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Opengate Capital completes sale of Norpaper Group to Gemayel fFreres & Chaoui Industriel Group

OpenGate Capital, a global private equity firm, has announced that it has completed the sale of one of its legacy, pre-fund investments, NorPaper Group (“NorPaper”), to Gemayel Freres & Chaoui Industriel Group, a Lebanon-based business specialized in recycled corrugated cardboard and packaging products. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Gemayel Group acquired Papeterie du Doubs (now known as Gemdoubs) in 2013. Three years later, in 2016, Gemayel Group signed a partnership with Chaoui Group concerning Gemdoubs. Chaoui Group, headed by Zafer Chaoui, is a Lebanese family Group involved in recycled paper production among others activities.

OpenGate Capital acquired NorPaper from Canadian paper conglomerate, Cascades, in 2011. NorPaper is a leading producer of white top testliner paper that is sold to European packaging manufacturers. Realizing an opportunity to increase capacity within NorPaper, OpenGate completed an accretive, add-on acquisition in February of 2015 of DS Smith Packaging Papeterie de Nantes SAS (“Nantes”), a division of DS Smith, Plc. Integrated into NorPaper, Nantes broadened the product portfolio and added 50kT per year of production capacity through its white top testliner paper made from 100% recycled fiber with best in class quality and printability. The Nantes mill also addressed growing market demand for paper products in a wider grammage and trim range. Combined, NorPaper and Nantes have an annual capacity of 200kT, making it the leading white top testliner paper producer in France and among the top five in Europe. The 2 sites employ more than 250 people. Fady Gemayel, chairman of Gemdoubs, will also be the President of the two companies.

Andrew Nikou, OpenGate’s Founder and CEO stated, “We are incredibly proud of OpenGate’s investment in NorPaper from sourcing the acquisition through our relationship with Cascades, to the add-on acquisition from DS Smith. As we transfer the business to Gemayel & Chaoui Industriel Group, we recognize that under the new leadership, NorPaper has many new exciting years ahead. I want to thank the entire NorPaper team led by CEO, Laurent Glachant, for their dedication and hard work in driving this business forward.”

Julien Lagrèze, Partner at OpenGate’s Paris office, oversaw the entire lifecycle of the NorPaper investment from acquisition through add-on acquisition and realization. Lagrèze commented, “NorPaper is a reflection of OpenGate’s lower middle market investment strategy and we are proud of all that has been accomplished. From executing a complete carve-out to implementing a multi-faceted operational improvement plan, which included the development of a cooperative paper swap agreement with several European corrugated cardboard manufacturers, NorPaper sales and margins greatly improved since acquired by OpenGate in 2011. Throughout our investment period, NorPaper grew its paper product offerings that drove increased volumes and end-use applications. Given all that has been accomplished, NorPaper is at the right point in its evolution to be acquired by Gemayel & Chaoui Industriel Group so that it can progress further under new leadership.”

NorPaper’s CEO, Mr. Laurent Glachant stated, “Working with the team at OpenGate Capital has been a rewarding process over the past several years. NorPaper has grown into a highly regarded business, recognized for producing a variety of white top testliner and recycled paper materials for our customers. I want to thank Julien Lagrèze and his team at OpenGate for all of the support we received that enabled us to achieve the growth and improvements at NorPaper. As we look ahead, we are excited to enter into the next phase of our evolution with Mr. Gemayel and his partners.”
This is the second legacy, pre-fund realization for OpenGate in the past six months following the sale of Benvic, a European PVC compounding business that was sold to Investindustrial in December of 2017.

2018-06-29  READ MORE...
The shape of sustainable labels is circular: UPM Raflatac announces APR-recognized wash-off film labels with recycled liners for Americas and Asia Pacific

UPM Raflatac is taking another step forward in its drive to label a smarter future by announcing that it has developed a range of wash-off film labeling solutions for a variety of end uses that can help brands create a circular economy and also meet or even accelerate their ambitious sustainability targets.

These clear, white and metalized film label stocks - featuring UPM Raflatac’s RW85C wash-off adhesive and a PET liner made from 90 percent post-consumer recycled (PCR) content - have been recognized by the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) as exceeding their strict standards for recyclable label products. Now available in the Americas and Asia Pacific market regions, the labels are ideal for labeling PET containers in the food, beverage, home care and personal care segments.

Thanks to the RW85C wash-off adhesive, the labels are able to undergo common PET recycling processes without contaminating any of the PET flake by-products. During the caustic washing process, the polypropylene labels easily separate from PET containers and float, allowing more high-value, clean PET flakes to be recovered. The clean flakes can then be converted back into PET containers, which promotes a circular economy and reduces the amount of plastic pollution in landfills and the environment.

"As the global drive to reduce plastic waste continues to gain speed, more and more packaging companies are looking for new and innovative solutions to maximize the recyclability of their PET containers," says Junion Zhao, Director, Films Business, APAC, UPM Raflatac. "We are pleased to bring these wash-off labeling materials to market for our customers and brand owners aiming to achieve their sustainability targets."

"Exceeding the APR’s standards for recyclable label products on PET packaging was very important for us when we developed these new film labels with RW85C adhesive," adds Daryl Northcott, Director, Films Business, Americas, UPM Raflatac. "UPM Raflatac recently became an APR Recycling Demand Champion, which means we are committed to boosting circular packaging solutions and incorporating post-consumer recycled content into our materials, and these new label materials do exactly that."

2018-06-29  READ MORE...
Lenzing and Duratex plan to build 450,000 t dissolving wood pulp plant in Brazil

Lenzing Group, world market leader in specialty cellulosic fibers and Duratex, the largest producer of industrialized wood panels of the Southern Hemisphere, announce that they agreed on the terms and conditions to form a joint venture to investigate building the largest single line dissolving wood pulp (DWP) plant in the state of Minas Gerais, close to Sao Paulo, Brazil. This decision supports the backward integration and the growth in specialty fibers, defined in Lenzing’s corporate strategy sCore TEN.

The joint venture will investigate the construction of a 450,000 t DWP plant, which is expected to become the largest and most competitive single line DWP plant in the world. Dissolving wood pulp is the key raw material for the production of Lenzing’s bio-based fibers. For the future operation, the two companies have secured a plantation of 43,000 hectares that will provide the FSC® certified biomass. The plantation is fully in line with Lenzing’s wood and pulp sourcing policy. The basic engineering and the application for required permits and merger clearances will now be started.

Lenzing will hold 51 percent of the joint venture which will operate the mill, while Duratex’s share will be 49 percent. The estimated cash investment by the joint venture for the construction of the DWP mill is expected to be somewhat above USD 1 bn (based on current FX rates, net of generic tax refunds and the outcome of the basic engineering study). The joint venture will supply the entire volume of dissolving wood pulp to the Lenzing Group. This step is an essential milestone in the group’s ambition to grow its specialty fibers business.

“Specialty cellulosic fibers are an important contribution to make the global textile industry more sustainable. In line with our corporate strategy sCore TEN we are committed to strong organic growth in this field. We are pleased that with Duratex, a recognized leader in sustainable forestry management, we have a strong partner in this joint venture. Together we will create a very sustainable and competitive raw material base for Lenzing’s global expansion plans”, says Stefan Doboczky, Chief Executive Officer of Lenzing Group.

“Projects of this nature are the result of our strategic plan and of our team’s effort towards drawing Duratex’s future. The Company is known for its financial solidity, high quality, innovation and sustainability ; the results of a history spanning over six decades. The partnership with Lenzing for the construction of the largest single line dissolving wood pulp plant in the world is an honor for Duratex. Working with Lenzing, a global benchmark in technology, high quality and corporate governance makes us very proud. We are sure that this joint venture is going to be successful”, affirms Duratex’s Chief Executive Officer Antonio Joaquim de Oliveira.

The final investment decision to build the dissolving wood pulp plant is subject to the outcome of the basic engineering studies and the approval by the respective supervisory boards.

2018-06-29  READ MORE...
Borregaard and Rayonier Advanced Materials announce intention to invest in a new 150,000 tonnes lignin operation in the US

Borregaard and Rayonier Advanced Materials (RYAM) have entered into a non-binding letter of intent regarding the establishment of a new lignin operation adjacent to RYAM’s Fernandina Beach pulp mill in Florida. The new company will be owned 55% by Borregaard and 45% by RYAM.

The Fernandina Beach mill manufactures specialty cellulose and lignin raw material as co-products from softwood. Utilising Borregaard’s know-how and technical expertise, the new company will initially manufacture lignin products suitable for concrete admixture and similar applications targeting primarily the North and South American markets. The products will be marketed through Borregaard’s international sales network and will represent a 30% increase in the lignin sales volume at full capacity.

It is anticipated that the project will be completed in two phases over 5 years. The parties estimate an aggregate USD 110 million for a capacity of 150,000 metric tonnes dry substance per year. The first phase is expected to commence commercial operations in 2017.

The new operation will benefit from the development work in the BALI project, and takes priority over a first BALI plant. Longer term, the BALI technology remains a strategic lignin raw material option for Borregaard.

Completion of the new operation is subject to board approval by both companies and conclusion of definitive agreements, as well as final engineering, refinement of capital estimates, and obtaining required permits and other approvals.

"The Fernandina Beach project represents an excellent growth opportunity for our lignin business in a global market which for some time has been supply constrained", says Per A. Sørlie, President and CEO of Borregaard.

"Pursuing this opportunity with the leader in lignin-based chemistry significantly enhances the prospects for success while reducing operational and market-based risk," says RYAM CEO Paul Boynton.

2018-06-29  READ MORE...
Sofidel CEO Luigi Lazzareschi presented the most recent group’s investment in the US at the 2018 Selectusa Summit

The speech has taken place before a wide public composed by institutions and international economic players.

Last Friday in Washington D.C., Sofidel’s most recent greenfield investment in the United States has been presented as part of the SelectUSA Investment Summit, the most important event for the promotion of direct foreign investments in the US. The investment will lead to the opening of a new large manufacturing plant in Inola, Oklahoma within two years.

During the final session, promoted by the Secretary of Commerce of the Federal Government Wilbur Ross and aimed at showcasing the foreign investments generated in the last year by the program, Luigi Lazzareschi has been the only entrepreneur on the stage, being introduced by the Governor of Oklahoma Mary Fallin with a thankful speech for Sofidel’s investment in Inola, that has been recognized as a rural economic development success story.

A first-class value stage, before a wide audience of institutional representatives and international economic players, that have been made aware of the new investment that Sofidel launched in March to further expand its business in the United States.

In Inola, about 30 miles from the city of Tulsa, Sofidel will build a new integrated plant combined with the installation of two paper machines for a total production capacity of 120,000 tons per year and with the related converting lines for the finished product (toilet paper and paper towels). The manufacturing plant is expected to start running by the end of 2020. The investment will amount to $ 360 million over three years (2018-2019-2020), resulting in a plant that will combine a focus on sustainability with technological innovation.

2018-06-29  READ MORE...
Mondi supports e-commerce growth with the upcoming launch of its latest corrugated packaging solution in Russia

According to recent statistics, the Russian e-commerce market is expected to grow to 21.82 billion US dollars by 2020.[1]

2018-06-28  READ MORE...
Stora Enso evaluates development opportunities at its Oulu Mill in Finland

Stora Enso has started a feasibility study and an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for a possible investment in Oulu.

2018-06-28  READ MORE...
More volume and less fiber for tissue converters with Gambini

As a member of the Tissue Italy network, Gambini has open its doors to welcome customers during It’s Tissue 2018 and present live demonstrations of the combined Airmill and Touchmax concepts.

2018-06-27  READ MORE...
What's next at Toscotec?

During It’s Tissue 2018, the Lucca-based tissue making expert Toscotec is presenting its ambitions and actual realizations in terms of process, energy savings and services.

2018-06-27  READ MORE...
Another milestone for Valmet IQ Fiber with installation at Irving Tissue

May 2018 saw the installation of the 200th Valmet IQ Fiber Measurement Sensor on Irving Tissue’s tissue machine #1 in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

2018-06-27  READ MORE...
Impressive digital journey at Fabio Perini's open house during It's Tissue

Everything is made to impress customers visiting Fabio Perini during It’s Tissue 2018. And it does.

2018-06-26  READ MORE...
Dimona WLM1: Voith and Trützschler make the efficient manufacture of eco-friendly nonwovens a possibility

• Production of nonwovens from renewable cellulose
and from 100% biodegradable products
• Consistent sheet formation for high-quality end products

2018-06-26  READ MORE...
Andritz to acquire Xerium Technologies, Inc.

Andritz AG headquartered in Graz, Austria, announces that it has signed a merger agreement to acquire Xerium Technologies, Inc., headquartered in Youngsville, North Carolina, USA.

2018-06-26  READ MORE...
A new president for Pro Carton

At the Pro Carton AGM on 8th June 2018 Roland Rex formally stood down as President of the association after eight years in the role and Horst Bittermann was duly elected as his replacement.

2018-06-25  READ MORE...
A.Celli Paper and Blue Tissue team up to design a turnkey tissue plant

A.Celli Paper is delighted to confirm its collaboration with the Mexican group for the supply of a complete turnkey tissue plant.

2018-06-25  READ MORE...
Valmet signs long-term mill maintenance services agreement with Asia Symbol in China


Valmet and Asia Symbol (Shandong) Pulp and Paper Co., Ltd. have signed an agreement for the maintenance services for the company’s board machines and pulp mill in China.

"Valmet manufactured the main equipment in our mill, and we are looking forward to good cooperation with Valmet in the next few years. Valmet’s maintenance services combine its daily maintenance expertise with support from product, process, and automation specialists worldwide. Professional people can do professional things - we believe that !" says Wang Bo, Mill Director of Asia Symbol Pulp and Paper.

"This is Valmet’s first maintenance outsourcing order in China, and it shows the trend of mill maintenance services as well. This customer is showing strong trust in Valmet’s professionalism by choosing us to supply their maintenance services. Valmet’s services team will help the mill to improve performance and product quality while lowering costs and risks," says Jiang Bo, Senior Manager, Maintenance Outsourcing and Agreement Management, Services business line, China, Valmet.

Valmet will provide maintenance services and maintenance development for the board machines and the pulp mill, including chip handling, fiber lines, pulp dryers, recovery boilers, evaporation, and recausticizing, as well as a power plant, chemical plant and water treatment facility. Valmet will be responsible for the leadership, management and development of the mill’s maintenance.

2018-06-25  READ MORE...
Expanded Östrand pulp mill in operation

Production at the expanded Östrand pulp mill began according to plan during the midsummer holiday (i.e. this weekend). SCA is investing SEK 7.8bn in the operation and the project is on budget and schedule.

SCA decided in 2015 to invest in an increased production capacity at the Östrand pulp mill – from 430,000 tonnes to about 900,000 tonnes of bleached softwood kraft pulp (NBSK). Following an extended maintenance stop, which began in April of this year, the expanded pulp mill is now in operation. 

Production capacity in the expanded pulp mill is expected to increase successively during 2018 and 2019. 2020 is therefore expected to be the first year with full production, corresponding to 900,000 tonnes. 

“Just over 1,000 days after starting the project on August 28, 2015, after a great effort from all involved to deliver the project according to the plan, the new plant is in operation ”, says Project Director Ingela Ekebro. “Our focus now is on calibrating the plant to quickly achieve full production and high product quality.”

“We are in the process of completing one of the largest and most important industrial investments in Sweden,” says Ulf Larsson, President and CEO. “Östrand will be one of the most competitive and environmentally sound mills for northern bleached softwood kraft pulp in the world. The investment will help us to meet growing demand in a strong pulp market.”

2018-06-25  READ MORE...
Ence begins the assembly of the boiler of its new 40 MW plant in Huelva

Ence-Energía y Celulosa started the assembly of the boiler of its new 40 MW plant in Huelva yesterday, with the first pillar and the frame of its metal structures set up. The process of assembling the structure begins hours after GBS, responsible of the production of the components of the boiler, made a new delivery of parts in the energy complex, which contained the modules of the pressure parts of the boiler.

The assembly process of the pieces will be carried out by sections of ten meters, forming plants from the base, on the pillars of the foundation slab. The execution times of the construction project of the new plant, which the company is fulfilling at a good pace, require that the delivery of new components of the boiler be produced as the assembly work progresses.

On June 9, Ence received a first delivery of the components of the boiler, which included the walls of the modules and the tying beams of the same, fundamental elements to ensure this structure the necessary rigidity for its operation. Until the start of the assembly work yesterday, these were stored in the facilities of the Huelva energy complex.

A boiler for the future of biomass generation

The boiler is one of the most important components of the plant, since the combustion process of the agroforestry biomass for the generation of energy will take place inside it. To ensure that this main player in the process of generating energy with biomass develops the maximum respect for the environment, Ence will provide this infrastructure with the best available technologies. Thus, it will incorporate a filter of sleeves and modern systems that will guarantee an optimum combustion of the biomass in its interior and an adequate environmental behavior.

The construction process of the new plant, which will have a production capacity of 40 MW and an installed capacity of 110 MWt, will be developed until the end of 2019, when the new boiler will be operational. This will have an estimated annual production of 260,000,000 kWh per year, considering the 6,500 potential hours of operation.

2018-06-25  READ MORE...
Ilim Group Management and Irkutsk Oblast Governor Launch the Big Ust-Ilimsk project

Earlier today Ilim Group Chairman Zakhar Smushkin and Irkutsk Oblast Governor Sergey Levchenko took part in the official launch of the integrated investment project Big Ust-Ilimsk at Ilim’s Mill in Ust-Ilimsk.

The Big Ust-Ilimsk project includes construction of a new line for production of kraftliner and other packaging materials with a capacity of 600 thousand tons per year. Total investments in the project will be around USD 1 billion with implementation to be completed by the end of 2021. The Company will also perform a large-scale upgrade of the existing operations in order to increase pulp output by 130 thousand tons per year.

Project implementation will drive the Mill capacity up to 1.5 million tons of finished products per year with an initially installed capacity of 550 thousand tons per year. The Ust-Ilimsk Mill will thus become one of the leading pulp and paper manufacturers in the world. Ilim Group is currently preparing a set of documents required to classify the Big Ust-Ilimsk as a priority investment project in terms of forest management.

“We consistently build our production development strategy with a focus on market demand, said Zakhar Smushkin, and our new investment project will allow us to produce the products which the market needs. Our investment project perfectly fits one of the key goals set forth by the President of the Russian Federation for the domestic industry, that is boosting of non-commodity exports. Meanwhile, such large-scale projects involve not only production but also social investments. The launch of the new KLB line will create 600 new jobs. Therefore, implementation of this project should be linked with a comprehensive development of the infrastructure in the region. We are working together with the Irkutsk Oblast Government to resolve this issue”.

Ilim Group CEO Kseniia Sosnina said : “The Big Bratsk project drove a step change in softwood pulp output volumes while the delivery of the Big Koryazhma project resulted in higher production volumes of high-quality white papers. Delivery of the Big Ust-Ilimsk project will help us to reinforce our presence in the packaging segment, primarily in the growing Asian markets. Upon completion of the project in Ust-Ilimsk and upgrade of the Bratsk Mill, Ilim will become one of the largest manufacturers of unbleached packaging materials globally with a total board output of 1.5 million tons per year, bringing an aggregate production output of Ilim Group to over 4.3 million tons per year”.

“This is an example of a robust partnership between the community and a large industrial company. And a forestry company at that.” - emphasized Irkutsk Oblast Governor Sergey Levchenko. “This partnership has already delivered its results : a new training center, a woodyard, and a sports center which is currently under construction. And last but not least, implementation of a large-scale Big Ust-Ilimsk project is now underway. In a few years, there will be a new modern mill, new jobs, and higher production volumes. Big Ust-Ilimsk also involves a big joint effort to develop the social and transport infrastructure, and therefore improve the quality of life for the Ust-Ilimsk community.”

2018-06-22  READ MORE...
Glatfelter to acquire Georgia-Pacific’s European nonwovens business for $185 million

Glatfelter, a global supplier of specialty papers and engineered materials, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Georgia-Pacific’s European nonwovens business (the “Business”) for $185 million, subject to customary purchase price adjustments.

The proposed transaction includes Georgia-Pacific’s operations located in Steinfurt, Germany, along with sales offices located in France and Italy. The Steinfurt facility produces high-quality airlaid products for the table-top, wipes, hygiene, food pad, and other nonwoven materials markets, competing in the marketplace with nonwoven technologies and substrates, as well as other materials focused primarily on consumer based end-use applications. The Steinfurt facility is a state-of-the-art, 32,000-metric-ton-capacity manufacturing facility that employs approximately 220 people.

“Glatfelter’s agreement to acquire the European nonwovens business demonstrates our commitment to building leading positions in global growth markets for engineered materials,” said Dante C. Parrini, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Glatfelter. “Steinfurt’s products and technologies complement our current airlaid business very well and the acquisition provides synergistic capacity increase opportunities and an improved cost structure to support our ability to serve customers in growing consumer and industrial markets. From a financial perspective, the investment provides an attractive return on capital, is immediately accretive and will deliver attractive EBITDA margins in a growing market.”

In 2017, the Business generated net sales of $99 million and EBITDA of $18 million. The Company expects to realize synergies in excess of approximately $6 million per year within three years, and expects to incur one-time costs of approximately $7 million for transaction fees and integration.

Glatfelter plans to finance the acquisition through a combination of cash on hand and borrowing under its existing revolving credit facility.

The proposed transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of required regulatory approvals. Credit Suisse acted as the financial advisor in connection with the transaction, and Shearman & Sterling LLP as legal advisor. The closing is expected to occur during the fourth quarter.

2018-06-22  READ MORE...
Buckman introduces Echowise™ at Zellcheming-Expo 2018


Buckman, a global company that specializes in innovative chemical and smart solutions for the pulp and paper industry, will introduce ECHOWISE™, its newest non-invasive technology, at Zellcheming-Expo 2018 in Frankfurt, Germany. From 26 to 28 June, many of Buckman’s global experts will be on-hand at the show to discuss the company’s groundbreaking solutions for the pulp and paper industry.

Included in the group is Mark Conyngham who will discuss Buckman’s focus on developing industry-leading chemistries that can be used seamlessly with Buckman’s problem-solving expertise and smart technology, like ECHOWISE. In addition, Rosy Covarrubias, Buckman’s Global Technology Director for Packaging, will discuss the benefits of Buckman’s third generation Maximyze®, and Stefan Pohl, Tissue Industry Technology Manager, will talk about Buckman’s full line of Yankee creping chemicals for Yankee cylinder protection.

Please visit Buckman’s booth F49 at Zellcheming to learn more about its innovative chemistries, like Vybrant® enzymatic bleaching technologies, Busperse® calcium stabilization technology, tissue softeners and more.

2018-06-21  READ MORE...
Insolvent paper manufacturer Feldmuehle Uetersen is reorganized

The Schleswig-Holstein paper company Feldmuehle Uetersen GmbH will be transferred to a subsidiary of the Berlin-based Beteiligungsgesellschaft Kairos Industries AG with effect from 15 June 2018 and will be continued in full.
‘Feldmuehle GmbH’ was founded specially for the transfer.
As a result of the refurbishment 400 and thus more than 95 percent of 420 jobs were preserved. The insolvency administrator and restructuring expert Dr. Tjark Thies from the Hamburg law firm Reimer Rechtsanwälte had concluded an acquisition agreement with Kairos in May 2018.
This agreement was under several challenging conditions, which were met this week.
"The successful completion of this refurbishment is largely thanks to the dedication, flexibility and responsiveness of the Feldmuehle employees," says Thies. At the end of May 2018, the Feldmuehle Works Council approved a ten percent salary waiver for employees until 31 December 2019, thereby creating an essential prerequisite for the financing of the acquisition. "Such constructive and responsible behavior is not a matter of course even in insolvency proceedings," says Thies. In addition to the restructuring contribution of the employees, the trustworthy cooperation with Ruppert Fux Landmann GmbH, Ernst & Young GmbH and the GÖRG Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälte mbB also contributed significantly to the successful takeover by Kairos.
Kairos Industries AG is a specialist in takeover and operational support of German medium-sized companies in special situations, as well as Group edge activities and business units with potential for increased earnings. It was supported
in the current transaction by lawyers from Morrison & Foerster LLP and Crowe leeberg auditing firm from Munich. The acquisition of Feldmuehle Uetersen GmbH is aimed at along-term entrepreneurial commitment ; and the strategic successful realignment of the company, which began at the end of 2017, will be continued.
Founded in 1904, the traditional company Feldmuehle produces around 250,000 tons of paper annually and filed for insolvency on 24 January 2018, at the district court of Pinneberg. Feldmuehle products are mainly used worldwide for the production of classic print products and in the packaging industry.

2018-06-21  READ MORE...
SchaeferRolls expands with second production site in the USA

SchaeferRolls Inc., manufacturer of high performance elastomeric and composite elastomeric roll covers based in Farmington, New Hampshire, U S A and subsidiary of SchäferRolls GmbH & Co.K G of Renningen, Germany, is expanding its operational footprint southward by constructing a new full-service roll shop to better serve their customers in the South/Southeast of the US. The new plant in Covington,Virginia will be equipped to manufacture the full roll cover product line as well as provide all mechanical repair, rebuild and grinding services needed to ensure a “one-stop shop” for all your roll maintenance needs.

“We have been looking for a location to site a second manufacturing facility to better serve our custom ers in the S outh,” said J.T. Fisher, Vice President and General Manager of SchaeferRolls Inc. “Covington provides excellent transportation options and a skilled labor force, allowing us to provide products with enhanced econom ic value to our customers.” With the decision for Covington, SchaeferR olls Inc. will also become the preferred supplier of the nearby located production site of the paper and packaging m anufacturer WestRock Company.

The choice of location is also very welcomed by the Commonwealth of Virginia : “We are thrilled to welcome SchaeferRolls to the City of Covington and Virginia as a new corporate partner and the local supplier to WestRock’s major operation,” said Governor Northam .

“The paper and packaging industries have a long history of success in the Commonwealth, and we are confident that the company will benefit from the competitive operating costs and dedicated regional workforce with strong industry skills. Gaining a new employer in the 21st century is an important step forward for the City, and we are confident in SchaeferRolls’ future success in Virginia.”
Through the systematic transfer of technology as well as targeted synergies between the international locations of the SchäferRolls-Group, the new production facility will be equipped with an optimal and future-oriented production process. "For S chäferRolls, this complete new building is a rare opportunity to use state-of-the-art technologies and processes to design production efficiently and to position ourselves optimally for the future," says Carsten Sohl, technical managing director of the parent company in Renningen. Construction is scheduled for the end of 2018. The beginning of operation is scheduled for mid-2019.

2018-06-21  READ MORE...
Italian packaging machinery industry forges ahead as turnover reaches €7.19 billion

The Italian automatic packaging machinery industry continues to consolidate its world leading position.

According to data collected by the research department of Ucima, the sector’s national association affiliated with Confindustria, the sector closed 2017 with further year-on-year growth.

Total turnover exceeded €7 billion (€7.19 billion), 8.9% up on 2016. The sector continues to stand out for its strong international presence, with Italian companies competing head-to-head with their German counterparts in all world markets. One machine out of every five sold worldwide is made in Italy.

Exports grew by 7.5% to €5.7 billion.

The domestic market also continued its strong performance with 14.4% growth to more than €1.5 billion.

The sector consequently recorded a positive trade balance of €5.2 billion, up by 7.1%.

These results were generated by 634 companies employing 32,227 people (up 8.7% on 2016).

The sector was once again Italy’s most dynamic capital goods manufacturing industry in 2017, ranking top in terms of export share and second in terms of overall turnover.

Results in international markets

The European Union remains the most important market, accounting for 37.4% of total turnover (€1.905 billion). Asia ranks second with a value of €1.112 billion and a 21.8% share of turnover.

The North American market ranks third with €592.6 million (11.6%). Next come Central and South America (€532.8 million ; 10.4%), non-EU Europe (€515.4 million ; 10.1%) and Africa and Oceania (€439.5 million ; 8.6%).

The United States, France and Germany remain the top three individual countries, followed by Mexico, China, Spain, UK, Russia, Turkey and Poland.

The domestic market

The Italian market has enjoyed a further positive year thanks to the tax incentives offered by the Industry 4.0 programme. Turnover generated in Italy grew by 14.4% year-on-year to €1.5 billion.

Client sectors

As for the breakdown of turnover amongst the various client sectors, the food and beverage sector maintained its dominant position in 2017 accounting for 56.1% of total turnover.

Even considered individually, these two sub-sectors lead the rankings. Food was the largest client sector in 2017, making up 30.25% of total turnover (€2.174 billion) and with an export share of 74.4%.

Beverage was second with 25.9% of total turnover and exports making up 85% of the segment’s sales.

They were followed by the “Others” segment, which includes packaging machinery for tobacco, tissue, etc., with €1.464 billion (20% of the total) and an export share of 83%, then the pharmaceutical machinery sector with €1.16 billion (16% of the total) and an export share of 80%.

At the bottom of the rankings were the cosmetics and chemicals segments with turnovers of respectively €272 million and €257 million and amongst the lowest export percentages, 74% and 76%.

In Italy, food remains the leading segment (37.1%), followed by beverage and others.

The structure of the sector

The Italian packaging machinery sector reflects the structure of Italian industry in general.

65.8% of companies have revenues of below €5 million and account for just 8.9% of the sector’s total turnover.

The 48 largest companies (with turnovers above €25 million) generate 66.8% of the sector’s total turnover.

The larger companies are also the only ones to have seen growth in average number of employees.

Despite this polarisation, 2017 saw the growth of medium-sized companies (with turnovers in the €10-25 million range), which increased in number from 52 to 77 (+25) and generated 15.4% of total turnover.

The largest number of companies are located in the Emilia Romagna region (36%), accounting for 61.9% of total turnover. The next most important regions are Lombardy(28.1% of companies and 17.6% of turnover), Veneto (11.8% of companies and 8.9% of turnover) and Piedmont (11.4% of companies and 6% of turnover).

2018 forecasts

“The volatility of markets and constant changes in the geopolitical conditions in a number of regions make it increasingly difficult to make reliable forecasts,” said Ucima’s Chairman Enrico Aureli.

“On balance however we expect last year’s growth trend to be maintained. According to the Ucima Research Department’s forecasts, the industry will continue its strong performance in Italy and Europe. Sales are also expected improve in Asia and Africa with growth of between 6% and 6.5% in the two-year period 2018-2020.”

2018-06-21  READ MORE...
International Paper Announces Senior Leadership Appointments

International Paper today announced that Timothy S. Nicholls has been appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, succeeding Glenn R. Landau who is leaving the company for personal reasons. Mr. Nicholls, who currently serves as Senior Vice President - Industrial Packaging the Americas, previously served as Chief Financial Officer of the Company from December 2007 through November 2011.

The Company also announced that Jean-Michel Ribiéras, currently Senior Vice President - Global Cellulose Fibers, has been appointed Senior Vice President - Industrial Packaging the Americas, succeeding Mr. Nicholls, and that Catherine I. Slater has been appointed Senior Vice President - Global Cellulose Fibers. All appointments are effective immediately.

"These appointments reflect the breadth and depth of our exceptionally strong management team as we continue to focus on delivering long-term value for all stakeholders by establishing advantaged positions in attractive market segments," said Mark Sutton, Chairman and CEO. "Tim has extensive experience at IP having served in senior executive roles across the organization, including as our former CFO. Tim, Jean-Michel and Cathy are outstanding leaders with proven track records of success across a range of positions, businesses and geographies. I would like to thank Glenn for his many years of service and wish him well."

About Timothy S. Nicholls
Mr. Nicholls, 56, has served as Senior Vice President - Industrial Packaging the Americas since November 2014, with responsibility for the company’s North American Containerboard, Container and Recycling businesses and IP Brazil Packaging. His previous positions have included Senior Vice President - Printing & Communications Papers the Americas, and Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He joined International Paper in 1999 through the Company’s acquisition of Union Camp Corporation, where he held a series of finance and business planning positions.

About Jean-Michel Ribiéras
Mr. Ribiéras, 55, currently serves as Senior Vice President - Global Cellulose Fibers, a position he has held since July 2016. He previously served as Senior Vice President - President, IP Europe, Middle East, Africa & Russia from 2013 until June 2016, and President - IP Latin America from 2009 until 2013. He joined the Company in 1993 at Aussedat Rey in France.

About Catherine I. Slater
Ms. Slater, 55, has been a Senior Vice President of the Company since December 2016, when she joined the Company from Weyerhaeuser Company effective upon the completion of the acquisition of Weyerhaeuser’s cellulose fibers business (which she previously led). From the time she joined the Company, she served as Senior Vice President, Consumer Packaging until the end of 2017. Her 24-year career with Weyerhaeuser included leadership roles in manufacturing, printing papers, consumer products, wood products, distribution and the cellulose fibers business.

2018-06-21  READ MORE...
ANDRITZ to supply recovery boiler and pre-evaporation system to Smurfit Kappa Nettingsdorf in Austria


ANDRITZ has received an order from Smurfit Kappa Nettingsdorf, part of the Smurfit Kappa Group, to supply a HERB recovery boiler and a pre-evaporation plant for its mill in Nettingsdorf, Austria. The new investments are part of the company’s Future Energy Project, which involves the implemention of sustainable energy initiatives at the Nettingsdorf mill. Start-up of the pre-evaporation plant and the new recovery boiler is scheduled for mid-2019 and mid-2020, respectively.

In addition to reducing emissions, the new HERB recovery boiler will produce more electricity than a traditional one. The boiler for Nettingsdorf will have several advanced features, including a smelt spout robot, an advanced sootblowing control with a hanging parts’ weight change indicator, and a process simulator. The EPC delivery scope covers mechanical equipment, automation, electrification, and instrumentation.

As a boost to energy efficiency at the mill, the new pre-evaporation plant utilizes ANDRITZ’s proven Mechanical Vapor Recompression (MVR) technology to increase the Nettingsdorf mill’s evaporation capacity. MVR units operate with very low specific energy consumption and also produce clean condensate that will be reused in other mill processes to minimize consumption of fresh water. 

The new equipment will reinforce the industry-leading position that Smurfit Kappa Nettingsdorf currently holds due to its low energy consumption. Smurfit Kappa Nettingsdorf produces kraftliner

2018-06-21  READ MORE...
Valmet's new multilevel measurement enables real-time monitoring of liquor tank levels at evaporator plants


Valmet has introduced a new multilevel measurement solution for measuring liquor tank levels at evaporator plants. A reliable and robust online solution, Valmet Multilevel Measurement, enables real-time monitoring and consequently correctly timed soap skimming in intermediate or weak liquor tanks.

"With Valmet Multilevel Measurement, it is possible to measure soap layer thickness online and start and finish soap skimming at the right time and thus avoid overflowing in the black liquor soap separation process. This all means less disturbance for the process," says Timo Laurila, Business Manager, Recovery Analyzers and Advanced Process Controls, Automation, Valmet.

The density-independent measurement is based on electrical impedance technology (EIT), which allows robust detection of components or phases with differing conductivities. This enables interface detection in a multiphase system, allowing, for example, the identification of liquor-soap, liquor-foam and soap-air interfaces.

Multilevel Measurement is fully integrated with the Valmet Industrial Internet solutions portfolio. Measurement information can be combined with Valmet’s advanced process control applications or third-party plant automation systems.

2018-06-21  READ MORE...
Rockwell solutions at iT's Tissue

Rockwell Automation, the main sponsor and protagonist of iT’s Tissue 2018 “The Italian Technology Experience”, the only event of its kind in the world, now in its third edition.

From June 25 to 29, the 12 network members of iT’s Tissue will open the doors of their companies to welcome visitors from around the world, demonstrating Italian excellence and quality in the technological tissue production chain. Rockwell Automation, in addition to acting as the main sponsor, will participate in all the open house events with their solutions specifically designed to produce added value.

Always a promoter of the culture of innovation and technological excellence, Rockwell Automation, a global leader in automation products and services, is participating in the third edition of iT’s Tissue as the main sponsor and supplier of solutions specifically designed to produce added value.

This is the third appointment with iT’s Tissue, an event that has grown over the course of each edition. In 2015 the number of operators present at the event had already doubled from the previous event, with 1500 people coming from 70 different countries representing 320 companies, all of whom appreciated the open house formula. This year from June 25 to 29, visitors will once again have the chance to see machines operating where they were designed and built, and to expand their knowledge about the latest innovations in terms of automation solutions developed to support machine manufacturers and end users, helping them to reach ever more challenging efficiency and productivity goals.

There are 12 Network Members of iT’s Tissue : A. Celli, Elettric80, Fabio Perini, Futura, Gambini, MTC, OMET, PCMC, Pulsar, Recard, TMC, Toscotec. 12 brand leaders in their sectors, all sharing a desire to promote Italian expertise at a global level, giving life to a district that is synonymous with excellence and quality in the tissue sector. The beating heart of the Tissue Valley, with industrial businesses located in the surrounding area of Lucca, extending to complete the production chains in Bologna, Reggio Emilia and Lecco.

Visitors can organize their tours of the open houses in advance based on their own interests. Specifically, those who want to explore Rockwell Automation solutions for converting can reserve a visit at Fabio Perini, Futura, Gambini and PCMC, while those interested in the paper production process can visit A. Celli, Recard and Toscotec. Visitors interested in handling and inspection of product quality aimed at improving line efficiency can visit Pulsar Engineering for palletizing, logistics and complete Elettric80 factory integration, while for packaging, the companies to see are TMC and Fabio Perini with the CASMATIC brand. MTC is the only company where it is possible to see converting solutions for folded products.

All the aforesaid companies have already chosen Integrated Architecture solution by Rockwell Automation for their machines. For the occasion of iT’s Tissue, Rockwell Automation decided to focus attention on some of the concepts that make up the DNA of the company, presenting some new solutions and some integrations on the adopted architectures.

The concept of safety as interpreted by Rockwell Automation, which has always been at the forefront in the world from a perspective of safety solutions for the industrial sector, is expressed through the integration of new functionalities that combine safety and productivity. For example, at Futura it will be possible to see how the Kinetix 5700 ERS4 servomotor associated with new generation safety CPU provides more flexibility in safety system operations – for example, it is possible to work on a machine in maintenance or in configuration by simply slowing it down instead of having to stop the machine completely. This means that production is not interrupted, resulting in increased productivity in the machine without impacting the desired safety level.

Machine designers have always needed to reduce the size of machines and find solutions that allow end users to lower energy costs in machines with particularly elevated power consumption. At Gambini, Fabio Perini and PCMC, visitors can see a prototype of a regenerative solution from the Kinetix 5700 series, the main platform for these types of applications. Today the regenerative unit is presented as a prototype, part of the motion control integrated platform, which in the case of system braking allows recovery of the kinetic energy produced by the stoppage into the power mains network. In addition to permitting reuse of a significant source of energy, responding to an energy savings and sustainability principle, this also allows removal of a separate regenerative unit in favor of more scalable and compact newer generation solutions, resulting in an important reduction in machine dimensions.

Like all of the solutions offered by Rockwell Automation, this new series is flexible and scalable, and the regenerative unit is available in different sizes to answer to a wide range of machine design philosophies. Based on specifications that require application to the entire line or to the single modules that make up the machine, an appropriate power converter can be used, alternating the regenerative unit with a high power PowerFlex 755T AFE -Active Front End– , with a sufficient power rating to be mounted upstream of the entire line, with regenerative units with lower power ratings from the Kinetix 5700 series, which also have the advantage of maintaining the DC bus constant.

It will also be possible to get a first look at the brand new high-power units (Large Frame Drives), which allow covering several applications in a tissue line with the Kinetix 5700 series.

Naturally, these are only some examples of applications and advantages offered by Rockwell Automation. Visitors will be able to chat with Rockwell Automation specialists available to demonstrate the applications and provide detailed information at all 12 companies.

2018-06-20  READ MORE...
Valmet to supply an off-machine multinip calender for UPM Specialty Papers in Germany

Valmet will supply an off-line multinip calender for UPM Nordland Papier at its Dörpen Mill in Germany. The new off-line calender including Valmet’s machine control system will be designed to give the final high quality for the demanding release and glassine paper grades after the grade conversion rebuild. The start-up of the machine is scheduled for the end of 2019.

The order is included in Valmet’s second quarter of 2018 orders received. The value of the order will not be disclosed. The total value of an order of this type is typically around EUR 20-30 million.

Valmet’s delivery for the new high-capacity off-line calender will include a calender unwind, an OptiCalender Multinip calender, OptiDry air dryers and a wind-up station. Off-line calender will be equipped with Valmet DNA machine control system.

The multinip calender has 14 nips providing superior quality for the end product. Calendering is effective already in the first nips. Each nip is loaded with the same extreme nip load at high temperatures giving the end product low surface roughness, low oil absorption and high transparency.

The approximately 4,500-mm wide off-machine calender will produce release paper grades with a basis weight range of 48-120 g/m2. The design speed of the machine will be 1,300 m/min.

2018-06-20  READ MORE...
Sulzer optimizes its financing mix


Sulzer raised CHF 385 million in the Swiss capital market yesterday via a dual tranche issuance. This is the third largest corporate issuance in the Swiss Franc domestic market since the beginning of the year.

The first tranche of CHF 110 million has a term of two years and carries a coupon of 0.25% at a price of 100.00%. The second tranche of CHF 275 million has a term of five years and carries a coupon of 1.30% at a price of 100.00%.

The bonds were issued through Credit Suisse and will optimize Sulzer’s financing mix.

2018-06-20  READ MORE...
B&R Moll Introduces its Newest Die Cutter, Folder/Gluer System

B&R Moll, Inc., the industry’s leading supplier of folder/gluers and specialized bindery finishing equipment for printing and packaging facilities, has developed the Moll Flexcut System – a compact in-line, sheet-fed, die cutter, folder/gluer system specifically designed to provide digital and commercial printers with reliable, high-speed, and versatile performance for packaging projects, including : finishing boxes, cartons, labels, pocket folders, and more.


The Moll Flexcut System in-line die cutter, folder/gluer features many of B&R Moll’s unique, proven folding and feeding mechanisms, including an open format layout that enables operators to quickly change over between jobs to meet tight production schedules. The machine can be configured to produce a wide range of finished pieces in a number of shapes and sizes.


The Moll Flexcut System offers touch screen controls, rear suction cups, a servo register in-feed with dual air wheel suction, a stripping section that deflects the matrix waste down, and much more.


“The Moll Flexcut System was designed so that operators would be able to do their die cutting, stripping, folding, and gluing all in one process,” said Kevin Moll, vice president of sales for B&R Moll, Inc. “Through the integration of our die cutter and folding/gluing equipment, we’re making a four-step process a one-step process, reducing time and labor, and thus increasing production and profits for companies.”


The compact B&R Moll Flexcut System can handle paper weights ranging from 220 to 400g/m2 stocks (10pt. paper stock to 24pt. paper board) in sizes ranging from 431 x 279mm (17 x 11 inches) up to 508mm x 508mm (20 x 20 inches) for the Moll Flexcut 580 and 760mm x 760mm (30 x 30 inches) for the Moll Flexcut 760. Maximum linear speed is 7,000 sheets per hour. The system is available with either 400V 3-phase, 50Hz or 220V 3-phase, 60Hz power connection.


All B&R Moll machines are made 100% in the USA.


2018-06-20  READ MORE...
Lecta to Increase Prices by 5% on CWF 1S and Self-Adhesive Ranges


Lecta announces a price increase of 5% on all its CWF 1 side grades and self-adhesive materials.​​​

The price increase is a consequence of the continuous increase in manufacturing costs. The new prices will be effective on deliveries from July 2nd, 2018.

Lecta sales teams are at our customers’ disposal to coordinate the price increase implementation.

2018-06-19  READ MORE...
OptiGroup to acquire Moonen Packaging in the Netherlands

OptiGroup has agreed to acquire 100 percent of the shares of the Dutch packaging distributor Packagegroup Moonen B.V. The transaction, which is subject to approval by the Dutch Competition Authority, is expected to be completed during the summer. The purchase price has not been disclosed.

Moonen Packaging, with revenues of EUR 51 million in 2017 and around 80 employees, has been a family business since the 1950s and is a leading and fast growing distributor of packaging solutions in the Benelux. The company designs, develops, sources, stocks, sells and distributes customised packaging solutions as well as hygiene paper, cleaning and catering products.

Moonen Packaging is a European leader in the field of sustainability with focus on cost-effective and environmentally friendly packaging solutions for the industrial and retail sector. The comapny has won the prestigious "most sustainable company in the Netherlands" award.

The acquisition of Moonen Packaging follows the recent acquisitions of three other packaging distributors by OptiGroup : Telpak and Mercamer in Finland, and Proxima in Romania. Moonen Packaging will continue to be led by Gé Moonen, who has successfully grown and developed the Company for the last 12 years.

OptiGroup’s President and CEO, Christoph Sander comments :
"We have followed Moonen Packaging for a long time as a European leader in sustainable packaging, with a strong market position in the Benelux and a long history of developing innovative products and services. Subject to clearance by the Dutch competition authority, we look forward to working together closely. We will provide further information at the appropriate time."

Gé Moonen, Managing Director and third generation owner of Moonen Packaging comments :
"Moonen Packaging has been our family business for many years and it has been very important for me to find the right long-term home for the company and all our employees. Potentially becoming part of OptiGroup means that we can develop the business even faster and with access to OptiGroup’s wider assortment. I am certain this combination will benefit existing and new customers and suppliers. OptiGroup shares my passion for sustainable packaging, which is also very important."

2018-06-19  READ MORE...
Acquisition Edely As of the 1st of June, VPK's French subsidiary Ondulys welcomes two new factories in its packaging network.

Edely Packaging, located near Lyon, and Edely Service, situated in the Pays-de-Savoie region, represent a joint turnover of 11 million EUR. Both sites will continue to operate under the new brands Ondulys Les Echets and Ondulys Pays de Savoie.
The geographic expansion towards the southern part of France offers strategic benefits for French customers.

“We’re happy to welcome both Edely sites into our group, after one and a half year of close collaboration. The expansion will increase our service and allows us to stay close to our customers,” says Damien Bridoux, General Manager Ondulys.

2018-06-18  READ MORE...
New flagship production site for Peterson

Peterson, one of the leading players in the Scandinavian packaging industry, announces the construction of a new Norwegian flagship production site in Halden. Operations currently located in Sarpsborg city centre, adjacent municipality to Halden, will be transferred to the new site. The new factory’s efficiency in terms of even higher delivery reliability and shorter delivery times will be a clear win for customers and will keep Peterson at the forefront of innovation in the 4.0 industry of the future.
Ultramodern site thanks to full greenfield rebuild

The new plant in Halden will be unique in the entire region, as the greenfield project enables a state-of-the art set up. For this purpose production equipment will be completely renewed. Finished products will be stored at and distributed from a new high-bay warehouse, fully integrated with all digital production systems. The high-bay warehouse will offer exceptional commercial benefits in terms of delivery reliability and delivery times. Total production capacity will increase significantly. It’s expected to be completed by autumn 2019.

"Peterson has a long history in the Østfold region. Therefore we are very pleased to invest in a brand new factory located in the same area, close to our customers. We will be able to offer our customers improved quality and service levels. The rebuild is a solid long-term investment for the future of Peterson and its customers," said Dan Johannessen, Managing Director of Peterson.
Long-term company vision and strategy reconfirmed.

In 2017, shortly after the acquisition by VPK Packaging Group and Klingele, Peterson already announced an investment program covering the entire Nordic region. Both shareholders now reconfirm their long-term vision and strategy for the Scandinavian market. Through the shared ownership, Peterson also has a significant position in the packaging alliance Blue Box Partners, offering access to a European-wide sustainable packaging network.

"The move of operations from Sarpsborg to Halden will sustain Peterson’s market leading position and give us a unique platform to be at the forefront of innovation, fully equipped to answer the needs of the 4.0 industry," concludes Dan Johannessen.

2018-06-18  READ MORE...
Group CVB Ecologistics acquires paper mill in France

Group CVB Ecologistics has acquired the assets and activities of Papeterie de Raon, a paper mill in Raon L’Etape, France. The mill in Raon, established in 1880, has stopped production in March of this year after it went into receivership.

At the papermill an advanced stock preparation is available to process difficult recyclable grades of recovered paper of which amongst others milk cartons and comparable grades which are often coated both sides and also with foil. Processing these grades has been done already for over 4 decades and since 2010 also the plastic of the consumed liquid packaging is recycled and transformed into raw material which is used for the production of high quality plastic end products.

Restart of production in Raon is planned for the 2nd half of June with 30 experienced paper makers.

With this take-over CVB wants to offer a guaranteed circular solution for pre- and post-consumer liquid packaging. Until the end of last year the volumes of (production) waste liquid packaging supplied by CVB partners/suppliers were sold in China and to Raon. With new legislation for imports into China and the closure of Raon outlet of these difficult recyclable grades were at risk, reason to find for today’s and future suppliers a sustainable solution.

With this forward integration CVB will be able to close the (recycling)loop by using these difficult grades to produce bleached and unbleached packaging paper of 18 to 50 grams.

As part of group CVB Ecologistics the paper mill has been renamed to Raon Circular Regeneration (RCR in short).

2018-06-18  READ MORE...
R. Stanton Avery Pioneer Award goes to Alex Knott

Alex Knott, of the Dow Chemical Company, has been chosen as the recipient of the R. Stanton Avery Pioneer Award for the 2018 Label Industry Global Awards. Judging for the 15th annual awards program took place on 6 June during the recent FINAT European Label Forum (ELF) in Dublin, where the panel of international judges met to consider entries across four award categories.

Sponsored by Avery Dennison, the R. Stanton Avery Pioneer Award honors the contribution an individual has made which has really impacted the label and package printing sector, whether their pioneering work has spanned two years or two decades.

Knott is a senior scientist in the company and leader of a global team that has pioneered the latest innovations in pressure-sensitive silicone release liner coating technology, including the introduction of Dow’s Flat Release Systems. This technology has not only revolutionized high speed, low coating weight, high performance and labelstock release liner production, but has also been a key factor in helping to drive down silicone coating costs.

Knott started his career as a Development Chemist in 1987 in the pressure-sensitive industry at Dow Corning - today a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company. Since then he has held application engineering, technical leadership and senior scientist roles within this industry, and today has a solid global reputation as an authority on silicone pressure-sensitive systems.

Previous winners of the individual award include : Professor Tan of PEIAC, Tomas Rink of Ritrama, Helmut Schreiner of Schreiner Group, Suzanne Zaccone of GSI Technologies, and Neil McDonough of FlexCon.

During the same meeting, the judging panel also discussed at length and agreed the finalists for the three other categories. They are :

The Award for Innovation (for companies with more than 300 employees), sponsored by Flint Group Narrow Web (in alphabetical order) :

• Esko

• Fujifilm North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division

• Paper Converting Machine Company

• Rotometrics

The Award for Innovation (for companies with up to 300 employees), sponsored by Flint Group Narrow Web (in alphabetical order) :

• Dienes Corporation

• Eaglewood Technologies

• Hamillroad Software

• MGI

• Phoseon Technology

The Award for Sustainability (in alphabetical order) :

• Avery Dennison

• Signode India Ltd

• UPM Speciality Papers

Mike Fairley, chair of the judges said : “As the highest accolade within the label and package printing industry, the quality of entries to the Label Industry Global Awards is always extremely high and drawing up the finalists is no easy process. However, the judging panel felt that Alex Knott was the stand-out choice for this year’s R. Stanton Avery Pioneer Award, with multiple recommendations from around the world.

“Alex is undoubtedly one of the most recognized global experts in silicone-based paper release coating technology, with exceptional in-depth knowledge of silicone coatings right through to the most advanced solventless Platinum systems. During his time at Dow, silicone coat weights have reduced from around two microns to one micron or less, Platinum levels have reduced from 100ppm to 50ppm or less, whilst at the same time coating speeds have risen from around 80 meters a minute up to 1,000 meters a minute or more.

“For the label converter and end-user, such innovations have contributed to superior waste stripping performance at ever-increasing press running speeds, as well as enabling much higher label application line speeds on the latest automated product decoration systems. The judges were unanimous in selecting Alex as the recipient of the R. Stanton Avery Pioneer Award 2018.

“We look forward to honoring him and the other winners in person at the awards ceremony in Chicago in September and to celebrating their successes.”

The other members of the judging panel for this year’s awards were : Chris Ellison, president of FINAT ; Dan Muenzer, chairman of TLMI ; James Quirk, group managing editor, Labels & Labeling ; Rosina Obermayer, editor of NarrowWebTech ; and Steve Katz, editor of Label & Narrow Web.

2018-06-18  READ MORE...
Ahlstrom-Munksjö responds to increasing demand for industrial filtration applications by investing EUR 28 million in its Filtration business

Ahlstrom-Munksjö continues to grow its attractive Filtration business as customer demand increases globally. In the Filtration and Performance business area, the company will invest about EUR 28 million to expand manufacturing capacity as well as product capabilities. The project will start in 2018 and is expected to be completed during the first half of 2020.

Fulvio Capussotti, Executive Vice President of Business Area Filtration and Performance, states : “This investment will enable us to create additional capacity in Turin, Italy, and will allow us to support growing demand for high-end filtration materials. Turin is already Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s largest plant globally and this investment will further consolidate our position as one of the leading global platforms for high-performance filtration material development and production. This investment also includes rebuilding and modification of our existing plants in Malmedy, Belgium and in Ställdalen, Sweden. We see an opportunity to use the remaining capacity of these two plants to develop unique filtration solutions for industrial applications, without affecting our ability to serve and support our existing customers at these plants.”

The investment supports Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s strategic ambition to maintain a leading position in selected niches of the global fiber-based solutions market that offer positive growth outlook and are supported by sustainable market drivers. The company has responded to growing customer demand by successively expanding its filtration manufacturing capabilities globally through several new and expansionary investments in the past few years. Today, Ahlstrom-Munksjö is one of the global leaders in filtration materials for the transportation and industrial sectors.

The Filtration and Performance business area develops and produces filtration materials for transportation as well as industrial applications. It also produces glass fiber for flooring products and wind turbine blades and makes nonwoven materials for automotive, construction, textile and hygiene applications and wallcover materials.

2018-06-18  READ MORE...
Voith - TerraSpeed Supreme: New thermal coating impresses at Hamburger Austria and Mondi

TerraSpeed roll coatings from Voith have been used successfully for many years. The product range now has a new addition – TerraSpeed Supreme, featuring new and impressive design parameters that give the coating outstanding performance values. TerraSpeed Supreme is already being used successfully in more than 15 installations worldwide.

The new functional coating of TerraSpeed Supreme ensures very stable roughness values and outstanding sheet release. Thanks to its improved coating structure, TerraSpeed Supreme minimizes web breaks and can reduce the open draws. In addition, TerraSpeed Supreme enables much longer roll service lives.

Improved operational reliability at Hamburger Austria
There are already more than 15 successful installations operating worldwide. Voith customers are impressed by the new coating and have already placed follow-up orders. One such customer is renowned corrugated base board manufacturer Hamburger Pitten. Josef Krenn, Operations Director and Markus Ungersböck, Head of Mechanical Maintenance at Hamburger Pitten in Austria explain the success story of TerraSpeed Supreme as follows : “At Hamburger Austria we produce a high-quality, diverse range of corrugating medium, packaging papers and plasterboard on our PM 4 in Pitten. The sophisticated use of different raw materials, auxiliaries and operating supplies imposes stringent requirements on the Nipco-P roll, the key position in the press section. Following the expansion of our range of paper grades, performance and doctoring using standard ceramic roll covers for this position became very unstable. A greater number of web breaks, and in some cases even sheet passing under the doctor blade, as well as premature roll changes to re-machine surfaces after relatively short periods of service, were suddenly day-to-day occurrences.”

Voith engineers also recognized the challenge and helped the customer to select the best coating in combination with suitable doctor blades, as Krenn and Ungersböck confirm : “Since we have been using the new TerraSpeed Supreme from Voith Paper operation has been absolutely reliable at this critical position. In combination with Voith’s SkyTerra S doctor blades, we have now been operating the unit for more than 2 years without interruptions and there has been no need to re-machine the roll surface. Web breaks originating from the Nipco-P roll have dropped significantly, sheet passing does not occur anymore and performance has been very stable over the entire operating time. The newly developed ceramic-coating TerraSpeed Supreme from Voith Paper has significantly improved our production but above all has made it operationally reliable again.”

Mondi impressed by TerraSpeed Supreme and SkyTerra S
Basically, the high wear resistance of Voith’s TerraSpeed Supreme enables continuous doctoring at maximum load. The SkyTerra S blade with negative facet was specially developed for use with TerraSpeed Supreme. But the successful use of TerraSpeed Supreme at Hamburger Pitten is not an isolated example. The Mondi production facility in Frantschach, Austria, has also had a similar experience. Andreas Petschenig, maintenance engineer at the Mondi paper mill in Frantschach, is also impressed by the premium coating : “In Frantschach we produce high-quality sack kraft paper grades on our PM 6 and PM 8. The sophisticated use of materials including chemical auxiliaries and operating supplies means that the press has to meet fairly exacting production engineering requirements. For example, following the installation of the shoe press at the PM 6 the doctoring on the ceramic covers of the shoe press counter roll became unreliable. A greater number of web breaks, sheet passing, and high web draws were almost part of the daily routine, as were roll changes to re-machine surfaces after relatively short periods in operation.”

Thanks to the new coating there has been a considerable improvement in performance at Mondi in Frantschach as well, as Petschenig reports : “All these problems have been solved since we started using TerraSpeed Supreme from Voith Paper. In combination with the Voith doctor blades SkyTerra and SkyTop, the cover service lives could be substantially increased. There is no more sheet passing and web draws could be reduced. The newly developed ceramic cover TerraSpeed Supreme from Voith has considerably simplified our production.” In the meantime, TerraSpeed Supreme has also been running successfully for a year in the shoe press of the PM 5 at Mondi Steti.

Now that numerous other Voith customers have had a similar positive experience with TerraSpeed Supreme. Taylor designed doctor blades like SkyTerra S and SkyTop S can even enhance that high performance level.

2018-06-18  READ MORE...
Cellwood to supply a Pulper installation to Södra Cell Mörrum Sweden


On 16 February, the Board of Directors of Södra decided to invest SEK 1 billion in the pulp mill at Mörrum. The investment is the second stage of a long-term initiative at Södra Cell Mörrum, and will increase the mill’s capacity by 45,000 tonnes.

Cellwood will be a proud supplier for this project, supplying a horizontal Grubbens Pulper type W26-82/84SB for TM1.

Södra Cell Mörrum is a speciality mill. In addition to paper pulp, this mill also produces dissolving pulp. Line 1 produces dissolving pulp from hardwood, while paper pulp from softwood is produced on line 2. This high-tech operation is up and running around the clock, every day of the year.

The delivery will take place during the autumn 2018.

2018-06-18  READ MORE...

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