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    17.12.2014   Catalyst Paper Reports Fatality at its Crofton Mill    ( Company news )

    Company news Catalyst Paper regrets to report a fatal accident involving a contract truck driver at its Crofton mill on Vancouver Island.
    “We are all saddened by this tragic accident,” said Joe Nemeth, President and CEO. “We extend our heartfelt sympathies to his family and friends during this difficult time.”
    The contract worker was delivering wood chips to the Crofton mill on the evening of December 9 when he was discovered missing by mill personnel.
    The mill immediately activated its Emergency Response Plan. The RCMP and WorkSafe BC were promptly contacted and launched an investigation at the mill site.
    WorkSafe BC is leading the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident to determine cause. The RCMP and the Coroner’s Office are also investigating. Catalyst's personnel are fully supporting the investigations.
    (Catalyst Paper Corporation)
    17.12.2014   Three Forces of PMP Group – The final stage    ( Company news )

    Company news After a year of intense promotion PMP Group has entered the final stage of its Three Forces of PMP Group – Earth, Wind & Fire campaign. Metaphorical properties of forces of nature have become an inspiration for PMP Group to start a campaign which symbolizes the benefits of the company’s three major, technological lines in the P&P business – Intelli-Technology® (Earth), Intelli Tissue® (Wind) and Phoenix Concept™ rebuilds (Fire).
    Up till now the viewers had the opportunity to see adverts, movies and articles in regard to Wind (Intelli-Tissue®) and Fire (Phoenix Concept™). Now the time has come to present the final element – Earth (Intelli-Technology® - Platform Concept for Papermakers). This specific line is characterized by low media consumption (ECO) and high runnability – thus the green color and the connection to Mother Nature. In this specific area paper producers are offered complete paper machines for special papers (like MG), as well as highly advanced paper and board units. Product portfolio covers all key technological sections of PM: Intelli Jet V® hydraulic headbox, dewatering unit – Intelli-Top® former, Intelli-Nip® Shoe Press, Intelli-TriNip™ press, Intelli-Sizer™ metering size press (film press), Intelli-MicroCrepe™ and an Intelli-Reel®. PMP Intelli-Technology® Platform, as a compact and flexible solution for paper & packaging producers, reflects all benefits that are associated with one of the most powerful Forces of Nature – Earth.
    Entering the final stage of the Three Forces of PMP Group campaign however, does not mean its end. By fulfilling the last phase of the project the company has taken the idea to the next level and despite maintaining the general concept, developed it to meet wider expectations. New releases are planned to be implemented since the beginning of 2016 and will include all three mentioned before Forces. (PMPoland S.A.)
    16.12.2014   2015 Edition to further expand on game-changing innovations in digital production     ( Company news )

    Company news Xeikon announces the 2015 edition of its Xeikon Café Packaging Innovations ( Hosted by Xeikon and Xeikon’s Aura partners, the event will take place from Tuesday 10 March through to Thursday 12 March 2015 in Xeikon’s R&D and production site in Lier. It is aimed at helping label and packaging printers as well as converters and print buyers worldwide enhance and transform their digital production into a profitable business.

    A great success story

    The concept of the Xeikon Café is a proven formula that provides an informal knowledge exchange platform covering the different aspects of digitalizing print production, while cutting through the information overload. The concept exists for some years and kicked off with a series of one-day local events. In 2014, the very successful and highly applauded Xeikon Café Packaging Innovations was organized over a period of three days; participants praised the event and many have already confirmed their attendance for 2015.

    Uffe Nielsen, CEO of Grafisk Maskinfabrik comments: “Grafisk Maskinfabrik’s business is all about converting digitally printed media. Therefore, the Xeikon Café that focuses on digital production is the ideal platform to demonstrate our capabilities. Last year’s edition proved to be a great success and generated a good source of new business revenues for our company. We are delighted to be attending the 2015 event with Xeikon, one of the leading companies in the digital label and packaging market.”
    (Xeikon Manufacturing NV)
    16.12.2014   The modern way to ensure the utmost in quality    ( Company news )

    Company news X-Rite Incorporated, a global leader in color science and technology, announced the newly updated PANTONE Certified Printer Program for commercial printers and packaging converters that addresses new industry standards. The PANTONE Certified Printer Program reviews and analyzes every aspect of color operations— from preflight, file preparation and proofing, to ink formulation and mixing, and process control in the pressroom. This creates total quality management based on industry best practices and procedures that drive consistent and repeatable color.

    “As a trade printer, you must be lean to be competitive,” says Michael Clark President of Cedar Graphics, an EarthColor company and a PANTONE Certified Printer. “The more I learned about the PANTONE Certified Printer program and how it could help streamline our processes and make them more consistent, the more interested I became.” The outside perspective that X-Rite Pantone brings to the PANTONE Certified Printer program enabled Cedar Graphics to ensure consistent operation from department to department and shift to shift, from ink room through prepress and the pressroom. “Everyone is now speaking the same language, and we are much more efficient as a result,” Clark says.

    The process begins with a PANTONE Certified Printer Audit conducted by an X-Rite specialist. The audit process isolates issues that compromise color accuracy and is the basis for the implementation of Standards-Based Proceduresso that all operators on all shifts can consistently produce the best color the same way.

    “The PANTONE Certified Printer Program closes the gap that exists between the many other certification programs available today which cover only part of the workflow, or simply a press or a proofer,” explains Mark Gundlach, Training Development Manager at X-Rite. “This program is unique in that it ties all areas of production together, from prepress and ink formulation to the press room with a focus on both process color and spot color reproduction. This applies to digital, flexo, litho and even grand format print production. Good printers can produce great color at a point in time but it may not be consistent over time. This program, which includes a quarterly color check based on a standard set of files, results in more consistent quality with less rework using existing investments and people.”

    “If you know you are going to be checked by an expert on a quarterly basis,” Cedar Graphics’ Clark adds, “it’s just another incentive to keep things up to date as opposed to doing it once and forgetting about it. We look forward to our quarterly reviews and what we might learn each time that will help us communicate even better.”

    “Industry Standard Operating Procedures reduce variability across shifts and over time, as well as provide faster, more consistent staff training,” Gundlach says. “Surprises cost money, and consistency reduces waste”. Proofing and printing to standards helps print and converting operations set and meet customer expectations. PANTONE Certified Printers follow standard operating procedures throughout the production operation when specifying CMYK colors based on their print standards. PANTONE colors are specified and formulated using spectral data from the PantoneLIVE™ digital libraries.

    Packaging converters and printers interested in pursuing this certification to bring additional color consistency, quality and efficiency to their operations not only benefit from the certification process but are also able to use the PANTONE Certified Printer logo to add even more credibility to their sales and marketing efforts.
    (X-Rite GmbH)
    16.12.2014   Metso to deliver automation technology for Hamburger Hungaria Power's new power plant in ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...Hungary

    Cutting-edge automation to support efficient and environmentally friendly power production.

    Hamburger Hungaria Power Ltd, a subsidiary of the leading European containerboard manufacturer Prinzhorn Group, has ordered automation technology from Metso for its new power plant in Dunaujvaros, Hungary. Cutting-edge automation will support the power plant in producing energy in an efficient and safe way with low costs and a low impact on the environment. Moreover, a high level of automation will then increase operational flexibility, reliability and availability.

    "The fact that Metso is one of the best automation suppliers gives us security in project management. Close cooperation between our companies will provide a very high standard also in the future," says Attila Bencs, Managing Director, Hamburger Hungaria Power Ltd.

    Hamburger Hungaria Power is currently investing approximately EUR 150 million in a new co-generation power plant adjacent to Prinzhorn Group's Hamburger Hungaria Paper Mill. The plant will run on solid fuels, such as residual waste from paper production as well as biomass and coal. It will generate both heat and electricity, ensuring the mill's energy self-sufficiency and recovering waste paper that has earlier been deposited in landfills. The power plant will have a fuel capacity of 172 MW, a thermal capacity of 158 MW and an electricity capacity of 42 MW once in operation in the second half of 2015.

    The order is a continuation of the good cooperation between the two companies as Hamburger Hungaria already runs its gas boilers with Metso's automation technology.

    Metso's delivery consists of a Metso DNA boiler and turbine automation system, factory acceptance testing, commissioning and training. Delivery is scheduled for February 2015, and system startup will take place between March and September 2015. The order is included in the 2014 third quarter orders received by Metso. The value of the order will not be disclosed.
    (Metso Corporation)
    16.12.2014   Rayonier Appoints Mark McHugh as Chief Financial Officer    ( Company news )

    Company news Company Further Enhances Management and Operational Oversight with Appointment of H. Edwin Kiker to Newly Created Role of Chief Accounting Officer

    Rayonier Inc. (NYSE: RYN) announced that Mark McHugh has been appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective December 12, 2014. McHugh succeeds H. Edwin Kiker, who is transitioning to the newly created position of Chief Accounting Officer, responsible for financial reporting, accounting operations, and implementing and ensuring proper financial controls and systems.

    McHugh has 15 years of experience in finance and capital markets focusing on the timberland and REIT sectors. He joins Rayonier from Raymond James, where he served as Managing Director in the firm’s Real Estate Investment Banking group and was responsible for the firm’s timberland and agriculture sector coverage. Throughout his career, McHugh has provided a wide range of strategic and financial counsel to a variety of publicly traded paper, forest products and real estate companies.

    “Mark has been a valued advisor to Rayonier’s senior management team in the months since the spin-off of the Performance Fibers business, and we are pleased to welcome him to this new role,” said David Nunes, Rayonier’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Mark’s strategic, financial, and industry expertise served us well during our recent internal review and development of our realigned strategy. We are confident that his continued insight and guidance will further support our commitment to transparency and accountability, and that he will be an excellent addition to the senior team leading Rayonier going forward.”

    Nunes added, “As a 12-year veteran of Rayonier, Ed has been an invaluable resource to the company and our shareholders. I would like to thank Ed for his effective leadership as our CFO and know that he will bring the same dedication to this new role overseeing our financial reporting, accounting operations and internal controls. I look forward to Ed’s continued contributions as we move forward and execute our strategy.”

    About Mark McHugh
    Prior to joining Raymond James in 2008, McHugh was a Director in the Paper & Forest Products Group at Credit Suisse. He has broad experience advising paper and forest products companies, particularly timber REITs, on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, financings and other strategic matters. McHugh’s transaction experience includes advising on the first-ever timber C-corp to REIT conversion (Rayonier in 2003) and the first-ever timber REIT initial public offering (CatchMark Timber Trust in 2013). Mr. McHugh received his B.S.B.A. in Finance, summa cum laude, from the University of Central Florida and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
    (Rayonier Inc.)
    16.12.2014   Valmet to supply the new machine for folding boxboard production at Metsä Board's Husum mill in ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... Sweden

    Metsä Board Corporation has selected Valmet as the supplier for its new folding boxboard production line at Husum mill, Sweden. The new machine will produce high-quality folding boxboard with an annual capacity of 400,000 tons. The start-up of the machine is scheduled for the beginning of 2016.
    The order is included in Valmet's fourth quarter 2014 orders received. The value of this size of an order is typically around EUR 60-70 million and it is part of Metsä Board's EUR 170 million investment in the mill.
    "We selected Valmet as the technology provider for this strategic project because of their advanced and competitive solutions for high-quality folding boxboard production and our long history of working with Valmet," says Mika Joukio, CEO of Metsä Board.
    "This important order from Metsä Board is a good continuation for the active order year for Valmet. I am delighted that Metsä Board trusted us on this significant strategic project. It is a strong token of the competitiveness of our new OptiConcept M paper and board machine concept. The order has an important employment impact for us especially in Jyväskylä, Finland," says Pasi Laine, the President and CEO of Valmet.

    Technical information of Valmet's delivery
    Valmet's delivery includes a wet end of the latest OptiConcept M design with headboxes, forming section and press section, as well as a rebuild of the off-machine coater, winder and the roll wrapping line. The wet end area of the machine features innovative OptiConcept M frame construction without the need for cantilever beams for fabric changes. The fabric changes will be carried out by means of fabric insertion units, which Valmet has sold 120 units globally so far.
    "The wet end area introduces newest design which also adds safety and machine usability. The winder will be rebuilt with our unique dual unwind station for maximum capacity," summarizes Mikko Tani, Area Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Valmet.
    The 6660 mm-wide (trim) machine, BM 1, will produce folding boxboard (FBB) grades in the basis weight range of 180-350 g/m2 at a design speed of 1000m/min.
    (Valmet Corporation)
    16.12.2014   Stora Enso: Responding to issues on child labour     ( Company news )

    Company news Stora Enso is currently being discussed in the Swedish media after a Swedish national pension fund decided to sell their Stora Enso shares due to child labour issues in the value chains of Bulleh Shah Packaging in Pakistan. Stora Enso does not, under any circumstances, accept child labour. We have taken a number of measures to make sure that none of our suppliers use child labour. We regret if we haven´t been able to explain that to the pension fund.
    As child labour and other human rights issues are in the focus of our responsibility approach in Pakistan, Stora Enso has taken steps to continuously update our investors and other stakeholders on the progress we are making. Stora Enso does not accept child labour in its operations or in its suppliers operations.
    Stora Enso has a 35% shareholding in Bulleh Shah Packaging (Private) Limited in Pakistan, together with the Pakistani company Packages Limited. The joint venture agreement was formed in 2013. Bulleh Shah Packaging is committed to mitigating child labour in the long term by addressing its root causes in the communities and by driving change in its suppliers.

    Main actions taken in 2014 include the following:
    • In April, Stora Enso terminated all supplier relationships in Bulleh Shah Packaging’s Used Cartonboard (UCB) supply chain. Bulleh Shah Packaging has continued to support children and their families from dump sites despite terminating supplier relationships, for example by providing education. In 2014, Stora Enso financed a school for children aged 6–14 years with the support of a local NGO specialised in education.
    • Bulleh Shah Packaging started to educate its suppliers in 2013, and in 2014 the Company started to audit its suppliers on the supplier Code of Conduct to mitigate human rights violations. Bulleh Shah Packaging audits all suppliers it has direct business relationships with. BSP also audits the second tier of wheat straw and biomass transportation suppliers.
    • Other community engagement actions taken in 2014 include the preparations for launching mobile clinics for health care in the communities together with a local hospital.
    • The sourcing of the agricultural residuals presents a significant opportunity for creating shared value between Bulleh Shah Packaging and its stakeholders by increasing incomes in rural areas, Bulleh Shah Packaging is taking steps to ensure that social economic impacts are considered, e.g. that a fair proportion of payment for agricultural by-products reaches the farm workers involved in the wheat harvesting. The socio-economic realities in the supply chain were studied in 2013. In 2015 Bulleh Shah Packaging will continue the research with community interviews.

    In November-December 2014, as a part of Stora Enso’s Human Rights Assessments, a separate assessment is being carried out at Bulleh Shah Packaging by an independent human rights consultant in line with the standard created together with The Danish Institute for Human Rights.
    (Stora Enso Oyj)
    15.12.2014   Domtar announces major investment at its Ashdown, AR mill    ( Company news )

    Company news -$160 million capital project to convert a paper machine to a fluff pulp line
    -Allows for the production of up to 516,000 metric tons of fluff pulp per year
    -Conversion will reduce UFS capacity by approximately 364,000 short tons

    Domtar Corporation (NYSE: UFS) (TSX: UFS) announced that its Board of Directors has approved a $160 million capital project to convert a paper machine at the Ashdown, Arkansas mill to a high quality fluff pulp line used in absorbent applications such as baby diapers, feminine hygiene and adult incontinence products. The planned conversion is expected to come online by the third quarter 2016 and will allow for the production of up to 516,000 metric tons of fluff pulp per year once the machine is in full operation. The project will also result in the permanent reduction of 364,000 short tons of annual uncoated freesheet production capacity in the second quarter of 2016.

    "The fluff pulp conversion project at the Ashdown mill is an important step in advancing our strategy to generate $300 to 500 million of EBITDA from growth businesses," said John D. Williams, Chief Executive Officer. "We are expanding our presence in a growing business that will allow us to support our top‐tier supplier position with some of the world's largest producers of absorbent hygiene products. Once completed, Ashdown, together with our Plymouth mill will provide a platform to further strengthen our leading position as an effective producer of high quality fluff pulp with nearly one million tonnes of total production capacity."

    Commenting on the reduction of papermaking capacity, Mr. Williams added, "The conversion of the paper machine in 2016 will further help balance our supply with our customers' demand. In the interim, the flexibility of the two remaining paper machines at the Ashdown mill allows us to take measured steps to adjust our paper production while selling papergrade pulp."

    The conversion work is expected to commence during the second quarter of 2016 and the fluff pulp line is scheduled to start‐up by the third quarter 2016. The cost of conversion will be approximately $160 million of which $40 million is expected to be invested in 2015 and $120 million in 2016. The Company will also invest in a pulp bale line that will provide flexibility to manufacture papergrade softwood pulp, contingent on market conditions.

    The aggregate pre-tax earnings charge in connection with this conversion is estimated to be $117 million which includes an estimated $114 million in non-cash charges relating to accelerated depreciation of the carrying amounts of the manufacturing equipment as well as the write-off of related spare parts. Of the estimated pre-tax charge of $117 million, $3 million relates to estimated cash severance, employee benefits and training. Of the estimated total pre-tax charge of $117 million, $9 million is expected to be recognized in the fourth quarter of 2014 and $108 million is expected to be incurred during 2015 and 2016.

    As a result of the fourth quarter decision to convert the nature and use of line A64 of the Ashdown Pulp and Paper mill, the carrying amount of the assets of the Ashdown mill is being tested for impairment and may result in a write-down during the fourth quarter of 2014. The carrying amount of such assets was approximately $813 million at November 30, 2014.
    (Domtar Inc.)
    15.12.2014   Cascades announces the sale of its boxboard operations in North America     ( Company news )

    Company news Cascades Inc. (TSX: CAS), a leader in the recovery of recyclable materials and the manufacturing of green packaging and tissue paper products, announces that it has reached an agreement for the sale of its North American boxboard manufacturing and converting assets to Graphic Packaging Holding Company for $44.9 million.
    The five plants affected by the transaction employ in all approximately 670 workers.

    "Today, Cascades is announcing an important decision that once again signals its commitment to refocusing its activities in the strategic sectors in which it excels. This transaction follows in the wake of a number of other actions taken during the course of the year, with a view to reducing our debt load and focusing our investments in certain core packaging sectors, as well as in the tissue paper and recovery sectors. It is important to take note that today's announcement does not affect our European boxboard operations," stated Mario Plourde , President and Chief Executive Officer of Cascades.

    "The investments made in past years in these boxboard manufacturing and converting units have led to an opportunity to create synergies with a player such as Graphic Packaging. By exiting this sector of activity in North America , Cascades and Norampac are turning a page in their history. We sincerely thank our employees for their loyal services, and we wish them all the best in the future," added Marc-André Dépin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norampac.

    The acquisition is subject to standard closing conditions and regulatory review and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.
    (Cascades Inc.)
    15.12.2014   Metsä Board renews its management and reporting structure    ( Company news )

    Company news Metsä Board Corporation renews its management and reporting structure to enable successful implementation of the company’s growth strategy.

    “Our main target is profitable growth of our paperboard businesses. At the same time we plan to take an exit from underperforming paper businesses. We have developed our paperboard offering actively in recent years in order to better serve our customers. Now we also change our management structure in order to secure successful implementation of these new growth and restructuring steps. Function based organization fits Metsä Board the best from now on”, comments CEO Mika Joukio (photo).

    As of 1 January 2015 Metsä Board’s Corporate Management Team consists of the following persons:
    - Mika Joukio, CEO
    - Markus Holm, CFO
    - Seppo Puotinen, SVP, Marketing and Sales
    - Ari Kiviranta, SVP, Production and Technology
    - Sari Pajari, SVP, Business Development
    - Susanna Tainio, SVP, Human Resources
    Tainio is a new member in the Metsä Board Management Team.

    Metsä Board’s reporting segments from 1Q 2015 onwards are the following:
    - Paperboard
    - Non-core operations
    (Metsä Board Corporation)
    15.12.2014   New Performance Plus consulting concept and Remote Monitoring analysis function from ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...Heidelberg take print shop performance to next level

    -Partnership-based consulting concept maximizes print shops’ profitability
    -Interplay between personnel, processes, equipment, and consumables crucial for improving overall performance
    -Remote Monitoring boosts efficiency through forward-looking planning of service callouts

    Through the close working relationship it enjoys with its customers, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) has identified considerable potential in many industrial print shops for significantly improving profitability. There are usually a number of weak points where improvement processes need to be applied, but it is sometimes difficult to pinpoint these. When endeavoring to improve the overall performance of a company, the interplay between personnel, processes, equipment, and consumables is crucial. This is precisely where Heidelberg can help, with its new partnership-based consulting concept Performance Plus. The concept is based on Heidelberg specialists’ comprehensive consulting expertise and, if required, can be combined with existing analysis modules from the Heidelberg product portfolio so as to achieve even more successful results. Performance Plus represents an ambitious performance promise by Heidelberg. It creates a partnership that benefits customers and Heidelberg alike.

    “Performance Plus is a consulting concept that brings a completely new approach to our industry. It sets in motion an extensive change process for the customer that is geared to improving overall performance through a comprehensive analysis of the company. Heidelberg is unique in the print media industry in being able to offer this kind of service,” says Harald Weimer, member of the Management Board responsible for Sales and Heidelberg Services.
    (Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG)
    15.12.2014   Stora Enso to divest its Uetersen Mill    ( Company news )

    Company news Stora Enso has signed an agreement to divest its Uetersen specialty and coated fine paper mill in Germany to a company mainly owned by the private equity fund Perusa Partners Fund 2. The cash consideration for the divestment of the shares is approximately EUR 7 million subject to customary closing day adjustments. The loss on disposal amounts to approximately EUR 30 million and will be recorded as a non-recurring item in Stora Enso’s fourth quarter 2014 results. The transaction is in line with Stora Enso’s strategic transformation to a customer focused renewable materials company. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2015 and is subject to regulatory approvals.

    The transaction will enhance Stora Enso’s operational EBIT and cash flow from the second quarter of 2015. Based on 2013 annual figures, the divestment is expected to reduce Stora Enso’s annual sales by EUR 155 million. It will also reduce Stora Enso’s annual paper production capacity by around 240 000 tonnes. Uetersen Mill employs approximately 400 people.

    Stora Enso’s previous attempt to divest the mill was unsuccessful due to the German Federal Cartel Office’s (FCO) indicated intentions to prohibit the proposed transaction.
    (Stora Enso Oyj)
    15.12.2014   Konecranes has every stage of the pulp and paper industry process covered    ( Company news )

    Company news The paper manufacturing is characterized by a long and complicated process. From the transformation of wood into pulp, over the winding paper web into rolls, and subsequently the rewinding and cutting of these giant rolls into smaller ones, through the automatic storage for converting, sheet cutting, or customer delivery. The paper mill works fast, and the products need to be shipped on time to meet demanding customer schedules. Unexpected downtime can’t be afforded.

    Konecranes understands the processes of the pulp and paper – from wood handling to recycling - and has been meeting the needs of this industry for decades by providing cranes and other lifting solutions that help to increase productivity, maximize efficiency, as well as avoid downtime and costly problems right from the start.

    Selecting from an unmatched portfolio of superior products, Konecranes can deliver integrated solutions – starting with the unloading of raw materials and continuing every step of the way to the shipping of the finished paper products. The company has end-to-end expertise covering planning, engineering, delivering, commissioning, and servicing lifting solutions for all pulp and paper operations. The know-how offered by Konecranes can start with a feasibility study and extend to cover the complete maintenance of lifting equipment and tools throughout their lifecycle.

    Paper mill cranes and material handling system
    Konecranes has designed paper mill cranes to help boost long-term reliability and minimize ownership costs for pulp and paper industry. The solutions are based on long experience and know-how of the industry environment, and the process. This know-how is based on Konecranes’ own resources and close collaboration with machine suppliers and engineers. Konecranes provides cranes and material handling systems for all lifting applications in the pulp and paper industry, such as process duty cranes, maintenance cranes, parent roll handling cranes, paper roll storage systems, workshop cranes, as well as maintenance services. Cranes used in the pulp and paper industry are used as an integrated part of the production process and maintenance.
    Moreover, the applications provided vary and cover the fields of wood handling, pulp production lines, paper and paperboard production, deinking plants, tissue paper mills and converting plants, intermediate storage, and shipping.

    Paper Roll Storage Solutions
    Konecranes’ warehouse management system (WMS) and the automatic paper roll handling crane design for unpacked and wrapped storage rolls help to save space and time. The automated vacuum lifter economizes the warehouse capacity of the available space. Furthermore, software for the storage administration system and crane automation with purpose-built machineries form an integrated handling system. Mechanical roll grippers can handle wrapped rolls and multiple rolls at a time for higher input/ output of smaller roll sizes.
    In addition, Autostore helps paper mills operate more efficiently by eliminating capital and labor costs. Storage automation keeps the inventory fresh, clean, and current and provides up-to-date information.

    Excellent, proactive service
    Konecranes provides an extensive range of services for the pulp and paper industry that can cover a single item or all lifting equipment. The offered specialized service helps to improve safety, decrease the cost of downtime, and increase the productivity of uptime. With a global network of maintenance professionals working from more than 600 service depots around the world, Konecranes can service any make of crane and hoist. Services include inspections, repairs, maintenance, and modernizations of cranes and other lifting equipment worldwide.
    In addition, Konecranes offers the unique TRUCONNECT® Remote Monitoring and Reporting service, which provides actual crane usage data. TRUCONNECT® periodic data reporting and real-time diagnostics allow customers to optimize crane maintenance activities and give visibility to crane maintenance and application compliance.
    (Konecranes Oyj)
    15.12.2014   Label technology is helping Asian printers meet the rapidly-expanding variable ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... data printing needs

    Xeikon reports a successful conclusion to its presence at Labelexpo South China that took place early December in Guangzhou. Being the only mainstream manufacturer of high quality, high productivity digital label presses at the show, the company was able to mark a strong presence which showed its full dedication and commitment to the Asian label industry.

    “Diversification’ is a word that you often hear nowadays wherever you go and Asia is no exception,” comments Bent Serritslev, Managing Director Xeikon Asia Pacific (ASPAC). “The Chinese market is experiencing a tremendous boom in the production of all types of short-run labels, but specifically those that require variable data information, such as barcoding, QR coding or other product and brand security features like microprint. We were extremely happy to engage with visitors to Labelexpo South China and show them exactly how the Xeikon digital label presses and solutions are able to meet their digital manufacturing needs.”

    Combining superior printing quality with optimal flexibility

    On display at Labelexpo South China was the Xeikon 3030, the narrow web entry-level press of the Xeikon 3000 Series. It is meant for label converters looking to foray into the digital production of labels. In addition to prime label applications, the press is also suitable for producing promotional and transfer applications. With a variable web width ranging from 200 mm (7.9 inches) up to 330 mm (13 inches), it runs at a top speed of 9.6 m/min (31.5 ft/min) and can handle production volumes of up to 190 square meters/hour (294.5 MSI/hour).

    With five press models, the 3000 Series is the largest range of digital label press offerings on the market today, ranging from entry level to higher capacity options. All five models deliver the same 1200 DPI imaging quality and are able to print on an unrivalled range of substrates without pre-coating or pre-treatment, including various self-adhesive materials such as co-extruded films, BOPP, PVC and PET, transparent/opaque films as well as paperboards.

    The full-rotary printing technology with variable repeat length guarantees that the press speeds are not affected by the label size and/or the number of colors used. Also included is the Xeikon X-800 Digital Front-End which can be integrated into any production environment. Its modular setup allows label and packaging converters to efficiently manage their specific production needs. The X-800 also enables the easy implementation of variable data on labels or packages, even allowing to add variable information after the files have been ripped. The combination of the variable data capabilities and the top-notch printing quality, i.e. the use of micro texts, variable barcodes or numbers, the ability to print guilloches or the use of specific colors and security toners, makes the Xeikon 3000 Series an excellent tool for the brand protection of labels and packages.

    Finally, the Xeikon 3000 Series presses also use the QA-I toner, which meets FDA guidelines for direct and indirect food contact.
    (Xeikon Manufacturing NV)
    15.12.2014   Mimaki talks digital textile and wallpaper solutions at Heimtextil 2015    ( Company news )

    Company news Mimaki, a leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers, will showcase its textile printing expertise at Heimtextil 2015. Theinternational trade fair for home and contract textiles takes place at Messe Frankfurt, Germany from January 14 to 17, 2015, and Mimaki will demonstrate its market-leading solutions for these industries on stand G15 in Hall 4.0.

    “Digitally printed textile quality has come a technologically long way and is increasingly attractive due to the ability to cost-effectively produce samples, short run and custom textiles. Key retailers are using digitally printed textiles to differentiate themselves with some very eye-catching limited edition pieces,” explains Mike Horsten, General Manager Marketing EMEA at Mimaki Europe.

    “These headline grabbers are very much the tip of iceberg as far as the market opportunities that digital print technology opens up for designers throughout the industry,” Horsten continues. “We are on the cusp of a sea change, and Mimaki solutions are ready to meet today’s needs as well as adapt to new requirements as they arise. At Heimtextil, we again push the boundaries of innovation and creativity with a broad portfolio of solutions for high quality digital printing of textiles. We’re ready for the future!”

    Mimaki is Gold Sponsor of the European Digital Textile Conference where Horsten will discuss “Why the home textile sector will switch to digital” on Thursday, January 15, in Hall 4.0 at 12:25 pm.

    Horsten comments, “The home textile sector is just one of many of the expanding creative and commercial opportunities offered by digital printing. I look forward to discussing the opportunities with attendees along with ways that operations can ensure that they are at the forefront of this dynamically changing sector.”

    Mimaki will demonstrate a number of solutions dedicated to textile production, ranging from the Mimaki TS500-1800 which is ideal for furnishing fabrics as well as sportswear, T-shirts and apparel, to the Mimaki TX500-1800DS that can print on polyester-based materials. The JV300-160 dye sublimation printer is suitable for everything from garment marking to fashion. And the JV400-160LX delivers high-quality latex print for wallpaper applications with six-color printing, including orange and green, for a broad color gamut.

    Horsten concludes, “Textile is one of the markets we are most at home in. We have solutions from entry level to high volume that cater to a variety of applications from short runs to high volumes, ensuring that, whatever the market demand, we can help our customers be highly flexible and responsive. There is good reason why our theme is Let’s Create… Together.”
    12.12.2014   Voith Constantly Driving Change    ( Company news )

    Company news -Reversal of trend in orders received stabilizes: order volume rose by 7% in the 2013/14 fiscal year
    -Consolidated sales and net income in decline
    -Focus remains on implementing the “Voith 150+” success program

    In a market and competitive environment that remained very challenging, Voith made visible progress in the 2013/14 fiscal year with its Group-wide “Voith 150+” success program, which was launched in the fall of 2013. Although there was a lack of stimulus for business in virtually all key markets, the technology group’s level of orders received increased by around 7% to €5.581 billion despite having still been in decline in the two previous years; adjusted for currency effects, growth would have even come to 11%. This reinforced the trend reversal which had already revealed itself half way through the year. All Group Divisions made a contribution to this rise. Orders on hand stood at €5.379 billion as of September 30, 2014, just under 5% higher than the level seen in the previous year.

    The noticeable improvement in the order situation has, however, not yet had an impact on consolidated sales in the past fiscal year. The latter figure fell by around 7% to €5.345 billion on account of declining order volumes in previous years. Of the four Group Divisions, Voith Paper recorded the most significant decline in sales, down 13%. In this Group Division, the situation especially in the business with new machines has not yet bottomed out even after years of market contraction.
    Group income also came under pressure mainly from the ongoing unsatisfactory situation of the business with new machines of Voith Paper. The Group’s profit from operations fell to €270 million (previous year: €350 million), with the largest share of this decline being attributable to Voith Paper. However, Voith Paper also returned a profit from operations just like all other Group Divisions. The bottom line was net income of €41 million (€65 million); the positive effects from lower restructuring expenses and the disposal of equity investments was more than offset by higher taxes and the impairment of securities.
    “Voith fundamentally remains in excellent health. As has been the situation for years now, we continue to have no net debt and were once again able to generate a positive free cash flow despite manifold burdens in a difficult year. This financial strength gives us the headroom to also master the next phase of restructuring the Group from our own resources,” explains Dr. Hubert Lienhard, President and CEO.

    Voith 150+ success program driven forward on schedule
    In the past fiscal year, Voith pressed forward as scheduled with the fundamental changes begun under the Voith 150+ success program. With this program, Voith is safeguarding its long-term competitiveness and ability to generate growth – beyond its 150th anniversary in 2017. The program aims at optimizing Voith’s portfolio and processes as well as reinforcing the corporate culture in a rapidly changing environment. Once the program has been fully implemented, Voith anticipates annual cost savings of €250 million and expects to free up working capital of €100 million.
    Up to now, implementation of Voith 150+ has mainly focused on portfolio optimization. In the past fiscal year, this included continuing with restructuring measures at Voith Paper, completing the realignment of the Kiel location and using acquisitions and disposals to provide a closer focus to the activities in the Voith Industrial Services Group Division.
    One important step in connection with Voith 150+ was the acquisition of a strategic stake in KUKA AG reported only a few days ago. In light of the fact that industrial production in the coming years and decades will be shaped in particular by increasing automation and interconnection, for Voith the stake in KUKA is a strategic step towards positioning itself in the field of “Industrie 4.0”.

    Development of Group Divisions not uniform
    Voith Hydro, the full-line supplier for hydropower plants did not, as anticipated, succeed in fully matching the very high sales of the previous year. With regard to new business, however, this Group Division was very successful in that it increased the level of its orders received by almost a quarter.
    Voith Industrial Services, the global service provider for the key industries of automotive, energy, chemical and petrochemical, mechanical engineering and aerospace looks back on a year of intense change primarily revolving around portfolio optimization and strategic focus. Adjusted for changes in the consolidated Group, sales were slightly up on the previous year. In this respect, the development of the largest division, Automotive, was especially pleasing.
    Voith Paper continued to suffer from how business developed in the Projects division, i.e. in the business with new machines. On the other hand, business with products, consumables, and services in the Fabric & Roll Systems and Products & Services divisions saw a very pleasing development.
    Voith Turbo, the specialist in power transmission, developed positively overall in a difficult market. Adjusted for the realigned activities of the Locomotive business in Kiel, sales stood virtually at the level of the previous year, whereas orders received rose slightly. The development of the division Commercial Vehicles was especially pleasing.

    Outlook: subdued business development, focus on Voith 150+
    Once again in the 2014/15 fiscal year, Voith is anticipating a challenging environment in light of a global economy that remains fragile and an investment climate that continues to be subdued in important industries and regions. Accordingly, the Group is assuming a constant level of sales and orders received in the current year overall. The profit from operations and consequently also the ROCE of the Voith Group are expected to see slight growth on account, among other things, of increasing positive effects in connection with measures introduced under Voith 150+.
    Voith will press forward with the further implementation of Voith 150+ once again in the current 2014/15 fiscal year. In this respect, the focus is being placed not only on implementing excellence initiatives in all Group Divisions, but also on reorganizing global administrative functions. For 2015, Voith is planning to bundle and streamline parts of its administrative functions at a global and regional level.
    “The positive effects of Voith 150+ will gradually become visible over the next two years as the program becomes fully implemented. We are acting quickly and consistently in this regard, but are nevertheless taking the time necessary to press forward with the changes in a thorough manner and conscious of the responsibilities we have for our employees. The objective is to put Voith in a position to achieve long-term success. We have the best starting position for this task: a portfolio focusing on the needs of the future, healthy financial strength, an efficient organization and outstanding employees”, says CEO Lienhard.
    (Voith Paper GmbH & Co KG)
    12.12.2014   Arne Wallin is leaving Holmen    ( Company news )

    Company news After 27 years with the Group, Arne Wallin (photo), CEO of the business area Holmen Energi, has decided to leave Holmen.

    “During his time with the Group, Arne Wallin has been mill manager at Braviken Paper Mill, CEO of the business area Holmen Paper and, for the past few years, CEO of Holmen Energi. Arne has overseen several major investment projects in Braviken and most recently led Holmen’s investments in wind power. His extensive knowledge and experience have been of great importance in supporting our ability to implement our own large-scale projects. Arne has also developed and rationalised our printing paper business during challenging times,” says Henrik Sjölund, President and CEO of Holmen.

    Arne Wallin will leave his post at the start of 2015. From 15 January, Staffan Jonsson will be acting CEO of Holmen Energi, alongside his regular position as head of Group Technology.
    (Holmen AB)
    12.12.2014   Press Release - First Quality Tissue    ( Company news )

    Company news First Quality Tissue, a privately held leading manufacturer of ultra-premium towel and tissue, is pleased to provide the following update on its various capacity expansion projects.

    The company announced earlier this year its commitment to two additional TAD paper machines. The company has selected its Lock Haven, PA facility as the location for the second TAD paper machine and is in discussion with the state of PA and the local community to finalize details. Startup date for this line is expected to be December 2016.

    The first of the two TAD Machines is destined for Anderson, SC. Construction is in progress and a startup date of November 2015 is expected. The addition of these two machines will provide the company with the needed scale and the flexibility as well as the leadership to meet the demand of its customers and the market for ultra-premium tissue and towel products. The company is also very excited about its Atmos technology paper machine in Anderson SC and will be announcing its startup date next quarter. This technology will enable the company to expand its premium line of product offering beyond tissue and towel.

    Since inception, almost eleven years ago, First Quality Tissue has been committed to providing ultra-premium tissue and towel products to its customers in the United States, Canada and select International locations. These strategic announcements will bring their total number of tissue machines to 7 with an estimated capacity of 500,000 tons.
    (First Quality Tissue LLC)
    12.12.2014   Xerium Introduces ProSeam 3L Seam Felt Technology for Demanding Paper and ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...Paperboard Machines

    Xerium Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:XRM), a leading global provider of industrial consumable products and services, recently launched ProSeam 3L felt technology for paper and paperboard machines. ProSeam 3L is engineered for those demanding positions where handling high water volume and critical sheet properties are primary objectives. ProSeam 3L is a triple layer laminated construction providing up to 25% more void volume than conventional double layer designs. Its top layer and specially engineered batt fibre deliver exceptional pressing uniformity with outstanding compaction resistance for extended life potential. ProSeam 3L also enables rapid seaming for efficient installation.

    “ProSeam 3L continues our long-standing commitment to providing our customers with innovative products that enable their machines to handle the increasing demands for enhanced productivity and improved sheet quality,” said Mr. Bill Butterfield, EVP and CTO of Xerium. "As the global leader in seam felt technology, we are truly excited to introduce new high-performance machine clothing products that deliver measurable results for our customers”.
    (Xerium Technologies Inc.)
    12.12.2014   Fedrigoni: Withdrawal of the Global Offer    ( Company news )

    Company news Fedrigoni S.p.A. (“Fedrigoni”) and San Colombano S.p.A., acting in agreement with BNP
    Paribas and Unicredit Corporate & Investment Banking as Joint Global Coordinators, have taken the decision to withdraw the Global Offer for Sale and Subscription of the ordinary shares of Fedrigoni S.p.A..

    This decision reflects the additional and increasingly marked deterioration of the conditions on the financial markets during the offer period.
    On the strength of its competitive positioning and its equity and financial solidity, Fedrigoni confirms its growth and development plans and the listing on the financial market that still remains a strategic objective, also as a result of the significant appreciation and interest displayed by Italian and international investors towards the Company.
    12.12.2014   Valmet's second OptiConcept M boardmaking line successfully started up at Lee & Man in China    ( Company news )

    Company news On June 18, 2014, Lee & Man Paper Manufacturing Ltd. started up their new Valmet-supplied containerboard production line, paper machine 20 (PM 20), at their Chongqing site in Sichuan Province in China. The new production line produces high-quality board grades from recycled raw material with excellent strength properties. PM 20 is the world's second start-up of Valmet's OptiConcept M -type production line. The line combines high productivity with low operating costs.

    Valmet's OptiConcept M production line delivery
    Valmet's delivery included a complete OptiConcept M boardmaking line from headbox to reel with related air systems.
    The new 6.65 meters wide (reel) PM 20 production line has a daily production capacity of approximately 1,160 tonnes of recycled testliner grades in the basis weight range of 50 to 160 g/m2. The design speed is 1,100 m/min.
    OptiConcept M production line stands for economy of total investment, occupational safety and machine usability as well as reduction of environmental load. The production line optimizes the machine investment in line with the mill's capacity needs and ensures optimized productivity at minimal operational cost.
    (Valmet Corporation)
    12.12.2014   BOBST at ICE Europe 2015     ( Company news )

    Company news BOBST will be present at ICE Europe in Munich, Germany from 10th-12th March 2015 in Hall 6, stand #237 where the latest technologies for the flexible packaging, printing and converting industries will be presented. Visitors to the stand will have the opportunity to meet with BOBST specialists to discuss the new technologies in more detail. Of particular interest at this exhibition are the fields of vacuum metallizing and coating.

    BOBST answers the market needs for coating machines with the ROTOMELT, ROTOTACKY, ROTOSIL and ROTOCOAT (photo) production lines. They are designed based on a modular concept which allows for a tailor made process. These lines allow remarkable flexibility in regards to the choice of the most suitable coating technology for coated and/or laminated products. Combined with excellent process knowledge, this guarantees a final product of the highest quality.

    In the field of vacuum metallizing, the focus will be on two key innovations - BOBST General Hawkeye Pinhole Detector and the AlOx process. The Hawkeye Pinhole Detector is a monitoring system which at full metallizer speed, detects defects which results in increased production speed and increases in the quality of the final product. The AlOx process produces clear film with good water and oxygen barrier levels and can be used for products including baked goods and microwaveable food where product visibility is required.

    In lamination, BOBST CL 850 / CL 1000 multi-technology laminators and the SL 850 / SL 1000 solventless laminators produce superior quality laminated structures with the widest combination of materials which is possible due to the accuracy of the web handling control. The BOBST flexo coating system in particular ensures the best quality results in coating solvent-based adhesives directly on very thin aluminium foil at high speed.

    A superior web handling performance is also one of the hallmarks of BOBST ROTOEXTRUDER extrusion coating & laminating machines. These machines can produce the highest quality composite structures for the flexible packaging industry and can also handle a large variety of applications in the paper and board converting industries.

    The BOBST range of gravure presses is the most comprehensive in the industry. The platforms of printing solutions for flexible materials such as the Rotomec 4003 can match the user’s specific requirements and application in the most efficient and profitable way, due to the different configurations and options which are available.

    As for flexo printing the main focus will be on the BOBST F&K 20SIX which features print widths up to 1'650 mm, repeats up to 1'200 mm, and speeds up to 600 m/min. Designed to cover the whole range of packaging printing demands, the models of the F&K 20SIX platform provide technologies all with the aim of improving productivity in order to minimize waste, change-over time and energy consumption.
    (Bobst Mex SA)
    12.12.2014   Wetend Innovation –In-Line PCC process– recognized by ATIP Innovation Award    ( Company news )

    Company news In-Line PCC™ process developed by Wetend Technologies Ltd, has been awarded a Bronze Innovation Award by the Paper Industry Technical Association in France (ATIP). Innovation Contest was organized in conjunction with the annual ATIP Conference and Exhibition in Grenoble, France on 28th–30th October 2014.

    In-Line PCC™ developed by Wetend Technologies Ltd is a new straight forward filler-fiber composite manufacturing process consisting of i.e. TrumpJet Flash Mixing Reactor integrated into PM headbox approach flow system.

    “In-Line PCC innovation is a result of a long term purposive work of our team together with key customers and scientific specialists. Innovation award is a great recognition to the technology”, says Olavi Imppola, R&D Director of Wetend Technologies, who received the prize on behalf of his team at ATIP conference in Grenoble.

    The technology has been installed on two large papermaking lines for full scale continuous production: In-Line PCC™ Reactor has been supplied to SC magazine paper production line (750 tons/day) in Finland to produce precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) loaded directly into papermaking stock generating filler–fiber composite. The investment was completed after thorough pilot and mill trials. The system is in continuous use and is running according the expectations and fulfilling objectives. Wetend has supplied In-Line PCC system also to a fine paper production line for envelope and copy paper in Finland.

    The main benefits of the In-Line PCC™ process are: strong filler fiber fibril composite structure as a result of powerful fiber loading effect, significant improvement in the cleanliness of the water circulation system leading to excellent runnability, good sheet optical properties and very high retention of filler and fines. Even filler distribution in paper web results to better formation and good strength properties of the paper web.

    These factors open opportunities to increase filler content in the paper and improve the cost structure of paper or board production with a modest investment cost. Thus the saving potential is significant. Better retention also means that less filler penetrates through wires, resulting to less wear and longer lifetime of machine clothing. The process cuts down white water COD content and turbidity. This results e.g. to lower consumption of chemicals, clean process and high runnability of paper or board machine.

    ATIP Conference & Exhibition has the position as the main meeting point of paper makers in Western Europe.
    (Wetend Technologies Ltd)
    11.12.2014   Sappi and Edinburgh Napier University discover new low-cost process to make nanocellulose    ( Company news )

    Company news -Sappi to build a pilot-scale plant for low-cost Cellulose NanoFibrils production
    -Follows three year partnership between researchers from global pulp and paper producer Sappi and Edinburgh Napier University
    -Nanocellulose has potential to be used in a huge range of applications – from packaging and touch screen displays to car panels and wound care
    -Market could reach 35 million tonnes per year by 2020s
    -Continues Sappi’s move into new and adjacent business fields based on renewable raw materials

    Scientists from Edinburgh Napier University and Sappi have developed a low cost way to turn wood into a wonder material that could be used to build greener cars, thicken foods and even treat wounds.

    It means Sappi will be able to produce the lightweight material on a commercially viable basis – and without producing large volumes of chemical waste water associated with existing techniques. The energy-saving process will be used in a new nanocellulose producing pilot plant to be erected by Sappi.

    “Nanocellulose, extracted from wood fibres, has a number of unique optical, barrier and strength properties,” said project coordinator Math Jennekens, R&D Director at Sappi Europe. “Unlike other lightweight, high-strength materials based on fossil fuels it is completely sustainable, making it very desirable as a new material for various industrial and transport applications.”

    The versatile material has previously been produced by intensively processing wood pulp to release ultra-small, or ‘nano’ cellulose fibers – each so small that 2,000 could fit inside the width of a single strand of human hair.

    But the Edinburgh Napier research team say they have been able to drastically reduce the amount of energy needed to power the process, as well as the need for expensive chemicals.

    “What is significant about our process is the use of unique chemistry which has allowed us to very easily break down the wood pulp fibers into nanocellulose,” said Professor Rob English, who led the research with his Edinburgh Napier colleague, Dr. Rhodri Williams.

    “There is no expensive chemistry required and, most significantly, the chemicals used can be easily recycled and reused without generating large quantities of waste water.

    “It produces a dry powder that can be readily redispersed in water and leaves the nanocellulose unmodified – effectively making its surface a chemical “blank canvas” and so more easily combined with other materials.

    “The ability to bring all these attributes together have so far eluded materials scientists working in the field. It is very exciting.”

    Nanocellulose produced at the proposed Sappi plant could be used in a wide range of industrial and everyday products and devices because of the way they can improve the properties of materials they are combined with, said Professor English.

    “It could be used to thicken water-based products such as paints, foods and concrete,” he said. “Or when it’s used in plastics to make a composite it can replace glass fibers, which is very attractive in the production of the next generation of lighter, fuel-efficient vehicles.

    “Because of its low oxygen permeability it could also be a possible replacement for plastic films in packaging. Then there are also applications for it in containing films in lithium batteries and touch screen displays. And as cellulose is inherently bio-compatible and bio-absorbable, there is considerable potential in biomedical applications such as wound dressings and regenerative medicine.”

    Andrea Rossi, Group Head Technology, Sappi Limited, said a pilot production plant was being planned for “towards the end of 2015. This pilot plant” he continued “ will move Sappi into new adjacent business fields based on renewable raw materials to produce innovative performance materials and help in delivering on Sappi's strategy to seek growth opportunities in adjacent and new markets.”

    Professor English added: “Commercial interest in nanocellulose is growing at a phenomenal rate following predictions of a possible 35 million tonnes per year market by the 2020s. And so the key challenge now is very much in business development and understanding the value offered by nanocellulose in our target markets.”

    According to Andrea Rossi, the pilot plant will test the manufacturing of dry re-dispersible Cellulose NanoFibrils (CNF). Using this proprietary break-through technology, Sappi will ultimately be able to manufacture CNF with unique morphology, specifically modified for either hydrophobic or hydrophilic applications. Products produced will be optimally suitable for conversion in lighter and stronger fibre-reinforced composites and plastics, in food and pharmaceutical applications, and in rheology modifiers as well as in barrier and other paper and coating applications.

    Andrea Rossi indicated that using the products manufactured in the pilot-scale plant, Sappi will seek co-development with multiple partners to incorporate CNF into a large variety of product applications to optimise performance and to create unique characteristics.
    (Sappi Europe S.A.)

    Company news Expera Specialty Solutions, LLC (“Expera”), a portfolio company of KPS Capital Partners, LP, announced the acquisition of certain assets related to the Old Town Fuel & Fiber pulp mill (“Old Town”). Expera acquired the assets free and clear of substantially all liens, claims, encumbrances and interests through an auction conducted as part of a sale process under Section 363 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maine formally approved the transaction.

    Photo: Russ Wanke, Chief Executive Officer of Expera

    Founded more than a century ago and located in Old Town, ME, OldTown is a high-quality pulp mill with the capacity to produce annually 200,000 tons of Northern Bleached Kraft pulp.. The mill closed indefinitely this past August. Expera intends to invest significant capital and resources into OldTown to restart the mill and ensure the highest level of production quality and capacity.

    “I’m excited to welcome the OldTown employees back to work and to the Expera family,” stated Russ Wanke, Chief Executive Officer of Expera. “Expera is a financially strong enterprise with an excellent platform positioned for expansion and growth. Under Expera, OldTown will have significant top-line stability and will benefit from our commitment to continuous improvement and manufacturing excellence. OldTown provides Expera with added internal capabilities, allowing us to deliver to our customers more product innovation and even better service.”

    Raquel Palmer, a Partner of KPS, said, “We are very proud of the progress Expera has made to date. The Company has improved its profitability under our ownership and exceeded all of our growth expectations. Expera continues to capitalize on opportunities to grow its business and capabilities, and this acquisition further demonstrates the Company’s commitment to being the leader in the specialty paper market.”

    OldTown is in the process of equipment start-up and employees will be coming back to work in several phases throughout the month of December, reaching full employment capacity by January 5.

    Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP and Pierce Atwood LLP served as legal counsel to Expera and KPS.
    (Expera Specialty Solutions)
    11.12.2014   Alfa Laval wins SEK 50 million tall oil order in Russia    ( Company news )

    Company news Alfa Laval – a world leader in heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling – has won an order to supply a complete process line to a pulp mill in Russia. The order, booked in the Energy & Process segment, has a value of approximately SEK 50 million and delivery is scheduled for 2015.

    Photo: Lars Renström, President and CEO of the Alfa Laval Group

    The order comprises decanters, separators, compact heat exchangers and fluid handling equipment for a plant, manufacturing high-quality tall oil in Russia. The plant, which will start up towards the end of 2015, is connected to a pulp mill – tall oil being an important byproduct of pulp manufacturing.

    “This is an order for a unique solution, based on centrifugal separation. Compared to traditional methods using settling tanks, Alfa Laval’s unique offering is more efficient and it increases the quality of the oil,” says Lars Renström, President and CEO of the Alfa Laval Group.
    (Alfa Laval Nordic AB)
    11.12.2014   Iggesund invests in organic growth     ( Company news )

    Company news The board of the Holmen Group, which includes Iggesund Paperboard, decided on Wednesday to give the green light for investments totalling EUR 60 million in Iggesund’s mills at Iggesund, Sweden and Workington, England.

    Photo: Manufacturing capacity for Incada in Workington, England will increase by 20,000 annual tonnes.

    At Iggesund the investments will eliminate bottlenecks in pulp production so it can be increased from the current 370,000 tonnes to 420,000 tonnes. The target for the board mill is to increase the capacity by 10 per cent without investments.

    “After we brought the new recovery boiler on line and developed our purification systems for both air and water, the mill now has unused potential, in both the pulp and board mill, which we can activate,” comments Olov Winblad von Walter, Director of Iggesund Mill. “This is exciting because we are taking yet another step towards being one of the world’s leaders in mill technology with the lowest environmental impact. This move also further reinforces our competitiveness in the form of lower variable costs.”

    The investment in Workington will increase the mill’s paperboard production capacity from the current 200,000 tonnes to 220,000 tonnes. This investment will also make the mill a leader in folding box board technology thanks to a rebuild of the paperboard machine’s press section which will increase product quality. The rebuild will be completed by June 2016.

    “We are experiencing strong demand for our improved Incada, not least because European converters regard it as the paperboard with the best runnability for applications involving mass-market consumer products,” comments Ulf Löfgren, Managing Director of Iggesund’s mill at Workington. “In that situation of course it is positive that we can increase our capacity so more people can benefit from Incada’s advantages.”

    “We see no difficulty in increasing Incada’s presence in Europe,” adds Arvid Sundblad, Vice President Sales and Marketing at Iggesund. “Our market share has been limited by our capacity. The planned capacity increase combined with Incada’s recognised quality and our service gives us a excellent position.”

    Over a five-year period Iggesund Paperboard has invested strongly in strengthening its competitiveness via lower energy costs, whilst simultaneously minimising its use of fossil fuels. A total of EUR 361 million has been used for this purpose in both Workington and Iggesund. The investments announced now are more focused on increasing production.

    “We have reduced our environmental impact and also taken control of our energy costs,” Sundblad concludes. “We are well equipped to face tougher competition in the paperboard market but above all with regard to other types of packaging material. Our strategy is organic growth and for Workington, this is the first step in that direction. The announced investments will give us an excellent market position in terms of both product quality and capacity.”
    (Iggesund Paperboard AB)
    11.12.2014   Metsä Board grows its paperboard business, plans to fully exit paper production and considers ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... a rights issue to partially finance the final steps of transformation

    Photo: CEO Mika Joukio

    Metsä Board Corporation is introducing the final steps of transformation to a paperboard company and invests approximately EUR 170 million in a new folding boxboard machine at its Husum mill in Sweden. The production capacity of the new machine is approximately 400,000 tonnes per annum and it will start up in early 2016. Full production capacity is expected to be reached by the end of 2016. Husum mill’s paper production is planned to be discontinued mostly at the end of 2015 and fully by the end of 2017. These measures in Husum, including also the increasing fresh forest fibre linerboard sales volumes, are expected to improve Metsä Board’s operating result by approximately EUR 50 million per annum mostly in 2017 and fully from 2018 onwards compared to 1–3Q 2014 annualized performance.

    Metsä Board is also planning new measures to eliminate losses of its Gohrsmühle mill in Germany. The primary target is to divest the mill during the first half of 2015. If the divestment does not materialize in the set time frame, Metsä Board will introduce other measures to eliminate the unit’s heavy losses. Gohrsmühle mill has approximately 480 employees and its main products are cast coated and label papers. The mill’s annual sales amount to approximately EUR 85 million and annualized operating loss to EUR 20 million based on the 1–3Q 2014 performance.

    Metsä Board’s associated company Metsä Fibre is planning to build a bioproduct mill with an investment cost of approximately EUR 1.1 billion to replace the current pulp mill in Äänekoski, Finland. The planned pulp capacity of the mill is 1.3 million tonnes leading to a net capacity increase of approximately 800,000 tonnes compared to the existing pulp production at the site. Metsä Fibre targets to make the final investment decision in spring 2015 and operations at the mill would commence during 2017. According to preliminary plans, the amount of capital invested by Metsä Board in the project would be maximum EUR 30 million. Metsä Board’s ownership share in Metsä Fibre remains at 24.9 per cent also after the planned Äänekoski investment.
    These planned measures are expected to be financed by current liquidity, operating cash flow and potentially also by an approximately EUR 100 million rights issue, based on the Board of Directors’ authority granted by the AGM. The potential rights issue is targeted to be implemented in 1Q 2015. The company’s principal shareholder Metsäliitto Cooperative is committed to a pro rata investment of approximately EUR 43 million in the potential rights issue.

    Metsä Board will renew its management and reporting structure to support successful implementation of the new growth and restructuring actions and to strengthen its position as the leading paperboard company. A separate stock exchange release related to this topic has been published today at the same time as this release.
    “These final steps of our transformation to a paperboard company allow us to grow significantly our core business and exit the weak paper production. Our profitability will be raised to a new improved level without compromising the solid balance sheet,” comments CEO Mika Joukio.

    Growth of paperboard business and planned exit from paper production
    Metsä Board’s strategy is to grow profitably its fresh forest fibre paperboard business and reduce its exposure in the declining paper businesses. Measures announced today strengthen the company’s market leadership in fresh forest fibre paperboards and enable an exit from the weak paper operations. Thanks to these new measures Metsä Board’s total paperboard capacity will increase from 1.4 million to over 2 million annual tonnes by 2018.
    “We have experienced good growth in our folding boxboard and linerboard businesses in recent years. Demand for our sustainable, safe and cost-competitive folding boxboards has recently increased especially in North America. In order to continue profitable growth, we must increase folding boxboard production capacity. After extensive planning work, we have decided to invest in the new folding boxboard machine at Husum, which is our biggest mill integrate including a large two line pulp mill, state of art coating technology, an efficient power plant, and own harbor. This is a very cost-competitive alternative to increase our capacity,” continues Joukio.

    After the investment at Husum, Metsä Board’s total folding boxboard capacity will be approximately 1.3 million annual tonnes. The new folding boxboard capacity in Husum, approximately 400,000 tonnes per annum, is planned to be sold mainly to markets outside Europe, especially to North America, and also to the food service segment globally. Metsä Board entered the food service segment in early 2014. If the demand supply situation so requires in the coming years, Metsä Board has possibilities to adjust its production accordingly.

    Metsä Board started to produce uncoated fully bleached fresh forest fibre linerboards at Husum mill in 2013 and expanded to coated grades in 2014. At the moment, the linerboard sales volume run rate is over 100,000 tonnes per annum. Husum’s linerboard annual production is planned to be increased to close to 300,000 tonnes by 2018. These volumes are expected to be sold both in Europe and North America increasingly also to new applications e.g. in food packaging.

    Metsä Board plans to discontinue standard paper production at Husum mostly by the end of 2015. Total paper capacity planned to be ceased is approximately 600,000 tonnes annually. Personnel impacts will be clarified in the statutory negotiations that will be commenced immediately.

    After the investment and the planned paper capacity closures, there will be two paperboard machines at Husum mill:
    - Board Machine 1 with annual folding boxboard production capacity of about 400,000 tonnes.
    - Board Machine 2 (current Paper Machine 8) with annual linerboard capacity of about 300,000 tonnes. Uncoated fine paper business reel production will be continued in the Board Machine 2 until the linerboard sales volumes have been grown to the full capacity of the machine.

    The annual pulp production capacity at Husum is approximately 750,000 tonnes per annum including both softwood and hardwood grades. In addition to chemical pulp produced at the site, the new folding boxboard production at Husum will use majority of the BCTMP produced at Kaskinen mill in Finland from 2016 onwards.
    (Metsä Board Corporation)
    11.12.2014   Hand dryers can spread bacteria in public toilets, research finds    ( Company news )

    Company news Modern hand dryers are much worse than paper towels when it comes to spreading germs, according to new University of Leeds research.

    Scientists from the University of Leeds have found that high-powered ‘jet-air’ and warm air hand dryers can spread bacteria in public toilets. Airborne germ counts were 27 times higher around jet air dryers in comparison with the air around paper towel dispensers.
    The study shows that both jet and warm air hand dryers spread bacteria into the air and onto users and those nearby.
    The research team, led by Professor Mark Wilcox of the School of Medicine, contaminated hands with a harmless type of bacteria called Lactobacillus, which is not normally found in public bathrooms. This was done to mimic hands that have been poorly washed.
    Subsequent detection of the Lactobacillus in the air proved that it must have come from the hands during drying. The experts collected air samples around the hand dryers and also at distances of one and two metres away.
    Air bacterial counts close to jet air dryers were found to be 4.5 times higher than around warm air dryers and 27 times higher compared with the air when using paper towels. Next to the dryers, bacteria persisted in the air well beyond the 15 second hand-drying time, with approximately half (48%) of the Lactobacilli collected more than five minutes after drying ended. Lactobacilli were still detected in the air 15 minutes after hand drying.
    Professor Wilcox said: “Next time you dry your hands in a public toilet using an electric hand dryer, you may be spreading bacteria without knowing it. You may also be splattered with bugs from other people’s hands.
    “These findings are important for understanding the ways in which bacteria spread, with the potential to transmit illness and disease.”

    The research, funded by the European Tissue Symposium, was published in the Journal of Hospital Infection and presented at the Healthcare Infection Society (HIS) International Conference in Lyon, France.
    (University of Leeds)
    10.12.2014   SCA launches innovative disposal solution for pads    ( Company news )

    Company news The problem with the lack of disposal facilities for used pads is no more. With the launch of the Roll.Press.Go™ feminine care product SCA is offering a unique, highly relevant and innovative sanitary pad disposal solution.
    Several studies have shown that women feel embarrassed and uncomfortable leaving any trace behind when having their period. Women want to be able to dispose the protection in a neat, dignified, way and not to leave any trace when exiting the bathroom.

    “Women often wrap the pads in toilet paper to hide them in the bin or even bring them with them in their handbags,” says Brit Fagerland, Global Brand Innovation Manager within Feminine Care and part of the innovation team behind the development. She continues:
    “Based on these consumer insights the team within SCA conceptualized the idea and tested the concept and product solution of Roll.Press.Go™ with very strong results.”

    Hygienic solution
    Roll.Press.Go™ offers a hygienic solution to the disposal problem as it has self-sealing edges on all sides and just by rolling up the used towel in the wrapper and press the edges to seal it in, the towel will be tightly secured on all sides when it’s thrown away, or brought along. The disposal of used sanitary pads is ranked as the number one stress point by women.
    “Many women roll their towels so the behavior already exists. With Roll.Press.Go we offer a much better solution for women so they can go on with their lives anywhere and anytime feeling confident with their disposal solution,” says Ulrika Persson, Senior Global Technical Innovation manager within Feminine Care and part of the innovation team.

    How did you go from insight to the final product solution?
    “The Roll.Press.Go™ product is the result of excellent, dedicated cooperation across SCA. The development has been done in a tight teamwork between the innovation team and technical teams. In total some 20-25 people have been working very hard on this,” says Brit Fagerland.

    Which are the major success factors of the Roll.Press.Go project?
    “First of all a great idea combined with a unique patented technical solution delivered by a great team. Key pillars in the work have been transparent and clear communication on all levels, strong commitment and cooperation across the organization,” says Brit Fagerland.
    The Roll.Press.Go™ has been tested among several markets and showed that the convenience and hygiene and discretionary messages with being able to seal your pads works in most markets. As a first step the solution has been launched in Europe and MEIA.
    (SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget)
    10.12.2014   Stora Enso opens new biomaterials innovation centre    ( Company news )

    Company news Stora Enso will concentrate its new biomaterials business development in an Innovation Centre that will be located in the Stockholm area in Sweden. The centre, which will open during the second quarter of 2015, will host research, application, business development, and strategic marketing.

    The centre will boost innovation by identifying business opportunities in the renewable materials market and linking them with leading innovation and research centres in business and academia. The centre will be staffed with Stora Enso employees currently working in Sweden, Finland and Germany. It will initially employ a little less than 60 people and is estimated to employ around 75 people by year end 2015.

    “We are convinced that our access to biomass, in combination with our expertise in forestry worldwide, will benefit our customers in new, innovative ways in the future. Our goal is to develop a competitive offering serving customers in multiple industries and markets, while adding value to our current cellulosic streams”, says Karl-Henrik Sundström, CEO of Stora Enso.

    “We facilitate creative thinking and cross-functional interaction by consolidating R&D and business development under one roof. Additionally, it is important to create a close link to leading innovation and research centres in this field – both at academic and business levels”, says Dr. Antonio Batistini, Head of Innovation and Strategic Marketing, Stora Enso Biomaterials.

    Stora Enso’s other R&D units are not affected by this change and will remain in their current locations.
    (Stora Enso Oyj)
    10.12.2014   Voith acquires 25.1 percent of KUKA    ( Company news )

    Company news Strategic investment in Industry 4.0 megatrend

    Voith GmbH notified KUKA Aktiengesellschaft that, by way of shares as well as financial instruments partly pending antitrust approval, it has attained 25.1 percent of the voting rights in the company. The majority of the shares acquired come from the previous major shareholder Grenzebach. It has been agreed to maintain confidentiality regarding the details of the transaction.

    Photo: Voith President and CEO Dr. Hubert Lienhard

    Headquartered in Augsburg, Germany, the KUKA Group is one of the world’s leading suppliers of robots as well as automated production systems and solutions. KUKA’s customers are predominantly in the automotive industry. The KUKA Group draws on its expertise gained in over 30 years working with the automotive industry to develop innovative automation solutions also for other segments, such as medical technology and the aerospace industry. The company has shown strong and profitable growth in recent years. In 2013 KUKA generated consolidated sales revenues of some EUR 1.8 billion and EBIT of around EUR 120 million.

    The stake in KUKA AG represents a strategic investment for Voith. Computerization and automation will fundamentally change industrial production processes in the years ahead. Robots are the key component in tomorrow’s digitized industry and thus in the Industry 4.0 megatrend.

    Voith President and CEO Dr. Hubert Lienhard explained: “KUKA is focused on mechanics, electronics, sensor systems and software and is superbly positioned for Industry 4.0 with its highly specialized automation expertise. This makes it an ideal, forward-looking investment for us. Voith supports KUKA’s proven strategy and has confidence in the people who have played a major part in its exceptionally successful development in past years. With our 25.1 percent stake in KUKA AG, our goal as a family business is to be a stable anchor shareholder with a long-term focus. We will support KUKA and its workforce in a spirit of partnership.”
    (Voith Paper GmbH & Co KG)
    10.12.2014   New EXPERTFOLD delivers true control     ( Company news )

    Company news At the COMPETENCE 14 Open House, held at the end of November in Mex, Switzerland, BOBST premiered a brand new folder-gluer for corrugated and litho-laminated box making.

    Available in two sizes - EXPERTFOLD 145 and EXPERTFOLD 165 - and in several variants, the machine has been designed with the needs of both sheet plant and integrated manufacturers of fluted boxes in mind. This new EXPERTFOLD offers true control of the folding and gluing process thanks to a large number of new design features and technology innovations.

    Emilio Corti, Head of Sales BU Sheet-fed, said, "We conceived the EXPERTFOLD 145 and 165 to reflect what customers told us they need from a folder-gluer. One feature they asked for was flexibility in the type and dimensions of the substrates that could be run. They also wanted good control of the blank as it goes through the machine in order to achieve high performance with excellent box quality. That control is particularly important these days with so much production being shelf-ready packaging or destined for auto packing lines."

    The design elements of the new EXPERTFOLD which deliver these features include: ACCUFEED blank alignment that ensures precise folding; a high accuracy pre-breaker which ensure excellent performance on machine-erect lines; and a folding process that minimizes fishtailing and gap. The latter is aided by an extra long folding section which creates smoother folding. Along with revolutionary creasing units at the entry, this ensures the high folding quality that manufacturers need today.

    Able to fold and glue substrates from N-flute to A-flute, including double wall and litho-laminates, the EXPERTFOLD 145 and 165 can handle blanks of up to 1'700 x 1'100mm in size and up to 25mm thick when folded. The flexibility of the models means that they can also process blanks as small as 296 x 60mm.

    Jacques Reymond, Head of Product Marketing BU Sheet-fed, added, "We’ve designed these new EXPERTFOLD models to be very robust, which means high levels of uptime along with superb control of the blank. At the same time we’ve made them truly user friendly. For example they have open side frames for ease of access, but they also have light barriers to protect the operators. Video monitoring helps the operators see what’s going on, while ACCUEJECT and other BOBST quality assurance systems mean that they can keep on top of quality throughout the run. As you’d expect, these machines are also modular in design, so they can grow with the customer’s business."

    The range of configurations and options available includes crash-lock capabilities, a 25'000 boxes per hour 4/6 corner unit and motorized/automatic setting versions. The high, 250 meters per minute, running speed of the new EXPERTFOLD means that end of line handling can become a bottleneck without automatic packing. This is why BOBST offers Impack solutions for straight-line, crash-lock and 4/6 corner carton packing which allow users to maximize the performance of the EXPERTFOLD.

    Also making its debut appearance at COMPETENCE 14 was ACCUCHECK XL, the world’s first in-line, zero-fault, quality checking device for corrugated folder-gluers. Shown as a concept version, in-line with the EXPERTFOLD 165, ACCUCHECK XL uses a high speed camera and the latest image processing software to inspect every box in the run for color variations or other defects. Working with the new ACCUEJECT box rejection device on the EXPERTFOLD, this new concept creates a quality assurance system that allows manufacturers to meet today’s demand for faultless packaging, while still delivering the high speed production they need. Well received by visitors to the event, ACCUCHECK XL is a development which further reinforces BOBST as a leader in the provision of equipment which can deliver ‘zero fault’ packaging.

    COMPETENCE 14 was attended by over 150 companies from around the world, with positive feedback being received on the new EXPERTFOLD models, as well as on the other equipment and services on display. These included a MASTERCUT 2.1 with POWER REGISTER, MASTERFOLD 230 with GYROBOX XL and LOGIPACK, FS POLYJOINER 400 and the wide range of BOBST services solutions.
    (Bobst Mex SA)
    10.12.2014   Xerium Introduces ProSeam CL Felt Technology for Cylinder Board Machines    ( Company news )

    Company news Xerium Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:XRM), a leading global provider of industrial consumable products and services, recently launched ProSeam CL felt technology. ProSeam CL is specifically engineered to provide increased seam durability and felt life on demanding cylinder board machines. In addition, due to its unique base fabric structure, ProSeam CL is also designed to reduce installation time by speeding the on-machine seaming process required for new felts. ProSeam CL technology also incorporates improved batt fibre technology in the surface along with specially processed batt anchoring which combine for more resilient and steady-state performance over the life of the felt.

    “The Xerium R&D team is especially excited to unveil yet another step change in felt performance on these demanding cylinder board machines. ProSeam CL felt technology was developed with our customers’ needs in mind: increased life and a significant reduction in seaming time. Through field trials these results have been verified with longer run life and faster seeming,” said Mr. Bill Butterfield, EVP and CTO of Xerium. "It’s always gratifying to help our global customers reach new levels of machine performance by applying our technology.”
    (Xerium Technologies Inc.)
    09.12.2014   BOBST announces participation at ICE USA 2015     ( Company news )

    Company news BOBST specialists will be on hand on BOBST stand #1121 at ICE USA to present the latest technology to serve the flexible packaging and converting industry. The main focus at this exhibition will be coating and vacuum metallizing.

    For vacuum metallizing, the focus will be on two key innovations - the AlOx process and the BOBST General Hawkeye Pinhole Detector (photo). The AlOx process produces clear film with a good water and oxygen barrier level and can be used for products including baked goods and microwaveable food where product visibility is required. Whilst the Hawkeye Pinhole Detector is a monitoring system which detects defects at full metallizer speed, resulting in increases in production speed and final product quality.

    For coating, the product lines ROTOSIL, ROTOMELT, ROTOTACKY and ROTOCOAT are designed based on a modular concept for a tailor made process will be presented. The product lines provide a remarkable flexibility in the choice of the most suitable coating technology for coated and/or laminated products. This combined with an excellent process knowledge guarantees the highest final product quality.

    In lamination, BOBST CL 850 / CL 1000 multi-technology laminators and the SL 850 / SL 1000 solventless laminators have an accuracy of web handling control which enables production of superior quality laminated structures with the widest combination of materials, including very thin aluminum foil.

    A superior web handling performance is also one of the hallmarks of BOBST ROTOEXTRUDER extrusion coating & laminating machines which can produce composite structures of the highest quality for flexible packaging or handle a great variety of applications in the paper and board converting industry.

    As for flexo printing the main focus will be on the BOBST F&K 20SIX which features print widths up to 1'650 mm, repeats up to 1'200 mm, and speeds up to 600 m/min. The models of the F&K 20SIX platform designed to cover the whole range of packaging printing demands and provide an array of technologies all aimed at enhancing productivity by minimizing waste, change-over time, and energy consumption.

    The range of BOBST’s gravure presses is the most comprehensive in the industry. Its platforms of printing solutions, such as the Rotomec 4003 for flexible materials, provide different configurations and options to match the user’s specific requirements and applications in the most efficient and profitable way.
    (Bobst Mex SA)
    09.12.2014   Monadnock Enters Licensing Agreement with Smart Planet Technologies    ( Company news )

    Company news Monadnock Paper Mills and Smart Planet Technologies Enter Strategic Partnership in Labeling Technology

    Photo: Envi PC 100 Wine Label

    Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc. has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Smart Planet Technologies for use of its extruded EarthCoating® technology for adhesive beverage labels in North America.

    “We are pleased to be expanding our Envi Portfolio® of products through our partnership with Smart Planet Technologies,” said Richard Verney, Chairman and CEO of Monadnock. “As consumers become more eco-conscious with a continued push to reduce plastic in packaged goods, and while brand owners look for improved performance in labels, the timing is perfect for this new extension to the Envi line.”

    EarthCoating, when used as a plastic lamination replacement, provides a unique option for demanding wet label applications. Cost effective EarthCoating minerals enhance fiber bonding strength and surface tack with pressure-sensitive and other adhesives used in beverage labeling.

    “Monadnock is a leader providing premium, cost effective, and environmentally advanced products to the label converting industry. Their innovative culture is very exciting and we look forward to a long term technology partnership," says Chris Tilton, Chief Technology Officer of Smart Planet.
    (MPM Monadnock Paper Mills Inc.)
    09.12.2014   DREWSEN SPEZIALPAPIERE with new inkjet portfolio    ( Company news )

    Company news With it´s PROINKJET Classic, PROINKJET Smart and PROINKJET Professional grades DREWSEN is now able to offer three qualities to meet a range of customer specific requirements. While PROINKJET Classic is designed for black/white applications incorporating simple colour components, DREWSEN is targeting the more demanding applications for transpromotional printing, book production and direct mailing with the newly developed PROINKJET Smart and PROINKJET Professional. PROINKJET Smart provides an excellent mid-range option and PROINKJET Professional represents the premium quality for the high demands of full-cover colour print. All 3 woodfree grades are suitable for dye as well as pigment based inks and have been successfully tested for use on established inkjet printing machines. Standard substances are 60, 80, 90, 100 and 120 g/m² in a whiteness of 164 CIE. Special shades such as natural white and UV dull papers and non-standard substances can also be offered.

    In combination with this inkjet technology DREWSEN can produce a range of security papers incorporating features such as watermarks, special fibres and security threads.
    09.12.2014   Direct-on-press Azura TE plate from Agfa Graphics launched for commercial sheet-fed applications    ( Company news )

    Company news Agfa Graphics announced the worldwide availability of its new chemistry-free direct-on-press Azura TE plate.

    With a direct-on-press workflow, time to press is considerably shorter and the waste is drastically reduced. As the Azura TE plates are cleaned out on-press, the system requires no processor, no chemistry and no water. This entails lower energy consumption and less maintenance, thus resulting in environment-friendly operations as well as cost reductions.

    Azura TE, however, does not sacrifice on image quality and pressroom working conditions. Mounted on the press, Azura TE behaves very similarly to a traditionally processed or chemistry-free plate, limiting the variables in press room operations. The plates clean out rapidly and ink acceptance is immediate, both resulting in sellable sheets after only a few copies.
    (Agfa Graphics NV)
    "In fact a ‘direct-on-press’ plate is ready for use after exposing on the platesetter", said Guy Desmet, Head of Prepress Marketing, Agfa Graphics."On top, Azura TE shows an outstanding image contrast thanks to our patented Thermochromic Dye technology. That makes visual inspection easy and means that dot measurements or plate detection can be done with standard devices. In addition, Azura TE has an excellent daylight stability, which comes in handy if the plates cannot be mounted on the press immediately."
    Characteristic of Agfa Graphics' Azura chemistry-free and direct-on-press plates is the excellent lithographic behavior on press, supporting up to 240 lines per inch with Sublima screening. They also stand out thanks to their printing stability resulting from the elimination of the many variables inherent to a conventionally processed plated.

    Guy Desmet added: "A one year field test period all over the globe taught us that Azura TE is compatible with all Agfa and non-Agfa platesetters, a wide range of founts, inks and press architectures. Customers love the ease of use of Azura TE, the gain in system productivity and the quality on press."

    Since its launch in 2004, Agfa Graphics’ ThermoFuseTM technology has proved itself as the leading technology in sustainable platemaking. Azura TE is based on the same ThermoFuseTM technology as its predecessors, working with a single-layer water-based coating, containing ink-accepting latex pearls, small enough to deliver razor-sharp highlight reproduction.
    09.12.2014   Resolute Announces Permanent Closure of 465,000 Metric Tons of Newsprint Capacity    ( Company news )

    Company news Iroquois Falls (Ontario) Mill (photo) and Two Paper Machines in Quebec to be Permanently Closed

    Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) announced the permanent closure of 465,000 metric tons of newsprint production capacity in Canada. This capacity reduction will be achieved with the permanent closure of the Iroquois Falls (Ontario) newsprint mill, as well as paper machine #1 at Baie-Comeau (Quebec) and paper machine #4 at Clermont (Quebec).

    Resolute's decision to reduce newsprint capacity is a result of the ongoing weakness in the global newsprint business, exacerbated by fiber-related issues, including both availability and costs, as well as transportation challenges. In Quebec, power costs played a role in these decisions, as well as the spruce budworm infestation.

    "Market conditions have had a major impact on our newsprint operations in both Ontario and Quebec, and the cost position of these operations has made them vulnerable to the structural decline in newsprint," said Richard Garneau, president and chief executive officer.

    "There is another issue that cannot be ignored in these decisions: the ill-founded attacks of environmental activist groups. Their inaccurate and deceptive campaigning, which misrepresents the company's forest management practices, was also a factor. These campaigns are based on malicious falsehoods regarding Resolute's overall compliance with the Crown Forest Sustainability Act in Ontario and the Loi sur l'aménagement durable du territoire forestier in Quebec, and overall sustainability leadership. The provinces of Ontario and Quebec have forest management regimes that are among the very best in the world, and both governments are ensuring compliance. These systems deserve to be respected and defended, and we call upon those provinces to stand up for their standards and to refute these unjustified and unwarranted attacks," said Garneau.

    The Iroquois Falls mill employs approximately 180 people and has an annual production capacity of 210,000 metric tons of newsprint. It will permanently close on December 22, 2014, with closure-related activities running into January 2015. The currently idled paper machine #1 at Baie-Comeau will be permanently closed as of today, and paper machine #4 in Clermont will be permanently closed on or about January 30, 2015. The closures at Baie-Comeau and Clermont will result in the loss of approximately 120 positions and the permanent removal of approximately 255,000 metric tons of newsprint capacity. All statutory notice provisions of the two provinces will be respected.

    Resolute understands the impact these decisions will have on employees, their families and local communities. The company will work with union representatives and government officials to respond to the needs of those affected. Local management will also ensure that employees receive support, that the relevant conditions in the collective agreements are respected, and that as many employees as possible are transferred to other company facilities.

    "The decision to rationalize our newsprint capacity was difficult, as we are mindful of the impact it will have on affected employees," added Richard Garneau. "Resolute remains committed to customer service and to the delivery of high-quality products and will work closely with customers to continue to meet their needs."
    (Resolute Forest Products)
    09.12.2014   Condat Silk Paper Tames the Wild in Photographs from the Natural History Museum of London    ( Company news )

    Company news Condat silk paper has been chosen for the French edition of "50 Years of Wildlife Photographer of the Year", a stunning retrospective of nature photography.

    "Wildlife Photographer of the Year" is an annual competition recognizing the world’s greatest nature photographs. With this prestigious contest, celebrating its 50th edition this year, two key UK institutions - the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide - help to raise awareness of and protect the diversity of life on Earth.
    Lecta has had the pleasure of participating in the French edition of this extraordinary volume, "L'Art de la photographie de nature", published by Biotope.

    Condat’s coated silk paper, resistant with a satin finish, allows the “wild” nature of the most beautiful work from the world’s leading nature photographers to emerge. Photographers such as Frans Lanting, Jim Brandenburg, Vincent Munier, Michael Nichols and Paul Nicklen, to name a few, have had a profound influence on the evolution of wildlife photography, which has become a fully fledged art form in itself.
    From vibrant color to pure deep whites, Condat silk reconciles extremes for high-contrast results in nearly 150 exceptional prints that will delight photography fans and nature lovers alike.
    The partnership between Biotope, a publishing company known for its biodiversity publications, and Lecta, a paper manufacturing group recognized and awarded for its commitment to sustainable development, is no coincidence. Lecta considers its business activity to be inextricably linked to a respectful attitude towards the environment and society.

    “L'Art de la photographie de nature”, available in major bookstores and on the website, is a brilliant example of paper as the natural choice for a more sustainable world.
    (Papeteries de Condat S.p.A)
    08.12.2014   Completion of the acquisition of Carter Holt Harvey Limited’s pulp, paper and packaging businesses..    ( Company news )

    Company news ...resulting in specified subsidiary classification

    Oji Holdings Corporation (“Oji”) is pleased to announce that, following the previous announcement dated April 25, 2014, Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (“INCJ”) and Oji have completed the acquisition of New Zealand/Australia-based pulp, paper and packaging businesses comprised of Carter Holt Harvey Pulp & Paper Limited (“CHHPP”) and certain related companies held by Carter Holt Harvey Limited (collectively “CHHPP Group”) from Rank Group. For the purpose of the acquisition, INCJ and Oji have established Oji Oceania Management Co., Ltd. (“OOM”) and Oji Oceania Management (NZ) Limited (“OOM(NZ)”) as a holding company which will fall under the category of specified subsidiary of Oji.

    I. Completion of the transaction
    On April 25, 2014, Oji announced that INCJ and Oji have signed a share purchase agreement to acquire 100% of the shares in CHHPP Group. Pursuant to the agreement, INCJ and Oji have today completed the acquisition of CHHPP Group. The transaction value (including the CHHPP Group’s net debt) is approximately NZ$1,037 million.

    II. Specified subsidiary classification
    1. Reason for the classification
    For the purpose of the acquisition, Oji has established OOM in Japan as well as OOM(NZ) in New Zealand. As the amount of paid-in capital for each of OOM, OOM(NZ) and CHHPP will be greater than 10% of Oji’s paid-in capital, these companies will fall under the category of specified subsidiary of Oji.

    Effective date to become subsidiary
    December 1, 2014

    III. Impact on Forecast
    Oji is currently assessing the possible impact of the acquisition on Oji’s FY2015 forecast and will inform the market as soon as practicable.
    (Oji Holdings Corporation)

    Company news Landa appoints Marc Schillemans as EMEA VP of Sales and Kobi Ulmer as VP of Field Operations

    Landa Digital Printing has announced the appointment of Marc Schillemans as European (EMEA) Vice President of Sales and the appointment of Kobi Ulmer as Vice President of Field Operations.

    Schillemans’ digital print experience and proven results-driven approach will bolster Landa’s sales ramp-up and market penetration. He has a successful track record for building digital print businesses. During the past eight years Marc has held a variety of senior management positions at HP, from President of Scitex Vision to his most recent role as EMEA VP of Sales and Market Development for HP Indigo and IHPS, HP’s inkjet web business. Prior to joining HP, Marc held senior sales positions with Agfa, Esko, Xeikon and Xerox.

    “I am delighted to join the Landa team and to be a part of this exciting journey", says Schillemans. "I look forward to playing a role in the commercialization of the Landa Nanographic Printing® Presses and to getting these amazing machines into customer hands.”

    Landa also announced the promotion of Kobi Ulmer from Director of Worldwide Sales to VP of Field Operations, responsible for overall operational and logistical implementation of the Company’s market strategy, including global customer satisfaction, consumables, facilities and field logistics. Ulmer continues to be responsible for all non-EMEA sales.

    “The appointment of Marc Schillemans is of huge importance to our EMEA roll-out”, says Benny Landa, the Company’s Chairman and CEO. “We are pleased to have secured such a high caliber figure, whose reputation and industry experience speak for themselves. With Kobi Ulmer’s promotion to VP of Field Operations, we greatly strengthen our senior team and reinforce our ability to deliver market leading products and services.”
    (Landa Digital Printing)
    08.12.2014   New food packaging has green credentials     ( Company news )

    Company news A revolutionary food packaging material developed through a collaboration between Sheffield Hallam University and Karlstad University in Sweden is soon to be introduced to the market.

    CaiLar uses a natural combination of starch and clay to create a moisture-resistant film coating for paper and cardboard. This approach could reduce the food packaging sector's reliance on petroleum-based plastics.

    UK households currently generate more than 1.7 million tonnes of packaging waste each year but only 50 per cent of the plastic bottles used and 12-15 per cent of the mixed plastic waste is recycled.

    This, added to the fact that petroleum is a time-limited resource, meant that a more sustainable and biodegradable alternative needed to be developed.

    The CaiLar innovation resulted from a collaboration between Sheffield Hallam and Karlstad University in Sweden under the European funded project SustainPack, which aimed to encourage the use of recyclable packaging materials.

    The technology on which CaiLar is based is protected by a series of worldwide patents. Large scale pilot trials have proved that the coating technology, which is safe for food contact, is suitably robust. This means that CaiLar is now ready to be introduced onto the food packaging market and a new company, BarrCoat AB, has been set up in Karlstad to achieve this.

    Professor Chris Breen, head of Sheffield Hallam's Polymers, Nanocomposites and Modelling Research Centre, has worked with Karlstad's associate professor Caisa Andersson and Professor Lars Järnström on the project.

    He said: "The clay particles in CaiLar really slow down the progress of moisture through the package. This keeps the packed food drier and also helps maintain the starch’s natural ability to slow down oxygen penetration into the packaged food.

    "The pilot trials have shown that we can recreate the properties we found in the lab on a much larger scale. Our colleagues at BarrCoat AB are already engaging with a number of interested companies who want to benefit from CaiLar’s green credentials, so we're really excited that CaiLar could soon be out on the market."

    Louise Törnefalk Svanqvist, chairman of BarrCoat AB said: "Environment, sustainability and innovation are three strong driving forces within the packaging industry and the new barrier coating CaiLar gives products and companies the possibility to become more environmentally friendly without compromising on function."
    (Sheffield Hallam University)
    08.12.2014   Xerium Introduces HuySpeed QS Tissue Felt Technology    ( Company news )

    Company news Xerium Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:XRM), a leading global provider of industrial consumable products and services, recently launched HuySpeed QS tissue felt technology. HuySpeed QS is designed specifically to reduce the start-up cycle on new felts and to provide more efficient overall production on high speed tissue machines. The unique combination of the felt’s base and surface components enable a tissue machine to achieve full speed immediately after the start-up of a new felt. In addition, HuySpeed QS technology has already proven to help reduce energy consumption along with improved tissue sheet quality.

    “We are delighted to bring our already successful QS technology to the tissue industry. This unique product concept provides enhanced felt and machine performance right from start-up”, said Mr. Bill Butterfield, EVP and CTO of Xerium. "HuySpeed QS helps our customers overcome the traditional slow-speed startups for new machine clothing, and we are already seeing reports with improvements in production, efficiency, and energy savings”.
    (Xerium Technologies Inc.)
    08.12.2014   Quality stationery from 13 countries and regions prepare Hong Kong     ( Company news )

    Company news International Stationery Fair for another successful year

    Latest information on emerging trends and the digital revolution suggest new direction
    Organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the 15th edition of the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair will be held 12 – 15 January 2015 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The 2015 show is expected to welcome around 200 quality exhibitors from 13 countries and regions, all exploring business opportunities in the Asia Pacific region. The attending countries and regions are Bulgaria, Chinese mainland, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Poland, and the USA, as well as Korea, Taiwan and Thailand with the latter three all having pavilions at the show.

    Exhibitors both old and new will be featured at the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair 2015. Diakakis Imports SA from Greece will exhibit at the show for the first time this year. It is one of the leading companies in importing and distributing products in Greece with more than 25 years of experience in the field of school items, arts & crafts, stationery, license brands and office supplies. The company has its own brand – LUNA – and also represents and distributes licensed products of the Walt Disney, Marvel (Spiderman) and Peppa Pig brands. Commenting on their upcoming presence at the fair Ms Eirini Diakaki from the Exports Department said, “The Asia-Pacific market is getting more and more important day by day, offering a huge range of products and potentials. Today’s economic trends have changed, forcing us to develop more firmly the exports section especially for our LUNA and license collection. We will come to the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair to expand our export customer base and to make the LUNA brand more widely known.”

    The fair will also welcome back exhibitors who attended and generated successful business leads and developments at previous shows. A. Lykogiannis Corp from Greece specialises in ergonomic bags for school and leisure as well as pencil cases, and currently exports to 20 countries and three continents. Speaking about their return to this year’s fair, Dr Ioannis Soukiouroglou, General Manager of the company said “After seeing the rise of the Asian markets, we have decided it is time to return to Hong Kong International Stationary Fair in order to penetrate the Asian market, along with presenting our new products and brands to potential clients who will attend the fair as visitors. We will launch our new fully functional large sized triple compartment rainproof knapsack, ideal for elementary school children. The Asia-Pacific market is important to us since it will lead to expansion of our company.”

    Latest information on emerging trends and the digital revolution suggest new direction

    Given the digital world we now live in, the stationery industry must continue to evolve with new trends and technologies to keep pace and enable it to thrive. This theme will be addressed at the Seminar on “Stationery: Traditional VS Digital?” – one of the many seminars making up the fringe programme during the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair 2015. The well respected Mr Rakesh Desai, Head – Print Media Division at Gifts & Accessories Magazine (India) – will take part in the seminar, using his experience of the Indian market and more to discuss specific examples. It is expected to be a popular session. Another speaker is Mr Yasushi Inoue, Director and Senior Managing Officer, Kokuyo S&T Co Ltd from Japan, who will use the company’s key product “Campus notebook” to share their current market status, future approach towards digital stationery and how to stay competitive in the market.

    Another highlight of the fringe programme will be the seminar on “Stationery Design Trend 2015” which will feature speaker Mr Paul Poon of Ten Design Stationery among others. Key trends emerging in the industry will be covered, and the session is set to engage expert and audience opinion to help attendees understand what direction the design element of the stationery industry is moving in.

    The Hong Kong International Stationery Fair will be held concurrently with HKTDC Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong Baby Products Fair and HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show.

    Hong Kong International Stationery Fair
    Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre
    12 – 15 January 2015
    (Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC))
    08.12.2014   Iggesund awarded for reducing environmental impact    ( Company news )

    Company news Iggesund has embarked on a substantial initiative to reduce its environmental impact, which is now being recognized the world over. In October, the Pulp & Paper Industry (PPI) presented Iggesund with its “Bio Strategy of the Year” award based on an extensive investment program to reduce fossil carbon emissions.

    Caption: “We are satisfied with what we have achieved and pleased at the signs of recognition from the outside world. We believe that a strong environmental programme reinforces our customers’ businesses”, says Arvid Sundblad, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Iggesund.

    “For several decades Iggesund has been systematically working to free itself from dependence on fossil fuel; switching the source of energy required to power our mills to bioenergy and, at the same time, increasing our energy efficiency,” says Arvid Sundblad, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Iggesund. “We are satisfied with what we have achieved and pleased at the signs of recognition from the outside world.”

    Strategic investment in a turbine-equipped recovery boiler have made the mill in Iggesund, Sweden fossil-fuel free to roughly 95% and nearly self-sufficient with respect to electricity; and in a biomass boiler at its mill in Workington, England, completely fossil-fuel free and a net supplier of green energy to the national electricity grid. The annual reduction in fossil carbon emissions from both mills is equivalent to taking more than 85,000 cars off the road.

    But the story hardly ends there. Also in October, the Holmen Group, which includes Iggesund Paperboard, was elevated to the “A List” of the CDP Climate Performance Leadership Index 2014. The CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) is an international not-for-profit organization that has the world’s only global system for measuring, reporting on, handling and sharing important environmental information.

    Placement on the A List means that the Holmen Group is now one of 187 globally active companies that are regarded as being the most advanced for the actions they have taken to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and to manage the business risks associated with climate change.

    “Our high placement in this evaluation proves that active energy and climate efforts plus clear communication about them reinforce both our brand and our credibility in the sustainability area,” says Lars Strömberg, Director of Sustainable and Environmental Affairs at Holmen.

    Just over a year ago, the Holmen Group was added to the United Nations Global Compact Index, which lists the world’s 100 most sustainable companies. This year’s evaluation results have just been announced and Holmen remains on that list.

    “In this context it is important to note that we are a heavy process industry competing with companies like banks and insurance companies, whose biggest environmental problem is the ozone emissions from their office laser printer. Yet our environmental work can easily hold its own against them,” Sundblad emphasises. He adds that this recognition of the group’s environmental efforts is part of everything that Iggesund supplies to its customers.

    “Our service has many aspects, ranging from delivery service to knowledge transfer – and we include them all under the concept of Care by Iggesund. This includes having an environmental programme that reinforces our customers’ businesses.”

    Care by Iggesund includes everything from customised delivery solutions to knowledge transfer, a sample service, technical support in local markets and transparent sustainability work.
    (Iggesund Paperboard AB)
    08.12.2014   Label Converter Suzhou Advance Printing goes digital with first installation ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... of Xeikon 3030Plus Press

    Xeikon’s digital cutting-edge technology is helping the company achieve high productivity combined with the highest possible printing Quality

    Suzhou Advance Printing (Yali) Co., a well-known label converter in China has recently successfully installed its first Xeikon 3030Plus Digital Label Press with the help of long-term partner United Printing Co.

    The Xeikon 3030Plus Digital Press is the narrow web “higher capacity” entry-level press and a member of the Xeikon 3000 Series presses. With five press models, the 3000 Series is the largest range of digital label press offerings on the market today, ranging from entry level to higher capacity options. All five models deliver the same 1200 DPI imaging quality and are able to print on an unrivalled range of substrates without pre-coating or pre-treatment, including various self-adhesive materials such as co-extruded films, BOPP, PVC and PET, transparent/opaque films as well as paperboards.

    The 3000 Series presses are divided into two maximum web widths (516mm/20.3 inches and 330 mm/13 inches) and three top running speeds (63 FPM, 49.2 FPM and 31.5 FPM). Entry-level versions are also designed to be field-upgraded to the wider and/or faster specifications as the business needs increase.

    The full-rotary printing technology with variable repeat length guarantees that the press speeds are not affected by the label size and/or the number of colors used. Also included is the Xeikon X-800 Digital Front End. Based on years of R&D and the pursuit of the best industry standards in terms of digital industrial workflows, the X-800 can be integrated into any production environment and its modular setup allows label and packaging converters to efficiently manage their specific production needs. The X-800 also enables the easy implementation of variable data on labels or packages, even allowing to add variable information after the files have been ripped. The combination of the variable data capabilities and the top-notch printing quality, i.e. the use of micro texts, variable barcodes or numbers, the ability to print guilloches or the use of specific colors and security toners, makes the Xeikon 3000 Series an excellent tool for the brand protection of labels and packages.

    Finally, the Xeikon 3000 Series presses also use the new QA-I toner, which meets all the applicable FDA guidelines for indirect food contact under room temperature and less severe conditions as well as direct food contact for dry food substances containing no surface oil or fat under the same conditions.

    Mr. Zhong Xiaochun, General Manager of Suzhou Advance Co, comments: “We have been very impressed by the stability of the Xeikon 3030Plus Press and by its wide range of applications that have fully responded to the needs of our end-users. We cannot praise enough the many unique benefits we have been able to find with the Xeikon Press. Our company will be doing further marketing research into the additional applications Xeikon can offer in the very near future. “

    Recently appointed Managing Director Xeikon Asia Pacific (ASPAC), Bent Serritslev concludes: “The Asia Pacific printing industry is seeing unprecedented growth and the installation at Suzhou Advance Printing (Yali) Co reflects this. This success story is also a great testimony that our digital solutions are truly offering the flexibility, quality and creativity customers in this region are looking for and are really helping their businesses stay ahead of the competition.”

    Xeikon exhibited at Labelexpo South China taking place in Pazhou Exhibition Center, Guangzhou from 3 to 5 December (stand D15).
    (Xeikon Manufacturing NV)
    05.12.2014   Rest of Africa operations drive earnings growth    ( Company news )

    Company news Nampak Limited, Africa’s leading diversified packaging manufacturer, announces its results for the financial year to 30 September 2014.

    • Revenue up 10%*
    • Trading profit up 8%*
    • Headline earnings per share up 14%*
    • Final dividend up 9% to 107.0 cents per share
    • Trading profit from the rest of Africa up 25%, now accounts for 30% of group total
    • R3.3 billion invested in acquiring a beverage can facility in Nigeria
    • Capital expenditure of R2.6 billion
    • B-BBEE rating improved to Level 3
    • Agreement after year end on sale of Corrugated, Sacks and Tissue for R1.6 billion
    * From continuing operations

    CEO André de Ruyter says:
    “Nampak had a strong 2014, marked by continued delivery on our ambitious strategy to unlock further value from our base business and accelerate growth in the rest of Africa. The contribution to trading profit of operations in the rest of Africa increased to 30% from 26% in 2013.
    Notable achievements in South Africa in the year were the commissioning of the third glass furnace, the sale of the Cartons and Labels division and the conversion of our beverage can lines in Springs to aluminium. Throughout our operations, the launch of the ‘buy better, make better, sell better’ business improvement initiatives as well as the concerted efforts to improve our safety record continued to drive performance. The group achieved a Level 3 B-BBEE rating, an improvement on the Level 4 rating in 2013.
    During the year we took a critical look at our business and put in place various overhead cost management and business improvement programmes. Active portfolio management continues to be a theme, with an agreement reached shortly after year end on the disposal of the South African Corrugated, Sacks and Tissue divisions for an amount of R1.6 billion. We also continue to pursue a number of growth opportunities in east and west Africa.
    Total capital expenditure for the year amounted to R2.6 billion (2013: R1.4 billion). We spent R1.9 billion in South Africa and R702 million in the rest of Africa. In South Africa, our investments benefited from the government's Section 12I Tax Allowance Incentive for a brownfields investment.
    With the outlook for South African economic growth modest at best, Nampak is putting a strong emphasis on rigorous management of factors under its control. Already established as the packaging leader in Africa, with operations in 11 African countries beyond South Africa’s borders, we continue to focus on taking advantage of Africa’s upward growth trajectory.”

    Results overview:
    In 2014, Nampak’s overall group performance was in line with expectations. Headline earnings per share from continuing operations rose by 14% to 237.1 cents from 207.7 cents, supported by a 10% increase in revenue and an 8% increase in trading profit. Charges attributable to the impairment of the South African Corrugated, Sacks and Tissue divisions arising from their proposed disposal reduced group operating profit which fell 16%. Trading profit from the rest of Africa increased by 25% to R616 million due mainly to the contribution of the newly acquired Bevcan Nigeria and the continued good performance of the Angola beverage can operation.
    In South Africa, operating conditions continued to be challenging with trading profit declining by 15% due to margin pressure experienced in the Paper, Flexibles and Plastics divisions. Nampak Glass posted an operating loss because of capacity constraints in the final quarter resulting from the late commissioning of the third furnace and production inefficiencies on the two other furnaces. Following management intervention, the outlook for our Glass division for the current year is significantly improved.
    In line with the group’s strategic initiative to actively manage its portfolio, subsequent to year end Nampak agreed the disposal of the South African Corrugated, Sacks and Tissue divisions for R1.6 billion. The transaction will be finalised once all conditions precedent to the disposal are met, which is expected to be in the first half of the 2015 financial year.
    The final dividend was increased by 9% to 107.0 cents per share, resulting in a total dividend of 153.0 cents for the year (2013: 140.0 cents).

    The South African business environment is expected to remain challenging in 2015, however, Nampak will continue to focus on unlocking value from its base business. Efficiency gains from the conversion of many of its beverage can lines to aluminium from tinplate, as well as from the new glass furnace, are expected to contribute to earnings in the year ahead.
    In the rest of Africa, Nampak is strategically well placed with strong market positions and a growing presence. The group is pursuing its strategic objective to accelerate growth in the rest of Africa to ensure that this contributes to sustainable earnings growth in the longer term.
    (Nampak Paper Ltd)
    05.12.2014   Kotkamills invests in Imprex production    ( Company news )

    Company news The leading producer of laminating paper products, Kotkamills, starts an about 13 million euros two-phase investment programme to strengthen its position as the leading global supplier of overlaying films for plywood industry.
    In the first phase the company invests in a new impregnation production line in its subsidiary, L.P. Pacific Films, in Malaysia. The new line will start up by the end of the year 2015.
    According to the plan, in the second phase of the investment programme in 2016 the company will increase the production capacity of Imprex overlaying films in its mill in Kotka in Southern Finland. In addition to the capacity increase, the new line will also enable the expanding of the Imprex product range.
    There are altogether about 90 persons working for the Imprex business area in Finland and Malaysia. The Imprex products are produced by converting the Absorbex paper which is produced in the company in Finland. The customers of the Imprex products are the plywood and the laminate industries.
    (Kotkamills Oy)

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