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    RSS-News News   Page:    <<   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30   >> 
    26.03.2015   Meerssen Papier in administration    ( Company news )

    Company news All operations at the Dutch specialty paper manufacturer suspended until further notice.

    Dutch specialty paper manufacturer Meerssen Papier is bankrupt. The company was declared insolvent by the relevant court in Limburg on 17 March. The court has appointed two lawyers of the firm Thuis & Partners in Heerlen as administrators.

    Production at the mill had been standing still since 17 March, a company spokesperson told EUWID. All 65 employees were sent home until further notice.

    Meerssen Papier houses three paper machines with a combined capacity of up to 35,000 tpy of woodfree paper and board for graphic, security, technical and packaging applications. However, only two out of the three PMs had been operational in the last five years. In 2014, the total production output amounted to 10,000 t, the company spokesperson explained.
    (EUWID Pulp and Paper)
    25.03.2015   PulpEye launches Dynamic Drainage Analyzer DDA 5 with new features    ( Company news )

    Company news PulpEye, is an innovative measurement technology company, is now launching the fifth generation of its Dynamic Drainage Analyzer, DDA 5. This model, like its predecessors, gives drainage values comparable to real drainage situations on modern paper machines’ wire sections. One of the new features is an automatic retention module which can calculate the retention by analysing the turbidity of the white water.

    Optimal drainage and retention are important parameters in papermaking. The right amount of chemicals added in the right position in the stock preparation increases both productivity and product quality. As the DDA gives drainage values comparable to real drainage situations on modern paper machines, it is in use by papermakers, chemical manufacturers and R&D companies worldwide.

    “DDA 5 has a compact design and is equipped with new features like the turbidity sensor which automatically gives the retention value,” says Öjvind Sundvall, MD, PulpEye. “The drainage rate can be presented for chosen time intervals during the analysis. The chemical dosage is done automatically. As the equipment is automatically cleaned after each analysis, more analyses can be done per hour in comparison to previous models. All data input and presentation of results are done with a new user friendly interface.”

    ”We have customers all over the world using the DDA in their normal production as well as in development projects. With the launch of our DDA 5 we expect that the demand will increase even further and that we will very soon sell our one hundredth unit since the first version was introduced,” finishes Öjvind Sundvall.
    (PulpEye AB)
    25.03.2015   Munksjö appoints Pia Aaltonen-Forsell as CFO    ( Company news )

    Company news Pia Aaltonen-Forsell (photo) has been appointed Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and member of Munksjö's Management Team. Aaltonen-Forsell (M.Soc.Sc.) will be joining Munksjö from Vacon Plc., where she currently is the CFO.

    Aaltonen-Forsell's previous positions include Senior Vice President (SVP) Finance, IT and M&A, Building and Living Business Area at Stora Enso as well as other managerial positions at Stora Enso, such as SVP Group Controller.
    Aaltonen-Forsell will join Munksjö on 1 April 2015, and she will report to Jan Åström, President and CEO of Munksjö Oyj.

    "I'm very happy to welcome Pia to the Munksjö-team. With her solid background from the industry, she will be an excellent driving force for the company's further growth and development", says the President and CEO Jan Åström.
    (Munksjö Oyj)
    25.03.2015   FASTSIGNS® of Vancouver brings digital cutting and routing in-house with ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... an Esko Kongsberg V table

    Business becomes more productive, completes projects faster, and is able to attract more business

    FASTSIGNS of Vancouver has recently invested in a new Esko Kongsberg V finishing table, bringing in-house many of the cutting and routing tasks it once had to subcontract to complete. In doing so, beyond productivity, quality and cost efficiencies, they have been able to attract more business (

    FASTSIGNS® of Vancouver ( is an independently owned and operated sign, graphics and visual communications company—one of FASTSIGNS'® more than 530 franchises throughout the world. They provide comprehensive visual marketing solutions to customers of all sizes—across all industries—to help them meet their business objectives and increase their business visibility. Paul LeBlanc, owner of FASTSIGNS® of Vancouver, invested in his FASTSIGNS franchise, the second in Canada, in January 1996. At the time, the only other franchise in Canada was across the country in Newfoundland. Though living in Nova Scotia, LeBlanc was willing to move to a large city to start his business. While it was a tough start in an unknown city, he overcame the challenges and the business grew substantially in the early 2000s, serving retailers, the real estate industry, art galleries, and non-profits. The business expanded from their original 1,800 square foot location to their current 5,400 square foot facility in 2008. Their ten employees operate two roll printers, a flatbed printer, and a thermal transfer printer.

    Finding a need to bring cutting and finishing in-house
    However, producing signs isn't all about printing. "We originally had a saw on our wall and a hand saw we used for cutting on production tables," recalls LeBlanc. "A lot of the materials took a good amount of muscle to cut. On some occasions when clients needed a good number of retail signs and shapes, we sent them out to a subcontractor to be cut."

    LeBlanc realized that the amount of subcontracting was increasing. "One of our best customers was ordering more and more items that needed cut substrates, and it required us to seek help," says LeBlanc. "It was challenging for us. The subcontractor's cost made it difficult for us to make money. Also, it created time pressures for us. We would print the project, ship it across town, wait for the project to be cut, and then ship it back. It took too much time."

    The other influencing factor came from LeBlanc's involvement with FASTSIGNS. "We are part of the FASTSIGNS network and have a number of business friends whom I speak with regularly and meet at our annual convention," adds LeBlanc. "I had heard that many of these franchisees were reaping real production efficiencies with cutting tables. While we had plenty of resources to do the work manually, I asked a room full of people of similar FASTSIGNS centers if there was a viable business case to invest in a table. The answer was a unanimous 'yes!'"

    LeBlanc needed a table that could read registration marks from a digital printer so that it could cut squares or contours—whatever shape—on the printed piece. He also creates a lot of dimensional letters, so a router was important.

    Deciding on the Kongsberg V, a cost-effective finishing table
    "There are a few different table manufacturers, and this was an important investment—one that we believe we will be using for a decade. I needed a machine where the company had a good track record among FASTSIGNS franchisees and within the industry." remarks LeBlanc. "When I ask people what they are doing, I listen. I spoke with people who were consistently happy with the Kongsberg table. I also knew that FASTSIGNS headquarters supported them."

    They decided to invest in a Kongsberg V table and installed it in October 2014. "Price was a significant factor. If I had to make a decision before the Kongsberg V, I would have waited another year," remembers LeBlanc. "The price let me move sooner. I assessed the sacrifices that I would have to make with power and speed, and compared them to larger Kongsberg tables. I visited FASTSIGNS in Burlington, Canada. They were running their larger table at 1/2 and 1/4 speeds, which was certainly sufficient for them. It also was able to do routing—an important feature."

    Esko had a local rep, a very comforting thought for LeBlanc. "I understand that Esko has reps throughout North America," comments LeBlanc. "It's nice that I don't have to work with someone who is far away. I feel like I have a local relationship with Esko."

    The Kongsberg V table has already come in handy. "The timeline with our largest retail client's most recent job was extremely tight and would have been difficult if done outside. Now that they have a significant in-house capability, the large project, created in Coroplast, was easy to complete. We have completed a couple runs of signs for a security company where we produced 100-150 square Coroplast signs. This would have been a big problem for us before. We ran them through the cutter and it saved a lot of time," raves LeBlanc. "We also needed to create a 3D letter sign for another customer. I really don't like hard and fast deadlines for a sign that will be used for years, but the client was making it for a specific event. We were able to meet the deadline while creating a very high-quality sign—something we would not have been able without the Kongsberg V table. It got us the order. In the past we would have turned it down."

    The Kongsberg V table has met every demanding job, cutting plexi and acrylic very well. LeBlanc particularly likes the clean edges on OVC plastic. Recently, as a test, they created a 3D piece where the router cut out a custom 1/4" shape within a larger shape, as if a sand blaster did it.

    The Kongsberg table is also making the sales force more productive. "Before, when my sales people tried to sell certain projects, they were unable to quote them easily. We had to send a job request to the subcontractor," recounts LeBlanc. "Now, with the Kongsberg table and our in-house capability, they can quote projects easily, like standees, or dimensional letter jobs. Our salespeople are more confident and are converting more orders."

    "In the history of our business, success has come through technology," concludes LeBlanc. "In the early years, there was thermal transfer printing, then inkjet printing. Now I see the Kongsberg table, and flatbed cutting, as a way of staying ahead of the competition by providing services unavailable from other businesses."
    (Esko Belgium)
    25.03.2015   The new Stahlfolder CH 56 folding machine from Heidelberg for short run digital and ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...offset production

    -Stahlfolder CH 56 KT auto: the first ever automated 50x70cm cross-fold unit
    -Intelligent automation technology simplifies setup and minimizes job throughput times

    Following the successful launch of the Stahlfolder BH/CH series one year ago, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is adding a further folding model to its portfolio. The Stahlfolder CH 56 KT auto folding machine will be available worldwide from April 2015. The machine has been specially designed to enable customers to achieve the best possible folding results for flyers in 50 x70 format. Its major advantage is the especially easy-to-use, end-to-end intelligent automation. The Stahlfolder CH 56 KT auto uses the same user-friendly touchscreen controls that thousands of customers have become accustomed to over the years.

    Its intelligent automation achieves very short makeready times. The automated parallel folding unit with buckle plates and folding rollers is accompanied for the first time in this format by an automated cross-fold unit. The operator only needs to enter the new job on the touchscreen for the front edge stop in the cross-fold unit to automatically move into position. The buckle plate and folding rollers are set to the right format and grammage. This simplifies the operator’s work enormously when setting up small folding jobs in particular, as there is no need for any manual intervention.

    Customers will also value the speed with which the folding job is completed and the last sheet stacked on the pallet. In one hour, the new Stahlfolder CH 56 KT auto folding machine could easily complete five repeat folding jobs of 500 to 1,000 copies each. The machine will appeal to customers looking to produce short runs in B2 format cost-effectively and in the shortest possible time, while still ensuring added value and quality control as part of their own offset and/or digital production processes.

    The Stahlfolder CH 56 folding machine can be customized with various options and modules to meet the customer’s individual wishes, for example with two feeder types and 4 or 6 buckle plates in the parallel folding unit.
    (Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG)
    25.03.2015   Mitsubishi HiTec Paper to increase prices    ( Company news )

    Company news Due to the remarkable and steady rise in raw material costs, in particular for pulp and chemicals, the producer of coated specialty papers Mitsubishi HiTec Paper Europe GmbH announces a price increase of 7% for its product range. This price increase will be effective for deliveries from May 1st 2015 onwards.
    Our sales team will contact our customers to provide further information.
    (Mitsubishi HiTec Paper Europe GmbH)
    25.03.2015   2015 German Business Innovation Award Goes to ISRA VISION: 3D Robot Vision Wins    ( Company news )

    Company news ISRA VISION AG: Innovative 3D Machine Vision Product Family „Plug & Automate“ for Robot Automation Receives Award

    ISRA VISION AG (ISIN DE 0005488100), one of the world’s top companies for industrial image processing (Machine Vision) as well as globally leading in surface inspection of web materials and 3D machine vision
    applications, was awarded the German Business Innovation Prize 2015 in the category „Medium-sized companies“. The prize is under the patronage of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as well as the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and was given to ISRA for the innovative 3D sensor product line „Plug & Automate“, which is being used in three-dimensional robot automation. The award considers not only the level of innovation, but also the market opportunities, economic efficiencies, innovation management and sustainability of the business concept.

    On the occasion of the award ceremony in Frankfurt on March 21, 2015, the founder and chairperson of the Executive Board of ISRA VISION AG, Enis Ersü, said: „The Innovation Prize represents the outstanding performance of the ISRA team and fills all employees with pride. It is a very special acknowledgment for our work over the past 30 years in industrial image processing – in one of the most dynamic growth markets of our time.“ Ersü further underscored the strategic importance of innovations, particularly for the Federal Republic of
    Germany. He called on the government to continue its efforts in intensively promoting innovations as sustainable growth drivers, thereby strengthening the competitiveness of the German economy and not only secure, but also expand the technological lead of Germany.

    The 3D sensor product family „Plug & Automate“ for robot automation represents an innovative product approach by rendering the automation of production processes more efficient for the industry and, at the same time, offering maximum flexibility. The product portfolio integrates important technological unique selling propositions; in particular, no expert knowledge is required for the integration and the use. This innovative technology enables users to automate their production themselves – quickly and easily. ISRA‘s objective hereby
    remains: „Plug & Automate automates the automation!“

    As one of the innovation leader in the industrial image processing segment, research and development have the highest priority for ISRA. The continuous development of products and applications – to optimize the customer value as well as the costs – is an elementary part of ISRA‘s R&D strategy. Besides a strong international presence and a good competitive position in the relevant markets, this creates the prerequisite for sustainable and profitable future growth.
    (ISRA Vision AG)
    24.03.2015   Improved printability reduces unnecessary wastage    ( Company news )

    Company news In order to create competitive packaging, print quality needs to be sufficiently high and give a uniform appearance between different packages. This can be achieved without unnecessary wastage if the board material has similar properties and behaves as expected in the printing press, according to a new licentiate thesis from Vipp industrial graduate school at Karlstad University.

    Photo: Sofia Thorman

    Packaging is an important part of a product, and protects and preserves its contents. It should also provide information about the contents and invite potential buyers to make a purchase. If the board material contributes towards satisfactory print quality being achieved quickly and easily, it will be possible to use a greater proportion of all board that is manufactured and transported to printers, and less waste will therefore be generated.

    To ensure that board will work well during printing, its properties are checked when it is produced. This production control could become even better if the way in which the board will absorb printing ink is also monitored, in addition to ensuring that the surface is sufficiently smooth.

    In her licentiate studies carried out at Innventia, Sofia Thorman has developed a new method that can be used to check how evenly board absorbs liquid. Previously, there was no technique available to carry out this type of measurement.

    Sofia used the new method to study coated board material used for liquid packaging such as milk and juice cartons. The results suggest that an uneven absorption of printing ink can lead to images and text having a mottled appearance with an uneven structure. This could explain why printing problems sometimes arise despite the board surface being smooth.

    “The method looks promising in the studies we’ve carried out so far,” says Sofia. “I look forward to carrying out trials on a larger scale, in order to confirm that the technique can provide valuable information for board manufacturing at Swedish mills.”

    “These methods were used within the Tools to Predict Flexographic Print Quality for Packaging research cluster, which was concluded in December 2014, and will also be of benefit in the recently launched Boosting Packaging Performance programme,” adds Anita Teleman, Research Manager for Printing Solutions at Innventia.

    The work was carried out at Innventia within the Vipp (Values Created in Fiber Based Processes and Products) industrial graduate school at Karlstad University, with support from the KK Foundation. Sofia Thorman received her licentiate degree on 5 March 2015 with her thesis “Absorption non-uniformity characterisation and its impact on flexographic ink distribution of coated packaging boards”.
    (Innventia AB)
    24.03.2015   Esko to acquire MediaBeacon - Leading Digital Asset Management (DAM) company ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... broadens Esko solutions suite

    Esko, the leading global player in packaging production and supply chain solutions (, announced the acquisition of MediaBeacon Inc., a leader in Digital Asset Management (DAM) software solutions. MediaBeacon, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA), brings an award-winning suite of DAM tools to market, primarily in the USA, through direct distribution and strategic OEM partnerships in various industries ranging from Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods to Media, Print and the public sector.

    “It is Esko’s strategy to digitize and integrate the entire packaging production workflow from design all the way to finished packs and displays in the store. With this acquisition, we further our transformation from a prepress solution provider to an end-to-end supplier in the packaging world“, explains Udo Panenka, Esko President. “Increasing pressure on error-free and timely production of brand expressions across a diverse media range like packaging, in-store displays and online and printed advertising, turns an integrated DAM solution into a cornerstone for both print service providers and brand owners. Adding MediaBeacon tools and expertise expands the Esko Software Suite and brings to market a production workflow solution that keeps pace with the challenges of organizations around the globe.”

    To facilitate a smooth integration process, Jason Bright, CEO and founder of MediaBeacon, will assume the role of Chief Technology Officer. Jason, a highly respected thought leader and industry visionary, will work closely with the Esko R&D teams to drive software integration efforts and to ensure ongoing development of the MediaBeacon DAM software. Brett Robertson will assume responsibilities over daily operations as the General Manager of MediaBeacon. Brett was previously the Director Global Product Marketing, Servo Motors with Kollmorgen.

    “The prospect of adding MediaBeacon’s development and go-to-market efforts into Esko’s global operations in packaging workflow is very exciting and provides us with a solid platform for growth,” comments Brett Robertson. “Esko’s expertise with packaging assets, including structural design and 3D virtual mockup technology, broadens the scope, depth and breadth of the integrated solution dramatically and will surely also excite our customers.”

    Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
    (Esko Belgium)
    24.03.2015   New faces at marks-3zet: Three industry experts strengthen marks-3zet sales and marketing team    ( Company news )

    Company news Picture: Carmelo Roberto: Carmelo Roberto, General Manager marks-3zet Srl

    marks-3zet, the specialist for waterless offset printing based in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany, is pleased to welcome Carmelo Roberto as a new team member for the Southern European market. As former Sales and Marketing Manager for the Italian company Metoda SpA, Mr. Roberto has many years of experience in the printing industry, particularly in waterless offset printing. At marks-3zet, he assumes the role of Sales Manager for Southern Europe and has also been appointed the new Managing Director of the Italian subsidiary marks-3zet Srl. Carmelo Roberto will be responsible for fostering operations on the waterless market, focussing on comprehensive, service-oriented customer care and various new R&D projects. He is fluent in Italian, Spanish, and English.

    In December 2014, Joerg Seeger took over as Head of Sales at marks-3zet GmbH & Co. KG. Mr. Seeger has been active in the printing industry for more than 20 years. He began his career with professional training in letterpress and flatbed printing, followed by university studies in engineering, after which he held a number of executive positions in sales and engineering both in Germany and abroad. At marks-3zet, his main focus will be on underpacking materials and the colour printing business.

    On 1 January 2015, Volker Schimanski, born in 1968, joined marks-3zet GmbH & Co. KG as Head of Sales & Marketing. A certified print technician and with a degree in printing engineering (UAS Wuppertal, Germany), Mr. Schimanski has more than 20 years of experience in senior positions throughout the printing industry. He will be in charge of further expanding the company’s strong position as a leading specialist in underpacking materials and waterless printing.
    (marks-3zet GmbH & Co. KG)
    24.03.2015   Weyerhaeuser Reports Fourth Quarter, Full Year Results    ( Company news )

    Company news -31 percent increase in fourth quarter earnings from continuing operations before special items compared with prior year
    -2014 included divestiture of homebuilding business, 32 percent increase in common dividend, and repurchase of over $200 million of common shares

    Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE: WY) reported fourth quarter net earnings attributable to common shareholders of $166 million, or 31 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $1.8 billion. This compares with net earnings of $43 million, or 7 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $1.8 billion from continuing operations for the same period last year.

    Photo: Doyle Simons, president and chief executive officer

    Earnings for the fourth quarter of 2014 include net after-tax gains of $21 million from special items. Excluding these items, the company reported net earnings of $145 million, or 27 cents per diluted share. This compares with net earnings from continuing operations before special items of $111 million, or 19 cents per diluted share for the same period last year.

    For the full year 2014, Weyerhaeuser reported net earnings attributable to common shareholders of $1.8 billion, or $3.18 per diluted share, on net sales from continuing operations of $7.4 billion. This compares with net earnings of $540 million, or 95 cents per diluted share, on net sales from continuing operations of $7.3 billion for the same period last year.

    Full year 2014 includes after-tax earnings of $998 million from discontinued operations related to the divestiture of Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company and $84 million from special items. Excluding these items, the company reported net earnings of $700 million, or $1.25 per diluted share. This compares with net earnings from continuing operations before special items of $572 million, or 99 cents per diluted share, for the full year 2013.

    "In 2014, we demonstrated our commitment to driving shareholder value,” said Doyle Simons, president and chief executive officer. “During the year, we divested our homebuilding business to become a focused forest products company, achieved our 2014 operational excellence targets and made significant progress on our multi-year initiatives, and improved earnings from continuing operations by more than 20 percent compared with 2013. In addition, we increased our dividend by 32 percent and completed nearly 30 percent of a newly authorized $700 million share repurchase program. For 2015, we remain relentlessly focused on driving operational excellence to fully capitalize on our improving markets and delivering value to our shareholders."
    (Weyerhaeuser Company)
    24.03.2015   Toscotec to supply two new tissue machines to Chinese producer Liuzhou Liangmianzhen ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...Paper Product Co., Ltd

    Liuzhou Liangmianzhen Paper Product Co., Ltd. has placed an order with Toscotec for #2 MODULO-PLUS ES tissue lines, which will be installed at its production site in Liuzhou, Guangxi.

    Originally established in 1941 as a group of private soap enterprises, the LMZ Group was listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2004. It currently operates in 5 different areas: cosmetics, paper, fine chemicals, medicine and real estate.

    The two TMs are based on Toscotec ES concept. Especially interesting for Asian market, the Energy Saving solution is capable to guarantee, according to the configuration, a substantial reduction in energy consumption during the tissue drying process. The two MODULO-PLUS are designed for a design speed of 1500 m/min and will produce 65 tons/day of high-quality toilet and facial tissue from pre dried virgin pulp and Slush pulp produced by LMZ.

    The order includes the two crescent former machines, each equipped with a TT SYD-15FT (4572mm) and a double press configuration, a Milltech Steam Heated Hood, Toscotec stock preparation high efficiency equipment and the electrical and control systems. A TT WIND-M Tissue Slitter Rewinder, spare parts for the entire plant and a full service package complete the scope of supply.

    Start-up is scheduled for the second half of 2015.
    (Toscotec S.p.A.)
    23.03.2015   Plastic Crisis in the Oceans - BillerudKorsnäs contributes to finding solutions to ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... marine plastic pollution

    BillerudKorsnäs, the leading Swedish provider of renewable packaging materials and solutions, has launched a partnership with the French scientific research foundation Tara Expeditions. The partnership will concern scientific research on the consequences of plastic littering in the oceans.

    Eight million tonnes of plastic waste are deposited into the sea each year. This corresponds to 16 plastic bags per meter of the world’s total coast lines. These findings were recently published in the journal Science. There is, however, still very little research that shows how all this plastic affects the oceans, animals and people. In order to fill the gap, Tara Expeditions conducts scientific expeditions aimed at collecting and understanding how plastic affects the marine ecosystem.

    “Our goals with the results of this research are to inform the public that a change in behaviour is crucial. We also hope to influence decision-makers to regulate and reduce plastic littering in the oceans as well as to encourage industries to develop innovative alternatives to plastic. BillerudKorsnäs, with its renewable fiber based product range, proposes an alternative to plastic packaging, and is thus a relevant and suitable partner for us”, says Romain Troublé, secretary general, Tara Expeditions.

    BillerudKorsnäs challenges conventional packages for a sustainable future. The company’s notion is that smart packaging solutions made of paper and carton board reduce detrimental environmental impact and contribute to a sustainable future. In order to gain valuable knowledge and new insights, BillerudKorsnäs works closely with brand owners, packaging manufacturers and partners around the world.

    “BillerudKorsnäs has a lot to learn from Tara, lessons we can use in our product development. Both Tara and BillerudKorsnäs are constantly seeking new answers to sustainability challenges and want to drive a change towards a more sustainable future. We also share a vision of a future in which plastics in the ocean is an issue of the past”, says Henrik Essén, director of Communications and Sustainability, BillerudKorsnäs.

    The partnership will begin with BillerudKorsnäs’s participation at “Beyond Plastic Med”, an international conference which Tara is co-arranging with other organizations. BillerudKorsnäs will be speaking on the theme “Innovation: a solution that works for ecological transition?”

    “We want to communicate how our innovation agenda and our products can contribute to the solution of the plastic waste in ocean. Packages made of paper and carton board are of course not the entire solution, but can through correct use make a difference. The conference, which points to innovation as one possible solution to plastic littering, is therefore an excellent forum for us”, says Henrik Essén.
    (BillerudKorsnäs AB (publ))
    23.03.2015   WWF Statement on APP's Forest Conservation Policy and Rainforest Alliance ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...Independent Evaluation

    Two years after Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) announced a new “forest conservation” policy, APP’s pledge to halt forest clearing has held, but its forests are still disappearing.

    A Rainforest Alliance audit released today confirmed the findings by WWF and local NGOs that APP is failing to stop deforestation and illegal activities in its concessions by other parties, even in areas already identified by the company as containing high conservation values and carbon stocks.

    “APP has halted its own forest clearing and embarked on a wide array of assessments in its concessions,” said Aditya Bayunanda, Forest Commodity Leader WWF-Indonesia. “But not much has changed on the ground - forests continue to disappear, peat soils continue to be drained and social conflicts remain unresolved. The company has even failed to protect forests they are legally required to conserve”.

    "No concrete plans on where forests will be restored or conserved, and with what financing"

    Progress is lacking on action to reduce the climate impacts of APP’s vast concessions on peat. The Rainforest Alliance audit confirmed that other than stopping new canal development APP has taken no action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the draining of over a million hectares of peatland under company control.

    WWF is also very concerned with the lack of progress by the company to resolve hundreds of social conflicts. The findings of local NGOs were confirmed in the Rainforest Alliance audit and should send high alerts through APP headquarters.

    WWF had welcomed APP’s 2014 announcement to restore and conserve 1 million hectares of tropical ecosystems beyond legal requirements as the right measure to address the company legacy of deforestation of an estimated 2 million hectares of tropical forest.

    “WWF has participated in numerous stakeholder meetings and task force activities since the announcement,” said Bayunanda. “These discussions have resulted in very little progress. There are no concrete plans on where forests will be restored or conserved, and with what financing. Even in APP’s priority landscape, Bukit Tigapuluh, the company has yet to take promised steps to provide wildlife corridors and stop illegal loggers, poachers and encroachers from accessing the forest through its logging road“.

    WWF commends APP for having invited Rainforest Alliance to audit its progress, and urges APP to act quickly and decisively to address the audit findings. WWF will also carefully study the audit findings and advise APP customers accordingly.

    “After two years of assessments and planning, APP needs to shift its focus to action. Today, APP promised change and WWF will monitor its next steps to see how serious it is about saving forests,” said Rod Taylor, Director, Forest Program at WWF-International.

    “APP customers should be alert to the risk of doing business with a company that has not yet eliminated deforestation and peat carbon emissions from its wood supply areas ".
    (WWF World Wildlife Fund)
    23.03.2015   Q4 results reflect key decisions to position Catalyst for the future     ( Company news )

    Company news Catalyst Paper (TSX:CYT) announced earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $6.8 million in Q4 compared to $8.0 million in Q3.

    Catalyst reported a net loss, excluding specific items, of $10.4 million in Q4 compared to $10.8 million in Q3. Operating results were impacted by increased manufacturing expenses, including higher rates for electricity, as well as costs related to curtailments and acquisitions.

    “Our results reflect critical decisions to position the company effectively for the future,” said Joe Nemeth, Catalyst President & CEO. “In Q4, we incurred one-time costs and made strategic investments that will enable us to optimize our product mix and performance, while continuing to focus on cost, productivity, efficiency and customer service.”

    North American paper demand was down in the fourth quarter for all segments with the exception of lightweight coated and uncoated paper. Benchmark prices remained flat for specialty grades and declined for newsprint and pulp. Despite sluggish markets, sales revenues increased modestly in Q4 compared to Q3 due to the positive impact of a weaker Canadian dollar, higher average transaction prices for pulp, and increased sales volumes for newsprint, uncoated mechanical and lightweight coated paper.

    Results for the Year
    Adjusted EBITDA was $47.6 million in 2014 compared to $46.1 million in 2013. Excluding specific items, our net loss was $28.3 million in 2014 compared to $31.5 million in 2013. Free cash flow was negative $17.2 million compared to negative $21.4 million in 2013.

    These results understate the year-over-year improvement we achieved, as we incurred one-time costs of $3.1 million to complete the acquisition of the US assets and did not have the $4.3 million in EBITDA contribution from our interest in Powell River Energy Inc. that existed in 2013. After normalizing for these non-recurring items, adjusted EBITDA increased by $8.9 million compared to the prior year.

    “Where we applied a sharp focus on operational excellence, we made substantive progress,” said Joe Nemeth, Catalyst President & CEO. “As we look ahead to 2015, we expect continued improvement as we work diligently to realize the benefits of our US acquisition, revitalize our Powell River operations and consistently apply the operational excellence principles that have enabled our financial recovery.”

    Cost factors beyond the company’s control continued to challenge the competitiveness of the business. In 2014, manufacturing costs were higher mainly due to price increases in fibre, chemicals, steam fuel and electrical power, which represents a major cost for our energy-intensive business.

    A critical priority in 2014 was implementing initiatives to mitigate the increasing cost of hydroelectricity. The company took advantage of a new Power Smart Program extended to pulp producers that provides 75% of capital funding for equipment upgrades that more efficiently harness energy. Through its efforts to mitigate power usage, the company expects to realize funding potential of approximately $45 million through the Program.

    Our total liquidity as of December 31, 2014 was $102.7 representing a $19.9 million decrease from the prior year. This decrease reflects negative free cash flow of $17.2 million generated for the year.

    A key focus for 2015 is the full integration of the Biron and Rumford mills. Our approach is to identify opportunities to optimize production, product mix and performance. We have recruited additional talent to enhance our sales capacity and capabilities, and to ensure we can continue to distinguish Catalyst as the industry’s leading provider of quality products and superior services to customers worldwide.

    Mitigation of increasing hydroelectricity rates remains a priority in 2015. We have launched a pilot program in concert with BC Hydro at all of our Canadian mills that financially rewards the company for shifting energy use within specific timeframes. We will explore all feasible opportunities to mitigate the impact of escalating rates, including another 6% increase planned by BC Hydro on April 1.

    We anticipate that specialty printing paper markets in North America will remain challenging with the continued evolution of digital media and the displacement of printed mediums. Our strategy within this market is to focus on lightweight niches in all printing and writing grades, and to increase sales of higher-value products, including coated free sheet and coated one side grades.
    (Catalyst Paper Corporation)
    23.03.2015   Miltenberg PM 7 impresses with efficient tissue production    ( Company news )

    Company news The PM 7 process line commissioned mid-November 2014 at the Miltenberg headquarters of Fripa Papierfabrik Albert Friedrich KG has achieved the production speed of 2,100 m/min, making it one of the most efficient tissue machines currently operating worldwide.

    The NipcoFlex T shoe press and EvoDry Y yankee cylinder enable high speeds at lower energy consumption. An increased dry content, which reduces the thermal energy requirement by up to 20%, is achieved downstream of the press section. The PM 7 produces super soft toilet tissue and kitchen paper in superlative qualities.

    “The success of our project is due to exemplary collaboration based on a spirit of partnership," explains Fripa’s Managing Director Andreas Noack and adds: “The PM 7’s innovative technology allows us to safeguard and further enhance our high quality standards.”

    The roots of Fripa Papierfabrik Albert Friedrich KG, a renowned manufacturer of high-quality tissue papers for the international market, go as far back as 1911. At its production site in Miltenberg, Fripa operates a total of three paper machines and several converting plants.
    (Voith Paper GmbH & Co KG)
    20.03.2015   Bobst Bielefeld showcases high-speed F&K 20SIX CS wide-web press at open house    ( Company news )

    Company news Picture: Fast change-over using the cylinder handling system

    On February 25 and 26, Bobst Bielefeld, Germany, held an open house with its focus on high speed and wide web width flexo printing. Following the approach taken at BOBST’s highly successful open house last October, the event was divided into a seminar session in the morning and a print demonstration in the afternoon. Visitors from fifteen countries around the world attended the event and got an update on the latest flexo printing and process related developments.

    The print demonstration utilized the flagship of the F&K 20SIX series of CI flexo presses, a “CS” model featuring a print width of 1650 mm (65''), a repeat of 1200 mm (47.2''), and a speed of 600 m/min (1970 ft/min). The extensive range of equipment onboard the press included smartGPS™, shaftless winders, a BOBST three-chip camera, a 100% inspection system, a special slitting device, and an auxiliary system for sleeve and cylinder handling.

    During the demonstration, two five-color jobs were run at 600 m/min, i.e. the maximum mechanical speed of the model showcased. The changeover of the print sleeves in between the two jobs was performed using the cylinder handling system, which gave visitors an idea of its fast and user-friendly handling of even large format printing hardware. For impression and register set-up, smartGPS™, BOBST’s unique off-press technology was used, so visitors witnessed a complete changeover - from the end of the first five-color job to saleable quality of the subsequent job - in less than 15 minutes.

    During the seminar session, Bill Duckham and Hermann Koch, Bobst Bielefeld Sales Directors, spoke about specific challenges on a press designed for high speed and wide width applications, and about technical solutions integrated into the F&K 20SIX to meet these challenges. Visitors heard that, most importantly, the specific technologies and measures that ensure consistently superior print quality throughout the process are related to: - mechanical rigidity of cylinders and bearings; high precision impression adjustment; ink transfer from the ink chamber to the substrate; and to guaranteed drying of ink on the substrate. Michael Schmidt from Siegwerk Druckfarben highlighted the topic of high speed printing from the perspective of an ink manufacturer, presenting practical examples, limitations, and potential for optimization.

    The second part of the seminar session was dedicated to plastic film as a packaging substrate. In his speech about the latest developments in extrusion, Sascha Skora, from Reifenhäuser Blown Film, presented typical problems converters are faced with - from pellet quality to reel/winding quality of the film material. Mr. Skora also updated the visitors on the latest quality inspection systems for ensuring superior film quality throughout the extrusion process. Last but not least, Dr. Carolin Struller, from Bobst Manchester, illustrated the company’s in-depth research on AlOx clear coating, from the way it is produced and its performance on various filmic substrates, through to its barrier retention with subsequent processes of printing and converting. AlOx coating is especially suitable for packaging where product visibility is required, including baked goods and microwaveable food.
    (Bobst Bielefeld GmbH)
    20.03.2015   Smurfit Kappa to enter higher growth Central American market through CYBSA acquisition    ( Company news )

    Company news Smurfit Kappa Group is pleased to announce that it has agreed to acquire Grupo CYBSA, a non-integrated corrugated, folding cartons and flexible packaging manufacturer with operations in El Salvador and Costa Rica.

    Photo: Gary McGann, Smurfit Kappa Group CEO

    CYBSA is a private company with approximately 1,000 employees and net assets at 31 December 2014 of approximately US$40 million. It operates five packaging plants located in the higher growth markets of El Salvador and Costa Rica, from which it services a growing customer base in its domestic markets, along with Guatemala and Honduras.

    Following the completion of over €160 million of acquisitions in the Americas in 2014, the acquisition of CYBSA will further enhance SKG’s presence in the region, providing us with an unrivalled packaging footprint across 12 countries from the southern United States to Argentina. Within these markets, the Group is uniquely placed as the largest pan-regional supplier to apply its increasingly global perspective and differentiated offering to create and drive value for our customers.

    The transaction, which will be immediately earnings accretive, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015 subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval. Based on 2014 EBITDA of almost US$13 million and expected synergies of approximately US$6 million, of which over US$4 million will be delivered in year one, the Group will complete the acquisition at a post synergies multiple of 5.5 times EBITDA.

    Gary McGann, Smurfit Kappa Group CEO, said: “We are very pleased to announce our agreement to acquire CYBSA and look forward to welcoming the excellent team from CYBSA into the Smurfit Kappa Group. The transaction reflects our continued commitment to increase our market presence in the Americas and will further enhance SKG’s capacity to provide innovative, insight-led, differentiated and value enhancing packaging solutions to both current and prospective customers throughout the Americas.”
    (Smurfit Kappa Group Headquarters plc)
    20.03.2015   Regina launches its new disposable paper towels    ( Company news )

    Company news Regina is boosting its line-up of products with a new, environmentally friendly product that promises advantages to the consumer.

    Similar products are already on sale. What is unique about the Regina paper towels is that they can be disposed of directly in the WC without clogging up the waste system. This is where this product differs from any other similar tissue.

    The so-called Temporary Wet Strength technology (TWS) adopted in the making of this paper towel makes it behave initially like any other strong paper towel, only to dissolve like toilet tissue when disposed of in the WC.

    This toilet tissue really is biodegradable.
    (Sofidel S.p.A.)
    20.03.2015   PAPER-ME 2015: New Investment Opportunities    ( Company news )

    Company news The 7th International Exhibition for Paper, Board, Tissue, Hygiene Products, Packaging & Printing

    Three Exhibitions covering the wide spectrum of Paper, Board, Tissue Paper, Hygiene Products, Packing, Packaging, Printing Industries.
    Date: October 22-24, 2015
    Venue: Cairo International Convention Center (CICC), Cairo, Egypt
    Halls: 1,2,3

    The growth rate of Pulp and Paper industry increased following the Egyptian Industrial reforms and industrial growth.
    PAPER-ME, TISSUE-ME, PACK2PACK annual growth is a positive indicator for the real dynamic activities in the Egyptian economy.
    Future industrial policies in Egypt will be focused on enabling the industrial sector to be the engine of growth through the expansion of exports.
    As forecasted by the International Monetary Fund, Egypt’s growth rate is projected to reach 3.8% in 2015.
    (Nile Trade Fairs)
    20.03.2015   Cham Paper Group achieves continued success    ( Company news )

    Company news - Pleasing revenue development thanks to good market conditions and successful products
    - Significant improvements in results, with EBIT rising from CHF 1.8 million to CHF 8.9 million
    - Investment to increase productivity and capacity at the Italian mills
    - Town planning study commissioned for the Papieri-Areal successfully concluded, master plan drawn up with framework for the project
    - Payment of a dividend of CHF 3.00 per share

    2014 was an important year for the future of the Cham Paper Group. The favourable economic environment and the strong market position of Cham Paper speciality papers led to a significant improvement in results, while considerable progress was made with the development of the Papieri real estate project.

    Growth of strategically important products and clear improvement in results
    The Cham Paper Group's revenue with speciality papers fell by 6.6% to CHF 216 million in 2014. The Group achieved growth in strategically important product groups. Sales of speciality papers from the two Italian mills rose by 2.4%, resulting in a 1.4% increase in revenue to CHF 187 million. In Switzerland, revenue from the sale of paper coated in Cham, particularly for the Digital Imaging product family, grew by 22% to CHF 29 million. Thanks to improved cost structures, the Group achieved an operating profit before restructuring costs of CHF 8.9 million and an EBIT margin of 4.1%. This represents a significant increase on the previous year (CHF 1.8 million, EBIT margin 0.8%), in which the challenging transformation phase was still ongoing.

    Technology transfer from Cham to Italy
    To further improve the competitiveness of our speciality papers, we decided to transfer additional technology from Switzerland to Italy in mid-2014. The associated investment of around CHF 20 million in the Italian mills (of which CHF 13 million in 2014) will lead to a further improvement in productivity and capacity in 2015. The relocation of the coating technology operations currently run in Cham for producing the digital imaging and barrier papers will take place in the first quarter of 2015. The associated restructuring costs for the redundancy scheme and write-downs on facilities in Cham reduced the operating profit for 2014 by CHF 3.1 million. The total net profit for the 2014 financial year came to CHF 1.8 million (previous year: CHF 0.4 million).

    Balance sheet streamlined and equity ratio increased to 53%
    The paper division reduced the level of outstanding customer debts and optimised its warehouses for raw materials and finished products, which led to a reduction of CHF 13 million in tied-up capital. Some of the funds freed up as a result of this were used to pay suppliers earlier, which allowed us to benefit from more favourable purchasing conditions. At the same time, liabilities to banks of CHF 14 million were repaid. The Group had cash reserves of CHF 38 million at the end of the year and is thus free from debt in net terms. The balance sheet total was reduced by around CHF 30 million, while the equity ratio is now a comfortable 52.8% (previous year: 46.3%).

    Town planning study concluded and master plan drawn up
    The future use of the Papieri-Areal in Cham is increasingly taking shape. An assessment panel consisting of experts, representatives of the community of Cham, the Cham Paper Group and various cantonal offices had unanimously recommended following up a project proposal from the study commissioning process at the end of June 2014. The authors of the project were then able to develop their draft into a master plan with a framework for the project. We are now working flat out on the legal groundwork together with the cantonal authorities involved. The electors of the municipality of Cham will vote on rezoning in 2016.

    Interim use intensified and head of the new real estate division appointed
    The buildings and the Papieri-Areal have already come to life, with a total of 73 interim tenants using the space that has become free until the renovation and new construction work begins. The revenue obtained from this will cover a large proportion of the project costs. Andreas Friederich has joined the Cham Paper Group and has been building up an internal real estate team since March 2015. On 1 July 2015 he will become the head of the new real estate division. This division will report directly to the Board of Directors' real estate committee, which consists of Philipp Buhofer and Niklaus Peter Nüesch, as well as external experts.

    New head of the paper division from 1 July 2015
    The Delegate of the Board, Urs Ziegler, who has successfully completed the extensive restructuring of the Cham Paper Group since the end of 2012, will reduce his workload as planned from summer 2015 onwards. Luis Mata, until now the Head of Finance at the Cham Paper Group, will take over the operational management of the paper division as COO from 1 July 2015.

    Proposals to the General Meeting of Shareholders
    The Board of Directors will propose to the General Meeting of Shareholders that an unchanged dividend of CHF 3.00 per share be paid (previous year: CHF 3.00), which will be exempt from capital gains tax for Swiss private investors. All five members of the Board of Directors will also be put forward for re-election.

    Demanding challenges, but strategically well-placed
    The Cham Paper Group is confident regarding the Group's further development. The Paper business unit is well positioned and will benefit from the strong performance characteristics of its products in all markets. At the present time, the strength of the US dollar against the euro is having a detrimental effect on the margin. The real estate division will develop into a strong second pillar for the Group over the next decade.
    (Cham Paper Group Schweiz AG)
    20.03.2015   Model Group: Positive sales and volume increase    ( Company news )

    Company news The Model Group recorded consolidated sales of CHF 709 million in the 2014 fiscal year. This represents an increase of 3% over the previous year. It made investments of CHF 60 million and employed an average of 3,251 people in 2014 (+ 3%). There were 984 employees in Switzerland at the end of 2014.

    The increase in consolidated sales would have corresponded to a 5.4% gain had currency exchange rates remained the same. The devaluation of two currencies, the Ukrainian hryvnia (-30%) and the Czech koruna (-7%), was particularly striking. Almost all of the group's plants contributed to the increase in sales, with the strongest growth coming from corrugated cardboard operations in the Czech Republic, Poland and Croatia.

    Nearly half of the investment volume was channelled into Swiss plants. Measures to reduce costs per manufacturing unit included the construction of a central palletising station, the installation and commissioning of new robotic systems and gluing machines at Model AG in Weinfelden and at Model PrimePac AG in Au (SG), the replacement of a flat-bed die cutter in Moudon and various other automation projects. The long-term renewal programme for the paper machines continued with the channelling of investments into both Swiss paper factories.
    The Model Group is growing faster in Poland and the Czech Republic than the market. Investments were made to increase capacity accordingly.

    Outlook – Switzerland to become a laboratory
    The strong franc is shrinking domestic market production. While this will result in strong purchasing power abroad, it is also causing prices to fall. In order to maintain sales in a shrinking market, Model will make significant investments in innovation and higher productivity, effectively turning Switzerland into a laboratory for the European Model Group.
    (Model AG)
    20.03.2015   Mercer International Inc. Reports Strong 2014 Fourth Quarter and Year End Results    ( Company news )

    Company news Mercer International Inc. (Nasdaq: MERC, TSX: MRI.U) today reported strong results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2014. Operating EBITDA in the fourth quarter of 2014 increased to $71.3 million from $27.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 and $67.6 million in the prior quarter of 2014. For 2014, Operating EBITDA increased markedly to $239.8 million from $110.3 million for 2013.

    For the fourth quarter of 2014, we had net income of $3.2 million, or $0.05 per basic and diluted share, after giving effect to a loss of $28.5 million, or $0.44 per basic and diluted share, on the payout and settlement of our old 2017 9.5% senior notes and Stendal bank credit facilities in connection with our refinancing effected in November 2014, compared to net loss of $9.8 million, or $0.18 per basic and diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2013. For 2014, net income improved to $113.2 million, or $1.82 per basic share and $1.81 per diluted share, from a net loss of $26.4 million, or $0.47 per basic and diluted share, in 2013.
    Total revenues in 2014 increased by approximately 8% to $1,175.1 million from $1,088.4 million in 2013, primarily due to higher pulp revenues and higher energy and chemical revenues.
    Pulp revenues in 2014 increased by approximately 8% to $1,073.6 million from $996.2 million in 2013, due to higher pulp price realizations and higher sales volumes.
    Energy and chemical revenues increased by approximately 10% to $101.5 million in 2014 from $92.2 million in 2013, primarily because of record energy sales volumes resulting from Project Blue Mill coming online at our Stendal mill at the end of 2013.

    President's Comments
    Mr. Jimmy S.H. Lee, President and Chairman, stated: "2014 was a transformative year for us as:
    -We recapitalized our Stendal mill, acquired substantially all of the prior minority shareholder's interest and certain other rights to acquire all of the economic interest in our largest mill and eliminate the minority interest;

    -We paid out and discharged our old 2017 9.5% senior notes and the Stendal bank credit facilities aggregating $835 million, through the issuance of new 2019 7.0% and 2022 7.75% senior notes aggregating $650 million, cash on hand and borrowings under our revolving credit facilities, established a new €75 million revolving credit facility for Stendal and extended the maturity of our Celgar revolving credit facility to 2019 and reduced its borrowing cost (the "Refinancing");

    -We reduced our debt by over $290 million, increased our total equity by over $90 million and as a result have a much improved balance sheet;

    We significantly increased our financial and operational flexibility and simplified our structure by eliminating restrictive covenants within our old Stendal bank credit facilities, reducing our debt, extending the maturity of our long-term debt, enhancing the terms of our revolving credit facilities and eliminating our 'restricted group' structure;

    -We had record pulp production, pulp sales volumes and energy sales volumes; and

    -Through the foregoing, we better positioned ourselves to achieve our overall goals to enhance our business and value for our stakeholders."

    Mr. Lee continued: "For the fourth quarter of 2014, our Operating EBITDA increased by approximately 162% to $71.3 million from $27.2 million in the same quarter of 2013, primarily as a result of the strengthening of the U.S. dollar relative to the Canadian dollar and the Euro, lower per unit fiber costs and lower scheduled maintenance downtime. Compared to the third quarter of 2014, our Operating EBITDA in the fourth quarter of 2014 increased by approximately 5% from $67.6 million, primarily as a result of the strengthening of the U.S. dollar.

    In 2014, Operating EBITDA increased by 117% to $239.8 million from $110.3 million in 2013, primarily as a result of higher pulp prices, lower per unit fiber costs, the strengthening of the U.S. dollar versus the Euro and Canadian dollar and higher energy sales volumes."

    Mr. Lee added: "Our mills generally performed well in the fourth quarter and throughout 2014. In 2014, we achieved a new pulp production record, led by a record production year at our Stendal mill and a near record year at our Rosenthal mill. In the current quarter, pulp sales volumes increased by 1% from the same period of 2013 but declined by 7%, compared to the third quarter of 2014 due to year-end shipping limitations. In 2014, we had record pulp sales volumes which increased by 3% over 2013."

    Mr. Lee continued: "In the current quarter, energy production increased by 8%, compared to the same period of 2013. In addition, our Rosenthal mill's new tall oil plant was completed on time and budget at the end of the fourth quarter of 2014 and will contribute to our by-product revenues."

    Mr. Lee stated: "List pulp prices were essentially flat in the fourth quarter of 2014 due to steady demand in Europe and China. At the end of 2014, list pulp prices in Europe were approximately $935 per ADMT, while list prices in North America and China were approximately $1,020 and $700 per ADMT, respectively. At year end, world producer inventories of NBSK pulp were at about 31 days' supply. We expect steady NBSK demand, driven by customer inventories at normal to low levels and new tissue machines coming online in 2015."

    Mr. Lee continued: "Overall, per unit fiber costs were approximately 14% lower in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to the last quarter of 2013, as a result of lower per unit costs in our German fiber supply markets and the strengthening of the U.S. dollar versus the Euro and the Canadian dollar. Fourth quarter 2014 per unit fiber costs were down 1% from the prior quarter as the strengthening of the U.S. dollar offset an increase in per unit costs. We currently expect our overall per unit fiber costs to be generally flat for the next quarter of 2015, largely as a result of the continuing strengthening of the U.S. dollar versus the Euro and Canadian dollar, offsetting small expected per unit cost increases."

    Mr. Lee concluded: "As our operating costs are primarily incurred in Euros and Canadian dollars and our principal product, NBSK pulp, is quoted in U.S. dollars, our business and operating margins materially benefit from the current strengthening of the U.S. dollar. Our energy and chemical sales are made in local currencies and as a result decline in U.S. dollar terms when the U.S. dollar strengthens. Going forward, while we will continue to benefit from a stronger U.S. dollar, it will be partially offset as in 2015 the rapid strengthening of the U.S. dollar has put downward pressure on pulp prices as a stronger U.S. dollar increases costs to our European and Asian customers."
    (Mercer International Inc.)
    20.03.2015   Valmet to supply key technology to Metsä Fibre's Äänekoski bioproduct mill project    ( Company news )

    Company news Valmet and Metsä Fibre have signed a letter of intent according to which Valmet will deliver key technology to Metsä Fibre's planned Äänekoski bioproduct mill in Finland. The letter of intent covers recovery boiler, pulp drying line, gasification plant, and lime kiln deliveries. The delivery also includes a mill wide Metso DNA automation system.

    Photo: Bertel Karlstedt, Pulp and Energy Business Line President from Valmet

    The contract is subject to Metsä Fibre's investment decision. Metsä Fibre has announced that if the prerequisites for the investment are met, the decision on the construction of the bioproduct mill will be made during this spring, meaning that production at the new mill would begin in 2017.
    The estimated value of Valmet's anticipated delivery, which includes only the core equipment supplied by Valmet, is about EUR 125-150 million.
    "This technology delivery for the Metsä Fibre Äänekoski project is a good sign of Valmet's competiveness and technological innovativeness. We are delighted to be able to continue our good and long cooperation with Metsä Group and Metsä Fibre," says Pasi Laine, President and CEO of Valmet.

    Important employment impact
    Valmet's anticipated delivery for Metsä Fibre's planned bioproduct mill will have an important employment impact on Valmet and its subcontractors. The employment impact of Valmet's project delivery is expected to be around 250 man years, out of which half in Finland.
    "In projects like Äänekoski, we can utilize our know-how in pulp and bioproduct technology. In addition to bringing work to us our delivery also employs many other suppliers in the Nordics and Europe for engineering, manufacturing and installation. This delivery would employ Valmet employees especially in Finland, in the cities of Tampere, Ulvila, Jyväskylä and Raisio," says Bertel Karlstedt, Pulp and Energy Business Line President from Valmet.

    Details about Valmet's technology delivery to Metsä Fibre Äänekoski project
    If materialized, the approximately EUR 1.1 billion bioproduct mill planned by Metsä Fibre would be the largest ever investment in the forest industry in Finland. The mill would have an annual pulp production capacity of 1.3 million tonnes.
    Valmet's delivery would include engineering, procurement, supply and construction management of a recovery boiler, a pulp drying line, a lime kiln and a gasification plant.
    The planned recovery boiler has a capacity of 7,200 TDS/d (tonnes dry solids a day). The planned pulp drying line will have a trimmed width of 8.25 meters and a capacity of 2,700 Adt/d (air dry tonnes a day). The planned lime kiln has a capacity of 1,200 t/d and will be operated by renewable fuel provided by 87 MW product gas capacity biomass gasification plant. The gasification plant dries bark and gasifies it to product gas.
    (Valmet Corporation)
    19.03.2015   X-Rite to Demonstrate Color Control at Gulf Print and Pack    ( Company news )

    Company news Company to Highlight Range of Solutions that give Printers End-to-End Color Management

    X-Rite Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary Pantone LLC, announced they are exhibiting at Gulf Print and Pack, the leading event for commercial and package printers in the Middle East and North Africa. X-Rite will be exhibiting in the booth of their Middle East Partner, Phoenix Technologies (Booth #A20). Gulf Print and Pack is taking place April 13 - 16 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai UAE.

    At the event, X-Rite will be collaborating with Mr. Afsal Kottal, Business Director at Phoenix Technologies, to showcase X-Rite’s range of market leading hardware and software solutions developed to maximize end-to-end color control in the print production process. This high level of color control enables commercial and package printers to deliver maximum color consistency to their clients while achieving a higher level of efficiency in their operations.

    At Gulf Print and Pack, X-Rite Pantone will be showing:

    - eXact and eXact Scan – This next generation in handheld color measurement enables printers and packaging converters to truly understand, control, manage and communicate color, avoiding unwanted reprint and rework.

    - i1 Professional Color Management Solutions – A collection of color profiling tools that offer an unprecedented level of flexibility to address the needs of digital imaging workflows. It features a number of unique color management capabilities, giving users power and control in creating professional quality profiles.

    - The Ci64 Ci6x Series Portable Spectrophotometers – The Ci6x family of handheld spectrophotometers — Ci60, Ci62, Ci64 & Ci64UV — enables printers to manage color in all stages of production. These spectrophotometers ensure printers are confident in their color data, regardless of where or when the measurements are collected.

    Simone Viscomi, X-Rite Sales Director, says, “Printers everywhere are under pressure to deliver exceptional work while also controlling costs. X-Rite’s color management solutions help them to succeed at both goals. Rework and customer rejects are greatly reduced because color is ensured at each step of the process. Best of all, the customer receives the color quality they expected. We look forward to joining our partners Phoenix Technologies at the show, and to helping printers in the Gulf region succeed.”
    19.03.2015   MB-System 438 - Intelligent input channel for conventional inserting systems    ( Company news )

    Company news The MB-System 438 has been designed for reading, accumulating and folding personalized mail and stands out for its compact design and simple operation. The documents are either fed by means of a shingling pre-loader or a bulk loader with high stacking capacity.

    The data are matched with a read system that is integrated in the suction feeder. All standard optical codes such as OCR- or OMR, bar code or Datamatrix code can be handled. Before folding, the accumulator assembles a defined, variable number of sheets, which has been determined by means of code reading or a batch counter. The accumulator distinguishes itself through its reliable processing of different numbers of sheets with the same roller setting. It is possible to replenish the paper stack from above or from below.

    The MB-System 438 utilizes the successful fold unit multimaster 38 with four fold plates to ensure a high flexibility when choosing the type of fold. Due to its modular design and wide range of accessories, the fold unit can be adapted to individual requirements. The timed conveyor after the fold unit ensures reliable loading of a downstream inserting system By means of an open interface the MB-System 438 can be connected to inserting systems from other manufacturers for data transmission.
    (MB Bäuerle GmbH)
    19.03.2015   CelluForce: SDTC Funds Development of Oil and Gas Applications from Forest Biomass    ( Company news )

    Company news CelluForce welcomes the announcement by Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) of a contribution of $4.0 million to optimize the extraction process of Nanocrystaline Cellulose (NCC) from dry wood pulp and develop applications for its use in the oil and gas sector. The announcement was made in Quebec City by the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario.

    Photo: René Goguen, Acting President of CelluForce Inc.

    NCC is a fundamental building block of trees that can be extracted from the forest biomass and has unique properties that offer a wide range of potential applications.
    Measured in units as small as nanometres, these tiny structures have strength properties comparable to steel and will have uses in a variety of industrial sectors.
    In particular, NCC is touted as having the potential to significantly advance the oil and gas industry.
    “Our Government is positioning Canada as a global leader in the clean technology sector by supporting innovative projects aimed at growing our economy while contributing to a cleaner environment,” said the Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “
    By developing our resources responsibly, exploring next-generation transportation and advancing clean energy technology, the projects announced will create jobs and improve innovation opportunities in Quebec and across Canada.”
    “World-class research led to the development of this ground breaking extraction process and placed Canada at the leading edge of NCC research”, stated René Goguen, Acting President of CelluForce Inc. “This announcement by SDTC sets the stage for the pre-commercial
    development of applications that will not only support Canada’s forest sector but also the oil and gas sector, both of which are important drivers of the Canadian economy.”
    This project will further improve and optimize the process developed by CelluForce to extract nanocrystalline cellulose (CelluForce NCC™) from dry wood pulp. In addition to improving the extraction process, this project will investigate additional applications for the oil- and
    - gas industry such as cementing using this renewable forestry resource.
    19.03.2015   The 4th China (Guangzhou) International Biomass Energy Exhibition 2015    ( Company news )

    Company news Date: August 18th-20th, 2015
    Venue: China Import & Export Fair Pazhou Complex (Area B)

    Guangzhou International Biomass Energy Exhibition (CNIBEE), a theme exhibition of China (Guangzhou) International New Energy Industry Expo, has gained government support and drawn public attention since the very beginning. It respectively attracted nearly 70 and 119 exhibitors in 2012 and 2013, and in 2014 the exhibitors reached the highest record with 10,000 square meters of exhibition area. At present, CNIBEE has been developed into Asia’s most professional and influential platform for promotion and trading.

    With the concerted efforts of government, representatives from different fields, media and organizing committee, Guangzhou International Biomass Energy Exhibition 2014 (CNIBEE 2014)was successfully held at China Import & Export Fair Pazhou Complex. The exhibition attracted more than 140 exhibitors and over 17,000 purchasers and has received close attention and broadcast from more than 300 media both at home and abroad, reached a new high.

    Covering an area of 12000 square meters, CNIBEE2015 will occupy larger exhibition space, and make greater efforts in cooperation with various media for publicity. It is estimated that about 260 exhibitors and nearly 30,000 professional visitors will participate in this unprecedented event. CNIBEE not only leads China’s biomass energy industry, but also creates a global trading platform for this industry.
    Let us look forward to CNIBEE 2015. Creating a new miracle in biomass industry together!
    (Guangzhou Grandeur Exhibition Services Co.,Ltd)
    19.03.2015   FILTECH 2015 – The story of growth continues    ( Company news )

    Company news The world of filtration and separation came to Cologne for FILTECH 2015 from 24-26 February. During these three days, over 12,000 participants from 76 countries visited the leading filtration and separation (F&S) event to catch up on innovations and equipment as well as related cutting-edge products and services displayed at the show. The reported number of contacts and the deals made at FILTECH 2015 clearly marked a willingness to invest and reflected the positive market development in the F&S sector. The show featured 320 exhibitors and was accompanied by a 3-day conference that attracted close to 500 experts and all those interested in the latest F&S research from around the globe.

    With an increase of exhibitors by 15% and total participants by 30%, FILTECH reaffirms its claim to be the largest Filtration Show world-wide. FILTECH also successfully extended its range and featured many closely associated industries, among these were adhesive applications, plasma treatment technologies, cutting, ultrasonic welding and sewing innovations as well as special machinery e.g. for additive manufacturing.

    52% of the visitors travelled to Cologne from outside Germany to learn what’s new in the market, making FILTECH an intercultural experience. (Western Europe 30,4%, Asia 7,6%, Eastern Europe 7,3%, North/South America 4,3, Middle East 1,9%). The experts came from 76 nations and all continents – they even travelled to Cologne from Kazastan, Jordan, Kenya and Quatar. A substantial increase was registered in the number of trade visitors from Turkey, Poland, Italy, USA, France, Israel, Japan and India.

    Exhibitors reported that visitors to FILTECH 2015, showed an extremely high willingness to invest. Exhibitors particularly highlighted the the even wider international spread of visitors (52% foreign visitors of which 32,1% came from overseas) and their great specialist expertise plus the fact that an extraordinary high number of top managers (36% top executives) travelled to FILTECH 2015.

    For many years now, FILTECH is an indispensible trade Show for catching up on newest products and developments, cultivating contacts and generating business. Once more, these expectations were fulfilled - exhibitors, delegates and organizers are highly satisfied with the outcome of the event.

    Next FILTECH will be held 11.-13. October 2016 again in Cologne.
    (Filtech Exhibitions Germany)
    19.03.2015   Global Forest and Paper Industry Celebrates International Day of Forests    ( Company news )

    The theme of the 2015 United Nations International Day of Forests is “Forests and Climate Change.” The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) is proud to represent the global forest products industry and its commitment to climate change mitigation all along the value chain.

    “Trees, especially those in well-managed forests, absorb carbon dioxide,” said ICFPA President Donna Harman. “Carbon dioxide remains stored when trees are used to make forest products, and that storage can be prolonged through recycling.”

    In addition, the forest products industry plays an important role in contributing to the production of renewable energy and reducing dependence on fossil fuels by using residuals and byproducts to produce much of the energy required for its operations. These residuals and byproducts, known as biomass, are carbon neutral when combusted for energy, according to the international carbon accounting principle.

    Through process and product innovation, the forest products industry is providing a wide range of new sustainable bio-based products that benefit society.

    The ICFPA represents more than 30 national and regional forest and paper associations around the world. Together, ICFPA members represent over 90 percent of global paper production and half of global wood production.
    (ICFPA International Council of Forest and Paper Associations)
    18.03.2015   Parajett Chooses Ricoh Pro™ VC60000 next generation continuous ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... feed inkjet platform to shape future

    Picture: From left to right: Peter Williams - Executive Vice President Production Printing Business Group Ricoh Europe, Yasuhiko Hosoe - Corporate Associate Vice President, General Manager Business Strategy Center Production Printing Business Division, Anders Persson - CEO Parajett, Tommy Segelberg - Director Printing Business Group Nordic Operations

    Parajett, one of the largest printers in Scandinavia, based in Sweden,is yet another print service provider to order the new Ricoh Pro™ VC60000 continuous feed production inkjet.

    Parajett, located in Landskrona, Sweden, an IT specialist and provider of direct response marketing promotional production for commercial clients, has also ordered a Ricoh ProTM C9110.

    It is often at the forefront of market evolution. Keen to further enhance its expertise in the print production market, AndersPersson, CEO of Parajett, recognised the potential offered by the Ricoh Pro VC60000. He was also confident that it would deliver the quality and performance expected and adoption would be smooth thanks to many of its market leading features.

    "Parajett has seen the future of graphic arts production,” He says: “And we are investing in it. We are confident that Ricoh's Pro VC 60000 will meet all our demands, for a versatile production platform, delivering outstanding print quality, that can adapt and grow with Parajett. This is why we placed this order with Ricoh that initially comprises one duplex system line.”

    Parajett uses both offset and digital technologies. Mr Perssoncontinues: “Right from the beginning our focus was on unique and personalised documents. Today we produce individual offers or information to each receiver and the Ricoh Pro VC60000 will help us continue to offer that high quality service.”

    “The versatile colour Ricoh Pro VC60000 was chosen by Parajett for its print quality and its ability to deliver a strong return on investment,” says Tommy Segelberg, Ricoh PPBG, Director Nordic Operations.

    “Also the fact it will allow Parajett to print with ink rather than toner and on a wider range of stock, particularly heavier grammages, will enable the business to expand its service capabilities,” continues Mr Segelberg.

    It is powered by the TotalFlow Print Server R600A, Ricoh’s own Digital Front End, developed to meet the needs of demanding graphic arts environments and applications. With Ricoh-developed long-lasting print heads and high viscosity pigment inks, it achieves a physical resolution of up to 1200x1200 dpi with dynamic variable drop size within each pixel to provide significant additional perceived print quality. It can run at nearly 100,000 A4 images per hour and provides support for uncoated, coated offset, digital, treated and recycled papers.

    Parajett’s investment also includes an undercoat unit to enable it to print on a broad variety of media, including offset coated stocks; a protector coat unit to deliver durable “scratch & scuff resistance” on coated paper; and a hot air knife dryer that ensures that ink dries quickly, in a power-efficient manner.

    The Ricoh Pro C9110 durable high volume digital colour press is the fastest press in is class with a production speed of 130ppm. It has a duty cycle of 1.75 million coupled with the ability to print on textured substrates and media up to 400 gsm, including textured stocks, specialty media such as super-gloss, magnet, metallic, transparent or synthetic, at full rated speed. Its new toner delivers a larger colour gamut and it can offer a 700mm print length for banners, a wide range of finishing options and the ability to integrate third-party options. The press uses VCSEL technology to produce 1200×4800 dpi output.

    The Ricoh Pro VC60000 will receive its first public showing at Hunkeler Innovationdays, 23-26 February, Lucerne, Switzerland.
    (Ricoh Europe PLC)
    18.03.2015   Vacon's AC drives helped save 24 hours of global electricity production in 2014     ( Company news )

    Company news Global AC drives manufacturer Vacon estimates that its products helped save approximately 62 TWh of energy in 2014. Also, the amount of energy produced last year from renewable energy sources with Vacon's AC drives was approximately 25 TWh.

    Photo: Vesa Laisi, Vacon's President and CEO

    About 62 TWh (55 TWh in 2013) of electrical energy was saved last year with the help of Vacon AC drives. This corresponds to the amount of energy produced by approximately eleven 700-MW nuclear power reactors in a year, or the annual electricity consumption of approximately 13.8 million households in Europe. This also corresponds to approximately 24 hours of the world's annual electrical energy generation1.
    In addition, in 2014, the amount of energy produced with the help of Vacon's AC drives from renewable energy sources was approximately 25 TWh (22 TWh in 2013). This corresponds to the annual electricity consumption of approximately 5.5 million households in Europe, or approximately 9.5 hours of the world's entire annual electrical energy generation1.
    An AC drive adjusts the speed of an electric motor according to the real process need, which typically reduces energy consumption by 20-50%. According to studies, the payback time of AC drives has continuously shortened. For example, in pump and fan applications the payback time can even be less than one year. In addition, AC drives technology can also be used for power conversion in renewable energy applications.
    "Vacon has delivered AC drives since 1995. From the technological perspective, AC drives will be more energy efficient and offer better performance in the future. Competing or substitute technical solutions do not exist for AC drives and are not within sight," says Vesa Laisi, Vacon's President and CEO.
    (Vacon Plc)
    18.03.2015   X-Rite showcases the new Ci7x00 Spectrophotometer at the European Coatings SHOW 2015    ( Company news )

    Company news New Ci7x00 Spectrophotometer joins other solutions that ensure color consistency throughout the supply chain

    X-Rite Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary Pantone LLC, announced they are exhibiting at the European Coatings SHOW taking place 21 April - 23 April, 2015 in Nuremberg, Germany. From their stand in Hall 5, 5-448, X-Rite Pantone will be highlighting their new Ci7600/7800Spectrophotometers, the next generation benchtop spectrophotometers that keeps pace with industry demands by ensuring color quality and accuracy across the supply chain.

    Increasingly, paint is manufactured and mixed for distribution on a global basis. This global distribution also comes at a time when the demand for custom color is also increasing. To ensure the quality of these colors throughout the supply chain, paint manufactures have relied on benchtop spectrophotometers. But older spectrophotometers can be difficult to configure, and many have become contaminated with dust or paint. The operator is often unaware of these issues, resulting inconsistencies along the supply chain.

    To solve this challenge, X-Rite has introduced the Ci7x00 benchtop Spectrophotometer Series. When used in conjunction with other X-Rite solutions, the Ci7x00 gives paint manufactures an automated, software-driven set-up that assures consistent configuration across all locations in the global supply chain. The Ci7600/7800 spectrophotometers not only measure color quality, they also measure important details on the condition of the devices and the environment at the time of measurement. This critical information is provided in an audit trail that gives paint manufactures a level of quality assurance that was not previously available to them.

    In addition to the Ci7x00 Series, X-Rite will also be showing their range of color measurement instruments that let paint manufacturers ensure their specifications and tolerances are met the first time, and every time. These include:

    • The MA9X Multi-Angle Instrument family of hand-held spectrophotometers. These instruments give users the ability to easily, accurately, and consistently measure traditional and special effect paints and coatings, including the multi-angle spectrophotometer MA98 that measures coatings with special effects. This is the only device that meets the ASTM Standard E2539 for the measurement of interference pigments.

    • The Color Viewing Booth QC Spectra Light, which offers more standardized light sources than any other visual quality control solution. Also featured will be the compact light cabin Judge II. This compact visual color evaluation system provides the closest fluorescent daylight simulation available.

    • NetProfiler 3 is the software solution that verifies, optimizes, and certifies handheld and benchtop spectrophotometers used in the supply chain at locations around the world.

    • The spectrocolorimeter RM200QC, which compares colors of laboratory samples or coated surfaces with reference standards. This instrument can also create reports that can be transmitted to the other partners in the supply chain.

    • The noncontact benchtop VS450, which measures color and gloss measurements on dry and wet samples.

    • Color iMatch, the intelligent software used for the formulation of paints. Color iMatch enables quick, accurate color analysis to optimize each recipe for cost and color accuracy.

    In addition, PANTONE® Color Trends and libraries will also be showcased, along with variety of special licensing arrangements designed for the paints and coatings industry.

    Francesco Tomasello, Vice President of European Sales for X-Rite Pantone, “The industry continues to grow and adapt to the challenges of a global market place. Our new Ci7600/7800 spectrophotometers are an example of how X-Rite Pantone’s solutions keep pace with this trend.

    They provide users with an updated solution that not only ensures the accuracy of the color, but also ensure the accuracy of the instruments that are measuring the color. We look forward to showing users their capabilities, along with our other powerful color quality solutions at the European Coatings SHOW.”
    (X-Rite Europe GmbH)
    18.03.2015   Seamless counterfeit protection for mechanical and plant engineering with SECUTAG    ( Company news )

    Company news 3S Simons Security Systems GmbH at Hannover Messe 2015

    3S Simons Security Systems GmbH will be presenting its wide range of industry solutions relating to the counterfeit protection system SECUTAG at this year's Hannover Messe. Direct product protection with SECUPRODUCT, which can be easily and cost-effectively integrated with other systems, is a central focus of 3S at the world's biggest industrial trade show. Another key area is the combination of traceability and counterfeit protection. Therefore, SECUDATA combines the logistic advantages of different traceability codes and counterfeit protection provided by micro colour codes. Moreover, 3S will be showcasing a wide range of printing solutions, including security labels, closures (originality and tamper-proof protection), labels and stickers for different applications. In cooperation with ten technology providers of VDMA's Working Group 'Product and Know-How Protection', 3S will show a demonstrator for the packaging of spare parts and components which visualises proof of authenticity, online verification and traceability. The expert for legally binding counterfeit protection will be presenting its wide range of products and solutions at Hannover Messe, in hall 8, stand no. D08, from 13 - 17 April 2015.

    Joint demonstrator: Product Protection for Industry 4.0
    Plagiarism poses an ever-growing risk to industry and trade. Counterfeit products do not only endanger the safety of employees and customers, but they also might result in product liability claims and court proceedings - the outcome of which is often uncertain to the companies affected. This is why 3S and 10 members of the Working Group 'Product and Know-How Protection' will present a joint demonstrator for spare parts and components packaging in Hannover. Visitors can see and experience how a product is coded individually and equipped with security features and how its packaging is sealed. The combination of tracking and anti-counterfeiting makes sure that each product can be tracked at any time, while protecting it on its way to the customer. This approach shows that effective protective measures can keep counterfeit products from entering the production and logistics chains. The result: comprehensive product protection for Industry 4.0. Such a protection strategy will not only reduce control costs along the supply chain, but it will also strengthen the corporate image of brand manufacturers as guarantors for premium quality products because the use of the counterfeit protection system can be communicated to the public. The demonstrator can be seen in hall 8, stand D08 (joint stand of the VDMA's Working Group 'Products and Know-How Protection').

    Economic damage caused by product piracy
    Product piracy causes immense damage to the economy as a whole. More than 70 percent of German engineering firms are affected by product piracy, their economic losses amount to 7.9 billion a year. The People's Republic of China is the unchallenged Number 1 among the manufacturing countries, followed by plagiarism from Germany (23 percent). However, the risks to consumers should also be taken into account, because counterfeit products can pose a significant public health threat. Consumers are thus confronted with windscreens of inferior quality, faulty motor vehicle steering systems, drugs without active ingredients and hazardous chemical substances in textiles, cosmetics and toys. "Counterfeit protection is consumer protection. Given the dangers arising from plagiarism, the consumer should be able to unambiguously identify the original product, in particular if it affects people's health or lives," says Rolf Simons, founder and CEO of 3S.

    Direct product protection with SECUPRODUCT
    In mechanical and plant engineering, 3S' industry solution SECUPRODUCT provides the legally binding proof of identity for individual parts such as aggregates, compressors or ball bearings, as well as for spare parts and precision tools. In the automotive and aircraft industry it helps to protect products from component suppliers, such as brake pads and filters, against counterfeiting. SECUPRODUCT can be meticulously and precisely applied onto nearly all solid matters, among which metals, synthetics, paper-products, glass, alloys and textile fabrics. The product's authenticity can be checked by means of a standard pen microscope with 100x magnification. This means costly investments in skilled labour and technical equipment as well as time-consuming verification procedures are no longer required. The system is quickly integrated into all production processes; costly changes are not necessary - a very important consideration because even in the field of counterfeit protection it is essential that expenses and costs remain at manageable levels.

    Counterfeit-proof traceability with SECUDATA
    SECUDATA combines the logistic advantages of traceability systems (e.g. data matrix and RFID) and counterfeit protection by means of micro colour codes. Both codes are applied onto the product, its primary or secondary packaging, labels and closures. Thanks to the micro colour code both the traceability code and the product are protected against counterfeiting in a manner that cannot be legally contested. First, the traceability code is checked in databases. But only by checking the micro colour codes, authenticity of the traceability codes and the product are proven beyond doubt. This way, SECUDATA ensures seamless security along the entire supply chain, from suppliers via those involved in production, all the way to the retailers and end-customers.
    OTF security label protects against tampering and counterfeiting
    Further exhibition highlights includes 3S' printing solutions. The OTF security label ensures that online terminals used for cashless payment transactions, for example, are protected against tampering and unauthorised access. The advantage of this closure is that it is based on the Secure-ID technology and can be removed without leaving any residue. In contrast to Void films, adhesive residues, which might contaminate the protected device, are thus avoided. Fressnapf Tiernahrungs GmbH, the leading supplier of pet food and supplies, is one of 3S' customers who uses the OTF security label in its German stores to secure its online terminals for cashless transactions against unauthorized access.

    High-security label incorporating hologram technology
    Moreover, 3S will be presenting a security label incorporating hologram technology. Micro colour codes SECUTAG and additional variable security features were used to create a high security label. The hologram consists of a PET film with an incorporated micro colour code. It can be optionally equipped with a void effect. The wide portfolio of add-on security features includes the holographic tilt effect with changing images, sequential numbering and security cuts which make it impossible for the label to be removed without causing irreversible damage. Space for the company logo may also be integrated in the surface film of the PET label. It is also possible to implement traceability codes.

    INGUN uses SECUTAG for legally binding packaging
    Constance-based INGUN GmbH is the world's leading supplier of testing equipment. INGUN has chosen the legally binding micro colour code technology SECUTAG for protecting the packaging of its contact pins that are used for checking the PCBs of mobile phones. For this purpose, specific closure seals, that contain both technical data and the micro colour code particles, are affixed crosswise over all four sides of the box. The pins are thus clearly identified as originals, unauthorized opening of the box would be discovered immediately. The labels can be applied without changing the manufacturing and packaging process.
    (3S Simons Security Systems GmbH)
    18.03.2015   MEET 270 INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES, NEXT OCTOBER, IN LUCCA (ITALY)!    ( Company news )

    Company news Next October in Lucca 270 International Exhibitors will show their latest innovations in terms of machinery, equipment, technologies and services. At MIAC Exhibition you can meet, in just 3 days and in one place, the leader companies in the paper industry sector.

    MIAC 2015 (22nd edition) is an international meeting point which allows you to compare technologies and business proposals of several companies present at the Exhibition. Participate in MIAC 2015 means being part of the 5,000 visitors who every year, in October, come in Lucca from all over the world (last year's MIAC Exhibition registered the presence of visitors from 54 Countries).
    We are looking forward to welcoming you. Please save the date!
    (Edinova Srl)
    17.03.2015   Lower greenhouse emissions: New cogeneration plant at Sofidel America's Haines plant    ( Company news )

    Company news Sofidel has taken further steps to reduce its greenhouse emissions.
    Sofidel America's plant based in Haines, Florida, has commissioned a new cogeneration plant (CHP - Combined Heat and Power). By turning to a less polluting source of energy, such as methane gas, whilst simultaneously producing both heat and energy, CO2 emissions can be reduced and energy costs can also be cut.
    (Cellynne Paper Manufacturer)
    17.03.2015   Catalyst announces resignation of VP, Finance & CFO    ( Company news )

    Company news Catalyst Paper Corporation (TSX:CYT) announced that Brian Baarda (photo), Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer, has decided to leave the company to advance his career in a more senior leadership role with another organization.

    “Brian has made a tremendous contribution to Catalyst since joining the company 25 years ago," says Joe Nemeth, President & Chief Executive Officer. "During his tenure, Brian held key leadership positions in both operations and finance, and played a critical role in many major projects and initiatives, including the recent acquisition of two US mills. We thank Brian for his substantial contributions over the years and wish him all the best in his future endeavours."

    Mr. Baarda has agreed to remain with Catalyst until April 15, 2015, to assure a smooth transition as the search for his replacement is underway.
    (Catalyst Paper Corporation)
    17.03.2015   GE and Kemira Create Global Alliance to Bring Water Technology to the Pulp and Paper Industry    ( Company news )

    Company news GE (NYSE: GE) and Kemira announced a formal distribution agreement, which combines GE's advanced water technology with Kemira’s on-site services to deliver a seamless offering to the global pulp and paper industry.

    For the first time, GE’s newest and most advanced boiler and utility area cooling product technologies as well as membrane cleaning chemistry and the entire chemistry water portfolio is now available to the pulp and paper industry. Also included are the remote monitoring and diagnostics products—including the InSight* Knowledge Management Solution and TrueSense*—and Novus* polymers for wastewater treatment. Pulp and paper manufacturers also will have access to experts at GE’s Service Reliability Center for 24-hour monitoring and support, all backed by both GE and Kemira on-site expertise.

    “Kemira has long been recognized as a technology leader, supplying process, functional and bleaching chemistry solutions to producers of pulp, packaging and board, tissue and towel and printing and writing grades globally. This makes Kemira an ideal partner to bring GE’s water products and services to the paper industry and now positions Kemira with the broadest technical and product portfolio in the industry,” said Billy Ford, senior vice president, paper, Kemira. “After a successful 18-month pilot program with GE in the Americas, we have increased the scope of our alliance to offer a comprehensive water treatment solution to the global pulp and paper market.”

    “Pulp and paper mills use vast amounts of water to create an end product while also generating considerable wastewater. GE is eager to bring our water solutions to the pulp and paper industry, and Kemira is well-positioned to bring our advanced technologies to their customers,” said Kevin Cassidy, chemical and monitoring solutions general manager—water and process technologies for GE Power & Water.
    (GE Power and Water)
    17.03.2015   Scheufelen adds packaging board to premium range    ( Company news )

    Company news The latest development from Scheufelen, the world’s leading manufacturer of coated premium papers, is called phoenolux. The phoenolux brand, a wood-free packaging board with outstanding technical qualities that is triple-coated on one side, heralds an expansion into high-quality packaging and graphic applications.

    phoenolux silk high white impresses with its elegant appearance, alluring haptic appeal and exceptional printability on both coated and uncoated sides. Numerous print tests prove that, in addition to being the whitest of all packaging boards, phoenolux benefits from excellent abrasion resistance and optimises embossing and scoring during final processing. High machine speeds and a smooth print run can be
    achieved thanks to its perfect runability and outstanding drying properties. The chromium sulphate board owes its exceptional features to its high proportion of long fibres.

    phoenolux is FSC certified and is available from Papierfabrik Scheufelen GmbH + Co. KG in grammages ranging from 220 g/m² to 300 g/m².
    (Papierfabrik Scheufelen GmbH + Co. KG)
    17.03.2015   Wow factor for out of the box packaging redefined at Cosmopack    ( Company news )

    Company news Mimaki stages European debut of the CFL-605RT Compact Flatbed for short run cosmetics packaging at stand C9-D8 in Hall 20

    Packaging production has been given its very own makeover by Mimaki, and the results, along with the market’s latest looks, will be revealed at Cosmopack, part of the 48th Cosmoprof, being staged on March 20-23 in Bologna, Italy. Mimaki will be located in Hall 20, stand C9-D8 at the show. Solutions on display will address the need to create stunning cosmetics packaging that stand out on the shelf, while at the same time taking cost out of the manufacturing and distribution supply chain by enabling affordable shorter runs, more customized packaging and faster time to market. Unique to these solutions is the ability to print awesome imagery and labeling directly onto cylindrical objects as well as creating beautiful folding cartons ready for the final folding/gluing/packing process.

    Mimaki, the global industry leader and manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and cutting plotters, will highlight how efficient, high quality creasing and cutting on packaging board is made possible with Europe’s first showing of the new Mimaki CFL-605RT Compact Flatbed Cutter. This solution delivers cost-effective designs, smoothly and quickly, for even the shortest runs. Moreover, this outstanding flatbed cutter facilitates a fast and free-flowing design process that promotes creative results and a fast route to market with immediate finishing of packaging and packaging prototypes using multiple functions in an all-in-one approach to the needs of agencies, designers, brand owners and converters.

    Flexible solution for the volatile fashion cycle
    “Packaging design has never been so flexible,” states Mike Horsten, General Manager Marketing EMEA at Mimaki Europe. “Creativity is no longer restrained by long cycles of design, approval, implementation and production. Shorter runs, versioning and promotions can now be supported by highly flexible manufacturing technologies that aid a significantly faster route to market. Highly responsive production techniques also eliminate storage requirements and support more imaginative design implementation on an increasingly wider array of substrates. Mimaki’s portfolio has not only been designed to transform the final product, but also to help create a more attractive end-to-end supply chain that saves both time and costs.”

    A print solution for any packaging design
    Mimaki will also demonstrate how short run on-demand printing of premium, high end and luxury items is made possible by the compact desktop Mimaki UJF-3042. It offers unrivalled versatility and high quality print reproduction on a wide range of materials, products and substrates. An enhanced level of creativity is offered by the kebab option that allows 360° direct printing on cylindrical items, including glass and plastic containers. “You have to see this to believe it, the packages are virtually jumping into the consumer’s shopping cart,” Horsten adds.

    All of the capabilities of the Mimaki UJF-3042 are also available in the larger A2 format Mimaki UJF-6042. Both printers allow greater versatility and photo-quality print reproduction on a wide range of materials, objects and substrates. An array of beauty and cosmetics packaging samples will be produced using these printers during the show.

    Carton board packaging will be produced throughout the show by the compact footprint Mimaki JFX200-2513. The latest addition to Mimaki’s family of UV LED flatbed printers, the JFX200-2513 offers a range of inks, including white and clear, that can print on a broad array of substrates.

    Last but not least, silver ink will be used to print metallic labels with Mimaki’s CJV150-75. Thisintegrated printer/cutter from Mimaki can also run orange and light black inks to provide high performance, creativity and versatility. Throughout the show the CJV150-75 will be producing stunning packaging printed on transparent media with silver ink and cut/creased in one integrated process.

    Horsten adds, “Mimaki’s family of solutions supports designers and brand owners who are striving to develop packaging that wows. We have everything from an entry-level machine that allows them to check, simply, quickly and cost effectively, whether or not the design of the packaging hits the marketing sweet spot, all the way to high quality systems that address a broad range of high impact solutions. We have also developed highly versatile machines that support a flexible approach to design and production, allowing brands to be imaginative beyond their wildest dreams and test the water profitably without the commitment of expensive longer runs that take up costly inventory space, incur additional distribution costs and often are discarded due to obsolescence. Our motto is run what you need, when you need it, and change it as often as you want. We are looking forward to showing brand owners and specifiers at Cosmopack how they can give their thinking a make-over, helping bring out a new look of their own.”
    (Mimaki Europe B.V.)
    16.03.2015   KCL Acquires Laboratory to Expand Testing and Analyses Services    ( Company news )

    Company news KCL expanded its portfolio of operational services with the acquisition of the fiber and paper laboratory in Espoo from Labtium Oy

    In early February, the acquired fiber and testing laboratory will be merged with KCL's existing facilities, thus providing both pilot plant and laboratory scale testing in a single centralized location under KCL's supervision.

    KCL is an expert in pilot scale services and will now also be able to offer testing and laboratory analyses to the pulp and paper industry and its suppliers. By centralizing the laboratory services into KCL will bring customers multiple benefits by providing a more diverse portfolio and range of testing services starting from raw material ending up with the printed end product.

    The acquisition of the laboratory enhances testing and quality control of raw material, fibers, paper, board and packaging materials. In addition the laboratory complements KCL's pilot services supporting customers' development of products and processes. Notably, the laboratory will also offer simulation of mill refining, troubleshooting analyses and provides quality assurance material for checking of paper and board testing device and CEPI-comparative testing material.

    "The synergies of this acquisition strengthen and increase our current range of services for our customers. We will continue to provide our world-class services to the forest and chemical industries with both pilot plant and laboratory scale testing. Moreover, the discovery of new, sustainable and innovative products as a result of testing continues and our commitment to nurture and develop our core business will continue," says KCL's Raimo Pollari, Pilot Plant Director.

    KCL's objective is to make cooperation with its customers easy and centralized. "We want to ensure our cooperation with customers as easy as possible by providing all the needed pilot scale and laboratory testing services from the same provider by using the best industry practices and standards that are cost effective and efficient," says Pollari.
    (Oy Keskuslaboratorio-Centrallaboratorium Ab KCL)
    16.03.2015   FINAT launches the European Label Forum 2015    ( Company news )

    Company news Emphasis on knowledge sharing and business relevance

    FINAT, the international association for the self-adhesive label industry, has reshaped and rebranded its annual congress to reflect greater industry collaboration and cooperation. Under its new name, the European Label Forum (ELF) will take place June 11-13 2015, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

    “The annual congress has historically presented key industry updates and insight,” explains Kurt Walker, FINAT President. “However, we want to enhance the value of our annual event for business and opinion leaders from around Europe and beyond. This is why we have chosen to ‘re-brand’ the conference as The European Label Forum. The new format will provide insights to attendees on items of relevance for strategic decision making, by connecting different areas of interest and expertise through dialogue and interaction. Sessions will also map the key transformations reshaping the industry, and in doing should help them to identify the opportunities and challenges. In other words, the ELF will offer a unique source of knowledge, experience and networks key to the strategic success of label businesses in an international business environment.”

    The panel of keynote presenters will furthermore include:
    • Herman van Rompuy, former EU President and Belgian Prime Minister;
    • Rasmus Ankersen, entrepreneur and bestselling management author;
    • Ramses Dingenouts, Senior Packaging & Identity Design Manager at Heineken;
    • Gordon Crichton, Director of the French Procurement Management Institute (MAI).

    There will also be a first-hand preview of the 3rd edition of the FINAT RADAR, the association’s half-yearly market overview to be published after the ELF.

    Parallel Business Streams
    One of the novelties in the ELF will be the series of three parallel programme streams on the first day of the conference, offering a choice of top level expert speakers on three areas of expertise: ‘sales and marketing’, ‘technology and manufacturing’ and ‘management and corporate affairs’. Also new will be a plenary workshop that will take the shape of a ‘lean manufacturing game and exercise’ during the closing session of the event.

    “Presenting trends and underscoring market influences is the key role of this event, but the value is in truly understanding how they will impact day-to-day business and shape the future. With topics like ‘the new reality of retailing’, ‘label design that makes products sell more’, ‘competing product decoration technologies’, ‘3D printing business models’, ‘succession planning’ and ‘how to sell your business?’ we are aiming to offer direct business value to a variety of label industry audiences and we are therefore encouraging label printers to consider participating with multiple members of staff to take advantage of this opportunity”, adds Mr. Walker.

    “There will be ample opportunity to network so that delegates can share ideas amongst themselves and leave with a clearer idea of how they can make a difference when they return to their operations. We also believe the ELF will help attendees build new relationships that will enable them to interact with like-minded business leaders beyond the conference, collaborating on new ways of working to ensure a long-term profitable future.”

    The forum will be the stage for presentation of FINAT’s annual awards, too, including the FINAT Label Awards and Recycling Award.
    16.03.2015   Xerium Reports 4Q 2014 Adjusted EBITDA of $29.4 Million, +21%    ( Company news )

    Company news Full Year Results Come in on Track, Improved by 6% over 2013

    Xerium Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:XRM), a leading global provider of industrial consumable products and services announced its Q4 2014 and full year 2014 results.

    Photo: Harold Bevis, President, CEO

    Q4 2014 Adjusted EBITDA increased 21% compared to Q4 2013 on steady sales and continued cost reduction
    -Adjusted EBITDA for Q4 2014 was $29.4 million, or 22.4% of net sales, on a constant currency basis. This was an increase of 21% compared to Q4 2013, primarily due to constant currency sales improvements and continued cost reduction initiatives implemented by the Company. See "Segment Information" and "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" below.
    -Net sales for Q4 2014 were $131.0 million, an increase of $3.1 million, or 2.3% compared to Q4 2013 on a constant currency basis. Rolls sales improved 3.9% primarily due to volume increases in North America and Asia while machine clothing sales increased 1.4% resulting from higher South America, Asia and Europe volumes.
    -Q4 orders were strong for both machine clothing and rolls. On a constant currency basis, total orders are up 1% over Q4 of 2013. On a constant currency basis, sequential orders are up 11% over Q3 2014. These orders provide a strong backlog for the Company heading into 2015.
    -Q4 2014 basic earnings per share was $0.72 per share versus Q4 2013 basic earnings per share of $0.22 per share. The increase of $0.50 per share was primarily driven by higher sales volumes, continued cost reductions, and lower restructuring costs.
    -Excluding non-recurring items such as restructuring costs, deferred tax valuation allowance reversals, basic adjusted earnings per share was $0.43 in Q4 2014, compared to $0.16 in Q4 2013, an increase of 169%. See "Basic Adjusted Earnings Per Share" below.
    -Q4 2014 gross profit was $52.8 million, or 40.3% of net sales, compared to $49.1 million, or 36.7% of net sales in Q4 2013. Machine clothing gross margin improved to 42.3% in Q4 2014 from 38.5% in Q4 2013, and roll covers gross margin improved to 36.8% in Q4 2014, from a gross margin of 33.6% in Q4 2013. These improvements are a direct result of continued cost reductions and operational excellence programs, lower 2014 quality costs and improved product mix.
    -Selling, general and administrative and research and development (SG&A) expenses were $32.8 million, or 25.1% of net sales, in Q4 2014, down from Q4 2013 SG&A expenses of $35.0 million, or 26.2% of net sales.

    Full year 2014 Adjusted EBITDA grew 6% compared to full year 2013 Adjusted EBITDA on steady sales and continued cost reduction
    -Adjusted EBITDA for full year 2014 was $116.0 million, or 21.4% of net sales. This was an increase of 6% compared to 2013, on a constant currency basis, primarily due to continued cost reduction initiatives implemented by the Company.
    -Full year 2014 sales were $542.9 million, an increase of $1.7 million, or 0.3%, compared to the full year 2013, on a constant currency basis. Rolls sales improved 1.7% primarily due to mechanical services and roll cover increases in North America, which were partially offset by machine clothing decreases of (0.4%).
    -Full year 2014 basic loss per share was $(0.48) per share versus full year 2013 basic earnings per share of $0.27 per share. The decrease of $(0.75) per share was primarily driven by the Company's Q3 2014 Brazil tax settlement of $(1.49) per share.
    -Excluding non-recurring items such as restructuring costs, deferred tax valuation allowance reversals, the Brazil tax settlement charge and plant start up costs, basic adjusted earnings per share was $1.58 for full year 2014, compared to $1.23 for full year 2013, an increase of 28.5%.
    -Full year 2014 gross profit was $215.8 million, or 39.7% of net sales, compared to $209.6 million, or 38.3% of net sales for the full year of 2013. Machine clothing gross margin improved to 41.6% for the full year of 2014 from 39.2% for the full year of 2013, which was a direct result of continued cost reductions and operational excellence programs. Roll covers gross margin came in at 36.5% for the full year of 2014, down slightly from gross margin of 36.8% for the full year of 2013, due to unfavorable product mix in Europe partially offset by savings related to the Heidenheim, Germany plant closure in 2014.
    -Selling, general and administrative and research and development (SG&A) expenses were $137.4 million, or 25.3% of net sales for full year 2014, down from full year 2013 SG&A expenses of $141.4 million, or 25.9% of net sales.

    CEO Comments
    "Xerium performed exceptionally well this quarter, with improved sales volume, significant margin expansion and a substantial improvement in Adjusted EBITDA over Q4 2013," said Harold Bevis, President and CEO of Xerium Technologies, Inc. "The global pulp, paper board and tissue market is growing and transforming. Graphical grades and mature markets are declining, while GDP grades and emerging markets are growing. Xerium is pursuing these growth opportunities by re-aligning our global operational footprint and product lineup. We are increasing our industry-leading innovation program, with machine automation solutions and approximately 100 new patents in process. We are underway with the investment program to grow sales in the future, with both the new machine clothing plant in Ba Cheng and the new roll covering and service plant in Corlu, Turkey. The construction of both plants is well underway and we expect to begin production in both plants in Q3 of 2015. In addition, we announced the expansion of two roll and service plants in Griffin, Georgia and Neenah, Wisconsin to broaden both our mechanical service offerings and product offerings."

    Significant investment and repositioning sales growth programs are underway
    Xerium is repositioning its sales growth profile. Specific measurable programs are aimed at growth markets, mechanical services and machine automation, and will enable higher growth and profit rates in the future. Some programs require capital investment and some do not.

    Cost reduction programs remain on track
    Xerium is repositioning its cost profile towards low-cost countries and low-cost operations. We have 16 primary cost programs underway, including plant closures and operational excellence programs directed at waste, quality, productivity, procurement initiatives and a lean SG&A program. As a result of these efforts, total cost savings for Q4 2014 were $7.6 million. Cost savings for the full year of 2014 were approximately $25 million, which represents a total of approximately $48 million in cost reduction savings in 2013 and 2014. In January of 2015, we announced two plant expansion projects in our roll cover and mechanical services business. 2015 cost reduction programs are expected to approximate $20 million.

    Market Outlook
    Global demand for pulp and paperboard is expected to grow at a rate between 0% and 1% in 2015. There is, however, expected to be a shift in global markets with expected declines in North America and increases in Asia, Europe and South America. Both fiber cement and nonwoven markets are global and growing, with 75%-80% of these markets existing outside of the United States. Xerium is positioning itself in developing markets with the new machine clothing plant in Ba Cheng, China and the new roll and service plant in Corlu, Turkey.

    2015 Outlook
    Xerium will continue to focus on cost reduction and operational leadership programs, and our longer term plan includes several sales growth initiatives, including adding new capacity at machine clothing and rolls plants, investing in emerging markets and coming to market with a host of new products. This balance between base market maintenance, focused sales growth, and continuous cost reduction is expected to add additional Adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow in the upcoming years which we expect will allow us to pay down over half of our debt by the end of 2020.
    2014 was a very successful year for Xerium. Our 6% increase in Adjusted EBITDA was attributable to maintaining our market share and realizing cost savings related to cost-out actions. The Company spent approximately $65 million on capital expenditures and restructuring activities during 2014. We expect to spend $59 million on these activities in 2015. Free Cash Flow is expected to be positive by $5-10 million and net debt will be relatively unchanged due to the addition of capital leases, primarily related to the China facility. Our Turkey rolls plant is expected to begin production in April, 2015 and we expect to begin production in our new China machine clothing plant in Q3 2015. While we expect to continue to take out costs in 2015 and expect to add approximately 1% of ex-currency top line growth, inflation is expected to limit Adjusted EBITDA growth to $4 million in 2015.

    CFO Comments
    EVP and Chief Financial Officer, Cliff Pietrafitta said: "Q4 2014 constant currency net sales were 2.3% above Q4 2013. Constant currency rolls net sales increased by 3.9% from Q4 2013, primarily driven by an increase of 6.1% in North America, an increase of 12.2% in Asia and an increase of 23.8% in South America. These increases were partially offset by a decline of (3.6)% in Europe. Constant currency machine clothing sales increased by 1.4% from Q4 2013, primarily driven by an increase of 4.3% in Europe, an increase of 12.8% in South America and an increase of 4.1% in Asia. These increases were partially offset by a decrease of (7.5)% in North America."

    Income from operations in Q4 2014 increased by $9.8 million, to $17.5 million from $7.7 million, due to increased gross margins, reductions in SG&A and reduced restructuring expenses. Improved gross margins and reductions in SG&A were driven primarily by our restructuring initiatives and operational excellence programs. Adjusted EBITDA in Q4 2014 was $29.4 million, or 22.4% of net sales.
    During the fourth quarter we continued to take costs out of the business with quarterly savings of $7.6 million and full year savings of approximately $25 million. The Company spent approximately $17 million of cash on capital expenditures and restructuring costs in Q4 2014. For the full year, we spent approximately $65 million in both of these areas.
    As of December 31, 2014, we had an aggregate of $40.3 million available for additional borrowings under our Credit Facility and smaller lines of credit and our cash balances totaled $9.5 million. YTD 2014 free cash flow (defined as cash-flow from operations less capital expenditures) decreased $(30.3) million to $(38.3) million from $(8.0) million in 2013, primarily as a result of the $25 million Brazilian tax payment made in Q3 of 2014, 2014 restructuring activities, working capital increases and increased capital expenditures.
    (Xerium Technologies Inc.)
    16.03.2015   Norske Skog: Improved competitive position and robust business units    ( Company news )

    Company news Already announced capacity cuts in the industry should lead to an improved market balance for newsprint and magazine paper. In a very demanding market, our capacity utilisation in the fourth quarter remained high at around 86%. The weaker Norwegian krone is supportive to operating margins, particularly for the Norwegian units. The successful completion of the EUR 290 million in senior secured notes issue and the extended maturity profile enables full operational efforts in 2015.

    - We have performed in line with what we expected for 2014. We have completed important investments at Saugbrugs and Boyer giving these units and the group, a cost-competitive edge in their respective markets. We believe that we are in a better cost position and are more competitive compared to prior years, due to continued cost reduction programmes, an advantageous currency situation, a lower oil price and better economies of scale at our remaining units, says Sven Ombudstvedt (photo), President and CEO of Norske Skog.

    Norske Skog's gross operating earnings (EBITDA) in the fourth quarter of 2014 were NOK 190 million, down from 208 million in the third quarter. Operationally, the EBITDA was flat with a weak magazine paper market in Europe offset by completion of the Boyer ramp-up. The depreciation of NOK occurred late in the quarter and had limited impact on the quarterly result. Gross operating earnings for the full year 2014 were NOK 801 million, a reduction of NOK 61 million compared to 2013, mainly reflecting a prolonged ramp-up of the new magazine paper machine at Boyer in Australia and lower sales volumes due to loss of capacity at Singburi, Pisa and Walsum.

    The net loss of NOK 1.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014 was significantly impacted by a negative foreign exchange effect on foreign denominated long-term debt and negative changes (with no cash impact) in the value of energy contracts. Norske Skog redeemed the last NOK bond amounting to NOK 185 million in the quarter. Net interest-bearing debt increased by NOK 0.6 billion from 2013 to 2014, from NOK 6.8 billion to NOK 7.4 billion, purely resulting from a weaker NOK. Cash flow from operating activities before net financial items was NOK 641 million in the fourth quarter and NOK 947 million for 2014.

    Active capacity management
    Total annual production capacity for the group is 3.0 million tonnes following the completion of the ramp-up at Boyer. In Europe the group capacity is 2.3 million tonnes, while in Australasia the capacity is 0.7 million tonnes.
    Capacity utilization for the group in the fourth quarter was 86% compared with 88% in the third quarter, as a result of active capacity management. Capacity utilization for 2014 was 88% (88% for 2013).

    - We have performed active portfolio management of our machine capacity throughout 2014, and we will continue this policy in 2015. The market remains challenging, and we will continue our efforts to improve the group's competitiveness and financial flexibility. Already announced permanent capacity cuts of more than 2.5 million tonnes in Europe and North-America in 2014 and 2015 in our product segments should be supportive to the market balance, and thus future price levels, says Sven Ombudstvedt, President and CEO of Norske Skog.

    Publication paper prices in Europe were relatively stable into 2015, beyond certain foreign exchange effects, particular in the UK market. The market balance for newsprint and magazine paper is expected to improve into the second half of 2015, when already announced capacity closures in the industry have been completed.
    Paper prices in Australasia are to a large degree stable reflecting long-term pricing contracts and a large logistical disadvantage for non-domestic producers. Export volumes for newsprint out of Australasia track international prices in Asia and is still expected to be challenging. The new magazine paper machine at Boyer in Australia should give a significantly positive contribution to gross operating earnings in 2015. Last year the machine was a significant negative contributor due to a prolonged ramp-up.
    Variable costs for the group are expected to remain relatively stable. Fixed costs initiatives continue.
    The refinancing plan announced in January has been successfully completed. Following these transactions, the capital structure has improved significantly through enhanced liquidity, immediate de-leveraging and an extended maturity profile. Despite this, leverage remains high and requires improved profitability, but the refinancing enables the group to focus on improving operations, cost initiatives and capital efficiency.
    (Norske Skogindustrier ASA)
    16.03.2015   ICE Europe 2015 – Converting community celebrates a further record event    ( Company news )

    Company news A total of 7,040 visitors from 71 countries and 439 exhibitors from 26 countries on a net exhibition space of 11,000 square metres – the results of the 9th edition of ICE Europe add another record to the success story of the World’s Leading Exhibition for Paper, Film & Foil Converting. Compared with the previous event the figures of this
    year’s exhibition represent a 7% increase in visitor numbers and a 10% increase in exhibitor numbers and floor space.

    From 10-12 March 2015 converting specialists from all over the world gathered at the Munich Trade Fair Centre to find out about innovative technology, exchange expertise and source the latest equipment to enhance their fabric ation processes.
    “The participating companies were highly satisfied with the outcome of the show. Exhibitors told us about a large number of new business contacts and positive sales figures. We would like to thank all participants for once again making ICE Europe the most successful international marketplace for the converting community,” says Nicola Hamann, Managing Director of the organisers, Mack Brooks Exhibitions.
    “The further growth of the converting industry’s leading exhibition reflects the positive economic outlook for the sector. With a strong focus on future trends, such as value-added products, processing of new materials and energy-saving manufacturing processes, and by expanding world-wide business networks, there are currently great business opportunities for the converting industry,” explains Nicola Hamann.

    International business was high on the agenda of the participating companies at ICE Europe 2015, and with half of the visitors and 44% of the exhibitors coming from outside Germany this year’s exhibition was more international than ever. Major visitor countries, after Germany, were Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France, Great Britain, Poland, the Netherlands, Turkey and Spain.
    Major industry sectors represented by visitors were packaging, engineering, the paper industry, package printing, the chemical industry and textiles/nonwovens.
    The exhibition categories visitors were primarily interested in were coating and laminating, slitting/rewinding, control / test / measurement, flexo and gravure printing as well as materials.

    “A first analysis of the exhibitor feedback shows that exhibiting companies were highly satisfied with the outcome of ICE Europe 2015. A vast majority of exhibitors were able to fully reach their target groups; they praised the quality of visitors and the clear focus of this trade exhibition,” says Nicola Hamann.
    Most of this year’s exhibitors had already indicated on-site that they intended to exhibit again at the next exhibition. ICE Europe 2017 will take place from 21-23 March 2017 at the Munich Trade Fair Centre.
    Next year, Mack Brooks Exhibitions will organise ICE Asia, from 19 - 21 October 2016, in Shanghai, China; and the next ICE USA will take place from 25 -27 April 2017 in Orlando, Florida.
    (Mack Brooks Exhibitions)
    16.03.2015   CCE International 2015 with a visitor plus of 18%    ( Company news )

    Company news 2nd International Exhibition for the Corrugated and Folding Carton Industry

    With an increase of 18% in visitor numbers, the specialised trade show CCE International 2015 was a great success. A total of 2,410 visitors from 62 countries discovered a comprehensive range of raw materials, machines, accessories and services for the production and conversion of corrugated and cartonboard at this year’s show. A characteristic of the event was the high quality of visitors and the exchange of expertise in open seminars held on-site.
    A total of 156 exhibitors from 22 countries presented the latest trends and developments in corrugated and carton manufacture and converting at Europe’s only specialised marketplace for the corrugated and cartonboard industry, on some 4,500 m2 net at the Munich Trade Fair
    Centre. This represents a growth in exhibitor numbers and floor space of a good third. Open seminars discussing hot topics like ‘Digital Print’, ‘Folding and Gluing’ and ‘Accurate Die-Cutting’ were held alongside the show on all three days.

    International visitors from specialised industry sectors
    Just like two years ago, the visitors came from all over the world, with 64% of visitors and 82% of exhibitors arriving to Munich from abroad. Most exhibitors were from Italy, Germany, China, Great Britain and the Netherlands. The most represented countries in terms of visitors were Germany, Italy, Poland, Great Britain, Spain, Austria, France, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Switzerland.
    The majority of the trade visitors came from corrugated board plants and sheet plants (52%), were folding carton converters (25%), packaging designers (17%) and corrugated sheet feeders (15%). The dominating industry segments that visitors work in were the food and
    beverage industry (45%), transport and logistics (26%), electrical appliances and electronics (24%) as well as cosmetics (21%), furniture (20%) and pharmaceuticals (18%).
    The main areas of interest for visitors were corrugated converting equipment (45%), printing equipment (41%), corrugating line (38%), folding carton converting equipment (33%), raw materials and consumables (32%) as well as machine and plant control (27%).

    “We have received very positive feedback from exhibitors and visitors alike“, explains Nicola Hamann, Managing Director of the show organisers Mack Brooks Exhibitions. “The exhibitors met exactly the target group of decision makers that they were aiming at. At the same time, the visitors had a significant benefit in terms of information about new developments and trendsetting technology know-how. This allows participants to adapt to the current market demands and to position themselves correspondingly. As a customised complement to the exhibition, the new open seminars on ‘Digital Print‘, ‘Folding and Gluing‘ and ‘Accurate Die-Cutting‘ were very much appreciated during the three show days.“

    CCE International show profile
    CCE International presents raw materials, consumables, corrugating line and equipment, corrugated and carton converting equipment, design and CAD/CAM, printing equipment, cutting, creasing and die-cutting equipment, ancillary equipment, materials handling and warehousing, pallet strapping and handling systems, MIS and plant scheduling systems, waste extraction and baling as well as corresponding services.
    The co-located event ICE Europe 2015, the 9th edition of the world’s leading exhibition for the conversion of flexible, web-based materials, such as paper, film, foil and nonwovens also closed its doors with a 7% increase in visitor numbers. 7,040 visitors and 439 exhibitors attended the show.
    CCE International 2017 will take place at the Munich Trade Fair Centre in Germany from 21 – 23 March 2017. Mack Brooks has just announced a new industry event for South East Asia. The CCE South East Asia will take place at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre
    (BITEC) from the 21-23 September 2016 presenting the entire processing chain for corrugated and folding carton in a single dedicated trade environment, to serve the local and regional markets of South East Asia.
    (Mack Brooks Exhibitions Ltd)
    13.03.2015   X-Rite Announces Next-Generation Spherical Spectrophotometers for Color Measurement    ( Company news )

    Company news The Ci7800 and Ci7600 Set a New Benchmark for Managing Color throughout the Supply Chain

    X-Rite Incorporated, a globalleader in color science and technology, and its subsidiary Pantone LLC, announced a new series of spherical benchtop spectrophotometers that provideaccurate measurement of color across the entire supply chain, from conceptdesign through final product. The X-Rite Ci7800, a master-level instrument, andthe compatible cost efficient Ci7600 represent the next generation ofspectrophotometers, helping users meet color specifications and improveprocess controls.

    In a complex global supply chain, there are many points at which color errorscan occur, from design, specification and formulation, to manufacturing and theassembly of raw materials, parts and the final product. Communicating colorstandards digitally and having accurate, reliable sample-to-sample colormeasurement of materials can mitigate errors, reducing costly rejects, productrework and speeding time to market.

    “The new X-Rite Ci7800 and Ci7600 are specifically designed to help usersovercome color management challenges,” said Chris Winczewski, VicePresident, Product Marketing for X-Rite. “These instruments set a newbenchmark for measuring, managing and communicating color data. TheCi7800 and Ci7600 are the most accurate and reliable benchtop spherespectrophotometer in the market today. They are easier to service and offer anunprecedented audit trail for each sample taken, improving overall colorcompliance in the supply chain.”

    Ideal for the plastics, textile, automotive and paint/coatings industries, the Ci7800 and Ci7600 can adjust to any color supply chain, including thoseanchored by instruments from other suppliers. Product highlights include:

    • Advanced Auditing Capabilities: An on-board camera captures images ofeach measurement, providing a visual record of every sample as well as adetailed audit trail of the settings at the time of measurement. The result is aseamless, automated and consistent color measurement and managementprocess that can be easily audited for invalid measurements and sampledefects. On-board sensors capture temperature and humidity at the time ofmeasurement.

    • Automated Instrument Set-Up: Easy to use software makes instrumentconfiguration simple and eliminates error with pre-loaded customer settings formeasurement consistency.

    • Measurement Flexibility: The instruments come with up to five apertures andthree automated UV filters for increased measurement flexibility across opaque,transparent and translucent materials.

    • Migrate Legacy Colors: The instruments help ensure that legacy data remainsvalid and the new devices fit seamlessly into existing environments regardlessof data format.

    X-Rite will showcase the Ci7800 at NPE 2015, the International Plastics Showcase, March 23 - 27, 2015, in Orlando, Florida and at the European Coatings Show 2015, April 21-23, 2015 in Nuremberg, Germany.
    (X-Rite Europe GmbH)
    13.03.2015   Holmen reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 45 per cent    ( Company news )

    Company news During 2014, Holmen’s carbon dioxide emissions per tonne of paper and paperboard products produced decreased by 45 per cent compared with 2013. This substantial improvement is the result of a long-term investment and means that the company has taken a further step towards reducing the climate impact of its operations.

    The investment in a new recovery boiler at the paperboard mill in Iggesund has significantly reduced emissions of fossil carbon dioxide and the target is to become self-sufficient in heating and electricity. As a result of extensive energy investments the paperboard mill in Workington currently runs on biofuel and is self-sufficient in electricity and thermal energy. In addition, fossil-free electricity is distributed to the local community. Today, the manufacture of paperboard in the Holmen Group is virtually fossil-free.

    Major investments have been made at Hallsta Paper Mill to increase its energy efficiency, mainly through increased heat recovery from paper machines and pulp production. During 2014, emissions of fossil carbon dioxide decreased by around 70 per cent compared with 2013. At Braviken Paper Mill, oil consumption has decreased due to improvements in the operational strategy for the mill’s steam system, greater efficiency in the solid fuel boiler and increased steam recovery from the production of thermo-mechanical pulp.

    Together these measures have allowed Holmen to reduce emissions of fossil carbon dioxide by 45 per cent in 2014, from 123 to 67 kilos per tonne of paper and paperboard products produced, compared with 2013.

    In recent years Holmen has received several awards for its sustainability work and is included in the UN’s global stock index Global Compact 100 for companies that show a strong financial performance combined with sustainable operations. During 2014 Holmen also gained a place in the Carbon Disclosure Projects (CDP) list of 187 listed companies that are pioneers in the fight against the threat of climate change. In January 2015 Holmen was also named by CDP as one of the 121 best suppliers in the world as regards action against climate change.

    Lars Strömberg, Holmen’s director of sustainable and environmental affairs comments:
    “Our strategy of investing in fossil-free technology at the mills in Sweden and the UK has been crucial for our sustainability work and we are very satisfied with the results for 2014. Being recognised with awards and being included in the sustainability index is acknowledgement of our work. Our efforts on energy and climate issues also create trust, which strengthens our brand with regard to investors, customers and suppliers.”
    (Holmen AB)
    13.03.2015   Large Number of Visitors at Muller Martini’s stand at the Hunkeler Innovationdays trade fair in ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... Lucerne: "The Vareo is a brilliant machine"

    Presented as a world premier, the Vareo was the center of attraction at Muller Martini's stand at the Hunkeler Innovationdays in Lucerne. A large numbers of visitors wanted to see the perfect binder, where each of the three clamps is equipped with its own servo motor and is driven individually for the first time, live in action.

    Muller Martini displayed the Vareo, which offers maximum flexibility with a mechanical output of up to 1,350 cycles per hour, in Lucerne together with its partners Hunkeler, Heidelberg, ATS and Polar in a flexible machine configuration with which a complete brochure was produced on site. It consisted of digitally printed content (web printing) and a cover, was bound using hotmelt and was given a final three-side trimming in a final step. In this configuration, the comprehensive monitoring of the content and cover by barcode was demonstrated. All modules involved used the same barcode system to ensure that the product had the right composition and is bound correctly.

    Ideal for Short Runs
    "The Vareo is a brilliant machine," said Gottfried Leuenberger, Head of Finishing at the printing and media company W. Gassmann AG in Biel (Switzerland). "Such solutions are needed because the runs are becoming ever smaller. I particularly noticed the outstanding quality of the end products." Trond Erik Isaksen, founder and Managing Director of Livonia Print in Riga (Latvia), was also enthusiastic about the new Vareo: "The perfect machine for digital printing - ideal for short runs."

    For Samir Graba, Managing Director of Société Imprimerie Beta in Ariana (Tunisia), the Vareo is «the ideal À-la-carte solution because it is both predestined for smaller runs in digital printing, but also for the medium run segment from offset printing. I think the new technology of the Vareo is very interesting – a small, but clever machine," Beta, which has two Acoro A7 perfect binders and a 335 saddle stitcher from Muller Martini, still prints exclusively in offset. But it is important for Samir Graba "that we prepare for the future. That's why the Hunkeler Innovationdays were an excellent opportunity for me to inquire in what direction the market is going and what solutions are on offer."

    The All-Rounder for Offset and Digital Printing
    In doing so, Samir Graba noted that, with its excellent price-performance ratio, the Vareo all-rounder comes into its own not only in digital printing for ultra-short runs right down to one copy per job, but also for medium runs, regardless of whether the brochures are produced using offset or digital printing. This makes it the ideal perfect binder for bookbinders and printing houses that work with conventional printing methods and plan to enter digital printing or are already active in digital printing.

    Vareo's flexible equipment enables varied applications. Photo books, personalized catalogs and high-quality brochures can be produced cost-effectively thanks to short setup times (e.g. in less than one minute from A4 to A5), which are indispensable for ultra-short and one-copy runs, and short production times. That enables producing high-quality books extremely quickly, with the very first copy being sellable.

    The Presto II Digital as a Gathering Machine
    In addition to the Vareo, Muller Martini demonstrated at its stand at the Hunkeler Innovationdays how the Presto II Digital saddle stitcher is also perfectly suitable for the gathering of signatures. It can be used for the production of both digital and offset printed products. The digitally printed signatures were folded on the TH 56 steel folder and gathered digitally on the Presto II Digital before the finished book block was finally perfect bound live on the Vareo.

    "Because we are now also active in the digital area," explains Gottfried Leuenberger, "I am, of course, looking into this matter closely. Our Primera saddle stitcher is prepared for digital printing, for which reason I had a close look during the trade fair at the inline finishing solution presented by Muller Martini in the Presto II Digital. Because there is no doubt for me that digital is the future." Although Livonia, which has nearly 20 Muller Martini systems (of which only one is older than five years), does not produce any short runs but minimal job sizes of 500 copies, it was nevertheless interesting for Trond Erik Isaksen "to see what is happening in the market for short runs. As there is no other significance trade fair in 2015, the Hunkeler Innovationdays were a golden opportunity for me to have a look what enhancements machine manufacturers were presenting since drupa 2012."

    "Shorter Runs is the Clear Direction"
    ABC Press in Eppindust is also linked to Muller Martini as part of a long-standing partnership on the basis of three Ventura book sewing machines, two Acoro A5 perfect binders, a Diamant bookline and a 335 saddle stitcher. The South African company now wants to enter digital printing. "Because we are seeing the same trend," says Roger Gladwell, Computer-to-Plate Manager, "of a clear movement toward shorter runs and more repeat orders. That's why it was particularly interesting for us to see live in Lucerne what finishing solutions Muller Martini offers."

    Mail Ordner Solutions India PVT Ltd. in Mumbai (India) has been in the area of digital printing for a long time. "We specialize in direct mailing," says Director Prithviraj M. Desai, "but we sometimes also produce books. At the Muller Martini stand, we saw impressively in what direction the technology in digital magazine and book production is going."
    (Müller Martini Marketing AG)
    13.03.2015   Meet Adforum at Skogsindustridagarna in Sundsvall, March 19-20, 2015!    ( Company news )

    Company news Skogsindustridagarna is the major event for the forest industry in Sweden this year, organized in Sundsvall March 19-20, 2015, by Inspecta in co-operation with Pöyry and Idhammar. The event will consist of a conference, an exhibition and a social event in the evening. Please visit their website or watch the movieclip for more information about the event. Adforum will be present at the event – Welcome to our stand!

    Making marketing plans for the incoming year? Let us fill you in on the most important events for the forest industry in May 24-26, 2016 in Stockholm:

    -International Pulp & Paper Week
    The most important event for the pulp and paper industry that will continue the traditions of exhibitions in Stockholm since 1968. The last event was attended by 9064 visitors and 650 exhibiting companies.

    -Bioeconomy Innovation Forum
    The new event for innovations and new products from the forest industry like Biochemicals, Biofuels, Textile Fibres, Bioplastics, Nanocellulose and Consumer packaging. The Bioeconomy Innovation Forum will be organized in co-operation with the forest industry companies.

    An event following the development of the forest industry
    The events by Adforum are developed according to the feedback from the exhibitors and visitors. The next events will not only have a strong focus on new and innovative products but also on other important features like integrated conferences in the exhibition, company visits, matchmaking and social activities.
    (Adforum AB)

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    Buyers' Guide of Producers' and Converters' Products:
    Base papers and boards
    Board for packaging use
    Board, misc.
    Boxes, packages, etc.
    Corrugated boards
    Household and sanitary paper goods
    Household and sanitary papers for converting
    Office and exercise goods, general stationery
    Other converted paper and board products
    Paper and board for technical use
    Paper rolls all kinds
    Papers all kinds
    Papers and boards; coated, laminated, impregnated
    Papers for packaging use
    Printing, fine and writing board
    Printing, fine and writing papers
    Pulps and mechanical groundwood pulps
    Sacks, bags, carrier bags

    Buyers' Guide of Merchants:
    Base papers and boards
    Board for packaging use
    Board, misc.
    Boxes, packages, etc.
    Corrugated boards
    Household and sanitary paper goods
    Household and sanitary papers for converting
    Office and exercise goods, general stationery
    Other converted paper and board products
    Paper and board for technical use
    Paper rolls all kinds
    Papers all kinds
    Papers and boards; coated, laminated, impregnated
    Papers for packaging use
    Printing, fine and writing board
    Printing, fine and writing papers
    Pulps and mechanical groundwood pulps
    Sacks, bags, carrier bags

    Buyers' Guide of Suppliers' Products:
    Assembly and handling equipment
    Associations and institutions
    Chemicals and raw materials
    Cleaning plants, filtres and filtrations systems
    Drives, gears and motors
    Energy production, energy management
    Machine knives and accessories
    Machines and plants for the wood and pulp industry
    Machines and plants, misc. and printing machines
    Paper and board converting machines
    Paper and board machines and plants
    Paper machine felts and wires, woven wires, screens
    Planning, development and organisation, trade services
    Plants for preparation, dissolving, combusting, recovery
    Pumps all kinds
    Rollers and cylinders
    Test, measuring and control equipments
    Trade journals, magazines
    Ventilation systems; Drying plants
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