Information transformation: Fibers to bits

The author (2nd right) and the team of Feldmühle AG Düsseldorf paper mill PM1 in the summer 1990.
The world was changing: The Berlin Wall had come down, internet was still hiding in the universities’ networks.

When I was still at school, two students from the Helsinki University of Technology visited our class. They set four slides, sprinkled with dots in different colours, on the overhead projector. Magically those raster dots formed a colour picture on the wall.

In the eary 1990’s our graphics industry professor gave a lecture on inkjet printing and visioned, how it would soon be possible for anybody to print a newspaper with personalised content at home. Then Internet happened.

I quit printing on paper at the end of the millennium when writing my Master’s thesis about using hypermedia in Valmet paper machines’ customer training. Today I work as Development Director in Edita Publishing Ltd, whose products live both on paper and on screen. Information’s ability to settle on the available media has always fascinated me.

Now we are building the ForestBioFacts web site – a fully virtual and broadened version of the venerable Papermaking Science and Technology book series. It is an honor to be unleashing the Finnish cutting edge knowledge on Forest Products’ technology, physics and chemistry from printed paper to digital form.

Information technology has taken paper’s role as the primary information carrier, but forest-based industries have expanded in innovative ways to new domains of bio- and environmental technology, construction industry, process automation, new energy forms and industrial economy. ForestBioFacts website brings together the latest knowledge on these and many more areas within a uniform user experience.

The role of my team is to offer the technical platform and content processing, but also to provide ideas for the site concept, content structure and pedagogical approach. ForestBioFacts’ grand idea is to present forest-based science and technology in an understandable way, starting from the end product and its benefits to us consumers. I find this approach very welcome, and we want to support it with rich media and digital exercises that support understanding even complex topics. Searching for information on the site is quick and easy, and the digital platform makes it possible to continuously update and improve the site.

The corona virus crisis that hit us in the spring of 2020 has created an unprecedented demand for digital communications and content, that needs to be as accessible as possible. ForestBioFacts website will bring forest industry knowledge and information to those who need it also in the future in any circumstances.

Kalle Huhtala, Development Director, Edita Publishing Ltd
Kalle is interested in digital learning, media, collaborative ways and tools of working, and applying gamification in learning at work. Kalle enjoys creating concepts and building solutions with customers. Kalle has engineer’s training and business experience in digital learning.