Safera and Sintrol chosen as winners in Mirka’s Innovation Challenge to tackle workplace dust

Mirka, the Finnish surface finishing specialist previously launched an Innovation Challenge to be able to develop new ideas and ways of working, regarding dust measurement in workplaces, inviting visionaries and innovators to tackle a challenge formed by dust. Co-created with Spinverse, the Mirka Innovation Challenge is part of Mirka’s multisectoral SurfValue ecosystem to develop surface finish technologies of the future.

In 2021, participants of the Innovation Challenge were asked to present their solutions for advanced dust measurement technologies that would be compatible with Mirka systems. Two challenges were posted for the applicants: firstly, to measure dust particles in the workplace air, or secondly to measure dust particles with a system integrated in Mirka tools.

Workplace dust created during sanding processes poses a significant occupational hazard, and over the years Mirka has developed different dust removal technologies to provide professionals with a solution to make workplaces safer. In addition, removing dust significantly affects the quality of sanding processes and finishing.

For the first case, the winner was chosen to be Safera. This was thanks to their clear and convincing idea with a short time to market, and with only a limited amount of modifications required. Safera uses its own sensor and own technology.

For the second case, Mirka chose Sintrol. As with Safera, Sintrol already has applicable technology with a convincing product, which work together to have a short time to market.

“The Innovation Challenge suited our spirit well,” comments Samuli Lintonen from Safera. “Air quality monitoring is a very important matter currently, and the project helped us visualize products that are missing from professional use at the moment. We believe that the challenge can result in products with great potential on the market.”

“We think the Innovation Challenge was a well-arranged, down-to-earth and inspiring innovation project,” notes John Korpi from Sintrol. “We were able to solve challenges in an enthusiastic way and develop a new way of working. Both Mirka and Sintrol are pioneers in dust control, which made it very interesting to develop solutions together. We were very impressed with the project team know-how, and proud to take part in the challenge.”

The Innovation Challenge is a success for Mirka, providing the company with new solutions to be applied to future innovations. Clever dust measurement is a way forward for producing even more effective dust extraction methods, making Mirka surface finishing solutions better than ever before – especially from the end user’s viewpoint.

“Collaboration with the Spinverse team has been good both in the SurfValue ecosystem coordination and in this particular challenge, which actually brought really valuable results to Mirka,” says Mats Sundell, R&D Director at Mirka.

Spinverse Innovation Challenge concept is a proven tool to find new ideas and solutions to specific needs defined together with the customer. The process includes scoping of the challenge, promoting and mapping the potential solution providers, evaluation of the proposals and sparring the selected ones to match the needs and arranging the pitching event.