Modern match production
At our factory in Vetlanda we manufacture splint (finished matchsticks without heads) and outer box printed skillets, for further assembly into finished matches at the Tidaholm factory.
1. Matches in Sweden are made exclusively of aspen. The timber arrives at the factory in the form of unbarked logs 3.1 metres long.
2. The aspen logs are de-barked and cut into billets (about 0.6 m long) in an automated plant. The facility has a capacity of 2 500 logs a day. (A single log produces around 370 000 matches, it would take the average Swedish consumer 1 000 years to use that many.)Match production picture
3. The wood billets are peeled to veneer of the thickness of a match.
4. The veneer is conveyed to a chopping machine which cuts the wood into splints, i.e. sticks without heads. The chopping machine has a capacity of 15 million splints an hour.
5. The splints are then taken by conveyor belt to a rotating cylinder, where they undergo an impregnation process. The impregnation prevents the matches from glowing after they have been struck and extinguished. The splints are then dried and polished as part of a continuous process.
6. Once polished the splints are conveyed to the sieving stage where they are ”shaken” out over aluminium plates. The plates are perforated so that defective splints are automatically removed. The rest of the splints are transported on to packaging.
7. The continuous machine is the most ingeniously designed of all the match manufacturing machines, and has a capacity of around 2 million matchsticks an hour. The splints are first sorted into a rack (so that they are lined up the same way) and are then forced into holes of a continuous, perforated conveyor. The splints are then dipped in paraffin and the head composition is added.
8. The filling stations are the points were matches and boxes meet. The boxes are filled automatically with the correct number of matches and are then sent, via an inspection unit (which checks that all the matches have been boxed) to the wrapping machines.
9. The boxes are wrapped in packs of 8 or 10, and then in larger consignments.