By Martin Brink, Elomatic
Making it in the starch processing business requires a keen eye for raw material quality and the ability to get the most out of your raw materials. A general rule of thumb is: the more refined the product, the more valuable it becomes. The investment payback time on a starch processing plant investment is rather long, so patience and a big wallet come in handy. The strong and growing demand for especially modified starches and valuable by-products is nevertheless enough to keep long-term investors keen. The reason is that starch and starch by-products are omni-present; they are everywhere you look, that is as long as you know what you are looking at.
Heikki Pirilä has an eye for starch and starch by-products. He has been in the starch processing business for the better part of three decades, so there is not much that surprises him anymore. He started in the business as a design engineer back in 1984 and has been involved in all project phases of starch processing from design, project management, supervision and procurement to maintenance.