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Futura harnesses the sticking power of water for lamination

Futura harnesses the sticking power of water for lamination  (Company news)

JOI Hydro-Bond is a new technology from Futura which, for the first time in tissue converting, achieves perfect adhesion of tissue plies using water alone - no glue.

The technology is the result of months of experimentation at FuturaLab – Futura’s hub of innovation – and the results have been a revelation.
“There are no chemicals at play here,” says Futura’s Chief Technology Officer Giovacchino Giurlani. “Perfect adhesion of the tissue plies is the result of a combination of the uniform nip pressure of JOI’s renowned Zero Deflexion steel marrying roll, which evenly connects the plies using water to create permanence to the tissue-to-tissue bond which results.”

The technology has been tested and proven under real-life operating conditions, using a wide variety of toilet tissue, including conventional and structured. And thanks to collaboration with our customers, Futura has been able to verify the process in everything from warm and humid to cold and dry climates, using the varied local water quality available. The results have consistently confirmed the validity of Hydro-Bond even with 3 and 4 plies.

The end result is a product which is more hygienic and pleasant for the consumer to use, and more sustainable, from both an environmental and economic point of view. “The roll which results from JOI Hydro-Bond retains all its qualities, but is better thanks to what it is missing,” says Sergio Tonarelli, Futura’s Chief Sales Officer.

The production process without glue will provide increased output. Removing glue from the equation also means reduced contamination of the machine with the benefits which this brings. While glue represents a cost, the main impact is the efficiency-related savings in the process, which mean increased Overall Equipment Efficiency.

“Our task now is to continue sharing this genuine innovation with the industry,” says Tonarelli. “FuturaLab is going to be a busy place as we can now show tissue makers how JOI Hydro-Bond works with their specific paper.”
An open house demonstration to launch JOI Hydro-Bond will take place on Thursday 28 March 2019 at FuturaLab in Lucca.
(Futura S.p.A.)

Yankee cylinder for new paper machine

Yankee cylinder for new paper machine  (Company news)

Hats off: Koehler has the largest cylinder

Largest Yankee cylinder in the world arrives in Kehl. This special production comes from Brazil. Target: Sustainable solutions for the packaging market.

"The arrival of the cylinder represents an important step towards our new paper machine," says Dr. Stefan Karrer, technical director of the Koehler Paper Group. The 200-ton steel cylinder forms the heart of the new paper machine that Koehler is currently building at its Kehl site on the Rhine. With a diameter of 7.31 meters, it is the world's largest smoothing cylinder of its kind.

Baden-Württemberg companies working together
The cylinder has already made a long journey. Although the manufacturer Voith has its headquarters in Heidenheim, Germany, the cylinder was manufactured in Brazil and transported from there by ship via the port of Santos to Kehl. Two cranes of 500 and 700 tons from MSG Krandienst GmbH in Kehl were already waiting here.

For MSG, these are two handy cranes that don't require major effort to set up. Nevertheless, MSG alone had nine employees on site and another three from the transport company Gutmann. It was also the Gutmann employees who brought the cylinder the short distance from the port to Koehler's factory premises. When the cylinder is used at the end of April, 60 trucks will be required to deliver the crane components. The shell of the workshop will once again be opened up.

The excellent teamwork of the three Baden-Württemberg companies was rounded off by the performance of LS Cargo, which transported the cylinder from Brazil to Kehl. Thanks to the excellent flow of information between the companies involved, the transport went smoothly.

The aim is to develop sustainable solutions for the packaging market
Koehler will use the cylinder to produce paper for flexible packaging. In addition to the paper machine, Koehler is also building a new coating machine. Here the paper is given a special surface that will eventually have barrier properties for aroma, oxygen, water vapor, oils and fats. It will thus be possible to replace plastic with easily recyclable paper for various packaging applications.

"As a company, we will make a contribution to reducing the waste problem and developing sustainable solutions," says Dr. Karrer. Koehler is already working on advanced solutions together with partners from industry and science. Of particular note here is the Green Coating Collaboration, a joint laboratory set up by Koehler and TU Darmstadt.
(Koehler Holding GmbH & Co KG)

Valmet Kappa QC analyzer adds HexA measurement capability for eucalyptus pulp producers

Valmet Kappa QC analyzer adds HexA measurement capability for eucalyptus pulp producers  (Company news)

The accurate online measurement of Kappa number, indicating residual lignin content, is essential for the optimization of cooking and bleaching in the production of eucalyptus kraft pulp.

Since the 1990s it has been known that the presence of hexenuronic acid (HexA) in unbleached hardwood pulp increases the consumption of bleaching chemicals leading to higher production costs and product quality variability as well as worsening environmental performance. Part of the product variability can be explained by the fact that HexA also consumes potassium permanganate in the Kappa number analysis which leads to an erroneous lignin content signal to automatic controls. Valmet has development new and unique online method for the measurement of HexA, now available as an additional module working alongside the Kappa, brightness and fiber& shive properties measurements in the Valmet Kappa QC analyzer.
Online hexenuronic acid measurement

Cooking conditions influence HexA formation and modern continuous cooking concepts, utilizing lower temperatures to improve efficiency and yield, increase the HexA content in the pulp. HexA and residual lignin react differently with commonly applied bleaching chemicals and highlight the complex chemistry of cooking and bleaching of hardwood kraft pulps. HexA can be removed from the pulp by a mild acid hydrolysis, leading to two basic approaches to the problem. One is to use a hot A (acidification) stage prior to bleaching or second approach combining the hot A-stage with the D0-stage in a single hot D0-(Dhot) stage. Both benefit from the simultaneous online measurement of Kappa and HexA by the Valmet Kappa QC analyzer. This new feature has installed already several Kappa QC analyzers in South-America and Finland.
Excellent laboratory correlation

Valmet Kappa QC analyzer can be calibrated against the mill HexA laboratory method with excellent correlation. Calibration and follow up samples can be obtained from the analyzer’s automatic laboratory sampling collection, which enables fast and accurate calibration with laboratory analyzed pulp the same as analyzer measured pulp.

The Kappa and HexA results from the Valmet Kappa QC analyzer open a new window to follow up O2- and A stage process responses. It is possible to see the Kappa number and the HexA amount both before and after the O2 stage as well as after the subsequent A stage.

Optimized process
Balancing the bleachability and brightness stability of the pulp with yield and required papermaking properties is made much easier with the better understanding of the lignin and HexA reduction relationship in the process. Whether mills utilize a separate A-stage as above or the Dhot stage approach, the new measurement offers the opportunity to further optimize cooking conditions and chemical consumption.
(Valmet Corporation)

Arctic Paper signs agreement on sustainable energy supply in Munkedal

Arctic Paper signs agreement on sustainable energy supply in Munkedal  (Company news)

Arctic Paper has concluded a 15-year agreement with Adven AB on sustainable energy supply to the Group's paper mill in Munkedal. The agreement ensures lower, more stable and predictable energy costs and reduces CO2-emissions.

Adven AB will construct, own and operate a boiler plant with a capacity to deliver 30 MW. The plant is expected to be put into operation in two years.

”Energy prices are volatile and there is a significant political risk for the future. This agreement ensures Arctic Paper Munkedals long-term competitiveness through lower, more stable and predictable energy costs, it will also strongly reduce our environmental footprint”, says Michal Jarczyński, CEO of Arctic Paper S.A.

The new plant will mainly be operated on recycled wood and well-defined sorted and recycled materials. In combination with the previously announced investment in the expansion of hydropower in Munkedal, this means that Arctic Paper Munkedals can phase out the use of natural gas and externally sourced electricity. This will reduce the mill's carbon dioxide emissions by 60 per cent and has significant positive impact on the energy cost.

“Our investments in sustainable energy infrastructure generates value to our customers and to the society. We are very pleased that Arctic Paper selected us as their partner in Munkedal” says Ilkka Niiranen, CEO of Adven Sweden.
(Arctic Paper S.A.)

CTI Paper USA introduces Ruche™

CTI Paper USA introduces Ruche™  (Company news)

Handcrafted tradition meets papermaking innovation to create Ruche™, a new and wholly unique family of highly tactile creped printing and packaging papers.

With its luxurious, gently antiqued “cotton-like” surface texture, Ruche is ideal for well-differentiated social and business communications— as well as bespoke specialty packaging. Ruche delivers unmatched performance in letterpress along with foil stamping, engraving, embossing and die-cutting treatments. It is also well suited for inkjet and flexo printing.

Ruche is a designer’s treasure, complementing artistic vision and commanding attention. Its elegant, artisanal hand provides a one-of-a-kind canvas and aesthetic for the print craftsperson who appreciates the beauty and subtlety of a soft, tactile, randomly patterned substrate. No competing brand can deliver the statement and impact you make when you put Ruche to work in your premium print communications.
(CTI Paper USA)

Stora Enso ranked the best in a new diversity comparison in Finland

Stora Enso ranked the best in a new diversity comparison in Finland  (Company news)

Stora Enso received the highest scores in the FINDIX report, which was published for the first time today. The study examined the diversity of 89 Finnish companies through five different variables. These include gender distribution, age distribution, international background, educational background and industry-specific background of management teams and board of directors. The variables are based on the Finnish Securities Market Association’s corporate governance code, where they are highlighted as factors promoting diversity.

“At Stora Enso, we believe diversity strengthens our competitiveness and we aim to reflect the societies in which we operate. Diverse working teams enable us to explore different perspectives and challenge our way of thinking, contributing to better decision-making,” says Karl-Henrik Sundström (photo), Stora Enso’s CEO. “To benefit from diverse working teams, we need inclusive work environments that respect and appreciate individual differences. Dimensions such as skills and experiences, gender, age, cultural background and personality are important to Stora Enso when we strive for diversity.”
(Stora Enso Oyj)



Papernet Freshen Tech, a Sofidel Group product, received on March 12 the 2019 PPI (Pulp & Paper International) Award in the Tissue Innovation category at the awards ceremony in Vienna.

Freshen Tech, part of the Away from Home range, developed for bars, hotels, restaurants, public facilities, public transport, etc., is the new toilet paper that neutralises bad odours thanks to an active ingredient capable of modifying their molecular structure.

The active ingredient, innovative and 100% allergen-free, patented by Firmenich - one of the world's largest producers of essences - means Freshen Tech users do not need to make use of alternative products, reducing deodorisation time and costs, with considerable benefit also for the environment in terms of reduction of CO2 emissions and gases harmful to the atmosphere.

The PPI Awards, sponsored by Fastmarkets RISI, the leading information provider for the global tissue production industry, recognise tissue products and companies as an example of international excellence. Receiving the award for the Tissue Innovation category highlights the product innovation delivered by Sofidel, the tissue paper production group known in particular for the Regina brand.

Freshen Tech is the latest addition to an innovation-focused product range which Sofidel, under its Papernet brand, has developed for the Away from Home sector. From Papernet Dissolve Tech, the paper that combines exceptional performance with rapid dissolving times in water to prevent clogging in pipes and systems, to Papernet Bio Tech, the biologically active paper, winner of the PPI Award in 2015, which cleans and sanitises pipes and reduces bad odours thanks to a carefully selected mix of spores.

These achievements were made possible by the significant investments in both paper mill and converting technology, that the Group has made over the years.
(Sofidel Group)

Ahlstrom-Munksjö coated products extends their product line of Aerobak™ liners for ...

Ahlstrom-Munksjö coated products extends their product line of Aerobak™ liners for ...  (Company news)

...advanced composites

Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s North America Specialty Solutions Coated Products team announced an extension to their brand of release liners used in the manufacture of Advanced Composites. In collaboration with our suppliers and customers, the product was designed with specific properties and performance characteristics to meet the challenges encountered with low tack prepregs and demanding ATL processes. This new line of products represents years of development and experience addressing the constant evolution of products used for the aerospace composite segment.

“The Ahlstrom-Munksjö Coated Products liners deliver solutions to the market using unique technologies that extend our products beyond traditional release liners,” explained Harry Challender, Vice President of Coated Products. “Through a collaborative process, our team leverages the depth of experience we have in both paper and coating technologies to provide a distinct product to address individual requirements. We are committed to this industry as witnessed by our investment in capacity designed around the growing needs of the composite market.”

While customized to meet the demanding requirements of the aerospace segment, AeroBak™ liners are also used in Ballistics, Recreational, and Wind Energy applications.
(North America Specialty Solutions)

Nippon Paper Industries Announces Newsprint Price Revisions

Nippon Paper Industries Announces Newsprint Price Revisions  (Company news)

Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. (President: Fumio Manoshiro; hereinafter, "the Company") has announced price revisions for newsprint as follows.

1. Product subject to price revisions: Overall newsprint
2. Markup: 100 Yen/ream
3. Timing of implementation: From April 1, 2019 delivery

4. Reason for implementation:
In recent years, the demand for newsprint has continued to decline, but the Company is striving to ensure stable supply and quality of newsprint while implementing various cost-cutting measures. Under the Sixth Medium-Term Business Plan (FY2018 to FY2020), the Company will further consolidate production facilities to reduce fixed costs by shutting down the No. 8 paper production machine at the Kushiro Mill and the No. 6 paper production machine at the Hokkaido Mill (Yufutsu).

However, the business environment of newsprint is increasingly severe. In addition to rising prices of waste paper and other raw materials and fuels, the rise in logistics costs has become unavoidable. Therefore, it will be extreme difficult to reproduce if the situation continues beyond the limits of our independent efforts to reduce costs. To secure business continuity and stable supply, the Company decided the revision of the product prices.
(Nippon Paper Industries Co Ltd)

First CorruJET from Koenig & Bauer installed at KOLB

First CorruJET from Koenig & Bauer installed at KOLB  (Company news)

-HANS KOLB Wellpappe as development partner
-Focus on growth markets
-Portfolio expansion as an important objective
-Digital post-printing directly on corrugated board

Its focus on growth markets such as digital packaging printing is part of the successful Koenig & Bauer strategy. With the installation of the first CorruJET press at the KOLB company group in Memmingen, it has now taken the next step along this fruitful path. Koenig & Bauer management board member Christoph Müller: “In exactly the same way as for our analogue presses, the CorruFLEX and CorruCUT, we based the project specifications on a careful evaluation of the market and customer wishes. The KOLB Group is here an ideal partner with whom to further the development of our new CorruJET for digital post-printing on corrugated board.” The CorruJET is set to enter production in the second quarter of 2019.

Photo: 3D schematic of the new CorruJET from Koenig & Bauer

New premises for KOLB DigitalSolutions were opened in Memmingen-Amendingen just last year, barely a stone’s throw from the KOLB group headquarters in the town. The CorruJET will form the heart of a new production plant with integrated finishing and conversion. “Differentiation, fast time-to-market scenarios, or reduced run lengths in conjunction with increased versioning – the demands expressed by our customers are forever changing,” says Dr. Bernhard Ruffing, managing director of Hans Kolb Wellpappe. “Against this background, focus is naturally turning to the option of digital post-printing. With Koenig & Bauer and the CorruJET, we are well equipped to respond to future customer demands and can also open up new markets.”

Successful for almost 90 years

HANS KOLB Wellpappe was founded in Memmingen in 1933 and is currently led by second‑generation managing partner Alwin J. Kolb and managing director Dr. Bernhard Ruffing. The company is an international supplier with a workforce of around 1,100 employees, who develop and produce a broad spectrum of packaging, packaging materials and special corrugated board products.

Digital post-printing on corrugated board
When developing the new CorruJET press for the corrugated board industry, Koenig & Bauer was able to call upon extensive experience already gained with the RotaJET. The CorruJET delivers high-resolution digital print at production speeds of up to 6,000sph and handles formats up to 1,700 x 1,300mm (66.9 x 51.2in). All customary outer liners, whether coated or uncoated, are printed in exceptional quality. This combination of high quality and maximum throughput is a key distinguishing feature of the CorruJET. As the sheet infeed was designed for a hard-edge sheet orientation, it can be combined easily with typical peripheral equipment (pre-feeder, stacker) and harmonises with the standard logistics of every corrugated board plant. The incorporation of a coating unit provides for gloss or matt coating of the four-colour images printed using water-based inks.
(Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA))

Valmet to supply a containerboard line for GS Paperboard & Packaging in Malaysia

Valmet to supply a containerboard line for GS Paperboard & Packaging in Malaysia  (Company news)

Valmet will supply OptiConcept M containerboard making line (photo) with automation solutions and a winder for GS Paperboard & Packaging (GSPP) Sdn., Bhd. in Selangor, Malaysia. With the new production line PM 3, GSPP will produce high-quality testliner and fluting grades as well as strengthen its position in the Malaysian market. The start-up of PM 3 is scheduled for 2021.

The order is included in Valmet's first quarter of 2019 orders received. The value of the order will not be disclosed. The total value of order of this type is typically around EUR 60-70 million.

"We have built a strong and long-lasting relationship with Valmet, which set a very good base for the negotiations. Valmet's excellent references were another important cornerstone. OptiConcept M boardmaking lines stand out with their energy- and resource-efficient processes and high-speed production. We are convinced with Valmet's technology, which is reliable throughout the whole boardmaking line," says Sia Boon Soon, President of GS Paperboard & Packaging.

"The customer had a clear idea about the machine concept from the very beginning. Thanks to our close cooperation and interactive discussions with the PM3 project team, we were able to find together a solution that fits well for the customer's needs," says Timo Puijola, Senior Sales Manager, Valmet.

Technical details about the delivery
Valmet's delivery will include equipment for stock preparation system with broke and approach flow systems. The delivery for the new high-capacity containerboard machine will include an OptiConcept M containerboard machine, which is already the 26th OptiConcept M line sold globally. The delivery consists of a complete machine from headbox to reel followed by an OptiWin Drum two-drum winder with transfer rails. The delivery will also include an OptiAir Hood high humidity hood, OptiAir Recovery heat recovery with other related air and ventilation systems, a surface starch preparation system and supply system for sizer as well as Valmet Paper Machine Clothing package for start-up. The automation delivery includes Valmet DNA Automation System for process and machine controls and Valmet IQ Quality Management Solution.

The 7,250-mm wide (wire) containerboard machine will produce fluting and testliner grades with a design basis weight range of 70-180 g/m2. The design speed of the machine will be 1,200 m/min and the design daily capacity 1,445 tonnes.
(Valmet Corporation)

CCE International 2019: Live demonstrations and technological innovations attract international ...

CCE International 2019: Live demonstrations and technological innovations attract international ...  (Company news)

... expert audience

Last week, from 12 – 14 March 2019, CCE International, the International Exhibition for the Corrugated and Folding Carton Industry, took place for the 4th time at the Munich Trade Fair Centre in Germany. A total of 2,406 visitors from 79 countries came to Munich to discover the wide range of machinery, accessories and services covering the entire production and processing chain of corrugated and folding carton. The number of visitors has, thus, risen by 13% compared to 2017. Once again, the live demonstrations at the stands of the 155 exhibitors from 23 countries attracted a highly international expert audience, 69% of whom came from outside Germany. Digital print on corrugated and folding carton was the predominant topic at the show.

CCE International 2019 was, once again, characterised by its high degree of internationality regarding both, exhibitors and visitors. The majority of visitors came from Germany, Italy, France, Great Britain, Poland, Russia, Turkey, Spain, Austria and the Czech Republic. The most important exhibitor countries at the show were Italy, Germany, China, the Netherlands and Great Britain.

At CCE International 2019 trade visitors got an overview of the latest technology trends, manufacturing processes, machinery and services covering the entire production and processing chain. Many exhibitors presented the benefits of their machines and systems with live demonstrations at their stands; an opportunity that many trade visitors made use of. ‘Live demonstrations make CCE International stand out’, explains Liljana Goszdziewski, Exhibition Director of CCE International, on behalf of the organisers, Mack Brooks Exhibitions. ‘Our visitors value this service by the exhibitors and, once again, used the opportunity to ask questions about the machines and develop individual production solutions together with the manufacturers’, Liljana Goszdziewski continues.

First results of the visitor analysis
The first results of the exhibition analysis show, that trade visitors were experts who were mainly interested in equipment for corrugated board plants and sheet plants, printing applications, control systems, equipment for folding carton converting, raw materials, as well as materials handling and warehousing.
The majority of visitors at CCE International 2019 represented corrugated board plants and sheet plants, others were folding carton converters, corrugated sheet feeders, packaging designers and specifiers, trade representatives, and rigid carton manufacturers.
The most important industry sectors that visitors belonged to were corrugated, packaging, folding carton, printing, food and beverage, transport and logistics, electrical appliances and electronics, furniture, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics.

The Future of Digital Print
A highlight of this year’s CCE International were the open series of free seminars on all three exhibition days, which were very popular with the visitors. The main topic of the expert seminars was Digital Print. Industry experts looked at this topic from different angles and gave valuable insights into the potential of digital printing techniques. Presenters and audience agreed that the continuous development of digital print on the one hand, and consumers’ increasing demand for individualised products on the other hand, would further promote the establishment of digital printing techniques in the corrugated and folding carton industry. Digital print offers new opportunities and many advantages compared to other printing techniques. It is now up to the corrugated and folding carton industry to exploit the full potential of this technology and explore new business areas. In addition to ‘Digital Print‘, presenters also addressed the topics ‘Sustainability’ and ‘Innovative Converting Techniques’ in the expert seminars.

´We are delighted that this year's exhibition attracted such a high number of trade visitors, making CCE International the industry sector's first address in Europe for technological innovations in corrugated and folding carton production and conversion. Advancements in the field of finishing and digital printing applications and the associated market opportunities ensure that the innovation cycle in the corrugated and folding carton industry continues to pick up speed. Many exhibiting companies have therefore already reserved their stand space for the upcoming event´, concludes Liljana Goszdziewski.

The next CCE International, 5th International Exhibition for the Corrugated and Folding Carton Industry, will take place from 9 – 11 March 2021 at the Munich Trade Fair Centre in Germany.
(Mack Brooks Exhibitions)

ETS to participate in Tissue World 2019

ETS to participate in Tissue World 2019  (Company news)

Presenting latest scientific evidence on the importance of hygienic hand drying and its relevance in relation to single use towels vs jet air dryers

The European Tissue Symposium, ETS, will take part in Tissue World Milan, at Fieramilanocity Milan from 25-27 March. In addition to its presence at Stand G804, ETS will also speak at the Senior Management Symposium.

ETS chairman Fanis Papakostas will present during the session Sustainability – Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk. His presentation – Hand drying is a serious business – will take place from 14:35-15:00 on Monday 25 March. Delegates will learn about ETS’s activities and future plans, and there will be a special focus on the findings of the latest scientific studiesundertaken by leading microbiologists and published in scientific journals.

The presentation showcases two studies: a single site pilot study which showed that microbial contamination levels in hospital washrooms are associated with hand drying methods; and the findings of a new, real life multi-site study undertaken in hospital washrooms in France, Italy, and the UK. In all three countries, bacterial contamination was significantly higher in washrooms with jet air dryers than in washrooms equipped with paper hand towels dispensers.

“Both laboratory and real-world studies have demonstrated multiple examples of significant differences of surface bacterial contamination, including faecal association and antibiotic resistant bacteria with higher levels seen in washrooms using jet air dryers,” explains Fanis Papakostas. “WHO warns against jet air dryers in healthcare settings and advises using paper towels to prevent pandemic flu. These results suggest that jet air dryers are unsuitable for use in settings where cross-infection risk is increased.”

The world’s largest trade fair specifically dedicated to the tissue business, Tissue World is a truly global event attracting over 3000 visitors with tissue makers, converters and suppliers from 100 countries around the world. Established for over 20 years, it features the very latest innovations and technological advancements in tissue manufacturing, and offers an excellent opportunity for networking with industry decision makers.

With the theme: Smart and Sustainable – Strategies to Stay Sharp as a New Decade Dawns, this year’s 3-day conference explores the sustainable future of the tissue industry, including key drivers and areas of growth. ETS welcomes this focus on sustainability, and Mr Papakostas’ presentation will also touch on some of the Symposium’s key initiatives in this area.
(ETS European Tissue Symposium)

Huge international response to Gulf Print & Pack 2019

Huge international response to Gulf Print & Pack 2019  (Company news)

Preparations are ramping up for this year’s Gulf Print & Pack 2019 – the Middle East’s leading trade show for the commercial and package printing sector – with almost half of exhibitors taking part hailing from outside the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Gulf Print & Pack 2019 returns to World Trade Centre in Dubai from 15-18 April.
The show boasts a growing number of first-time exhibitors, alongside a growing number of companies from the Indian sub-continent making their show debut.

Returning exhibitors will be showcasing their machinery to potential buyers at a series of live demonstrations taking place throughout the four days of the show as part of a newly introduced “Innovation Trail” feature. Gulf Print & Pack 2019 is the only platform that brings all these manufacturers together under the one roof in the region.

Lisa Milburn, managing director, Gulf Print & Pack, commented: “We are delighted with the international response from overseas exhibitors at this year’s event. At its core, it has typically been Middle Eastern and African, but already we are looking forward to the most far-reaching edition of the show yet, with a particularly strong representation from Europe and Southeast Asia. It is proof that overseas companies are eager to take advantage of the opportunities presented in the region. It truly is a global show.”

The number of pre-show registrations from outside the MENA region are already way ahead of 2017 and come from countries as diverse as Bahrain, China, Egypt, Germany, India, Kuwait, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. With the show displaying the newest in multi-substrate presses, wide and narrow format digital presses, laser die-cutting, smart labels/packaging, and software, it is aimed primarily at printers, service providers, brand owners and designers.

Explaining why the show plays such a key role in connecting all these industry stakeholders, Chris Lynch, head of production technology, Xerox Middle East & Africa, said: “Gulf Print & Pack 2019 promises to be another ‘must see’ event for those in the business of printing and packaging across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. By connecting industry leaders, suppliers, market-creators and print service providers together with consumers of print and packaging, this event has rightfully earned a reputation for helping grow the market in new and exciting ways.”

Echoing this momentum, as a first-time exhibitor, Susana Teixeira, CFO & Sales, Lemorau, said: “Lemorau decided to attend Gulf Print & Pack 2019 in order to achieve more visibility in the Middle Eastern market. Lemorau already has some customers in Dubai and looks forward to expanding in this market by exhibiting at the show.”

Entry to the exhibition is free, but visitors should pre-register at
(Tarsus Group Limited)

New VersaUV LEF2-200 Features Exceptional Print Capabilities and Ease of Use

New VersaUV LEF2-200 Features Exceptional Print Capabilities and Ease of Use  (Company news)

Roland DG Corporation, a leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and printer/cutters worldwide, announced the launch of the VersaUV LEF2-200 20” benchtop UV flatbed printer.

This latest model forms part of Roland DG’s popular range of LEF-series desktop and benchtop UV printers, with the LEF2-200 inheriting their renowned ability to print amazing graphics and life-like textures, including premium finishes such as simulated embossing, onto a vast array of materials up to 100 mm (3.94 in.) thick. In addition, this new model offers an array of new enhancements that make the LEF2-200 even easier and more efficient to use, on top of its already-strong market reputation.

Likely to appeal to promotional print companies, retailers, screen and pad printers, sign shops, commercial printers, product manufacturers, industrial businesses and designers, the LEF2-200 can print onto virtually any surface, with typical applications ranging from customised promotional goods, gifts, souvenirs, stationery, electronics, awards, signs, packaging, industrial items and prototypes.

“The VersaUV LEF2-200 makes it very simple to print premium-quality photographs, graphics and text on almost anything,” said Kohei Tanabe, President of Roland DG’s Digital Printing Business Division. Its ECO-UV ink cures instantly on the surface of the material, so that it’s possible to print directly onto PVC and plastics, canvas, wood, leather, fabric, etc.

Plus, alongside full colour printing, you can also produce premium gloss and matt finishes as well as simulated 3D embossing for amazingly life-like textures with multiple layers of Clear ink. Capable of printing on corners and curves as well as soft materials such as leather and fabric. Simply put, the advanced Roland ECO-UV ink formulations are designed for both flexibility and beautiful imaging.

According to Tanabe, the new LEF2-200 incorporates a host of advanced functions to simplify high quality printing. A Start Timer Function completes the setup procedures of printhead cleaning and white ink circulation automatically by your designated start time – even getting it ready for when you arrive at the office or workshop. A positioning jig makes it easy to align items on the print table. Plus, the VersaUV LEF2-200 includes the latest VersaWorks 6 RIP software, featuring an intuitive interface for easy operation and job management. The LEF2-200 also adopts a new cleaning system to increase reliability. Plus, a Head Refresh Feature removes any ink remaining on the printheads and cleans the printhead surface to maintain the health of the printer. An airtight cover protects operators from UV light and prevents dust from settling onto the surface of materials while printing.

"With the LEF2-200, now anyone can print stunningly realistic and colourful images onto many different materials that you might not think possible,” Tanabe said. "To be able to offer this print capability even to people who are inexperienced in using this technology, we focused on ease of operation and the highest levels of reliability so that everyone can enjoy printing graphics and textures with confidence. In summary, this LEF2-200 adds incredible value and opportunity for business growth."
(Roland DG (UK) Ltd)

Online print shop SAXOPRINT investing in new large-format press from Heidelberg – ...

Online print shop SAXOPRINT investing in new large-format press from Heidelberg – ...  (Company news)

...substantial increase in productivity and efficiency

-Partnership-based relationship driving innovations
-New Speedmaster XL 162 with world’s first CutStar roll sheeter in this format nearly doubles efficiency at SAXOPRINT
-Heidelberg increasing its share of the growing online printing market

Picture: Klaus Sauer, Managing Director of SAXOPRINT, is very satisfied with the CutStar for the Speedmaster XL 162. This means that for the first time, the full flexibility to use sheets or roll-fed stock is available in 7B format.

The online print shop SAXOPRINT based in Dresden has recorded double-digit sales growth in recent years, and last year generated sales of over EUR 100 million in the area of commercial online printing as part of the CEWE Group. Its product range has undergone a significant change in this time. Standard commercial printed matter such as flyers, posters, catalogs, and brochures are still the main focus and account for 80 percent of its business, however packaging and finishing represent a large growth market. “Our business model is based on cost leadership,” explains Managing Director Klaus Sauer. “We use special algorithms to bundle the orders received via the web shop into gang runs and distribute them to the respective machines.

“With us, every order is individual. As well as a good price, delivery reliability and speed are important,” confirms Sauer. Customers from all over Europe order from SAXOPRINT, whether private individuals, business customers, agencies, or resellers, who now account for a not insignificant share. International customers are looked after by a call center in London staffed with native speakers. According to SAXOPRINT; the answer quota, in other words how quickly telephone calls are answered, is 98 percent, and the repeat order rate is over 80 percent.

High efficiency and speed are important here. Up to 5,000 orders are produced daily in three shifts. This is only possible using industrialized processes and the most modern equipment. With this in mind, the company has invested over EUR 70 million in new solutions in the past seven years.

The latest installation in the press room comes in at an impressive fifty meters: a Speedmaster XL 162 eight-color perfecting press with the world’s first CutStar roll sheeter in this format on a machine of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg). CutStar in other formats, such as 50 x 70 or 70 x 100, has been available from Heidelberg for many years. This means that the full flexibility to use sheets or roll-fed stock is now available in 7B format. More than anything, this significantly reduces the makeready times. This means that SAXOPRINT now has eight printing presses with a total of 36 printing units from Heidelberg: five large-format Speedmaster XL 162 presses, one Speedmaster XL 145, and two Speedmaster XL 106 presses, both of which are equipped with the CutStar roll sheeter. “We saw the benefits and so entered into negotiations with Heidelberg at drupa 2016 to include CutStar in the next large-format press,” recalls Sauer.
(Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG)

Verso Corporation Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Financial Results

Verso Corporation Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Financial Results  (Company news)

Verso Corporation (NYSE: VRS) reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2018.

Fourth Quarter 2018 Highlights:
-Net sales up $56 million, or 9%, from fourth quarter 2017.
-Net income of $86 million, up 139% from fourth quarter 2017; $2.44 per diluted share; $22 million special item.
-Adjusted EBITDA of $96 million, up 48% versus fourth quarter 2017.
-No debt outstanding, $26 million of cash and cash equivalents at December 31, 2018.

"Considerable sales growth, materially enhanced profitability and $211 million in debt reduction marked 2018 as a fantastic, banner year in Verso's history," said Verso Chief Executive Officer B. Christopher DiSantis (photo). "With stronger pricing, effective mix management, and new Specialty and Packaging products as underlying drivers, we continue to explore every available opportunity to capitalize on our strengthened balance sheet, build a more diversified, sustainable business, and create value for our stockholders."

Comments on Results of Operations - Comparison of Three Months Ended December 31, 2018 to Three Months Ended December 31, 2017
-Net sales in the fourth quarter of 2018 increased by $56 million or 9% compared to the prior year. This growth in sales is primarily attributable to higher specialty paper and pulp sales volume, an increase in packaging paper volume from the restart of previously shuttered No. 3 paper machine at our Androscoggin Mill, increased price across all product lines and favorable product mix, partially offset by general softening of demand for coated papers.
-Operating income was $63 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, an increase of $40 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. This increase in operating income is primarily attributable to favorable average net selling price and product mix, lower SG&A expense and lower restructuring charges, partially offset by decreased total sales volume, higher raw material costs and higher planned major maintenance costs, primarily because of timing related to major maintenance outages.
-SG&A expense in the fourth quarter of 2018 decreased $2 million compared to the same period in 2017, primarily attributable to lower costs associated with our strategic alternatives initiative.
-Restructuring charges in the fourth quarter of 2018 decreased $2 million compared to the same period in 2017, primarily attributable to the closure and relocation of the Memphis office headquarters and closure of our Wickliffe Mill in 2017.
-Interest expense in the fourth quarter of 2018 decreased $8 million over the same period in 2017, driven by the reduction in amounts outstanding under our revolving credit facility and the payoff of our term loan on September 10, 2018.
-Other (income) expense in the fourth quarter of 2018 includes $22 million of income related to a countervailing duty Settlement Agreement with certain Canadian producers of supercalendered paper. Additionally, the fourth quarter of 2018 and 2017 include income of $3 million and $7 million, respectively, associated with the non-operating components of net periodic pension cost (income) in connection with the adoption of a new accounting standard in the first quarter of 2018. Other (income) expense in the fourth quarter of 2017 also includes $7 million of income related to the extinguishment of our obligation in December 2017 in connection with the unwind of a New Market Tax Credit transaction.

Comments on Results of Operations - Comparison of 12 Months Ended December 31, 2018 to 12 Months Ended December 31, 2017
-Net sales in the twelve months ended December 31, 2018 increased by $221 million or 9% compared to the prior year. This increase in sales is primarily attributable to higher specialty paper sales volume, increased price across all product lines and favorable product mix, partially offset by lower volume in graphic paper and external pulp sales. Total volume was down by 32 thousand tons driven by general softening of demand for coated papers, and a reduction in external pulp sales due to internal pulp needs, partially offset by an increase in packaging paper volume from the restart of previously shuttered No. 3 paper machine at our Androscoggin Mill.
-Operating income was $152 million in the twelve months ended December 31, 2018, an increase of $173 million when compared to an operating loss of $21 million in the prior year. This increase in operating income is primarily attributable to favorable average net selling price and product mix, decreased downtime and lower depreciation, SG&A and restructuring expenses. These increases were partially offset by higher raw material costs across all categories including chemicals, energy, wood fiber, and purchased pulp, higher freight costs, and higher planned major maintenance costs, primarily because of bi-annual major maintenance expenses at our Quinnesec Mill and a significant outage at our Wisconsin Rapids Mill.
-Depreciation and amortization expenses in the twelve months ended December 31, 2018 were lower than the twelve months ended December 31, 2017, attributable to capacity reductions at our Androscoggin Mill, in which $6 million of accelerated depreciation was recognized in the first quarter of 2017 in connection with the temporary idling of the No. 3 paper machine.
-SG&A expense in the twelve months ended December 31, 2018 decreased $5 million compared to 2017, primarily attributable to cost reduction initiatives implemented across the Company, partially offset by higher costs associated with our strategic alternatives initiative and non-cash equity award expense.
-Restructuring charges in the twelve months ended December 31, 2018 decreased $8 million compared to 2017, primarily attributable to the closure and relocation of the Memphis office headquarters and closure of our Wickliffe Mill in 2017.
-Other operating (income) expense in the twelve months ended December 31, 2018 includes a $9 million gain on the sale of our Wickliffe Mill, partially offset by fees associated with our prior Chapter 11 Cases.
-Interest expense in the twelve months ended December 31, 2018 decreased $5 million over 2017, driven by the reduction in amounts outstanding under our revolving credit facility and the payoff of our term loan on September 10, 2018, partially offset by non-cash interest expense from the accelerated amortization of debt issuance cost and discount resulting from the voluntary principal prepayments and excess cash flow payments on the term loan.
-Other (income) expense in the twelve months ended December 31, 2018 includes $42 million of income related to the Settlement Agreement. Additionally, the twelve months ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 include income of $12 million and $14 million, respectively, associated with the non-operating components of net periodic pension cost (income) in connection with the adoption of a new accounting standard in the first quarter of 2018. Other (income) expense in the twelve months ended December 31, 2017 also includes $7 million of income related to the extinguishment of our obligation in December 2017 in connection with the unwind of a New Market Tax Credit ("NMTC") transaction.
(Verso Corporation)

Environmental permit application for SCA's biorefinery submitted

Environmental permit application for SCA's biorefinery submitted  (Company news)

The project to establish a biorefinery connected to Östrand’s pulp mill is proceeding according to plan. In December, we announced that an important milestone had been achieved with the detailed development plan for the biorefinery gaining legal force. Now it is time for the next milestone – to submit the environmental permit application to the Land and Environmental Court in Östersund.

Production will process waste products from the plant and sawmill in the region into renewable hydrocarbons. These renewable hydrocarbons can be used to manufacture different kinds of vehicle fuels, chemicals, plastics, dyes, medical preparations and much more.

“Our mission in this phase of the project is to secure external permits granting SCA permission to establish a biorefinery in Östrand. The detailed development plan gaining legal force in December was an important milestone in the project. We believe this will make other permit processes easier, since the site’s suitability has been tested. The next step is to submit the environmental permit application to the Land and Environmental Court in Östersund this week. This relates to both a new environmental permit for the biorefinery as well as some amendments to the pulp mill’s environmental permit. In the permit for the biorefinery, we’re also applying for a water ruling that will allow a land extension into the water to make room for the facility. In total, we need around 23 hectares for the facility that we want to build,” says Roger Östlin, SCA’s Senior Project Manager for the project.

The production volume in question is equivalent to the fuel consumed by domestic flights within Sweden
The production volume specified in the application of renewable hydrocarbon at Östrand’s refinery is more than the aviation fuel used for domestic flights within Sweden.

“Whether the hydrocrabons we intend to produce will be used as aviation fuel, petrol or diesel is too early to say. The biorefinery would create many possibilities. The products could even be used as raw material to replace other fossil products in society. There’s no doubt that this is a major environmental project,” says Anders Edling Hultgren, Biorefinery Manager within the Renewable Energy business area.

Strong climate benefit
The project’s climate benefit is calculated to be a net greenhouse gas reduction of approximately 1,200,000 CO2 equivalents per year.

“Our ambition has been to submit as strong an application as possible to avoid substantial revisions later on. The authorities have an extensive amount of material to go through – 2,500 pages. A realistic estimate is that we can be called to a court hearing within one to one and a half years. Other permit processes are ongoing in parallel with this, for example to move power lines. If everything goes as we hope, we’ll have permission secured within a few years. I want to make it clear that no decision has been made within SCA that the biorefinery will be built. First and foremost, we need to have all of our permits in place before we can begin plans to build a new plant,” continues Roger.

Work has been conducted in close cooperation between different business areas at SCA and with external consultants.

“I’m relatively new at SCA, and I’m impressed with the warm reception I’ve received and the expertise and the collaborative climate here at SCA,” concludes Roger.

Unique project
In addition to raw material from the forest, a biorefinery linked to Östrand could utilize residual products and locally produced green electricity from the pulp mill. The systems-based approach and ambition to close the ecocycle would mean a unique project for Timrå. This is completely in line with the company’s ambition to increase value generation of by-products from the forest and industry, creating conditions for profitable and sustainable growth.
(Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget SCA)

DREWSEN SPEZIALPAPIERE increases its commitment to replace plastic with paper

DREWSEN SPEZIALPAPIERE increases its commitment to replace plastic with paper  (Company news)

DREWSEN already offers compostable and biodegradable barrier papers for food packaging. Activities in this area are now being intensified with the aim of replacing other plastic applications with sustainable and environmentally friendly papers.

Photo: PROBARRIER Nature Mineral Oil Repellent Paper for food safety against migration of harmful mineral oil constituents from primary packaging

As of April 1st, 2019, the business development group ‘Sustainable Paper Solutions’ will be available as a qualified partner. The team will be directed by Mr. Christian von Buchwaldt and Dr. Imke Bremer.

DREWSEN welcomes the opportunity to work together in development partnerships to find tailor-made solutions for Tomorrow.

Case Paper Hires New GM for Philly

Case Paper Hires New GM for Philly  (Company news)

Thomas McDonough (photo) joined the Case Paper team in February 2019 as the first General Manager of the company’s Philadelphia division who is not a Philadelphia sports fanatic.

“We have a hardworking, dedicated team in Philadelphia, so we’re thrilled that Tom is now managing and leading this division. And we promise not to hold it against him that he’s a Jets fan,” explains Case Paper’s Simon Schaffer, CMO and Vice President of New Business Development.

For the last decade and a half, Tom was an executive manager for Bilcare Research and Tekni-Plex Inc., pharmaceutical packaging and specialty film manufacturers. At these companies, he executed commercial and operational initiatives at local, national, and multi-national levels.

Prior to that, he was responsible for operations in the ink and coatings industries as well as the commercial textile wallcovering and upholstery markets. He has a broad background in business management, as well as experience in web handling, printing, slitting, sheeting, lamination, extrusion, and thermoforming.

“His manufacturing experience, combined with over a decade of managerial success, will help us streamline operations so we can enhance our service platform and plan for the future,” says Robin Schaffer, CEO and President of Case Paper.
(Case Paper Company Inc.)

Ricoh's evolving portfolio supports profitable diversification at FESPA 2019

Ricoh's evolving portfolio supports profitable diversification at FESPA 2019  (Company news)

Ricoh’s rapidly evolving portfolio will show FESPA visitors how they can profitably diversify their service capabilities and explore new markets.

On its 304sqm, B4 K31 stand at Messe Munich, from May 14 to 17, Ricoh will present solutions designed to support print production environments that want to enhance or expand the services they offer.

Among the systems designed to meet an increased need to deliver broader job capabilities, as well as faster short run production and elevated productivity, is the Ricoh Pro™ L5160 latex roll-to-roll large format printer (photo). Available from April 2019 in Europe, it delivers increased productivity and performance compared to its predecessor, aligned with reduced maintenance requirements and outstanding quality.

For those intending to move into garment decoration, there is the easy to use Ri 100 Direct to Garment printer. For higher production demands, there will be the Ri 6000 Direct to Garment solution. Both enable print providers to deliver flexible, cost-effective digitally printed offerings including T-shirts, cloth bags, hoodies, sweatshirts and socks.

For creative and versatile print, the five colour Ricoh Pro™ C7200x colour sheet fed press will be running inspiring fifth colour applications on a range of media.

In the solutions hub the latest in intuitive software capabilities will demonstrate how consistently accurate and high quality production can be achieved from one single workflow platform. The ColorGATE production server will be present, following the December 2018 acquisition of the company.

Joining these will be a new large format flatbed system. There will also be some exciting DTG, ink and printhead technology news. Further information will be communicated soon.

The entire inkjet portfolio is underpinned by core Ricoh technologies in both printheads and inks. Ricoh’s team of experts will be on hand to assist the adoption of these technologies within the OEM community looking to take advantage of the latest innovations for a diverse range of applications in sectors including Sign & Display, textile and décor.

Graham Kennedy, Head of Commercial Ink Jet Business, Commercial and Industrial Printing Group, Ricoh Europe, comments: “This is our fourth FESPA and each year our stand gets bigger and bigger to make room for our expanding portfolio. The latest additions have been developed to ensure the functionality, quality and capability to match clients’ developing needs. We are also excited to show how the latest technologies enhance and complement each other. In turn they allow our clients to investigate new markets and pursue new ventures, confident they can deliver and safe in the knowledge that Ricoh’s expertise is on hand if required.”

Throughout the show, visitors can meet with Ricoh specialists to discuss how they can broaden their production horizons and introduce new revenue earning opportunities.
(Ricoh Europe PLC)

ABP Bolsters Business with Paper Company Joining Port of Hull

ABP Bolsters Business with Paper Company Joining Port of Hull   (Company news)

ABP has won a two-year contract with Belgium-based manufacturer - VPK Packaging Group - to handle 35,000 tonnes of paper per year at the Port of Hull.

This bespoke agreement sees ABP handling paper reels destined for consumer packaging, from a weekly container shipment from Ghent at the Hull Container Terminal. It is then offloaded into the UK’s only All Weather Terminal storage area.

VPK has moved its shipments to the Humber area to enhance ease of distribution by road and strengthen its customer relations. A fully-integrated IT system enables live visibility of stock.

ABP Humber Director, Simon Bird, said: “Another win for ABP Humber is great to see as we welcome VPK to the Port of Hull.
“It’s testament to our prime location, state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, backed by recent substantial investment and our strongly qualified, highly experienced teams who tirelessly deliver these successful operations.”

VPK expects to grow its volumes significantly in the coming years and ABP has the facilities and experience to accommodate that growth.

VPK Sales Manager, Kevin De Winter, said: “We have relocated to the Port of Hull to guarantee the best possible service and ensure raw material supply to our customers in the packaging industry, as well as our own Rigid plants to produce corrugated packaging in Selby, Desborough and Wellington.”
(Associated British Ports)

Lecta Temporarily Stops Line 8 Production at Its Condat Mill in France

Lecta Temporarily Stops Line 8 Production at Its Condat Mill in France  (Company news)

Given the Group's total production capacity, service to its coated paper customers will not be affected during this period.

Lecta has announced the temporary shutdown of line 8 production at its Condat mill, in the French town of Le Lardin Saint Lazare, from the end of April. The decision will be reevaluated in the following months depending on market developments.

The decrease in coated paper demand over the last several years resulted in overcapacity in our industry. The worsening of this trend observed in the last months is the main reason for the temporary line 8 shutdown at the Condat mill.

The Condat brand product range and service levels during this period are guaranteed due to efficiency improvements and streamlining on Condat line 4 as well as through the contribution of the Group's other coated paper mills.

Despite the temporary shutdown, meeting the overall demand of Lecta's coated paper customers is assured, given the Group's total production capacity of more than 850,000 tons per year.

At the same time, Lecta continues working on a strategic transformation plan that will allow Condat to move forward with greater chances of success, although this project needs further definition over the next few months.

This plan would entail the transformation of production line 8 from manufacturing two-side coated papers to manufacturing specialty papers for labels and flexible packaging, a market in which Lecta has extensive experience given its manufacturing operations in Spain and business operations worldwide.

Eighty percent of machine problems resolved via W&H Remote Service

Eighty percent of machine problems resolved via W&H Remote Service  (Company news)

When machine problems occur, fast action is needed. This is why the Information and Diagnostic Center (IDC) is available 24 / 7/ 365 to all W&H customers worldwide. The IDC team can successfully resolve more than 80 % of all machine problems via Remote Service from three locations with its comprehensive error analysis. In April 2019, IDC celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Caption: Service technicians of W&H’s IDC are available 24 / 7/ 365 and resolve eighty percent of machine problems via Remote Service

"The 26 service technicians in our Information and Diagnostic Center are reachable day and night via our Service Hotline," explains Christian Brönstrup, head of the IDC. A customer can speak directly to an engineer with expertise in his specific machine type via the hotline: "If a customer has a question or a problem, we want to provide him with the best and fastest possible support," says Brönstrup. All IDC engineers have at least five years of experience as field service technicians along with in-depth machine know-how.

Around-the-clock availability of the IDC team is guaranteed by the "follow-the-sun" principle: Depending on local time, the customer reach engineers in Germany, India or the USA.

Remote Service enables comprehensive troubleshooting and analysis.
For almost 10 years, W&H service technicians from IDC have been able to connect to a W&H machine at the other end of the world via Internet using a remote function. With just a few clicks and operator approval, they can look into a customer’s machine, right down to the control and drive level, identify and correct issues quickly. "With our comprehensive first-level support and especially via the remote function, we solve over 80 percent of machine problems directly, without the need for a service technician to be on site at the customer", says Brönstrup. "Therefore, successful Remote Service saves both time and money ". When purchasing a new machine, the Remote Service is free of charge during the warranty period. However, the service can also be continued with a service contract.

The history of the Information and Diagnostic Center began in 1994 with the service hotline. In the following years, machines were equipped with modems to which service technicians could connect and connect remotely to the customer’s machinery. The next development is already underway: remote diagnosis will be supported with live image transmission and the use of data glasses.
(Windmöller & Hölscher KG)

Tieto to renew and digitalize Shandong Sun Paper's business processes

Tieto to renew and digitalize Shandong Sun Paper's business processes  (Company news)

Shandong Sun Paper in China, part of the Shandong Sun Holdings Group, has selected Tieto to modernize their business systems and enable digitalization. The business renewal is based on Tieto Integrated Paper Solution (TIPS) for pulp and paper industry. The new solutions enable better production planning and optimisation to gain significant production efficiency improvements both in costs and material.

The first phase includes TIPS Production Planning and Trim Solutions implementation for Sun Paper’s 7 mills and 14 paper machine lines with the needed ERP integrations. The parties have also agreed to expand the collaboration for wider use of the TIPS MES, Manufacturing Execution System.

Photo: Lina Li and Jarmo Ropponen are shaking hands after signing the contract.

“Digitalization and automation of our key processes increase efficiency and help us to compete in the tough paper market. Modernization of the systems improves our readiness to serve our customers and meet their demanding needs. Our company is one of the fastest growing paper companies in the world and we are regularly investing in environmental protection and this aspect has been taken into account in planning of the on-going business renewal,” says Lina Li, Vice Chairman of Shandong Sun Holdings Group.

“We are very pleased to establish a long-term partnership with fast growing Sun Paper and to support their business renewal. The new agreement is a very important step in Pulp & Paper industry China market expansion and strategy execution,” summarize Carsten Henke, Head of Pulp and Paper Industry, Tieto.

Tieto’s integrated TIPS solution is optimized for the pulp, paper, board, tissue and flat sheet industries utilizing the industry-proven best functions for both MES (Manufacturing Execution System) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). It seamlessly integrates planning, business operations and production processes i.e. order to cash, and it’s the #1 solution worldwide.
(Tieto Finland Oy)

Colbert Packaging Reduces Carbon Footprint Through Wind Energy Purchase

Colbert Packaging Reduces Carbon Footprint Through Wind Energy Purchase  (Company news)

Colbert Packaging Corporation, a premier provider of paperboard packaging solutions, announces its commitment to environmental stewardship through the purchase of renewable energy credits (RECs) in the form of wind energy. This initiative complements Colbert’s overall sustainable strategy and commitment to reducing the environmental impact of its operations. The investment allows Colbert to lower its carbon footprint and protect the environment, and supports the development of renewable energy technologies.

“We manufacture paperboard-based folding cartons, which is a sustainable alternative to plastics,” states Colbert President and COO, John Lackner, “and now we are able to further our strategy to meet overall clean energy goals with wind energy credits. We firmly believe it’s important to make sustainable decisions with the future in mind – for our employees and their families, our customers and our community.”

Colbert made this investment in renewable wind energy by purchasing Green-e® Energy certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) to reduce the emissions associated with its electricity consumption. That’s an environmental impact equivalent to the avoidance of 17,640 barrels of oil. A REC represents the environmental benefits associated with one megawatt-hour of energy generated from renewable resources.
(Colbert Packaging Corporation)

Nippon Paper Industries Constructs a New Manufacturing Facility for Highly Functional Cellulose ...

Nippon Paper Industries Constructs a New Manufacturing Facility for Highly Functional Cellulose ...  (Company news)

... at the Gotsu Mill

Strengthening Brands for Food and Lithium Ion Batteries

Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. (President: Fumio Manoshiro; headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; hereinafter "Nippon Paper Industries") announces the construction of a new facility for the functional cellulose product carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC, product name: "SUNROSE®") at the Gotsu Mill (Gotsu City, Shimane Prefecture). Nippon Paper Industries will invest approximately 4.7 billion yen into this facility, which is planned to be completed in November 2020. Upon this construction, Nippon Paper Industries will re-establish a CMC production system and work toward a shift to high-value-added and high-quality fields such as special brands for food and lithium ion batteries developed with its unique technologies.

CMC is an anionic, water-soluble polymer that is derived from wood cellulose. Because it is derived from wood, it offers slow biodegradability and is also known as an eco-friendly material. Since it features outstanding adherence, water absorption and water retention, it is widely used for food, hygiene and industrial applications. Recently, applications for lithium ion batteries are increasing and future growth is expected.

Nippon Paper Industries has experience with manufacturing products derived from wood such as dissolving pulp and functional chemicals at Gotsu Mill, which is its main factory in our chemical business. In September 2017, it launched a cellulose nanofiber (CM-CNF, product name: "CELLENPIA®") mass-production facilty as a new member of the CMC lineup. With this increase in production capacity, Nippon Paper Industries will work to strengthen the foundations of the business, aiming for further expansion as a comprehensive biomass company shaping the future with trees.
(Nippon Paper Industries Co Ltd)

World Recycling Day: Lucart shows that choosing recycled toilet paper saves 80% of renewable ...

World Recycling Day: Lucart shows that choosing recycled toilet paper saves 80% of renewable ...  (Company news)

... resources and 38% of water resources

According to Lucart estimates, following an EPD analysis, doubling the annual national consumption of recycled toilet paper could lead to an annual saving of over 5 million m3 of water and 400 thousand tonnes of wood

On Monday, March 18, for the second consecutive year, World Recycling Day is being celebrated. This is an event that aims to raise awareness about the key role that this practice plays in preserving the planet's resources, and this year it will have as its theme "recycling in the future". Today, in fact, humans use the natural resources of the earth faster than they are able to recover, consuming 1.7 times the regeneration capacity of the planet.

Among these, one of the materials most used is wood which serves, among others, for producing the paper we use every day, including paper for hygienic-sanitary purposes: just think that in Italy, in just one year, about 1.5 million tonnes of tissue paper for hygienic and sanitary use are produced and of these only 7% is produced with recycled materials. These figures show how, although ours is one of the most virtuous countries in Europe for the recycling of paper and cardboard, there is still much to be done to reduce the ecological footprint that man leaves on the planet.

During the EPD certification (Environmental Product Declaration) process on two toilet papers produced by the same Italian multinational, Lucart was able to ascertain the environmental advantages of toilet paper made using recycled materials compared with that produced starting from virgin materials.

In fact, for each tonne of recycled toilet paper produced, an environmental benefit can be observed:
-a reduction of 80% in the consumption of renewable resources, with asaving of 4,060.9 kg of wood;
-a reduction of 38% in consumption of water resources,that is,50.63 m3 of water;
-a saving of 404.50 kg of CO2, the gas that is one of the main culprits of climate change.

"We have always maintained that because they cannot be further recycled, it is important that products such as toilet paper are made using recycled materials,"says Massimo Pasquini, CEO of Lucart. "We were however surprised to read the results of the environmental savings of recycled paper established by the EPD analysis we commissioned on some of our products. Saving more than 50 m3 of water per tonne of paper produced means that if the recycled products had more space in our shopping cart, perhaps doubling the amount of recycled toilet paper purchased for the same level of consumption, we could save a quantity of water that could fill2000 Olympic swimming pools, an incredible amount!"

An ambitious but absolutely achievable result: for this to happen, however, it is necessary to implement a regulatory framework, harmonised at European level, that encourages the production and sale of recycled products.

"In this way, virtuous products would also find more space on supermarket shelves.

Finally, purchases of sanitary products by public bodies with minimum environmental criteria should include a significant percentage of recycled paper. If separate waste collection is not followed by the production and purchase of recycled products, in fact, it becomes an activity with no added value" - concludes Massimo Pasquini.
(Lucart Group)




Hugo Beck, the world’s leading manufacturer of horizontal flowpack, film packaging and post-print processing machines, is exhibiting for the first time at Tissue World 2019 in Milan from 25-27 March.

Visitors to Hall 3, Stand G-360 will see a wide range of film packaging solutions for flowpacks, poly bags and shrink packs. Hugo Beck has many years’ experience providing both standardised and highly customer-specific film packaging solutions for tissue product manufacturers across the world.

Hugo Beck will demonstrate the range of different hygienic tissue packaging applications that the companies’ solutions can deliver – all finished to the highest standards of appearance whilst also ensuring the most efficient use of film, saving resources and maximising the sustainability of tissue product packaging.

The flexibility and efficiency of Hugo Beck’s packaging solutions will be of particular interest to visitors, as they enable manufacturers to produce variable pack sizes, styles and formats, including multiple options for grouping, stacking and handling. Switching between various applications on even just one packaging system is made easy with extremely short make-ready times for each application. This adaptability is coupled with industry leading high packaging speeds.

“Sustainability is increasingly important in packaging decisions across all industries”, says Timo Kollmann, Hugo Beck Sales Director. “Hugo Beck can help tissue product manufacturers deliver on their sustainability commitments by offering significant material and efficiency savings. These, combined with the flexibility and speeds possible through even a single machine application, offer the advantages manufacturers demand from their packaging and we look forward to welcoming visitors to our stand at Tissue World to explain more.”
(Hugo Beck Maschinenbau GmbH & Co KG)

Krima Hot Dispersing Units to Liansheng Paper Industry Co

Krima Hot Dispersing Units to Liansheng Paper Industry Co  (Company news)

In February 2019, Liansheng Paper Industry Co contracted Cellwood Machinery for the supply of two new Krima Hot Dispersing Units (photo) to be designated PM10. The new PM10 machine will be located in Liansheng’s paper mill in the Zhangzhou Taiwanese Investment Zone.

Founded in 2004, Liansheng Paper Industry Co., Ltd. is one of the largest papermaking enterprises in Fujian Province (China).
Its main products are corrugated medium and testliner.

The delivery will take place in January 2020.
(Cellwood Machinery AB)

Mondi Group Full year results for the year ended 31 December 2018

Mondi Group Full year results for the year ended 31 December 2018  (Company news)

• Strong financial performance on all key metrics
---Revenue of €7,481 million, up 5%
---Underlying EBITDA of €1,764 million, up 19%
---Underlying operating profit of €1,318 million, up 28%
---Basic underlying earnings of 189.1euro cents per share, up 27%
---Profit before tax of €1,105 million, up 25%
---Recommended full year ordinary dividend of 76.0euro cents per share, up 23%
• Robust operational performance and strong cost control across the Group
• Capital investment projects on track and delivering growth
---Successful start-up of the modernisation of Stetí (Czech Republic)
---Focused capital investment project pipeline in progress, securing future growth
• Good progress integrating acquisitions, total spend €424 million
• Well positioned with sustainable packaging solutions portfolio
• Announced intention to simplify corporate structure
• Delivering against our 2020 Growing Responsibly commitments

Peter Oswald (photo), Mondi Group Chief Executive Officer, said:
"Mondi delivered a strong performance in 2018, with underlying EBITDA up 19% to €1,764 million. We benefited from good demand across our fibre packaging businesses, higher average selling prices and the contribution from our recent acquisitions. I am particularly pleased to report on a robust operating performance, delivering productivity gains and strong cost containment, mitigating the inflationary pressures on our cost base.

We continue to make good progress in delivering value accretive growth and enhancing the ongoing cost competitiveness of our operations through our capital expenditure programme. During the fourth quarter of 2018, we successfully started up the €335 million modernisation of our kraft paper facility in Stetí and we received the final permits to proceed with our investment in a 300,000 tonne kraft top white machine at our Ružomberok mill (Slovakia), while work to upgrade the pulp mill at the same site is progressing well. Expansionary capital expenditure projects at a number of our packaging operations and the integration of acquisitions completed in the year will further enhance our production capabilities and product offering to customers.

In November 2018, we announced a proposal to simplify our dual listed structure into a single holding company structure under Mondi plc, which we believe will streamline cash and dividend flows, enhance our strategic flexibility, increase transparency and remove the complexity associated with the current structure.

Looking ahead, while there are macro-economic uncertainties, we remain confident in the structural growth drivers in the packaging sectors in which we operate. Pricing is mixed going into 2019, with recent price reductions in containerboard grades and market pulp and stronger pricing in our kraft paper markets. During 2019, we are planning longer maintenance and project related shuts, while looking forward to the incremental contribution from recently completed major capital projects and acquisitions.

Mondi is uniquely positioned to develop sustainable packaging solutions. With our robust business model, strong balance sheet, focus on leveraging key industry trends of sustainability, e-commerce and enhancing brand value, and culture of continuously driving performance, we continue to look to the future with confidence.
(Mondi Europe & International Division)

The turn of the year sees major orders worth EUR 50 million for manroland Goss Group

The turn of the year sees major orders worth EUR 50 million for manroland Goss Group  (Company news)

After the successful merger of the two printing press producers, manroland web systems and Goss International, the newly formed company can look back on a successful financial year 2018. With a combined turnover of EUR 293 million and order intake of EUR 327 million, the company has solidified its leading market position in web offset. The latest major orders at the turn of the year to the value of EUR 50 million, raised the order backlog to EUR 200 million in the project business. Thereby, the company is currently at a very good capacity level, stretching into the second quarter of 2020.

manroland Goss web systems has presented itself in this respect as a strongly performing solutions partner to the printing industry. "It is our objective to provide products and a range of services with added value for our customers. We have created a global company with the merger and provide the most comprehensive offer available on the market, with reduced cost structures and with a focus on efficient business processes. This is reflected now in our operative performance indicators" according to CEO Alexander Wassermann (photo), referring to the balance sheet of the previous year. "Our strategy is clear: A further expansion of our market position as well as the development of new profitable business fields."

In this respect, research and development funding has been primarily invested in future-oriented areas; this means flexible packaging printing, the preventative press maintenance system Maintellisense, and the intelligent B2B eCommerce trading platform MARKET-X. Furthermore, two acquisitions are supporting the company strategy. On the one hand, the asset purchase of Harland Simon has expanded the product and service range in the area of automation solutions and, on the other hand, the share purchase of GWS complements the global business activities with pre-owned presses and press relocations. All activities are directly oriented towards the benefits provided to all existing and indeed new customers. This is what over 1,000 employees worldwide are working on..
(manroland Goss web systems)

Stora Enso invests in next-generation renewable, recyclable and biodegradable formed fiber solutions

Stora Enso invests in next-generation renewable, recyclable and biodegradable formed fiber solutions  (Company news)

Stora Enso is investing EUR 5 million to build a new production line and related infrastructure to manufacture formed fiber products at Hylte Mill in Sweden. The formed fiber technology enables manufacturing of products that are designed for circularity, meaning that they are renewable, recyclable and biodegradable and do not contain any plastic.

The formed fiber investment further strengthens Stora Enso’s opportunities to replace fossil-based products and contribute to combatting the global problem of plastic waste. First products are expected to be on the market by the end of 2019.

Formed fiber products are manufactured from various chemical pulps and chemi-thermomechanical pulp (CTMP) by pressing it into a desired shape in a molding machine. The raw material is pulp made from wood from FSC and PEFC certified, traceable sources in Sweden and Finland. Stora Enso will manufacture the raw material at its mills in Sweden and Finland and do the converting at Hylte Mill. The initial annual capacity during the pilot stage will be approximately 50 million units of product with the intention to expand.

The production line will be operated by a new business unit for formed fiber which will also conduct research and development of new formed fiber materials and technologies. Potential products include single-use food packaging items such as plastic-free cups, bowls, clamshells, plates and coffee cup lids as well as non-food applications, responding to the needs of eco-conscious consumers looking for more environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic.

“This investment is another step on our transformation journey to replace plastic and other fossil-based materials with renewable and recyclable alternatives. This investment allows us to help our customers build their brands as eco-friendly, circular companies,” says Sohrab Kazemahvazi, Vice President, Head of Formed Fiber.

Hylte Mill produces newsprint based on thermo-mechanical pulp (TMP) and recycled fiber, and has experience from taking new production technologies into use, as Stora Enso’s biocomposite granules production line was inaugurated at the mill in 2018. At Hylte Mill, Stora Enso can make best use of the resources available to support the new investment: industrial infrastructure and highly competent workforce. The formed fiber business currently belongs to reporting segment Other.
(Stora Enso Oyj)

Clearwater Paper Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Results

Clearwater Paper Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Results  (Company news)

Clearwater Paper Corporation (NYSE:CLW) reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2018.

The company reported net sales of $428.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2018, which was $8.0 million or 1.8% lower than net sales of $436.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2017. The decrease was primarily due to the sale of the company's mill in Ladysmith, Wisconsin in August 2018 and lower tissue shipments, partially offset by higher paperboard shipments and pricing. Net loss determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $187.8 million, or $11.39 loss per diluted share, compared to net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2017 of $80.9 million, or $4.88 per diluted share, which included a $70 million tax benefit related to the 2017 tax law changes.

The net loss included a $195.1 million non-cash goodwill impairment charge related to the consumer products business taken in the fourth quarter of 2018. The impairment charge relates to the goodwill arising out of the company's acquisition of Cellu Tissue Holdings, Inc. in 2010 and will not result in any cash expenditures or affect the company's cash position, cash flow from operating activities, liquidity position or availability under its credit facilities.

Excluding certain non-core items identified in the attached Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures, fourth quarter 2018 adjusted net earnings were $7.4 million, or $0.45 per diluted share, compared to fourth quarter 2017 adjusted net earnings of $14.4 million, or $0.87 per diluted share.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, were $(149.7) million for the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to $52.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2017. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $45.5 million, down 21.0% compared to fourth quarter 2017 Adjusted EBITDA of $57.5 million.

For the full year 2018, the company reported net sales of $1.7 billion, which was flat with 2017 net sales. Price increases in tissue and paperboard helped offset reduced tissue shipment volumes resulting primarily from the sale of the Ladysmith, Wisconsin mill and changes in customer orders. Net loss determined in accordance with GAAP for 2018 was $143.8 million, or $8.72 loss per diluted share, compared to net earnings of $97.3 million, or $5.88 per diluted share in 2017. The net loss in 2018 included the goodwill impairment charge described above, and net earnings in 2017 included the significant tax benefit described above. Excluding certain non-core items identified in the attached Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures, 2018 adjusted net earnings were $42.0 million, or $2.55 per diluted share, compared to 2017 adjusted net earnings of $38.4 million, or $2.32 per diluted share.

EBITDA was $(0.9) million for full year 2018, compared to $177.3 million for 2017. Adjusted EBITDA for the year was $176.7 million compared to 2017 Adjusted EBITDA of $189.5 million.

“We are pleased to deliver solid fourth quarter results driven largely by the strong execution of our pulp and paperboard business,” said Linda K. Massman, president and chief executive officer. “Also, by executing against our strategic priorities, in 2018 we were able to successfully implement a regional consumer products operating model; accelerate the start-up of converting lines in Shelby, North Carolina; and complete the sale of a recycled tissue mill in Ladysmith, Wisconsin.”

“While the performance of our consumer products business continues to be impacted by an increasingly competitive market, we have made great progress across this business, and are encouraged by the improvements in our operating results. The strength of our longer-term fundamentals and the positive consumer trends for private label brands give us confidence that the company is well-positioned in a rapidly-evolving market.”

“Throughout 2019 we will be focused on two key areas - installing and operating the new paper machine at our Shelby plant; and optimizing our facilities and equipment to generate greater cash flow, increase our financial flexibility and pay down bank debt - all of which we expect will deliver significant value for our shareholders.”

Consumer Products
Net sales in the Consumer Products segment were $212.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2018, down 9.3% compared to fourth quarter 2017 net sales of $234.7 million. This decrease was due to lower retail volumes and prices and the divestiture of the Ladysmith, Wisconsin mill in August 2018.

Operating loss for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $193.6 million, compared to operating income and margin of $7.5 million and 3.2%, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2017. The operating loss included the non-cash impairment charge described above that was recognized in the quarter. After adjusting for certain non-core items identified in the attached Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures, adjusted operating income and margin were $0.9 million and 0.4% for the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to $11.5 million and 4.9% of adjusted operating income and margin, respectively, for the same period in 2017. Adjusted EBITDA for the segment was $15.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, down from $25.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Those decreases were primarily due to lower average selling prices, unfavorable absorption of fixed costs over lower volumes of retail shipments, higher pulp costs and the divestiture of the company's Ladysmith, Wisconsin mill.

Tissue Sales Volumes and Prices:
-Total tissue volumes sold were 80,980 tons in the fourth quarter of 2018, a decrease of 7.3% compared to 87,313 tons in the fourth quarter of 2017. Converted product cases shipped were 11.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, 8.2% lower than the 12.7 million cases shipped in the fourth quarter of 2017.
-Average tissue net selling prices decreased 1.4% to $2,627 per ton in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to $2,663 per ton in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Pulp and Paperboard
Net sales in the Pulp and Paperboard segment were $216.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2018, up 6.9% compared to fourth quarter 2017 net sales of $202.1 million. The increase was due to record shipment volumes and higher paperboard prices.

Operating income and margin for the fourth quarter of 2018 were $31.8 million and 14.7%, compared to $34.4 million and 17.0%, respectively, for the fourth quarter of 2017. Adjusted EBITDA for the segment was $41.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to $44.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. The decrease was primarily due to higher wood fiber costs due to weather conditions, boiler maintenance, higher natural gas prices caused by a pipeline disruption which impacted the company's Lewiston, Idaho mill and a pulp disruption at the Idaho mill which necessitated a higher volume of purchased pulp.

Paperboard Sales Volumes and Prices:
-Paperboard sales volumes were 218,322 tons in the fourth quarter of 2018, an increase of 3.9% compared to 210,098 tons in the fourth quarter of 2017.
-Paperboard net selling prices increased 2.1% to $982 per ton for the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to $962 per ton in the fourth quarter of 2017.
(Clearwater Paper Corporation)

Solenis TopScreen™ Barrier Coating Technology Named One of World’s Best in ...

Solenis TopScreen™ Barrier Coating Technology Named One of World’s Best in ...  (Company news)

... NextGen Cup Design Challenge

Picture: Solenis TopScreen™ recyclable and compostable barrier coatings technology replaces plastic liners for fiber to-go cups

Solenis has been named as one of only 12 winners in the NextGen Cup Challenge, a global innovation competition backed by giants of the food-service industry to redesign and create a widely recyclable and/or compostable fiber hot and cold to-go cup. The Challenge attracted nearly 500 entries from more than 50 countries.

Solenis received the award in the Innovative Cup Liners category for its TopScreen™ recyclable and compostable barrier coatings technology.

Solenis TopScreen barrier coatings are suitable for packaging applications that require specific liquid/moisture vapor barrier properties and can replace barriers composed of polyethylene (PE). In the same family are formulations designed to replace perfluorocarbon (PFC) in a variety of applications where grease resistance and moisture vapor barrier properties are required.

TopScreen formulations are produced with a minimum or no fossil fuel components and a maximum of sustainably sourced raw materials. Ideal as a more sustainable and cost-effective barrier option for PE-free cups, Solenis TopScreen barrier coatings can be used to produce fully recyclable and repulpable paper and paperboard packaging. TopScreen barrier coatings can be applied on paper machine coaters or offline coating equipment, providing flexibility for cup makers and utilization of existing cup-making equipment. As a truly global materials supplier, Solenis is uniquely positioned to implement the TopScreen barrier coating solution for paper cups anywhere in the world.

More than 250 billion fiber to-go cups are used annually. The PE lining that keeps them from leaking also prevents them from being recycled or composted. Instead, they wind up in landfills or waterways, contributing to the growing plastics pollution problem.

The NextGen Cup Challenge was initiated by the NextGen Consortium, a multi-year partnership of leading food-service industry players convened by Closed Loop Partners to address single-use food packaging waste globally.

“This is outstanding recognition for the great work done over the past several years by our research and development team,” said Larry Hutchinson, Solenis global market development manager for Consumer Board. “The demand for a more sustainable paper cup is growing worldwide and this award confirms that Solenis is among the leaders in providing an immediate and viable solution.”

Facemounting to acrylic for high-end fine art

Facemounting to acrylic for high-end fine art  (Company news)

Face-mounting a print, especially a photograph, can really make the image the focus of the space. At Drytac® we have developed Facemount®, a high-quality, optically clear mounting adhesive, specifically for this application, but that's not all you need to produce a stunning result.

In fact, there are five critical physical material aspects to consider when completing or ordering acrylic face-mounts in order to get the results you are looking for:
- Photo Paper/Print Media
- Acrylic
- Facemount - Optically Clear Mounting Adhesive
- Backing - depending upon hanging system
- Hanging system

Photo Paper/Print Media
First of all, an essential aspect to acrylic face-mounting is the choice of photograph paper or print media. Use only top-of-the-line photo paper for an acrylic project print - remember you're creating an eye-catching display. The most popular photo paper - and the one I prefer for most projects - is a metallic paper. Be it metallic satin or metallic glossy, metallic paper truly enhances the vibrancy of the photograph. However, not all pictures call for metallic paper; portraits, for example, very often benefit from a photo paper with a pearl finish. Every surface has a Roughness Average (RA) and, keeping that in mind, the smoother the surface of the photograph, the better your results when face-mounting. If you do not have a completely smooth surface, you may see very tiny air bubbles in your print called silvering - not something you want in your finished photographic display.

Next on your list is the acrylic itself. Not all acrylic is alike. Specifically, there is a choice between cell cast acrylic and extruded acrylic. Cell cast acrylic is harder, has a more uniform thickness, is more scratch-resistant and is typically clearer than extruded acrylic. Most people in the industry only use cell cast acrylic for face-mounting, regardless of the thickness. If you are shopping around for a face-mounted photograph, always ask the vendor what type of acrylic they are using. If they tell you that all acrylic is the same, chances are they are using sub-par material and you may well have issues in the future. There is also a vast range of prices, from cheap acrylic only good for running experiments, to museum-quality acrylic that sells for four-figure sums per sheet. A reliable business will talk you through the options.

The third essential aspect to face-mounts is an optically clear mounting adhesive, a two-sided adhesive that is used to adhere the photograph to the acrylic. It's imperative that this is of the highest quality to ensure a clear picture with no distortion. Drytac's product, specifically designed for this application, is called Facemount® - a pressure-sensitive permanent mounting adhesive protected on each side by a clear polyester release liner.

Drytac's Facemount® has been valued and relied on in the fine art sector for more than 30 years. Facemount® is engineered for the face-mounting of virtually any image to clear substrates like PetG, Plexiglas, acrylic and polycarbonate, which means that it is a fantastic option for high-quality photographic and inkjet printed images. It is particularly good for lenticular imaging applications, backlit display transparencies and touchscreen displays too - it really is of the highest quality in the market.

You should also consider the backing to be used with your photograph - indeed, this could be the most important aspect if you are hanging your picture on a wall. The backing must support the weight of your acrylic without tearing away from the back of the photograph to which it is adhered, and also maintain its adhesion to the mounting hardware.
For wall-hung pictures, Dibond backing or coloured 1/8″ cast acrylic sheet is typically used. Dibond is basically an aluminium sandwich: a composite that consists of a high-strength aluminium skin on both sides, sandwiching a super-strong polyethylene centre core. It provides the utmost protection to the back of your picture while providing an incredibly strong substrate from which your acrylic can safely hang. The same applies to cast acrylic backings. This step requires another double-sided adhesive to bond the back side of the image to the backer - Facemount®.

Hanging Systems
Which backing to use depends on the hanging system, and this is the final critical aspect when acrylic face-mounting a print. No matter how good your backing is, if your hanging system fails, then everything else ceases to matter. It should be large enough to support the weight of the material, for if the weight exceeds the dimension of the hanger it will pull away from the backer, causing a failure.

A cleat style hanging system requires Drytac Facemount® to be used on the front and back of the photo, because Facemount® has a very high shear strength and will hold, whereas other mounting adhesives have a lower shear strength and the acrylic and image will eventually release from the backer over time. This could cause the image to slide down the backer, or simply separate altogether.

Alternatively, standoff style hanging systems are essentially metal bolts that hold an image to the wall with anchors installed into the wall surface. This style of hanging system will provide enough weight distribution and support lower shear strength options as the adhesive for the backer. This is because the standoff goes completely through the sandwich of the Facemount®, holding it together and supporting the entire weight of the piece on all four corners from front to back. With this system, there is no way for the image to slide down the backer because they are supported equally. There are other hanging systems that are patented; research all the types to find the best system to meet your needs.
Acrylic face-mounted prints can look great. Make sure you choose the right photo paper or print media, acrylic, optically clear mounting adhesive, backing and hanging system to make them look incredible.
(Authored by Steve Yarbrough, Drytac Product Support Specialist)
(Drytac Europe Limited)

Twin Rivers Paper Company Announces Leadership Transition

Twin Rivers Paper Company Announces Leadership Transition  (Company news)

Ken Winterhalter to Become President & CEO; Bob Snyder to Assume Role of Chairman of the Board

Twin Rivers Paper Company LLC announced that Ken Winterhalter, who currently serves as the Company’s President, has been named Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Winterhalter, who joined the company in 2013, succeeds Robert (“Bob”) Snyder, who has been named Chairman of the Board. These new roles are part of a long-term growth and succession plan established by Twin Rivers’ management.

Mr. Winterhalter has served as Twin Rivers President since 2013. His decades of experience prior to joining the company include serving as President & CEO of National Envelope and President of Unisource.

“I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved at Twin Rivers these past six years thanks to our exceptional team, world-class suppliers and loyal customers,” said Winterhalter. “I am extremely grateful to Bob for his friendship and counsel and look forward to continuing our partnership together in his role as our Board Chair.”

“In recent years, thanks to strategic planning and excellent execution by a superb team across the organization, Twin Rivers has grown from primarily serving the commodities space to becoming an industry leader in technical specialties, lightweight packaging, and products within the label industry,” said Snyder. “With Ken transitioning to his new role as our CEO, I am confident that we will continue to grow and expand in the months and years to come.”

Twin Rivers first opened its doors in the early 1900s with only one dimension lumber mill in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick. In 2013, the company was purchased by Atlas Holdings and Blue Wolf Capital Partners. While several paper companies across Maine – and throughout the country – have struggled to meet new challenges and evolve, Twin Rivers continues not only to survive but thrive. Today, Twin Rivers employs over 1,000 associates, owning and operating six paper mills, two pulp mills, a sawmill, and a co-generation plant in the U.S. and Canada.

“Under Bob and Ken, with the support of an extraordinary team of leaders and associates, Twin Rivers has become one of North America’s most nimble, high-quality producers of innovative solutions for premium niche markets in the forest products sector,” said Tim Fazio, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Atlas Holdings. “A typical Atlas-style investment, Twin Rivers has stayed true to its roots, focusing on product quality, workplace safety, strategic growth and community stewardship. We’re thrilled to congratulate both Bob and Ken as they transition to these new positions.”

“The transition of Ken to CEO and Bob to Chairman reflects the successful implementation of a long-term value creation plan put in place by the talented team at Twin Rivers,” said Adam Blumenthal, Managing Partner of Blue Wolf Capital Partners. “Bob and Ken have done terrific work together growing the business and we are grateful to have both on board as we write the next chapter of the Twin Rivers story.”
(Twin Rivers Paper Company)

Mimaki to boost creativity in retail with brand-new Simple POP software

Mimaki to boost creativity in retail with brand-new Simple POP software  (Company news)

Addressing retailers, the new software enables easy design through templates and in-house production of a diverse range of advertising materials, helping enhance performance in sales.

Mimaki Europe, a leading manufacturer of inkjet printers and cutting systems, has announced the release of brand new design software, Simple POP, scheduled for April 2019. Addressing the retail market segment, Simple POP is designed to boost creativity in in-store decoration, enabling retailers to produce in-house, as well as to widen the range of Point-Of-Purchase (POP) displays as required, simply using templates.

There is an extensive variety of advertising materials that the retail industry uses, ranging from window signs, posters and POP ads, to seals and stickers, which are also strictly linked to seasonal events, time-limited sales, weather trends and daily bargains. This means that flexibility in producing in-house advertising materials is crucial to enhancing performance in sales. Proprietary software Simple POP directly addresses those requirements, enabling user-friendly processes based on the use of preset templates. The range of available templates includes various POP ads designed to be eye-catching and to properly convey key information (such as swing POP displays, price cards, posters, banners, etc.), in-store decorations for each season and event (such as wall stickers, window signs, magnet sheets, tapestries, etc.), as well as small articles (labels, seals, stickers, etc.).

For further benefits in terms of flexibility and quality, the templates come with pre-installed cut data which empowers printing and cutting automatically by using Simple POP combined with Mimaki series UCJV150 and UCJV300 of UV curable inkjet printers with cutting functions. Additionally, the UCJV300 series, equipped with white ink, perfectly fits the needs of catchy and highly decorative items as it allows reproduction of natural colours both on transparent and coloured media.

Key technological features of Simple POP:
-Preset templates tailored for specific applications enabling easy design
-Pre-installed print and cut data for POP and in-store decorations
-Automatic cutting improving work efficiency
-White ink on the UCJV300 series enabling print on transparent, coloured and metallic media

Simple POP offers a wide range of templates suited to different applications. Once a template is chosen, users can easily edit text, as well as edit, add, resize and modify images and graphic symbols. The easy design process is intuitive, even for those who have no experience in using design software. Furthermore, additional templates will be provided on the Mimaki website as free downloads.

Another key feature of Simple POP is templates that come with pre-installed cut data which enables retailers to perform print and cut operation in-house by combining the software with the Mimaki UCJV150 / UCJV300 series. Those printers are equipped with a cutting function that allows automatic production of displays with different shapes, which would take time and effort when manually cut.

The white ink with high hiding power available on the UCJV300 series is yet another added-value feature. Using the white ink as a base for colour prints on transparent, coloured and metallic media helps increase ink colour development and achieve beautiful and appealing prints.

“Brand-new Simple POP allows retailers to bring the production of ad materials in-house, avoiding outsourcing issues. It is designed to simplify the production of eye-catching and themed in-store decoration and to enable automatic printing and cutting when combined with the UCJV150 and the UCJV300 printers,” says Senior Marketing Manager for EMEA, Danna Drion. “Benefits for retailers include shortened production time, boosted flexibility in design and improved work efficiency.”
(Mimaki Europe B.V.)

Rengo Wins Awards at Japan Package Design Awards 2019

Rengo Wins Awards at Japan Package Design Awards 2019  (Company news)

Rengo Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Kita-ku, Osaka; Chairman, President & CEO: Kiyoshi Otsubo) announces it has won two awards and received two nominations for its products at the Japan Package Design Awards 2019.

Photo: Alcoholic Beverage: Bronze Award - Sapporo White Belg roll over stocker box (Sapporo Breweries Limited)

The Japan Package Design Awards is an event organized by Japan Package Design Association (JPDA), Japan's only organization related to packaging design. Once every two years, JPDA invites professionals in packaging design to take part in a competition which competes their works in design quality and creativity based on four assessment criteria from the perspectives of 1) spirit of taking on challenges; 2) ability to promote sales; 3) ease of understanding of the features of merchandise; and 4) product concept.

Using packaging to express value beyond that of the product itself-Rengo focuses on comprehensive proposals of creative designs and packaging centered on Rengo's Design and Marketing Center (DMC). With the receipt of these awards as encouragement, Rengo will continue to contribute toward the product development, sales promotion, and image improvement of customers through package manufacturing.
(Rengo Co Ltd)

Digicut PLUS lasers booklets 'on-the-fly'

Digicut PLUS lasers booklets 'on-the-fly'   (Company news)

POLAR’s Digicut PLUS processes not only single sheets but entire booklets

Processing and individualizing middle-volume runs gains more and more relevance especially in digital printing.

The laser handles numerous ways of delicate and complex processing i. e. cutting, Kiss cutting, perforating, engraving and grooving – all in a single pass and without any tool change.

There are almost no limits to the design. The Digicut PLUS offers a wide range in creative processing. It enables precise cutting of the most intricate contours on a wide variety of materials far beyond the capabilities of any die-cutting machines.

With regards to materials it processes not only single sheets but entire booklets.

Thereby a production of one to thousands of copies is possible. In preparation of the Hunkeler Innovation Days 2019 in Lucerne, the theory was put to test together with Müller-Martini and booklets were successfully personalized.

The modular material feed and delivery can be adjusted to the customer’s requests. Standardized material feed via transport belt, can be complemented by an optional flat-pile feeder with its own drive Material delivery can be optionally performed by a Pick & Place System.
(POLAR-MOHR Maschinenvertriebsgesellschaft GmbH & Co. KG)

Nazdar Ink Technologies announces new 735 Bridge Series inks for UV inkjet printers

Nazdar Ink Technologies announces new 735 Bridge Series inks for UV inkjet printers  (Company news)

Nazdar Ink Technologies has launched a new high-quality alternative UV inkjet ink for printing-bridge industrial presses, HP Scitex FB7500 and FB7600. The new Nazdar 735 Ink Series (photo) for UV inkjet printing has been designed specifically to enable the creation of durable graphics where colour fidelity, adhesion and finishing are of primary importance.

Formulated for use in multiple graphics applications, and with adhesion to a wide variety of both flexible and rigid substrates - including acrylics, fluted polypropylene, polystyrene, Dibond®, foam boards, expanded PVC and rigid and flexible vinyls - the Nazdar 735 Series delivers high impact, high intensity colours with an expanded colour gamut.

The 735 Series delivers long-term exterior performance, with proven resistance to the effects of UV degradation and colour fade, and also offers excellent resistance to edge chipping on rigid substrates that require trimming and finishing with a high-speed knife or CNC cutter.

Available in 5 litre containers, Nazdar 735 Series inks have been formulated in the following colours: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, plus Light Cyan, Light Magenta, White, Light Black and Orange.

On the introduction of the new inks, Josh Lutz, market segment manager for UV Digital at Nazdar, comments: "We've developed 735 Series as a cost-effective, alternative ink and have received excellent feedback from customers who allowed us to vigorously test our inks on their production equipment in the real world. Customer response has been that it is nearly impossible to spot the differences in ink performance between the OEM and Nazdar 735 Bridge Series."

According to Mr. Lutz: "Nazdar's state of the art production and development techniques enable us to create products with a wide range of features and benefits, including industry standard colours with expanded gamut options, increased printing and curing performance, and convenient packaging sizes. Even with all these benefits, our inks are up to 30% less expensive than the original equipment manufacturers' ink.

"Our customers should have peace of mind knowing that they are receiving OEM-quality inks and that we're here to support their ink needs."
(Nazdar Limited)

DeLoach to Retire as Executive Chairman of Sonoco; Haley Named Chairman-elect ...

DeLoach to Retire as Executive Chairman of Sonoco; Haley Named Chairman-elect ...   (Company news)

...of Board of Directors

Sonoco (NYSE: SON), one of the largest diversified global packaging companies, announced that Harris E. DeLoach Jr. (photo) will retire as a director and as Executive Chairman in April of 2019. As part of its succession planning, the Board of Directors has named John R. Haley, current Vice Chairman, to be Chairman-elect.

At retirement, DeLoach, 74, will have served as Chairman of Sonoco’s Board of Directors for 14 years, including Executive Chairman since 2013. He was first elected to the Board in 1998 and became Chief Executive Officer of the Company in 2000 and Chairman in 2005 before retiring from day-to-day leadership in 2013. In total, DeLoach has more than 33 years of senior management and board experience with Sonoco.

“There are few words to describe how fortunate Sonoco and the Board have been to have Harris as our Chairman for the past 14 years,” said James M. Micali, Sonoco’s Lead Independent Director. “In addition to his tenure in senior management of the Company, Harris has served with the Board to develop a stronger and more diverse team that has worked diligently to represent the best interests of shareholders, employees and the communities where Sonoco operates.”

Haley, 57, has served on the Sonoco Board since 2011 and is Chief Executive Officer of Gosiger, Inc., a privately owned distributor of computer-controlled machine tool and factory automation systems, based in Dayton, Ohio. Micali added, “John was the unanimous choice of the Board to become Chairman, based on his extensive executive management experience and the leadership he has provided to the Board over the past eight years, including chairing the financial policy committee. The Board has been planning succession for the past several years, including appointing John as Vice Chairman last year to work alongside Harris and be mentored by one of the top leaders of corporate governance.”

In addition to serving on the Sonoco Board of Directors, DeLoach is a Trustee of the Duke Endowment. He formerly served on the boards of Duke Energy, Milliken & Company, Goodrich and Progress Energy. He has also served on numerous non-profit boards and has received several business leadership honors, including Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business in 1998; the University of South Carolina Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006; the 2008 Businessman of the Year by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce; the Roger Milliken Defender of Manufacturing Award from the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance in 2014; and the Order of the Palmetto from South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley in 2014.
(Sonoco Products Co)

Nesquik launches All Natural cocoa powder in recyclable paper packaging

Nesquik launches All Natural cocoa powder in recyclable paper packaging  (Company news)

Nestlé has announced the launch of a new Nesquik All Natural powder. The new Nesquik features a simplified, natural ingredients list and comes in a recyclable paper pouch.

Nestlé is launching the new Nesquik All Natural in five European markets in the coming weeks: France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. It will sit alongside the existing Nesquik range, and will be rolled out to other European countries in the near future.

The Nesquik All Natural features simplified list of just five natural ingredients. It has more cocoa and therefore a richer cocoa taste than existing Nesquik products. Nesquik All Natural also has less sugar than the current classic product, and uses raw cane sugar instead of processed white sugar. The cocoa is responsibly sourced from West Africa under the Nestlé Cocoa Plan.

Michelle Alvarillo, Head of Cocoa and Malt Beverages at Nestlé, said: “We’re proud to be able to launch Nesquik All Natural as a new addition to the range, providing parents with an all-natural option with a simplified ingredients list, more cocoa and less sugar in a recyclable paper packaging. This is part of our commitment at Nestlé to offer more natural, sustainable and nutritious choices while maintaining the great taste that people know and love.”

The new pouch is made of a coated paper that is recyclable in the paper stream. The paper is from sustainable sources, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The pouches have been extensively tested to make sure they keep the Nesquik powder in perfect condition during transport and storage.

The launch of the new Nesquik comes less than two months after Nestlé’s commitment to accelerate action to tackle plastic waste. It is one of the first products to put that pledge into action, moving from recyclable plastic to recyclable paper packaging.

Yasser AbdulMalak, Head of the Dairy category for Europe, Middle East and North Africa, added: “The recyclable paper pouch is the first of its kind, one of our key initiatives towards providing more sustainable packaging across our product portfolio. Moving from plastic to paper is a big challenge, but an important step in designing the food packaging of the future. We have taken that step today to ensure we truly meet consumers’ demand for more natural and sustainable food.”

The new Nesquik All Natural is produced in Nestlé’s factory in Szerencs, Hungary, one of the company’s foremost factories for powdered drinks.

Plans are also well underway for further products in the Nesquik All Natural range across Europe, to be launched within the year. These include a zero sugar version.
(Nestlé S.A.)



Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc. ("SWM" or the "Company") (NYSE: SWM) reported earnings results for the three month and full year periods ended December 31, 2018.

Fourth Quarter 2018 Financial Results Summary
-Total sales grew 6% to $248.7 million
-GAAP operating profit was $26.8 million, or 10.8% of sales, up 27%; adjusted operating profit was $32.2 million, or 12.9% of sales, up 6%
-GAAP earnings per share was $0.23, and included a $0.50 per share non-cash impairment related to the Company's RTL joint venture in China; Adjusted EPS was $0.90, up 41%

Full Year 2018 Financial Results Summary
-Total sales grew 6% to $1,041.3 million
-GAAP operating profit was $135.0 million, or 13.0% of sales, up 5%; adjusted operating profit was $157.4 million, or 15.1% of sales, down 2%
-GAAP earnings per share was $3.07; Adjusted EPS was $3.48, up 9%

Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Business Highlights and 2019 Outlook
-Fourth quarter AMS segment sales increased 9% with transportation films and filtration products leading the portfolio
-Fourth quarter AMS GAAP and adjusted operating profit margin expanded 160 and 90 basis points, respectively, due to strong sales growth
-Fourth quarter EP segment sales increased 3%; positive price/mix performance more than offset lower volume
-Fourth quarter EP GAAP and adjusted operating profit margins contracted 70 and 330 basis points, respectively, due primarily to higher wood pulp costs
-Full year 2018 Adjusted EPS was $3.48; strong sales across the business and a lower tax rate offset raw material headwinds
-2019 Adjusted EPS guidance is $3.40 to $3.60, reflecting growth in AMS and modest pressure in EP

Dr. Jeff Kramer (photo), Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Strong fourth quarter earnings drove full year 2018 adjusted EPS above our guided range, a significant achievement in light of rapid increases in raw materials and other input costs. Solid sales growth and a favorable tax rate were key factors. In addition to crossing the $1 billion total sales milestone, we continued to advance several strategic growth priorities. In AMS, we completed the Austin site closure during the fourth quarter, a key component of the Conwed synergy plan. In addition, we launched our first international film line in Europe for our transportation business, and recently approved capacity expansions across our global footprint to support additional growth in filtration and transportation. Lastly, we completed initial customer qualifications on our new filtration paper, a synergy between our paper production capabilities in EP and our AMS commercial team. We believe this offering enhances our already strong filtration market presence with an expanded product suite. Within our paper segment, we managed our controllable costs and improved our sales mix by gaining share in cigarette papers, scaling back low-margin printing volumes, and driving growth in more attractive product categories."

"AMS finished 2018 with 6% organic sales growth, with double digit gains in filtration led by nearly 20% growth in our RO water business. We also delivered another year of solid momentum in transportation films, as well as accelerated sales growth in medical products. While segment margins were pressured by anticipated inefficiencies related to the final stage of our site consolidation and higher resin costs, we have completed the facility closure and raised product prices. EP performed well in 2018 in light of considerable pressure from higher wood pulp and energy costs. Segment sales increased nearly 5% with improved mix as well as stability in our cigarette paper volumes despite continued industry attrition."

Dr. Kramer concluded, "Our 2019 Adjusted EPS guidance of $3.40 to $3.60 reflects a combination of expected growth in AMS, modest pressure in EP, and increased investments in IT systems to support our growth activities. Our outlook is also moderated by uncertainties related to global trade risks and growth in Asia. Within AMS, we expect continued sales momentum, more normalized resin costs, and an improved cost structure to more than offset higher freight expenses and growth-related investments. For EP, our 2019 outlook incorporates continued tobacco industry attrition offset with our continued focus on share gains, product mix improvements, innovation, and cost reductions. Consistent with our earnings guidance, we believe our business is well-positioned to deliver another year of more than $100 million of free cash flow. This strong cash generation, coupled with our recent refinancing activities, provide ample liquidity for further organic expansion activities and potential strategic acquisitions to drive sustainable long-term growth."

Fourth Quarter 2018 Financial Results
Advanced Materials & Structures segment sales were $107.8 million, up 9%, with no acquisition benefit in the quarter. Double-digit growth in transportation due to high demand for paint protection films was the largest driver. Filtration sales, particularly for RO water applications, was also a key factor. GAAP operating profit was $10.0 million, up 32%. Adjusted operating profit was $15.4 million, up 16%, with margin expanding 90 basis points to 14.3%. Sales growth and reduced fixed costs from the Austin site closure more than offset certain temporary manufacturing inefficiencies associated with the transfer of volume to our remaining plants and higher resin costs.

Engineered Papers segment sales were $140.9 million, up 3%, with 8% positive price/mix more than offsetting a volume decline of 4% due to shifting away from certain lower margin non-tobacco paper volumes. This, coupled with growth across the cigarette papers portfolio were key factors in sales performance. Currency was a 1% headwind. GAAP operating profit was flat at $27.1 million. Adjusted operating profit was also $27.1 million, down 12%, with adjusted operating profit margin contracting by 330 basis points to 19.2%, due primarily to higher pulp costs, other inflationary pressures, and reduced manufacturing efficiencies as a result of lower volume. Favorable currency movements resulted in a $1.6 million benefit to operating profit due to primarily lower local currency costs at certain sites.

Unallocated GAAP and adjusted expenses were each $10.3 million, down 24%. Adjusted unallocated expenses were 4.1% of total sales, down 170 basis points, due primarily to lower professional service fees and lower deferred compensation, which decreased due to stock price volatility during the quarter.

Consolidated sales were $248.7 million, up 6% (no acquisition benefit). GAAP operating profit was $26.8 million, up 27%, and GAAP operating profit margin was 10.8%. Adjusted operating profit was $32.2 million, up 6% and adjusted operating profit margin was 12.9%, flat with the prior year period. Adjusted EBITDA was $41.8 million, up 3%, and adjusted EBITDA margin was 16.8%, down 40 basis points.

GAAP income was $7.2 million, versus a loss of $27.3 million; this equated to GAAP EPS of $0.23. Adjusted income was $27.1 million, up 39%; this equated to Adjusted EPS of $0.90. Interest expense was $8.1 million, up $1.2 million, reflecting higher effective interest rates as a result of the bond issuance during the third quarter of 2018 offset by lower debt balances. The Company reported a tax rate of 1.6% during the fourth quarter to reflect the Company's full year tax rate of 9.2% (additional details in full year results section below).

The Company's Chinese JVs generated a $0.35 loss for GAAP EPS due to a $0.50 per share non-cash impairment of the Company's stake in an RTL joint venture in China (one of the company's two JVs). The staged investment was made between 2011 and 2014, and while operations were profitable in 2018, this JV has performed below the original long-term financial projections due to market dynamics unique to the Chinese tobacco industry. Excluding the impairment, the Company's Chinese JVs generated $0.14 in Adjusted EPS, up from $0.07 in the prior year period.

Net currency movements had a 1% negative impact on sales but a $1.6 million positive impact on operating profits; the translation impact of net currency movements was negative $0.02 to both GAAP EPS and Adjusted EPS.

Full Year 2018 Financial Results
Advanced Materials & Structures segment sales were $467.9 million, up 8%, including the 3-week partial period benefit from the Conwed acquisition in early 2017. Pro forma (assuming SWM had owned Conwed for the full first quarter of 2017) organic growth was 6%. Strong sales increases in filtration, transportation films, and medical products were key drivers. GAAP operating profit was $49.5 million, up 2%. Adjusted operating profit was $71.7 million, down 5%, with margin contracting 220 basis points to 15.3%. Anticipated manufacturing inefficiencies related to the final stage of the Austin site closure and transition of volume to other sites and higher resin costs were the primary negative factors.

Engineered Papers segment sales were $573.4 million, up 4%, with favorable currency movements of 3%. Overall volume decreased 3%, driven by lower RTL and exiting certain low-margin non-tobacco papers, while cigarette papers were up slightly. Price and mix combined for a 5% sales increase (% changes of volume/price/mix/currency do not sum to sales growth due to rounding). GAAP operating profit was $121.8 million, up 2%. Adjusted operating profit was $122.0 million, down 2%, and adjusted operating profit margin declined 150 basis points to 21.3%. The decrease was primarily driven by higher pulp costs and other inflationary pressures. Favorable currency movements resulted in a $7.9 million benefit to operating profit due to higher average Euro rates compared to 2017 and lower local currency costs at certain sites.

Unallocated GAAP and adjusted expenses were each $36.3 million, down 9%. Adjusted unallocated expenses were 3.5% of total sales, down 60 basis points, due primarily to lower professional service fees and lower deferred compensation, which decreased due to stock price volatility at the end of 2018.

Consolidated sales were $1,041.3 million, up 6%, and 5% on an organic basis (assuming SWM had owned Conwed for the full first quarter of 2017). GAAP operating profit was $135.0 million, up 5%. Adjusted operating profit was $157.4 million, down 2%, and adjusted operating profit margin was 15.1%, down 130 basis points. Adjusted EBITDA was $196.9 million, down 1%, and adjusted EBITDA margin was 18.9%, down 130 basis points.

GAAP income was $94.8 million, up from $34.4 million; this equated to GAAP EPS of $3.07. Adjusted income was $107.2 million, up 10%; this equated to Adjusted EPS of $3.48. Interest expense was $28.2 million, up $1.3 million, reflecting higher effective interest rates as a result of the bond issuance during the third quarter of 2018, offset by lower debt balances. Other income was $10.0 million, up from $0.1 million, and included a $10.2 million gain from the revaluation of a contingent consideration liability related to the Conwed acquisition. The Company reported a full year tax rate of 9.2%, driven mainly by a $13.0 million favorable adjustment related to the 2017 Tax Act in the U.S.; adjusting for this and other favorable net one-time items of $0.6 million, the tax rate was 20.9%, down from 29.6%.

The Chinese JVs generated a $0.37 loss for GAAP EPS due to the $0.50 per share non-cash impairment. Excluding the impairment, the JVs contributed $0.12 to Adjusted EPS, up from $0.08 in the prior year period.

Net currency movements had a 2% positive impact on sales and a $9.0 million positive impact on operating profits; the translation impact of net currency movements was positive $0.04 to both GAAP EPS and Adjusted EPS.

Cash Flow, Debt, & Dividend
Full year 2018 cash provided by operating activities increased to $138.9 million, from $130.9 million. The Company's working capital-related cash outflows were $20.6 million, compared to $11.9 million in 2017, due mainly to higher receivables from sales growth. Capital spending and capitalized software totaled $29.7 million, down $11.0 million, due mainly to timing of capital projects. Free cash flow increased to $109.2 million, from $90.2 million, due to higher operating cash flow and lower capital spending. Year-to-date, the Company has paid dividends to stockholders totaling $53.2 million.

Total debt was $622.1 million on December 31, 2018, down $62.1 million from year end 2017; net debt was $528.3 million on December 31, 2018, down $49.0 million from year end 2017. At the end of the third quarter, the Company issued $350 million of senior unsecured notes and refinanced and extended its credit facility. Pursuant to the debt covenants, the Company's net debt to adjusted EBITDA was approximately 2.5x as of December 31, 2018, down from 3.0x at year-end 2017.

The Company announced a quarterly cash dividend per share to $0.44 per share. The dividend will be payable on March 22, 2019 to stockholders of record as of March 4, 2019.

2019 Financial Outlook
The Company issued 2019 Adjusted EPS guidance of $3.40 to $3.60. This equates to $2.83 to $3.03 of GAAP EPS based on estimates of $0.56 per share of non-cash purchase accounting expenses related to AMS segment acquisitions and $0.01 per share of restructuring expenses that are excluded from Adjusted EPS.

The Company expects 2019 capital expenditures and capitalized software spending of approximately $35 million to $40 million.
(Schweitzer-Mauduit International Inc.)

Quickly and easily insert nicks - With the marbanick|2 from Marbach

Quickly and easily insert nicks - With the marbanick|2 from Marbach  (Company news)

With its marbanick|2 for paperboard tools, Marbach has brought a hand tool onto the market that convinces users with its flexibility and simplicity. Since its introduction in May 2018, Marbach has sold almost 200 of these hand-held devices.

Marketing Manager Tina Dost: "The marbanick|2 is very popular with our customers. It allows them to add waste nicks afterwards in order to optimally adapt the cutting-die to the local conditions. The positioning of the nicks is very quick, safe and controlled."

In addition, the marbanick|2 is characterized by its flexibility. It has three levels, so that three different nick thicknesses can be inserted with one device. Conventional systems available on the market are limited to a single nick size. Here different attachments or even three different devices would be necessary. Dost continues: "Our customers, who use the marbanick|2, only need one device with which they can flexibly insert nicks. This saves them time, space and money, and the purchase of the marbanick|2 is very inexpensive compared to the industry alternatives."

The marbanick|2 is available in a set with useful accessories such as a special attachment for the die-cutting machine and a second chisel.
(Karl Marbach GmbH & Co. KG)

Valmet strengthens its wastewater automation business in Norway by signing a ...

Valmet strengthens its wastewater automation business in Norway by signing a ...  (Company news)

... distributor agreement with Endress+Hauser

Valmet has extended the cooperation with Endress+Hauser by signing a distributor agreement for wastewater automation. Valmet's target is to strengthen and expand its wastewater business in Norway and help the wastewater industry to improve and optimize its processes.

According to the agreement, Valmet provides its advanced wastewater automation and measurement technology, while Endress+Hauser is responsible for sales, engineering and services in Norway. Valmet and Endress+Hauser already have similar agreements regarding wastewater business in Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Beneficial collaboration with a strategic approach
Endress+Hauser has long experience of the business environment and wastewater industry in Norway. Together with Valmet's strong automation expertise and advanced technology, the companies can develop wastewater automation and measurement business forward.

"The cooperation helps to expand Valmet's wastewater business in Norway. Endress+Hauser AS has good knowledge about Norway's wastewater customers and business environment, and Valmet's wastewater products fit very well to the existing offering of Endress+Hauser," says Heli Karaila, Business Manager, Wastewater, Automation, Valmet.

"We wish to express our global and strategic approach into the water and wastewater industry, especially when it comes to sludge measurement and handling. In Norway, we have dedicated microwave specialists for this purpose, which is why we think it's natural and beneficial to join forces with Valmet in this specific industry. The products are fitting nicely into our product portfolio as complementary devices for sludge measurement and handling. We find the experience and the closeness of Valmet's competence hubs in Finland and in Sweden as a great advantage for both us and our customers," says Tore Sandvoll, CEO, Endress+Hauser AS Norway.
(Valmet Corporation)

Iggesund Paperboard’s mills get top marks

Iggesund Paperboard’s mills get top marks  (Company news)

Picture: Iggesund Mill is a model facility, which, together with its sister mill at Workington, England, has received top marks for its sustainability work

The Holmen Group’s paperboard manufacturer, Iggesund Paperboard, has received the highest rating for sustainability in an evaluation done this year by the rating firm EcoVadis. The paperboard is produced at Iggesund Mill in Sweden and at Workington, England. EcoVadis is the leading system for assessing and rating the suppliers of global companies and has done more than 45,000 evaluations in 150 countries. Companies using EcoVadis include Coca Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, L’Oréal and Heineken.

“This is one of many confirmations that Iggesund Paperboard and its parent company, the Holmen Group, have a very strong sustainability programme,” comments Johan Granås, Sustainability Communications Manager at Iggesund. “The issues have shifted over time from being purely environmental ones to now encompassing the entire field of sustainability.”

Both Iggesund Mill and its sister mill at Workington have received the highest rating, the Gold Standard. They are both thereby among the top one percent of all the companies assessed by EcoVadis and are among the two top percent of the assessed companies in the paper industry.

Over the last ten-year period, the Holmen Group has appeared on indexes of the world’s 100 most sustainable companies, drawn up by both the UN’s Global Compact and the Corporate Knights. The Group has also been repeatedly named by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) as a leader in the work against climate change.

“It’s becoming more and more important to be able to document your sustainability work so that customers know where we stand in this regard,” Granås adds. “That’s where EcoVadis and similar systems come in. They are a major advance in simplifying the exchange of information between customers and suppliers.”

At Iggesund Paperboard, sustainability issues have been a key focus for decades, and, for example, are always included in discussions about possible investments.

“It’s easy to point to business deals where our sustainability position was a decisive factor, and the importance of these issues will only increase in future,” says Granås.

First-class sustainability work is an important prerequisite for being able to do business with major brand owners, who today are often leading the shift towards a more sustainable society.

“We believe that our customers, the brand owners and we ourselves are all winners in this trend towards greater openness,” Granås emphasises. “And, of course, it’s very gratifying to see that we’re already ranked so highly today.”

Iggesund’s sustainability has yet another dimension: how its paperboard material is used. The types of paperboard made at the mill have a very low environmental impact, and if they are used to replace plastic packaging, the climate effects are even greater.

“When this type of material replacement is added to the equation, companies can achieve a dramatic reduction of their climate impact by using our material. These effects are not included in the EcoVadis assessments but they are also an important part of the battle against the greenhouse effect,” concludes Johan Granås.
(Iggesund Paperboard AB)

AR Packaging launches first pressed board tray concept for MAP

AR Packaging launches first pressed board tray concept for MAP  (Company news)

AR Packaging is first on the market to present a gas tight pressed board tray packaging for chilled foods as a replacement of plastic trays. The Group’s combined expertise in barrier materials and pressed board tray production has enabled an efficient solution well suited for giving a shelf life of at least 18 days.

The increasing demand for sustainable packaging has led to an intensive search for a gas tight carton based trays. The solution now launched is based on well proven technologies and materials from CC Pack and Flextrus, both plants situated in Sweden.

“We have invested lots of effort to develop this new revolutionary packaging solution. The shape of the tray is optimised to ensure tight packs which gives a shelf life of at least 18 days,” says Åke Larsson, MD at CC Pack. “We thereby meet the needs for a wide range of chilled food products, such as fresh meat and chicken, processed meat, cheese and ready meals etc.”

The board trays are supplied together with a matching lidding material which provides a safe seal and a barrier adapted to the packed product’s needs.

The new gas tight board tray concept from AR Packaging is not only a more sustainable alternative to plastic trays with high proportion of renewable materials. It also supports product branding thanks to its attractive look and feel of paper. The cost efficient solution is the first pressed board tray packaging on the market and tests are already ongoing with several major chilled food producers in Europe.
(AR Packaging Group)

Segezha Group has successfully completed ISO 50001 Energy Management System certification

Segezha Group has successfully completed ISO 50001 Energy Management System certification  (Company news)

According to the strategy of sustainable development in the field of energy efficiency, enterprises of the Paper and Package Division and the structure of Segezha Group management company (Sistema JSFC) in Petrozavodsk underwent a procedure of international certification and received ISO 50001 conformity certificates “Energy Management System” in February.

External certification audits of the management company and enterprises of the Paper and Package Division were held in the end of 2018 by TMS RUS LLC – a representative of TÜV SÜD Management Service GmbH, a global leader in field of management system certification.

During 2018 works on preparing for certification of TÜV SÜD were done by employees of Segezha PPM JSC, the management company, Sokolsk PPM PJSC, Segezha Packaging LLC in Karelia and a branch of the enterprise in Salsk (Rostov Region) in the framework of the integrated management system (IMS)* development program.

The project of implementation of ISO 50001 requirements at Segezha Group enterprises implied establishing the energy policy with certain objectives in the field of energy efficiency improvement and a baseline for energy, defining critical areas and understanding elements that have an impact on energy use, cyclic forecasting of energy consumption for a clearer picture of investment and improvement planning, analyzing energy consumption in the course of decision-making concerning designs and procurement of equipment, raw materials or services.

“Energy consumption is a key indicator for companies of the Group,” Elena Sofienko, Director for Methodology and Business Processes, commented. “Energy savings means reducing operation costs and lowering a level of emissions. For our energy-consuming enterprises, these are significant actions aimed at pursuing and enabling sustainable use of natural resources. Energy-consuming industries of the company can significantly improve their energy consumption types while conducting activities in the framework of the energy management system by optimizing energy consumption and increasing consumption of energy generated by renewable sources.”

In 2019, Segezha Group will continue its consistent work aimed at support and development of certified management systems in the framework of ISO 50001 and previously received international conformity certificates in field of quality, ecology, occupational health and safety.
(Segezha Pulp and Paper Mill JSC)

WestRock Named One of 12 Winners of NextGen Cup Challenge

WestRock Named One of 12 Winners of NextGen Cup Challenge  (Company news)

Company Recognized for Recyclable Cup for Hot and Cold Applications

WestRock (NYSE: WRK), a leading provider of differentiated paper and packaging solutions, announced that its prototype of a recyclable fiber-based cup for hot and cold applications was named one of 12 winners of the NextGen Cup Challenge.

Sponsored by the NextGen Consortium, a multi-year partnership of foodservice industry leaders, the NextGen Cup Challenge was launched to identify solutions to reduce the waste generated by more than 250 billion fiber-based cups produced every year. More than 480 submissions from 53 countries and territories were submitted. Winners represent the most innovative solutions across three distinct categories: innovative cup liners, new materials and reusable cup service models.

WestRock was recognized in the innovative cup liner category for its circular cup, a recyclable and compostable paperboard solution for a hot or cold beverage cup. The cup is being designed to consistently hold hot and cold beverages under a variety of conditions while being easily recyclable, ideally back into paper mills as post consumer fiber where it can be made into new cups. The cup has also recently passed compostability testing with the Compost Manufacturing Alliance.

“The circular cup is an example of WestRock’s commitment to developing innovative solutions to improve the sustainability of our products, help our customers meet their sustainability goals and promote better stewardship of the environment,” said Bob Feeser, president of WestRock’s Consumer Packaging business. “We’re honored by this recognition and encouraged by the potential to advance the recovery of fiber cups globally with a truly recyclable cup.”

WestRock’s participation in the NextGen Cup Challenge represents the continuation of the Company’s effort to increase consumer access to, and recovery of, paper-based foodservice packaging, which also includes the acceptance of foodservice packaging at eight of its 100 percent recycled paperboard mills across the United States.
(WestRock Companies)

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