Juhani Strömberg(1941 - )
Inducted in 2016
President at Raflatac-Division of UPM-Kymmene Corp
2016 Paper Industry International Hall of Fame Inductee
Juhani Strömberg was born in Pori, Finland on September 11, 1941. He received his M.S. degree in Radio Chemistry from the University of Helsinki, Finland in 1968.
Strömberg worked with the University of Helsinki in the Department of Radio Chemistry (1969 – 82); United Paper Mills Ltd. (UPM), Tampere as General Manager of Label Materials (1982 – 85); UPM-Kymmene Corporation as President of Raflatac Group (1985 – 2002) and later became Senior Vice President, R & D, Raflatac Group (2002 – 03).
Strömberg conceived of and spearheaded the water-based label stock laminates, the development of which revolutionized the global market. Label stock is important to the paper industry because the final product needs both face and release papers. In 1969 Strömberg was named product development manager in Raf. Haarla, later Raflatac, a division of UPM. He soon realized that water-based label stock laminates would have great opportunities because of qualitative and environmental reasons. But the costs were high due to the off-line manufacturing. Strömberg successfully developed and implemented the on-line manufacturing process, a procedure that had not been accomplished by any of the competitors.
Strömberg’s team mastered a three-fold innovation: solid water-based adhesives, solvent-free silicones and advanced on-line production. The ability to do this at high speeds took 10 years to develop. During those ten years Strömberg’s team never lost faith. Turnover increased quickly by forty-fold from 1976 – 80 and rose another six times from 1980 – 85. The innovations of Raflatac have been a good example and motivator for further innovations in the converting industries.
Strömberg led the development of a superior glassine released paper and influenced the development of better-quality face papers. The developments revolutionized the global market; their market share rose from 3% in 1970 to 65% by the end of the 1980’s.
Strömberg also made use of information technology to develop internal internet and real time customer service. Under his leadership, the delivery times for label-stock that had been weeks long were cut to a revolutionary 24/48-hour delivery, especially in the U.S.A.
Strömberg has 5 patents to his credit. He received the President of Finland’s Export Prize of the Year (1986); City of Tampere’s Technical Creativity Award (1992); President of Finland’s High Finnish Honorary Title (1999); Tampere Chamber of Commerce’s Business Leader of the Year (2000); Tampere University of Technology’s Doctor h.c. (2002) and Lampen Medal from the Finnish Paper Engineer’s Association (2012).
Juhani Strömberg lives with his wife, Paula, in Tampere, Finland. They have two sons – Samuli and Petteri.