A colorful past and present
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.
Some things are however still the same: everything we sell we manufacture ourselves and we are still totally privately owned by the family. Pertti Ekberg has now retired but is still the chairman of the board. The three children are now on the Board of Directors. The family’s eldest son, Pekka Ekberg, is our current Managing Director.
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, Fiblon was founded.
in February, 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. 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.
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.
We moved to the Uusiniitty industrial area where we are still located – although we now have much larger facilities.
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.
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.
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. 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.
One of our owner-managers participated in JOKO management training. Four out of the five members of our management team have completed this training.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We started factory terminal deliveries and distribution in Finland. In the same year we launched the FIBLON FUTURE CONCEPT forecasting tool for future frontrunners.
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.
We launched the SOFTLIN table setting and presentation products for professionals. We started a branch office in Sweden, called Fiblon filial i Sverige.
The story of headrest cover
We started manufacture headrest covers 1981 – the method of attaching headrest covers to seats using one thread is our founder Pertti Ekberg’s invention. Read the interesting story.