Sweco’s virtual information model solutions bolster Honkajoki Oy’s project export

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Sweco’s virtual information model solutions bolster Honkajoki Oy’s project export

20 November 2019
Sweco has a long history of cooperation with Honkajoki Oy, which specialises in circular economy plants. Now, the collaboration has reached new heights with the addition of Sweco’s Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) process and the SmartDrawings and VirtualSite VR solutions which the customer can use in all life cycle phases of the project. At the moment, Honkajoki is utilising the solutions for export promotion.

“It’s quite exceptional that we know the customer as well as their operations and goals to this degree. The long-term customer relationship enables us to offer the right solutions to the right problems at the right time,” says Mika Kierikka, Sweco’s coordinator for industrial circular economy services and the project manager for the venture.

Honkajoki Oy is running a circular economy plant, which is unique in Finland: the plant processes 190,000 tonnes of animal by-products each year. Logistically this is equivalent to 21 articulated lorries bringing by-products generated by slaughterhouses, meat cutting plants and other meat processing facilities to the plant every weekday.

“Honkajoki’s circular economy activities began 25 years ago, but over the past ten years, our plant has expanded and the development efforts have led to the creation of an entire circular economy plant concept,” says Kari Valkosalo, Managing Director of Honkajoki Oy.

Honkajoki Concept is aiming for markets where the processing of animal by-products is still developing and the target groups do not have a comprehensive understanding of corresponding industrial business activity. Sweco has essential insight into circular economy projects in terms of both project preparation and follow-through. The customer’s specific need regarding the efforts to sell its concept and organise plant demonstrations was identified, and virtual information model solutions were suggested for defining the industrial arrangements.

Virtual information model solutions generate added value throughout the project life span

VirtualSite™ and SmartDrawings™ are platforms developed together by Sweco’s experts and customers for the purpose of utilising information models. In Valkosalo’s opinion, the development cooperation with Sweco has been fruitful: ”Sweco has taken our needs into account very well. Some of our ideas have already been implemented and others are in the development pipeline. The utilisation of these kinds of solutions and technology in project export is the future, and it is absolutely worth it to jump onboard now.”

The life cycle approach is connected to virtual information model solutions. Services can be used to provide the customer with added value throughout the project’s entire life cycle, from initial planning and decision-making to marketing and sales. The continuous development of service solutions is based on the changing needs of customers.

“Our customer-oriented approach and competent experts are a definite strength to us,” says Jyri Tuori, who is in charge of technological development at Sweco. “Because we utilise virtual reality, we can identify issues in construction meetings that would normally go unnoticed until the worksite phase or, in the worst case, commissioning. The virtual information model reduces information loss and misunderstandings compared to traditional drawings or illustrations,” Tuori describes.  

For Honkajoki Oy, the possibilities of utilising virtual information model solutions are substantial. “We are confident that we will gain the most benefit from virtual services in plant installation operations and maintenance. Our projects are in Asia and the ability to help our customers remotely across the world will significantly reduce maintenance and upkeep costs,” Managing Director Valkosalo says, summarising his views of future benefits.