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Newsgrafik #117881

tesla, the revolution in hot melt application  (Company news)

The world's first Tesla is revolutionizing the hotmelt application.

Nikola Tesla was a great inventor. His life's work has revolutionized the transmission of electrical energy. The new electromagnetic hot melt application head from Baumer hhs revolutionized the hot melt application in the packaging industry.

The new application head series is suitable for use in many applications. Driven via the known control devices from Baumer hhs from Xtend² and Xpect series and also directly from your PLC. For the first time there is also a version for use with third-party Systems.
(Baumer hhs GmbH)

Newsgrafik #117882

Neenah Introduces BS5609 Certified Inkjet and Laser Printable Face stock:KIMDURA® DualTech® ...  (Company news)

...Synthetic Paper

Neenah launches KIMDURA® DUALTECH® Synthetic Paper and makes another significant addition to its Performance Labels for Harsh Environments™ portfolio of high-performing, highly engineered substrates intended for applications in unforgiving conditions.

The KIMDURA® line of label stock has been the benchmark for over 30 years for challenging applications including labels and tags for drum chemicals, hazard communications, health care, industrial, logistical, and outdoor usage. The addition of KIMDURA® DualTech® adds an option for both inkjet and laser printing platforms and is compliant with BS 5609 Part 2 and 3. “Our customers expect Neenah to develop products to fit their evolving needs. Kimdura® DualTech® demonstrates best-in-class performance and chemical resistance with laser and inkjet printers, even when exposed
to a wide range of industrial and household solvents,” said Srinivas Nomula, Sr. Director of Marketing, Neenah Performance Labels & Specialties. “Similar products in the marketplace showed little or no resistance to industrial chemicals when printed using laser printers. Kimdura® DualTech®
outperformed other labels, with even barcodes remaining legible during harsh testing environments.”

The newest addition to the KIMDURA® line of labels is available at 3.5pt (98 g/m2). “Besides demonstrating exceptional print durability, KIMDURA®
DualTech® was developed to respond our customers who have been asking us to develop a thinner, brighter, whiter, label face stock. This new product can serve diverse applications and market verticals, including tire and rubber industries, as well as consumer durables labeling,” says Gracy Wingkono, Product Manager, Neenah Performance Labels & Specialties.
(Neenah Paper Inc.)

Newsgrafik #117886

Exciting puzzles and games – all produced on Rapida presses  (Company news)

Ravensburger: Productivity boost thanks to large-format offset

-New Rapida 145 and retrofit for an existing Rapida 105
-50 million sheets, but ever shorter runs
-Up to 50 makeready cycles per day
-Puzzles with up to 40,000 pieces

Photo: Light-flooded: The press room at Ravensburger with a Rapida 105 (right) and the new Rapida 145

Ravensburger is a leading European provider of puzzles, games and activity products, and a leading publisher of children's and youth books in the German-speaking region. The blue triangle is one of the most renowned trademarks in Germany. Founded by Otto Meier in 1883, the company today counts 2,100 employees, who together generate annual sales of almost €500 million. Two Rapida offset presses stand in the competence centre for print production, one each in medium and large format.

The large-format Rapida 145, with five printing units and inline coater, was commissioned just last year to replace an old large-format press. The medium-format Rapida 105 had also been in production for over a decade, but has now been given a new lease of life. Within the framework of extensive restructuring measures in the print centre, it has been turned by 180° and treated to a comprehensive retrofit. The total investment, including renovation of the hall, amounted to almost €4 million. Both presses now run in high-speed unison – the Rapida 145 at 15,000 sheets per hour for 98 per cent of the time.

The recent investments became imperative due to the increasing proportion of short-run production jobs. Print volumes have increased from 39 million sheets in 2010 to 48 million sheets, but the number of individual jobs has risen even more sharply from 7,600 to 11,000. Overall, average run lengths have fallen from 4,950 sheets in 2010 to 3,900 sheets in 2016. Faced with this challenge, there was no alternative but to minimise makeready times and raise production output.

Faster makeready processes for more print jobs
That is all child’s play for the Rapida 145. Thanks to the facilities for parallel processes (DriveTronic SPC with PlateIdent, CleanTronic Synchro and a DriveTronic SFC coater with AniSleeve), makeready times have been slashed by a staggering 80 per cent. But even that is only half of the story. As makeready is no longer such a major factor in production costs, classic games such as “Ludo“ can be printed more frequently. Consequently, less space is required for finished and semi-finished products, and less capital is locked up in intermediate storage.

There are typically up to 18 job changes per shift. The record to date was 50 makeready cycles in 24 hours. Production is generally spread across gang formes for maximum flexibility. Pre-press decides whether a particular product is to be placed on the sheet once or several times, depending on the overall quantities required and the delivery schedules. Between four and sixteen different products are printed together on one sheet. CtP is also the stage at which it is decided whether to assign the job to the medium- or large-format press.

On the Rapidas, one test sheet is normally sufficient before actual production commences. In the past, three or even four correction steps were necessary. As a result, the amount of makeready waste has been halved. Alongside the direct material savings, the Rapida presses are in this way also contributing to the conservation of natural resources.

Benefits on unusual substrates
Günter Märker, head of production at Ravensburger: “We can swear by our Rapidas for their advantages in board printing.” Typical board weights lie between 120 and 450 g/m2. “Both must run equally well,” says Märker. Playing cards are printed on virgin pulp stocks.

Even though production is organised so as to group together common formats and substrates, it is still necessary to perform two to three coating forme changes and one or two anilox roller changes every day. DriveTronic SFC and AniSleeve are here real time-savers. Coating plate changes run parallel to other makeready processes, and an anilox roller sleeve can be changed by a single operator – without physical effort and without the need for a crane or the like.

One small detail is especially appreciated by the press operators at Ravensburger, namely the plate lift. Whole plate trolleys are lifted up to the press gallery level, and the printers only have to distribute them to the individual printing units. Climbing steps with an unwieldy plate has become a thing of the past.

Extensive know-how also in post-press
Before the investment plans could be implemented, there was one important point to be clarified: How to accommodate continued use of the existing die-cutting tools, despite the switch to a new large-format press model. After all, considerable money and know-how had gone into their production. The answer was amazingly simple: The Rapida 145 uses narrower colour bars, and thus the gripper margin required for die-cutting is still available.

There are 32 employees in Ravensburger’s competence centre for print production. They work three shifts and are also responsible for cutting. The post-press department and the associated store occupy much more floor space than the relatively small printshop with its 250 m2; the total production space amounts to approx. 20,000 m2. The departments for die-cutting and lamination of the puzzles and for box-making are much larger. Most machines here are the product of extensive specialist know-how – for example the lidding machine which places a lid on the finished box sets.

A company like Ravensburger is naturally a source of many superlatives. The largest Ravensburger jigsaw puzzle, for example, came onto the market in 2016. It comprises 40,320 pieces and weighs around 20 kg. Puzzlers can look forward to some 600 hours of fun to complete the puzzle measuring 6.8 x 1.9 metres.
(Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA))

Newsgrafik #117887

Packaging Corporation of America Announces Agreement to Acquire Sacramento Container ...  (Company news)

... Corporation and Conversion of Wallula Mill Paper Machine to High-Performance 100% Virgin Linerboard

Packaging Corporation of America (NYSE: PKG) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of Sacramento Container Corporation, and 100% of the membership interests of Northern Sheets, LLC and Central California Sheets, LLC in a cash-free, debt-free transaction for a cash purchase price of $265 million. The Company has also announced that it will discontinue production of uncoated freesheet (UFS) and coated one-side (C1S) grades at its Wallula, Washington mill in the second quarter of 2018 to begin the conversion of its 200,000 ton-per-year No. 3 paper machine to a 400,000 ton-per-year high-performance 100% virgin kraft linerboard machine.

Photo: PCA Chairman and CEO Mark Kowlzan

The acquisition transaction is structured as a purchase of assets resulting in a full step-up of the assets to fair market value. Under the terms of the agreement, PCA will acquire full-line corrugated products and sheet feeder operations in McClellan, California and Kingsburg, California.

The value of the expected synergies, the tax benefit of the step-up of assets and the operations’ EBITDA result in a purchase price multiple of approximately five times EBITDA. The acquisition will be accretive to earnings immediately.

PCA Executive Vice President Tom Hassfurther said, “The acquisition of these well-capitalized facilities will further enhance our operations both geographically and strategically. Also, the customer-focused employees and strong management teams of Sacramento Container, Northern Sheets and Central California Sheets will be an excellent fit with PCA’s culture. This group has built a successful business based on providing outstanding quality and service to a wide array of customers located in the northern and central regions of California.”

Closing is subject to certain customary conditions and regulatory approval and is expected early in the fourth quarter of 2017. The company plans to finance the transaction with available cash on hand.

The conversion of the No. 3 paper machine at the Wallula Mill is planned for the second quarter of 2018 with an initial production rate of approximately 60 percent of capacity. Ultimately, production will increase to 1,150 tons per day once a new headbox, forming section, and shoe press are added in the fourth quarter of 2018. The capital cost of the conversion is expected to be approximately $150 million. Discontinuing paper operations at the Wallula Mill will result in pre-tax cash severance and other shutdown charges of approximately $20 - 25 million and approximately $45 - 55 million of pre-tax noncash asset impairment and accelerated depreciation charges. Charges of $25 - $35 million are expected to be recorded in the third quarter of 2017. The Mill’s No. 2 paper machine will continue to produce 150,000 tons-per-year of semi-chemical medium.

PCA Chairman and CEO Mark Kowlzan said, “Our strategy is to improve the overall profitability of the paper business for PCA by focusing our people and investments on increasing our competitiveness and ensuring a sustainable future in the office and printing & converting markets with our mills in International Falls, MN and Jackson, AL. In addition, at our current containerboard integration rate of 95%, the low-cost conversion of the No. 3 paper machine at our Wallula Mill provides us with much needed linerboard capacity, allows us to integrate over 200,000 tons of containerboard to our Sacramento Container acquisition, and enables further optimization and enhancement of our current mill capacity and box plant operations. The conversion will significantly enhance the mill’s profitability and viability.”

Paul LeBlanc, Vice President – Paper, added, “We will work closely with our customers to ensure a smooth transition as we wind down production of the current grades we make on our No. 3 paper machine at Wallula. Throughout this transition, all customers will continue to receive the high quality products and service they are accustomed to.”
(PCA Packaging Corporation of America)

Newsgrafik #117944

SAICA PAPER France optimized its production with web inspection (WIS) and ...  (Company news)

... web break monitoring (WBM) technologies from ISRA VISION

Picture: IntelliCam at the top wire OS. The camera rotates on a bracket axis to allow the wire change. IntelliCams from the drive side are also visible on this picture.

Minimization of processing costs by significant reduction of web breaks and hence machine downtime

For the PM4 paper machine in its paper mill in Venizel, SAICA is making full use of the web inspection system (WIS) and web break monitoring system (WBM) from ISRA VISION. What is remarkable is the system's short amortization period after only a mere year and half as well as the timely reduction in the number of web breaks. In addition, the system also helps to optimize manufacturing processes.

The paper market in France is extremely competitive. Ten different companies produce around 3.3 million tons of corrugated medium and liner paper on a total of 19 paper machines. One of those manufacturers is SAICA, a leading producer of paper-based packaging in Europe and the market leader in Spain. The packaging operations within this group procure the majority of their raw materials from their own paper factories.

SAICA's Venizel plant, located 100km north of Paris, is where their brown corrugating medium and liner paper between 115 g/m2 and 250 g/m2 is produced. This paper is further processed in the group's own corrugated paper factories as well as in those of third parties. The requirements of corrugated paper manufacturers which paper producers must fulfill relate in particular to the paper's ability to be machine processed without breaking while guaranteeing good product quality. "Our main objective is to be able to supply paper without any major defects such as holes, spots or edge breaks, which might be the cause of breaks in the corrugated paper machines" emphasizes Renaud Guilianelli, Mill Manager at SAICA in Venizel.

Modular technology for higher product quality
To meet these customer requirements and in order to increase in-house productivity, SAICA made the decision to install an ISRA VISION web inspection system (WIS) and a web break monitoring system (WBM) in its PM4 paper machine. These prevent any further processing of defective products that might result in web breaks on the group's own systems as well as on those of its customers.

The WIS system at SAICA consists of four IntelliCam intelligent cameras, a cabinet, a server and two quality terminals while the WBM system is comprised of nineteen IntelliCams, a junction box, two camera boxes, a server PC and two process terminals. The cameras are distributed along the entire system and can therefore monitor every critical processing step. The cameras provide crystal clear images and detect even the smallest irregularities at maximum production speeds. As a result of the perfect camera synchronization and the precise online video information, an analysis of the root causes for defects can be run in mere seconds.

The WBM system monitors production across the entire width of the 5 m web at high speeds of 800 m/min. "The WBM IntelliCams are exactly the right tools for paper manufacturers, giving them the capability to identify defective areas that might cause problems in the paper machine", R. Guilianelli continues. Coupling with the WIS, the WBM becomes a powerful root cause analyzer to prevent breaks. “This year, we succeeded in significantly reducing the basic weight while increasing our productivity”, R. Guilianelli underlines.

The special features of the IntelliCam are the high-resolution camera and the LED lights providing extremely bright 800 W strobe lighting, integrated in a rugged high protection category enclosure. The IntelliCam provides for a customized and easy installation anywhere on the paper machine. An automated wiper or brush cleaning system integrated in the IntelliCam guarantees consistently perfect image quality and reduces the cost of maintenance to a minimum. In addition, the intelligent cameras are equipped with a cooling system that allows them to be installed in outside temperatures of up to 110 °C.

Two “easy to operate” software solutions are installed, which can be used on two extended monitors at the same time. The modular characteristic of the WIS and WBM system makes it possible to easily integrate additional IntelliCams at a later time.

The paper manufacturer's own trained staff performs the maintenance tasks and a VPN connection allows for remote access to the system so that more complicated maintenance tasks can be performed by ISRA off-site.

Preventing, not reacting
With the ISRA VISION WBM system, SAICA is able to significantly reduce the number of breaks due to the system's ability to warn of the risk of any breaks automatically, in a targeted manner and at an early stage. This minimizes the number of times the system is at a standstill, thus reducing the cost of production losses. "The WIS-WBM system ensures that we are able to increase our productivity and improve quality", concludes R. Guilianelli. In his opinion, there are "clear objective arguments for the necessity of this investment".

For his machine, the mill manager is forecasting an annual production of 250,000 tons, meaning the WIS-WBM system will have amortized within a mere eighteen months, based on the conservative assumption that the number of breaks is reduced by at least 20 percent.

“Depending on the detected defect type, we have significantly optimized our cleaning time and frequency. Consequently, the number of web breaks has been reduced and our machine runnability improved considerably” confirms the responsible processing engineer Yassine El Kartouti.

To summarize – Easy to install, easy to set up, easy to use: The productivity of the machine is significantly improved.

Newsgrafik #117963

Valmet reshapes its internal IT services and signs a business transfer agreement with CGI  (Company news)

Valmet will start a reshaping of its internal Information Technology (IT) services to improve the operations' efficiency and business focus. The set of actions to be taken include a business transfer agreement signed with CGI. Under the agreement Valmet's internal IT Service Desk, end user support and most infrastructure services, including server management, workstation management and end user computing, will be moved from Valmet and their current partners to CGI.

The transfer agreement concerns 58 current Valmet IT employees globally, who will be offered to transfer to CGI or its partner with similar terms. The transfer is targeted to become effective on October 1 and the full transfer project is to be closed by the end of March 2018.

This reshaping of Valmet's IT services will allow more resources to focus on developing digital capabilities that support the future development of the company. Valmet IT's focus will be shifted from running current services to developing new competences and services. A global IT platform will be created to ensure a harmonized way of working, and additional focus will also be put on more effective IT services and supplier management.

"With these actions we will improve the performance and efficiency of our internal IT operations. Our IT resources will be able to increase focus on building the competences and ways to operate necessary for Valmet's future development. Transferring the IT infrastructure services, including service desk, after a thorough evaluation process to CGI is one of the key steps to enable this transformation," says Janne Puustinen, Vice President, Information Technology, Valmet.
(Valmet Corporation)

Newsgrafik #117965

Pöyry manages investor partnership process that results in Spinnova and Fibria joining forces  (Company news)

Innovative start-up company and leading eucalyptus pulp producer connected for new high-value bio-based products

Fibria, the leading producer of eucalyptus pulp, and Spinnova, a Finnish start-up developing wood to fabrics technology, recently announced that Fibria is to acquire 18% of Spinnova and partner in the development, production and marketing of new materials using Spinnova's technologies. The two companies were brought together in a partnership search process managed by Pöyry. This is an example of Pöyry's choice to work closely with the startup scene from bio to digital. Pöyry has also a long-standing relationship with Fibria through many project assignments.

Pöyry's role in Spinnova's partnership development assignment was to help find the right industrial partner for the company, the assignment including potential partner analysis, partner relationship development, negotiations and contractual advisory. At the end of the process, Spinnova and Fibria came together for new opportunities in technology development, testing and piloting in pre-commercial scale of new high-value products.

In such a process, being able to support a startup necessitates a trusted position among global forest cluster companies from biomass to end users, extensive market understanding and knowledge of innovative technologies, all of which Pöyry has put much effort into developing.
Spinnova develops low-cost and environmentally sustainable technologies for making fabrics. The technologies use wood fibers to produce filaments and yarns that can replace cotton, viscose and other raw materials in both woven and nonwoven applications. Fibria is a Brazilian forestry company and the world's leading producer of eucalyptus pulp from planted forests.

"The new partnership with Fibria will help Spinnova grow our business faster and significantly enhance our global competitiveness. We value highly this win-win partnership with a lot of strategic level synergies and a shared vision. It was great to work with the Pöyry team. They are real professionals and their help was invaluable during the partnership search process," said Janne Poranen, CEO and founder of Spinnova.

"We are active in the start-up scene and continuously looking for new technologies and companies especially in bioindustries, energy and the digital space. Our global network and strong relationships with major forest cluster companies enable us to find the right partners for different needs and connect start-ups and investors for mutual benefits. We are the trusted partner to our clients and support them with our market and technical understanding covering the whole value chain from raw materials to end markets," said Petri Vasara, Vice President Management Consulting, Pöyry.
(Pöyry Plc)

Newsgrafik #117839

Start Boxing Clever with Intec Printing Solutions  (Company news)

According to industry spokesman the global printing market for packaging is expected to reach over USD 575 billion by 2020. One of the largest growth areas is digital printing of packaging driven by factors such as customisation, consumer engagement and increased marketing activities.

So how can the average commercial printer get a slice of the action without a huge amount of capital and cash investment? Well Intec will launch intriguing solutions at Labelexpo Europe and The Print Show, UK that fit the bill perfectly.

Printing on to heavy card has been the realm of traditional litho printing but it also has the downside of being uneconomical for short runs; enter the Intec ColorSplash range. Taking sheets of card up to 330mm x 1,321mm and up to 450gsm/micron printing short run packaging become a reality and for very little investment. This is where Intec’s unique proposition has always been – offering solutions to print onto heavy media.

So now you have high quality printed sheets but they need to be turned into ‘products’ for your customers. This is when you fire up your brand New Intec FB600 and get cutting and shaping. Within seconds those lifeless flat sheets are cut and creased to become packaging, boxes, point of sale and virtually any shape your heart (or customer) desires. All you have to do now is raise your invoice and enjoy the extra margins you’ll be making.

If you think that was special you really will be amazed watching SRA3 sheets of uncut label material turned into beautiful bespoke kiss cut labels in less than 30 seconds. That’s just one of the incredible applications offered by the Intec ColorCut CC500, a versatile and simple to use cutter with a wealth of functionality. If you want to cut card up to 350gsm just change the blade and off you go. Kitted out with a vacuum feed and air blowers to combat static and a robust feed mechanism the ColorCut, unlike it’s competitors is truly for the production market and not for the hobbyist.

Take your labels and packaging to the next level by adding gold, silver or holographic embellishments to your labels and packaging with the NEW ColorFlare700 desktop flaring system - all to be unveiled at the shows.

So if you want to get on board and enjoy more sales and margin then maybe it’s time for you to Box Clever with Intec.
(Intec Printing Solutions Limited)

Newsgrafik #117856

Niilo Pöyhönen appointed Member of the Board of Kotkamills oy  (Company news)

Mr. Niilo Pöyhönen M.Sc. Econ. has been appointed a Member of the Board of Kotkamills Oy, effective from August 1st, 2017.

Mr. Pöyhönen holds working experience of several decades in managerial positions in the board and packaging industries, lately in Pyroll Group and before that in Stora Enso. His vast knowledge of the board and packaging businesses, as well as wide knowledge of clientele, strengthens the competence of the consumer board business in the Board of Kotkamills Oy.

“We are very happy to obtain Niilo Pöyhönen’s unique experience to support Kotkamills’ future as a forerunner in the packaging board business”, states Chairman of the Board of Kotkamills Oy, Mr. Hannu Puhakka.

“It is great to be able to join Kotkamills team. The long awaited dispersion coated barrier board solutions of Kotkamills comprise a competitive and environmentally sound alternative to the traditional plastic-coated cup stock, board used for packing frozen food and other packaging board products. I believe that I will be able to help in launching these new solutions on the market”, says Niilo Pöyhönen.
(Kotkamills Oy)

Newsgrafik #117861

Fibria's new pulp mill in Três Lagoas (Brazil) starts operations ahead of schedule  (Company news)

Company advances delivery of second production line by three weeks and consolidates its global leadership in the sector

Fibria, a Brazilian company that is the world’s leading producer of eucalyptus pulp from planted forests, has advanced the operational startup of its new mill at Três Lagoas in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. The company’s second pulp production line goes operational three weeks ahead of schedule, while originally slated for the first half of September.

The result of investments totaling R$7.5 billion, Fibria’s second mill in Três Lagoas will have production capacity of 1.95 million tons of eucalyptus pulp per year. Combined with the first unit, already operational in the city, the company will have a production capacity of 3.25 million tons of pulp/year, which makes Fibria’s operation in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul one of the largest pulp mills in the world. Including all other units of the company – Aracruz in Espírito Santo state, Jacareí in São Paulo state, and Eunápolis in Bahia state, where it operates Veracel – Fibria has total production capacity of 7.25 million tons of pulp/year, which consolidates its global leadership in the sector.

Fibria announced the expansion of its Três Lagoas unit in May 2015 and works started soon after. For the past 27 months, the project has created approximately 40,000 jobs – considering Fibria´s employees and the entire supplier chain and project developers.

“In this period spanning slightly over two years, we finished the world´s largest single line pulp mill ahead of schedule and bellow budget, which proves the commitment demonstrated by the entire team to increasing productivity, reducing costs and always delivering the best, with safety and respect to people and the environment. The startup of our second plant at Três Lagoas represents the start of a new phase for the company, consolidating our global leadership in the industry,” said Marcelo Castelli, CEO of Fibria.

Fibria’s new unit at Três Lagoas features a series of innovations in construction, operations, as well as industrial and forestry processes. One of the highlights is the automated nursery for eucalyptus seedlings – the greatest technological innovation the field of forestry in recent years. To meet the demand for 43 million seedlings a year, specialists from the company traveled to the Netherlands to learn about the technology used in flower production. Based on the lessons learned, they devised a strategy to create not only the world’s largest but also the first fully automated eucalyptus seedling nursery.

Fibria’s automated nursery is equipped with technologies, such as automated irrigation, which enables detailed control of plant handling and nutrition, and a private weather station that automatically opens and closes retractable roofs depending on the climate, providing added protection to seedlings in the most sensitive phase. The station also measures the intensity of solar energy in the nursery, enabling the best control over the quantity of water necessary for the plants.
“These and other innovations we implemented are the result of extensive research, planning, joint team efforts and the audacity to look at the process always from new points of view. This is how Fibria incorporates in practice the sustainability and operating excellence into its day-to-day operations,” said Júlio Cunha, chief engineering and projects officer at Fibria.
(Fibria Celulose S/A)

Newsgrafik #117862

Colognia Press Partners with Asahi Photoproducts to Dramatically Improve Flexo Productivity  (Company news)

Continuous run for 22 hours: No press stops, consistent colour quality

Asahi Photoproducts, a pioneer in flexographic photopolymer plate development, reported that Czech-based Colognia Press achieved 100% improvement in press uptime by simply switching to the Asahi Photoproducts platemaking system. Asahi will be showing the AWP™ water-washable flexographic plate solutions used by Colognia Press and featuring Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer at Labelexpo Europe 2017. Asahi will be located on Stand 5A34 at the show, scheduled for 25 to 28 September in Brussels.

“With the flexo plates we were using, we had excessive stop times to clean or replace plates,” says Bohdan Holona, Manager of Desktop Publishing, an in-house design studio at Colognia. “For long-run jobs, this meant half of the time printing the product was downtime. Even for shorter runs, we were not happy with the colour consistency from the beginning to end of the job. Changing or cleaning the plates can often negatively affect the quality of the product.”

“After thorough research from our press team, we finally found the perfect solution,” says Holona. He reports how the company chose to implement the Asahi AWPTM platemaking system. “Now,” he says, “we can do almost any job, totalling scores of kilometers, without stopping. We even ran a 22-hour job with one set of plates, no stops, and with very consistent quality from beginning to end. It’s been amazing!”

Colognia Press uses a tool from Plantyst to gather real-time data about its operation. “This allowed us to see any machine’s production efficiency in real time,” Holona states. “So we know for absolute certainty that these results are accurate. Our press uptime was 20% to 25% with our previous plates. Now we are seeing uptimes of 50% or more on most days.”

Other benefits the company has achieved include:

A job that required press stops for plate cleaning or replacement now runs uninterrupted from beginning to end with consistent color quality.
One job from a very large customer consists of small labels with a lot of text in tiny Asian script, only about 1 mm in height. “Now with Asahi plates, this text is very legible,” Holona says. “This was something we could not do before, and this important customer is very, very happy. That’s good news for both of us.”
When plate changes are required during press checks, they are accomplished in two hours or less where before, the client might have had to return the next day.
Press operators are much happier. Asahi plates are compatible with any variety of substrates, just requiring small tests in the beginning to be able to achieve high resolution output with plastics, paper, shrink sleeves, tube laminates, textured substrates and other materials we use.
Shorter setup times between jobs; just a few minutes as opposed to an hour or more previously.
Exceptional support from Asahi Photoproducts. In fact, Holona says, “Support from Asahi is perfect!”

Asahi experts will be available to speak with visitors at Labelexpo Europe about Asahi plates with Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer and the results achieved by Colognia and others.

Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer: The Details

A feature of many of Asahi’s flexographic printing plates, Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer enables a clean ink transfer and prevents ink accumulating on the plate surfaces and shoulders in screen areas. This leads to fewer cleaning intervals and reduced press downtime, as well as significant quality improvements. Precise plate register achieved with Asahi plates ensures very high quality process printing with a fixed colour palette, minimizing the need to use and manage spot colour inks.

Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer allows a kiss-touch printing pressure setting. It makes use of low plate surface tension, made possible by a specially engineered Asahi polymer chemistry, to inhibit liquid flow. The ink forms a globule, with a large contact angle and high pinning point. This results in a cleaner and more homogeneous ink transfer from plate to substrate, helping flexographic printers meet the ever-increasing quality demands of their customers.
(Asahi Photoproducts Europe n.v./s.a.)

Newsgrafik #117866

REA JET coding and marking systems at Labelexpo: faster, more efficient, more connective   (Company news)

REA JET will present new solutions for industrial coding and marking at this year’s Labelexpo in Brussels. Exhibition visitors can look forward to an impressive portfolio of innovative labeling, inkjet and laser systems as well as code verification devices.

Today, the printing industry demands for small batch sizes, individualized products with variable elements and customization at late stage (Late Stage Customization). For being competitive with digital printing, the variety of rotogravure, flexography and offset printing machines needs to be expanded correspondingly. The refitting with the Thermal Inkjet Printer REA JET HR pro provides cost effective solution. It enables digital inline printing of variable data and increases efficiency of every system or machine.

At the REA booth, they will demonstrate label finishing with an AB Graphic machine which includes a REA JET HR pro OEM coding and marking system with eight print heads. Labels are marked on the front with variable codes and on the back with ongoing numbering. Thanks to the proven HP cartridge technology, the high-resolution printers of the REA JET HR pro OEM series are maintenance-free. The elaborate print head design and the sturdy stainless steel casing make it suitable for industrial needs.

For ink and laser-based marking technology, REA JET has developed the uniform operating concept REA JET TITAN platform. Operation is realized via touch-screen, keyboard or push-turn-jog-dial knob, through mobile devices via WLAN or on the PC. The included VNC server allows for remote control and maintenance. All components are compatible for industry 4.0. Latest Ethernet interfaces enable an easy integration into the manufacturing process. The compact controllers can be implemented in a space-saving manner. The REA JET HR pro OEM variant can even be integrated completely. Moreover, it can be operated via the machine control panel. All that makes the HR pro OEM first choice for machine engineering and integrators.

REA will also present the robot cell for coding and marking of products. The robot cell combines both technologies of code marking and code quality verification with a Kawasaki robot. Products are marked by ink, laser and labels with texts, logos as well as 1D and 2D codes. A REA VERIFIER code verification device ensures the inline quality control of the applied codes. According to industry standards, goods have to be equipped with codes to avoid costly and time-consuming re-reading rates. During the Labelexpo, REA VERIFIER experts will explain how to optimize markings until they meet the requirements.

REA at the Labelexpo: Hall 9, Booth B52
(REA Elektronik GmbH)

Newsgrafik #117906

Valmet completed the annual shutdown of Klabin paper mill successfully  (Company news)

Valmet has completed the annual shutdown of Klabin S.A. Monte Alegre paper mill (photo) in Brazil successfully. The agreement covered the entire shutdown project from planning and execution to a safe start-up. The shutdown took place between April 24 - May 5, 2017, and included close to 500 employees from Valmet and its sub-contractors.

Valmet and Klabin have an existing agreement for full annual shutdown services. This year's project was the second of the three-year agreement.

"We have co-operated with Valmet since 2009 and the current partnership was a natural follow-up of the relationship we have been able to build over the years," says Arnaldo Jasinski, Klabin's Maintenance Manager.

Good results in safety and quality
The usual procedure for mill shutdowns is to reserve several months for planning and preparation such as spare part and tool deliveries.

"We were able to deliver everything as planned and promised. During the ten days of shutdown we made everything we could to ensure smooth operation for our customer's machines to run 24/7 for the rest of the year," says Rodolpho Quadros, Field Service Engineer from Valmet.

"We have had good results in the execution of our work in annual shutdown, both in safety and quality. Since the planning, where the focus was also to seek the optimization of resources to reduce costs, Valmet's expertise was essential to help us making decisions, says Leandro Caetano da Silva, Klabin's Maintenance Planning Coordinator.
(Valmet Corporation)

Newsgrafik #117829

Paper bags gain ground in Europe  (Company news)

Paper carrier bag converters and kraft paper producers join forces for a sustainable world

With the launch of an informative web presence and their first publication “The Green Book”, the platform “The Paper Bag” sets off. It was founded by the leading European kraft paper manufacturers and producers of paper bags. Against the background of the current legislative regulations concerning the reduction of plastic bags in the EU member states, they engage themselves to promote the comprehensive environmental credentials of paper carrier bags and support retailers in their packaging decisions in order to foster a worldwide bio-based economy. The Paper Bag is steered by the organisations CEPI Eurokraft and EUROSAC.

“Whether a manufacturer of kraft paper or of paper bags, the companies have to tackle similar topics in their communication, such as environmental or quality aspects,” explains Elin Floresjö, Secretary General of CEPI Eurokraft, the European Association for Producers of Kraft Paper for the Packaging Industry. “By founding the platform, we are combining forces to address these issues and promote the advantages of paper packaging together.”

Paper bags go online
From quality standard to EU legislation, branding and sustainability issues – the new microsite comprises the most important facts and figures about paper carrier bags: for example, the current legislative regulations in the member states of European Union as well as information about the European quality certification system or the comprehensive environmental credentials of paper bags.

The world of paper bags
“The Green Book” explains in detail all aspects that make up the world of paper bags. It includes different research results, infographics and reports. “There is a lot to discover behind a simple paper bag. Paper bags help to engage with consumers and to create a more sustainable world, naturally contributing to slowing down climate change,” says Ms Floresjö. “With the EU legislation that aims to reduce the consumption of plastic carrier bags, retailers have to reconsider which kind of shopping bag they want to offer to their customers if they don’t bring their own bag. ‘The Green Book’ contains useful information that helps them in their decision.”
It is available for download on the new website.
(The Paper Bag)

Newsgrafik #117850

Sulzer Launches the New AGISTAR SSA Side-Mounted Agitator Range and a Hydraulic Upgrade ...  (Company news)

...for SALOMIX Side-Entry Agitators

With the new AGISTAR™ SSA side-mounted agitator, Sulzer has taken a significant step to further decrease power consumption and reduce the environmental impact of its product portfolio.

AGISTAR™ SSA is designed for demanding applications in various industries, such as pulp and paper, biofuels, food, sludge, as well as municipal and industrial wastewater. The new high-efficiency EX3 propeller can also be used in SALOMIX™ side-entry agitators

For the new AGISTAR™ SSA agitator, Sulzer has developed high-efficiency hydraulics (patent pending) with high pumping capacity and axial thrust but with low power consumption. These qualities combined with a precise agitator selection — not oversized, not undersized — enable maximum efficiency.

The reliable AGISTAR™ SSA agitator has a strong shaft with minimal deflection. The rigid construction ensures low vibration and a long lifetime of the seals and bearing — more than 200 000 hours for the bearing.

The new agitator is equipped with a new duplex stainless steel EX3 propeller for higher strength and wear properties. This ensures a longer lifetime than for agitators using austenitic stainless steel propellers. In addition, the performance of the agitator can be adapted with the adjustable propeller blades.

The AGISTAR™ SSA is quick and easy to install thanks to Sulzer’s smart, patented solutions. It is service friendly as well because the adjustable blade angles allow performance flexibility without any additional investments. Because of high standardization, the spare part costs are low.

The smooth hydraulics, reliable construction, and new propeller design of the AGISTAR™ SSA side-mounted agitators minimize its total cost of ownership (TCO). The low TCO is achieved by reduced energy, operational, and maintenance costs. With the new agitator range, Sulzer provides its customers the opportunity to run their process in a cost-efficient way.

Sulzer's new high-efficiency EX3 propeller exceeds the current SALOMIX MX-4 propeller in both efficiency and thrust. With a smart retrofit system, the EX3 propeller can replace MX4 propellers on SALOMIX side-entry agitators. The great advantages of the energy-efficient hydraulics can be utilized both in upgrades of existing installations and in new equipment.
(Sulzer Pumps Ltd)

Newsgrafik #117852

hubergroup launches new, innovative flexo products  (Company news)

Printing-inks manufacturer showcases its know-how at the DFTA autumn conference in Leipzig

This year’s edition of the DFTA Flexo Association’s (Deutschsprachige Flexodruck-Fachverband e.V.) annual industry conference will be covering topical issues and challenges that affect the corrugated-board and flexible-packaging sectors. hubergroup will be taking this opportunity to showcase its current portfolio for flexographic applications to the visitors of this event. Four of the products being exhibited are of special interest to branded-goods manufacturers and printers, because they solve process-related printing problems or open up new possibilities for packaging designers.

Caption: Soft like a peach – this is the feeling of a substrate converted with softtouch varnish

Special-effect coatings appeal to end consumers not only at the visual, but also at the haptic level. Films with the right special-effect coating can feel like paper and are consequently perceived as being of higher quality. Soft-touch coatings give the substrate a velvety or suede-like surface and the complete packaging a luxury feel.

Highly pigmented halftone inks make it possible to create ever more realistic images on packaging, because the high pigment content facilitates ever finer screen rulings and resolutions. Printers can use screen rollers with smaller pick-up volumes that make it easier to print fine elements while still maintaining high colour intensity. The use of spot inks is no longer absolutely necessary since a four-colour set of high-pigment inks is capable of reproducing a greater colour space.

Opaque white: The flexo printing process quickly reaches its ink-transfer limits whenever the colour white – that is so indispensable in packaging printing – is called for. The highly opaque white hubergroup will be presenting at the DFTA conference enables printers to achieve almost the same opacity levels as can be with the gravure process and prevents the package contents or substrate from shimmering through.

hu-track is a hardware/software service package marketed by hubergroup that enables users to quickly check the quality of the inks they are using and to modify ink formulations directly on the press. This reduces the number of adjustments required to achieve the perfect colour, making hu-track the ideal solution for maximising production speed and minimising waste.

The DFTA autumn conference is being held on 14 September 2017 at the Pentahotel Leipzig.
(Hubergroup Deutschland GmbH)

Newsgrafik #117853

Packaging and consumers' perceptions of products  (Company news)

Golden letters, earthy colours, plastic bags and resealable bags. How do consumers react to different products due to its packaging? And how does the perception differ in the United Kingdom, Germany and China? Let's find out!

According to our study, the Brits prefer food packaging that is easy to open, easy to pour from and easy to recycle. They think it is difficult to know where to recycle the different parts of the packaging if there are different materials. Although the packaging has to be sturdy it cannot be too hard to open. For example, a metal can needs a ring opener to make opening easier. The consumers in the UK agree that cereal packs create a mess when using them. They also think that the non-resealable plastic bags feels old and worn out.

Interestingly, most consumers also did very similar groupings of their perception of products, revealing how instantly and consistently they decoded packaging and what brands wanted to communicate to them. This is how they identified the ‘Cheap, everyday convenience food’ group: “Use of bright, garish primary colours, shiny plastic and cardboard, frequent use of photography with unrealistic serving suggestions.” The ‘Premium group’: “Use of colours such as purple, black and gold with matte finish. Often use of handwritten looking font and simple photography of finished product or key ingredient.” The last group, organic and healthy, they described like this: “Earthy colours such as green, beige, muted mauve for a country, rustic, authentic feel. Matte, rough cardboard or even wood, rather than plastic. Little photography and more illustrations.”

Many consumers feel that the premium packaging codes have been around for so long now and have lost much of its impact. And it seems to be replaced by the organic and healthy look and feel, expressing good quality through its links to nature rather than gourmet restaurant food, as the dominant premium code was built around.

In China, the most important aspect on consumers’ perceptions of products is the food protection capability. The package has to be solid enough to protect the food before using it. Another important feature is transparency or a window that enables you to see the product. The packaging must also be easy to open and its size should not be too big, making it hard to hold and carry. The Chinese consumers prefer portions packs, regular shapes, resealable packaging and packages that can be recycled. Of course, it is nice if it is also creative, attractive and environmentally friendly.

As protection is the most important feature, the top-disliked feature is packaging that cannot protect the food, for instance cereals getting crushed due to an unconsidered package. The Chinese also dislike packaging that is difficult to open, non-transparent and non-resealable. The consumers want packaging that is good at preserving the food.

In Germany, there are several criteria that contribute to the grocery purchase decision. Experience and trust are important to the German consumers, they buy what they know by experience, especially when it comes to taste. When they buy basics like sugar or flour, the consumers often buy the same products as they use to, out of habit. There is a strong price consciousness for basic food and willingness to pay more for meat and fish, sometimes also vegetables and fruit. The brand is important, especially for certain product categories such as pasta or chocolate. Premium consumers choose branded products because they think they perceive higher quality. The ecologically conscious consumers look for symbols and signets, assuring food is healthy and sustainable. Some prefer small packages, smooth for ad hoc shopping.

The average consumer in Germany thinks that packaging does not matter when choosing the groceries; they say that it is the taste that matters. While preferring textile shopping bags, they do not pay similar attention to the packaging material. They claim that the brand doesn’t play a role when it comes to the “basic” products; the premium consumer does not care if the flour is private-labelled or not.

Functionality of the packaging is not a reflected purchase trigger, but it can influence the consumer to re-purchase that very product. The Germans like packaging that is easy to open and close, easy to pour dose and package without dripping. It should also be steady, stackable and stable. If the package is not functional, the Germans use clips, pegs and rubbers to seal it.

Main complaints refer to unnecessary packaging such as double layer, plastic and non-resealable packaging. The consumers do not like packaging that is hard to reseal or that results in too much waste with for example boxes, plastic trays or wrapper inside.

For premium products, the Germans wish for something special and traditional, and prefer packaging in carton or paper. They prefer an elegant impression, often branded and more expensive, and also environmentally friendly. They dislike pure plastic, thin plastic, multipack and bright colours which that make the product look ’cheap’.

So, important to keep in mind when designing packaging and trying to find out what will be the consumers' perceptions of the product; get to know your target group – what do they prefer and what makes them choose one product over the other?
(Stora Enso Oyj)

Newsgrafik #117855

At Labelexpo Hönle present New LED-UV Systems for Flexo and Digital Printing  (Company news)

At Labelexpo Hönle present their drying solutions for flexo- and digital applications at package and label printing.

Show highlight is the new version of LED Powerline Flexo (photo). Solely
air-cooled it has got an output of 25 W/cm². This compact LED-UV system is ideal for curing highly reactive inks and was specially designed for flexo printing applications. It is available in the wavelengths 365, 385, 395 and 405 nm.

Also in the focus is the jetCURE product family comprising of IR, UV and LED-UV systems. Here also, Hönle engineers succeeded in further developing a well-tried curing system: the new jetCURE LED. The length of this UV-LED unit can be very well matched to the application in question by connecting single LED assemblies. High intensities >16.000 mW /cm² guarantee full cure within a split second and thus reliably perfect results. Power control is possible between 15% and 100%.

Visit us at Labelexpo, hall 8, booth 8A54.
(Dr. Hönle AG)

Newsgrafik #117904

Valmet's technology in a key role at Metsä Group's newly started Äänekoski bioproduct mill  (Company news)

Metsä Group's bioproduct mill in Äänekoski was started up on August 15, 2017. Valmet's delivery to the mill included a recovery boiler, pulp drying line, gasification plant, lime kiln, sulfuric acid plant, and mill-wide Valmet DNA automation system.

Photo: Äänekoski bioproduct mill. Photo Metsä Group

All the equipment delivered by Valmet represent the latest technology and are highly energy-efficient. The gasification technology and recovery boiler will maximize the use of bioenergy and make the pulp mill totally fossil fuel-free. The recovery boiler, pulp drying line and lime kiln are the largest in Europe.

The construction of the mill was started in April 2015. The project proceeded as planned and was started up exactly on schedule. Safety was one of the special focus areas in the project. Valmet also emphasized safety onsite with special HSE experts and in contractor cooperation. As a result, Valmet's safety performance onsite was on a very good level for a project of this magnitude.

"This project has been important for us both from the technology and employment perspective. Majority of the technology provided by Valmet was engineered and manufactured in Tampere, Jyväskylä, Ulvila and Raisio. It is our pleasure to rise to the challenge, when a customer like Metsä Group is taking the industry forward with investments of this magnitude. Success in a project like this is made possible by close cooperation between the two parties. Our cooperation has been open and constructive, and we have worked together to find the right solutions," says Bertel Karlstedt, Pulp and Energy Business Line President from Valmet.

"We have a long experience of co-operating with Valmet in our pulp mills in Finland. Throughout the project Valmet has been a good and innovative partner when building the world-class bioproduct mill in Äänekoski," says Timo Merikallio, Project Director, Metsä Group.

Largest investment of the forest industry in Finland
The new bioproduct mill in Äänekoski is the largest investment of the forest industry in Finland. Metsä Group's total investment amounted to approximately EUR 1.2 billion. The mill will achieve its nominal capacity approximately a year after start-up. The mill will produce 1.3 million tonnes of pulp per year, along with other bioproducts such as tall oil and turpentine. New bioproducts that already complement the product concept include product gas from bark, sulphuric acid from the mill's odorous gases, and biogas and biofuel pellets from sludge.

Details about Valmet's technology delivery to Äänekoski bioproduct mill

Physically the largest of the Valmet delivered equipment is the recovery boiler. The boiler is designed for a capacity of 7,200 tds/d (tonnes dry solids a day). The Äänekoski recovery boiler has multiple high-power features, including patented heat recovery from flue gas to combustion air, enabling the mill to produce 260 MW of electricity and sell 1.4 times more electricity to the grid than it needs for its own operation.

The produced pulp is dried in the pulp drying line, where the pulp web is formed, pressed and dried before being cut into bales.
Individual 250 kg bales are wrapped and consolidated into 2,000 kg units for transportation.

Valmet DNA automation system is the process control and information system for the whole bioproduct mill, and has machine and drive controls for the drying machine. It is also possible to expand the system with additional control and Industrial Internet systems.

At the biomass gasification plant bark is dried using a patented double-layer drying process with material recirculation. Dried bark is gasified to make product gas, which is then used as the fuel in the lime kiln.

Active lime is regenerated in the lime kiln using biofuels. A stationary product cooler is setting new standards for recovering process heat.

The sulfuric acid plant represents Valmet's latest innovations and has been specially developed for this kind of mill. The new technology, which produces sulfuric acid from odorous gases, will enable the bioproduct mill to be nearly self-sufficient in sulfuric acid.
(Valmet Corporation)

Newsgrafik #117841

Irving Consumer Products Announces Expansion and Construction of New Tissue Production Plant...  (Company news)

... in Macon, Georgia

Irving Consumer Products is pleased to announce the expansion of its United States business operations with the construction of a new $400 million state-of-the-art tissue plant in Macon, Georgia. The new plant will create over 200 jobs and allow the company to double its ThruAir Dry capacity, increasing it by 75,000 tonnes, the equivalent of 15 million cases.

Photo: Pictured with the rendering of the new Irving Consumer Products plant in Macon, Georgia, from left to right are: Vice President U.S. Business Operations, Bill Hart; General Manager, Irving Consumer Products, Tim Baade; Co-Chief Executive Officer of J.D. Irving, Limited, James D. Irving; Co-Chief Executive Officer of J.D. Irving, Limited and President of Irving Consumer Products, Robert K. Irving; Governor of the State of Georgia, Nathan Deal; U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, Mayor of Macon-Bibb, Robert Reichert; Commissioner, Georgia Economic Development Commission, Pat Wilson.

“We’re pleased to be expanding our business in the United States. We’re excited by the opportunity in Macon and in Georgia. We’re looking forward to building a strong relationship with the wonderful people of this community,” says Robert K. Irving, President of Irving Consumer Products. “Selecting Macon for our new facility provides us with an opportunity to establish a footprint in a region that has proven itself as being a strong supporter of business. It will allow us to reach key markets, and will help to continue to drive our growth.” Mr. Irving further adds, “This expansion is possible because of the commitment of our employees, customers and suppliers. It is their support that has allowed us to grow and expand.”

“We welcome Irving Consumer Products to Georgia and appreciate the company’s significant investment here,” said Governor Nathan Deal. “Georgia’s top-ranked business climate continues to attract international manufacturing leaders and drive investment opportunities across the state. The jobs created at this facility will provide meaningful opportunities in the Macon community while utilizing our robust logistics infrastructure to reach its customer base more efficiently. Ultimately, Georgia’s ongoing success is the result of partnerships like these, and Irving Consumer Products is a welcome addition to our winning team.”

“The more we learned about the Irving family companies, the more we knew they would make great corporate partners here in Macon-Bibb County,” says Mayor Robert Reichert. “They will be a great addition to our entire region, especially with their policy of putting families first and history of giving back to the communities where they’re located."

“We are elated to be selected as the location for Irving Consumer Products’ new plant in North America. Irving’s strategic vision and long-range planning match those we have developed for the sustained growth of our community,” said Cliffard Whitby, Chairman of the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority (MBCIA). “The decision of Irving to locate in Macon-Bibb County demonstrates MBCIA, together with the support of our local governments, has the right model, infrastructure, and workforce to fulfill its mission to foster economic development, job creation, and a high quality of life for our community.”

“The Macon Water Authority is pleased to play an integral role in Irving Consumer Products’ decision to locate its new facility in Macon-Bibb County,” said Sam Hart Sr., Chairman of the Macon Water Authority. “Irving and MWA share mutual core values of providing our customers with outstanding value and service, now and for many years to come.”

Engineering and planning for the facility is well underway. Construction will begin this summer and will be completed in 2019 and is estimated to provide 1,000,000 person hours of work. At the height of construction, over 540 people will be working on-site.

In November 2016, Irving Consumer Products announced the purchase of a new ThruAir Dry machine, which will be installed at the new facility in Macon.
(Irving Tissue Co)

Newsgrafik #117844

Monadnock Paper Mills Appoints Lee Corson as Director of Supply Chain Logistics  (Company news)

Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc., a family-owned manufacturer that delivers high-performance specialty papers for the technical, packaging and printing markets, announced that Lee Corson (photo) has joined the company as Director of Supply Chain Logistics. In this role he is responsible for the efficient and effective logistics strategy of the mill guided by its third-party certified ISO 9001 Quality Management System and ISO 14001 Environmental Management System.

Mr. Corson joins Monadnock from Schweitzer-Mauduit International where he led their U.S. purchasing operations. Previously he held positions with Wausau Mosinee Paper Corporation and James River Paper in a broad spectrum of roles including Procurement, Production Planning, Information Technology, Customer Service and Accounting.

Corson holds an M.B.A. in International Business from Southern New Hampshire University, as well as a B.S. in Computer Science from Franklin Pierce College, Concord, New Hampshire and a B.S. in Business Administration with a Minor in Accounting from University of Maine, Orono.

“Lee is an excellent addition to our team,” said Richard Verney, Chairman and CEO of Monadnock. “His extensive knowledge of procurement practices and business systems within the paper industry will prove invaluable to our success as we approach our 200th year of operation.”
(MPM Monadnock Paper Mills Inc.)

Newsgrafik #117846

Smurfit Kappa expands its European operations with acquisition in Russia  (Company news)

Smurfit Kappa , one of the world’s leading paper-based packaging firms, has acquired the Russian corrugated packaging company, Soyuz, reinforcing its position in the region.

Photo: Saverio Mayer, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Europe

Soyuz, based in Moscow, produces corrugated packaging for a range of sectors and has approximately 300 employees.

Smurfit Kappa already has three plants in Saint Petersburg, Russia producing paper-based and Bag-in-Box® products for customers across Europe.

This acquisition enables Smurfit Kappa to further strengthen its position in Russia and broaden its offering to its multinational and local customers.

The acquisition also establishes Smurfit Kappa as the leading international corrugated packaging supplier in Russia.

Speaking about the latest acquisition, Pim Wareman CEO of Smurfit Kappa North East Europe, said: “I am delighted with the acquisition of Soyuz and welcome its employees into the Smurfit Kappa Group.

“Russia is an attractive growth market for us with exciting potential. We are pleased to expand our footprint in this market and in particular within the growing Moscow region.”

Saverio Mayer, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Europe said: “This acquisition supports our continued drive to increase our customer offering, and our unique packaging business applications will help further develop the Soyuz operations.

“Our wide range of corrugated products, along with our innovative and rapidly growing Bag-in-Box® business, opens up many opportunities for both Smurfit Kappa and our customers in Russia.”
(Smurfit Kappa Group Headquarters plc)

Newsgrafik #117848

DS Smith First in Industry to Present BCT Test Machine for Displays Safe and Fast  (Company news)

Be it during transport or on the retail sales floor - displays have to withstand a great deal of pressure.

In order to be able to reliably anticipate the future loads already in the development phase, DS Smith has developed a BCT test machine for displays and multi-part packaging, which is the first across its industry, allowing nearly any type of construction to be tested for weak points or over-specifications. This means that cost and time-consuming transport and laboratory tests are reduced significantly for the customers. This not only shortens time to market, but also reduces the complexity of some display constructions many times over.

Photo: Under pressure - DS Smith is testing the performance of point-of-sale displays at its test centre.

Top Performance at Point of Sale
Displays are as different as the products they present in retail space. They vary in the thickness of the material, the number and inclination of the shelves, the weight and the type of assortment. Conventional BCT test methods for packaging meet their limits here. In order to be able to use empirical data to underpin the values gained by experience on the load-bearing capacity of the display components and to accelerate the test processes in total, DS Smith has developed a special testing machine for displays and multi-part packaging.

Designs with two to a maximum of five display levels can be tested, even if they vary in their base areas or are arranged with an inclination. The respective sensors on the individual arms of the device measure exactly where the increase in force is greatest, or the material or construction can no longer withstand the load. The machine can simulate the different loads in the case of mixed assortment, as well as the loads which the ready-made displays are exposed to during their transport to the retail space. “The testing device developed by us is unique in its kind in the industry,” stresses Tobias Häfner, Sales Director Consumer Packaging & Display at DS Smith. "This machine allows us to examine almost all common display variants on the market and ensure a consistently high and reproducible quality."

With this new test centre, DS Smith provides its customers with a real speed gain and thus reduces their time to market. "Laboratory tests in external institutions are not only costly, but also time-consuming," stresses Häfner. “Through the analyses, the branded goods manufacturers receive meaningful values about the stability of their displays already during the design and development process.” This not only allows them to limit their own tests to random samples later on, says the display and packaging strategist. At the same time, the simulations at the DS Smith test centre also significantly reduce the usual transport tests on the road. “Since we already know the exact crash value of each individual shelf in an early stage of display development, we can also eliminate unnecessary fillers, bars or supports within the structure.” This yields real efficiency benefits in the production, storage and assembly of the displays.

The testing machine, which is unique across the industry, allows DS Smith to examine displays with 2 to 5 shelves, as well as multi-part packaging, thus ensuring a perfect point-of-sale performance.

"In particular, the major brand manufacturers are looking for partners to help them optimise the entire product life cycle," says Häfner. "We deliver everything from a single source: from the first creative consultation to the design, development and testing of the displays and the production of small or large series."
(DS Smith Packaging Division, Display/Packaging/Service)

Newsgrafik #117808

Jeroen Lybaert new CCO to Van Genechten Packaging  (Company news)

Van Genechten Packaging has elected Jeroen Lybaert (photo) as their new Chief Commercial Officer effective as of September 18th.
A strong and experienced Sales & Marketing Executive with extensive knowledge of the consumer markets and B2B industry, ready to lead VGP’s commercial strategy and contribute to the future growth plans of the Company.

A seasoned Sales & Marketing Executive in the Consumer and B2B industry …
Jeroen started his career in 1994 at Procter & Gamble where he stayed till 2002. Since then he has held various Sales & Marketing positions at Ontex (2002-2006), Balterio (2006-2011) and was lately International Group Director Sales & Marketing at Nicols (since 2011).
He is passionate about developing Sales & Marketing strategies and plans, to jointly build long-term partnership with his customers and partners.

… combined with a strong interest in people and results.
Jeroen is an integrative leader who likes to work with and through people. He strives to do business in a friendly way, while pushing forward to win an objective and selling a point of view. He is an excellent motivator who can communicate well and persuade as well as be persuaded. He has the ability to work within the broad parameters of an organization and likes to feel part of the team. Jeroen is restless for success and prefers to lead people rather than direct them to achieve results.

The combination of this extensive Sales & Marketing experience and great leadership is a clear asset that will help Van Genechten Packaging focus on its 3 key pillars; people, results and growth, enhancing the quality and service we provide to our customers.

‘I’m really glad to welcome Jeroen on board of our team and I’m very confident that his business and people approach will help bring our Company to its next stage of development. With this recruitment our Management Board team is now complete again, combining many years of Van Genechten Packaging experience with Johan Jaubin COO, Stéphanie Lerouge HR Director, Enrico Boening Purchasing Director and ‘newcomers’ Henk Rogiers CFO, recently announced, Jeroen Lybaert CCO, and myself as new CEO’, says Arnauld Demoulin.

‘I am really happy to become part of the Van Genechten Packaging Group and looking forward to use my experience from various types of business to support and contribute to the future ambitions of the beautiful company’, concludes Jeroen Lybaert.
(Van Genechten Packaging N.V.)

Newsgrafik #117819

Arctic Paper Improves Production Performance with Greycon Upgrade   (Company news)

Arctic Paper has contracted Greycon to upgrade to their system with Greycon’s latest scheduling and trim optimisation solutions, opt-Studio (photo) and X-Trim.

In 2002 Greycon first implemented S-Plan and X-Trim at Arctic Paper’s paper mills based in Kostrzyn, Poland. Since then Artic Paper has been a long-standing client of Greycon’s.

Arctic Paper Kostrzyn S.A. is the largest manufacturer of offset papers in Poland. The mill produces over 280,000 tonnes of high quality papers both in reels and sheets every year. More than 75% of this is exported to countries like Germany, Great Britain, France and the Benelux.

Greycon’s solutions have been fundamental to the continued success of Arctic Paper’s production. The Greycon planning solution tightly integrated with the Mill’s manufacturing execution systems forms a critical component in the daily management of Arctic Paper’s operation.

Esa Orola, Global Consultancy Manager of Greycon says “We are really pleased with the results and project execution at Arctic Paper. The Kostrzyn team are able to improve their performance with our latest solutions. It has been really nice to witness. Arctic Paper wanted this project managed by Greycon and to work closely with the Greycon team to adopt the recommended best practices across the operation.”

The migration to opt-Studio and X-Trim’s latest releases has delivered additional benefits to Arctic Paper. There is improved usability and performance, compared to the existing daily scheduling solution from Greycon, which kept the mill in operation 24/7. Incoming orders are automatically scheduled into runs and trimmed with market leading algorithms to minimise waste at the winder and cutter machines.

“One of the benefits we are really pleased with in the new Greycon solution is the enhanced functionality. There is quite a lot in there. One exceptional aspect worth mentioning is that the other departments did not even notice that the old system disappeared and a new one came instead. This means of course that the integration was functioning very smoothly from day one. The implementation team were excellent and completed thorough tests to make this happen.” says Mr. Piotr Stolowski, Planning and Supply Chain Manager, from Arctic Paper.
(Greycon Ltd)

Newsgrafik #117837

Xeikon 9600 digital press performs as a workhorse for leading marketing services provider DME   (Company news)

For companies that require both exceptional color coverage and benchmark productivity from their digital presses, dry toner is the preferred technology. DME Delivers, a leader in marketing services, has recently installed its fourth Xeikon digital press, the Xeikon 9600, to produce the vibrant, high-quality, as well as quick turn, work their customers require.

DME has more than 30 years of direct marketing experience with a focus on lead generation and customer loyalty solutions for a variety of industries. DME’s January 2017 merger with Premiums, Promotions and Imports (PPI) brings more than three decades of industry leading promotional and specialty advertising experience. “At DME, we have always focused on utilizing data and results to drive our customers’ businesses. However, our company, products, solutions and services continue to evolve. While we maintain our focus as a marketing company, we are also building ad specialties capabilities and merging a wide format business,” comments Kathy Wise, President of DME. “We are passionate about what we do. Our trick is to leverage people, as well as technology, to better match our customer’s expectations.”

Xeikon reliability drives purchase decision
DME’s purchase of the Xeikon 9600 is their fourth Xeikon press. “We had so many impressions on our two older Xeikon presses that it made sense to invest in a new press,” Wise explains. “We were looking for exceptional color and speed, as well as an improved front-end. We knew the Xeikon 9600 would meet our expectations. Personalized wrapping paper is one of the main products we run on our Xeikon machines. The Xeikon 9600 can print our Giftskins wrapping paper 50% faster than our older 5000 presses. Also, based on Xeikon’s reliability, and great on-site tech support, we did not feel we needed the redundancy we have had in the past.”

“There really is no replacement for our Xeikon presses. What I do on the Xeikon, I cannot do on any other machine. The Xeikon 9600 is great for long runs and it will accept most of the stocks we use. We plan, impose and aggregate our work. Simply said, it just runs,” comments Wise

Wrapping up with exceptional quality
DME prints a lot of personalized wrapping paper on its Xeikon press, from consumer use 6- and 18-foot rolls to 100-foot rolls for retailers as well as corporate branding efforts. Much of the artwork includes photos and logos which require exceptional quality. “Using the dry toner technology, we see the great coverage and the color vibrancy our customers expect,“ remarks Wise. “We use a lot of toner on our paper, and we have not found inkjet to be cost effective or deliver the right level of quality.”

The Xeikon 9600 is fast – running at a top speed of 47ft/min, and DME’s operators find the front-end easy to use. They run numerous jobs on large rolls which limits the need to stop for paper changes. And being able to rely on just one machine is much less expensive in labor and service charges than having to manage two. Wise estimates that DME has accrued 25% in cost efficiencies.

Fast response is critical
“With our focus in customer retention, we must be able to respond quickly,” notes Wise. “Our biggest driver is holiday related wrapping paper, as well as branding solutions for corporate gift giving. During the Christmas season, we receive requests that must be delivered the next day. It is surprising how quickly we can fulfill those jobs. Whether we need to create one small roll or 5,000 large ones, we just aggregate the work, RIP the jobs, and run them through the Xeikon 9600 quickly and efficiently. “

In addition to their daily uses for its Xeikon 9600, the company always looks for unique product opportunities. DME will shortly experiment with white ink, as well as with thinner stocks. “As we integrate wide format into our company, we might also use our Xeikon 9600 for other products, like banners,” Wise projects. “We are always looking for new products to differentiate ourselves, and we expect that the Xeikon 9600 will let us take advantage of those opportunities.”

“I have a very strong belief that you use the right tool for the right job. Xeikon has proven over the years that their presses are extremely reliable, efficient and cost effective, with very sound technology. I would not hesitate to recommend that others invest in one,” Wise concludes. “We’ve already bought four!”
(Xeikon Manufacturing and R&D Center)

Newsgrafik #117838

Mercer International Inc. Reports 2017 Second Quarter Results and Announces Quarterly ...  (Company news)

...Cash Dividend of $0.115

Mercer International Inc. (Nasdaq:MERC) (TSX:MERC.U) reported results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2017. Operating EBITDA in the second quarter of 2017 increased by approximately 13% to $39.1 million from $34.7 million in the same quarter of 2016 but declined from $60.2 million in the prior quarter. In the current quarter, strong operating performance was partially offset by a large planned maintenance shut along with foreign exchange losses on foreign currency balances. In the current quarter, we had 22 days of annual maintenance downtime at our pulp mills compared to 21 days in the comparative quarter and no such downtime in the prior quarter of 2017.

For the second quarter of 2017, we had a net loss of $2.1 million, or $0.03 per basic and diluted share, compared to a net loss of $4.2 million, or $0.07 per basic and diluted share, in the comparative quarter. In the prior quarter, we had net income of $9.7 million.

Since April 12, 2017, when we acquired the Friesau sawmill and power plant in Germany (the "Friesau Facility"), we have two reportable operating segments being pulp and wood products.

President's Comments
Mr. David M. Gandossi, the Chief Executive Officer, stated: "In the current quarter, we completed the largest planned maintenance shut in our Celgar mill's history. The shut was well planned and executed and we were also able to perform additional work that was intended to be completed later in the year. The mill returned to full production immediately after startup and continues to operate well through July. On average, our pulp mill production was up 7% compared to the same quarter of 2016 and included a quarterly production record at our Rosenthal mill. Pulp markets were generally strong and sales volumes were about 18% higher than the comparative quarter."

Mr. Gandossi continued: "During the quarter, we had annual maintenance downtime of 22 days (approximately 32,500 ADMTs), which impacted our operating income by approximately $27.5 million, comprised of approximately $21.0 million in direct out-of-pocket expenses and the balance in reduced production. Many of our competitors that report their financial results using International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") capitalize their direct costs of maintenance downtime."

Mr. Gandossi said: "In the second quarter of 2017, pulp prices in Europe, China and North America increased compared to the prior quarter of 2017 as a result of steady demand, relatively low producer inventories and the impact of spring maintenance downtime taken by producers. This resulted in our average pulp sales realizations being approximately 7% higher in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the prior quarter of 2017. At the end of the current quarter, list prices in Europe, China and North America were approximately $890, $650 and $1,100 per ADMT, respectively. Currently, the NBSK pulp market is balanced with world producer inventories at about 31 days' supply. A weakening dollar, particularly near the end of the quarter, dampened earnings considerably as we revalued our foreign currency denominated cash and accounts receivable balances to current spot rates."

Mr. Gandossi continued: "We are pleased with the ramp up of the Friesau Facility. Due to strong markets, the mill's ramp up has proceeded faster than we initially budgeted and it generated positive operating income. It produced 67.5 million board feet of lumber in the current quarter and substantially all of lumber sales were to the European market. We commenced lumber sales into the U.S. market in the third quarter of 2017. In the current quarter, lumber sales volumes were 41.5 million board feet as some of the production was staged at the port for delivery to the U.S. market in the third quarter of 2017."

He added: "Looking forward, we believe the new pulp production capacity that has or is coming on line in 2017 will not have a material negative impact on the market this year as a result of steady demand growth and diminishing supply and quality of recycled fiber. Further, some of the new capacity will not hit the market in a meaningful amount until 2018. As a result, we currently expect overall steady pulp demand and pricing in the third quarter of 2017 in Europe and China with some potential temporary weakness in spot pricing in China during their slow summer period."

Mr. Gandossi continued: "In the second quarter of 2017, U.S. benchmark lumber prices for Western SPF No. 2 and better averaged $386 per Mfbm. There is no similar or common pricing metric quoted in the European market. However, in the second quarter of 2017, our average lumber sales realization in Europe was $328 per Mfbm. Currently both the European and U.S. lumber markets are strong and prices are near multi-year highs and are expected to remain steady in the near term."

Mr. Gandossi concluded: "With our major annual maintenance downtime completed, balanced pulp markets and the successful ramp up of the Friesau Facility, we are well positioned to enhance value for stakeholders over the second half of 2017."

Quarterly Dividend
A quarterly dividend of $0.115 per common share will be paid on October 4, 2017 to all shareholders of record on September 27, 2017. Future dividends will be subject to board approval and may be adjusted as business and industry conditions warrant.
(Mercer International Inc.)

Newsgrafik #117857

Vesa-Pekka Takala appointed as Deputy Managing Director of Metsäliitto Cooperative  (Company news)

Metsä Group’s CFO Vesa-Pekka Takala (photo) has been appointed as Deputy Managing Director of Metsäliitto Cooperative.

Takala has been Metsä Group’s CFO since 2010 and continues in this position also in the future.
(Metsä Group)

Newsgrafik #117859

Cham Paper Group: Pleasing business performance in the first half of 2017  (Company news)

There has been an encouraging trend in both divisions over the first six months of the 2017 financial year. The paper division is benefiting from the excellent reputation that its products enjoy on the market, with distribution focusing increasingly on the sale of high-margin speciality papers. Efficiency gains at the company's mills are also increasing profitability. The real estate division achieved higher rental income and is developing according to plan, with a focus on the planning process for the first stage of construction. Slightly lower revenue of CHF 99.2 million (previous year: CHF 103.8 million) resulted in an operating profit of CHF 9.9 million (previous year: CHF 5.2 million). Net income came to CHF 7.1 million (previous year: CHF 3.3. million).

Further progress in the paper division
The paper division enjoyed high demand in every market segment in the first half of the year and thus benefited from the outstanding quality of Cham Paper Group's products and services. This allowed the Group to focus on selling high-margin speciality papers. For instance, sales of digital imaging papers outperformed the market, rising by 15% (revenue share 15%). Sales of speciality papers for industrial applications (industrial release segment) also increased by 3% (revenue share 38%). The revenue share of the consumer goods segment was reduced slightly to 47%. Overall the paper division generated revenue of EUR 91.6 million (previous year: EUR 94.0 million). Production volumes were just below the previous year's levels due to the switchover to TRANSJET products (digital imaging) on the company's own base paper. In terms of tonnage, volumes dropped to lower basis weights as a result of the market trend.

At the same time, after the major efforts of the past few years, efficiency gains are proving increasingly profitable in production, while gross margins have risen considerably. The partial hedging of pulp costs largely compensated for the sharp rise in pulp prices and this effect should be partially offset in the second half of the year too now that sales prices have increased. A slight dip in operational costs resulted in an operating profit of EUR 9.4 million for the paper division, a figure which has doubled year on year (previous year: EUR 4.8 million) and corresponds to a pleasing EBIT margin of 10.3%.

Scheduled development in the real estate division
Preparations are under way for two commissioned studies for the first two substages of the site's development. Once complete, this stage will see around 80 owner-occupied flats, 130 rental flats and 30 affordable homes built. These are expected to go on sale from 2020/2021 together with some 9,000 m2 of service and commercial space. Around CHF 180 million is being invested in the first stage, while the long-term financing has been secured on favourable terms. The rental income generated by existing buildings rose by 28% to TCHF 1.089 million. The lessee Specialized moved into the renovated workshop building on 1 October 2016, which had a particularly positive effect on rental income. The division was also able to make greater interim use of free space. The operating profit for the first half of the year amounted to TCHF 484 (previous year: TCHF 29).

The Tour de Suisse got under way in glorious weather, attracting thousands of cycle racing fans to the Papieri-Areal from 9 to 11 June. The new website was launched to coincide with the event and will provide information about further developments on the site in future. The Zug cantonal council ruling on approving the development plan as well as the partial change to the building regulations and zoning plan is due to be announced after the summer holidays.

Further increase in shareholder's equity ratio
Cham Paper Group further bolstered its balance sheet in the reporting period. Free cash flow of CHF 6.0 million was generated. The shareholders' equity ratio stood at 59.2% at the end of the first half of the year (end of 2016: 55.4%), while net cash amounted to CHF 5.4 million. The site in Cham will continue to be valued at acquisition cost for the time being.

Functional change on the Executive Management Board
Luis Mata, who has played a significant role in restructuring the company over the past five years and has managed the Italian mill for the past two years as COO, is to take over the role of CFO of the entire Group with effect from 1 September 2017 and will thus support both divisions in their next phase of growth. Delegate of the Board and CEO of the paper division Susanne Oste shall assume direct responsibility for mills, sales and innovation.

The Board of Directors and Executive Management Board are optimistic that the financial year will continue to develop well. They anticipate that the paper division will see continued positive market demand and further efficiency gains in production in the second half of the year, although higher pulp costs will curb margin development. The commissioned studies for the first two substages are scheduled to begin in the real estate division.
(Cham Paper Group)

Newsgrafik #117870

Mitsubishi presents HiTec Label Papers at Labelexpo Europe 2017  (Company news)

Mitsubishi HiTec Paper, the German manufacturer, is exhibiting its wide range of coated HiTec papers for the label industry at Labelexpo Europe 2017. The company is taking part in the Labelexpo Linerless Trail for the first time.

As part of the Linerless Trail, Mitsubishi will be presenting new thermal paper products especially developed for linerless label applications. THERMOSCRIPT LL 7077 and LL 8077: Phenol-free, high sensitive, with very good silicone adhesion - and particularly sustainable.

Mitsubishi offers a wide range of coated specialty papers for both traditional and more especially digital label applications. Mitsubishi HiTec Paper is a leader in the field of labels for high-speed inkjet labelling systems and thermal papers for HP Indigo pre-print.

Mitsubishi's "Made in Germany" products:

We are looking forward to your visit!
Hall 6, Stand 6A09
(Mitsubishi HiTec Paper Europe GmbH)

Newsgrafik #117823

Fujifilm announces release of the Acuity 15 flatbed printer  (Company news)

The newest addition to the Acuity flatbed range offers customers a low cost, accessible alternative to the successful Acuity Select 20 and 30 series

Fujifilm announces the release of a new machine in its Acuity series, the Acuity 15. A highly capable introductory model, this UV flatbed printer matches the renowned high quality produced by Fujifilm’s Acuity Select 20 and 30 series, but at a lower investment cost.

Designed for light production, the Acuity 15 offers near-photographic image quality and print speeds of up to 23 square metres per hour. Much like the Acuity 20 and 30 series, it boasts a robust platform that can print on rigid and flexible media up to 50.8mm thick. The vacuum system also reduces the need for masking, making it easy to load the media onto the bed.

The cost and specifications of the new Acuity 15 printer make it a very suitable, high-quality introductory model to meet the low volume and light production needs of commercial, graphic display and industrial printers. However, larger print service providers can also take advantage of the printer, to offer proofs or show sample pieces to their customers, freeing up capacity on their larger flatbed machines.

Says Tudor Morgan, Segment Manager Sign & Display at Fujifilm Graphic Systems Europe: “With the Acuity 15, Fujifilm is delighted to bring the benefits of its Acuity flatbed range to a much broader range of print service providers. Able to produce the same quality as our Select 20 and 30 ranges, the Acuity 15 provides a great investment opportunity for any print business looking to diversify. Whether for a full print job, a proof or even as a way to get into printing thermoformed objects, it gives small and large print businesses alike the chance to offer their customers stunning, rigid and flexible prints on almost any surface.”

The Acuity 15 is available now across the EMEA region with the Uvijet KN multipurpose ink system or Uvijet KV thermoforming ink system, with both Uvijet ink ranges enabling CMYK and white ink printing.
(Fujifilm Europe GmbH)

Newsgrafik #117824

Global Market Insights: Pulp & Paper Enzymes Market  (Company news)

Rapid expansion in paper packaging industry due to rising demand for sustainable packing solutions from FMCG, healthcare, pharmaceutical and food processing sector is expected to drive pulp & paper enzymes market. Lightweight, durable, convenient and tamper proofing are among the key properties fuelling product demand. As per analysis, the global packaging industry is expected to exceed USD 1 trillion by 2021, growing at an annual rate of 3.5%. Paper packaging accounted for over 36% of the overall industry share in 2016.

Growth in e-commerce sector due to convenience in shopping will positively influence flexible packaging market growth. In 2016, Amazon’s annual sales were over USD 136 billion, with carboard packaging being the highly preferred material. Recyclability along with strong & versatile appearance has facilitate industry growth.

High adoption of auxiliary chemicals to enhance fibre modification, bleaching & deinking will support the pulp & paper enzymes market. Reduced energy consumption and improved quality are the key supporting properties enhancing product penetration. Shifting manufacturer’s focus towards reducing production cost to maximize profit and use biological materials including hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin for more beneficial effectiveness will fuel the industry growth.

Increasing environmental concerns owing to high plastic bags usage is expected to fuel pulp & paper enzymes market. Global annual plastic bags consumption was over 1 trillion in 2016, causing life threat to marine animal’s due to plastic disposals in water bodies will encourage paper packaging demand. For instance, globally around 100,000 marine animals die every year due to consuming plastic. Further, strong government support and deterring environmental taxes mainly in Europe and the U.S. are the key factors driving the product demand.

Growth in printing industry has opened new avenues for the pulp & paper enzymes market size. Rising necessity for advertisement including billboards in cities coupled with increasing printing on packaging to enhance visual appeal will provide positive outlook to the industry growth. Increasing demand for notebooks particularly in schools & colleges due to various government initiatives will propel the pulp & paper enzymes demand.

High product cost compared to traditional chemicals along with emergence of digital media causing reduced cardboard usage are the major challenges for pulp & paper enzymes market. Moreover, stringent government regulations in Europe for pulp & paper mills, resulting in closure of many inefficient manufacturing facilities may hamper the industry potential. This may result in intense price based competition within the industry.

Pulp & Paper Enzymes Market, By Product
Amylase paper & pulp enzymes market was valued over USD 45 million in 2016. The product demand in this segment will be driven by its widescale usage in various applications including, deinking, coating of starch, cleaning and drainage improvement particularly in cardboard industry. In addition, increasing demand for smooth sheets to ease the printing will support the product scope.

Cellulase market is estimated to register over 3.5 kilo tons by 2024. Increased usage of cellulose for fiber modification, improving machine run ability, reducing risk of unwanted deposits and drain refining recycled waste cardboard is expected to fuel the product demand. Reduced use of harsh chemicals including, caustic soda owing to emergence of cellulose will support product demand.

Lipase will witness gains at 6% up to 2024. Effectiveness in improving pitch problems associated with sulfite pulps is projected to drive this segment’s growth. It is also used in treating unbleached sulfite for removing most of triglycerides.

Xylanases will be worth over USD 35 million by 2024. Reduction in amount of chemical required for bleaching of kraft pulps to attain a specified brightness will provide lucrative opportunities for xylanases demand.

Pulp & Paper Enzymes Market, By Region
APAC pulp & paper enzymes market was valued over USD 50 million in 2016. Favourable socio-economic conditions particularly in Japan, India, China and South Korea has enhanced the industry demand. As per analysis, the paper consumption in India will rise from 13 million tons in 2014 to around 20 million tons by 2020. Growing environmental concern in the region will propel the industry demand as these enzymes help in reducing biological oxygen demand of waste water, thereby reducing environmental damage caused by the release of heavy amount of waste water.

North America pulp & paper enzymes market will witness over 5.5% growth up to 2024. Presence of large scale industries accompanied by growth of packaging industry will drive the demand. Increasing product innovation and research & development spending by several firms will support product scope. Strong economic background, improved transportation service for delivery of finished products are the key factors for the regional demand.

Europe pulp & paper enzymes market accounted for more than 18% of the overall industry share in 2016. Technological advancement and innovations has enhanced wood fibers in superior quality cardboard production. Increasing adoption of the bio based products will open new avenues for the business growth in this region.

Competitive Market Share
Global industry share is highly consolidated with the presence of top three players including, Novozymes, Dupont and AB Enzymes capturing around 60% of the overall industry share. Besides, Buckman Laboratories and Enzymatic Deinking Technologies accounts for 20% of the market share. Biotech, Anthem Cellutions, Rossari Biotech, MetGen, Nature Bioscience, Krishna Speciality Chemicals, KPS Bio, Enzyme Solutions and Iogen Corporation are the other prominent industry players.

Mergers & acquisitions, production capacity expansion, joint venture along with product portfolio expansion and agreements are the key strategies adopted. For instance, in January 2013, Novozymes acquired industrial enzyme business of Iogen Corporation of worth USD 53.8 million. The acquisition had a positive impact on Novozymes sales growth. The major companies are supplying formulations directly to the formulators rather than dealing directly with industry, with Novozymes being an exception.

Industry Background
Pulp & paper enzymes are used for bleaching, biomechanical pounding, deinking, microbial control and catalase for peroxide removal. Emergence of new enzyme in the industry will propel industry growth making it more lucrative in the coming years. The product is beneficial in improving productivity & product quality and limiting the environmental impact.

Research & development activity for pulp & paper enzymes market is at a nascent stage. For instance, there is no R&D identified for the pulp & paper enzymes market in Estonia, despite being the presence of top three industry leaders in the region. The region is full of lush green forests, accounting for around 53.9% of the total land area, thus providing an opportunity for the industry to bloom.

Expansion in supply chain dynamics coupled with advancing technologies for product manufacturing will positively impact the industry demand. Earlier, enzyme is produced from animal organs, but with advancement in technology, companies now have the choice of producing it from transgenic plants and microorganisms.

Cost of the enzyme has gone down considerably, with the advent of new manufacturing techniques such as genetic and protein engineering for large scale production. Besides, suppliers focus more on production of specific enzymes from genetically modified microorganisms to manufacture enzyme having specific characteristics.
(Global Market Insights Inc.)

Newsgrafik #117828

BASF establishes new Group company to pursue business opportunities in 3D printing  (Company news)

BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH to start operations in September 2017

BASF SE plans to establish a new Group company, BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH, as of September 1, 2017. This wholly-owned subsidiary of BASF New Business GmbH will be headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, at the site of InnovationLab GmbH. It will focus on establishing and expanding the business with materials, system solutions, components and services in the field of 3D printing. The company will work closely with researchers and application engineers from BASF and external partners, such as universities and potential customers, in order to develop the right solutions for a wide array of requirements.

Photo: In the chemical industry, BASF has the broadest product portfolio of materials that can be developed for 3D printing. The photo shows two airless tires that were created with 3D printing technologies using thermoplastic polyurethane from BASF.

“The field of 3D printing for industrial applications is highly dynamic and still emerging. This means there is a need for agile, startup-like structures with interdisciplinary teams and quick decision-making processes. Combining the customer-focused 3D printing activities in one location at a dedicated business is an important success factor,” says Volker Hammes, Managing Director at BASF New Business and future Managing Director of BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH, explaining the reasons for founding the new company.

The new company’s customers will mainly be firms that want to use 3D printing for industrial production. Typical industries will include, for example, automotive, aerospace and consumer goods. In order to be able to develop and test a variety of solutions, BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH will take over and expand the 3D printing application technology center in Heidelberg belonging to Deutsche Nanoschicht GmbH, a subsidiary of BASF New Business. The new company will initially employ around 30 experts, many of whom were already working for BASF in the field of 3D printing.

Newsgrafik #117832

Minister of the Environmental Affairs unveils Mpact's liquid packaging recycling plant  (Company news)

Mpact says recycling rates in SA are well ahead of global recovery rates

Mpact opened its liquid packaging recycling plant at the company’s Springs paper mill. The company held an on-site ribbon-cutting ceremony, with Minister Dr. Edna Molewa, the Minister of Environmental Affairs, as well as other national and local government officials in attendance. The R46 million project is expected to recycle approximately 25,000 tonnes per year of liquid packaging products, which until now has seen limited beneficiation in South Africa.

The recovery rate of all paper grades available for recycling in South Africa was approximately 68% in 2016, representing 1,4million tonnes of the approximately 2,0million tonnes of paper. However, when it comes to paper packaging grades, this number is estimated to be well over 80%.

Bruce Strong, CEO of Mpact Limited explains, “Paper recycling rates in South Africa are well ahead of the global recovery rates, and comparable to many first world countries, and we can be very proud of that. The key to this level of recycling is the demand for recyclable products from paper manufacturers. In Mpact’s case, this demand comes through innovative projects and investments, such as the liquid packaging recycling plant being unveiled today.”

With traditional sources of recovered paper in South Africa in short supply mainly due to increased demand from paper manufacturers both locally and abroad, the recovered paper from the liquid packaging products processed at this plant provide Mpact with an alternative source of high quality recycled fibre which is currently being landfilled.

In 2016, Mpact recovered approximately 560,000 tonnes of recyclable paper fibre. Mpact will recycle an additional 120,000 tonnes by 2018 off the back of the liquid packaging recycling plant as well as the recently upgraded Felixton paper mill, which is now using 100% recovered paper fibre as raw material.

These projects and other initiatives by Mpact Recycling represent the next stage of increasing the paper recycling rate, which will take South Africa’s paper recovery rates to another level.

“Other than sustained demand, cost effective collection and the aggregation of recyclables for beneficiation is critical in maintaining high levels of recycling. We believe this is best achieved through public–private partnerships and real interventions on the ground, rather than punitive taxes,” continued Strong.

Samantha Choles, Communications Representative from Paper Recycling Association of South Africa, added her voice in support of Mpact’s liquid packaging recycling plant, saying, “Today is a celebration of many kinds: it is a celebration of investment, not just in one of Ekurhuleni’s manufacturing hubs, but in Gauteng and South Africa. We also celebrate the circular economy and the extended producer responsibility in action, technology and manufacturing, as well as efforts by industry to make products more recyclable, to close the loop just a little further so that fewer tonnes of waste go to landfill.”

Mpact’s beneficiation of recyclables also extend to the R350 million state-of-the-art recycled PET (rPET) plant (Mpact Polymers), which processes 29,000 tonnes a year of used PET bottles into 21,000 tonnes of rPET for food and beverage packaging products. Consequently, Mpact now also recycles plastic lids on liquid packaging cartons and plastic bottles to make wheelie bins.

“The opening of Mpact’s liquid packaging recycling plant advances its position as the pre-eminent paper and carton recycler in Southern Africa,” says Rodney Reynders, Cluster Leader, Environment, Greater Middle East and Africa, Tetra Pak. “This innovative facility amplifies Mpact’s opportunity for environmentally sustainable activities, and increases the collection and recycling of liquid packaging products. The operation will also meet the burgeoning needs of our customers to recycle greater volumes of carton packaging for reuse in new products”.

In his concluding remarks, Strong added, “wastage of any kind is not good. We are very clear that zero waste to landfill has to be the goal. This project and many others across the Group dovetail Mpact’s strategic drive to beneficiate recyclable materials in South Africa. This in turn reflects our long term commitment to sustainability and development of sustainable systems in recycling. Therefore, we embrace opportunities that will see us realise this in the country, drive innovation, investment, entrepreneurial development and the growth of SMMEs, as well as secure a sustainable future for all South Africans for generations to come.”
(Mpact Paper)

Newsgrafik #117834

Fortress Paper Reports Second Quarter 2017 Results and CEO Retirement  (Company news)

Second Quarter 2017 Consolidated Results

Fortress Paper Ltd. (TSX:FTP) ("Fortress Paper" or the "Company") reported 2017 second quarter operating EBITDA of $4.3 million, a decrease of $2.0 million relative to the comparative prior year period and a decrease of $3.2 million over the previous quarter. The Dissolving Pulp Segment generated operating EBITDA of $3.5 million and the Security Paper Products Segment generated operating EBITDA of $2.8 million. Corporate costs included in operating EBITDA were $2.0 million.

Pursuant to the Company's normal course issuer bid (the "NCIB"), the Company repurchased 54,688 common shares for a total cost of $360,000 at an average price of $6.58 per share during the second quarter. The Company has the ability to purchase an additional 355,321 common shares under the NCIB.

Retirement of Yvon Pelletier
After 36 years in the forestry industry, including nearly five years at Fortress Paper, Yvon Pelletier will be retiring from the Company effective October 1, 2017. Chadwick Wasilenkoff will re-assume the role of Chief Executive Officer and President and continue to serve as Chairman of the board. In order to facilitate a smooth transition of Mr. Pelletier's duties and strong customer and government relationships, he has agreed to a two year consulting agreement.

Yvon Pelletier, Chief Executive Officer of Fortress Paper, commented: "I would like to thank the whole team at Fortress for sharing these past five years of my career with me. With the addition of Giovanni Iadeluca to Thurso's operations and Mr. Wasilenkoff's full-time involvement, I am confident that I am leaving the Company in good hands for the next stage of improvement and growth."

Second Quarter 2017 Results by Segment
Dissolving Pulp Segment operating EBITDA was $3.5 million for the second quarter of 2017, representing an increase of $0.3 million over the prior year comparative period and a decrease of $4.8 million when compared to the first quarter of 2017. The results of the second quarter of 2017 were negatively impacted primarily by lower production rates, increased production costs and a decline in dissolving pulp prices. Production efficiency and costs were impacted by the operational challenges experienced in the chemical recovery area of the mill and a three day planned outage. Average production cost in the quarter was $991 per air dried metric tonne ("ADMT") which is above target. Corrective measures and efficiency initiatives have been identified and scheduled to be completed during the annual October shutdown. The shutdown is planned to be extended a few days this year due to the incremental work required in connection with the fifth digester project. Ongoing initiatives to reduce operational costs are focused primarily in the following areas: improving productivity, reducing fuel consumption, increasing power generation, and reducing chemical costs. Separately, the fifth digester project is on time and on budget with an anticipated completion date at the end of the first quarter of 2018, and which is expected to result in an incremental annual production capacity increase of 8,500 ADMT in 2018 and 17,000 ADMT in 2019 compared to current production capacity. The Company sold 34,672 ADMT of dissolving pulp in the second quarter of 2017, down from 39,931 in the previous year comparative period.

Security Paper Products Segment operating EBITDA was $2.8 million for the second quarter of 2017, representing a decrease of $1.0 million compared to the prior year comparative period, adjusted for $0.9 million of rent, and an increase of $1.3 million compared to the first quarter of 2017. The Landqart mill continues to implement new initiatives to improve efficiencies and profitability. The build-out and installation of the second finishing machine has been materially completed, is undergoing final testing and is on schedule to be fully operational before the end of the third quarter of 2017. The additional finishing machine is expected to de-bottle-neck the mill and provide more production flexibility. The Landqart mill sold 3,139 tonnes of security paper in the second quarter of 2017, compared to 2,714 tonnes in the prior year comparative period.

Management's Outlook
Dissolving Pulp Segment
Over the last two months, viscose staple fibre ("VSF") prices have recovered from recent weakness, returning to August 2016 levels. Dissolving pulp prices usually lag behind the VSF price, however management has seen recent price increases occurring. Management now believes that full year average dissolving pulp pricing will be comparable to 2016. Despite the weaker than expected second quarter financial results, management expects to achieve annual operating EBITDA similar to the prior year, subject to market factors such as dissolving pulp trend pricing and a stable Canadian dollar relative to the US dollar.

Security Paper Products Segment
The Landqart mill has a full order book for 2017 and continues to build out its 2018 order book comprised of a mix of new and repeat orders including for Durasafe®. Operating EBITDA at the Landqart mill for the quarter ended June 30, 2017 exceeded expectations due to a significant order shipping in the quarter originally planned for shipment in the third quarter of 2017. Operating EBITDA in the third quarter is expected to be lower when compared to the second quarter due to the aforementioned shipment and lower margin product mix.

As previously announced, Landqart received another Durasafe® order in the second quarter, and based on multiple trials being conducted at various stages, management continues to anticipate additional Durasafe® orders in the near, medium and long term.

Corporate and Cash
Corporate expenses in the second quarter decreased by $0.3 million compared to the previous quarter to $2.0 million. Cash and restricted cash ended the second quarter at $58.5 million, up from $57.8 million at the end of the previous quarter.

Management remains pleased with this increased liquidity profile and believes that cash on hand and anticipated cash generated from operations and other initiatives will be sufficient to meet all debt obligations and to contribute to future business growth initiatives.
(Fortress Paper Ltd)

Newsgrafik #117809

QuadTech to present color management breakthroughs at Labelexpo Europe 2017  (Company news)

QuadTech announced its extensive range of color management and defect management solutions will be the focus at this year’s Labelexpo Europe, held September 25-28 at Brussels Expo. Alongside the highlighted product portfolio, which is designed to ensure consistently high color quality, significantly lower production times, reduced waste and increased profits, visitors to the QuadTech stand (3B52) will conduct live demonstrations of ColorTrack™, QuadTech’s latest color workflow solution for packaging printers.

According to QuadTech President Karl Fritchen, “We have demonstrated our color management technology at a number of key events this year already and the feedback we have received from packaging converters has been phenomenal. We knew from the reaction at drupa the potential impact ColorTrack and DeltaCam™ (photo) could have on the industry, and we’re delighted to hear such positive feedback directly from the market. Since last summer our developers and engineers have continued to develop the products. We look forward to demonstrating at Labelexpo just how these color breakthroughs will further improve the way printers manage color quality and allow them to take better control of their print production.”

QuadTech Solutions for Packaging
Among the innovations featured at the show is QuadTech’s Color Measurement with DeltaCam™, launched at last year’s drupa. The system makes advanced, inline spectral measurement affordable to individual packaging print houses. For about half the cost of other inline systems, package printers can utilize accurate, automated L*a*b* measurement on film, paper or board—ensuring that all printed product is within their customers’ color specifications. The M1, M0, ISO compliant technology enables printers to reduce time and waste while confidently maintaining color throughout the roll—without the need to wait for a roll change to measure with a handheld device.

ColorTrack™, a unique new color management software for flexo and gravure packaging applications, is an industry-first highly adaptive “color expert in a box” solution for packaging printers. With a variety of options for hand-held and inline configurations, the software facilitates fast, accurate press-side correction of ink formulations. Without any hardware modifications to the press, ColorTrack automates the process of delivering absolute consistency from press-to-press, shift-to-shift, and plant-to-plant.

Seven “Color Management Breakthroughs”
The live ColorTrack demonstrations will be used to showcase QuadTech’s seven “color management breakthrough” technologies. These worldwide firsts include:
Pre-Laminate/Post-Laminate Color Support
ColorTrack Press-Side Recipe Correction Module
Ink strength/Anilox Color Correction
Spot Color Tone Value Calculation to ISO 20654
Enhanced Color Measurement through Strip Scanning
Simplified Ink Quantity Tracking via Patented “Virtual Scales”
Complete, Simplified Workflow

Also featured will be QuadTech’s Color Control with SpectralCam™, which compares color accuracy to desired targets—inline, during the print run—and detects any variation. If any problems are found, the system automatically corrects the problem without the need for operator intervention. The SpectralCam camera uses 31-bin spectrophotometer technology to measure spectral response and calculates accurate L*a*b*, ΔE and ΔDensity values at maximum press speeds.

Recent success for the QuadTech’s Color Control with SpectralCam includes French printing house Imprimerie Bidoit. Director Sébastien Garaboeuf comments: “Now our colors are consistent from the beginning to end of the print run. We are achieving higher quality with less waste on a variety of labels and substrates. Not only has this automation given us advantage over the competition, but it shows customers and new prospects that we are a company committed to absolute color consistency.”
(QuadTech Corporate Headquarters)

Newsgrafik #117810

Orchids Paper Products Company Announces 2017 Second Quarter Results  (Company news)

Orchids Paper Products Company (NYSE American: TIS) reported results for the quarter ended June 30, 2017. The following tables provide selected financial results for second quarter 2017 compared to second quarter 2016 and first quarter 2017.

Jeff Schoen, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "As expected, the second quarter was not a good one, financially speaking. Sales volumes continued at relatively low historical levels through May, and then in June the previously announced new business with its resultant revenues kicked-in. The June sales volume equates to an ongoing annualized rate in the $180 million to $190 million range and a case sales rate of 12 million to 13 million cases. Effectively, we recovered the sales volumes lost in 2016 to competitors' activity. The challenges for Orchids now are to sell out the Company's newly increased paper capacity, gained through the introduction of the Barnwell, South Carolina, facility and to optimize the Company's total cost structure. The cost structure will be improved through a combination of increases in capacity utilization, operating efficiencies, reassessments and realignments of costs with production requirements, and specific identified cost reduction projects."

"The paper machine at Barnwell, SC, was completed in June and remains on its start-up curve and meeting quality expectations. Our cost of sales is too high reflecting, in part, the inefficiencies of starting-up Barnwell; however, we expect, that as sell out all of the Company's existing capacity, operating costs per ton will decline significantly. In June we saw the average cost per unit produced decrease, however the bottom-line impact of this reduction was offset by a liquidation of older higher-cost inventory. We expect to optimize both quality and cost by the end of 2017, which will increase our competitiveness in the ultra-premium and premium product channels."

"The new capacity at Barnwell represents about 35,000 tons of ultra-premium and premium tissue paper. Combined with our existing conventional capacity, the total available paper capacity for the Company now represents about 135,000 tons. We continue to engage in new private-label bids, market our new innovative brands, and work toward growing market share in the premium and ultra-premium segments with new customers to broaden and diversify our customer base."

Second Quarter 2017, Relative to Second Quarter 2016
Net sales decreased $1.0 million, or 2%. Major factors include: parent roll sales volume increased $3.7 million; converted-product sales volumes declined $2.3 million; and there was a decrease of $2.3 million in average converted-product prices, reflecting both the lower prices associated with new bids which became effective in 2017 and the product mix sold to a changing mix of customers.

Cost of sales increased $4.4 million, or 13%. Standard cost of sales for parent rolls increased $2.4 million due to the much higher number of parent-roll tons sold. This leaves a $2.0 million, or 7%, increase in cost of sales that is primarily attributable to converted product sales. Major contributors to this increase include: start-up costs at Barnwell including additional direct labor and overhead, the liquidation of older higher-cost inventory, fiber and other material cost increases, labor usage, and health care cost increases. Additionally, the second quarter of 2016 benefited from the recovery of $1.1 million in business interruption insurance proceeds, which did not reoccur in 2017.

SG&A expenses increased $0.8 million principally due to increased legal and professional fees and the timing of employee medical claims.

Interest expense increased $0.3 million, or 96%, due principally to increased debt levels. Our interest rate is also variable and dependent upon our financial leverage, and was approximately 5.1% at the end of the second quarter of 2017. Most interest was capitalized to the Barnwell, South Carolina, capital project, pending its completion.

A tax benefit of $0.4 million was recognized in the second quarter of 2017 compared to tax expense of $1.3 million in the second quarter of 2016, reflecting both the decline in pre-tax earnings and the Company's recognition of tax credits. The effective combined tax rate estimated in the second quarter of 2017 is 21%, lower than the statutory rate due principally to Oklahoma tax incentives received that are not proportional to income.

As a result of the foregoing factors, a net loss of $2.0 million, or ($0.20) per basic share, was recognized in the second quarter 2017 compared to net income of $2.6 million, or $0.25 per basic share, in the second quarter 2016.

Second Quarter 2017, Relative to First Quarter 2017
Net sales increased $3.1 million, or 9%, as the previously announced new business began to be produced and shipped in the second quarter of 2017. Converted product revenues increased $1.8 million; a $2.4 million increase that resulted from the increase in volume and a $0.6 million decrease that resulted from the decrease in the average price. Parent roll revenues increased $1.3 million; all of which is attributable to the increased tons sold.

Cost of sales increased $3.5 million, or 11%. Standard cost of sales for parent rolls increased $1.3 million with $0.9 million of the increase attributable to the greater number of parent-roll tons sold. This leaves a $2.2 million, or 7%, increase in cost of sales that is attributable to converted product sales, freight costs, and manufacturing variances. The converted-product-tons sold increased by 7%, roughly the same relative figure as the cost-of-sales, exclusive of the parent rolls. There was a net $0.4 million increase in costs principally attributable to the sales of higher-cost inventory produced in the first quarter and to unfavorable material usage variances. Barnwell's manufacturing variances escalated disproportionally to sales in June, and its costs are under review.

SG&A expenses increased $0.7 million principally due to increased legal and professional fees, the timing of employee medical claims, and the timing of recognition of Directors stock options.

Interest expense remained relatively flat at $0.6 million in the second quarter of 2017 compared to $0.5 million in the first quarter of 2017. Most interest incurred was capitalized to the Barnwell, South Carolina, project, pending its completion.

A tax benefit of $0.4 million was recognized in the second quarter of 2017. A tax benefit of $0.4 million was also recognized in the first quarter of 2017, reflecting the Company's recognition of Oklahoma, South Carolina, Indian Employment, and Foreign tax credits.

As a result of the foregoing factors, a net loss of $2.0 million was recognized in the second quarter of 2017 compared to a net loss of $0.9 million in the first quarter of 2017.

At June 30, 2017, Debt, not having been netted with unamortized deferred debt issuance costs, was $167.6 million and was largely incurred to finance the construction of our integrated converting facility in Barnwell, South Carolina. The total projected expenditure for the Barnwell facility is approximately $160 million, of which approximately $155 million had been expended as of June 30, 2017.

At June 30, 2017, our leverage ratio was 8.8, and the fixed charge coverage ratio was (0.2). Our lenders waived the leverage ratio and fixed charge coverage ratio requirements for June 30, 2017. As of June 30, 2017, the borrowings under the credit agreement and the term loan that are due in 2022 were classified as current on the balance sheet due to uncertainty regarding our ability to meet the existing debt covenants over the next twelve-month period. There can be no assurance that our lenders will agree to further waivers or amendments to the existing debt covenants. While management intends to amend or refinance the debt, there can be no assurance that we will be able to obtain additional financing on terms that are satisfactory to us or at all.

Second Quarter 2017 Relative to Second Quarter 2016: Operating cash flows, excluding changes in working capital, decreased $2.2 million compared to the second quarter of 2016, primarily reflecting the decrease in net income, net of changes in deferred taxes. Changes in working capital nominally used $5.1 million of operating cash flows in the second quarter of 2017, compared to $1.2 million in the second quarter of 2016. However, this $5.1 million net use includes a $5.4 million increase in tax refunds receivable expected to be carried forward to future years, and this is a non-cash transaction. Exclusive of this increase in tax refunds receivable in 2017, working capital provided $0.3 million in cash. This $0.3 million net figure principally reflects receipt of $3.5 million of tax refunds and an increase in payables, largely offset by increased inventories and accounts receivable in support of new business. Increased borrowings in both periods were used to finance investments in the Barnwell facility. In 2015, the Company received $12.0 million of restricted cash from financings, of which $2.3 million was used in second quarter 2016 for the Barnwell facility and was, accordingly, included in Investing activities. The Company paid dividends of $3.6 million in both the second quarter of 2017 and 2016, which are included in Financing activities.

Second Quarter 2017 Relative to First Quarter 2017: Operating cash flows excluding changes in working capital decreased $0.8 million compared to the first quarter of 2017, primarily reflecting the decrease in net income, net of changes in deferred taxes. Changes in working capital used $5.1 million of operating cash flows in the second quarter of 2017, as described above, compared to $3.8 million in the first quarter of 2017. Additional borrowings in both periods were used to finance investments in the Barnwell facility. The Company paid dividends of $3.6 million in the second quarter of 2017, which is included in Financing activities.
(Orchids Paper)

Newsgrafik #117814

Voith builds new XcelLine board machine for Bohui Paper Group  (Company news)

In February 2017 Bohui Paper Group contracted Voith to supply a new board machine. The BM 4 will be built at Dafeng in the Chinese province Jiangsu and following completion will be one of the largest board machines in the world. Voith will supply the complete XcelLine process line from wet end process to winder. This reduces the number of interfaces for the customer to a minimum and provides cost transparency for the entire project.

Photo: Andreas Endters, President of the Business Line Projects at Voith Paper, Yang Yanliang, Chairman of Bohui Paper Group and Thomas Holzer, President of Voith Paper Asia (f.l.t.r.).

The order is the result of the long and successful cooperation between the companies to build the BM 1 and BM 3. The experts from Bohui Paper Group had already been impressed by the fast and smooth commissioning of these two machines in 2003 and 2013 respectively. The subsequent efficient production process also ensured a high degree of customer satisfaction.

From December 2018 the new BM 4 will operate at a speed of 1200 m/min to produce folding box board with a basis weight of 250 g/m2. The production line offers a range of special technical features that both improve the quality of the finished paper and reduce energy consumption. The wet section of the BM 4 impresses with a new Clean Design concept that achieves particularly high runnability. In the BM 4, the use of a Triple NipcoFlex press not only ensures tremendous dewatering efficiency while preserving volume, but also achieves a smooth surface on the board. The scope of supply also includes three MasterJet Pro headboxes, a DuoFormer DII, four TurboDryers, and the energy-efficient qDry Pro noncontact drying system. Moreover the BM 4 is equipped with EcoCal Hard and EcoCal Soft calenders, a Sirius winding system as well as two VariFlex winders, MCS and DCS are completing Voith Paper’s scope of delivery.

Voith Financial Services also helped secure the project by developing and organizing an attractive financing concept tailored to the customer's needs. In this area, too, there was close collaboration with Bohui Paper Group based on a spirit of mutual trust.
(Voith Paper GmbH & Co KG)

Newsgrafik #117815


FITNIR Analyzers Inc. is excited to announce that a noteworthy pulp mill in the southern United States has selected FITNIR’s state-of-the-art online FT-NIR analyzer to replace its Modo-Chemetics auto-titrator for digester control. With its current technology nearing the end of its life, the mill was looking to upgrade to a measurement technology with minimal maintenance and excellent uptime.

Primarily selected based on FITNIR Online’s proven track record for requiring less maintenance and providing more repeatable and accurate measurements, the mill decided on upgrading to the new technology. FITNIR Online also matched the mill’s criteria for a system with multiple applications for future consideration, as well as the ability to analyze properties beyond REA, such as total solids, dissolved lignin content and organic and inorganic solids.

FITNIR Online will replace the mill’s Modo-Chemetics auto-titrator measurement equipment on its continuous digester to measure key white liquor properties (EA, AA, sulfide, sulfidity, carbonate and %CE) and weak black liquor properties (residual effective alkali, lignin content, inorganic content, organic solids and total solids).

“This mill has been a long-time customer through a service contract for its Modo-titrator,” said Tom Sands, President of FITNIR Analyzers. “We are pleased to continue working with the team to help the mill achieve optimal pulp properties and production targets.”

Start-up is expected to be underway in October 2017.
(FITNIR Analyzers Inc.)

Newsgrafik #117840

Metsä Group started up its bioproduct mill  (Company news)

Metsä Group’s next-generation bioproduct mill in Äänekoski came into operation as planned on Tuesday, 15 August 2017 at 6:00 in the morning. Pulp deliveries from the new mill to customers will begin in early September 2017. The construction project was carried out as planned, in accordance with its schedule and its EUR 1.2 billion budget.

Before the bioproduct mill started up, the old pulp mill in Äänekoski was shut down and its dismantling is currently in progress.

The bioproduct mill will achieve its nominal capacity approximately a year after start-up. The mill will produce 1.3 million tonnes of pulp per year, along with other bioproducts such as tall oil and turpentine. New bioproducts that already complement the product concept include product gas from bark, sulphuric acid from the mill’s odorous gases, and biogas and biofuel pellets from sludge.

With this new bioproduct mill Äänekoski’s industrial ecosystem is developing and growing, and the mill will be a platform for production of new bioproducts. Several processes and product paths are being actively studied. The most important new bioproduct development projects are lignin products, textile fibres, and biocomposites.
(Metsä Fibre Oy)

Newsgrafik #117793

Cenveo Reports Second Quarter 2017 Results  (Company news)

-Significant Progress on Implementation of $50 Million 2017 Profitability Improvement Plan
-7% Convertible Notes Fully Redeemed and Retired
-Cenveo to Join NASDAQ, Effective August 8, 2017
-2017 Guidance Update

Cenveo, Inc. (NYSE: CVO) reported financial results for the three and six months ended July 1, 2017.

Second Quarter 2017 vs. Second Quarter 2016 Overview
-Net sales of $355.0 million compared to $410.1 million.
-Net loss of $1.9 million compared to net income of $47.6 million.
-Adjusted EBITDA(1) of $30.2 million compared to $37.5 million.
-----Q2 2016 included one-time benefits of $6.0 million in connection with the exit of our coating operation
-Net cash provided by operating activities of continuing operations of $0.7 million compared to $7.7 million.
-Gross margin of 16.1% compared to 16.7%.
-Interest expense of $19.5 million compared to $21.5 million.

Management Commentary
"Given the challenging operating environment we experienced during the first half of the year, we are generally pleased with our Adjusted EBITDA performance for the quarter compared to the prior year, which included one-time benefits in connection with the closure of our coating operation. Our consolidated results for the second quarter of 2017 were adversely impacted by weakness in our direct mail business primarily driven by softness from our financial institution customers due to lower customer acquisition related mailings. These results were partially offset by the positive effects of our 2017 Profitability Improvement Plan. To date, we are very pleased with the implementation progress and we are now on pace to exceed our original $50 million target that we announced earlier this year. During the second quarter 2017, we retired the remaining portion of our 7% Convertible Notes to complete our 2017 refinancing initiative. Also, as we previously announced, Cenveo will be transferring its stock exchange listing to the Nasdaq Global Market ("NASDAQ") from The New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE"). Cenveo shares will begin trading as a Nasdaq-listed security on August 8, 2017, and will continue to trade under the symbol CVO," said Robert G. Burton, Sr. (photo), Chairman and CEO of Cenveo.

Financial Results
Net sales in the second quarter of 2017 were $355.0 million compared to $410.1 million in the same period last year, a decline of 13.4%. The Company generated net sales of $736.9 million for the six months ended July 1, 2017, compared to $850.6 million for the same period last year, a decline of 13.4%. The sales decline was primarily driven by: (i) lower sales in the envelope segment, primarily due to lower demand in office product and wholesale envelope product lines primarily due to marketplace trends and lower direct mail demand primarily from our financial institution customers; (ii) lower sales volumes in the commercial print group and the publisher services group, primarily driven by lower customer demand and continued pricing pressures; and (iii) lower sales in the label segment, primarily due to the decision to exit our coating operation which was completed in the second quarter of 2016, and lower sales driven by product mix changes.

Operating income was $11.4 million for the three months ended July 1, 2017, compared to operating income of $21.6 million in the same period last year, a decline of 47.3%. Operating income was $21.4 million for the six months ended July 1, 2017, compared to operating income of $38.6 million for the same period last year, a decline of 44.6%. The declines in both the three and six months ended were primarily due to lower gross profit resulting from lower sales volumes, the impact of the decision to exit the coating operation, and higher restructuring and other charges resulting from the 2017 Profitability Improvement Plan, including the announced closure of two facilities. These declines are partially offset by the benefit of lower selling, general and administrative expenses due to our cost reduction initiatives in connection with the 2017 Profitability Plan and lower commission expense due to lower sales volumes. Non-GAAP operating income was $18.1 million for the three months ended July 1, 2017, compared to non-GAAP operating income of $24.0 million for the same period last year. Non-GAAP operating income was $37.3 million for the six months ended July 1, 2017, compared to $47.5 million for the same period last year. A reconciliation of all non-GAAP figures are reported in the tables below.

For the three months ended July 1, 2017, the Company had a loss from continuing operations of $1.9 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, compared to income of $50.9 million, or $5.15 per diluted share, for the same period last year. For the six months ended July 1, 2017, the Company had a loss from continuing operations of $10.5 million, or $1.23 per diluted share, compared to income of $63.9 million, or $6.43 per diluted share, for the same period last year. Income during 2016 was primarily driven by gains on the early extinguishment of debt of $51.3 million and $72.9 million during the three and six months ended July 2, 2016, respectively. Non-GAAP loss from continuing operations was $1.7 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, for the three months ended July 1, 2017, compared to income of $2.5 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, for the same period last year. Non-GAAP loss from continuing operations was $1.8 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, for the six months ended July 1, 2017, compared to income of $1.5 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, in the same period last year. A reconciliation of (loss) income from continuing operations to non-GAAP (loss) income from continuing operations is presented in the attached tables.

Net loss was $1.9 million for the three months ended July 1, 2017, compared to net income of $47.6 million for the same period last year. For the six months ended July 1, 2017, net loss was $10.5 million, compared to net income of $58.8 million for the same period last year. Adjusted EBITDA was $30.2 million for the three months ended July 1, 2017, compared to $37.5 million for the same period last year. Adjusted EBITDA was $61.4 million for the six months ended July 1, 2017, compared to $72.4 million for the same period last year. The significant drivers in the change in our Adjusted EBITDA were: (i) the expected impact associated with the disruption in our office and wholesale products and the exit of our coating operation accounting for a reduction of approximately $9.0 million and $15.0 million for the three and six months ended July 1, 2017, respectively, and (ii) lower direct mail demand primarily from our financial institution customers. The declines were partially offset by our profit improvement initiatives, which accounted for an increase of approximately $6.1 million and $11.1 million for the three and six months ended July 1, 2017, respectively, primarily driven by our operational efficiency projects and position reductions across our operating platform.

Cash flow provided by operating activities of continuing operations for the second quarter 2017 was $7.1 million, compared to $19.2 million for the same period last year. Cash flow provided by operating activities of continuing operations for the six months ended July 1, 2017, was $0.7 million, compared to $7.7 million for the same period last year. The declines in both periods were primarily due to changes in working capital, particularly the timing of payments to vendors and higher inventories due to inventory needs during plant consolidations, partially offset by sales to and collections from our customers.

At July 1, 2017, cash and cash equivalents totaled $7.1 million, compared to $5.5 million at December 31, 2016. Total outstanding long-term debt, including current maturities, was approximately $1.0 billion as of July 1, 2017, an increase of $20.6 million from December 31, 2016, primarily due to net borrowings on our asset-based revolving credit facility, as well as the initiation of certain equipment financings. During the second quarter of 2017, the remaining $5.5 million principal balance of 7% Convertible Notes was redeemed in full.

2017 Outlook
Our first half results were impacted by several known challenges including trends in the office product and wholesale envelope market and our decision to exit our coating operations. Those anticipated items now combined with lower direct mail envelope volumes during the first half of the year have affected our ability to achieve our net sales guidance for 2017 while making the achievement of our Adjusted EBITDA guidance more challenging. However, we are encouraged by recent customer activity within our direct mail product line. We also now believe we will realize more than our original $25 million of profitability improvements during this year. The potential for the realization of incremental cost savings along with an improvement in our direct mail volumes, which must return to prior year levels during the back-half of the year, would allow us to achieve our Adjusted EBITDA guidance for 2017.
(Cenveo / Cadmus Specialty Packaging)

Newsgrafik #117794

Cascades announces the closure of its New York City plant  (Company news)

Cascades Inc. (TSX: CAS), a leader in the recovery and manufacturing of green packaging and tissue products, announces that it will close its packaging plant in Maspeth, New York, as part of the Corporation's modernization and optimization efforts in the Northeastern United States.

"To support our future development and better serve our customers, we are announcing today that the Maspeth plant's output will gradually be redeployed to our other facilities. This decision was necessary as the current site has reached its physical limits. This transition will be seamless for all of our customers. The property has already been put up for sale for US$72 million," said Charles Malo, President and Chief Operating Officer of Cascades Containerboard Packaging.

The plant, which currently employs 148 people, will close no later than December 31, 2018. In order to help staff impacted by this closure, Cascades will assess the possibility of relocating interested employees to its other facilities. Tools and measures will also be put in place by the Corporation to assist employees in their employment search, so as to reduce the impact on them and the community. Cascades wishes to sincerely thank the plant's employees for their years of loyalty. It is counting on their devotion and professionalism to serve its customers until the closure.
(Cascades Inc.)

Newsgrafik #117795

Metsä Group's comparable operating result in January–June 2017 was EUR 247 million  (Company news)

Metsä Group Half Year Financial Report 2017 3 August 2017

Photo: President and CEO Kari Jordan

January–June 2017 (1–6/2016)
-Sales were EUR 2,451 million (2,339).
-Operating result was EUR 253 million (225). Comparable operating result was EUR 247 million (229).
-Result before tax was EUR 237 million (186). Comparable result before tax was EUR 230 million (190).
-Comparable return on capital employed was 11.5 per cent (11.0). Comparable return on capital employed excluding assets under construction related to strategic investment projects was 14.0 per cent (12.2).
-Cash flow from operations was EUR 190 million (121).

April–June 2017 (4–6/2016)
-Sales were EUR 1,235 million (1,184).
-Operating result was EUR 122 million (119). Comparable operating result was EUR 119 million (120).
-Result before tax was EUR 107 million (98). Comparable result before tax was EUR 104 million (100).
-Comparable return on capital employed was 10.6 per cent (11.5). Comparable return on capital employed excluding assets under construction related to strategic investment projects was 13.1 per cent (12.6).
-Cash flow from operations was EUR 192 million (152).

Events during the second quarter of 2017
-The market prices of long-fibre and short-fibre pulp increased.
-Paperboard deliveries grew by 11 per cent from the previous quarter. The average price of folding boxboard was burdened by Husum mill’s geographical sales mix.
-Metsä Board’s extrusion coating line at the Husum mill in Sweden started up in April.
-Metsä Fibre announced that the start-up of its new bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, Finland, will begin in mid-August. Pulp deliveries will start at the beginning of September.
-Metsä Tissue announced the rebuild of the baking paper machine at the Düren mill in Germany. The value of the investment is approximately EUR 15 million.
-Metsä Wood announced its intention to build a birch plywood mill in Pärnu, Estonia. The construction work began in April, and the mill will start production in the second half of 2018.
-Metsä Forest acquired the wood supply business of Metsäkolmio Oy and Harvestia Oy’s wood supply business in southeast Finland.
-Metsä Forest divested its share in its Russian associated company ZAO HK Vologodskie Lesopromyshlennik.
-Metsä Fibre’s CEO Ilkka Hämälä, M.Sc. (Eng.), was appointed CEO of Metsäliitto Cooperative as of 1 January 2018. He starts as the President and CEO of Metsä Group on 1 April 2018.
-Ismo Nousiainen, M.Sc. (Eng.), was appointed Deputy CEO of Metsä Fibre as of 1 August 2017 and CEO as of 1 January 2018.

Result guidance for July–September 2017
Metsä Group’s comparable operating result in the third quarter of 2017 is expected to be roughly at the same level as in the second quarter of 2017.

President and CEO Kari Jordan:
“Metsä Group’s profitability in 2017 has improved from the previous year. The most significant reasons for the improved result are the clearly higher volumes in paperboard deliveries and the increased price of pulp.

Metsä Group’s key development projects aiming for profitable growth are progressing according to plan. The construction of the bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, which has proceeded on schedule and on budget, is nearly completed, and the mill’s start-up will begin in mid-August. Pulp deliveries to customers will start at the beginning of September. The new production line at the Kerto® LVL mill in Lohja will likewise start up in August. The construction of the birch plywood mill in Pärnu, Estonia, and the work of converting the old paper machine hall at Äänekoski into a birch veneer mill are proceeding well. The Husum paperboard mill’s new extrusion coating line started up in April, and the related quality feedback from customers has been good. In June, we began work on rebuilding the baking paper machine at the Düren mill in Germany. The new machine will also allow us to expand our cooking paper business in the future.

After years of stagnation, Finland’s economy has started to pick up. For this growth to continue, our country needs investments. Metsä Group and Finland’s forest industry in general have met this need. According to the National Forest Inventory figures published by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) in June, the growth of our forests has continued to accelerate. This means that the raw material base is good. Uncertainty with regard to future investments is nevertheless increasing due to the EU’s climate and land use policies. If implemented in its current form, the LULUCF Regulation, which regulates the levels of carbon sinks, would be detrimental to Finland. Combating climate change is of utmost importance, and Metsä Group is committed to it. However, restricting a sector based on sustainable forest management and a renewable natural resource is not the right way to go forward.”

Near-term outlook
Wood demand will focus on felling sites to be harvested when the ground is unfrozen and, in terms of energy wood, on crown wood.

Demand for wood products will remain good, and this will be reflected in the order book level, which will be higher than in the previous year, particularly in Kerto® LVL products. The outlook for plywood products is likewise positive. Construction in the UK is expected to remain at a good level, but delivery volumes in the third quarter are expected to suffer slight seasonal decline.

Demand for and supply of market pulp in Europe and Asia are in balance, with normal seasonal variation.

Demand for spruce sawn timber is expected to remain good in most markets. Demand for pine sawn timber has improved, and the market balance strengthened.

The growth in the demand for high-quality consumer packaging paperboard made from fresh fibre is expected to continue in market areas important for Metsä Board. Delivery volumes in July–September are expected to remain roughly at the level of the second quarter.

In the tissue and cooking paper markets, demand is expected to remain stable in all market areas. Demand for tissue paper will particularly increase in Eastern Central Europe and demand for cooking papers in Asia.
(Metsä Group)

Newsgrafik #117796

Sappi pays down debt further and delivers solid profit during third quarter  (Company news)

Financial summary for the quarter to end June 2017
-Profit for the period US$58 million (Q3 FY16: US$32 million)
-Net debt US$1,318 million, down US$265 million year-on-year
-EPS excluding special items 11 US cents (Q3 FY16: 11 US cents)

Sappi Chief Executive Officer Steve Binnie (photo), commenting on the group’s performance, said:
“I am pleased to report that during the past quarter Sappi delivered profits up 81% from a year ago, reduced debt by a further 17% (US$265 million) year-on-year. We also repaid US$400 million in bonds from cash reserves which will generate savings of approximately US$21 million per annum on our net interest charge.

“Sappi’s third quarter is seasonally and historically its weakest quarter due to the slow-down in business activity during the Northern Hemisphere summer holiday period and Sappi’s choice to use this quarter to undertake major annual maintenance shuts. The past quarter’s earnings (EBITDA ex special items) at US$155 million where almost flat on a year ago. Higher volumes were offset by higher raw material prices and a stronger Rand/Dollar exchange rate.

Based on current market conditions, including higher paper pulp prices and the current Rand/Dollar exchange rate, we expect the group’s fourth quarter operating performance to be slightly below that of last year. The full year result is likely to be above that of the prior year.”

The period under review:
The specialised cellulose business delivered higher sales volumes and higher average Dollar selling prices compared to the previous year driven by healthy demand and higher viscose staple fibre prices in the Chinese market.

In Europe, the speciality packaging business continued to achieve strong sales growth and profit margins while the graphics paper business partially achieved price increases announced in April. However, higher raw material prices contributed to a reduction in profitability compared to the prior year.

In the US, the benefits of higher dissolving wood pulp (DWP) volumes and pricing compared to last year in addition to increased packaging and coated paper sales volumes were offset by the ongoing weakness of coated paper prices. The success of cost containment programmes and efficiency gains led to a constant year-on-year result.

The packaging paper business in South Africa had another positive quarter with higher sales volumes. Costs in the quarter were impacted by the planned annual maintenance shut at Ngodwana Mill and replacement of economiser tubes at Saiccor Mill.

Our projects to increase capacity of speciality packaging in Europe and North America are progressing as planned. During the quarter capital expenditure of US$78 million was related mainly to these projects along with the next phase of the DWP debottlenecking projects at Ngodwana and Saiccor Mills. These projects will contribute increased volumes in our high growth business segments.

DWP prices declined throughout the third quarter and reached a recent low at the end of June. Prices have subsequently moved upwards in July following a similar trend in viscose staple fibre. The bulk of our DWP sales prices are based on the prior quarter average price and we can therefore expect lower pricing for the fourth quarter than that achieved in the past quarter. Longer term market dynamics appear favourable, with demand growth expected to exceed supply growth in the next two years.

In Europe, local demand for graphic paper has stabilised somewhat and export markets have experienced strong growth. In contrast, markets remain difficult in the United States. Coated paper price increases have been announced in most major markets, which should help offset rising raw material costs.

Demand for speciality packaging continues to grow, and the conversion of the paper machines at Maastricht and Somerset Mills are set to be completed in the second and third fiscal quarters of 2018 respectively. This will further boost production capacity in these grades.

Capital expenditure in the last quarter is expected to be approximately US$170 million. This includes the next phase of the DWP debottlenecking project at Ngodwana Mill, the Somerset Mill wood-yard and the initial phases of the speciality packaging conversions at Maastricht and Somerset Mills.

We expect to reduce net debt further in the coming quarter through positive cash generation. However, a significant proportion of our debt is denominated in Euros and a stronger Euro/US Dollar exchange rate negatively impacts the translation of this debt.
(Sappi Limited)

Newsgrafik #117799

Voith Paper offers rebuilds of medium-sized paper machines to increase production capacity ...  (Company news)

... by up to 15%

On June 10, 2017, Voith Paper, Huazhang Technology, Jianhui Paper and Jinzhou Paper reached an agreement to rebuild the headboxes and shoe presses of existing paper machines. Under this new contract, Voith Paper has been commissioned to rebuild the headboxes and shoe presses of Jianhui PM 3 and PM 4 as well as Jinzhou PM 3 and PM 4.

Photo: Attendees of the signing ceremony included President of Jianhui Paper, Mr. Li Guihua; Deputy General Manager of Jianhui Paper, Mr. Chen Bo; President of Jinzhou Paper, Mr. Li Huihua; President of Huazhang Technology, Mr. Zhu Genrong; President P&S of Voith Paper Asia, Dr. Gregor Wiche; Managing Director P&S of Voith Paper China, Mr. Frank Wu; and P&S Rebuilding Business Director of Voith Paper China, Mr. Jason Jiang.

The rebuilds will lead to an increase in production capacity of 10 to 15% and a considerable improvement of the paper quality, such as an improved grammage profile and boost in paper formation. As a technology leader, Voith Paper continuously offers top performance in every sector over the entire life cycle of the paper machine while providing resource-saving solutions to ensure the sustainable success of our customers. Along with eight headboxes and two Tandem NipcoFlex, the scope of supply includes two CB turn, rolls, sleeves, press felts and services.

This is not the first cooperation between Voith Paper, Jianhui Paper and Jinzhou Paper. This rebuild contract not only shows how much the clients recognize Voith’s high-quality products, technology and service, but also lays a solid foundation for long-term strategic cooperation between the parties. This new cooperation further demonstrates the position of strength Voith Paper has in the market for rebuilding medium-sized paper machines in China.
(Voith Paper GmbH & Co KG)

Newsgrafik #117803

Heidelberg starts the new financial year 2017/18 with an increase in sales and earnings  (Company news)

• Sales slightly higher than previous year at €495 million
• Operating result (EBITDA) up from €1 million to €14 million
• Net result after taxes improved by more than €20 million to €–16 million
• Several measures initiated to achieve medium-term targets
• Outlook: Sights still set on the year-end targets for 2017/18

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) has started the new 2017/18 financial year (April 1 to June 30, 2017) with an increase in sales and earnings. That means it is on course to achieve its annual targets. After initiating a raft of measures, Heidelberg has already sharpened its strategic focus in the first quarter on the key areas of technology leadership, digital transformation, and operational excellence. The company is underscoring its ambitions to consolidate a new corporate culture and return to growth with the motto “Heidelberg goes digital”.

“We are making good progress in transforming Heidelberg into a digital company,” said Rainer Hundsdörfer (photo), CEO of Heidelberg. “We have already had our initial successes in the first quarter, thanks to our new digital presses and two constructive acquisitions. We want to become even faster and more efficient in the future and are continuing to reconfigure company structures to that end.”

Positive results from the implementation already in the first quarter
During the first quarter of the current financial year, Heidelberg showcased itself as an industry pioneer for digitization at the key China Print trade fair. Customers showed a great deal of interest in this forward-looking topic, which translated into positive developments in incoming orders in this important market. Heidelberg has encountered strong customer demand for the “Primefire”, the first industrial digital packaging printing press, and order books are full for the next two years. By taking over software supplier DOCUFY, the company is reinforcing the new digital platforms business area and expanding its Industry 4.0 portfolio. In the growth segment of consumables, business with coatings and pressroom chemicals has been further expanded in the EMEA region following the acquisition of this area from Fujifilm. Additional measures relating to operational excellence include efficiency improvements on all levels, such as higher efficiency in logistics achieved by the optimization of the tariff model in this sector and by acquiring the logistics center. The digitization strategy at Heidelberg has also been rewarded on the capital markets. For example, at the end of the period under review, a convertible bond was converted to equity almost in its entirety, which will see interest costs drop by approximately €5 million a year.

Medium-term targets in focus
Given the strong demand for the digital product portfolio in packaging and label printing and the expansion and increased networking in a digital business model (Equipment, Consumables, Service), Heidelberg sees itself as being on course to achieve the company targets for 2022 that were announced in June (company sales ~€3 billion / EBITDA of €250 – 300 million / net result > €100 million). The additional revenues from new applications via digital platforms are being grown by the ongoing expansion of an eCommerce platform. Through the announced efficiency enhancements and improvements to the cost structure, operational excellence measures are set to drive up profitability by approximately €50 million.

Heidelberg starts the new financial year 2017/18 with an increase in sales and earnings
As indicated, net sales and the net result in the first quarter of the year under review have improved over the same quarter of the previous year. For example, sales rose compared to the previous year, reaching €495 million (same quarter of previous year: €486 million). This was attributable primarily to Western Europe and China. As anticipated, at €629 million, incoming orders were below those of the same quarter of the previous year (€804 million), which saw a particularly high level of incoming orders from the drupa trade show. The order backlog increased by over 20 percent from €497 million at the end of the financial year to €603 million as at June 30, 2017.

Profitability, as expressed in EBITDA and EBIT, increased in the quarter under review compared to the previous year’s values. At €14 million, EBITDA was far better than in the same quarter of the previous year (€1 million), while EBIT amounted to €–3 million (previous year: €–16 million). Due to lower financing costs, the financial result improved to €–13 million (same quarter of previous year: €–16 million). Including income taxes, the net result after taxes of €–16 million was a significant improvement over the previous year’s figure (€–37 million).

As a result of company and real estate acquisitions and payments for portfolio optimization, free cash flow in the first three months was negative, at €–13 million (previous year: €6 million). Compared to the financial year-end, shareholder’s equity increased to €382 million on the balance sheet date (previous year: €167 million). This increase is largely due to the almost complete conversion of the convertible bond into Heidelberg shares and a slight increase in the actuarial interest rate for pensions in Germany. The equity ratio as at June 30, 2017 was approximately 17 percent. Financial liabilities dropped significantly, largely due to the almost complete conversion of the convertible bond, and net financial debt shrank to €234 million (previous year: €263 million).

“The almost complete conversion of a bond into shareholder’s equity is further evidence that our digitization strategy is being acknowledged on the capital markets. The repayment of the convertible bond has brought us closer to our goal of achieving a sustainable improvement in net interest income. We want to reduce interest costs, which currently stand at €34 million, to €20 million annually in the future,” says Dirk Kaliebe, CFO at Heidelberg, commenting on developments.

Outlook: Sights still set on the year-end targets for 2017/18
In financial year 2017/18, Heidelberg is focusing on initiating and implementing its key strategic measures – the strengthening of technology leadership, digital transformation, and operational excellence – under the umbrella of “Heidelberg goes digital”. Although these activities will not have a noticeable impact on operations in financial year 2017/18, they will play an important role in helping to achieve the company’s medium-term targets.
As announced at the Annual Press Conference on June 8, 2017, sales in financial year 2017/18 are set to reach the same level as the previous year. This is due to the anticipated development in order levels, the acquisitions that have already been completed, and – a measure that will have an inverse effect on sales – the avoidance of low-margin or high-risk activities.

In financial year 2017/18, the company aims to achieve an EBITDA margin in the region of 7 to 7.5 percent through efficiency improvement measures. Compared to the previous year and factoring in a further improvement in the financial result, net profit after taxes is set to show a moderate increase.
(Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG)

Newsgrafik #117778

KaiCell Fibers appoints Esko Nenola as Director of Wood Supply  (Company news)

Finland’s KaiCell Fibers Ltd has appointed Esko Nenola (photo), Forest Engineer, M.Sc. (Business Administration), Director of Wood Supply for the company’s biorefinery venture in Paltamo. He brings extensive international experience in wood sourcing and the entire forest relates value chain, as well as having taken part in corporate restructuring and other strategic tasks. Among his previous management position he was leading the mechanical wood processing operations of Swedwood/IKEA in Russia.

KaiCell Fibers CEO, Jukka Kantola: “Esko is an extremely welcome addition to the KaiCell team, especially since he is already very familiar with the project through our feasibility study, in which he played an important part. Our team can now confidently manage the complete value chain from stumpage to final market; another indication that the venture is in capable hands.”

For his part, Esko Nenola commented: “It feels great to have joined a strong professional team driving a venture with great potential towards realisation.”
(KaiCell Fibers Ltd)

Newsgrafik #117780

Clearwater Paper Reports Second Quarter 2017 Results  (Company news)

Clearwater Paper Corporation (NYSE:CLW) reported financial results for the second quarter of 2017.

The company reported net sales of $429.7 million for the second quarter of 2017, down 1.6% compared to net sales of $436.7 million for the second quarter of 2016. Net earnings determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, for the second quarter of 2017 were $8.0 million, or $0.48 per diluted share, compared to net earnings of $20.9 million, or $1.21 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2016. The decrease in net earnings was due primarily to a planned bi-annual major maintenance outage at the Company's Arkansas mill in the second quarter of 2017 and higher input costs for energy, pulp, chemicals, and packaging supplies. Excluding certain non-core items identified in the attached Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures, second quarter 2017 adjusted net earnings were $7.9 million, or $0.48 per diluted share, compared to second quarter 2016 adjusted net earnings of $23.5 million, or $1.37 per diluted share.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, was $45.7 million for the second quarter of 2017 compared to $62.2 million for the second quarter of 2016. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $45.0 million, down 32.1% compared to second quarter 2016 Adjusted EBITDA of $66.3 million. The $21.3 million decrease in adjusted EBITDA was primarily a result of the same major maintenance and higher input costs affecting GAAP net earnings in the second quarter of 2017.

"We achieved solid second quarter results that were in line with our quarterly outlook," said Linda K. Massman, president and chief executive officer. "The positive impacts to the quarter included higher prices and a stronger sales mix for paperboard, which were offset by higher external pulp pricing and lower consumer product shipment volumes, as parent rolls were used to build needed inventory.

I am also pleased to share that our previously disclosed strategic projects remain on time and within budget, and we continue to believe this will position us to more efficiently partner with and meet the needs of our customers in the future," said Massman.

Consumer Products
Net sales in the Consumer Products segment were $231.9 million for the second quarter of 2017, down 6.5% compared to second quarter 2016 net sales of $247.9 million. This decrease was due to lower parent roll sales resulting from the shutdown of two higher cost paper machines at the Neenah, Wisconsin mill at the end of 2016 and a 1.7% decrease in retail tons sold.

Consumer Products had operating income of $10.5 million in the second quarter of 2017, compared to operating income of $18.5 million in the second quarter of 2016. After adjusting for certain non-core items identified in the attached Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures, adjusted operating income of $11.8 million for the second quarter of 2017 was down from $19.1 million in the same period in 2016. Consumer Products operating margin decreased to 4.5% in the second quarter of 2017 from 7.5% in the second quarter of 2016. The adjusted operating margin decreased from 7.7% in the second quarter of 2016 to 5.1% in the second quarter of 2017 due to higher input costs for transportation, pulp, natural gas, and packaging supplies, partially offset by lower wage and benefit costs resulting from the implementation of warehouse automation, and the previously mentioned shutdown at the Neenah mill.

• Total tissue sales volumes of 91,450 tons in the second quarter of 2017 decreased by 7.7% and converted product cases shipped were 12.7 million, down 3.9%, each compared to the second quarter of 2016.

• Average tissue net selling prices increased 1.6% to $2,533 per ton in the second quarter of 2017, compared to the second quarter of 2016.

Pulp and Paperboard
Net sales in the Pulp and Paperboard segment were $197.8 million for the second quarter of 2017, up 4.8% compared to second quarter 2016 net sales of $188.8 million. The increase was primarily due to higher paperboard shipment volume, which includes sales from the operations of the former Manchester Industries acquired in December 2016. Operating income for the quarter decreased $18.4 million to $21.6 million, compared to operating income of $40.0 million for the second quarter of 2016, primarily due to approximately $9 million in major maintenance at the Arkansas mill and higher input costs for natural gas, electricity, chemicals and pulp and higher wages and benefits due to annual increases. In addition, second quarter 2016 operating income included the receipt of a net $2.8 million in partial reimbursement of previously incurred costs related to performance issues with the recovery boiler at the Arkansas mill.

• Paperboard sales volumes increased 4.0% to 207,152 tons in the second quarter of 2017, compared to 199,132 tons in the second quarter of 2016.

• Paperboard net selling prices increased 0.7% to $955 per ton compared to the second quarter of 2016.
(Clearwater Paper Corporation)

Newsgrafik #117782

Mayr-Melnhof Group: Results for the first Half-Year 2017  (Company news)

• Solid sales and volume
• Results as expected still below previous year
• Ordering situation is strengthening

The Mayr-Melnhof Group achieved overall high capacity utilization in the first six months of 2017 and was able to maintain the previous year’s level in sales and volume. As expected, results are still below the previous year. In the cartonboard division strongly increased recovered paper prices were just gradually compensated through higher cartonboard prices. In the packaging division last year’s second quarter earnings were supported by a favorable product mix.

The development of new organic growth opportunities in and outside Europe was consequently continued through ongoing investment activity.

The Group’s consolidated sales rose slightly from EUR 1,142.2 million to EUR 1,150.3 million. Both divisions contributed to this rise.

At EUR 102.1 million, operating profit was EUR 8.7 million or 7.9 % below the value for the first half of the previous year (EUR 110.8 million). Thus, the Group's operating margin was at 8.9 %, following 9.7 % in the first six months of 2016.

Financial income of EUR 1.3 million (1st half of 2016: EUR 1.6 million) was offset by financial expenses of EUR -2.9 million (1st half of 2016: EUR -3.2 million). Owing to the deconsolidation of the Tunisian packaging companies, a one-off expenditure of EUR 2.3 million was incurred due to the accumulated foreign currency translation, which is reported under “Other financial result – net”.

As a result, profit before tax reached EUR 97.0 million (1st half of 2016: EUR 108.9 million). Income tax expense totaled EUR 25.1 million, following EUR 28.5 million in the first half of the previous year, resulting in an effective Group tax rate of 25.9 % (1st half of 2016: 26.2 %).

At EUR 71.9 million, the profit for the period was 10.6 % below the comparative figure for the previous year (1st half of 2016: EUR 80.4 million).

Ordering behavior on our European main markets is strengthening. As a result, on the one hand the generally high capacity utilization of the plants should continue, and on the other hand the main focus of both divisions will be on passing on increasing input prices as well as on improving cost efficiency. The target for 2017 remains to match the 2016 results as best possible. Our long-term growth course will be consistently pursued.

Against the background of increasingly better demand on the European cartonboard market, the average order backlog of MM Karton in the first half of 2017 was around 76,000 tons, following 50,000 tons in the comparative period of the previous year. At around 98 % (1st half of 2016: 97 %) the division's capacities during the first six months of the year were almost fully utilized again.

A significant price increase of the strategic raw material recovered paper proved to be a special challenge that MM Karton successfully met with gradually improving cartonboard prices and a flexible sales policy. Recovered paper prices were in particular driven by strong demand from Asia as well as stockpiling for new European corrugated base paper plants and finally strengthening demand in Europe as well.

Both production and tonnage sold, each at 844,000 tons, were slightly above or matched the comparative figures of the previous year (1st half of 2016: 839,000 tons or 844,000 tons respectively). With a share in sales of approximately 79 % for Europe and 21 % for non-European markets (1st half of 2016: 82 % and 18 % respectively), slightly more was sold on markets outside of Europe.

Sales rose moderately to EUR 524.2 million (1st half of 2016: EUR 521.9 million) as the price increase for recycled cartonboard only began to take effect as of the second quarter. Operating profit, at EUR 35.1 million, was consequently below the comparative period of the previous year (1st half of 2016: EUR 39.1 million). The operating margin reached therefore 6.7 % (1st half of 2016: 7.5 %).

Demand on the European folding carton market was restrained throughout the first few months of the year, and started to show signs of improvement just at the end of the second quarter. The first half-year was therefore characterized by continued strong price competition due to sufficient production capacities as well as heterogeneous capacity utilization between our production sites, which, however, diminished.

In this challenging industry environment, MM Packaging succeeded in solidly maintaining its position due to the focus on cost leadership and by covering a wide spectrum of sectors and countries.

Sales recorded a slight increase from EUR 671.3 million to EUR 674.6 million. With operating profit totaling EUR 67.0 million, it was not possible to entirely match the strong figure set in the comparative period of the previous year related to a good product mix (1st half of 2016: EUR 71.7 million). Nevertheless, the operating margin, at 9.9 % (1st half of 2016: 10.7 %) stayed at a good level.

Tonnage processed, at 375,000 tons, remained almost unchanged (1st half of 2016: 380,000 tons), as did the sheet equivalent at 1,118.8 million (1st half of 2016: 1,128.0 million).

Expansion in Iran and Vietnam
The development and expansion of our sites in Tehran, Iran, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, continued with the extension of the machinery in technology and capacities focusing on high performance and quality.

Broadening of production base in Jordan
In Jordan, capacities at the site in Amman were extended as well as technologically enhanced in order to allow a further growth step with international customers.

New set-up in Tunisia
In Tunisia, the production of MM Packaging was transferred into a joint venture with the local market leader.
(Mayr-Melnhof Karton Gesellschaft m.b.H.)

Newsgrafik #117783

Nippon Paper Industries Reviews the Production Structure of Coated Paper  (Company news)

- Shutdown of the coating machine No.1 at Akita Mill and the coating machine No. 2 at Ishinomaki Mill -

Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. (President: Fumio Manoshiro; hereinafter "the Company") announces that due to declining domestic demand for coated paper, it will shut down the coating machine No.1 operating at Akita Mill (Akita City, Akita) and the coating machine No.2 operating at Ishinomaki Mill (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi), respectively, at the end of May 2018.

Domestic demand for printing paper is in structural decline with the decrease in the number of children and the increasing availability of electronic media. In particular, coated paper has been recording negative 4% annual growth. Looking ahead, this trend is expected to continue. The Company has therefore decided to shift the production of coated paper, which is manufactured through the two coating machines, to other mills to establish a more efficient production system based on consolidation. This will strengthen the Company's competitiveness of its coated paper business.

Currently, the coating machine No.1 at Akita Mill and the coating machine No. 2 at Ishinomaki Mill manufacture coated woodfree paper.
(Nippon Paper Industries Co Ltd)