A colorful past and a bright future
Pertti Ekberg originally started producing disposables in the cellar of his house. This first ”production facility” had such a low ceiling that a taller man could not stand upright there. Luckely however Pertti could and Fiblon’s first investments were made: a knife and a couple of 2-inch boards for manually cutting and folding disposable sheets for hospital use. The family’s garage became the first warehouse.
Many things have changed over the years. Instead of a 20 m2 basement, we now have more than 10,000 m2 of production and storage space. Production is highly automated and robots are everyday for us.
Still family business
However, some things have not changed. We still manufacture all our high-quality products ourselves, and Fiblon is still completely owned by the family. Pertti Ekberg has now retired but is still the Chairman of the Board. His three children are now on the Board of Directors. The eldest son, Pekka Ekberg, is our current Managing Director.
Bright future ahead
Fiblon is in healthy growth, as it has been during its entire existence. In the future, we will continue to follow the example set by our founder: Staying close to our customers and continuously improving all our actions.
in November 1979, Fiblon was founded.
in February 1980, the company’s operations started in the basement of a grocery shop owned by Pertti Ekberg’s wife, Aili Ekberg.
We started producing headrest covers in 1981. The entire production concept was based on Pertti Ekberg’s innovative new production method: he came up with the idea that headrest covers could be attached to the seats using just one thread. Read the story of the headrest cover.
In 1983 we moved to a facility constructed for industrial use. Before the move we worked in various air raid shelters or craft rooms, which made, for example, logistics very complicated. The same year we purchased our first forklift. It allowed us to stack pallets. In 1983 we also began manufacturing coffee filters for large-scale professional kitchens.
In 1984 we moved to the Uusiniitty industrial area where we are still located – although we now have much larger facilities.
1986. In a collaboration with Serla Oy, we developed the first unbleached coffee filter material in Finland. Unbleached coffee filters were, at the time, a new, environmentally friendly option. In the 1980s environmental activists highlighted the effects of the dioxins produced by the paper industry. Dioxins are created during the bleaching process. Even though the ECF and oxygen bleaching methods we used were some of the best in the world, we wanted to meet the market’s demand. The development process was challenging, but successful.
In 1990 we made an important investment and purchased our first fully integrated printing, folding and cutting production line – which is still in use. The investment was bigger than the company’s annual turnover.
In 1992 We built a tailor-made coffee filter production line in cooperation with the American company Snyder. The new production line multiplied our production capacity and efficiency. We reached an international level of competitiveness.
We were a pilot company in the Monitaito project in 1996. Our company was the first to have a company-specific development and training programme tailored to our needs. We systematically implemented the programme. This was the start of our company’s continuous investment in the improvement of our employees’ skills and knowledge. We learned that in order to develop as a company we simply had to find time for these activities. According to our values our staff need to be able to handle their work tasks during their working hours and spend their free time as they want, with their families.
In 1998 One of our owner-managers participated in JOKO management training. Four out of the five members of our management team have completed this training.
2000. The unmanned milk filter production process that was completely developed by Fiblon was sold to Alfa Laval. During the same year we made our first inline wrapping investment for the dispenser napkin production line.
2003 we invested in inline wrapping and an eight-colour printing, folding and cutting production line with film wrapping.
We sold our coffee filter business to Euracon Oy in 2007.
In 2008 CEO Pekka Ekberg successfully completed the HHJ (approved member of the board) training. Since then, all of the members of the company’s management team have completed the training. The same year, we invested in a cutting edge napkin production line called “Blue Beauty”. This production line was the largest and most efficient one the manufacturer had ever delivered. The line can produce up to 3,000,000 napkins in a day.
We launched our own product family, the FIBRA cleaning wipes, for professional kitchens in 2009.
In 2012 We started an extensive two-year vocational skills training project for all of our staff. Depending on the job description, there were roughly 20 training days per person.
2013. We started factory terminal deliveries and distribution in Finland. In the same year we launched the FIBLON FUTURE CONCEPT forecasting tool for future frontrunners.
2014. We continued improving the skills of our personnel through tailored training. Based on their personal development plans, 30 per cent of our production personnel started professional studies through the apprenticeship training system.
2015. We launched the SOFTLIN table setting and presentation products for professionals. We started a branch office in Sweden, called Fiblon filial i Sverige.
Lanseerasimme Viisas valinta -konseptin, joka on merkki asiakkaamme sitoutumisesta vastuullisuuteen. Viisaasti valittu tuote varmistaa maapallon resurssien järkevän käytön ja tukee luonnon monimuotoisuutta. Viisaasti valittu tuote luo myös asiakkaillemme säästöjä ja tuottaa moninkertaista lisäarvoa. Osallistuimme konseptilla FIBS ry:n järjestämään biodiversiteettikilpailuun ja saimme kiitettävää palautetta konseptin innovatiivisuudesta ja edistyksellisyydestä.
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Fibra kuituliinat saivat uudet entistä iloisemman väriset pakkaukset, jotka on helppo löytää kiireessäkin. Pakkauksen kansiläpällä voi avaamisen jälkeen lähettää vaikka terveiset työkaverille. Samalla lanseerasimme ammattikeittiöille uutuutena Bio Fibra Handyn, joka sopii erityisesti pienempiin keittiöhin. Fibra toi laadun lisäksi ammattikeittiöön myös työn ilon!
2019 Julkaisimme viidennen vastuuraporttimme. Olemme raportoineet vastuullisuudestamme systemaattisesti 10 vuoden ajan ja julkaisseet siitä yhteenvedon aina kahden vuoden jaksoissa. Näiden vuosien aikana olemme esimerkiksi hioneet toimintamallimme niin, että hukkaa ei synny tuotannossamme juuri ollenkaan. Vastuumatkallamme on nyt aika ottaa uusi askel. Haluamme lähteä ajatusjohtajuuden polulle ja tarjota osaamisemme ja näkemyksemme vastuullisuudessa asiakkaidemme käyttöön. Kestävämpää maailmaa liina kerrallaan!