What is Maslak

Acibadem Maslak Children's Hospital in Istanbul, Turkey

Interview with Joonas Vikström

Business Manager, Health & New Markets

With its world's first antimicrobial collection ISKU +, the Finnish furniture manufacturer hits the bull's eye and sets clear standards in terms of health management, technology and design.

Mr. Vikström, what was the impetus for this holistic room hygiene management?

ISKU started research and development around antimicrobial products seven years ago. ISKU + is the result that can be seen today with all of our standard products. Hygiene is a value in itself. But if you create a relationship between downtime and furnishing solutions with hygiene management, then the new product line at ISKU was only the logical consequence and a future-oriented step.

What is the core competence in your material mix?

At the heart of ISKU + is that the protection lasts indefinitely. Because anyone who opts for a hygienically effective furnishing solution wants a permanent solution. The technology is based on silver and copper ions, together with antimicrobial substances, whereby all technologies in the manufacturing process are embedded in the material. This achieves the effective and permanent antimicrobial function without the need for separate maintenance or renewal of the active ingredients.

Where do your customers come from? Exclusively from the environment of hospitals and practices?

ISKU + comes from the hospital environment, where hygiene and infection control measures have always had top priority. Gradually, there is also a growing awareness in other industries that contaminated contact surfaces can be directly related to productivity losses. ISKU carried out a study on this at a school. The result showed that short-term absences were reduced by 52 percent due to room hygiene measures. A clear message that hygiene is important not only in the area around hospitals but also in public spaces in general. Shared rooms and work areas should have top priority when it comes to hygiene.

Use edgebands from REHAU for your surfaces. What are the decisive arguments for you?

Our partnership with REHAU has existed for many years. Because we have seen that our processes with REHAU edgebands work well. This applies in particular to our production processes, but also to all other interfaces that we have with REHAU.

Antibacterial edges only really come into their own thanks to the seamless processing of the components. Do you work with laser technology in edge processing exclusively for ISKU +?

Antimicrobial edges complement the antimicrobial contact surfaces. A table top itself is an essential contact surface, but the edge also plays an important role. Even the surface under the table top is exposed to germs while people are working at their desks. In addition, the seamless edges from REHAU help to keep the surfaces clean, since germs have no place where they can “hide”. However, the zero joint technology is not used exclusively for ISKU +. This is because it makes the use of adhesives superfluous, which in turn lowers emission rates and prevents moisture from penetrating the panel. This is also an advantage with our other product lines.

Note: The ISKU + range of products also includes EPA approved brass products that use antimicrobial copper to eliminate microbes including COVID-19. Research and testing are ongoing for other technologies and positive results have already been obtained within the same family of pathogens.