Virtual reality adds impetus to expansion of Honkajoki’s circular-economy model to international markets

A virtual model and experimental technology gave a flying start to international exports of Honkajoki Oy’s unique circular-economy concept. The VirtualSite model and virtual work environment developed by Sweco enable exploring Honkajoki’s facilities from anywhere in the world.

Honkajoki’s managing director, Kari Valkosalo, is currently touring the world to introduce the company’s unique concept via the VirtualSite model. ‘The virtual model makes our facility concept clearer and easier to understand, and the virtual work environment facilitates communication with the customer. An authentic experience is key, and we want to be pioneers in utilising such a solution,’ says Valkosalo.

Mika Kierikka, a circular-economy expert with Sweco, explains that export of industrial products demands an ability to demonstrate them anywhere in the world, even if the actual production facilities are far away – for instance, in Finland.

‘The scale in industrial export projects is completely different from exporting such products as mobile applications. The virtual work environment and various experimental technologies enable presenting even large facilities remotely in a highly realistic way. Honkajoki Oy implemented the VirtualSite model to support export of their circular-economy concept,’ he says.

Energy self-sufficiency and added value from by-product streams are valued in the export markets

There is keen demand for Honkajoki’s unique circular-economy model. As their economic situation improves, people in Asia and Africa are becoming more interested in learning how energy can be produced locally and energy self-sufficiency improved. Particularly in areas with incomplete infrastructure or where national energy-production systems are unreliable, people are increasingly interested in self-sufficiency.

The food industry is growing in Asia and Africa in tandem with improvements in the middle classes’ economic situation. Also, the facility concept brings benefits additional to energy self-sufficiency. Honkajoki Oy’s model can be applied to diverse operating environments, and it can be adapted to handling diverse raw-material and by-product streams.

‘It’s common sense to make use of various by-product streams and energy sources!’

Kari Valkosalo, Honkajoki Oy

‘Food-industry by-products can be used as raw materials in the production of heat, biodiesel, and biogas, or as animal feed or fertiliser. Our concept can be applied also to wastewater treatment, which is highly valued in many of our export markets where the availability of clean water is more limited than in Europe. High-quality processing of food-industry by-products improves hygiene too,’ says Valkosalo.

More information about Honkajoki’s unique circular-economy model can be found at www.honkajokioy.fi/en/environment-circular-economy 

Sweco and Honkajoki Oy have been co-operating for nearly a decade now. Over the years, many processes have been designed for Honkajoki’s facilities, so the concept is a familiar one.

‘Expansion to international markets is one of the pivotal phases in our longstanding co-operation. We are extremely pleased to be able to support Honkajoki’s export efforts. At Sweco, we want to promote environmentally friendly business that has an impact on society,’ summarises Kierikka.

For more information, please contact Reetta Nevala, tel. +358 40 554 0857, reetta.nevala@honkajokioy.fi.

Picture: Sweco Oy

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