It’s morning rush hour, and the catering team at Järvenpää’s new health care center, JUST, is dicing vegetables and prepping fish on gleaming steel worktops. With thousands of meals prepared in JUST’s industrial kitchens every week for local schools, preschools and elderly care institutions, the busy staff appreciate the luxury of made-to-measure fixtures that are ergonomic and easily cleanable.
And where food is prepared, germs have no business. Outstanding hygiene is guaranteed in JUST’s kitchens – and countless others across Finland – by the rustproof worktops, cupboards, trolleys and shelving supplied by Kavika, a 70-year-old Finnish producer of bespoke equipment combining extreme durability with perfect functionality and exact dimensioning.
“Industrial kitchens are exposed to heavy wear and tear on a daily basis. This imposes special demands on the steel grades we use. The quality must be uniformly flawless,” states Jouni Lievonen, CEO of Kavika.
When lives are at stake
“Hygiene is a no-compromise priority for us. Absolutely no structural defects can be tolerated in food-handling surfaces. If food residues build up in cracks or cavities, germs breed and people get sick,” cautions Lievonen.
This goes double for hospitals, where human lives are at stake. In addition to producing professional catering fixtures, Kavika also manufactures made-to-order hospital equipment. “With surgical equipment, there must be zero chance for bacteria to breed. Every corner must be rounded and every crack covered.”
Ergonomic comfort is another high priority for Kavika, especially in professional kitchens where heavy sacks of flour and other bulky items are handled. “One size doesn’t fit all. We need easily formable sheets for millimeter-precise customization,” adds Lievonen.
Beyond short-term price tag
Over 90 percent of the steel used in Kavika’s products is supplied by Outokumpu, Kavika’s trusted supplier for well over a decade. “Outokumpu is the natural choice for us. If any problems emerge, for example, Outokumpu can provide technical support, which we regard as very important.”
For catering applications, Kavika uses austenitic Outokumpu Core 304/4301, which combines uniform quality with excellent hygiene. For applications requiring acid resistance, such as school labs, Kavika uses austenitic Supra 316L/4404 with 4N wet polished and 2B low luster surfaces.
Lievonen urges customers to appreciate the lifecycle benefits of stainless. “It’s supremely durable and recyclable. When it reaches the end of its life-span, it can be melted down and reused – its value lives on beyond the short-term price tag.”