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    01.09.2015   LABELEXPO EUROPE 2015: WACKER Presents New High-Performance Release Agents for ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...PSA Labels

    “Let’s make the perfect combination” is the motto under which the Munich-based chemical company WACKER is showcasing highly efficient coating compounds for the paper and film coating industry at Labelexpo Europe 2015. The focus is on four new silicone polymers for industrial label applications. They are solvent-free and cure extremely quickly, which is why they are ideal for cost-effective release coatings. The products belong to the new DEHESIVE® SFX product family, which will be presented to a wide professional audience for the first time at the Labelexpo. The tradeshow takes place in Brussels, Belgium, from September 29 to October 2.

    Photo: Release coatings with silicone polymers of the new DEHESIVE® SFX product family are ideal for high-speed labeling machines. The new silicone grades are very cost-efficient. With their help, the proportion of platinum catalyst in the coating system can be lowered by up to 60 percent compared to conventional silicone systems.

    The new products are solvent-free and cure by a platinum-catalyzed addition reaction. Due to their high reactivity, the silicone polymers require very little catalyst to cure fully. Compared to conventional coating systems, platinum savings of up to 60 percent are possible with the DEHESIVE® SFX system. This makes production considerably more cost-effective for release-paper and label manufacturers. In addition, the properties of the new silicone polymers can be optimized specifically for fast labeling processes.

    The polymers’ high reactivity stems from their molecules’ star-like branched structure, in which every silicone chain branches even further. At the end of every branch, there is a vinyl group, which makes addition curing possible. Due to this three-dimensional molecular architecture, DEHESIVE® SFX polymers are able to crosslink significantly better than conventional linear silicone polymers.

    Thanks to this high reactivity, coating systems based on DEHESIVE® SFX are ideal for use in high-speed coating equipment. Even at low catalyst dosage, they yield a fully cured silicone layer. The resulting release properties are ideal for machine delamination at high throughputs. Due to the flat release force profile, very little force is required for delamination even when labels are removed very quickly – such as during mass production of consumer goods. The release properties do not change, even after protracted storage of the laminate.

    The new star polymers are tailored to high-speed applications and differ in the number of branches, vinyl content and viscosity. The curing rate, release force profile and coverage of the substrate surface can be specifically adjusted to customers’ requirements.
    -Of the new silicone polymers, DEHESIVE® SFX 195 has the lowest viscosity. This product is ideal for coating smooth and dense release papers. The substrates are covered so well that low coating weights are possible. With DEHESIVE® SFX 195, low release forces are possible at high peel rates.
    -Within the new product family, DEHESIVE® SFX 250 achieves the highest curing rate and makes the biggest platinum savings possible. A release layer based on this polymer is characterized by an extremely flat release force profile. This is an advantage when particularly high peel rates are the target.
    -DEHESIVE® SFX 280 features an extremely balanced range of properties. The polymer cures rapidly and is suitable for the efficient coating of dense surfaces as well as porous ones. It has a flat release force profile and is thus the allrounder among the new, highly branched polymers.
    -With its comparatively high viscosity, DEHESIVE® SFX 380 is the specialist for use on porous papers. The polymer is able to cover absorbent substrates excellently. Release forces remain low even at high peel rates.

    DEHESIVE® SFX with AMA® Anti-Misting Additive
    During the coating of release papers, misting may occur, especially at high coating speeds. This is undesirable. On the one hand, because equipment can become dirty as a result; on the other, because the quality of the silicone release layer decreases when mist deposits on the freshly coated release liner.
    That’s why WACKER also offers its new DEHESIVE® SFX polymers with integrated anti-misting additive AMA®. At high coating speeds, AMA® prevents misting and thus significantly improves the coating result.

    Visit WACKER at Labelexpo Europe, Booth 7A27.
    (Wacker Chemie AG)
    01.09.2015   Minerals Technologies Begins Operation of NewYield(TM) Integrated Process Technology Facility...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... for Sun Paper Group in China

    NewYield(TM) Technology Converts a Papermaking Waste Stream into a Useable Filler Pigment, Eliminating the Need to Landfill the Waste Product

    Minerals Technologies Inc.
    (NYSE: MTX) has successfully begun operation of a new satellite plant to produce the breakthrough NewYield(TM) Integrated Process Technology for the Sun Paper Group's pulp and paper operations in Shandong Province, China.

    "We are extremely pleased to have our new satellite plant at Sun Paper up and running and producing a useable papermaking filler that provides Sun with both cost savings and reduced environmental impact, while at the same time providing them with a filler pigment for their paper," said Joseph C. Muscari, chairman and chief executive officer. "The successful commissioning of this plant now sets the stage for MTI to roll out this new technology to other papermakers."

    NewYield(TM) is an innovative technology that converts a paper and pulp mill waste stream into a functional pigment for filling paper. NewYield(TM) technology eliminates the cost of environmental disposal and remediation of certain waste streams to papermakers. The facility will produce 60,000 tons of filler pigment from Sun's waste stream.

    By utilizing Minerals Technologies' NewYield(TM) Integrated Process Technology, papermakers can eliminate the costs associated with landfill disposal or energy, and in return will receive a functional paper-filling pigment. MTI and the papermaker will both benefit, as will the environment.
    (MTI Minerals Technologies Inc.)
    01.09.2015   BRACELL: CHANGE OF CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER    ( Company news )

    Company news The Board announces that with effect from 1 September 2015, (i) Mr. AU-YANG Cheong Yan, Peter will step down as the Chief Financial Officer of the Company; and (ii) Mr. ANG Hui Tiong, Eugene will be appointed as the Chief Financial Officer of the Company.

    The board of directors (the “Board”) of Bracell Limited (the “Company” and together with its subsidiaries from time to time, the “Group”) announces that Mr. AU-YANG Cheong Yan, Peter (“Mr. AU-YANG”) will step down as the Chief Financial Officer of the Company with effect from 1 September 2015.
    The Board further announces that Mr. ANG Hui Tiong, Eugene (“Mr. ANG”) will be appointed as the Chief Financial Officer of the Company with effect from 1 September 2015.
    Mr. ANG, 47, was the Vice President for Corporate Finance of the Group from 2007 to 2014.
    Mr. ANG has extensive experience in finance, tax and banking. Prior to joining the Group in 2004, he was a senior vice president at BNP Paribas. Mr. ANG graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from National University of Singapore in 1992. He has been an associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales since 1997 and a chartered financial analyst with the CFA Institute since 2001.
    The Board would like to express its sincere gratitude to Mr. AU-YANG for his valuable contribution to the Group during his tenure and welcomes Mr. ANG on his new appointment.

    As at the date of this announcement, the Board comprises Mr. TEY Wei Lin (Chief Executive Officer) as an Executive Director; and Mr. John Jeffrey YING (Chairman), Mr. Jeffrey LAM Kin Fung, Mr. David YU Hon To, Mr. LIM Ah Doo, Mr. LOW Weng Keong and Mr. Armin MEYER as Independent Non-executive Directors.
    (Bracell Ltd)

    Company news Picture: Avery Dennison introduces new generation digital cast films MPI™ 1104. (Photos: Avery Dennison, PR286)

    Avery Dennison is adding to its Digital Cast Films range with a new MPI™ 1104 Cast Films Series. These high performance materials are designed to meet growing demand for quick-change graphics and messaging for vehicle and architectural solutions.

    According to Renae Kulis, global senior director Graphics of Avery Dennison Materials Europe, “Avery Dennison MPI 1104 Cast Films opens up vibrant and creative possibilities, with outstanding print performance, fast application speeds and the premium end results that come with Easy Apply™ adhesive technology.”

    Daniel Martinez van der Lem, an applicator from Stick it in the Netherlands notes that, “This material printed superbly – the colours were bolder, deeper and better! Lower initial tack was a big bonus, because we were able to go back and lift the vinyl, then re-apply it easily. It saved a lot of time, and there is no doubt that wrap speed and ease of application are better with MPI 1104.”

    Outstanding printability, with consistently high image ‘pop’, is seen across all print platforms – UV, solvent, eco-solvent and latex inks. The films give more vibrant colours and an outstanding gloss level, helped by a grey adhesive for optimal opacity.

    Application times for the MPI 1104 are typically up to 10% shorter than similar competitor products and up to 15% shorter with MPI 1104 Easy Apply. The special Easy Apply™ technology allows incision-free and primer-free application on deep corrugations.

    Superb 3D conformability completes the picture, allowing applicators to cover many different 3D shapes and curves across demanding fleet graphics, customized private vehicles and architectural solutions.

    Kulis adds that the new material has created significant performance benefits for converters, installers and end users alike:
    “Creativity in graphics is enabled by great image quality and high visual impact. MPI 1104 offers outstanding digital print on all major platforms. The reliable image ‘pop’ offered by this new generation – and their sheer versatility during application – takes things to the next level. Customers also get exceptional conformability, and great durability for outdoor applications. All of this is supported by our ICS Performance Guarantee.”
    (Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials Europe)
    01.09.2015   World-renowned experts evaluate technical papers of 48th ABTCP Pulp and Paper ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... International Congress

    Researchers from the Portuguese Pulp and Paper Association, from Viçosa and Paraná Federal Universities, among other institutions, highlight the latest technologies and trends in the industry

    The 48th Pulp and Paper International Congress, promoted by ABTCP – Brazilian Pulp and Paper Technical Association - which will take place in October 06 to 08, at the Transamérica Expo Center, in São Paulo, has gained increasing importance and strengthening thanks to the papers presented, which aim to highlight the latest technologies and industry trends. This year, the Congress will bring a special feature on its technical sessions: all papers to be presented were evaluated by world-renowned researchers, from institutions such as the Portuguese Pulp and Paper Association and the Federal Universities of Viçosa and Paraná, among others.
    “The Congress is essential to give visibility to the works developed by industry experts. I believe that this exchange of information has been happening over the years, because people who attend the Congress are trained and have much knowledge to share", says Francisco Valerio, president of the Congress.
    The following experts evaluated the technical papers which will be presented during the 48th ABTCP Pulp and Paper International Congress:
    - Nilda de Fátima Ferreira Soares, Dean of Viçosa Federal University;
    - Marta Souto Barreiros, Forestry Engineer at Celpa – Portuguese Pulp and Paper Association;
    - Giancarlo Pasquali, Associated Researcher at UFRGS, which works with cloning and characterization of plant urease genes;
    - Jorge Luiz Colodette, Head Professor at Viçosa Federal University;
    - Luiz Ramos, Associated Professor of UFPR Chemistry Department – Paraná Federal University;
    - Michael Paleologou, Canadian Specialist, expert in Chemical Analysis, Biomass, Industrial Paper and Products Development from FPI;
    - Juan Carlos Villar Gutiérrez, an expert in the characterization of new cellulosic raw materials, less contaminating procedures for pulp production, biotechnology applied to paper industry, from INIA.
    - Katsuyuki Kadota, Senior Researcher at Oji Holdings Corporation.

    This year the Congress theme will be focused on the binomial "Innovation and Competitiveness" and, in parallel, the 1st Ibero-American Conference on Bio-economy will take place, a simultaneous event held in conjunction with ABTCP 2015, focusing on Economy, Energy and Bio-inspired Materials – BEM 2015, organized by Riadicyp - Red Iberoamericana de Docencia e Investigación en Celulosa y Papel.
    Song Won Park, from São Paulo University (USP), who will chair this 1st Ibero-American Conference on Bio-economy, believes the ABTCP Congress will strengthen the relationship between industry professionals, in addition to the disclosure of scientific works from many Ibero-American countries. “The initiative of RIADICYP members in attending the ABTCP Congress will certainly promote an enrichment of the several topics traditionally addressed annually by the Association", says Park.
    (ABTCP - Associação Brasileira Técnica de Celulose e Papel)
    31.08.2015   Appleton Coated boosts pharmaceutical insert offering with introduction of stocked products    ( Company news )

    Company news Appleton Coated is building on the market success of its uncoated Pharmaceutical Insert (PI) Opaque line by offering stocked sheet and roll products. PI Opaque is designed and manufactured specifically for high-speed production of pharmaceutical insert and onsert projects in both traditional offset and high-speed web inkjet platforms.

    “Our customers have asked for a mill-supported stocking position on our PI product and Appleton Coated has delivered,” says John Mazuroski, Appleton Coated’s business development manager for technical and specialty products. He continues, “Customers are seeing strong demand for the product, so ease-of-ordering and rapid delivery are key service touchpoints we are happy to provide.”

    Mazuroski continues, “Our customers are telling us that having a stocked PI product for immediate delivery adds value to their operations. It also allows them to pursue new market opportunities utilizing this substrate. Our Pharma Insert Opaque product line delivers unsurpassed converting and gluing on all types of equipment and is providing customers with the exceptional finished products they desire.”

    The stocked product is available in the popular 27 lb text in three sizes of sheets and three web roll widths.

    Appleton Coated’s PI Opaque line is manufactured to an 81 (GE) brightness. It is available in 24-, 26-, 27-, 30-, 35-, and 40-pound basis weights in rolls and sheets for offset printing. For web inkjet, it includes products for dye-based and pigment-based web inkjet platforms as well as with ColorPRO technology for the HP T-series platforms on a making basis. Acid-free, enhanced elemental chlorine-free (EECF) and pH neutral, it may be ordered with post-consumer recovered fiber (PCRF), as FSC® certified (FSC® C007796); SFI® certified; PEFC® certified and with Green-e® certified Green Power. For all grades that carry the Green Power designation, 100% of the electricity used to manufacture these products is matched with renewable energy credits (RECs) from Green-e certified energy sources, primarily wind.
    (Appleton Coated LLC)
    31.08.2015   AGM 2014: Board Members of Kotkamills Oy    ( Company news )

    Company news The Annual General Meeting of Kotkamills Oy took place in Helsinki, Finland, on 27 April 2015. The AGM approved the Financial Statements of the company and discharged the members of the Board of Directors and the Managing Director from liability for the financial period of 1 January – 31 December 2014.

    The number of members of the Board of Directors was decided to be four persons. It was decided to appoint Johan Grön, Karl-Johan Lindborg, Eero Niiva and Hannu Puhakka to the board for a term continuing until the end of the next Annual General Meeting. In its first meeting the Board elected Hannu Puhakka as its chairman.

    Karl-Johan Lindborg is a seasoned business executive with extensive experience i.a. in sales and marketing of board and paper products. During 2000 - 2008 he was President of MAP Merchant Group Ltd, a European paper merchant and during 1996 - 1999 President and CEO of Finnforest Oy. Earlier in his career he has served as senior sales and marketing executive in companies like Enso-Gutzeit, Tampella and Rauma-Repola as well as working for over 15 years in Finncell, a sales organisation for all Finnish pulp mills.

    Johan Grön is Vice President and Head of Dewatering Business Line in Outotec since September 2013. In 2011 - 2013 he was Chief Technology Officer and Founding Executive of Xylem Inc. (NY, USA) and before that he was Chief Technology Officer, Fluid and Motion Control of ITT Corporation. In 1990's and in 2000's Johan held senior R&D and process technology related positions in companies like Kemira, Metso Paper and Stora Enso.

    Hannu Puhakka and Eero Niiva represent the main owner MB Funds, a Finnish private equity company in the Board of Kotkamills Oy. They have significant experience in acting as non-exective board members and as chairmen in both industrial companies and service sector companies.
    (Kotkamills Oy)
    31.08.2015   UPM Raflatac Nancy operation achieves ISO 50001 Energy Management certification    ( Company news )

    Company news UPM Raflatac has achieved ISO 50001 certification for its factory in Nancy, France. ISO 50001 is an energy management system for continuous improvement in energy efficiency, and in consequence energy costs and environmental impacts. Nancy is the first UPM Raflatac site to achieve this certification.

    Since the ISO 50001 project began, energy efficiency compared to each preceding year at Nancy improved by 7% in 2013 and 8% in 2014. In the longer term, continuous improvement is expected to yield an energy consumption reduction of 10-15%. The energy management system also aligns with the UPM's long term environmental targets and Clean Run programme where UPM Raflatac aims to reduce product carbon footprint by 15% through selection of raw materials, energy efficiency and logistics by 2020.

    The front-running Nancy factory already has ISO 9001 Quality Management, ISO 14001 Environmental Management and OHSAS18001 Health and Safety Management certifications in place.

    Factory General Manager Jean-Michel Foy comments, "Great teamwork during this two-year project at Nancy has led to success. Energy management is a significant lever to maintain our operations cost as they are today and to balance other natural inflation. Like safety, energy saving is becoming integral to our way of thinking at Nancy. ISO 50001 helps us for the future, and justly raises perceptions of UPM Raflatac on many levels."
    ((UPM France S.A.S.))
    31.08.2015   Multivariable selective folding system with intelligent 3-channel control    ( Company news )

    Company news Within a customer’s project MB Bäuerle designed and produced a selective folding system. One of its features is its manifold possibility of feeding and processing. Due to its compact construction and due to the smooth accessibility the complete system is extremely easy to use.

    The system is able to feed, collect and fold documents with different formats. Therefore, loading can be done via a suction feeder, flat pile feeder or continuous paper from the roll. It is possible to process folded and unfolded documents for example in A3 and A4 format. Documents can be retrieved as preselection on the operator panel or via a code on the document. Before collecting and folding the edge trim will take place in the cutting module CM 52. This cutting module is mobile and adjustable in height so it can be used in other machine configurations.

    Processing is done via a patented accumulator. This accumulator is collecting the different paper sheets with a special method before these sheets are folded to the desired format or pass unfolded into the automatic folding system multimaster CAS 52. The integrated folding unit can also be used for common folding jobs whereby the highest possible flexibility of the complete system is guaranteed. At the push of a button the control system carries out automatically the most important adjustments in the folding unit. All standards folds can be set directly, other folds are freely programmable. The job memory function enables the operator to complete repeated orders even faster. To handle orders with a different number of paper sheets which have to be collected and folded a special selective folding unit is used. This unit is adjusting the plate stops to the processed number of paper sheets in order to guarantee a perfect folding result. A camera system runs constantly ensuring the safety of the whole production process. Therefore, the only outcome is for the complete set of perfectly processed documents to arrive on the delivery table.

    Another option is to attach to the complete system a booklet maker. Therefore, the production of large booklets with saddle stitch is possible.
    31.08.2015   10 years of paper from Spremberg - Schwarze Pumpe    ( Company news )

    Company news Hamburger Rieger - Spremberg Paper Factory has established itself on the global market thanks to innovation and quality.
    During a celebration held at the Spremberg Paper Mill, Hamburger Rieger took a look back at the successful ten-year history of the Schwarze Pumpe location, together with guests from the fields of politics, business and associations as well as employees of the company.
    Ten years ago, the Spremberg Paper Mill successfully began production in the Schwarze Pumpe district in Spremberg. As a leading innovator, a unique white corrugated containerboard was developed and produced at the Spremberg site - uncoated SpreeWhite Liner. Following a major investment in an additional coating system in the Spring of 2015, came coated RiegerLiner.
    CEO Cord Prinzhorn pointed out that the mill owes its success to the technical expertise and strong customer orientation of the team, but also to its endeavours: "I am proud of how personally we take quality and performance. Whether it is developing new products, mastering technical challenges or meeting specific individual requests from customers, it is all backed by our passion and paper-making craftsmanship."
    Since the paper machine started up in 2005, over three million tonnes of paper have been produced in Spremberg, including many unusual and innovative products. For example, plasterboardliner, a special product used to manufacture modern construction boards for interior design; pigmented paper, a patented packaging paper with unique printing properties; and last but not least the coated RiegerLiner, produced to give a high gloss, top quality print result – the most recent addition to our portfolio.
    Ongoing investments have expanded the business and increased the need for trained technicians. For example in 2013 with the commissioning of the mills own refuse-derived fuel plant. This plant supplies the paper mill with process steam and electrical energy. With the conclusion of this project, the total investment by the Prinzhorn Group at the Schwarze Pumpe Industrial Park rose to over 350 million Euros.
    When the paper mill started up in 2005, we had 200 employees. There are now 480 qualified people employed by the Prinzhorn group of companies at the Schwarze Pumpe location. In addition, the paper mill guarantees more than 1,000 indirect jobs in the region. Thanks to the many training and study options on offer, Lusatia is becoming attractive to young people as well. In the past two years, permanent employment has been offered to all our young skilled workers at the site.
    With multiple cooperation agreements, the paper mill supports many external social projects and schools, thus enhancing and promoting the region as well.

    Since 2010 the Spremberg Paper Mill has been operating, together with the paper factory in Trostberg, as Hamburger Rieger GmbH. In 2014, the Hamburger Rieger Gelsenkirchen Paper Mill joined our group of companies. Together the three mills produce around 700,000 tonnes of corrugated containerboard and plasterboard.
    Back in the autumn of 2005, we also started up the Dunapack Spremberg corrugated containerboard plant. Dunapack Spremberg produces premium printed packaging solutions. The corrugated containerboard plant can now also look back on 10 years of history. 200 jobs have been created thanks to continuous investments in state-of-the-art equipment. Dunapack Spremberg produces 6-colour printed custom packaging solutions for well-known national and international customers in fast moving consumer goods, mail order, the food and beverage industry as well as the furniture industry. With around 160 Mio. m² of corrugated containerboard produced each year, Dunapack Spremberg is the service and quality leader in the region. Corrugated containerboard is 100% recyclable, 85% of the processed raw materials come from recycled paper.

    Hamburger Rieger Containerboard – an important part of the Hamburger European Group
    Rieger is a part of the Hamburger Containerboard Division of the Austrian Prinzhorn Holding company. At three locations in Germany - Spremberg in Brandenburg, Trostberg in Bavaria and Gelsenkirchen in North Rhine-Westphalia - Hamburger Rieger produces high quality corrugated containerboard. The product lines include Rieger Liner, Rieger Top and Spree White, and make the company the quality leader in the market segment of white-coated quality paper.
    With 1.9 million tonnes and 7 factories, Hamburger Containerboard is among Europe's leading manufacturers of premium containerboard. All Hamburger board is made exclusively from 100% waste paper.
    (Hamburger Rieger GmbH)
    28.08.2015   Esko Automation Engine Connect receives esteemed Printing Industries of ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...America 2015 InterTech™ Technology Award

    Connectivity to powerful Esko workflow reaps rewards for Esko Automation Engine users

    Esko ( proudly announces that Automation Engine Connect, a toolkit allowing integration from third party products to an Esko workflow, is a recipientof a 2015 Printing Industries of America InterTech™ Technology Award. Since 1978 the InterTech™ Technology Awards have honored the development of technologies predicted to have a major impact on the graphic arts and related industries. More than 80% of technologies that receive an award experience continued commercial success in the marketplace.

    This is the eighth InterTech award an Esko solution has received over the past ten years. Other recipients include a wide variety of technologies: Esko WebCenter (2006), Esko DeskPack 3-dX (2007), Esko Neo (2008), Esko Studio Toolkit for Shrink Sleeves (2011), i-cut Suite (2012), Full HD Flexo (2014) and Equinox (2014).

    “We are thrilled to receive an InterTech award from Printing Industries of America this year. Esko has a legacy of investing a much higher portion of our budget into R&D than the industry average. We believe in innovation as a means to help our customers conduct their jobs more easily, productively and profitably. Automation Engine Connect is certainly an example of creating software technology to help our customers design complete, more efficient workflows," remarks Udo Panenka, Esko President. "We understand that it is important for our workflow systems to communicate with third party systems. Similarly, we listen to our customers' challenges, and strive to build more effective solutions for them. That is the ultimate reward for us."

    Esko Automation Engine Connect: an easy way to integrate third party systems

    Even though many in the printing industry have pushed connectivity, not all systems are JDF, or even XML, compliant. And, even if they are, it does not mean that data from one system maps out correctly to another system. This means that when a print provider wishes to tie in the production workflow to outside systems – ERP, MIS, web-to-print, shipping systems, etc. – there will often be a challenge. This usually requires, for just about any other workflow, customized programming to create a way to connect systems together.

    Esko has significantly reduced the cost of integration for its customer base with Automation Engine Connect, the only toolkit offered specifically by a workflow vendor expressly developed to integrate other, disparate business systems. There is no other application on the market that is deeply rooted into the workflow server itself. Automation Engine Connect provides a toolkit that allows integration from a third party product with an Esko component, such as WebCenter, Automation Engine or ArtiosCAD. This means that MIS, web stores, finance and shipping systems, and more, can all be integrated into the workflow. Automation Engine Connect is easy to install. While Esko provides the service to map and connect data, those who are knowledgeable in IT can do it themselves. With Automation Engine Connect there is no reliance on anyone who creates a customized system to continue maintaining the system. Automation Engine Connect is also scalable. If the business invests in more, or new, systems, Connect can easily make sure that these systems are integrated into Automation Engine. Among the numerous applications that have been connected to Automation Engine are packaged MIS systems such as EFI Radius, LabelTRaxx, CERM and Theurer; custom systems based on Microsoft Excel and FileMakerPro; and even one user who connects to World Weather Online to understand wind conditions when planning outdoor mounting activities for billboards.

    "When we purchased our MIS system, it was taking too much time for prepress to duplicate CSR efforts, entering similar job information into the production system. We invested in Automation Engine Connect," comments Rebekah Harmon, Art Director, Best Label Company." After the system was set up, it was easy to use. Now, our artists probably can process 50 jobs per day. Before Connect, we only could produce 30 per day."

    Flexokliche provides design, prepress services and plates for packaging applications. "We had purchased our MIS system purely on how it handled and worked. But, we had not thought much about future integration. We started a simple XML transfer, but it never worked," remembers Linda Ekehage, Owner, Flexokliché. "I do not know how Esko does it, but Esko Automation Engine Connect works. Once we got in touch with the right people from our MIS developer to understand the data files, it was really easy. It took Esko only about eight hours. We can now look up jobs easily in Automation Engine and keep track. Now that order information is sent directly to Automation Engine my bookkeeping time is 50% faster. And that is just a small part of the workflow chain. All of the designers and account managers save time as well."

    “The judges commented that Automation Engine Connect is the start of a new and simplified approach to connecting disparate systems. The user interface makes it very user friendly to connect systems. It's simple and effective, and takes lots of extra work away from the user," notesDr. Mark Bohan, Vice President, Technology and Research, Printing Industries of America.“The judges were also very impressed with the wide array of systems that have been connected with Esko Automation Engine Connect in real installations."
    (Esko Belgium)
    28.08.2015   Cost-cutting with combined dampening solution circulation and ink unit temperature control    ( Company news )

    Company news technotrans AG uses a patented free-cooling function / infinite adaptation of the power to the actual demand / cost-efficient, stable, and process-optimised production

    technotrans AG lowers the CO2 emissions and energy costs of offset printing applications with the combination unit beta.c eco+. The heart of the modular solution for dampening solution circulation and ink unit temperature control is a highly efficient refrigeration unit based on digital scroll compressor technology, a frequency-controlled temperature control circuit pump, and a free-cooling function to cool the ink units. Together with the optional, speed-controlled cooling water pump station eco, the combination system reduces the fixed costs by 50 per cent. This makes it a very profitable investment for printing companies within a short period of time.

    A cooling system that perfectly adapts to the demand of the printing press: Thanks to the digital scroll technology, the technotrans solution cools only as required by the load. The current intake decreases to approximately ten per cent of the nominal current, as the digital scroll compressor is in idle mode when without load and therefore does not consume any refrigerant. "The automatic control enables substantial cost-savings, particularly during partial load operation," explains Peter Böcker, head of sales of technotrans AG.

    The temperature control circuit pump is frequency-controlled. "Up to 80 per cent of the drive energy can be saved thanks to the infinite adaptation of the pump output," says Peter Böcker. As a result, the total energy consumption can be reduced by 50 per cent in combination with the speed-controlled cooling water pump eco. For printing companies that work in three shifts, five days a week, this results in cost savings in the range of several thousand euros per year.

    As a sophisticated solution for dampening solution circulation and ink unit temperature control, beta.c eco+, with its high-precision measuring and dosing systems, also saves on additives. The consumption data is automatically recorded. Optionally, technotrans also offers the beta.f dampening solution fine filtration system for a long dampening solution and filter service life. "We can easily see how quickly beta.c eco+ pays off compared to air-cooled entry-level systems," says Peter Böcker. Only the purchase price of these systems is lower. Especially under normal climatic conditions, such as in Germany, where 80 per cent of the cooling function for the ink units can be handled via the free-cooling function, the system can show its full potential.

    The efficiency of the system has been proved by comparative measurements performed by various system users and certified by BG ETEM. Since the launch of the beta.c eco+ system, the company from Sassenberg has sold an average of 50 systems per year. However, there is still strong demand for these types of solutions throughout the industry: "We estimate that less than ten per cent of all printing companies use a modern cooling solution," says Peter Böcker.
    (technotrans AG)
    28.08.2015   Planning for Success at Irving Pulp Mill Modernization    ( Company news )

    Company news Irving Pulp & Paper mill is in the midst of the largest modernization project in Canada since 1993, and yet the daily operation of the mill continues.

    "We have not had a single break in production,” said Mill Manager, Cory Gallant. "Despite the incredible amount of construction activity on site, we have remained fully functional with over 340 employees producing pulp products every day for markets at home and abroad."
    Gallant says excellent communication between mill employees and project leaders has made the difference.

    "Around here we say we have two groups on site, but one team", Gallant said.

    JDI Project Manager Mark Fitzpatrick credits partnerships and planning to the ongoing success of the $450 million pulp mill modernization.

    Daily, weekly, and monthly project plans are shared with all stakeholders including mill operations, construction contractors, engineering companies, and equipment vendors.

    "Everybody brings expertise and experience to the table, and to leverage that you need to include folks, and that will always result in making a good plan to an excellent plan," Fitzpatrick said.

    The current phase of the modernization project has created about 450 direct and indirect construction jobs on-site. To date, JDI has awarded over $64 million in contracts to 124 New Brunswick companies.

    The Pulp & Paper Mill is a central part of JDI’s forest products business which spends over $400 million in annual purchases in New Brunswick, supporting over 1700 suppliers across 250 communities in the province.

    Proudly made in New Brunswick, Irving pulp products are shipped to 20 countries around the globe and sustain a vital road, rail, and sea transportation hub in Saint John.
    (Irving Pulp & Paper Limited)
    28.08.2015   Launch of Coated Paper U-ltima Gloss 80    ( Company news )

    Company news A new product in the U-ltimax series having a high gloss level

    Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. (President: Fumio Manoshiro) will start to sell coated paper U-ltima Gloss 80 (Kirameki) in the coated paper U-ltimax series.

    U-ltima Gloss 80 (Kirameki) will make it possible to achieve sharp printed images on the print side using offset printing, something that has hitherto been possible only with gravure printing. The gloss level (degree of light reflection from paper) of U-ltima Gloss 80 (Kirameki) is 80%, almost as high as the gloss level of cast coated paper. The exceptional luster of the paper itself makes printed materials look like photo prints and creates superb highlights.
    U-ltima Gloss 80 (Kirameki) can be used for publications, including magazines, mooks, and photo books, along with a range of other purposes.
    (Nippon Paper Industries Co Ltd)
    28.08.2015   BillerudKorsnäs investigates opportunities for growth    ( Company news )

    Company news The demand for sustainable packaging solutions is growing globally. BillerudKorsnäs wants to explore the opportunities to respond to the demand growth while at the same time streamline and further improve its production structure. The company is now launching two feasibility studies, one regarding investment into a new board machine at the production site in Gruvön (photo), Sweden, and the other regarding a streamlining and development of the production structure for packaging papers.

    BillerudKorsnäs is a leading supplier of renewable fiber based packaging materials and solutions. Within liquid packaging board and other virgin fiber cartonboard, the company is one of the world leaders. Driven by global megatrends, the demand for these types of board is increasing. BillerudKorsnäs therefore wants to investigate the possibility of installing a new board machine at the production unit in Gruvön. The investigation is a part of BillerudKorsnäs strategy for volume growth within business area Consumer Board. It is also in line with the strategies for the business areas Containerboard and Packaging Paper. The machine would become one of the most cost efficient in the world with a capacity of approximately 500 000 t/a of liquid packaging board, cartonboard, food service board and white kraftliner. In addition to growth in attractive board segments, an investment decision would also include a streamlining of the production structure within the business area Packaging Paper as the current production of kraft papers at the Gruvön production unit would be discontinued and replaced by production at other BillerudKorsnäs units. A potential investment decision can be made at the earliest during 2016.

    Simultaneously, BillerudKorsnäs is launching an investigation into the possibilities of further structural change and growth in selected attractive kraft paper segments. The investigation includes exploring the possibility of moving the MG paper machine in Finnish Tervasaari, unintegrated to pulp production, to Swedish Skärblacka, which is an integrated unit. The investigation also includes investment in further value adding surface treatment capacity at existing MG paper production in Skärblacka. If implemented, the investments would strengthen Skärblacka’s position as one of the world's most efficient production units for white MG papers while also opening up opportunities in attractive market segments within medical papers, food packaging and release liners. The investigation will be completed during the first half of 2016 and after a potential decision is taken about a year is required to carry out the investment in surface treatment capacity and one and a half years for a potential paper machine move.

    “These two investigations clearly indicate that we have our sights set on growth. We carefully compare all different growth scenarios to each other. Right now, we consider conditions for organic, investment driven, growth in our own production structure as the most favorable. These investigations do not exclude the possibility of further acquisitions”, says Per Lindberg, President and CEO, BillerudKorsnäs.
    (BillerudKorsnäs AB (publ))
    28.08.2015   Today an ELF – Tomorrow a Label Industry Giant    ( Company news )

    Company news New FINAT European Label Forum reflects the growing role of labels

    Fast-paced change in the label production market prompted the creation of the new FINAT European Label Forum, which attracted more than 300 participants from Europe and beyond.

    Replacing the long-established annual FINAT congress and held in Amsterdam from 11-13 June, the FINAT European Label Forum represented all stages of the complex label value chain and placed a strong emphasis on business concerns – particularly running a profitable business in today’s economic environment. It covered a variety of disciplines, from branding and marketing to innovation, technology, manufacturing, and corporate affairs.

    “The definition and role of labels has changed dramatically in recent years with the advent of new product decoration technologies, from sleeves and in-mould labels to printed electronics,” explains Jules Lejeune, Managing Director of FINAT. “With a customer base of brand owners and retailers that is increasingly international, and a world of consumers who are social and online media experts, this is indeed a challenging scenario for label converters. And with the task of achieving change firmly placed on label converters, Europe’s industry association, FINAT, has both the desire and the duty to create a new informational and educational platform for its members.”

    Lejeune reported that labelstock consumption in 2014 was up 5.7% year-on-year and the industry saw ‘steady and strong recovery’ since 2012 and the global economic crisis. Growth continued at 8.8% for paper labels and 7.7% for film stocks in Q1 2015 as compared to Q1 2014. He also introduced the members-only FINAT RADAR that tracks European converter, brand owner and material supplier trends; developments in conventional vs. digital press purchases; and provides a regular half-yearly benchmarking report on these topics. The most recent FINAT RADAR converter survey found that 40% of Europe’s self-adhesive label converters are already active in printing sleeve labels, with at least 20% embracing sleeves, flexible packaging, and/or in-mould labelling.

    President emeritus of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, presented on the future of business in a complex European landscape. He stated, “Interdependence is the key to a successful European Union, and to addressing many of the opportunities and challenges that face Europe as a whole, the euro itself, and the current economic situation within the Eurozone.”

    Staying hungry in paradise
    Retiring FINAT President Kurt Walker opened the plenary sessions. Keynote speakers included Rasmus Ankersen, bestselling author of ‘The Gold Mine Effect and ‘Hunger in Paradise’ and an international entrepreneur and speaker on performance development. He encouraged delegates to ‘think outside in’ because ‘success is not a straight line,’ and highlighted business case studies that illustrated both winners and losers, emphasising that ‘good results always come from good decisions,’ ‘performance equals potential minus interference,’ and ‘what you see is not necessarily what you get.’

    Heineken senior packaging and identity design manager Ramses Dingenouts showed how a family business founded in 1860 has innovated to achieve continued success. The company invented the first green beer bottle – now available in 93 countries around the world – and still embraces new and developing technologies to promote the Heineken brand. He stated, “Pressure-sensitive labels make packaging multi-versioning possible, and that is now a core company strategy.”

    The relationship between suppliers and their strategic customers was addressed by Gordon Crichton, director of the Institut du Management de l’Achat International in France. He said the previous concern for buyers was price, but now it is growth. To be successful with their clients, suppliers need to focus on taking out cost, driving innovation, and improving speed to market. They should also get closer to a strategic customer’s business, identifying and working with their key partners.

    Parallel business sessions
    The forum featured three in-depth parallel tracks on different business topics – sales, marketing and PR; technology and manufacturing; and management and corporate. Cindy Van Cauter, owner of the Netherlands-based shopper and trend research company Quotus Research, took the delegates on a shopping trip around the future, evaluating the new reality for labels in the new reality of retailing. As the focus of the consumer moves away from the supermarket aisles into the world of e-tailing, the role of labels is changing, she explained. QR codes and other scannable features are part of daily life; and for young people, there is a ‘blurring of offline and online.’

    Lars Wallentin, a well-known veteran in brand packaging and the creator of the Packaging Sense platform discussed raising awareness of the importance of packaging – and the label – as a communications medium. He pointed out that ‘packaging is advertising – it’s talking to people!’

    More label technology choices today
    FINAT’s New Converting Technology Taskforce fielded two speakers on technology and manufacturing. Constantia Flexibles’ VP, marketing, and current chair of TLMI, Dan Muenzer, detailed developments in product decoration technologies that compete with mainstream self-adhesive labelling, including linerless labels, flexible packaging, refillable pouches, sleeving of all kinds, direct print, pre-glued wraps, cans, in-mould labels, personalisation, NFC, and printed electronics, as well as container developments such as paper bottles, and the many different recycling options available today.

    Onno Ponfoort of global management and business consultants Berenschot spoke about the impact of 3D printing, or additive manufacturing. “Personalisation, small runs and on demand production are important features of 3D printing’s value proposition, but as I understand it, these are also unique selling points for self-adhesive label solutions,” he observed. “For this reason, the business models of the 3D printing ecosystem could also offer your industry some interesting perspectives.”

    Succession planning in family businesses
    Management and corporate topics were selected by FINAT’s very active Young Managers Club – Jozef Lievens, a partner in Belgian corporate law firm Eubelius, addressed five essential questions about family business succession, while Nick Mockett, a partner in corporate finance and M&A consultancy Moorgate Capital, spoke about selling the business if succession is not possible or desirable.

    Delegates also participated in a hands-on lean manufacturing workshop led by Jan Mekers, owner of lean and change management consultants Richter IMA, and the event also included a supplier table top exhibition as well as the 2015 FINAT Label Competition and Recycling Awards.

    The voice of the customer
    The event received plaudits from attendees including Chris Ellison of OPM (Labels & Packaging) Group Ltd, who described it as “a must-attend event for entrepreneurs in the narrow-web industry”. Gavin Rittmeyer, Martin Automatic Inc, commented, ”a stellar line-up of speakers and networking opportunities”. And Filip Weymans of Xeikon described it as “a great milestone in the year”. Klaus Damberg of Synthogra, added, “The entire programme was very relevant for all converters,” and Ramon Lee, Brotech Graphics Co, Ltd said: “I got a lot of new information…most importantly, on developments – on the marketing side and the technology side, and on management skills.”

    Lejeune concludes, “This event delivered on its promise to provide an expert and wide-ranging business briefing targeted at profitability and business growth. A changing end-use market profile, evolutions in print technology and access to a number of new product decoration techniques can, and will, co-exist with self-adhesive labelstocks in the label converter’s printroom.”
    27.08.2015   Kemira appoints Tomas Biström as Director, Corporate Responsibility    ( Company news )

    Company news Tomas Biström (Master of Science, Economics) has been appointed Director, Corporate Responsibility at Kemira starting 1 September, 2015. He has previously been responsible for Kemira's Compensation and Benefit globally, including the successful implementation of Kemira's performance management process.

    "Tomas takes up this position from Riikka Timonen, who has chosen to pursue a new career path within one of Kemira's business segments. Kemira aims to excel in internal leadership development and succession planning programs, so that individuals have the opportunity to grow and develop new skills inside Kemira. Riikka has played a significant role in improving our sustainability performance, monitoring and reporting. I am confident that going forward, Tomas will bring new valuable insights into this work, which is never finished," says Tero Huovinen, SVP, Communications and Corporate Responsibility.

    "Sustainable value creation is an integral part of Kemira's strategy and business: we help our customers improve their water, energy and raw material efficiency. Our stakeholders expect high sustainability performance from us, both in our own operations as well as throughout the value chain. We continue to improve our business processes to meet these growing expectations, also focusing on sustainability aspects in our new product development," says Jari Rosendal, Kemira's President and CEO.
    (Kemira, Paper Segment)
    27.08.2015   DS Smith's Blunham site now future proof    ( Company news )

    Company news Up to twenty loads of concrete a day, a total of 55,000 work hours, and 12 million pounds Sterling. That’s what has been involved in the rebuilding and re-equipping of the DS Smith (UK and Republic of Ireland Division) site at Blunham as a ‘future proof’ sheetfeeder plant. Yet production ran without stopping throughout this complex six-month revamp.

    “We’ve effectively built a new plant inside the old one without losing a day’s production,” says Adrian Swindells, Sheetfeeding Managing Director for DS Smith, talking about the complete overhaul of the group’s facility at Blunham near Bedford, UK. Over the past six months the plant has seen the replacement of two of its three corrugators with one new Fosber line, along with the installation of completely new condensate, starch, warehousing and materials handling systems. “We’ve also created a new layout which keeps vehicles and people apart,” adds Swindells, “as well as making energy efficiency improvements and refurbishing the building to make it brighter, cleaner, warmer in winter, and a better place to work.”

    From the placing of the order with Fosber to the start-up of the complete 2.8 metre wide corrugator line took just 22 weeks, says Swindells. “It wasn’t a simple installation because we had concrete cross beams under the factory which had to be removed to allow the foundations for the new line to be laid. It meant a lot of excavation and a lot of dust, so we had an awful lot of plastic sheeting protecting those areas that were still running production. We got to a point where we only had one corrugator running, with a large percentage of our production being handled by our two other sheetfeeder plants at Kettering and Louth. From that point in time we really had to crack on and get the project completed as quickly as possible.”

    Gareth Jenkins, Managing Director of DS Smith’s Packaging Division, says that customers were the driver behind the investment at Blunham. “We have to keep moving forward if we are going to stay in this industry and lead it, so we asked our customers what they wanted from us. The response we got was that they liked the wide range of products we produced, but they also wanted us to look at different models for the way we service them as customers.”

    Jenkins says that the plant at Blunham had gone as far as it could with its existing corrugator installation, consisting of three lines made up of elements from different vendors, and that the group understood a substantial step forward was necessary to give the plant the capabilities it would need through the next two decades. “We needed improvements in terms of efficiency, in terms of flexibility both now and in the future, and in the product quality that we could deliver,” says Adrian Swindells. “The world has moved on in corrugated sheet supply and today it’s as much about service and the performance of the board as anything. We recognised this and we have invested in the latest technology and installed what we believe is the most advanced automated corrugator in the industry today.”

    For David Grantham, Sector Director for Industrial at DS Smith, the choice of machine supplier was the key to ensuring that the installation not only met the plant’s current needs, but also those for many years to come. “When we spoke to Fosber we saw that they understood the sort of relationship we expected to have with the supplier of our new corrugator. We wanted a partner who would continue to develop our machine, long after we installed it, by bringing us their latest innovations. Yes, this machine is the most advanced corrugator in Europe today which is crucial given sheetfeeding supports our own packaging manufacturing plants for contingency in addition to supplying our sheet plant network and wider market. But we have plans in place with Fosber for continuous upgrades so that we maintain that position of leadership.”

    Grantham says that, even in the few weeks since the line went live, Fosber have delivered the first such upgrade, this one allowing double-wall to be run faster. “We already have the second and third upgrades lined up, one of which will increase the maximum line speed to 400 metres a minute. What we find really exciting is the unforeseen: those developments yet to come. We’ll be working with Fosber on these.”

    Gareth Jenkins agrees that continuous development is a vital issue for the plant and for the DS Smith group. “It’s not about putting machinery in; it’s about satisfying our customers by achieving technology leadership and keeping it. I expect this organisation to really stretch the capabilities of this line, which is key for us in terms of the difference we can make in the market.”

    Short lead times
    Given that the plant mainly supplies independent sheet plants, Adrian Swindells says that the most important customer service factor for the plant is offering short lead times. “Our customers have to cope with very short lead times from their own customers. Even though I think we already offer the shortest lead times in the UK, being able to keep that up, day-in, day-out, involves having the capacity to cope with the peaks in demand. During our busiest period, from September to Christmas each year, our intake can lift by twenty percent. If you don’t have the extra capacity to cope with that uplift then your service level has to drop.” The 2.8 metre width and fast running speed of the Fosber line is key to the plant’s increase in capacity and shortening of lead times, says Swindells. “The volume it can produce in a twenty-four hour period is thirty to forty percent higher than the combined output of the two machines it replaced. So now we have the volume to match the peaks in demand.”

    A further factor in achieving volume uplift and lead-time reduction is the speed of changeover the Fosber line delivers. “Sheetfeeding is different to conventional integrated corrugated manufacture in terms of what the corrugator has to do,” explains Swindells. “So we had the Fosber configured to meet demanding targets in terms of handling very short run lengths, across the widest possible range of paper and board types.”

    The wet-end features Fosber's Link-M3 integrated roll stand and splicer, which has a triple-reel positioning system that reduces roll change cycles by an average of 70% compared to conventional roll stand systems. “These roll stands are very advanced and give the fastest changeover going,” says Swindells. “That gives us a bit of an advantage, because the speed of the entire line is determined by the wet end. If you have shorter orders, you can only go as fast as you can change the rolls. Normal roll stands are butterfly arms, but this has three rolls ready, so it’s a real advantage at the wet end.” In conjunction with the automated plastic track full-accumulation roll handling system, the wet-end at Blunham is able to comfortably handle and manage multiple and very frequent paper changes.

    The Fosber’s Smart 400 single facers are equipped to run B, C, E, and R flutes, and all the associated double wall combinations, with very fast flute-change capability. The on-board peripheral steam heating system is fitted with automatic differential control, allowing the machine to run automatically from 15 bars down to 4 bars, with true zero wrap.

    The dry-end is made up of Fosber’s latest series 400 range of equipment, designed to carry out gapless order changes at 300 metres per minute. The Twin400 slitter-scorer is equipped to run a wide range of scoring profiles on back-to-back orders that include offset (normal and reverse), point-to-point, and point-to-flat, and also features a web cleaner system to remove dust. The Master Cut-Off knife and Terminal 400 downstacker optimise the production of short chop lengths at the highest line speeds, and have very short order cycle-change capabilities.

    Complex materials handling
    A dual side-stack discharge system means partially run orders are managed totally separately to completed orders, which optimises the efficiency of the plant's Dücker materials handling system. “It’s unique in the UK, and I believe there is only one in Europe,” says Adrian Swindells. “It allows us to run wider, in more parts, and the parts build up in that section, which reduces our pallet costs, strapping costs, and transport costs.”

    For Swindells, the installation of the materials handling system was almost a bigger job than that of the corrugator. “In a traditional integrated plant the materials handling is relatively straightforward, but for sheetfeeders like us it’s not so. The Dücker system has to interface with all the other systems in the plant and that is a complex task.” Among the functions that materials handing has to interface with are those of the extensive warehouse area. An outside pallet feed system means there is no need for truck movements inside the warehouse and also makes sure that there is a continuous supply of pallets.

    In the warehouse, two double palletisers, which can handle jobs of different sizes at the same time, process up to 350 pallets per hour, while two autostrappers print and shroud, and a doubling unit allows two stacks to be put away simultaneously. “It’s a fully automated, fully tracked system,” says Swindells. “It was one of our biggest challenges, because we came from a manual system and we have a lot of complex instructions for wrapping, stack heights... that type of thing.”

    A further advantage of the investment for DS Smith’s sheet-plant customers is that the revamp is delivering a more consistent product. “Because it’s fully automated in terms of warp and moisture control, and it has auto diagnostics, the Fosber line gives the customer consistency of product. For each board grade it knows what the perfect settings have been in the past to get minimum warp of the board. Every time that grade comes up, it reapplies those settings.”

    Fosber’s Syncro complete corrugator control provides the full automation and synchronisation of the corrugator line, monitoring and managing the various settings and variables of the corrugating process. Its Profile laser bar constantly measures and detects the slightest board warp and, in conjunction with a moisture balance monitoring system, adjusts the process settings to provide closed-loop automatic control. The Syncro system also collects production and process data in real time for every order run off the corrugator, storing it for a year. This data includes the actual steam, power, starch and air consumptions for the order and a photograph of each individual stack as it is discharged. This information not only provides a complete provenance for each individual order produced, but also allows the plant to know exactly what consumption was required to produce it.

    The line additionally features Fosber’s intelligent Target Speed control feature, which ensures that the corrugator is automatically pushed to reach set speeds for each board quality. On reaching the target the system continues to increase line speed in incremental steps until a new maximum speed is reached, which then becomes the new target.

    Just like the corrugator, the new condensate and starch systems are fully automated. “All told, it’s taken the ‘black art’ out of corrugating,” says David Grantham. “We’re using the technology to run the machines and the operators are now managing the orders.”
    Own it

    Ensuring employee buy-in to the project was an important objective for DS Smith. “This has been an enormous people engagement programme,” says Gareth Jenkins. “You can have all sorts of fast kit, but if the people running it don’t appreciate the difference they make to the business, then you won’t get the performance you aspire to. It’s one of the most difficult things to achieve, but the increased level of performance from the new machine, as opposed to that from the two machines it replaced, is significant and that’s all about the people involved.”

    Adrian Swindells says that plant management spent a lot of time talking with the workforce about the strategy of the business and the part they play in it. “We also have employee focus groups called “Own it” teams, which look at specific problems and come up with action plans for improvement. It’s a bit of a change from the top-down culture of DS Smith in the past. Now the people on the shop floor come up with the ideas, make a case, and improvements come quickly.”

    The new installation at Blunham has been specified with energy and resource efficiency in mind. Along with the natural benefit of one corrugator replacing two, the Fosber line has energy efficient motors and drives fitted. Its totally enclosing noise-reduction system not only cuts overall acoustic emissions to below 85dB(A), and acts as machine guarding, it also allows heat from the line to be re-routed, via a self controlling ventilation system, to warm the plant in winter or to vent out in summer. The Fosber Express double backer is fitted with four independently controlled heating sections, each able to run down to 0.5 bars and each fitted with a closed loop condensate recovery system. The Thermostack pre-heater is fitted with independent steam controls on each drum, each with zero wrap capability, while the Crest double glue unit has an automatic torque controlled rider roll contact system, with specially designed applicator rolls, so that starch and steam consumption is noticeably reduced. Also designed to save resources is the new starch system which recycles waste water and means the plant has done away with the need for an effluent treatment plant. “Across the site we’re saving around 35% in energy,” says Adrian Swindells.

    Growing sector
    The revamp of Blunham is very much a DS Smith group strategic move, says Adrian Swindells. “We supply board mainly to the independent sheet plant sector. We’re probably unique in the sheetfeeding market because we have three sites - so we can offer a broad range of products from brown box-board and specialities, through to tapes, single face, and fan-fold. The bulk of the brown-box comes from this site and, as well as the efficiency and consistency improvements, the new equipment gives us capabilities we didn’t have in the past. It gives us the ability to run with cut-to-mark register, clay coats, F-flute and light papers. At the moment we produce most of our speciality out of Kettering on a 1.8m corrugator. Now our 2.8m line can compliment that. So it’s an investment for the whole DS Smith group.

    Gareth Jenkins says that the drivers behind the group’s investments are the delivering of whatever the market requires. “We’ve seen a lot of growth in certain retail markets, and that has created growth in the sheet plant sector. So there needs to be a supplier who can meet their requirements for range, speed of delivery and quality of board. We expect the machine at Blunham to be the most efficient corrugator in Europe, not just in the DS Smith group, but in Europe as a whole. It’s just weeks into operations and it’s already performing incredibly well, so I have no doubt that we will achieve that.”
    (DS Smith Packaging)
    27.08.2015   Warren and Stora Enso in partnership with reel-to-sheet Tambrite H/S    ( Company news )

    Company news In a continued extension of our close working relationship with Stora Enso , we are delighted to announce the introduction of a reel-to-sheet service for the market leading folding boxboard, Tambrite H/S. Converters and printers can now benefit from an express, cut-to-size service from our extensive UK stock holding. Our fully equipped converting facility can deliver tailor made Tambrite H/S and orders of other cartonboards nationwide within five working days.

    Tambrite H/S has become popular across Europe due to its excellent value, runnability and performance in its key end-use segments: pharmaceutical, food and chocolate packaging and as an all-round packaging material, Tambrite H/S can flexibly cater to the needs of other end uses as well.

    The continuous development of Tambrite H/S has resulted in excellent stiffness and bulk attributes as well as a good visual appearance. The board performs well in printing and converting processes including digital printing, and is ideal for use in both laser and inkjet coding, as well as Braille embossing and other special finishing effects. With its quality consistency the board is the perfect choice for food packaging when robustness plays an important role, particularly the folding cartons used in confectionery packaging.

    Thanks to recent product development, Tambrite H/S is now an even more efficient and environmentally friendly choice than ever before.

    Russell Towsey, Stora Enso’s Regional Sales Director commented “We have a need to offer express deliveries of Tambrite H/S orders, cut-to-size, to support our mill service and to meet the demands of the market. As a trusted partner for many years and following their recent investment into converting, Warren was the obvious synergy for us. We believe our joint offering will meet customer needs both now and in the future.”

    Kieran Ferguson, our Managing Director commented “It’s testament to the exceptional service from our West Bromwich Converting facility that Stora Enso has the confidence to work with Warren in establishing this exciting new service. Having the internationally renowned Tambrite H/S available cut-to-size within a few days will bring many benefits to the UK converting and print markets”.
    (Warren Board Sales Ltd)
    27.08.2015   New record level: Bischof + Klein increased its sales by more than seven percent to the new ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...record level of 534 million euros in 2014

    This growth rate, which is higher than the industry average, contains no growth through acquisition. In 2014, the B+K-GROUP employed a total of around 2,500 staff, with approx. 1,300 at its headquarters in Lengerich and around. 700 at B+K Konzell in Bavaria.

    "Bischof + Klein has invested sustainably and successfully in recent years", explained managing director Dr. Volker Pfennig. Together with managing director Gerd Sundermann, he recently reported on the successful course of the 2014 financial year to journalists. The family-owned company will maintain its rate of investment, and is again scheduled to spend around 30 million euros on expanding and modernising its European plants in 2015. In addition to infrastructure measures and implementation of the 2020 energy concept, focus will be placed on modernising and expanding production facilities at both of the German plants. In Lengerich, this includes extending the production area in the clean room facility as well as investing in extrusion, printing and conversion capacities. Amongst other projects, a fully-automated high-bay warehouse with space for storing 1,700 pallets is under construction in Konzell. With the extension of the extrusion and printing departments and with the installation of the fourth flexographic printing press respectively, the subsidiary companies in Poland and the United Kingdom are also growing.

    With its three divisions, Industrial and Consumer Packaging plus Technical Films, Bischof + Klein succeeded in extending its position as one of the leading full-service suppliers in Europe against the backdrop of a European market with relatively low growth rates, high price pressure and increasing competition from Eastern and Southern Europe. For example, Bischof + Klein succeeded in increasing unit sales of U-Pack® side gusseted bags for pet food in Europe and the USA and establishing itself with SmartFlex® stretch hood films in Australia.

    "One of the highlights of the 2014 financial year was certainly the award of the German Federal Government's CSR prize", said managing director Gerd Sundermann. This confirmation of sustainable management at an economic, ecological and social level provides new impetus for further commitment.
    (B+K Bischof + Klein GmbH & Co. KG)
    27.08.2015   Fortress Paper Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results    ( Company news )

    Company news Fortress Paper Ltd. (TSX:FTP) ("Fortress Paper" or the "Company") reported 2015 second quarter EBITDA of $4.1 million, an increase of $6.6 million and $10.1 million over the previous quarter and prior year comparative period, respectively. The Dissolving Pulp Segment generated EBITDA of $2.1 million and the Security Paper Products Segment generated EBITDA of $3.4 million. Corporate costs contributed EBITDA loss of $1.4 million to EBITDA.

    EBITDA of $2.1 million for the Dissolving Pulp Segment for the quarter ended June 30, 2015 was an improvement of $5.4 million when compared to the first quarter of 2015 EBITDA loss of $3.3 million. The operational challenges in the chemical preparation area and limited capacity of the turbine experienced during the fourth quarter of 2014 impacted the results of the first quarter of 2015. The results for the quarter ended June 30, 2015 were favorably impacted mainly by improved productivity and cash production cost over the prior quarter, increased power generation under the additional power supply agreement with Hydro Québec, and improved pricing. EBITDA results for the second quarter of 2015 improved by $6.3 million compared to the second quarter of 2014. The results of the second quarter of 2014 reflect restart procedures in early March 2014 and the mill producing northern bleached hardwood kraft pulp through late April when production was switched back to dissolving pulp.

    The Company sold 39,664 air dried metric tonnes ("ADMT") of dissolving pulp in the second quarter of 2015 compared to 38,957 ADMT of dissolving pulp in the first quarter of 2015. Although market conditions remain challenging, the second quarter of 2015 saw slightly improved pricing and industry conditions. However, the Dissolving Pulp Segment continues to be affected by the antidumping duty imposed by China's Ministry of Commerce in April 2014. The Company continues to have success in diversifying its geographic sales mix and intends to further reduce its dissolving pulp shipments to China by approximately 20% over the balance of the year.

    The Landqart mill continues to implement new initiatives to improve efficiencies and profitability. EBITDA of $3.4 million for the Security Paper Products Segment for the quarter ended June 30, 2015 was $1.1 million higher when compared to the first quarter of 2015, and $3.8 million higher when compared to results in the second quarter of 2014. The Landqart mill sold 2,745 tonnes of security paper in the second quarter of 2015, compared to 2,715 tonnes of security paper in the first quarter of 2015. More efficient production and better waste rates positively impacted the results relative to the prior year comparative period.

    The Landqart mill is exposed to foreign currency exchange fluctuations, as a material amount of its sales are denominated in euros and its major costs, excluding raw materials, are denominated in Swiss francs as compared to some competitors whose manufacturing costs are primarily denominated in euros. In response to the significant appreciation of the Swiss franc against the euro in the first quarter of 2015, management continues to implement their foreign exchange counter measure program ("FECM"), which includes mitigating foreign exchange and reducing other costs in areas such as procurement and logistics, to mitigate the negative financial impact in the short and mid-term.
    (Fortress Paper Ltd)
    27.08.2015   Digital Print for Packaging is coming to Europe!    ( Company news )

    Company news Digital Print for Packaging Europe 2015 will be taking place on 8-9 December at the excellently located Melia Hotel in the heart of Berlin, Germany.

    The Digital Print for Packaging conferences have grown significantly over recent years and have continuously delivered high level interactions between packaging companies, brand owners, technology and machinery suppliers, and retailers.

    Smithers Pira are proud to facilitate innovative content and excellent networking at the European and US editions of the conference, each with a focus on regional and international matters affecting the industry and helping companies across the value chain to find optimal success with this disruptive technology. Continuing to build on the success of previous years, Smithers Pira will be taking the conference in a new direction with extended networking, one-to-one meetings opportunities and polling via the brand new event app, and will maintain the superb level of content and brand case studies seen at the US edition earlier this year in Tampa, FL.

    Held over two days, the Digital Print for Packaging Europe 2015 conference programme will bring together the entire supply chain of end users, retailers, packaging converters and ink and machinery suppliers to hear from senior industry leaders on the landscape of the packaging business and digital printing, end-user drivers and challenges, new technologies, cost-effectivity and workflow, long term strategies for success, and finally ask the question: what is next?
    (Smithers Pira)
    27.08.2015   New packaging from Walki protects food from harmful mineral oils    ( Company news )

    Company news Many packaged foods contain mineral oils, which are potentially unsafe for human consumption. Walki has developed Mineral Oil Safe Technology (MOST), an efficient extrusion coating that keeps mineral oil away from our food.

    Photo: There is a significant risk of mineral oil migration from recycled fibre-based packaging materials.

    “Mineral oil contains Mineral Oil Aromatic Hydrocarbon (MOAH), which is especially harmful to humans because our systems can’t break it down. It accumulates inside our bodies when we eat food that contains MOAH,” says Mirka Nevala, Walki’s VP for Business Development.

    MOSH (Mineral Oil Saturated Hydrocarbon) and MOAH (Mineral Oil Aromatic Hydrocarbon) are commonly used in industrial inks and can sometimes be found in printing dyes for packaging materials. According to a study published by Dr. Koni Grob et al. and the Swiss Official Food Control Authority, dry food runs a significant risk of mineral oil contamination originating from recycled fibre-based packaging materials.

    Walki has developed Walki Pack MOST (Mineral Oil Safe Technology), a polymer laminate packaging product that provides the most effective barrier of its kind against mineral-oil contamination. In addition to shutting out grease and water, this glueable, sealable and recyclable packaging solution also provides a secure polymer barrier against mineral oil contamination.

    Walki Pack MOST creates a barrier against other unwelcome substances, such as Benzophenone, Bisphenol A, DIPN and softeners, which could be found in recycled fibres. It also prevents cross contamination from other transport packaging. Walki Pack MOST has been approved for direct food contact, in accordance with EU directive 10/2011.

    “This product will enable the food-packing industry to solve the growing issue of contaminated food,” explains Stefan Erdmann, Technical Service & Development Manager for Walki’s Barrier Board products. “Food companies and brand owners who adopt mineral oil safe packaging materials are demonstrating their commitment to delivering safer food products to the marketplace.”

    The effectiveness of WALKI Pack MOST has been verified by independent research institutes such as VTT in Finland and Innoform in Germany, as well as by renowned expert Dr. Rainer Brandsch from MDCTec Systems GmbH.

    Although there are currently no EU standards that regulate MOSH and MOAH, many governments are looking into new legislation. In Germany, laws could be introduced as early as 2016 and are likely to pave the way for EU-wide mineral oil regulations.
    (Walki Group Oy)
    26.08.2015   Mondi presents alufree BarrierFilm for food packaging at FachPack 2015    ( Company news )

    Company news When consumers buy packaged food like dried soups or herbs, they expect to store it for a period of time before use. The barrier functions of the packaging are crucial to making this possible. Furthermore, while protecting the packaged goods is important, what about the environmental aspects of the packaging? At FachPack 2015 in Nürnberg, Mondi Coatings presents its intelligent solution for this dilemma – alufree BarrierFilm.

    Every packaged good requires certain barriers. Finding solutions for every specific demand is Mondi Coating’s core business. Until recently, the best barriers available were achieved with aluminium foils. Although aluminium provides a good barrier function, Mondi’s technicians have now found an intelligent alternative: the alufree BarrierFilm. Not only is it eco-friendly, it also offers other advantages. Because alufree BarrierFilm contains no metal of any kind, it is now possible to use a metal detector along the supply chain without losing any of the required functions.

    The BarrierFilm was already awarded with the WoldStart Award, the DuPont Silver Awards and PPI 2014 for “Innovation in Sustainable Packaging”. It offers excellent protection and a long shelf life for food products. In addition, it helps reduce the carbon footprint of the packaging thanks to the removal of aluminium. One customer even reported that thanks to switching to this high-barrier liner for their convenience food packaging, they have been able to reduce the carbon footprint by as much as 25%.

    “We are both proud and inspired by the recognition that comes with winning not only one but in total three awards with our non-foil high-barrier liner: the PPI Award, the DuPont Award and the WorldStar Award! It is a true testament to the innovative spirit, persistence and excellence in development that was required to deliver this great packaging breakthrough,” states Jussi Vanhanen, CEO Mondi Fibre Packaging.

    By introducing a special sealing polymer that helps reduce the sealing temperature and subsequently lowers energy consumption, the sustainable approach has been further enhanced. In addition, the lower sealing temperature leads to higher efficiency on the filling lines. BarrierFilm also resolves another issue that aluminium laminates can cause: as it does not have a memory effect, it is not as sensitive to kink folds. The packaging stays scatheless and safe, emphasising the attractive visual appearance of the product and brand even more.

    Mondi’s intelligent alufree BarrierFilm is available for a wide array of applications, including dehydrated food stuffs as well as products such as instant coffee that require an outstanding oxygen barrier. Upon demand, Mondi also provides the liner with easy-opening features such as laser perforation and can be processed on high-speed packaging lines.
    (Mondi Europe & International Division)
    26.08.2015   Sulzer's Board of Directors Appoints Thomas Dittrich as Interim CEO    ( Company news )

    Company news The Board of Directors of Sulzer was surprised to hear of Klaus Stahlmann's personal decision to step down as CEO of Sulzer AG. The Board of Directors acknowledges Mr. Stahlmann's contribution to Sulzer's realignment, but in the interests of maintaining clarity and focus on the management of the company it has released Mr. Stahlmann with immediate effect. The Board of Directors appointed the CFO of Sulzer, Thomas Dittrich (photo), in addition to his duties as CFO to the Group’s interim CEO, also with immediate effect.

    Thomas Dittrich, 51, holds Master of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering (Dipl. Ing. Univ) as well as in Finance, Accounting, and Business Administration (HSG) and is Group CFO since August 2014. He has over twenty years of comprehensive experience in corporate finance, controlling and mergers and acquisitions working for global companies.

    The Board of Directors has complete confidence in the Executive Committee under the interim leadership of Thomas Dittrich. It also remains fully committed to the ongoing Sulzer Full Potential programme, which aims to make Sulzer the world's leading equipment and service provider in its key markets oil and gas, power, and water. The Board of Directors is fully convinced that this programme will lead to more efficiency, less complexity, and higher profitability.

    The search for a new CEO is being initiated. Information about this process will be provided in due course.
    (Sulzer Pumps Ltd)
    26.08.2015   Full Service Partner Karl Knauer KG - Neuro-optimised packaging and active environmental ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... protection by EcoSmart Packaging – innovative packaging solutions at the FachPack 2015

    Packaging, advertising materials and gift packaging. The portfolio of the Karl Knauer KG is diversified. Also this year, the company presents impressively different packaging solutions at the FachPack 2015, hall 5, booth 5-157. In on it: Extraordinary finishings, neuro-optimised packaging and the topic sustainability and environmental protection.

    Packaging sustainably increases the brand equity
    At least since the development of the illuminated packaging Bombay Sapphire (photo), the Karl Knauer KG is regarded as an innovator of the industry. Whether with innovative HiLight technology based on printed electronics, through the work with illusionary magic 3D-effects or optical structures of the most delicate laser punchings – the possibilities are unlimited. The newest innovation: Under the title SENSA NATURA, Karl Knauer opens up a new dimension of multisensory, neuro-optimised packaging. Copied from nature, the new finishings affect in a particular sensual way and have a verifiable effect on branding and impulse to buy.

    EcoSmart Packaging – Decorated sustainable
    Decorated among others as the most sustainable company, Karl Knauer now offers the most sustainable cardboard packaging solutions for particularly green companies.
    With the newest material developments and manufacturing processes, a new dimension was pushed open. An environmental balance that is up to 30% better than with folding boxes made out of recycled board, active landscape conservation and additional solutions such as a CO2-neutral production – there are many aspects of smart packaging solutions that Karl Knauer presents to the interested professional audience at the FachPack this year.

    Full service along the supply chain
    Full service becomes more and more important these days. Thus, Karl Knauer does not only develop the perfect packaging solution in close collaboration with the manufacturer of the product to be packed, but also offers the greatest possible support over the entire packaging process. This remarkable full service ranges from services such as design consultancy, construction consultancy, artwork management consultancy, finishing technologies, software solutions, material consultancy and tests, deep-drawing production, process optimisation and lean management, packaging, logistics and shelf maintenance to the construction of packaging machines in the in-house engineering.

    Gift packaging: Highlights
    Just in time for autumn, the Karl Knauer KG presents the new expanded programme in the gift packaging field: Karl Knauer has developed an impressive range of gift cartons, carrying cartons and displays made of sustainable cardboard and corrugated cardboard that radiate an unparalleled, rustic charm especially for the craft beer market. What is extraordinary about it, is the innovative real wood look and feel with many accurately copied details.
    Also the new aluminium suitcase is a real highlight. With this, Karl Knauer expands the successful "suitcase" series by an exceptional design: The suitable packaging for a business gift of a special kind.
    (Karl Knauer KG)
    26.08.2015   Verso Corporation Reports Second Quarter 2015 Results     ( Company news )

    Company news Verso Corporation (NYSE: VRS) reported financial results for the second quarter of 2015. Results for the quarters ended June 30, 2015 and 2014 include:
    -Net sales of $778 million in the second quarter of 2015 compared to $321 million in the second quarter of 2014.

    -Operating income before special items of $14 million in the second quarter of 2015 compared to $12 million in the second quarter of 2014.

    -Adjusted EBITDA before pro forma effects of the profitability program of $80 million in the second quarter of 2015, compared to $65 million in the second quarter of 2014

    Verso's net sales for the second quarter of 2015 increased $457 million, or 142%, due primarily to the addition of net sales resulting from the NewPage acquisition, compared to the second quarter of 2014.

    During the second quarter of 2015, Verso recorded special items affecting operating income totaling $9 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, primarily related to integrating the legacy Verso and NewPage operations, restructuring costs associated with the NewPage acquisition and closure of the Bucksport mill. During the second quarter of 2014, special items of $9 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, were primarily attributable to costs related to the NewPage acquisition.

    "Verso's results for the second quarter showed our resilience in the face of industry headwinds," said Verso President and Chief Executive Officer David Paterson (photo). "The results reflected strong performance improvements which include increased gross margin, a 16% reduction in SG&A compared to the first quarter of 2015, and double-digit adjusted EBITDA growth. As our integration efforts continue, our synergy achievement is ahead of expectations, with savings to date of $41 million.

    "Looking ahead, we continue to focus on keeping our people safe, integrating the NewPage business, achieving additional synergies across the entire company, and exceeding our customers' expectations."
    (Verso Corporation)
    26.08.2015   Xerium Reports Second Quarter 2015 Financial Results    ( Company news )

    Company news Q2 2015 Highlights:
    -Adjusted EBITDA improved to $28 million, representing a margin improvement of 170 basis points compared to Q2 2014 and the 5th consecutive quarter of improved Adjusted EBITDA margins.
    -Gross margins have improved over the last 11 consecutive quarters.
    -SG&A at constant currency declined 4% sequentially.
    -Updated full year 2015 guidance to be similar to 2014, reflecting near-term newsprint and graphical grade decline trends and weak euro.
    -Sales growth investment programs remain on track with 8 facilities beginning production or ramping up production capabilities in the second half of 2015 coupled with over 39 new patented products.

    Xerium Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:XRM), a leading global provider of industrial consumable products and services, announced its Q2 2015 results.

    Net sales for Q2 2015 were $123.1 million, an increase of $2.1 million, or 1.7%, over net sales of $121.0 million for Q1 2015. On a constant currency basis, net sales increased $3.6 million or 2.7% over Q1 2015 net sales, primarily driven by an increase of 3.2% in machine clothing net sales and an increase of 1.8% in rolls net sales. Constant currency SG&A declined by $1.3 million, or 4.1% to $30.4 million in Q2 2015 from $31.7 million in Q1 2015. Q2 2015 Adjusted EBITDA increased to $28.0 million, up 6.9% from $26.2 million in Q1 2015, driven primarily by the increase in sales volume and the decline in SG&A, partially offset by FX losses in Q2 2015 related to the revaluation of non-functional currency balances. See "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" and "Segment Information" below.

    Net sales for Q2 2015 decreased by $(3.9) million, or (2.8)% compared to Q2 2014, on a constant currency basis, primarily driven by the decline in the printing, writing and newsprint markets in North America and lower mechanical services sales in North America. See "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" and "Segment Information" below.

    Q2 2015 gross profit was $49.4 million, or 40.2% of net sales, compared to $55.4 million, or 39.6% of net sales in Q2 2014. Machine clothing gross margin improved to 43.9% (excluding $0.9 million of one-time Kunshan, China startup costs) in Q2 2015 from 41.1% in Q2 2014. These improvements were a result of positive currency effects that were partially offset by unfavorable fixed cost absorption. Rolls and service gross margin decreased slightly to 36.0% (excluding $0.2 million of Corlu, Turkey one-time start-up costs) in Q2 2015, from a gross margin of 36.5% in Q2 2014, primarily due to unfavorable currency effects.

    SG&A expenses were $30.4 million, or 24.7% of net sales, in Q2 2015, down from Q2 2014 SG&A expenses of $35.4 million, or 25.4% of net sales, primarily due to favorable currency effects and lower management incentive costs.

    Q2 2015 basic earnings per share were $(0.05) per share versus Q2 2014 basic earnings per share of $0.05 per share. Excluding non-recurring items such as restructuring costs, plant startup costs, foreign currency gains/(losses) and one-time tax reserve charges, basic adjusted earnings per share were $0.37 in Q2 2015, compared to $0.43 in Q2 2014. See "Basic Adjusted Earnings Per Share" below.

    CEO Harold Bevis (photo) Comments:
    “Despite the current difficult industry trends, our Q2 2015 results demonstrated that our initiatives to improve our cost structure continue to deliver both sequential and YOY improvements in Adjusted EBITDA margins, gross margins and SG&A rates. As our sales growth investment programs come on line, we will begin to generate sales growth despite the decline of graphical grade production,” said Harold Bevis, President and CEO of Xerium Technologies, Inc. "Our 2 1/2 year $87 million sales growth investment program is nearing completion. We have completely renovated our products and factories and it has led to many patentable inventions. The second half of 2015 is a turning point for Xerium, which will enable us to expand our ability to gain sales in the competitive marketplace. We are excited about the progress we are making and expect positive financial returns as we ramp up production in the second half of 2015 and into 2016."

    2015 Outlook
    During the second quarter of 2015, the machine clothing and rolls sales environment was more challenging than we had anticipated due to customer shutdowns and curtailments. Consequently, we expect our full-year Adjusted EBITDA will likely be comparable to last year's Adjusted EBITDA, due to this quarter's results as well as our expectation for the remainder of the year. We view this as a temporary dynamic given our multi-year sales growth investments are in the early stages of gaining traction and will increasingly augment our sales growth. We expect the incremental earnings from our sales growth investment programs to more than offset the permanent market declines in graphical paper production.

    To further increase our profit rates, we are continuing to take costs out of the business. This includes the recent closure of a machine clothing facility in Warwick, Quebec, Canada. The cost structure at this plant was operating at almost twice the level of our low-cost facilities. We still have other facilities with very large cost reduction opportunities. Beyond our improving cost structure and new geographic footprint, we will also benefit from new product introductions. Currently, we have 425 issued patents and 97 pending patents. Additionally, as our capital expenditures begin to decline, we will begin to pay down our debt with the surplus cash flow.
    (Xerium Technologies Inc.)
    26.08.2015   MIAC 2015 - 50 DAYS UNTIL MIAC 2015. SAVE THE DATE!    ( Company news )

    Company news Only 50 days left until MIAC 2015 (22nd edition). MIAC is an international meeting point that allows you to compare the technologies and business proposals of all the companies present at the Exhibition. Taking part in MIAC means being one of 5,000 Visitors from across the globe who meet in Lucca in October of each year (last year's MIAC Exhibition registered visitors from 53 Countries). Everything is concentrated in 3 days and in one place: 270 International Exhibitors await you in Italy next October!

    At MIAC, every year, thousands of people from around the world visit the booths of the companies attending the event or participate in the conferences. In the MIAC photogallery it is possible to view same images of MIAC, conferences, hotels, tourist destinations of interest and the prizes reserved to the winners of the MIACar Contest.

    Lucca is one of the few cities in the world to conserve still intact its Walls of the XV-XVII Century. The walls of Lucca encircles the historical center entire and they are long 4,5 km approximately. Lucca historical center is well-conserved and there are many churches of remarkable architectonic wealth, Towers and Palaces of pregevole stilistic linearity. Lucca is only 20 Km. car distant from Pisa, where it is possible to visit the worldwide famous Pisa Tower.

    MIAC 2015 HOTELS
    In MIAC website is you can find list of Hotels located in Lucca area. For each hotel it is possible to view its Presentation Card. Moreover, each Hotel is linked to its own website. After choosing your favorite Hotel, you can contact directly the Hotel in order to book your accommodation for MIAC 2015.
    (Edipap Srl)
    26.08.2015   Invitation to visit 12th Paperex 2015, World's Largest Paper Show in Delhi     ( Company news )

    Company news Plan your visit at 12th Paperex 2015, World’s Largest Paper Show, scheduled during Nov 1-4, 2015 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, INDIA.

    PAPEREX is the only comprehensive business platform serving the paper industry and has established itself as a “Business Festival of the Paper Industry” for Best Sourcing, Technology & Knowledge Transfer, Joint Ventures, and Investments across the globe.

    Paperex 2015 has received an over whelming response from world over and now became the World’s Largest Paper Show with expected presence of 600 + leading Exhibitors from 28+ countries and trade visitors from 60 + countries. This year 1st Tissueex 2015, has also been planned along with Paperex 2015. This will be the only business event of its kind on Tissue Paper, Machinery and Technologies in the country.

    The four day concurrent international conference on "Pulp & Paper Industry: Innovations - Need of the Hour" is also being organized by Indian Agro & Recycled Paper Mills Association.
    This Global business platform will contact you with the best of the Paper, Tissue and allied industry for:
    --Specialty Papers:- Printing Paper, Newsprint , Kraft Paper, Graphic paper , paper board etc
    --Tissue Paper- Product, Machinery, technology, etc at Tissueex 2015
    --Paper Mill Plant & Machinery. New and used paper machinery, converting machinery
    --New Technologies:- Automation & Instrumentations, Quality & Process Control, Surface Coating, and many more..
    --Packaging machinery and material
    --Latest Equipment & Accessories:- Rolls, Bearings, Blade & Knife, Pumps & System, etc.
    --Raw Materials:- Pulp, Waste Paper, Specialty Chemicals, Mineral & pigments, etc
    --Networking with industry: - through major paper Industry associations
    --And many more innovation.

    Also some feature area like
    • Specialty Technology & Services Pavilion – Hall #7D & 7E
    • Specialty Paper & Printing Pavilion – Hall #7H
    • Tissueex - Hall #7FG
    • IPPTA Networking Lounge at Hall 7
    • Federation of Paper Traders Association Of India (FPTA) Networking Lounge at Hall 7
    • Paperex Industry Networking Village – Outside Hall #7
    (World Paper Forum (WPF))
    26.08.2015   Sulzer Board of Directors Refrains from Issuing a Recommendation on the ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... Mandatory Offer by Renova Shareholder Group

    The largest shareholder of Sulzer AG, the Renova shareholder group, exceeded the threshold of 33 1/3% of the voting rights in Sulzer on July 31, 2015. This triggered a legal obligation upon it to make an offer, and the shareholder group complied by making a public purchase offer to all Sulzer shareholders on August 3, 2015. The Board of Directors of Sulzer AG appointed an Independent Committee comprising all independent members of the Board of Directors, with the exception of the two Renova representatives on the Board of Directors, Peter Löscher and Marco Musetti, to review this offer.

    Following a careful examination of the mandatory purchase offer, this Independent Committee of the Sulzer Board of Directors, chaired by Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr. Matthias Bichsel, decided against issuing a recommendation to shareholders to accept or reject the offer. Justifying this decision ( the Independent Committee pointed out that, according to the offer prospectus, the Renova shareholder group has no intention to change either Sulzer’s strategic focus or the existing composition of its Board of Directors or Executive Committee and that the company's listing was to remain unchanged. It followed, then, that no change in control was at issue.

    The Board of Directors indicates that in its opinion the offer price fails to take sufficient account of the potential rise in the Sulzer share price. As a result, those shareholders who accept the purchase offer would not be able to benefit if the share price were to rise. On the other hand, the Board of Directors points out that tendering the shares would protect shareholders from a fall in the share price and, moreover, that the share's liquidity could be reduced if a large number of shares were tendered. The Board of Directors therefore leaves it to shareholders themselves to decide whether to accept or reject the purchase offer.
    (Sulzer Pumps Ltd)
    25.08.2015   Notice Regarding Completion of Acquisition of AR Metallizing Group    ( Company news )

    Company news Nissha Printing Co., Ltd. (hereinafter, “Nissha”) acquired shares in H.I.G. Luxembourg Holdings 28 S.à r.l. (hereinafter, “H.I.G. Luxembourg”), holding company of business company AR Metallizing N.V. and its group companies (hereinafter, “ARM Group”) from ARM Holdings S.C.A. on August 6, 2015 as previously announced on July 17, 2015 disclosure regarding conclusion of an agreement on share acquisition entitled “Notice Regarding Making AR Metallizing N.V. a Subsidiary through Acquisition of Shares in H.I.G. Luxembourg Holdings 28 S.à r.l.” As a result, H.I.G. Luxembourg (holding company) and the ARM Group (business companies) have become fully-owned subsidiaries of Nissha.

    Outlook for the Future
    The impact of the acquisition on Nissha’s consolidated business results is currently under review. Revisions to forecasts and other details will be promptly disclosed as necessary.
    This is to announce the finalization as follows of the share acquisition amount in regard to the matter announced in the “Notice Regarding Making AR Metallizing N.V. a Subsidiary through Acquisition of Shares in H.I.G. Luxembourg Holdings 28 S.à r.l.” of July 17, 2015.
    (The total acquisition amount of EUR 120 million has been changed to EUR 114 million.)
    Enterprise value (EUR 136 million.) is no change.
    (Nissha Printing Co. Ltd)
    25.08.2015   Satu Perälampi appointed Vice President, Communications at Ahlstrom    ( Company news )

    Company news Satu Perälampi (M.Sc. Econ.) has been appointed Vice President, Communications at Ahlstrom Corporation as of August 31, 2015.

    Her responsibility area includes external and internal communications as well as investor relations. She reports to Sakari Ahdekivi, Chief Financial Officer.

    Satu Perälampi joins Ahlstrom from Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company, where she worked as Senior Vice President, Communications responsible for external and internal communications. Previously she has worked at Pöyry Plc, where she was Vice President, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations.
    (Ahlstrom Corporation)
    25.08.2015   Flint Group launches two new inks systems for the medium to medium-high flexo and ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... gravure flexible packaging segments – OmniLam F and OmniLam G

    Flint Group announces the launch of OmniLam F and OmniLam G – a medium to medium-high lamination ink system for the North American flexible packaging market for both flexo and gravure printing processes.

    OmniLam F (flexo) and OmniLam G (gravure) are non nitrocellulose ink systems that deliver high bond strengths on a wide range of film structures. These inks will enable the printing of high definition graphics that can withstand harsh environments with bond strengths greater than 400 g/in on substrates like OPP, Polyesters, and Nylon that are both extrusion and adhesive laminated. OmniLam was developed for Flexographic and Rotogravure converters.

    Tim Wagner, Product Manager, Flexible Packaging North America had this to say, “Our goal at Flint Group is to provide best in class products to the market. We identified that Flint Group needed to develop ink systems that would meet the needs to the ever changing lamination market.”

    He continued, “Historically, the legacy nitrocellulose ink systems could not support these new market opportunities. We also realised that a single ink needed to provide adhesion for all types of Laminations with high bond strengths, such as solvent, SAL, and extrusion. OmniLam F and OmniLam G met our expectations and will meet the future demands of the lamination market in North America.”

    A full line of colours have been formulated to provide high colour strength, excellent resolubility, and good flow at low viscosities. Both OmniLam F and OmniLam G deliver high bond strengths on a wide variety of films and can be adhesive or extrusion laminated. OmniLam functionality allows it to be an excellent choice for mint oil resistant, microwavable (withstands cooking temperatures over 275° F) or “lower end” retort packages (1-2 bar pressure / 1 cycle / 130° C. Shelf life 6 months or less).
    (Flint Group)
    25.08.2015   Every gram counts - Progroup at FachPack in Nuremberg from 29.09. - 01.10.2015    ( Company news )

    Company news Green Hightech specialist forum for a new perspective
    Following a successful and informative appearance in 2013, Progroup will again be represented at FachPack this year. At the same location in Hall 7, Stand 620, the focus will be on Progroup's latest developments and products under the motto "Every gram counts – change of perspective with Next Box® – Green Hightech for the future". As in 2013, topics covered in the form of specialist presentationsGreen Hightech Expert Forum will be conservation of resources, energy saving and reduction of CO2.

    In addition, visitors to the Progroup stand will be able to experience a Change of perspectivevirtual factory tour around Propapier PM2, the centre for the Green Hightech concept. With the aid of glasses made from corrugated board, a smartphone and a virtual reality app, virtual reality will in fact become reality for the viewer.

    We need to act
    There is a danger that we are clearly underestimating. It is "maintaining the status quo". We know that every day in the battle against changes to the climate on our planet ought to be an active day. The climate conferences held in the last few years have generated a great deal of discussion and little real action. Durban, Doha, Warsaw, Lima... what will the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015 deliver?

    Time is of the essence
    Irrespective of any political agreement in Paris, industries in the USA, China, India and the EU are called on more than ever before to invest in ground-breaking technologies. Only a small number of companies have acted with such a consistent approach as Progroup. "We are one of the drivers of innovation in our industry. With our Green Hightech concept, we meet the climate protection demands that are stipulated in the Roadmap 2050," says Jürgen Heindl, Chief Executive Officer of Pro­group AG.

    Every gram counts
    The next stage in the global battle for the precious resource of recovered paper is already playing out today. New paper machines and reconfigured paper machines for corrugated board base papers will see the production capacities continue to grow over the coming years and this will require raw materials. The Progroup approach is to use lightweight, resource-conserving papers on high-tech machines. It is evident that the comprehensive investment in the Green Hightech concept was necessary and correct and is bearing fruit today – with positive repercussions for the future and the environment.

    Visit our Green Hightech specialist forum at FachPack in Nuremberg!
    Hall 7, Stand 620
    (Progroup AG)
    25.08.2015   Ence: Refinancing of project finance loans of Mérida and Huelva biomass power plants    ( Company news )

    Company news • The refinancing operation, adapting to new regulatory framework for renewable energy, will allow the company to amortize the previous funding and liquidity have an additional 31 million euros.

    Ence Energía y Celulosa has signed the refinancing of project finance loans of their plants generating electricity with biomass Huelva (50MW) and Merida (20MW). The company reduces the spread of 100 basis points over Euribor.

    With this operation, Ence finances the two plants into one project finance loan agreement for a total amount of 135 million euros with a maturity of 10 years.

    The refinancing operation, adapting to new regulatory framework for renewable energy, will allow the company to amortize the previous funding and liquidity have an additional 31 million euros.
    (Grupo Empresarial ENCE S.A. Divisíon de Celulosa)
    25.08.2015   Cham Paper Group: Challenging first six months    ( Company news )

    Company news - Positive trend in demand in all segments of the paper division
    - Efficiency temporarily curbed by investments in machinery upgrades
    - High pulp costs caused by currency effects impact on profitability
    - Strong balance sheet - equity ratio 51.6%
    - Real estate project remains on track

    As expected, the Cham Paper Group's paper division had a challenging first half in 2015. Investments in machinery upgrades to increase capacity in Carmignano at the start of the year and the relocation of the coating machine from Cham to Italy in the second quarter increased costs and led temporarily to restricted capacity and production inefficiencies. The strengthening of the US dollar against the euro also resulted in significantly higher pulp prices, which could not be passed on directly to customers in the form of price rises. In the new real estate division, preparations for converting the industrial site into a new urban district proceeded according to schedule.

    In the first half of the year, the Group achieved a turnover of CHF 100.8 million. Although this is 13.8% lower than in the previous year, in local currencies turnover is actually on a par with 2014. Operating profit before restructuring costs came to a modest CHF 1.5 million (CHF 5.5 million in the same period last year), with the net result virtually even at CHF 0.1 million (CHF 3.6 million).

    Paper division
    Turnover and profits did not develop in line with the opportunities presented by the market over the first half of the year. The comprehensive upgrade of PM4 in Carmignano to increase capacity and efficiency was completed on schedule at the start of the year. The start-up process proved more difficult than anticipated, however, and the full production potential could not initially be utilised. It was not until February that the machinery was operating at full capacity. The challenging task of relocating the complex digital imaging products to Italy is also going well, albeit with some departures from the budget and timetable. Production costs have increased across the board under the impact of the pulp price, which is traded in US dollars.

    The paper division generated net turnover of CHF 100.4 million. Gross profit decreased to a disproportionately high extent from CHF 14.9 million to CHF 10.8 million, while operating profit came to CHF 1.4 million (previous year CHF 5.0 million).

    Market demand (however) is satisfactory to good in all segments. The strategic positioning of all three segments in the paper division is promising:

    In volume terms, sales in the consumer goods segment were on a par with the previous year in the first six months. The food/non-food and wet glue labels segments enjoyed a positive trend, each growing by almost 12%. In the tobacco segment, the fall in volumes in Europe due to lower demand and more stringent legislation was not entirely offset by growing demand from Asia.

    Turnover in products for industrial applications (IR) was up year on year. The Cham Paper Group has further expanded its IR activities in the USA, South America and Asia. Persistently high demand permitted the introduction of price increases, which will boost the result in the second half of the year.

    The market for digital sublimation printing continues to grow at an above-average rate, prompting many new suppliers, particularly from Asia, to crowd onto the market offering cheap products. Since production costs are now lower, however, following the transfer of operations to Italy, the Cham Paper Group will be able to hold its ground against the competition.

    The transfer of coating technology has been delayed, leading to supply and capacity bottlenecks. The sales team was unable to fulfil all customer orders in the second quarter. Additional investments have since been made in Italy to increase capacity and thus meet the rising demand for DI products.

    Real estate division
    Another event allowing the general public to have their say was held in late January. This was an opportunity for residents to evaluate the master plan and outline project devised for developing the Papieri-Areal site. Based on their feedback, the outline project and the plan for the open spaces were fleshed out and revised by the team responsible.

    In early April, the community of Cham and Cham Paper Group Schweiz AG as the landowner initiated the final phase of the joint planning process by drafting the zoning plan for the Papieri-Areal. The contents of this plan, comprising planning documents with binding regulations and a supplementary planning report, are currently being finalised together with the association and in consultation with specialist cantonal departments. An environmental impact assessment is also currently being prepared for the planned development of the Papieri-Areal and the municipal outline plan and the building and zoning regulations are being revised.

    Once these have been circulated to the municipal committees and endorsed by the town council of Cham, the zoning plan and environmental impact report will be presented to the cantonal authorities for preliminary examination on schedule in early October. The aim is still to hold the vote on the zoning plan and the environmental impact report in summer 2016. A potential phasing concept has also been devised in parallel to the zoning plan process.

    The space that has been freed up on the factory site has already found numerous temporary uses by more than 50 different tenants, with new enquiries still being received. The real estate division generated turnover of CHF 0.7 million in the first half of 2015 and a more or less even operating profit (EBIT). The development costs for the Papieri project have been capitalised.

    Balance sheet remains strong
    Despite a dividend payment, the further weakening of the euro and the associated lower valuation of the Italian assets in Swiss francs, the Cham Paper Group still has a strong balance sheet. The equity ratio stood at 51.6% at the end of the first half of the year. The Group has no net debt. The site in Cham is still valued at acquisition cost.

    Positive outlook
    The Board of Directors and the Executive Management Board believe the Group is well positioned. The paper division serves attractive growth markets across all three of its segments - consumer goods, industrial release and digital imaging. Cost control continues to present a challenge. The exchange rate between the US dollar and the euro and the associated higher pulp prices will continue to impact negatively on the paper division's operating result in the second half of the year.
    (Cham Paper Group Schweiz AG)
    25.08.2015   Powerflute Trading Statement    ( Company news )

    Company news Powerflute Oyj ("Powerflute" or the "Group") provides an update on trading during the six months to 30 June 2015 and on the outlook for the remainder of the year ending 31 December 2015.

    Consistent with the trends described in the Trading Statement provided on 15 May 2015, the Group has performed strongly during the first half of the year in both its Coreboard and Cores and Packaging Papers activities and the outlook for the second half of the year remains positive.

    In Coreboard and Cores, market conditions in the US and China remain broadly favourable and the Nordic region continues to perform well. In the more challenging European markets, actions taken during the first half to reposition and restructure certain businesses are already beginning to take effect and should lead to further improvement during the second half. Packaging Papers is expected to enjoy healthy market conditions for the remainder of the year and will also benefit from more favourable hedging of its exposure to the US dollar.

    The results for the first half and for the full year will be affected by non-recurring items related to the acquisition and integration of Corenso. However, these items are generally in line with or lower than the estimates previously provided and the integration of Corenso is progressing well.

    The second half will be impacted by planned annual maintenance shutdowns in a number of the paper and coreboard mills during which we will complete several complex projects and upgrades that are not without operational risk. However, in the absence of any material production challenges or any significant change in market conditions, we currently expect that the outcome for the full year will be ahead of previous expectations.
    (Powerflute Oyj)
    25.08.2015   Valmet to supply analyzers and quality control system for Stora Enso's Varkaus Mill in Finland    ( Company news )

    Company news Valmet will supply pulp mill and board machine quality management solutions for Stora Enso's Varkaus Mill in Finland. The orders are an addition to the extensive rebuild of the Varkaus mill's PM 3 fine paper machine supplied by Valmet to produce lightweight containerboard grades announced on May 13, 2014.

    The order was included in Valmet's second quarter 2015 orders received. The value of the order is not disclosed. Typically, the order value of automation system deliveries ranges from below EUR 1 million to EUR 3 million.

    "After the upgrades of both pulp mill and board machine quality management systems, the Varkaus mill will be able to fully exploit the rebuilt machine's performance potential," says Aki Korhonen, Director of Analyzers, Measurements and Performance Solutions from Valmet.

    The Valmet delivery includes a Valmet Kappa Analyzer for the pulp mill and Valmet IQ quality control system (QCS) for the rebuilt board machine.

    Technical details of the automation delivery
    The Valmet delivery includes a Valmet Kappa Analyzer for the pulp mill. The analyzer will provide all the necessary measurements of fibers, shives and kappa number, for brown unbleached kraft production. Sampling capacity of the mill's Valmet Pulp Expert automatic pulp laboratory will also be expanded with 5 new samplers to accurately follow pulp property development in stock preparation.

    The delivery also includes a new Valmet IQ quality control system (QCS) for the rebuilt board machine. With sensors for basis weight, moisture, caliper ash content and color; the IQ system features state-of-the-art machine and cross direction controls. Additionally four Valmet RM3 sensors will be supplied to measure wet end consistencies with the exclusive ability to monitor both total and true ash consistency from the process for active fines retention management. New modules will also be installed to the mill's existing Valmet Paper Lab and provide automated laboratory testing for key board quality parameters.
    (Valmet Corporation)
    24.08.2015   CITO Cushion Crease    ( Company news )

    Company news CITO Cushion Crease is a high-quality creasing rubber for processing corrugated board. The Cushion Crease profile is used at the creasing rule to support compression of the corrugated board and achieve an optimum creasing behaviour, particularly with the curve of the flute.

    CITO Cushion Crease is suitable for use on flatbed and rotary dies.

    Thanks to the good gluability of CITO Cushion Crease it requires no extra stapling that is otherwise normal.

    The self-adhesive version significantly reduces assembly time and simultaneously improves safety at work.
    24.08.2015   Paperworks to close Quebec manufacturing facility    ( Company news )

    Company news PaperWorks Industries, Inc., a leading integrated North American paperboard packaging supplier, announced plans today to optimize folding carton production across its network of nine North American converting facilities. As part of this effort, operations at the company’s Baie D'Urfé, Québec, Canada manufacturing facility will close permanently by the end of February 2016.

    “We considered many different options across our folding carton manufacturing footprint in order to improve service levels for our customers, strengthen our competitiveness and support long-term growth. Ultimately, our decision was driven by the desire to position folding carton production closer to geographic areas in which the majority of our customers are located,” said Kevin Kwilinski, president and chief executive officer, PaperWorks.

    Over the next several months, PaperWorks will work with customers serviced by the Baie D'Urfé facility to ensure a smooth transition to other company manufacturing facilities.

    The Baie D'Urfé facility has been in operation since 1979 and currently manufactures folding cartons for a variety of products including dry and frozen food, beverage, pharmaceutical, household goods, personal care and institutional foodservice. The 165,000 square foot location employs 150 people. PaperWorks has developed a comprehensive program to support staff members through this transition, including assistance with securing alternate employment.
    (PaperWorks Industries Inc.)
    24.08.2015   SCA to close production plant in France    ( Company news )

    Company news As part of SCA’s ongoing cost-savings program related to the acquisition of Georgia-Pacific’s European tissue operations, SCA will close the tissue production plant in Saint-Cyr-en-Val, France.

    The production plant has an annual capacity of 35,000 tons. Production will be discontinued in October 2015.

    The restructuring costs for the closure of the production plant are expected to amount to approximately SEK 480m, of which about SEK 380m will be recognized as an item affecting comparability in the third quarter of 2015. The remaining SEK 100m will be recognized as an item affecting comparability in 2016. Of the restructuring costs, approximately SEK 260m is expected to affect cash flow.

    Total cost savings related to the acquisition of Georgia-Pacific’s European tissue operations are expected to amount to EUR 125m upon full effect in 2016. Cost savings corresponding to approximately EUR 95m on an annualized basis had been achieved in the second quarter of 2015.

    The cost-savings program related to the acquisition of Georgia-Pacific’s European tissue operations is one of three efficiency programs launched by SCA in 2012. The other two programs have been concluded.
    (SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget)
    24.08.2015   HYBRIDPRO: combining the best of both worlds     ( Company news )

    Company news Mondi makes further progress in the evolution of industrial paper bags by launching a bag that offers uncompromising weather protection and significantly extends the shelf life of its contents. The HYBRIDPRO is a technically demanding combination of paper and plastic, and is suitable for many industries and applications, particularly construction materials.

    Conventional industrial bags made of paper tend to be vulnerable to rain and moisture. When exposed to direct rain on an unprotected pallet, a standard paper bag absorbs water and may weaken as a result. Handling may then become awkward, and the shelf life of the contents may be affected. In some cases, a switch to plastic bags is the answer. But this may not be the optimum approach, as the cost of investing in form-fill-seal (FFS) machinery tends to be high. Mondi, ever conscious of its customers’ needs, has come up with a hybrid solution to the dilemma: the HYBRIDPRO bag, offering the advantages of a plastic bag, yet fillable on conventional paper bag filling systems.
    With the HYBRIDPRO, paper combined with plastic really can provide the best of both worlds: uncompromising weather protection thanks to the bag’s outer PE barrier layer, allowing genuine outdoor storage for lengthy periods and extended storage stability, without the need to invest in expensive FFS filling systems.

    The next generation of water-repellent paper bags from Mondi
    The HYBRIDPRO bag, which will be marketed under the slogan ‘Made of PaPEr – combining the best of both worlds’, represents a whole new concept in industrial bag design. Like a hybrid drive in a car, the HYBRIDPRO is an excellent combination of the available options: the inner ply is made of 120 g/m2 Mondi Advantage ONE sack kraft paper; the outer ply is a 40 μm-thick layer of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The innovative step here is that the HDPE forms a protective layer on the outside of the paper. Other bags also use a combination of paper and plastic, but not in this way. This is a considerable technical achievement that brings a new dimension to industrial bag design.
    The HYBRIDPRO belongs to Mondi’s next generation of water-repellent bags, developed as part of the company’s focus on exciting new solutions achieved through ongoing R&D. The bag – for which a patent is pending – is yet another successful outcome of Mondi’s strategic emphasis on collaboration with customers during the product development process.

    The benefits
    With the HYBRIDPRO, building materials such as gypsum and cement enjoy excellent protection against direct rain during shipping or on site. The HYBRIDPRO also provides excellent protection against gradual moisture ingress during outdoor storage, thanks to the 40 μm thickness of the unperforated HDPE film. This means shelf life is longer than with standard paper bags. For example, according to building materials producer Knauf, who collaborated in developing the HYBRIDPRO, gypsum packaged in the HYBRIDPRO enjoys an eight-month shelf life when stored outdoors with no further protective layer – twice as long as if packaged in a standard paper bag.
    This impressive performance outdoors makes the bag very user-friendly and has benefits when it comes to streamlining the supply chain of fillers and end-consumers: with longer shelf life, order sizes can be larger, for potential reductions in shipping costs.
    Since the bag can be filled on conventional paper bag filling systems, investment in FFS systems, which tend to be expensive, is not required.

    Compelling additional benefits
    The bag’s outer ply – which forms the barrier against rain, moisture and dust – is made of plastic film, giving it an attractive, modern appearance, an important factor in many markets. The HDPE film can be printed in up to eight colours, including on the bottom patches, for a glossy, premium look, and the paper ply is available in a bleached or an unbleached version.
    The HYBRIDPRO allows high-speed filling, with de-aeration twice as fast as with a standard three-ply bag (35 m3/h versus 18 m3 Workplaces, such as construction sites, are cleaner with the HYBRIDPRO, as less of the contents adhere to the outer layer – a benefit sure to appeal to end users.
    The HYBRIDPRO is an eco-friendly solution: the total grammage of material used is less than with standard three-ply designs used for the same purpose.
    Last but not least, the plastic and paper components are easy to separate, for optimum recyclability.

    The HYBRIDPRO is a high-quality packaging solution conceived for high-quality contents. It is particularly suitable for building materials, including gypsum and cement, as well as many other moisture-sensitive products. The bag is suitable for filling contents at temperatures of up to 90 °C.
    The HYBRIDPRO was developed alongside Mondi’s showerproof paper SPLASHBAG (launched beginning of 2015) as part of Mondi’s next generation of water-repellent bags, in keeping with Mondi’s strategic orientation to ongoing innovation.
    The brand-new HYBRIDPRO will be presented to the public during upcoming packaging trade shows in Europe and internationally. The first trade show at which visitors will be able to explore the new bag is FachPack in Nuremberg, Germany. Mondi will be exhibiting from 29 September to 1 October in Hall 7, Booth 254.
    (Mondi Europe & International Division)
    24.08.2015   Valmet to supply tenth OptiConcept M paper making line for Lee & Man in China    ( Company news )

    Company news Valmet will supply a complete OptiConcept M containerboard production line for Lee & Man in Jiang Xi in China. The new production line is planned to produce high-quality containerboard grades out of 100 percent recycled raw materials. The start-up of the machine is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2016.

    The order is included in Valmet's third quarter 2015 orders received. The value of the order will not be disclosed. An order of this scope is typically valued around EUR 40-50 million.

    "OptiConcept M has really made its breakthrough as an industry standard for paper and board manufacturing, which is proven by this repeat order from Lee & Man", says Juha Kivimaa, Director, Sales Technology in Valmet's Paper business.

    "This repeat order to Valmet strengthens our long partnership in this business area. With good combination of local and imported know how Valmet has shown its capability in earlier projects. Lightweighting is a trend in containerboard business and Valmet's technology is very suitable for these grades", says Edmond Lee, CEO of Lee & Man.

    The line ordered by Lee & Man will be the tenth OptiConcept M production line to be supplied by Valmet since the first delivery in 2012. In addition to Asia, Valmet has delivered OptiConcpet M lines also in North America and Europe. The compact and efficient OptiConcept M production line concept covers grades from recycled containerboards to cartonboards and fine paper.

    Valmet's delivery will comprise a complete board machine with related process automation solutions, air systems and winder. The annual production capacity of the new machine will be approximately 300,000 tonnes and the design speed 1,200 m/min.
    (Valmet Corporation)
    24.08.2015   Verso Announces Plans for Major Reductions in Coated Paper and Pulp Production Capacity    ( Company news )

    Company news Actions at Androscoggin and Wickliffe Mills Will Reduce Production Capacity by 430,000 Tons of Coated Paper and 130,000 Tons of Dried Market Pulp

    Verso Corporation (NYSE: VRS) announced that it plans to make major reductions in its coated paper and pulp production capacity by shutting down the No. 1 pulp dryer and No. 2 paper machine at its Androscoggin Mill in Jay, Maine, and indefinitely idling its mill in Wickliffe, Kentucky. Together, these actions will reduce Verso's production capacity by 430,000 tons of coated paper and 130,000 tons of dried market pulp. Verso intends to implement these capacity reductions beginning in the fourth quarter of 2015.

    Verso's decision to reduce its production capacity was driven by several factors. North American coated paper demand is in secular decline, down 4.7% in the first half of 2015, following declines of 3.4% and 4.3% in 2014 and 2013, respectively, according to the Pulp and Paper Products Council. The effects on U.S. producers have been made significantly worse by a change in the net trade balance due to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar relative to foreign currencies, which has resulted in increased foreign imports from Asia, Europe and Canada and decreased U.S. exports. In addition, high operating costs in Maine, especially high energy costs and local property taxes, were contributing factors.

    "One of Verso's founding principles is to do what's right for the company as a whole," said Verso President and CEO David J. Paterson (photo). "This includes maintaining a balance between Verso's supply of products and our customers' demand for them. Remaining true to this principle, and after a comprehensive review of our assets, inventory and demand forecasts, Verso has decided to make significant reductions in our coated paper and pulp production capacity at our Androscoggin and Wickliffe mills."

    The shutdown of the No. 1 pulp dryer and the No. 2 paper machine at the Androscoggin Mill will reduce Verso's production capacity by 150,000 tons of coated paper and 100,000 tons of dried market pulp. In addition, to help mitigate the high energy and other operating costs in Maine and to make the Androscoggin Mill more competitive in the future, Verso will optimize the mill's pulp, power and recovery assets. The optimization efforts are expected to take place in the fourth quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016.

    The Wickliffe Mill has one machine with the capacity to produce 280,000 tons of coated paper and 30,000 tons of dried market pulp.

    Verso anticipates that the capacity reductions and optimization of the Androscoggin Mill will result in the permanent elimination of approximately 300 jobs. Verso expects that the indefinite idling of the Wickliffe Mill will result in the layoff of approximately 310 employees.

    "Decisions to reduce production capacity are never easy," Paterson stated. "They are especially difficult for the employees and their families who are directly affected by these actions. Verso is committed to treating all of our impacted employees with fairness, dignity and respect and to communicating openly and honestly with each individual about how this decision will affect him or her. Our Human Resources team will begin meeting with our affected employees immediately."

    "Our customers are always top-of-mind as we implement these types of strategic decisions, and we want to assure them that Verso remains steadfastly committed to delivering the high-quality products and services they have come to expect from us," said Michael A. Weinhold, Verso Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Product Development. "Verso's manufacturing system is extremely flexible. Most of the affected paper grades are already qualified to be manufactured on other Verso paper machines, and we are working diligently to qualify the remaining paper grades for production on other Verso paper machines. Our Sales leadership will begin contacting all of our affected customers immediately. Our aim is to ensure that all customer needs are seamlessly met."
    (Verso Corporation)
    21.08.2015   Sappi results for 3rd quarter ended June 2015 highlights impact of exchange rates in ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...seasonally weak quarter

    Summary for the quarter
    -EPS excluding special items 2 US cents (Q3 2014 2 US Cents)
    -Profit for the period US$4 million (Q3 2014 US$17 million)
    -EBITDA excluding special items US$109 million (Q3 2014 US$140 million)
    -Net debt US$1,917 million (Q3 2014 US$2,286 million)

    Commenting on the result, Sappi Chief Executive Officer Steve Binnie (photo) said:
    The third quarter is seasonally the weakest for Sappi. In addition, the pulp mill upgrade at one mill and planned annual maintenance shuts in all three regions reduced profit by approximately US$27 million compared to the equivalent quarter last year. The group generated EBITDA, excluding special items, of US$109 million, operating profit excluding special items of US$43 million and profit for the period of US$4 million. Earnings per share excluding special items for the quarter was 2 US cents, as it was in the equivalent quarter last year.

    The North American business experienced significant pressure as a result of the stronger US dollar, which led to increased imports of coated paper, lower coated paper sales volumes and lower margins for the release paper business. The domestic graphic paper market was also weaker than expected.

    The performance of the European business was adversely impacted by the higher cost of raw materials due to the stronger US Dollar and additional pulp purchases during the upgrade of the recovery boiler at Gratkorn. The market for graphic paper continues to decline in Western Europe. However, the weaker Euro made exports more competitive and profitable.

    In the South African paper business the virgin fibre packaging grades continue to show good demand growth. However, newsprint and recycled packaging paper demand were flat.

    The Specialised Cellulose business continued to generate solid returns during the quarter, with EBITDA excluding special items, of US$56 million. The planned annual maintenance shuts at Saiccor and Ngodwana reduced margins relative to the prior quarter. US Dollar prices for dissolving wood pulp remained constant compared to the prior quarter, though the South African mills benefited from a weakening ZAR/USD exchange rate.

    Net debt of US$1,917 million was flat compared to the prior quarter and US$369 million below that of the equivalent quarter last year as a result of cash generation from operations, debt repayments and favourable exchange rates on the translation of our debt.

    Graphic paper markets remain challenging and currency movements are having a significant impact on trade flows. These negatively affected our US business while improving export margins for our European coated paper business. The European business continues to face pressure from higher pulp prices.

    Dissolving wood pulp prices in China have risen steadily over the past four months and this should translate into higher short term fixed prices with our major customers. The weaker Rand/US Dollar exchange rate will support the profitability of this business in South Africa.

    Capital expenditure in the last quarter of fiscal 2015 is expected to be approximately US$80 million (US$245 million for the full year) and is focused largely on maintenance projects and efficiency improvement investments.

    We expect to reduce net debt levels during the fourth quarter. Any proceeds received from the sale of Cape Kraft, Enstra and/or the Twello forestry assets before year-end would further reduce net debt.

    We expect that the regional operating performance for the year will be broadly similar to 2014 despite a number of significant once-off impacts from various capital projects. At current exchange rates, the translation of Euro and Rand results to US Dollar will adversely impact the group results. Nevertheless, due to lower interest costs, earnings per share excluding special items for the full year are expected to be substantially better than that of the prior year.
    (Sappi Limited)
    21.08.2015   NIB funds Brazilian pulp mill    ( Company news )

    Company news NIB has signed a USD 100 million (EUR 92 million) 7-year-maturity loan agreement with Brazil’s Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES) for on-lending to finance Klabin S.A.’s greenfield pulp mill project.

    Photo: Construction site of the pulp mill

    The loan is for financing the construction of a greenfield pulp production facility in the municipality of Ortigueira in the state of Paraná, Brazil. The so-called “Puma project” will be implemented by the country’s largest paper producer and exporter, Klabin S.A.

    With an annual production output of 1.1 million tonnes of bleached eucalyptus-based hardwood pulp, destined for both export and domestic sale, and 400,000 tonnes of bleached pine-based softwood pulp, in part to be used for the production of Brazil’s first domestic fluff pulp, the completed “Puma” mill will almost double Klabin’s production capacity.

    The new factory will utilise state-of-the-art technologies and equipment supplied by manufacturers in the Nordic pulp and paper cluster.

    “Participating in large projects such as “Puma” and advancing into growth markets is an efficient way for industry leaders in NIB’s member countries to uphold a high level of their know-how and to strengthen their competitiveness”, says Henrik Normann, NIB President & CEO.

    The pulp mill is expected to be self-sufficient on renewable energy. Its 270 MW biomass power plant, running on by-products of the pulp process, will make the surplus of renewable energy available for sale to the national power grid.

    The project will include the construction of a 42-kilometre 230 kV transmission line to connect the pulp mill to the electricity grid, and a 23-kilometre secondary railway to link it to the rail network.

    The construction of a wastewater treatment plant and the employment of chemical recovery processes to reclaim cooking chemicals spent in the pulping process are included in the project plan.

    Klabin S.A. is Brazil’s largest integrated manufacturer of packaging paper and paperboard. Klabin runs 15 industrial plants and exports to more than 60 countries.

    The state-owned BNDES provides long-term financing to projects that contribute to the development of the country and the competitiveness of the national economy.
    (NIB Nordic Investment Bank)
    21.08.2015   Wausau Paper Reports Second-Quarter 2015 Results    ( Company news )

    Company news Adjusted EBITDA of $14.5 million – Above Prior Guidance

    Wausau Paper (NYSE:WPP) announced financial and operating results for the three- and six-month period ended June 30, 2015.

    Second-Quarter Highlights
    Financial Results
    -Second-quarter adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations in 2015 was $14.5 million compared with adjusted EBITDA of $9.9 million in 2014. Second quarter 2015 adjusted EBITDA exceeded the Company’s previous guidance range of $13 to $14 million.
    -On a reported basis, net earnings from continuing operations were $2.5 million, or $0.05 per share, in the second quarter of 2015 compared with a prior-year second-quarter net loss from continuing operations of $3.7 million, or $0.07 per share.

    Case Volume Growth
    -Second-quarter case shipment volume increased 2 percent in 2015 compared with the same period in 2014, resulting in a second-quarter shipment record of approximately 4.4 million cases for the Company.
    -Strategic product shipments – those products sold in conjunction with proprietary dispensing systems or produced from premium substrates – comprised slightly more than 49 percent of the Company’s sales for the second quarter of 2015 and similar to the strategic product shipment mix in the prior-year quarterly period. The improved margin quality of both strategic and support products shipped in 2015 contributed to a 5 percentage point improvement in adjusted EBITDA margin of 16 percent as compared with 11.1 percent for the second quarter of 2014.

    Michael C. Burandt (photo), CEO, commented, “Our second quarter results reflect the continuing above-market demand growth for our premium DublNature® and Artisan™ products lines, the positive market response to our differentiated product portfolio, and the benefits from the significant number of Margin Enhancement Initiative (MEI) projects that are evidenced by ongoing improvement in operating performance, as well as, increased cash generation. We are very pleased with the pace of growth of our premium products and the contributions of our entire team toward improving our operating platform.”

    Third-Quarter 2015 Outlook
    Commenting on the third quarter, Mr. Burandt, said, “Our teams remain focused on furthering the significant performance benefits we are realizing from MEI in the second half of the year. We are pleased with the market’s favorable response to our premium products and the resulting improvement in our strategic mix.
    “Although costs of production have improved through the first half of 2015, we maintain our prior forecast for modest cost pressure related to wastepaper pricing through the balance of the year. As a result we currently expect third quarter adjusted EBITDA of $17 million to $18 million,” Mr. Burandt concluded.
    (Wausau Paper Towel & Tissue Products)
    21.08.2015   Smurfit Kappa announces new communication tool for its complete paper portfolio for packaging    ( Company news )

    Company news Smurfit Kappa has launched the Paper Navigator as the new positioning tool for its unrivalled portfolio of paper for packaging. The Paper Navigator signifies the company’s commitment to steer customers through the paper selection process to deliver optimum packaging solutions that drive business value.

    Smurfit Kappa offers a highly flexible approach to optimising the composition and performance of paper packaging based on a broad range of paper products and services, using both virgin and recycled fibres. For packaging manufacturers and end customers, it takes into account all possible packaging considerations and constraints – from supply chain to product safety, sustainability and print and finish needs – to deliver cost-effective, quality paper solutions to meet specific needs.

    The Paper Navigator is also rooted in sustainability which is at the heart of Smurfit Kappa’s processes - all paper products are developed with environmental responsibility in mind and produced in socially sustainable manner.

    Intended for use alongside Smurfit Kappa’s unique set of software design tools and services, the Paper Navigator is part of the customer journey that focuses on delivering ‘right first time’ packaging solutions for businesses.

    Alain Baudant, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Paper Division Europe, explains: “Our customers need more than just paper for packaging; they need help to leverage success over competitors. With our reliable and extensive Paper Navigator portfolio, we work collaboratively with businesses from every sector to deliver optimised paper solutions that increase packaging efficiency and performance. It reflects Smurfit Kappa’s wider commitment to maximising value for our customers, and working in a sustainable and innovative way to their benefit.”
    (Smurfit Kappa Group Headquarters plc)
    21.08.2015   EUROPAC INCREASES PROFIT BEFORE TAXES BY 42%     ( Company news )

    Company news The Management Board of the Europac Group (Papeles y Cartones de Europac, S.A.) approved the results of the 1st semester of the year this morning in wich we can highlight the 42.7% increase in profit before taxes rising to €18.2M. We must also highlight a 9.2% growth of the consolidated EBITDA and 19.1% of the net profit, after reaching €51.4M and €11.9M, respectively. All this, in a context of a slight increase in the aggregate sales, recorded at €540.7M and which represents a 1.9% increase.

    -The consolidated EBITDA increased by 9.2% compared to the same period of 2014 up to €51.4M, of which €27.1M corresponded to the 2nd semester vs the €24.3M recorded in the 1st quarter.
    -Net profit fot the first six months of the year rose to €11.9M, 19.1% more than a year ago.
    -Reduction of 2.0% of the net debt compared to the 2014 year-end.
    -The improvement of the consolidated EBITDA and the EBIT during the 4 last quarters demonstrate the positive evolution of the activity carried out by the Europac Group.
    -15.6% reduction of the financial cost with regard to the 1st semester of 2014, which is expected to improve in the next quarters by between 30 and 44% after the signing of a new syndicated loan in July 2015

    Both the consolidated EBITDA and the EBIT demonstrated continued growth during the past four quarters. The consolidated EBITDA in the 2nd quarter of the year was €27.1 M compared to the €24.3 M recorded in the 1st quarter, while the EBIT in the 2nd quarter was €15.2 M compared to the €12.2 M of the previous quarter. The growth in this magnitude confirmed the positive evolution of the activity carried out by Europac.

    In this context, a downward trend of the net debt of the Company is recorded, which, at the end of the 1st semester was €288.8 M compared to the €294.7 M at the 2014 year-end.

    Moreover, the novation of the syndicated loan signed in July 2014 entailed a 15.6 % reduction of the financial cost compared to the 1st semester of the previous year, which will improve by between 30 and 44 % based on the 3rd quarter of the year after signing the new syndicated loan on the 10th of July, which replaced the previous one.

    The announced upward trend with respect to the last semester of 2014 is reflected in a 16.2 % increase of the consolidated EBITDA and an increase of the profitability reflected in the growth of the margin on the consolidated EBITDA up to 12.8 % compared to the 11.2 % attained in the last semester of the previous year.

    The Management Board also approved the appointment of Enrique Isidro as Executive Vice President of the Europac Group. The office of Managing Director, which he had occupied to date, disappears from the corporate organisational chart.

    Enrique Isidro, Vice President of the Europac Group indicated "the improvement of the results of the company is in this line with the previsions announced at the beginning of the year, based mainly on the increase in the business lines profitability and the reduction of costs. The context of the current market and the development of internal projects aimed at achieving the objectives defined in the Strategic Plan 2015-2018 enable us to be optimists compared to the 2nd Semester of the year".

    In the Paper business line, despite the increases of raw material during the 1st semester of 2015, the EBITDA improved by 17.1 % compared to the 1st semester of 2014 due to the increase in the gross margin, the increase in sales volume and the management improvements that have entailed a reduction of specific costs.

    As far as the Packaging Division is concerned, we highlight the recovery of margins after the minimum recorded in the 2nd semester of 2014. Despite the 35.4 % increase of the EBITDA with respect to the 2nd semester of 2014, the EBITDA fell 26.7% compared to the 1st semester of the previous year due to a one-time increase of the costs linked to the implementation of operational and commercial plans and the development of the Morocco Plan. In this respect, there was an increase in the profitability in Spain and an increase of the volume in Portugal, whereas France only experienced a slight improvement.
    (Europac Papeles y Cartones de Europa S.A.)

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    Other converted paper and board products
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