PR Rolls – creator of new technologies and methods
PR Rolls Oy is a story about a small company climbing to the top in the wake of a giant. The company’s history originates in the 80-s when its founders Ingmar Vesterlund and Göran Antila started performing maintenance work for the paper industry. Working at grass roots level, they gathered a great deal of knowledge about best practices and what improvements would speed up the process.
At first, each man ran their own company. Combining Ingvar’s passion for technical development and Göran’s enthusiasm for creating new things, they established their first company together. They have always been driven by the desire to work smarter, faster and in a more sustainable way.
The three most important cornerstones of their operation have always been their own applied product and method development, precise forward planning that strives for perfection and well-trained employees who are able to produce top-quality work within stringent timetables. Over the years, they have patented 15 different materials and methods. The company spends 15% of its annual budget on product development and collaborates continually with various universities and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. No other company of this size in this sector can boast of a similar investment ratio or activities in product development either in Finland or abroad.
PR Rolls's on-site services and services performed at the customer’s premises are carefully planned down to the last minute. That’s why the company’s employees always follow the work schedule carefully, without exception. The creator of the work schedule is responsible for making sure that there are no delays. Another key factor is that the company’s employees have been trained well and they know why things are done the way they are done. When they understand the reasoning, they do their utmost to follow the plan. Employees performing on-site work need professional skill, experience, stress tolerance and tolerance of different working conditions. In some jobs they need more experience and the ability to learn from their work more than in others. At PR Rolls, we still believe in the principle of learning from the masters through practical work. New employees learn their job working with more experienced ones. We only send out people with real skills to perform work on site.
Practical experience combined with our huge interest in developing new methods and technologies and acquiring new skills have made PR Rolls a top global expert of on-site paper production services. Ingmar and Göran have sold their company once, but had to establish a new PR Rolls when they realised that new ideas would not leave them alone and that people kept turning to them whenever they faced technical or schedule problems that seemed insurmountable.
The company’s promise to customers – more and better production – is an indication of PR Rolls’s vision and of the way it operates, with the aim of always producing top quality paper as a result of a trouble-free process and better and better financial return through savings in time and investments.
The men behind the success
I went to sea when I was 15. I’ve always been fascinated by and eager to learn new things, methods and ideas. Practical organisation and business development have always come easily to me. I don’t find it stressful at all to juggle many balls at the same time. That’s probably why Ingmar and I make such good partners; it doesn’t stress me out that he’s always inventing new things. Ingmar creates new inventions and develops them, I get the concept going and the actual makers continue with the practical side. This way we achieve continuous technological development. It’s always been crystal clear to me what customers want: better quality products, a trouble-free process and minimum downtime. When you create something new, you keep up with the competition. That’s why we’re so good at what we do.
Solutions to technical problems come to me naturally. I see things that don’t work and my brain immediately begins to roll out different solutions. I need to understand why. When you understand why something doesn’t work or why something needs to happen, you can design a solution for it. I can’t personally stand by each and every employee and monitor that the work is performed the way I planned it. That’s why I want our employees to understand exactly why the plan is made the way it is. Changing a single detail could cause a disaster. When an employee understands the whole system, they will want to follow the plan. Once or twice I’ve been told that our offer was double the price of other companies’. I was allowed to see the other company’s plan and I told them that it won’t work this way. And it didn’t. Work that’s delayed is much more expensive for a paper mill than ordering it with a schedule that can actually be realised. Our company is small but we make a considerable contribution to product development and academic collaboration. I’ve been involved in preparing many doctors for work in this sector. By combining research with practical ideas, innovations are created that have real commercial significance.