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VariFlex Performance High-capacity winding for demanding applications

VariFlex Performance High-capacity winding for demanding applications  (Company news)

-Newly developed high-performance winder for a working width of up to 10 meters
-Boosting set change time to 25 seconds
-Design speed of 3,000 meters per minute

Developed for the highest customer requirements and specially designed for maximum output: With VariFlex Performance, Voith sharpens its portfolio of two-drum winders.

VariFlex Performance is a new solution that has already been successfully launched on the market. With this leading-edge winder, Voith reinforces its position as a technology leader in the paper industry. It sets new performance standards in terms of high-capacity winding, thanks to a design speed of 3,000 meters per minute and a 25-second set change time. This results in a significant increase in both efficiency and productivity. VariFlex is designed for a working width of up to 10 meters.

“With VariFlex Performance, Voith has developed a new high-capacity winder that is designed from scratch to fulfill all customer demands. Consequently, this winder fully focuses on the best winding quality, reliability and maximum production,” says Christian Woelfel, Head of Application at Voith.

“VariFlex Performance is our foundation for implementing full digitalization and connectivity in the end section,” adds Daniel Juergens, Global Product Manager at Voith. “In combination with our upcoming developments in the end section, this winder is a central element to bring key features – such as predictive winding, fully automatic process communication and highest winder throughput – to the next level.”

State-of-the-art technology
The unique Gecko OneStep system ensures reliable start and end gluing. Further boosting of the winding performance is achieved with SmoothRun technology. This active drum dampening system significantly reduces paper induced vibrations, leading to an increased capacity as well as brilliant winding results.

Innovative and user-friendly automation system
Live condition monitoring and a clear system analysis are features of the automation system. In addition, the system provides an easy data exchange to the mill system and enables the integration of automatic jumbo roll identification.

Short assembly and start-up time
VariFlex Performance will be delivered in only five main assembly modules. All modules are placed on common foundation rails, which simplifies alignment work as well as the civil engineering process. Voith handles the entire setup. Thorough in-house testing ensures that the system operates reliably right from the beginning.
(Voith Paper GmbH & Co KG)

Smurfit Kappa invests in its Roermond Paper Mill to meet growing demand for paper based packaging

Smurfit Kappa invests in its Roermond Paper Mill to meet growing demand for paper based packaging  (Company news)

Smurfit Kappa continues to extend its paper portfolio production capabilities by investing in its flagship paper mill in the Netherlands.

The Roermond Paper Mill has made a series of upgrades to its Paper Machine 1 (PM1) during the last two years including rebuilding the winder, the press section, the drying section and the film press.

The final enhancement, which was completed earlier this year, was to install a state-of-the-art shoe blade gap former, a rebuild of the approach flow system and an extension of the machine hall.

On completion of the last phase, the 5-metre wide PM1 can now produce 85-135gsm recycled fluting and testliner at a rate of 1200 metres per minute.

Speaking about the investment in the mill, Laurent Sellier, COO of Smurfit Kappa Paper Europe, said: “The investment in the Roermond Paper Mill has significantly strengthened its capabilities as a leading provider of lightweight recycled paper grades.

“There has been a growing demand for paper-based packaging as a sustainable alternative to plastic and it is used widely in both the eCommerce and retail sectors.

“Through our Better Planet Packaging initiative we're looking to extend our range of innovative, sustainable solutions that have a positive impact on the environment.”

The Roermond Paper Mill is often held up as a shining example of sustainability. An integrated steam re-use system, which optimises energy usage throughout the mill, is one of the latest sustainability developments implemented.
(Smurfit Kappa Roermond Papier B.V.)

Rayonier Advanced Materials Reports First Quarter 2019 Results

Rayonier Advanced Materials Reports First Quarter 2019 Results  (Company news)

-Significant increase in hardwood costs at Jesup plant coupled with unplanned downtime at Temiscaming plant led to operating loss in High Purity Cellulose segment
-Expect to improve financial performance ultimately returning EBITDA margins to high teens in the back half of 2019, subject to fluctuations in commodity prices and tariffs
-Cellulose specialties prices and volumes for full year 2019 are expected to remain stable versus 2018; commodity product volumes are expected to be modestly lower compared to guidance
-Weaker than anticipated lumber, pulp and paperboard markets impacted results in Forest Products, Pulp, and Paper
-Previously announced review of strategic alternatives for certain commodity assets ongoing; process conclusion anticipated by end of second quarter

Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. (the “Company”) (NYSE:RYAM) reported first quarter 2019 net loss of $22 million, or $(0.52) per diluted common share, compared to net income of $24 million, or $0.38 per diluted common share for the same prior year quarter ended 2018. The decrease in net income is due primarily to lower commodity sales prices, higher hardwood costs, and operational issues in High Purity Cellulose.

“Our first quarter operating and financial results were disappointing and not reflective of the earnings potential of the Company. With unplanned production downtime in Temiscaming due to unforeseen boiler issues and higher hardwood costs in Jesup resulting from extreme periods of prolonged rainfall in the U.S. Southeast, the High Purity Cellulose segment significantly underperformed expectations in the quarter. Additionally, weaker lumber, pulp, and paperboard markets negatively impacted our results,” said Paul Boynton (photo), Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are actively addressing the High Purity Cellulose issues, which we believe will improve financial performance building sequentially through the remainder of 2019.”

High Purity Cellulose
Operating income decreased $24 million compared to March 31, 2018 resulting in a $3 million operating loss for the three month period ended March 30, 2019. The decrease was driven by a 7 percent decline in cellulose specialties sales prices as a result of duties on products sold into China and higher average prices in the 2018 comparable quarter due to higher priced 2017 shipments which were recognized as sales in the 2018 quarter. Additionally, higher costs, driven by unexpected production reliability issues predominantly at the Temiscaming plant and higher hardwood costs at the Jesup plant, negatively impacted results. These two factors alone accounted for $21 million or 88 percent of the comparable period decline. The Company is actively addressing these issues with repairs to the Temiscaming boiler completed in the second quarter and the restoration of hardwood inventories in Jesup to target levels. These actions are expected to improve financial performance building sequentially through the remainder of the year.

The three month period ended March 30, 2019 was also negatively impacted by a $1 million loss associated with the lignin joint venture that began operations in the second half of 2018. Additionally, the 2018 period includes operating income of $2 million from the resins business, which was sold in September of 2018.

Forest Products
Operating income decreased $15 million compared to the March 31, 2018 period resulting in a $5 million operating loss for the three month period ended March 30, 2019. The decrease was driven by lower lumber sales prices and reduced volumes due to weather conditions and difficult transportation and logistics issues.

Compared to the fourth quarter of 2018, the operating loss improved $5 million, as expected. The improvement was primarily driven by higher lumber sales prices and the reversal of a portion of the inventory valuation reserve taken in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Operating income decreased $10 million and $13 million compared to the previous period and March 31, 2018 period, respectively, resulting in operating income of $10 million for the three month period ended March 30, 2019. As expected, the decreases were driven by lower high-yield pulp sales prices due to weaker export markets and reduced sales volumes due to market production downtime and timing of shipments in the quarter.

Operating income decreased $4 million compared to the March 31, 2018 period resulting in an operating loss of $1 million for the three month period ended March 30, 2019. The decrease was primarily driven by higher costs due to production issues at the Kapuskasing plant, as a result of an energy curtailment program and corresponding start-up issues, and lower newsprint sales volumes due to the production issues, as well as logistics issues in Canada. These negative factors were partially offset by higher newsprint sales prices from imports to the United States.

Compared to the previous period, operating income decreased $9 million due to lower sales prices for paperboard and newsprint, as expected, higher input costs and reduced newsprint sales volumes due to production and logistics issues in Canada.

The operating loss increased $8 million compared to the March 31, 2018 period, resulting in an operating loss of $19 million for the three month period ended March 30, 2019. The increase was driven by higher long term incentive compensation and foreign exchange losses.

Compared to the previous period, the operating loss increased $1 million. The increase was driven by higher long term incentive compensation and foreign exchange losses, partially offset by lower disposed operations expenses and the timing of corporate expenses.

Non-Operating Expenses
Interest expense was $15 million for each of the first quarters ended 2019 and 2018. Interest expense was consistent quarter over quarter as slightly lower debt levels during the three months ended March 30, 2019, were partially offset by higher interest rates on variable debt.

Income Tax (Expense) Benefit
The first quarter 2019 effective tax rate was a benefit of (29) percent compared to an expense of 29 percent for the same period in 2018. The first quarter 2019 effective tax rate differs from the federal statutory rate of 21 percent primarily due to tax credits and excess tax deductions on vested stock compensation, partially offset by different statutory tax rates of foreign operations and nondeductible executive compensation.

Cash Flows and Liquidity
In the first quarter of 2019, the Company’s operations used cash flows of $27 million. Working capital used $37 million of cash as higher inventories, primarily from the seasonal wood harvest in Canada, and lower accounts payable and accrued liabilities, from the timing of payments, were partially offset by lower accounts receivable.

In the first quarter of 2019, the Company invested $31 million in capital expenditures, which included approximately $4 million of strategic capital.

The Company incurred net borrowings of $33 million to fund its operations and ended the quarter with adjusted net debt of $1,159 million and $250 million of total liquidity, including $68 million of cash and $182 million available under the revolving credit facility after taking into account outstanding letters of credit. The Company also returned $14 million of capital to stockholders through dividends and stock repurchases year-to-date.

The Company maintains a disciplined capital allocation strategy focused on maintaining its manufacturing assets, followed by reducing debt levels to a targeted 2.5 times net debt to EBITDA leverage ratio. Adjusted free cash flow is then deployed opportunistically between strategic capital investment, external investments and returning capital to stockholders through dividends and stock buybacks. Given the recent increase in leverage, the Company expects to focus on reducing debt levels in the near-term.

High Purity Cellulose
The operational issues affecting High Purity Cellulose in the first quarter negatively impacts the Company’s previous guidance and therefore, such guidance should no longer be relied upon. However, the Company anticipates stronger performance building sequentially through the remainder of the year as the Temiscaming boiler and hardwood supply issues are addressed. Ultimately, EBITDA margins are expected to return to the high teens for the back half of 2019, subject to fluctuations in commodity prices. For full year 2019, the Company still expects stability in its cellulose specialties prices and volumes with each anticipated to be slightly lower by approximately 1 to 2 percent from 2018, excluding the impact of any Chinese duties on sales price. Commodity product sales volumes are expected to be modestly lower than the original forecast of a 75,000 metric ton increase over 2018 volumes.

Forest Products
Lumber prices declined during the second half of the first quarter and are expected to remain low in the second quarter, although recently announced capacity curtailments in British Columbia are expected to provide some recovery in prices during the back half of the second quarter. Longer-term, the stable U.S. housing market, both new starts and remodeling driven by resales, remains a key driver of lumber sales prices. The Company is well positioned to benefit from these long-term conditions. In addition, softwood lumber duties of approximately 20 percent on sales to the U.S. are expected to continue throughout 2019. Benefits from capital investments and cost reductions are also expected to provide incremental profitability in 2019 and beyond.

High-yield pulp prices are expected to remain solid albeit lower for the remainder of 2019 compared to 2018 due to weaker demand. Over the medium-term, solid global demand for pulp, reduced recycled fiber imports to China, and global industry production at or near capacity continue to support pulp prices above historical levels. With no significant new capacity expected in the pulp markets until 2021, supply-demand dynamics should continue to yield positive market conditions and historically strong segment results in 2019.

In 2019, paperboard prices may experience pressure from increased competition in the U.S., while newsprint sales prices are expected to decline due to demand weakness and the reversal of duties in 2018.

Capital Allocation and Investment
The Company anticipates that it will spend approximately $100 million in maintenance capital expenditures across all segments in 2019. In addition, the Company anticipates spending approximately $30 million on high-return strategic projects in 2019.

The Company expects to increase the percentage of its cash flow directed toward debt repayment in 2019. The Company expects to continue a return of capital to stockholders through its common stock dividend and the opportunistic repurchase of common shares as cash flow improves.

“Despite a difficult quarter, we remain confident about the stability of our cellulose specialties markets and our opportunities to drive EBITDA growth and stockholder value by executing on our Go-to-Market Strategy and Strategic Pillars in the High Purity Cellulose segment,” concluded Boynton. “Additionally, we are nearing the end of our market test on certain non-strategic commodity assets and expect to have plans finalized by the end of the second quarter.”
(Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc.)

Sofidel recognized as world leader for supplier engagement on climate change

Sofidel recognized as world leader for supplier engagement on climate change  (Company news)

Sofidel has been identified as a global leader for its actions and strategies to manage carbon and climate change across its supply chain, and has been awarded a position on the Supplier Engagement leader board by CDP, the non-profit global environmental disclosure platform.

As more and more companies look to understand and manage the impact of their supply chains, over 130 leading companies have earned a place on the third annual Supplier Engagement leader board, more than double than the 58 companies last year and over quadruple the 29 featuring in the first year.

Over 5,000 companies were assessed by CDP on their supply chain engagement strategies. Sofidel is among the 3% of organizations to be awarded a position on the leader board, in recognition of its actions to reduce emissions and lower climate-related risks in the supply chain in the past reporting year.

The Supplier Engagement leader board is released in Cascading commitments: Driving upstream action through supply chain engagement, CDP’s Global Supply Chain Report 2019, written by CDP and Carbon Trust. The report reveals that with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in supply chains on average 5.5 times those of company’s direct operations, there has been a step-change in corporate awareness and action on environmental impacts within the supply chain in the last decade.

In 2018, 115 organizations wielding a combined purchasing power in excess of US$3.3 trillion, requested environmental information from their suppliers, up from 14 ten years ago. Suppliers reported emissions reductions of 633 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide – greater than the emissions of South Korea in 20171 – leading to collective cost savings of US$19.3 billion.

“In the ten years that we have been working with purchasing organizations we have seen a fundamental shift in expectations around business action on sustainability,” commented Sonya Bhonsle, Global Head of Supply Chain at CDP. “Leading purchasers are using disclosure to push positive change down the supply chain, with data playing an increasingly important role in their decision-making. If suppliers continue to cascade good practices further down the supply chain, this has the potential to play a huge role in the rapid transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy.”

CDP is an international non-profit that drives companies and governments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard water resources and protect forests. Voted number one climate research provider by investors, CDP leverages investor and buyer power to motivate companies to disclose and manage their environmental impacts. The Supplier Engagement leader board is available on CDP’s website.

In addition to this, Sofidel has further improved its performance in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) recently. The Group – voluntarily participating in the program since 2016 – has been awarded an A- rating in the Climate Change category and an A- rating in the Forests Timber category, in both cases earning a place in the highest (Leadership) scoring echelons of the report.
(Sofidel Group)

Stora Enso explores recycling of paper cups for magazine paper production

Stora Enso explores recycling of paper cups for magazine paper production  (Company news)

Stora Enso aims to start recycling used paper cups on a large scale at its Langerbrugge Mill in Belgium. Based on production trials, Stora Enso possesses the technical feasibility to recycle paper cups for use in other paper applications. Stora Enso is now looking into partnerships for the collection and sorting of used paper cups to ensure that this high-quality fibre material is captured and given a second life.

Recycled fibre is an important raw material for Stora Enso as it is aligned with the company’s commitment towards a renewable and circular business. The paper board for cups is made of high-quality, renewable fibres, which can have several lives due to recycling. Recycling a paper cup can reduce its life cycle carbon footprint by half. Stora Enso sees this as an opportunity for driving more effective paper cup recycling by developing circular models with partners across the value chain.

“With efficient recycling processes, food service companies using wood fibre-based cups can improve their environmental footprint. Recycling must be made easy for consumers, that is why we want to invite partners and customers to jointly develop business models for collecting paper cups,” says Annica Bresky, Executive Vice President of the Stora Enso Consumer Board division.

In recycling trials at Langerbrugge Mill, half a million baled post-consumer paper cups collected from fast food restaurants and coffee houses were re-pulped and recycled into magazine paper. The result confirmed that paper cups can be recycled at the mill without any additional process equipment, and that the fibres are well suited for other paper applications, such as magazine paper production.

Stora Enso’s Langerbrugge Mill is one the largest paper mills in Europe, producing 540 000 tons of recycled newsprint and magazine papers annually. The production is exclusively based on paper for recycling. The mill is conveniently located in Continental Europe with about 80 million people living within 300 kilometres of the mill, thus providing a large enough source for recycled raw materials.

“We see paper cups as a valuable raw material for our process. Used paper cups provide a potential source of high-quality fibre for the production of magazine paper. Langerbrugge Mill has the technical readiness to accept billions of used cups for recycling within our sourcing area. The challenge is more about getting these cups to us on the industrial scale that our production would require,” says Rik Van Bostraeten, Sourcing Manager, Multifuel & Business Innovation, Stora Enso Langerbrugge Mill.
(Stora Enso Oyj)

Process free works better than ever

Process free works better than ever  (Company news)

offset5020 doesn’t want to forgo the benefits of the KODAK SONORA X Process Free Plate

Picture: A printer with a SONORA X plate on one of the two five-color sheet-fed offset presses

Offset printing with process free plates is nothing new at offset5020 Druckerei und Verlag GesmbH. What is new is the use of the KODAK SONORA X Process Free Plate at this full-service commercial print shop in Wals-Siezenheim, near Salzburg (Austria). The family owned firm, with Managing Partner Gerald Watzal at the helm, employs 85 people and specializes in offset and digital printing. The portfolio ranges from business cards through flyers, brochures and mailshots (including lettershop services) to posters and books. Apart from classic sales, offset5020 also receives a large number of orders though its own web-to-print customer portal as well as various closed, customer-specific shops.

Ecology reconciled with efficient production
For many years now, offset5020 has put the emphasis on sustainable and environmentally compatible print production. Among other things, its efforts have been rewarded with the Austrian Eco-label and “carbon neutral” status as well as FSC and PEFC certification. The decision to introduce process free offset plates was therefore only logical. offset5020 has been printing with Kodak plates ever since 2002, and after switching to the KODAK SONORA XP Process Free Plate in mid-2014 has just gone over to the SONORA X Plate. “The main reason for changing to process free plates was their green credentials. They enable us to cut out traditional plate processing and the otherwise unavoidable chemicals, water and electricity, not to mention the associated disposal problems,” explains Prepress Manager René Kirchlechner. “Two other advantages now that the volatile plate processing step has been eliminated were the huge simplification of our prepress workflows and the improved process stability.”

Two five-color sheetfed offset presses with a coater in 70 x 102 cm format bear the main burden of production, with a smaller 50 x 35 cm press providing extra offset capacity. A 200 lpi screen is standard, while either a halftone screen with 275 lpi or an FM screen is used to meet special image quality and resolution requirements.

Shorter runs but more jobs and more plates
Ever shorter runs are en vogue today throughout the printing industry, and offset5020 is no exception. Kirchlechner elaborates further: “Our average run length for offset is in the region of 3000 copies. In many cases, though, we’re talking about no more than 500 or 1000 copies while at the other end of the scale – which is the exception nowadays – we rarely exceed 80,000. In short, we produce less overall but we produce it more often. And the upshot is that we print significantly more jobs than we used to, with far more frequent plate and paper changes in the presses.”

As a result of this development, the company’s plate consumption is fast approaching 40,000 square meters a year. Bearing that in mind, the SONORA X Plate’s much longer run lengths compared to the SONORA XP Plate (up to 200,000 in sheetfed offset) are clearly only a secondary consideration for offset5020. What is more important is the similarly improved plate robustness and the superior scratch resistance. “The SONORA X Plate withstands higher mechanical loads. That’s simplified plate handling enormously for our prepress and production staff,” the Prepress Manager confirms. “And the fact that plates can be produced in advance without any problem using the SONORA X Plate is another point in its favor that helps us respond quicker and more flexibly during production. There are no longer any restrictions, for instance, if a set of plates that have already been imaged are forced to wait three days before being loaded in the press because a deadline has been postponed or there’s been a change in the production schedule.”

Benefits that also translate into cost savings
Since introducing process free plate technology, offset5020 has not only been able to do away with the plate processor and utilize the freed-up space for other purposes; running costs have been dramatically reduced at the same time. There is no longer any expenditure on processing chemistry for 40,000 square meters per year of plates, and the annual consumption of some 700,000 liters of water and 4800 kWh of electricity is now history. What’s more, about 3500 euros are economized every year in terms of chemistry disposal costs as well as 4000 euros in labor costs for cleaning and maintaining the plate processor. Yet the cost savings are only one aspect, René Kirchlechner adds: “The process free plates from Kodak have simplified our prepress processes and our production is generally more stable. And the SONORA X Plate, which also has very fast running clean characteristics during press start-up, is no longer distinguishable from conventional offset plates.”
(Kodak GmbH)



Kathy Buckman Gibson (photo) was recognized as Woman of the Year by the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry’s (TAPPI’s) Women in Industry Division at its recent annual PaperCon conference.

Buckman Gibson is a TAPPI Fellow and received the association’s Herman L. Joachim Distinguished Service Award in 2007. She has served as a Trustee of the TAPPI Foundation and is a past Board Member of TAPPI, PIMA (Paper Industry Management Association), and the Center for Paper Business Industry Studies (CPBIS). She also served on the Board of the Pulp and Paper Foundation of North Carolina State University.

Buckman Gibson is an owner and Director of Buckman. She has been involved with the pulp and paper industry for more than 25 years while working at Buckman in various capacities including Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel and Chairman of the Board.

Currently Buckman Gibson is CEO and President of KBG Technologies, LLC, a joint venture between herself and Buckman established in 2018. KBG Technologies is a certified woman-owned business providing chemistries and smart technologies to the pulp and paper industry and water treatment market.

Buckman Gibson currently focuses her community efforts on expanding early childhood education and Pre-K in Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee. She has also served in various leadership roles for National Girls Incorporated, United Way of the Mid-South, Mid-South Reading Alliance, the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis, the National Civil Rights Museum and more.
(Buckman Laboratories International Inc.)

Drytac appoints Tim Schoenbeck as USA Midwest Territory Manager

Drytac appoints Tim Schoenbeck as USA Midwest Territory Manager  (Company news)

Drytac® is delighted to announce the appointment of Tim Schoenbeck (photo) to the position of Midwest Territory Manager in the USA.

Tim joins Drytac - a leading international manufacturer of self-adhesive materials for the large format print and signage markets - with over 20 years' experience in the large format graphics arena, with particular expertise in digital printable media. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, Tim will be responsible for Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, South Dakota and North Dakota.

"We're excited to welcome Tim Schoenbeck to the Drytac family," comments Wayne Colbath, Vice President of Sales, Drytac. "His two decades of experience managing key accounts and his extensive knowledge of large format graphics media are a great addition to Drytac in the USA.
"Drytac is bringing to market a wealth of exciting new products this year and Tim is well placed to work with our existing valued customers and to expand our sales base."

Drytac's key product areas include window, wall and floor graphic media, laminating films and mounting adhesives, high-performance tapes, industrial adhesives and durable labels. Recent product launches include the ArmourPrint™ Emerytex® and ArmourGrab™ combination counter mat solution, new display material with a unique high-bond adhesive Polar® Grip, ViziPrint® Deco SR film for long-term window displays and window decals, and ReTac® WipeErase and WipeErase White - materials designed to be written on with standard dry-erase markers to create a whiteboard anywhere.
(Drytac Europe Limited)

Deals worth millions of dollars sealed at Gulf Print & Pack 2019

Deals worth millions of dollars sealed at Gulf Print & Pack 2019  (Company news)

Gulf Print & Pack 2019 – the MENA region’s leading trade show for the commercial and package printing sector – ended on a high note as business deals worth millions of dollars were sealed during the bi-annual event.
The show, which was hosted at World Trade Centre in Dubai, took place from 15-18 April, and attracted 8,737 visitors from 90 countries.

Canon, which sold more than 30 machines, anticipates that sales will reach $1.5 million. Xerox, meanwhile, sold more than 6 Xerox Iridesse and 22 Versant 180 Press machines at the show. Among others were Afra International, who sold its lamination and packaging machines.

Al Mahir Printing, which saw onsite bookings of 5 units, was expecting 10-15 more deals later. Its chief executive officer Dilawar Dalwai said, “Lots of customers are coming next week to visit the office then finalize deals.”

Amit Radia, chief executive officer of Atlas Group, said: “This year, Gulf Print & Pack was very focused, and with a wide variety of equipment on show. Considering the market environment, it was great to see such a positive response from the attendees. I believe we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel for the print industry in the region and those who have reinvented themselves will see positive growth after the last few challenging years.”

Lisa Milburn, managing director, Gulf Print & Pack, said: “We are delighted to hear that exhibitors have signed a significant number of business deals during the show. They are still calculating the combined worth of transactions as a large number of business deals will be finalized shortly.”
She continued: “The introduction of the Innovation Trail, with live machinery and technology demonstrations at this year’s show, was aimed at making Gulf Print & Pack 2019 visitors see just what’s possible and experience the latest technologies and trends in the market live in action. This really paid off, as we received positive feedback from visitors about the demonstrations throughout the entire four days of the show, which is fantastic.”

Echoing this enthusiasm, Chris Lynch, head of Production Technology and Graphic Communications Services, Xerox Middle East & Africa, said: “We were delighted with the level of interest in the Xerox stand and record sales of our Iridesse and Versant machines. This was helped hugely by being part of the Innovation Trail, which really created momentum in the run up to and during this year’s show, and all our live demonstrations had a fantastic turn out. The seminars we hosted in the dedicated presentation area on our stand were likewise well attended.”

This was also reflected in visitor feedback. Kimi Yang, business development director, Chen Lui Printing Press, China, said: “We are delighted with the caliber of the business people who we’ve met at this event. This exhibition has provided quality leads. We had some very interesting discussions immediately after our visit to certain stands. This is our first time and the exhibition provided us with ideal solutions for our business. We will definitely share this with other businesses in China. We are definitely looking forward to visit again”.

Milburn added: “We are pleased with such positive feedback from both exhibitors and visitors who came to this year’s show. It shows that despite a challenging period, the growth prospects of the commercial and package printing sector in this part of the world are improving, and maintains the UAE’s position as a vital commercial and package printing hub in the MENA region and beyond.”

Lynch summed it up by saying: “‘The show was certainly more international than ever before – we saw a greater number of visitors from around the world than in previous editions, and our international presenters were extremely well received. Visitors valued being able to listen to presenters sharing views and trends from the broader global print market beyond the MENA region. All in all, a tremendous show.”

Gulf Print & Pack is due to return to World Trade Centre in Dubai from 6-8 June 2021.
(Tarsus Group Limited)

How high-quality materials reduce diecutting costs - Rubber makes the champions

How high-quality materials reduce diecutting costs - Rubber makes the champions   (Company news)

Modern day reports on Formula 1 racing discuss the tyres more than the engines, aerodynamics or even the drivers. Why? It’s quite simple: the specialists know that the condition of the tyres decides whether a race can be won or not. So what has that got to do with us? The question about the situation of the rubber on the cutting die leads to exactly the same statement: “Rubber makes the champions”.

Photo: CITO EasyFix: Residue-free removal with EasyFix technology

A Formula 1 racer without high-tech tyres makes no sense, and the same applies to a cutting die with poor rubbering. The performance of your diecutting machines is highly dependent on the quality of the cutting die, and this in turn is substantially dependent on the type of rubbering. In the past, it was worked with machines that achieved an output of 4,000 to 5,000 sheets per hour. Nowadays, up to 11,000 sheets per hour are expected. It is quite clear that twice the productivity cannot be achieved with outdated tooling and substandard rubbering. Mechanical engineers can build diecutting machines, in which two tool tables move towards each other at high speed. The problem in our industry is that we place board and paper between these tool tables. Materials that pose new challenges for us again and again. There is simply no consistency in this material. This is why it is absolutely necessary to avoid any further fluctuations in the tools used.

In the past, most rubbering materials used were neither developed for their purpose nor are they physically suitable for such use. In general, the material is intended for use as insulation and shock absorption. Sponge rubber is still widely used; a material with largely uncontrolled pores of different size. Sponge rubber is mainly used for sealing purposes. Propellant gas is widely used in its production. The use of EPDM is also widespread. It was also developed as a sealant against moisture. The list could be continued ad infinitum because, in the past, the ejection materials for cutting dies were chosen rather for cost reasons than for their technical and physical suitability. A development, for which the paper processing industry is not fully blameless. Because increasing price pressure on the tool producers automatically led to them searching for even cheaper materials. In the case of cutting rules made of steel, all stakeholders have long since recognised that the use of cheap rules does not pay. At least in the industrial countries, quality rules with high consistency and durability are now used. In the case of rubbering, we are still far from achieving such standards.

Is there such a thing as an ejection material that was developed especially for use on cutting dies? Luckily, this question can be answered with a clear Yes! Examples are CITOject F and the high-end product Polytop MX®. Their physical and mechanical properties, such as repeatable precise compression behaviour with maximum consistency and speed, meet the challenges faced in the cutting process. Hysteresis tests demonstrate the frequency with which the material restores itself to its exact original height after compression. Speeds of up to 5 Hz, equivalent to a real speed of around 18,000 sheets per hour, are achieved. Another important issue is how long the material returns to its original height. Tests of the named products have shown that the physical and mechanical properties remain constant for more than 5 million compressions. The life of these materials therefore far exceeds the tool life of cutting rules made of steel.

What else has to be considered when choosing the rubbering for the cutting die? A clear colour code, with which it can be immediately and easily checked whether the right ejector is installed in the right place. Here it is not a matter of using the company colour of the respective tool manufacturer in the colour of the ejection materials. The purpose of the colour code is to enable fast and easy checking, to avoid the installation of poor quality tools in the machine from the outset.

The ejection material also has an enormous influence on the necessary cutting pressure. Conventional products, which were not developed for the cutting process, do not take this into account at all. The wrong material on the cutting die makes higher cutting pressure necessary. This impacts the diecutting machines and thus also the tool. In simple terms: An extremely high cutting pressure means unnecessary cost. It is important to ensure that complete systems are used for the rubbering. Such a system not only includes using the right high-quality material, but also the assembly system, with which the appropriate material is mounted on the cutting die.

Such systems can be identified by the name “EasyFix”. EasyFix is not simply a self-adhesive tape. In addition to the material for the general rubbering uses, appropriate special profiles also exist for special tasks on the cutting die. Here it is essential for the gluing technique to be precisely matched to the mechanical impact of the process. Because, depending on their use, shear or peeling forces act on the ejection materials. It is definitely an advantage if profiles are equipped with a fingerlift system. This simplifies the detaching of the protective paper from the glue enormously and this in turn has a positive effect on the gumming process.

Packaging producers are now confronted by the topic of food compatible production more than ever before. Here it is also important to be able to count on a system supplier. In the cutting process, even if for a very short time only, the ejection material comes into contact with the board or paper. After the ejection materials have been produced in a chemical process, so-called migration of chemical particles into the board or paper could occur here. To avoid this risk, it is important for the whole system, including the adhesive, to have a food safety certificate. A confirmation that the raw material is safe, is nonsense. So-called cyanoacrylate adhesives are still commonly used to mount profiles. Colloquially, such adhesives are mostly known by their brand names, such as “superglue”, or “Krazy Glue” in the USA. From their own experience, most people know that such adhesives are anything but safe. For this reason it is important that the cutting die is only equipped with safe products; it’s no use if a cutting die is produced with only 80 % certified products. The remaining 20 % causes the whole cutting die to lose its safety rating for contact with food packaging. A clear demonstration of food safety is ISEGA certification. However, as already explained, only if the whole system is certified.

Summarising this article: Opt for a partner who is an expert in the topic, has their own development department and their own chemistry laboratory. Nowadays, it is no longer useful to simply purchase any materials, apply an arbitrary adhesive and then sell them on. Anyone who underestimates the topic of “rubber” ejection material ultimately pays a high price. Poor productivity, increased process costs and problems in further processing are the consequences. Talking of price: A good tool has a value and in most cases, it is far cleverer to pay a bit more for a good tool than to throw away profit on higher production costs, longer throughput times and the dissatisfaction of your customers. In general, tool costs account for less than 2 % of total production costs. A few additional euros invested in quality tools produce a significant payback in your production costs and generate a better profit. “Rubber makes the champions.”

Mercer International Inc. Reports Strong 2019 First Quarter Results

Mercer International Inc. Reports Strong 2019 First Quarter Results  (Company news)

Selected Highlights
* Strong first quarter net income of $51.6 million ($0.78 per diluted share)
* Record quarterly Operating EBITDA of $123.8 million

Mercer International Inc. (Nasdaq: MERC) reported first quarter 2019 Operating EBITDA increased to a record $123.8 million from $99.4 million in the first quarter of 2018 and $118.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2018.

For the first quarter of 2019, net income increased to $51.6 million, or $0.79 per basic share and $0.78 per diluted share, from $25.6 million, or $0.39 per share, in the first quarter of 2018 and $45.0 million, or $0.69 per basic share and $0.68 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Mr. David M. Gandossi, the Chief Executive Officer, stated: “Our record first quarter results reflect overall strong operating performance and cost discipline at our mills, generally steady demand and the inclusion of a full quarter of results of Mercer Peace River Pulp Ltd. (“MPR”) acquired in December 2018.

Pulp pricing was generally softer quarter over quarter, however, there was some modest price improvements late in the current quarter resulting from better paper producer demand.

As I have mentioned previously, the acquisition of MPR has materially increased our production, revenues and scope of operations. Our recent acquisitions highlight the benefits of our value creation strategy of delivering sustainable profitable growth by leveraging our core competencies to complement our world class assets. Our integration of MPR is proceeding well and according to plan”.

In the first quarter 2019 our operating income increased to $93.6 million, or by approximately 3% from $91.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, and approximately 23% from $76.0 million in the same quarter of the prior year. The increase in the current quarter over the prior quarter is primarily due to the inclusion of a full quarter of results of MPR, lower maintenance and per unit fiber costs and higher pulp and lumber sales volumes partially offset by lower pulp sales realizations. The increase in the current quarter over the same quarter of the prior year is primarily due to inclusion of the results of MPR, the net positive impact of a stronger dollar on our euro denominated costs and expenses and higher pulp sales volumes partially offset by lower product sales realizations.
(Mercer International Inc.)

Karl Knauer KG wins Pure Beauty Global Award 2019 - All that glitters is gold!

Karl Knauer KG wins Pure Beauty Global Award 2019 - All that glitters is gold!   (Company news)

With its luminous packaging for the Swiss premium cosmetics brand “elline Switzerland”, Karl Knauer KG claimed victory in Dubai at the “Pure Beauty Global Award 2019” in mid-April. In the category of “Best New Design and Packaging”, the innovative design by the Black Forest based packaging specialists literally outshone the competition at the award ceremony in Dubai.

The world’s first luminous packaging in the cosmetics segment
The trade magazine “Pure Beauty” regularly honours the most exciting brand presences and products in the global beauty industry. At this year’s competition, the jury of experts awarded prizes to entries from 30 countries in 31 different categories.

The first-ever luminous packaging in the cosmetics segment was nominated as a finalist in the categories of “Best New Design and Packaging” and “New International Breakthrough Brand”. The packaging is part of an elaborately constructed series of folding boxes with and for the “elline” brand from Swiss Premium Cosmetics AG. When one of the packages in the seven-product series is opened, the filigree laser-cut “Treasures of Youth” lettering begins to glow brightly. Taking the prize at Dubai, the top product of the line, the 24k-Anti-Aging-Serum, even has one more special effect: Sliding open the packaging activates an integrated lighting effect that illuminates the interior of the velvet-bedded bottle. When the packaging is closed, the secret of the user's youthful complexion disappears again. The jury rewarded this spectacular brand presentation with a special distinction. Finally, this represents an unparalleled change in product promise – the name “elline” means, in so many words, “the shining one.”
(Karl Knauer KG)

Verso Corporation Reports First Quarter 2019 Financial Results

Verso Corporation Reports First Quarter 2019 Financial Results  (Company news)

Verso Corporation (NYSE: VRS) reported financial results for the first quarter of 2019.

First Quarter 2019 Highlights:
-Net sales of $639 million, flat compared to first quarter 2018
-Net income of $36 million or $1.03 per diluted share
-Adjusted EBITDA of $69 million, up $28 million versus first quarter 2018

"Verso had strong first quarter performance despite a very challenging market environment," said Verso Interim Chief Executive Officer Leslie T. Lederer (photo). "While sales were flat, both price and mix were favorable as demand pressures increased across all product categories. An unfortunate result of these demand pressures was the difficult decision to close our paper mill in Luke, Maryland, which will reduce Verso's total coated freesheet production capacity by 450,000 tons," he said. "We remain committed to matching the supply of our products with our customers' demand as we continue our efforts to move more production from graphic papers to specialty and packaging grades and pulp."

Comments to Results of Operations - Comparison of Three Months Ended March 31, 2019 to Three Months Ended March 31, 2018
Net sales
Net sales in the first quarter of 2019 were flat compared to the first quarter of 2018 as price and product mix offset declines in sales volume. Total company sales volume was down from 722,000 tons during the first quarter of 2018, to 665,000 tons during the first quarter of 2019, driven by general softening of demand and increased imports for graphic papers, partially offset by an increase in specialty papers and packaging papers sales volume.

Operating income
Operating income in the first quarter of 2019 was $37 million, an increase of $32 million when compared to operating income of $5 million in the first quarter of 2018. This increase in operating income is primarily attributable to:
-Favorable average net selling price and product mix;
-Lower planned major maintenance costs due primarily to timing of outages. Lower planned major maintenance costs were partially offset by decreased sales volume, higher input costs driven by inflation of chemicals, wood fiber and purchased pulp, and higher operating expenses driven primarily by union ratification expense, which included signing bonuses and the settlement of various work arrangement issues associated with the ratification of a new Master Labor Agreement;
-Reduced selling, general and administrative expenses and freight cost.

Interest expense
Interest expense in the first quarter of 2019 decreased $10 million over the same period in 2018. Interest expense in the first quarter of 2018 includes $4 million in non-cash accelerated amortization of debt issuance cost and discount associated with the voluntary principal prepayments and excess cash flow payments on our prior term loan facility. The remaining decrease in interest expense resulted from the reduction in amounts outstanding under the ABL Facility and the payoff of our prior term loan facility on September 10, 2018.

2019 Second Quarter
-Net Sales of $620-640 million
-Capital Expenditures of $32-35 million
-Major Maintenance of $21 million
-Cash pension funding of $7-9 million

Expectations for Full Year 2019
-Reinvesting in mills (higher maintenance and capital expenditures expected)
-Cash pension funding to be equal to 2018
-Luke Mill closure cash costs of approximately $25-35 million
-Finished goods at 2018 year end levels
(Verso Corporation)

Waste from mills become valuable, new products

Waste from mills become valuable, new products  (Company news)

Paper Province are one of twelve participants in the project MultiBio. The main goal is to develop a new concept – a multi-bio refinery – to produce three renewable bio-based products: Bio-hydrogen, bio-plastics and fish food.

Potentially, the project could meet some of the most important Swedish environmental objectives and contribute to the shift to a sustainable circular bio-economy.

Environmental effects of the products
The hydrogen can be used as an energy carrier and consequently replace fossil fuels, resulting in significant effects on carbon emissions, air quality and the reduction of acidification.

The bio-plastics could be used to replace fossil-based ones, which would reduce the carbon footprint. Being biodegradable, the material is also attractive for new, interesting adaptions, also in the paper industry.

Currently, protein for fish food is extracted from ocean fish or tropically cultivated soy. However, the fish food ingredient from the MultiBio refinery could contribute to reduced over-fishing and soy production if used as an alternative protein source.
(Paper Province)

HKTDC Hong Kong Gifts Fair and Printing Fair attract 67,000 buyers, up 4%

HKTDC Hong Kong Gifts Fair and Printing Fair attract 67,000 buyers, up 4%  (Company news)

Survey shows trade negotiations and Brexit having minimal export impact

The 34th HKTDC Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair, organised by the HKTDC, welcomed close to 50,000 buyers during the four-day fair period (27 to 30 April).

The Hong Kong Exporters' Association assembled around 170 local companies to form three zones - Isle of Originality, Brand Oasis and Smart Design HK - at this year's Gifts & Premium Fair, demonstrating the design skills and branding excellence of Hong Kong's product designers. Also on display were the winning works from the latest Hong Kong Smart Design Awards, highlighting the creativity and flair of local talents.

More than 17,000 buyers attended the 14th Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair, jointly organised by the HKTDC and CIEC Exhibition Co (HK) Ltd, which featured different thematic zones to showcase a wide range of printing and packaging solutions. A series of seminars and forums was held during the fair to update industry professionals on the latest trends.

The 34th HKTDC Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair and the 14th Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair both concluded recently. Over a four-day period, the concurrent fairs welcomed a total of about 67,000 buyers from 150 countries and regions, an increase of 4% compared to the previous year. There was a double-digit increase in the number of buyers from emerging markets including Mainland China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Russia and the United Arab Emirates, together with satisfactory growth in buyers from traditional markets such as Singapore, New Zealand, the Netherlands and the United States. Close to 50,000 buyers attended the Gifts & Premium Fair, while more than 17,000 took in the Printing & Packaging Fair.

The Gifts & Premium Fair was organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, while the Printing & Packaging Fair was jointly organised by the HKTDC and CIEC Exhibition Co (HK) Ltd at AsiaWorld-Expo.

Benjamin Chau, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director, said: "To gauge industry players' views on market prospects and product trends, an independent survey commissioned by the HKTDC, and conducted onsite during the Gifts & Premium Fair, found that respondents are generally more optimistic about the market prospects for 2019 than those surveyed a year ago. Though uncertainties such as the ongoing Sino-US trade negotiations, Brexit and global interest-rate developments cast a shadow over the world's economy, respondents are generally confident about market prospects and expect issues such as the trade negotiations and Brexit to have little impact on exports."

Industry optimistic about sales; advertising items expected to show best prospects
The onsite survey interviewed 928 exhibitors and buyers at the Gifts & Premium Fair. It found that 89% of respondents expect overall sales to remain steady or increase in 2019. Fifty-one per cent of respondents expect production costs or sourcing costs to increase, yet 58% do not expect to raise "Free on Board" (FOB) selling prices or retail prices, suggesting that they will not transfer additional costs to clients or consumers.

In terms of the growth prospects for the industry's major sales markets, the survey found that most respondents view Mainland China (77%) to have the strongest growth prospects in the coming two years, followed by Taiwan (72%), Hong Kong (71%), Australia (69%) and Western Europe (69%).

Respondents were also asked about what they expect to be the major challenges to their business this year. The top three challenges reported were an increase in operating costs (52%), fluctuations in the global economy (38%) and price fluctuations for raw materials (36%).

Politically, respondents generally expect that major issues such as the ongoing Sino-US trade negotiations and Brexit will have little impact on the sector's exports. Fifty-three per cent of respondents said the current trade friction is not having an impact on their export performance and expect things to remain the same over the next six months. Regarding Brexit, 73% of respondents believe it will not affect their export performance over the next six months.

With regards to product trends, 20% of respondents expect advertising gifts and premiums to be the product category with the greatest growth potential, followed by tech gifts (19%), figurines and decorations (9%) and toys and sporting goods (9%).

World's largest event of its kind
This year's Gifts & Premium Fair featured 4,380 exhibitors from 31 countries and regions, and it continued to be the world's largest event of its kind in terms of exhibitor numbers, providing an ideal platform for marketing and promotion.

The fair featured various highlighted zones to facilitate sourcing. The Hall of Fine Designs gathered more than 140 globally renowned brands to showcase a huge variety of exquisite gifts. With beauty and well-being products continuing to rise in popularity, and more frequently being chosen by companies as corporate gifts, the Gifts & Premium Fair debuted the World of Beauty, Fitness and Well-being zone to offer products to meet this growing trend. The zone gathered nearly 50 exhibitors from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, Korea, India and New Zealand to exhibit some of the best products in this category.

Other thematic zones included the World of Camping & Outdoor Goods, which was introduced at the fair last year, Advertising Gifts & Premium, Green Gifts, Tech Gifts and the Startup zone.

Canadian buyer confirms orders on site
Michael Zhu, General Manager of leading Canadian souvenir company Snowcap Trading Company Ltd, said that North American consumers are increasingly favouring gifts made from eco-friendly materials. He praised the fair for gathering reliable suppliers that provide high quality and eco-friendly products, saying this was one of the reasons he visits the event every year. This year, he was looking for die-cast toy cars and managed to identify 20 potential suppliers within a very short period of time. He said he plans to buy products worth at least US$100,000 from each new supplier and has already placed an order for US$250,000 worth of handmade wooden souvenirs from a Philippines supplier.

Printing & Packaging Fair unpacks novel products for new opportunities
Held concurrently with the Gifts & Premium Fair, this year's Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair at AsiaWorld-Expo featured more than 500 exhibitors from six countries and regions, showcasing a diverse range of printing and packaging solutions. Multiple thematic zones were set up at the fair, including the new World of Advertising and Signs zone that featured different signs and advertising lightboxes to help enterprises enhance their brand image and awareness. The Green Printing & Packaging Solutions zone also returned, presenting a range of new and eco-friendly materials and solutions.

Viet Style, a leading manufacturer of printed paper bags in Vietnam, was exhibiting at the Printing & Packaging Fair for the second consecutive year. The company's director, Phan Hoang Hai, said that their kraft bags attracted many buyers. Shortly after the fair opened, his company had already met with more than 10 quality buyers from around the world. He said he was optimistic that the fair would once again generate positive results and pledged to return next year. He also shared that a major client from the United States, that he met at the fair last year, is now buying bags worth about US$500,000 a year.
(Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC))

Closing of the acquisition of Corenso's European and Chinese businesses by VPK Packaging Group

Closing of the acquisition of Corenso's European and Chinese businesses by VPK Packaging Group  (Company news)

On May 7, VPK Packaging Group has completed the transaction to join VPK’s core division Corex and Corenso’s European and Chinese businesses - creating a firm partnership between two customer-focused market players with proven track record.

VPK Packaging Group’s CEO Pierre Macharis: “VPK is excited to welcome Corenso and looks forward to the future prospects of Corex and Corenso as one company. A decentralised business model, combined with a wide geographical reach, is what will continue to differentiate us in the market. Building on a common culture of customer-focused local empowerment, we have a unique opportunity to learn from each other, share best practices and combine the experiences, talent and strengths into one organisation.”

A key strength for the combined business is the well-balanced capacities of coreboard and cores, providing the required stability to consistently deliver high-quality products and services and to further enhance business continuity and stability for all our customers.
(VPK Packaging NV)

Sample Provision of SILBIOBARRIER, Paper Material with Barrier Properties, Commences

Sample Provision of SILBIOBARRIER, Paper Material with Barrier Properties, Commences  (Company news)

Oji Holdings Corporation (Director of the Board/President: Masatoshi Kaku, Head office: Tokyo) announces that it will begin providing samples of SILBIO BARRIER (patent pending), a barrier paper material that is helpful to reduce waste plastic and friendly to the global environment.

Photo: Packaging material with barrier properties

The Oji Group is advancing development of paper material with additional functionalities to replace plastic, centered on its Packaging Promotion Center in Innovation Promotion Division (established on April 1, 2018).

SILBIO BARRIER is a paper material but has the function to prevent oxygen and vapor from intruding from outside, thereby helping to prevent the deterioration of contents. It is also able to retain content fragrance and moisture. SILBIO BARRIER has been designed with carefully selected materials so that it has a broad range of packing applications, from foods to industrial materials that require barrier properties. For food contact applications, the Oji Group is advancing the development based on the voluntary standards of the Japan Paper Association. The Group is also preparing for products that use only the materials included on the approved list of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

-Origin of the name of SILBIO“Silva” is Latin for “Forest,” the basis for the products.Utilizing “Silva,” with biorefinery technology, to create products that are environmentally friendly and enrich society. Reflecting that aspiration, the Oji Group coined the name “SILBIO” as “Silva” + ”Biorefinery.”
-Structure of SILBIOBARRIERA barrier coating layer has been added to paper featuring the aqueous coating technology that the Oji Group has developed. The barrier coating layer curbs the intrusion of oxygen, moisture, and fragrance from outside air. Naturally, it also prevents contents from diffusing moisture andfragrance. A sealant layer can be added as necessary.
-Features of SILBIOBARRIERSILBIO BARRIER has high oxygen barrier and moisture barrier properties, and it can be used for an alternative to barrier film. In addition, it also has re-defibration properties(ability to return to pulp again), so that it can be reused as used paper.
(Oji Holdings Corporation)

rlc | packaging group: Positive sales performance in 2018 – further investments in 2019

rlc | packaging group: Positive sales performance in 2018 – further investments in 2019  (Company news)

The rlc | packaging group looks back at an eventful year 2018: the company achieved its sales growth targets and set its course for the future. With sales totalling €247 million, the group closed the year with a 3% increase in revenue compared to 2017 figures and continued to strengthen its position as a highly-specialized supplier of innovative packaging solutions. In 2019, rlc plans to invest approximately €18 million in technology and supply-chain processes.

Photo: rlc introduced PureMetal, an eco-friendly mono-material solution as an alternative to PET-coated material.

"These results once again underscore our position as a customer-focused system supplier for FMCG and pharmaceutical packaging," rlc | packaging group Managing Partner Hans-Christian Bestehorn states. "Our ability to flexibly adapt to a dynamic, trend-focused market environment enables us to strengthen our position in the European market. We plan to continue expanding our productivity in 2019."

Think global, act local: Investment in plant expansion
The rlc | packaging group continuously invests in additional resources and new technologies to optimize its packaging value chain and expand its range of innovative packaging solutions. In 2019, the company plans to spend another €10.4 million on its BSC Drukarnia Opakowán site in Poznán, Poland. A new building will be completed at the site and the first new production systems will be launched before the year is out. The new production facility and forthcoming technology investments enable further growth and meet the highest standards in terms of workflow and process efficiency. Hans-Christian Bestehorn explains: "Investments in the digital transformation and intelligent networking of our value chain enable us to continuously shorten lead times and time to market – and set new standards in logistics and agile supply chain management."

As members of the Global Packaging Alliance (GPA), a network of independent global packaging manufacturers, rlc and seven other companies welcomed the Turkish packaging company PrintPark as a new GPA affiliate in early 2019. "This new expansion is not only a gateway to the Bosporus region. It gives the GPA a presence in strategically important markets throughout the Middle East," Bestehorn says.

Strategic projects: Sustainable and agile
In 2019, the rlc | packaging group continues to meet the needs of its customers and responds to the latest FMCG-sector trends with innovative packaging solutions. Sustainability remains a key focus in the packaging industry. rlc introduced PureMetal, a recyclable mono-material solution, as an alternative to the composites often used for metallic finishes. The company’s Food Service Packaging unit is developing eco-friendly convenience food packaging that meets the specific food safety and recycling requirements. The EU ban on disposable plastic products poses a challenge for the marketplace to initiate new approaches. Nominated for the Swiss Packaging Award, the innovative ZetTWISTER burger packaging concept developed by rlc is an efficient to-go packaging solution.
(rlc packaging group)

By 2024 Ilim Group plans to triple its KLB volumes delivered to Shandong region

By 2024 Ilim Group plans to triple its KLB volumes delivered to Shandong region  (Company news)

On April 11, 2019 Ilim Group representatives met with the largest regional packaging manufacturers in Qingdao, Shandong province (China).

The conference was co-organized by TC International Investment Corporation, Ilim Group’s partner and distributor of pulp and paper products in the People’s Republic of China since 2006. The meeting was attended by representatives of more than 50 box plants and providers of transportation and logistic services in the region. Totally there were more than 100 participants.

Alexander Lykhin, Vice-President, Asia, head of JSC Ilim Group representative office in China, spoke on the global situation in the pulp and paper market and Ilim's plans for the next 5 years.

“Tightening regulations on packaging safety, ban on fluorescent substances and expected shortage of fiber for testliner manufacturing due to restrictions imposed on imported waste paper and closure of old and environmentally unfriendly plants will cause a shortage of packaging materials in China in general and in the region in particular. We have taken the market environment into account and developed an investment program in line with the growing demand for packaging. In particular, in 2019 we will complete the KLB line upgrade at our Bratsk Mill and will increase its capacity by 110 thousand tons. In 2021 we will start up a new KLB mill in Ust Ilimsk with a capacity of 600 thousand tons. The KLB quality will meet world class requirements,” said Alexander Lykhin at the meeting.

Conference participants also discussed development of logistic infrastructure. Before the conference, Ilim Group SCM leaders held several meetings with the representatives of Chinese transport companies and visited product storage facilities.

Ilim Group plans to increase its export to China by almost 1 m tons to reach 2,4 m tons per year. In particular, export volumes to Qingdao region will triple by 2024. This plan requires an optimal supply chain, which will allow to deliver products to end customers on time and without failure. For this purpose Fintrans GL (Ilim Group subsidiary) plans to invest in the development of the existing logistic infrastructure and increase its rolling stock increase.

“We are absolutely confident about Ilim Group product quality and our distribution capabilities. Long history of our partnership allows us to face the future with confidence and optimism. I am sure that our partnership will be beneficial not only for Shandong industrial players, but also for the Chinese pulp and paper industry in general,” summarized Zhang Da Yound, TC International Investment CEO.
(Ilim Group)

Koenig & Bauer with 10.2% higher order intake

Koenig & Bauer with 10.2% higher order intake  (Company news)

-Order gains in service and packaging and security printing
-Well filled project pipeline in all business fields
-6.2% growth in revenue
-Full capacity utilisation thanks to high order backlog
-Q1 earnings close to last year’s level despite growth expenses
-Equity ratio of 37.5%
-Guidance for 2019: revenue growth of around 4% and an EBIT margin of around 6% in the group

Photo: Additional order boost from the very successful Print China trade fair in mid-April

2019 started well for the Koenig & Bauer group, posting a double-digit increase in order intake in the first quarter year-over year to €276.4m. This strong growth, which exceeded the industry average, was underpinned by significantly more orders for services and for folding carton, direct glass and security printing presses. At €230.7m, revenue exceeded the previous year's figure by 6.2%. EBIT was still slightly in negative territory due to the low revenue level, coming to –€2.8m despite high market-entry and growth-related expenses, and was thus not far off the previous year’s figure of –€1.9m. At –€4.9m, group net earnings in the first quarter of 2019 translate into earnings per share of –€0.30.

Strong order intake in Sheetfed
In addition to good service orders, the substantially higher orders for packaging printing presses caused order intake in the Sheetfed segment to rise by 12.4% to €173.5m. Revenue increased slightly by 1.8% to €113m. The good order backlog of €250.5m ensures continued high capacity utilisation. At –€3.1m, EBIT was below the previous year’s figure (€0.4m) due to the product mix and the costs arising in connection with the Print China trade fair.

Growth expenses burden Digital & Web earnings
Despite the strong growth in service business, orders in Digital & Web came to €31.9m, thus falling short of the previous year’s figure of €45.2m due to lower orders for newspaper and flexible packaging printing presses. At €32.4m, revenue remained at the prior year’s level. The previous year’s figure of €32.5m had been spurred by high service revenue due to large press relocations. At –€5.6m (–€4.5m in the previous year), EBIT was burdened by market-entry and growth-related expenses. At €85.4m, order backlog and capacity utilisation are at a high level.

Significant order and revenue growth in Special
More orders for services and presses for security printing and direct glass decorating caused order intake in the Special segment to rise by 37.7% to €80m. Revenue climbed by 20.8% to €92.8m. At €331.7m, the order backlog at the end of March was 6.2% higher than it had been twelve months earlier. Following a segment profit of €3.8m in the previous year, EBIT came to €2m in the first quarter of 2019.

Solid balance sheet and financial profile
Despite substantially lower receivables and higher customer prepayments, the increase in inventories for revenue growth in future quarters as well as high investments for construction and IT projects left traces on the cash flow. In addition, we made a part payment of CHF20m to the Swiss Office of the Attorney General within the framework of the agreed skimming of profits following the completion of the self-disclosure proceedings in connection with shortcomings in corruption prevention at the Swiss subsidiary KBA-NotaSys SA. Together with its internal liquidity, the syndicated long-term credit facilities give Koenig & Bauer a strong and stable financial basis. The equity ratio stood at 37.5% at the end of March 2019.

Guidance for 2019
CFO Mathias Dähn: “The order backlog, which rose to €656.6m as of 31 March 2019, gives us good forward visibility through to autumn 2019 and, in security printing with its good order situation, until 2020. With contract signings exceeding our expectations and reaching a figure in the mid double-digit millions of euros, the Print China trade fair held in mid-April was very successful. On the strength of the good order and project situation ensuring full capacity utilisation across the entire group as well as the further progress made in our group projects for boosting earnings by €70m compared to 2016, we are confident to achieve organic growth of around 4% in revenue and an EBIT margin of around 6% in 2019 in the group. We are attaching particularly high priority to our growth offensive 2023, the cumulative costs of which we expect to reach around €50m for 2019 to 2021, with a heavier load in the first year. The resulting margin impact is already included in our 2019 earnings target.”

Mid-term targets until 2023
CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann: “With our growth offensive 2023, we want to actively exploit the currently available market opportunities in the cardboard, corrugated board, flexible packaging, 2-piece can, marking and coding, glass direct and decor printing as well as in postpress to achieve sustained profitable growth. The impact of volatile security printing will be reduced by higher packaging share of group revenue. For web offset presses for newspaper and commercial printing, we expect a further decline particularly in service business. With all our initiatives and projects, we are targeting to increase group revenue to around €1.5bn with an EBIT margin of between 7 % and 10% until 2023. All three segments are to contribute to the growth in revenue and earnings. Our further targets include a dividend ratio of 15 - 35% of group net profit, an equity ratio of over 45%, a target corridor for net working capital of 20 - 25% of revenue, and a share of 30% in total revenue for service business.”
(Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA))

Domtar Financial Report: Q1 2019

Domtar Financial Report: Q1 2019  (Company news)

Our preliminary Q1 2019 financial report is here. Highlights from this Domtar financial report include:
-First-quarter 2019 net earnings of $1.27 per share
-Paper prices $30 per ton higher quarter over quarter
-Paper shipments increased 2 percent quarter over quarter

Quarterly Review
Domtar reported net earnings of $80 million ($1.27 per share) for the first quarter of 2019 compared to net earnings of $87 million ($1.38 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2018 and net earnings of $54 million ($0.86 per share) for the first quarter of 2018. Sales for the first quarter of 2019 were $1.4 billion.

“We had a solid performance from Pulp and Paper despite a wood fiber shortage that negatively impacted costs and output,” said President and CEO John D. Williams (photo). “Price and volume momentum in paper continued in a favorable market environment, which led to strong productivity and a good cost performance. The pulp business was impacted by lower prices while higher internal pulp shipments due to wood-fiber constraints negatively impacted our volumes. Nevertheless, we continued to improve and increase overall productivity and manage costs through saving initiatives.”

On Personal Care, Williams said, “Our margins improved, driven by better productivity and operational efficiencies as our new customer ramp-up accelerates. We also successfully implemented price increases in both North America and Europe, helping to partially offset raw material cost headwinds. Our teams continue to deliver on our margin improvement plan, which is expected to progress throughout the year.”

Operating income was $115 million in the first quarter of 2019 compared to operating income of $133 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. Depreciation and amortization totaled $73 million in the first quarter of 2019.

The decrease in operating income in the first quarter of 2019 was the result of higher selling, general and administrative expenses, higher raw material costs, and lower volume in pulp. These factors were partially offset by higher average selling prices for paper, lower fixed and other costs, and favorable exchange rates.

When compared to the fourth quarter of 2018, manufactured paper shipments were up 2 percent and pulp shipments decreased 12 percent. The shipments-to-production ratio for paper was 97 percent in the first quarter of 2019, compared to 95 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018. Paper inventories increased by 22,000 tons, and pulp inventories increased by 24,000 metric tons when compared to the fourth quarter of 2018.

Our paper shipments should benefit from higher demand from our customers following the industry capacity closures, while our paper prices will further improve as we continue to implement our recently announced price increases. The second quarter will be adversely affected by seasonally higher maintenance activity in our Pulp and Paper business as we move into the annual shutdowns at some of our major facilities. Personal Care is expected to benefit from our margin improvement plan and the ramp-up of a new customer, partially offset by further raw material cost inflation.
(Domtar Inc.)

Valmet to deliver second tissue production line to Faderco in Algeria

Valmet to deliver second tissue production line to Faderco in Algeria  (Company news)

Valmet will supply a complete Advantage DCT 100HS tissue production line (photo) to Faderco in Algeria. The order also includes a rewinder and an extensive automation package including process and quality control solutions.

The order was included in Valmet's first quarter 2019 orders received. The value of the order will not be disclosed.

The new line will be installed at the company's mill, Warak, in Setif, Algeria. The start-up is planned for June 2020. Valmet has previously supplied an Advantage DCT100+ tissue line to the mill, started up in 2015.

The new tissue line will fulfill Faderco's need of new capacity for tissue products. The Warak mill currently produces baby diapers, sanitary napkins, adult diapers and tissue paper for the domestic market and surrounding countries. The new line will support Faderco's ambition to consolidate its position as the Algerian leader in the sector by reaching 35 percent of market share in 2019. With an addition of 30,000 annual tons, Algeria will move from importer to exporter of tissue products.

"The investment in Valmet's Advantage DCT technology, the new complex, will boost our production and support our ambition to reach the position as the 5th exporter in the Mediterranean region. We are already present in Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania, Senegal, Togo, Mali, Guinea Conakry and Qatar, among others," says Amor Habes, CEO, Faderco.

"With this new, high-quality tissue making installation, we are very pleased to continue the journey together with Faderco; a journey which started in 2013. Valmet's leading Advantage DCT technology as well as it's Reelite ENS Winder will support Faderco's ambition for first class tissue paper production," says Bernhard Glifberg, Sales Manager, Tissue Mills Business Unit, Valmet.

Technical information about the delivery
The new tissue machine line will have a width of 2.8 m and a design speed of 2,000 m/min. It will add 30,000 tons tissue paper per year to Faderco's current production of tissue products.

Valmet's scope of delivery will comprise a complete tissue production line featuring bale handling, stock preparation system, the Advantage DCT 100HS tissue machine, a rewinder and auxiliaries. The tissue machine will be equipped with an OptiFlo II TIS headbox, a cast alloy Yankee cylinder, the Advantage technologies ViscoNip press, the AirCap hood and WetDust dusthandling systems as well as a F(O)CUS Rewinder with its unique ENS technology. The stock preparation line includes OptiSlush pulper, OptiFiner conical refiners and deflaker and OptiScreen technology.

The delivery also includes an automation package with the Valmet DNA process controls and Valmet IQ quality controls. Complete installation supervision, training, start-up and commissioning are also part of the delivery. The supply is based on total mill engineering by Valmet.
(Valmet Corporation)

Global innovation: MBO revolutionises stacking with the new CoBo-Stack

Global innovation: MBO revolutionises stacking with the new CoBo-Stack  (Company news)

Shortly before the start of the Baumann Open House, MBO Group has announced that visitors to the event can look forward to a real global innovation. Folding machine manufacturer MBO is revolutionising the labour-intensive, manual stacking of folded signatures with the new, automatic “CoBo-Stack“.

The MBO CoBo-Stack is a so-called cobot, that is, a collaborative robot which needs no protective cage. If the operator touches the cobot, the cobot stops automatically without harming the operator.

Stacks of folded signatures are transported from the delivery onto the table of the CoBo-Stack. The cobot picks up the stacks from the table and deposits them on pallets. This is extremely labour-saving for the operator. The pallets can be positioned on both sides of the delivery, allowing uninterrupted operation. While the MBO CoBo-Stack is filling one pallet, the operator can move the full pallet to the other side of the delivery and prepare the next empty pallet.

An indicator lamp lights up in different colours, signalling various operating statuses of the cobot to the operator. For some operating statuses, there is an additional acoustic signal. This means that there is no need for the operator to remain directly at the folding machine, giving him or her time to carry out administrative tasks, for example quality control or preparing the next folding job.

The MBO CoBo-Stack is suitable for use behind folding machines processing medium to high print runs. At the Baumann Open House, it will be on display behind the MBO K8RS, the fastest folding machine worldwide in its format class. The cobot has its own control unit, allowing it to be retrofitted to existing deliveries of type A500/A700.

The new MBO CoBo-Stack cobot will be presented for the first time at the Open House of the Baumann Group. This event will take place from 14 to 16 May, 2019 in Solms (Germany).
(MBO Maschinenbau Oppenweiler Binder GmbH & Co KG)

Expressing Creativity – the Felix Schoeller Group presents new products at FESPA 2019

Expressing Creativity – the Felix Schoeller Group presents new products at FESPA 2019  (Company news)

The Felix Schoeller Group, Osnabrück-based manufacturer of high-quality specialty papers, is once again this year taking the opportunity offered by FESPA to present and discuss some exciting new products. This year’s slogan – Expressing Creativity – highlights the numerous creative applications for Felix Schoeller products which visitors will have the opportunity to experience at the company’s stand.

S-RACE Photo Panel Pro 120 – a product from the S-RACE Dye sublimation papers segment
A jointly developed product is the outcome of the close business relationship between the Felix Schoeller Group and ChromaLuxe, the leading brand in sublimation media on metal. They will be premiered at this year's FESPA. S-RACE Photo Panel Pro 120 is a high-quality dye sublimation paper specifically designed for large-format ChromaLuxe panels. The result are images in HD photo quality with a wider colour gamut and deep non-cloudy blacks. The dye sublimation paper guarantees not only impressive results: it is also highly reliable and easy to use.

In addition to the new product born out of this collaboration with ChromaLuxe, visitors to the show can also experience other S-RACE dye sublimation papers by the Felix Schoeller Group. The portfolio includes papers for use on textiles and hard substrates in areas such as fashion, sportswear, home decor and interior design, merchandising, signage, photo gifts and photo panels. You can find more information on the Felix Schoeller Group’s S-RACE products at

New expressive specialities in the wallpaper and posters paper segment
STYLine nonwoven wallpapers were specially designed for the very latest digital printing technologies. In conjunction with its partners, the Felix Schoeller Group has developed new and exciting specialities in this range and will be showcasing them at FESPA. They include self-adhesive, metallic and embossed digital nonwoven wallpapers that leave no doubt about the fact that there simply are no limits to creativity. The new SLP matt papers for large-format prints also illustrate that: glossy and satin finishes currently dominate the solvent and latex paper market; with their impressive matt finish, SLP matt papers offer an interesting alternative.

Expressing Creativity with René Turrek
The Felix Schoeller Group’s collaboration with the Osnabrück-based urban artist René Turrek demonstrates the creative possibilities the company’s products offer. His art works on different materials are on display at the company’s stand: from wallpaper and large-format posters through to dye sublimation applications. Turrek is thrilled about the variety of Felix Schoeller media and the creative opportunities they open up.

You can find the Felix Schoeller Group in Hall A5, Stand J85.
(Schoeller Technocell GmbH & Co. KG)

Georgia-Pacific: Naheola Mill's $120 Million Investment To Grow Bath Tissue Business

Georgia-Pacific: Naheola Mill's $120 Million Investment To Grow Bath Tissue Business  (Company news)

Georgia-Pacific’s Naheola, Alabama, mill is set to receive an investment of more than $120 million for a new tissue machine and roll storage building to support the company’s retail bath tissue business.

While the new tissue machine will replace two older machines, it will increase capacity and support new tissue converting lines that are currently being started up at the mill. These latest investments continue the modernization of the Naheola mill, which includes ongoing construction of a new biomass boiler and woodyard.

“This is a great day to celebrate for our employees, the Naheola mill community and most importantly for our current and future customers,” said Kathy Walters, Group President – Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products Group. “All of these stakeholders benefit from these investments to make the Naheola mill a modern and competitive operation.”

Engineering and related work has begun, and the actual startup of the machine is scheduled for 2020.

“This is one of many investments we are making at our operations across the State of Alabama, and it highlights the long history and great relationships we have in the state and in the communities where we operate,” said Christian Fischer, CEO and president of Georgia-Pacific.

The Naheola mill currently employs more than 900 people and produces retail bath tissue and paper towels used by consumers across the county. The mill also makes bleached paperboard which is sold on the market and is used to make Georgia-Pacific’s Dixie plates, cups and bowls.

Across Alabama, Georgia-Pacific currently operates eight facilities, employs more than 2,600 employees directly, pays more than $204 million in direct wages and benefits and creates more than 9,300 jobs indirectly in the state. In the past five years, capital investment at the Naheola mill has totaled more than $500 million, and Georgia-Pacific’s statewide investments have totaled approximately $1.6 billion.
(Georgia-Pacific Corp.)

Smurfit Kappa Group: Board Changes

Smurfit Kappa Group: Board Changes  (Company news)

Smurfit Kappa Group plc (‘SKG’ or the ‘Group’), one of the world’s largest manufacturers of paper-based packaging products, with operations in Europe and the Americas, advises that Liam O’Mahony retired from the Board following the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting held on 3 May 2019. He is succeeded by Irial Finan (photo), who was appointed Chair designate in October 2018.

Tony Smurfit, Group CEO, commented:
“At the conclusion of the AGM, Liam O’Mahony retired after 10 years as Chair of Smurfit Kappa. I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Board to thank Liam for his outstanding contribution to the Board and the Group through this period of significant transformation of the business.

“I also welcome our new Chair, Irial Finan, who joined the board as non-executive director in 2012 and brings a considerable breadth and depth of international business experience.”
(Smurfit Kappa Group Headquarters plc)



Glatfelter (NYSE: GLT) a leading global supplier of engineered materials, reported its results for the first quarter of 2019. Due to the divestiture of Specialty Papers, its results are classified as discontinued operations for all periods presented in this release.

On an adjusted basis, earnings from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2019 were $7.3 million, or $0.16 per share compared with $3.9 million, or $0.09 per share, for the same period a year ago. Adjusted earnings is a non-GAAP financial measure for which a reconciliation to the nearest GAAP-based measure is provided within this release.

Consolidated net sales totaled $229.1 million and $211.2 million for the three months ended March 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Excluding the Steinfurt, Germany acquisition and on a constant currency basis, Advanced Airlaid Materials’ net sales increased by 19.2% and Composite Fibers’ net sales decreased by 3.3%.

“We reported solid results in the first quarter of 2019 delivering on growth targets for our Advanced Airlaid Materials business and making significant progress with the corporate cost reduction initiatives,” said Dante C. Parrini (photo), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Airlaid Materials’ shipments and operating income grew nearly 40% compared with the first quarter a year ago, reflecting strong organic growth enabled by the Fort Smith, Arkansas capacity expansion in addition to the Steinfurt, Germany acquisition. In Composite Fibers, shipments of food and beverage products improved, driven by single-serve coffee; however, our results were negatively impacted by weak demand for our wallcover and metallized products as well as continued disruptions in the availability of a key fiber due to a fire at the supplier’s facility.”

Mr. Parrini added, “We remain on track to deliver the previously announced $14 million to $16 million of corporate cost reductions by the end of 2020. Additionally, the recently completed debt refinancing is expected to reduce annual interest expense by $6 million in 2019 and $8 million per year going forward, giving us the flexibility and liquidity needed to fuel organic and strategic growth initiatives. And, after many years of litigation, we are pleased the court has approved the consent decree we entered into to resolve our Fox River liability.”

“As we look ahead, in Airlaid Materials, we are confident in our growth prospects and believe we will deliver performance at the higher end of our legacy growth rate estimate of 8% to 10%, and the Steinfurt acquisition is on track to deliver the previously communicated $7 million to $9 million of operating profit in 2019. For Composite Fibers, we are encouraged by new business development activities and moderating pulp prices; however, we are monitoring the market dynamics and managing the risks in our wallcover segment and, as a result, we expect overall volumes for this business to be flat in 2019 versus 2018. We remain confident in the strategic direction of the new Glatfelter and are optimistic about our ability to enhance shareholder value as a more stable, higher-margin, growth-oriented engineered materials company,” Mr. Parrini concluded.

First Quarter Business Unit Results
Composite Fibers
Composite Fibers’ net sales decreased $12.9 million, or 9.1%, primarily due to a 13.2% decline in shipping volumes partially offset by higher average selling prices totaling $0.9 million. Food and beverage shipping volumes were up 4.5% but were more than offset by declines in wallcover and metallized products, which were lower by 27% and 22%, respectively. Currency translation was unfavorable by $8.2 million.

Composite Fibers’ first quarter of 2019 operating income totaled $11.3 million, a decrease of $3.9 million compared to the year-earlier quarter. Lower shipping volumes and machine downtime to manage inventory levels impacted results by $2.9 million. Higher raw material and energy prices of $5.3 million and costs related to the disruption in the supply of a key raw material were partially mitigated by $3.0 million in benefit from our cost reduction actions and lower depreciation. Currency translation was $1.0 million favorable compared to the year-ago quarter reflecting hedging instruments that matured, more than offsetting the impact of a lower Euro translation rate.

Advanced Airlaid Materials
Advanced Airlaid Materials’ net sales increased $30.8 million primarily due to the Steinfurt acquisition and a 13.4% organic increase in shipping volumes reflecting strong growth in wipes, hygiene and table top products. Higher average selling prices contributed $1.8 million and currency translation was unfavorable by $3.1 million.

Operating income for the first quarter of 2019 increased $2.8 million primarily due to higher shipping volumes which contributed $4.1 million. Higher selling prices were offset by $2.1 million of higher raw material and energy costs. Higher depreciation from the new capacity at Fort Smith negatively impacted income by $0.9 million.

Other Financial Information
The amount of “Other and Unallocated” expense in our table of Business Unit Performance totaled $9.6 million in the first quarter of 2019 compared with $14.8 million in the first quarter of 2018. Excluding the items identified to present “adjusted earnings,” unallocated expenses declined $4.8 million in the quarter-to-quarter comparison primarily reflecting the impact of corporate cost reduction initiatives.

In the first quarter of 2019, the Company recorded an income tax provision of $1.9 million on income from continuing operations of $6.5 million. On adjusted pre-tax income of $9.5 million, income tax expense was $2.2 million compared to $6.4 million and $2.5 million, respectively, in the first quarter of 2018. The lower effective tax rate in the first quarter of 2019 was primarily due to the closure of certain tax audits. The Company currently estimates its full-year 2019 effective tax rate on adjusted earnings will be approximately 38%.

In February 2019, the Company entered into a new 5-year, $400 million revolving credit facility and a €220 million term loan facility. The proceeds from the term loan facility were used to redeem, at par, all outstanding $250 million, 5.375% Notes. As a result, the Company expects interest expense to be reduced by $6 million in 2019 compared with 2018 and $8 million on an annualized basis, thereafter.

During the first quarter, the Company entered into a consent decree with the United States Government, the State of Wisconsin, and Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products, under which Glatfelter resolved its liability for the Lower Fox River and Green Bay environmental remediation and related Superfund litigation. Pursuant to the consent decree, the Company paid $20.5 million to the governments to settle claims for oversight costs. In connection with the court’s approval of the consent decree, the Company reduced its reserve for the Fox River matter by $2.5 million during the first quarter. This amount is excluded from adjusted earnings reported herein.

Balance Sheet and Other Information
Cash and cash equivalents totaled $76.7 million as of March 31, 2019, and net debt was $313.8 million compared with $269.1 million at the end of 2018. (Refer to the calculation of this measure provided in the tables at the end of this release.)

Capital expenditures during the first three months of 2019 and 2018, totaled $5.9 million and $20.1 million, respectively. Adjusted free cash flow for the three months of 2019 was $(30.0) million compared with $(15.9) million in 2018. (Refer to the calculation of this measure provided in the tables at the end of this release.)

Discontinued Operations
On October 31, 2018, we completed the previously announced sale of our Specialty Papers business unit on a cash-free and debt-free basis to Pixelle Specialty Solutions LLC, an affiliate of Lindsay Goldberg for $360 million.
The results of operations for our Specialty Papers business unit have been classified as discontinued operations for all periods presented in the consolidated statements of income.
(Glatfelter Corporate Headquarters)

Klingele Papierwerke: Carolyn Wagner is a new member of the Executive Management Board

Klingele Papierwerke: Carolyn Wagner is a new member of the Executive Management Board   (Company news)

Picture: Carolyn Wagner, member of the Klingele Executive Management Board

The Klingele Group, one of the leading independent manufacturers of corrugated base paper and corrugated cardboard packaging, strengthens its management team with Carolyn Wagner as Managing Director Western Europe. In this position, the 50-year old will have responsibility for the business of the four corrugated cardboard plants in Germany as well as the sheet plants in Germany and the Netherlands. Ms Wagner was previously Managing Director of DECO Glas, a specialist in the finishing of packaging glass.

Carolyn Wagner studied packaging technology in Leipzig and has spent her entire working life in the packaging industry. She has 20 years of experience working in senior positions for packaging manufacturers, from Key Account Manager and Sales Manager to Managing Director. As Managing Director for the industry's largest company DS Smith, she had responsibility for the business in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (German-speaking countries) with 20 manufacturing locations and a turnover of 700 million euros. While working for the Swedish company SCA Packaging, she managed the sales, marketing and development for the packaging division within Germany, Austria and Switzerland, which was the best performing region of the group.

Since 2017, Klingele has been led by a five-member senior management board that makes decisions on strategic issues for Klingele Papierwerke. The goal is to establish a stronger position as a whole group, implement and execute innovations across the entire company more rapidly as well as to press ahead with internationalisation.

“With Carolyn Wagner we are gaining a highly competent colleague and manager for our company with many years of experience”, states Dr. Jan Klingele, Managing Partner. “Thanks to her technical background, her hands-on approach and customer focus as well as her extensive market knowledge, she is the perfect choice for us, adding on to the fact that she already knows many of our customers personally.” Carolyn Wagner is looking forward to her new role: “Klingele is a traditional family company with a real entrepreneurial approach at the top and, at the same time, very ambitious in its international markets. There is also an innovation-friendly climate within Klingele, whether it's technology or developing new solutions together with customers. I really like this combination”, Carolyn Wagner goes on to say, “In the German corrugated board industry, I specifically chose to work for Klingele. It was a deliberate and conscious decision to join the Klingele Group.”
(Klingele Papierwerke GmbH & Co KG)

Valmet to supply key board machine technologies to Kraft of Asia Paperboard & Packaging ...

Valmet to supply key board machine technologies to Kraft of Asia Paperboard & Packaging ...  (Company news)

... in Vietnam

Valmet will supply key board making technologies to Kraft of Asia Paperboard & Packaging for its new containerboard making line, which will be located in Phu My, Vietnam.

The order was included in Valmet's orders received of the first quarter 2019. The value of the order will not be disclosed.

Kraft of Asia Paperboard & Packaging is a new company established by Marubeni Corporation (Marubeni). By establishing the new company with a new board production line (PM 1), Marubeni aims to proactively expand its containerboard business in the growing Vietnamese market. Kraft of Asia Paperboard & Packaging has received the permits for one million ton annual capacity and the company plans to invest in three board machines in the following 10 years. The start-up of the first machine (PM 1) is scheduled for the second half of 2020.

Technical details about the delivery
Valmet's delivery will include three OptiFlo Foudrinier headboxes (photo) for excellent profiles and good formation, and an OptiPress Linear press section to achieve excellent end product properties, high dewatering capacity and good runnability. The delivery will also include a start-up package of spare parts and consumables.
(Valmet Corporation)

Domino Printing Sciences appoints new CEO

Domino Printing Sciences appoints new CEO  (Company news)

After 22 years of success at technology manufacturer Domino Printing Sciences – including managing the sale of the FTSE250 company to Brother Industries in 2015 – CEO Nigel Bond, 61, has passed on the management baton following his retirement at the end of March 2019. Robert Pulford (photo), previously Managing Director of Domino’s Digital Printing Solutions Division, has been appointed by the company to take over the CEO role.

Under Bond’s leadership, industrial printer developer and manufacturer Domino won numerous Queen’s Awards for Innovation and Export and grew from a stock value of £75million to a £1billion business at the time of the sale to Brother. Presiding over 20 acquisitions, Bond also oversaw the integration into the Domino business of technology manufacturers such as Sator Laser and Citronix, and former distribution partners Domino Sweden and Domino MarqueTDI in Portugal. As part of the Brother deal, he also secured significant investment in Digital Printing and Coding & Marking products and services, supporting long-term growth targets and offering greater flexibility.

“I’ve had over 20 memorable years with Domino,” says Bond. “I am proud to have led such a committed and talented team that has driven innovation and produced ground-breaking and award-winning technologies.”

He continues, “I’m delighted that Robert will be taking over as Domino’s new CEO. Robert is a strong leader with a proven track record of success both within and outside Domino.”

With Domino for 23 years, Pulford has been part of Domino Group’s executive management team for 14 years and has led the company’s Digital Printing Solutions division for the last six years. He has been responsible for driving the growth of digital printing products into direct printing, label and packaging markets, as well as other broader industrial applications. Joining as a Service Manager, and later becoming General Manager within the UK Domestic business, Pulford’s other roles at Domino have included Group Product Management, Group Marketing and General Manager of Domino’s European businesses, as well as leading the New Product Development programme for Domino’s i-Tech products, and the integration of a number of acquisitions.

Speaking about his appointment, Pulford says: “I’m honoured to be taking up the position of CEO and look forward to carrying on Nigel’s legacy. My goal is to support the wider team to drive business growth in all areas and build on Domino’s reputation as a leading provider of coding and marking and digital printing equipment.”
(Domino UK Ltd)

Sappi: New paperboard – brilliance meets function

Sappi: New paperboard – brilliance meets function  (Company news)

The Atelier folding boxboard (GC1) from Sappi

In mid-April, Sappi is launching its new Atelier paperboard, developed under the motto “brilliance meets function”. The special feature of the new GC1 board lies in its unrivalled combination of visual and physical features. Atelier combines a large specific volume with a high stiffness, as well as a high surface quality with a unique 100-percent brightness. The folding boxboard GC1 is offered in grammages ranging from 240 to 350 g/m2.

In order to increase the advertising effectiveness of their products, brand owners develop packaging that appeals to all of their potential buyers’ senses. With Atelier, Sappi is offering its customers a folding boxboard (GC1) that opens up all-new possibilities in packaging design. It distinguishes itself with maximum whiteness and purity, as well as a high print gloss, combined with a silky-matt feel and appearance. The finishing properties are manifold: whether film lamination, cold foil transfer, UV varnishing or flocking – anything is feasible. Atelier can be printed using offset, flexographic, or screen methods.

Unlimited possibilities for all users and industries
With its excellent embossing properties, Atelier further increases the designers ability to create enhanced optical and tactile packaging experiences. Furthermore, as is usual for Sappi products, we don’t just focus on the principle surface, Atelier’s reverse side quality is particularly impressive as well. This means that the paperboard can also be effectively printed and finished on the reverse side. With this folding box board, branded products can be presented with high impact at the point of sale. Atelier’s strengths are especially evident in the area of so-called premium packaging for perfume, cosmetics, beauty care, skin care, fashion, high-quality confectionery and praline products. Its versatility also makes it ideal to take on challenging graphic applications.

A multilayer concept for premium cellulose board
“In order to be able to offer our customers this new, premium quality white back folding boxboard, we have converted our PM6 paper machine in Maastricht. Our multi-million-euro investment has resulted in a globally unique and truly innovative production process,” says Lars Scheidweiler, Product Group Manager Paperboard at Sappi Europe, explaining the journey towards the product launch. “This means we are now in a position to produce a premium folding boxboard.” Atelier is available to the worldwide market in grammages ranging from 240 to 350 g/m². At the customer’s request, Sappi can deliver the new paperboard in rolls or sheets and with an FSC® or PEFC™ certificate.
(Sappi Europe S.A.)

Roland DG offers unmissable opportunity to experience new TrueVIS VG2 discovery workshops ...

Roland DG offers unmissable opportunity to experience new TrueVIS VG2 discovery workshops ...  (Company news) FESPA

Roland DG (Hall A5 Booth H10) will give visitors to FESPA 2019 a must-have opportunity to get interactive with the ground-breaking new Roland TrueVIS VG2 printer/cutter in a series of workshops, developed to show exactly why the industry is so enthusiastic about this new, ‘best-in-class’ wide-format digital print and cut device.

The Roland TrueVIS VG2 has grabbed significant attention since its launch, winning a prestigious ISA Innovation award and attracting customer demand that far exceeds even Roland's initial expectations. The TrueVIS VG2-640 and VG2-540 models set a new industry standard in colour quality, efficiency, versatility and cutting accuracy, all at a remarkably affordable price point. They are printers that meet demands and then exceed them, but they have to be seen in action to be believed, which is why the dedicated TrueVIS VG2 Discovery Zone is a must-see for any show visitor.

Held across the four days of the FESPA Global Print Expo, taking place from May 14th to 17th 2019 in Munich, Germany, the TrueVIS VG2 workshops will be hosted by Nadia Plomp, Product Specialist at Roland DG Benelux. Nadia has years of experience supporting Roland dealers in finding the best solution for each customer's specific applications, no matter how complex, making her knowledge invaluable for anyone looking for a system to solve their own print-room problems.

"Our theme at FESPA is 'What Matters To You Inspires What We Do', reflecting the continuous attention we paid to industry feedback, which enabled us to perfect what we believe to be the most accurate, high-performance printer/cutter available on the market today – the TrueVIS VG2," comments Nadia.

"There are more than 40 fantastic enhancements on the established award-winning TrueVIS VG series, including excellent print-and-cut quality and the brightest colours imaginable," Nadia continues. "We're really proud of this new device, it is the result of a great deal of research, effort and time, and we would like to invite everyone to attend one of our workshops and see it for themselves".

TrueVIS VG2 workshops will be held every day of the show on the Roland DG stand, taking place at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm at the TrueVIS VG2 Discovery Zone. In just 20 minutes, visitors will be able to experience a live demonstration, see samples of the wide range of compatible media, understand the breadth of profitable applications from indoor and outdoor advertising, vehicle graphics, banners, posters and displays, labels and decals, packaging prototypes, apparel heat transfers and more, and discover how it outperforms other printers in its class.

The VG2 print and cut workshops titled ‘Be the Best – 7 Compelling Reasons to Choose TrueVIS VG2’, will explain how key features and benefits can help transform any print business, large or small. Discover how the TrueVIS VG2 enables same-day application: prints are ready for lamination and finishing in just six hours1, enabling PSPs to meet their customers' expectations – and stay ahead of the competition. Learn how the VG2 was awarded the 3M™ MCS™ Warranty, Avery Dennison™ ICS™ Performance Guarantee and

GREENGUARD Gold certifications, and what assurances these give PSPs and their customers. See the benefits of the new Orange ink, which not only prints stunningly vibrant colours but also makes realistic colour reproduction quick and simple to achieve, including matching Pantone and corporate brand colours.

At the workshops, delegates will also discover how quickly they can make a return on their investment thanks to the 40 new clever refinements that add up to make a big, business-enhancing difference.

No one matches Roland’s offer when it comes to print and cut. Roland has maintained its position as the market leader in eco-solvent printer/cutters for over a decade, and its best-in-class technology keeps getting better, simply helping its users improve their bottom line.

Alongside a host of other brand-new and best-loved Roland systems, the TrueVIS VG2-640 and TrueVIS VG2-540 will be on display at the Roland DG stand (Hall A5 Booth H10) during FESPA.
(Roland DG GmbH)

Metsä Board's comparable operating result in January - March 2019 was EUR 62 million

Metsä Board's comparable operating result in January - March 2019 was EUR 62 million  (Company news)

Metsä Board Corporation Interim Report 1 January – 31 March 2019

January–March 2019 (10–12/2018)
• Sales were EUR 487.1 million (458.0).
• Comparable operating result was EUR 61.8 million (60.1), or 12.7% (13.1%) of sales. Operating result was EUR 71.9 million (60.1).
• Comparable earnings per share were EUR 0.14 (0.14), and earnings per share were EUR 0.17 (0.14).
• Comparable return on capital employed was 14.4% (13.7%).

January–March 2019 (1–3/2018)
• Sales were EUR 487.1 million (492.3).
• Comparable operating result was EUR 61.8 million (69.0), or 12.7% (14.0%) of sales. Operating result was EUR 71.9 million (69.0).
• Comparable earnings per share were EUR 0.14 (0.15), and earnings per share were EUR 0.17 (0.15).
• Comparable return on capital employed was 14.4% (15.8%).

Events in January–March 2019
• The prices of Metsä Board’s folding boxboard rose as of the beginning of the year, and the prices of white kraftliner remained stable.
• The total deliveries of paperboard grew from the previous quarter, but were lower than in the corresponding period in 2018. Demand for folding boxboard was good, but the delivery volumes of white kraftliner continued to decline, especially in Europe.
• The delivery volumes of market pulp began to grow again after the sudden decline in the previous quarter. The market in China picked up, and prices began to rise during the review period. In Europe, prices decreased.
• No annual maintenance shutdowns took place at Metsä Board’s mills during the review period. An annual maintenance shutdown took place in March at the Äänekoski bioproduct mill of Metsä Board’s associated company Metsä Fibre.
• The Annual General Meeting held on 28 March 2019 decided to distribute a total of EUR 103 million to shareholders as dividends and capital repayment. The dividend and capital repayment date was 9 April 2019.

Events after the review period
Metsä Board has created a new, enhanced folding boxboard portfolio, designed specifically to help brand owners and packaging converters tackle the big issues in packaging: saving resources, reducing carbon footprint and ensuring product safety.

Metsä Board and its associated company Metsä Fibre, have decided to launch pre-engineering phases for three major investments. The investments will further develop the competitiveness of the pulp and energy production for both companies, and move them towards fossil-free production. Metsä Board is planning to invest EUR 300 million in the first phase of the renewal of the Husum pulp mill in Sweden in 2019–2022. Metsä Fibre’s plans include the construction of a new bioproduct mill with annual pulp capacity of approximately 1.5 million tonnes in Kemi, Finland and a new pine sawmill in Rauma, Finland. The total value of Metsä Fibre’s investments would amount to approximately EUR 1.7 billion.

Metsä Board updated its long-term financial targets. The company will remove the volume growth target of paperboard deliveries that exceeds the average market growth. The other financial targets remain unchanged.

Result guidance for April–June 2019
Metsä Board’s comparable operating result for the second quarter of 2019 is expected to weaken compared to the first quarter of 2019.

Metsä Board’s CEO Mika Joukio (photo):
“Our comparable operating result in January–March was EUR 62 million, which is approximately at the level of the previous quarter and slightly lower than in the corresponding period last year. Our total paperboard deliveries grew slightly from the previous quarter, in line with our expectations.

Profitability improved, particularly due to the good prices of and demand for folding boxboard in both Europe and the Americas. High-quality European folding boxboard made from fresh fibre has been in particularly high demand in North America, and we have been able to meet this demand. The lightness of our paperboards is one of our most important competitive factors, and we continue to actively develop this.

The market situation in white kraftliners has weakened, and delivery volumes continued to decline during the review period. While the price level remained high during the first quarter, we believe that the weaker demand will start to have an impact on the average price of our linerboard sales in the next few months.

The pulp market picked up from the end of last year, and pulp delivery volumes grew at both Metsä Board and our associated company Metsä Fibre. Even so, the average prices of market pulp remained weaker than in the previous quarter. The difference between long-fibre pulp prices in China and Europe has also decreased as prices in Europe are declining, while prices in China have started rising.

As announced at the end of last year, our future growth is strongly guided by profitability. In the future, we will allocate our capital in a manner that allows us to develop the paperboard business by putting profitability first. In practice, this means small and mid-sized investments in our existing production lines.

Sustainability will continue to be at the core of our business. Our paperboards, made from wood fibre, help our customers to reduce their fossil-based carbon dioxide emissions by providing them with sustainable alternatives. In 2019, we will adopt new 2030 sustainability development goals focused on long-term work aiming to mitigate climate change.

I want to thank our personnel, customers and other stakeholders for the good start in 2019.”
(Metsä Board Corporation)

Vibrant applications will demonstrate Ricoh's production versatility and creativity at FESPA 2019

Vibrant applications will demonstrate Ricoh's production versatility and creativity at FESPA 2019  (Company news)

Visitors to the Ricoh stand at FESPA 2019, Munich Messe, May 14 to 17, will encounter colourful creativity on a wide range of substrates. They will also be able to appreciate how they can harness Ricoh solutions to boost their businesses.

“We are redefining what print can do. A wide range of samples will demonstrate the spectrum of options presented by our versatile portfolio of systems and solutions,” states Graham Kennedy, Head of Industrial Print Business Group, Ricoh Europe. “With the ability to print on anything from glass, wood and acrylic to carton board, we are able to fully support industrial printers and print service providers as they endeavour to deliver a greater range of high quality capabilities.”

Among the applications on show are the:
-Media kit box of samples including plywood, Corex, Forex, DiBond, aluminium, vinyl and glass, printed by the Ricoh Pro™ T7210 UV flatbed printer.
-Spot colour artwork and texture samples, using white and clear varnish, on acrylic, Forex and DiBond, printed by the Pro T7210 and the recently announced Ricoh Pro™ TF6250 UV flatbed printers.
-Rhino cutouts produced CMYK on Xanita Board by the Pro T7210 and cut to shape.
-Coasters printed CMYK on board suitable for beermats by the Pro T7210 and Pro TF6250 and then cut to shape.
-Acrylic blocks reverse printed CMYK + white onto 20mm acrylic blocks by the Pro T7210 and Pro TF6250.
-Brochure stand printed on Xanita Board by the Pro T7210 and Pro TF6250 and cut to shape.
-Metallic coasters printed CMYK + white by the Ricoh Pro™ L5160 roll to roll latex printer onto Kernow metallic self-adhesive vinyl, cut to shape, resin domed and applied to coaster bases.
-Window graphics printed CMYK + white by the Pro L5160 onto DryTac Viziprint optically clear.
-Various media samples printed by the Pro L5160 showcasing different print speeds.

The Ri 1000, the newest addition to Ricoh’s expanding Direct to Garment printer range, launches in Europe at FESPA. We will be demonstrating its ability to print directly onto white polyester fabrics. Visitors can also explore DTG applications such as aprons, sweatshirts, polo shirts and wine bottle bags. Ricoh will be working with a range of brands such as Fruit of the Loom, SG and RTP Apparel.

On show, too, will be food packaging produced by the Ricoh Pro™ C7200x sheetfed digital colour press. Ricoh Pro Print toners have recently received the Smithers Pira Certificate of Conformity assuring EU food packaging legislation compliance.

Ricoh company ColorGATE’s Production Server V10 will be driving multiple and diverse inkjet devices on the stand, highlighting how it can maximise operational efficiency, output integrity and colour consistency.

Ricoh’s partnership with Antalis will be firmly in evidence at FESPA thanks to the wide range of flexible and rigid substrates that the company is providing for printing purposes.
(Ricoh Europe PLC)

Kodak to show options for printing with process free plates along with other technologies ...

Kodak to show options for printing with process free plates along with other technologies ...  (Company news)

... at UV Days 2019

Kodak will be among the exhibitors at this year’s IST UV Days from May 13 to 16 in Nürtingen, Germany. The company will take advantage of this prestigious industry event to cast a spotlight on the options for UV offset printing that are opened up by the new KODAK SONORA X Process Free Plate.

Many printers who produce with conventional UV, low-energy UV or LED UV curing have already been using Kodak’s sustainable and cost saving SONORA Process Free Plates for years. However, the new SONORA X Plate has prompted a breakthrough in terms of run lengths, robust handling and imaging speed. Up to 75,000 impressions can be achieved with UV cured inks – and much longer runs still with conventional inks. With its streamlined, eco-friendly and economical platemaking process, the SONORA X Plate makes a perfect complement to efficient UV offset printing.

Visitors to UV Days 2019 can learn more about the latest generation of highly productive, energy saving CTP platesetters, new CTP automation solutions and innovative, highly automated workflow technology at the Kodak stand.
(Kodak GmbH)

Austrian Prinzhorn Group signed an agreement to enter into a joint venture with Russian SFT Group

Austrian Prinzhorn Group signed an agreement to enter into a joint venture with Russian SFT Group  (Company news)

- Prinzhorn Group to acquire 50% shares of SFT

Prinzhorn Group has signed an agreement to purchase 50% shares of Russian packaging, paper and recycling group SFT Group.

The family owned and vertically integrated SFT Group has an annual production capacity of 500 million m2 of corrugated packaging, 450.000 tons of containerboard and 550.000 tons of paper for recycling. All SFT Groups production sites with a total staff of 1.700 people are located in the Central, North-West and Southern Federal Districts.

The core production sites include Kamenskaya Paper & Board Mill, Aleksinskaya Paper & Board Mill, Kartontara in Maykop and Famadar Cartona in Taganrog, all leading producers of containerboard and corrugated packaging solutions.

The group started its expansion in 2003 and is now Russian market leader in all three business areas.

“This strong joint-venture brings together long-term focus, market know-how and technical expertise. Our customers can benefit from our improved recycling, paper and packaging solutions.” said Cord Prinzhorn, CEO of Prinzhorn Group.

”With a similar and fully integrated setup like Prinzhorn Group, we see a lot of opportunities to grow our businesses together and faster. I strongly believe that we will experience a strong beneficial development within the near future”, said Stepan Khomyakov CEO of SFT Group.

SFT will continue to operate under its current name.

The transaction is subject to approval by the relevant authorities. Both parties agreed not to disclose the transaction value.

Valmet to supply a quality management solution to Cartones Ponderosa in Mexico

Valmet to supply a quality management solution to Cartones Ponderosa in Mexico  (Company news)

Valmet will supply a Valmet IQ Quality Management Solution to Cartones Ponderosa's cartonboard machine BM1 in Mexico. The comprehensive solution will improve machine efficiency and the overall end-product quality.

Photo: Valmet will supply a Valmet IQ Quality Management Solution to Cartones Ponderosa's cartonboard machine BM1 in Mexico.

The order was included in Valmet's fourth quarter 2018 orders received. Typically, the value of these kinds of automation system deliveries is below EUR two million.

"This project gives our customer the most complete and innovative single quality management solution of all Mexican mills. It provides measurements for fiber analysis online, coating characteristics, such as surface topography, and PPS (Parker Print Surf) direct photographic readings for printability predictions. With our solution, the mill can achieve its desired end-product properties with improved efficiency," says Miguel Sagahon, Sales Manager, Automation, Valmet.

Information about Valmet's delivery
Valmet's delivery consists of a Valmet IQ Quality Control System (QCS) with three scanners and related measurements and controls. The scope of basis weight, coating and moisture measurements and controls is complemented with surface topography, fiber orientation, optical caliper as well as gloss measurements and controls. This will open up an opportunity for a deep, unrivaled analysis of the paper structure and quality properties.

Valmet IQ Steam Profiler and Valmet IQ Induction Profiler provide effective moisture and caliper profile management to improve production efficiency and board quality. The Valmet IQ profilers feature advanced self-diagnostics and a compact design for easy maintenance and installation.
(Valmet Corporation)

Cascades Sonoco inaugurates major investment in new line of innovative, eco-friendly food packaging

Cascades Sonoco inaugurates major investment in new line of innovative, eco-friendly food packaging   (Company news)

Cascades Sonoco, a joint venture of Cascades Inc. (TSX: CAS) and Sonoco Products Company (NYSE: SON), inaugurated the expansion of its facility in Birmingham, Alabama, and its new production line of innovative, eco-friendly packaging. This important investment of US$17 million enables the facility to now produce a water-based functional coating solution to create recyclable, repulpable and compostable containers. Numerous partners, clients, suppliers and employees took part in the event.

This new world-class equipment allows for the production of 50,000 tonnes per year of coated paper and paperboard using the company’s FlexShield™, FluteSHIELD® and SurfSHIELD™ water-based coating technology. These water-based functional and barrier coatings are designed to replace the non-compostable applications traditionally used in the design of folding carton take-out containers. The coatings can also replace the wax used in the corrugated industry.

“Located in a strategically important region of the United States with the highest demographic growth and close to boxboard and containerboard manufacturing plants, this Cascades Sonoco investment in water-based coating solutions allows us to offer a greener alternative to our customers so that they, in turn, can meet the needs of the most discerning consumers when it comes to the environment,” said Mario Plourde, President and CEO of Cascades. “Because they are recyclable, repulpable and compostable, this packaging can help the food service industry to significantly reduce its ecological footprint.”

“This technology is the result of listening to our customers, listening to consumers, listening to the marketplace, then working to create something that solves a problem and fills a need. It also fits extremely well with our focus on finding sustainable packaging solutions which are in such great demand today, and it perfectly aligns with our purpose as a company—Better Packaging, Better Life,” said Rob Tiede, President and CEO of Sonoco.

The new production line adds to the diversity of the products offered by the Cascades Sonoco facility in Birmingham, which has a core business of manufacturing roll headers and roll wraps for the pulp and paper industry. The plant employs approximately 75 workers and the new machine will create 20 long-term jobs. The expansion of the Birmingham facility and the installation of the new production line took place in 2018.

Cascades would like to thank its many customers, partners, suppliers and employees who made this project possible, particularly the State of Alabama, Jefferson County and the municipality of Birmingham, for their support.
(Cascades Sonoco Inc.)

Are your UV inks properly cured? hubergroup provides a reliable, science-based answer

Are your UV inks properly cured? hubergroup provides a reliable, science-based answer  (Company news)

Determining the curing degree of UV inks poses a challenge to press operators around the world. To solve this problem, hubergroup, one of the leading international specialists for printing inks, has invented an innovative technique: “NewV cure”. From May 13 to 16, hubergroup will present this science-based, patented solution for determining the curing degree of UV inks as well as its EuPIA compliant UV ink portfolio in Nürtingen, Germany, at the IST UV Days 2019.

Image: Prototype of the NewV cure device, which provides press operators with a fast, easy, and reliable way to determine UV cure of hubergroup’s NewV inks.

While UV inks are gaining popularity and offer a high-speed curing process, it has been difficult to quickly and definitively determine whether the print is properly cured. Due to the lack of reliable methods, most operators check curing quality subjectively using physical tests such as wiping, scratching, or a thumb, as well as chemical characterization. However, the curing degree affects hardness, robustness, migration behaviour, and the ability for further processing of an ink film – in effect, improper curing negatively affects the usability and quality of the printed product.

“Our new science-based approach provides an easy and objective evaluation of UV curing within a few minutes,” says Dr Carina Sötebier, Head of Central Analytical Lab at hubergroup. “To determine curing level of UV inks, we use a test liquid and an electronic test device. By testing a predefined extract, NewV cure can identify the quality level of a printed product.”

“With NewV cure, we end all subjective methods of curing determination and create a new standard for quality management in UV curing,” adds Roland Schröder, Product Manager UV at hubergroup. “It will help to reduce waste and rejects due to incomplete curing and increases security in packaging production. As our previous tests were very successful, we are excited to present first results with NewV cure to IST UV Days attendees.”

Visit hubergroup at IST UV Days to see the first measuring results and learn more about NewV cure as well as hubergroup’s EuPIA compliant UV ink portfolio.
(Hubergroup Deutschland GmbH)

Metsä Board renews its folding boxboard portfolio

Metsä Board renews its folding boxboard portfolio  (Company news)

Metsä Board – part of Metsä Group – has created a new, enhanced folding boxboard portfolio, designed specifically to help brand owners and packaging converters tackle the big issues in packaging: saving resources, reducing carbon footprint and ensuring product safety.

Photo: MetsäBoard Pro FBB Bright red

Besides being better for the environment through lightweighting, the improved product range offers customer benefits by boosting brand appeal with its enhanced and balanced visual properties. The refreshed, simplified selection of products further helps improve Metsä Board’s folding boxboards’ already leading quality consistency, as well as supply reliability.

“Packaging of the future is all about creating better brand experiences with less environmental impact. It is important that we continuously develop new solutions to make packaging even more safe and sustainable. For example, improvements to our new High Yield Pulp have enabled us to further enhance our paperboards thus providing even further opportunities for brand owners to lightweight their packaging,” states Ari Kiviranta, SVP Development, Metsä Board.

The new, improved Metsä Board range now offers even stronger performance in highly demanding end-uses, such as food, beautycare, healthcare or luxury packaging and graphics applications. The range consists of five grades:

MetsäBoard Natural FBB - NEW is an uncoated, rigid OBA-free grade that provides an on-trend natural surface to provide authenticity to high end product packaging.

MetsäBoard Classic FBB remains unchanged offering the same superior stiffness and high yield as before.

MetsäBoard Pro FBB OBAfree - NEW presents an improved OBA-free grade with high natural brightness combined with excellent printability.

MetsäBoard Pro FBB Bright - NEW is a multipurpose board with high brightness on top and reverse, now offering further opportunities for lightweighting.

MetsäBoard Prime FBB Bright - NEW combines superb brightness, new bluish white shade and high stiffness offering sustainable luxury for high end packaging.

The new improved grades will be available for samples and trials from May.
(Metsä Board Corporation)

BOBST to present latest breakthrough products and solutions at Label Summit America 2019

BOBST to present latest breakthrough products and solutions at Label Summit America 2019  (Company news)

Visitors to the BOBST stand #29 at the Label Summit America in Medellin, Colombia, 14 and 15 May 2019, can expect to discover exclusive technologies that will provide exciting new opportunities for label converters, driven by the digital revolution.

“We are providing converters in Latin America with firsthand information about the breakthrough solutions unveiled at the Label and Packaging Innovation open house that was held in Florence earlier this April” says Maurizio Trecate, Sales Director, Narrow & mid-web multi-process & converting, Bobst Firenze “These technologies fulfill the needs of brand owners and converters in terms of digitalization and connectivity for faster time to market, color and quality compliance as well as sustainability, from file design through to the converted products”.

Visitors to the show will learn about the latest BOBST technologies, including:
-DigiColor: the first ever inline closed-loop system in the flexo industry that enables digital color adjustments to the target Delta E during printing, at any speed, on any substrate, with any operator.

-Ink-on-Demand (IoD) the first print unit using 30 grams of ink for printing and color matching, with on-board washing.

-HAL (Highly Automated Liquid): an off-line ink mixing station for producing Pantone colors from 14 basic inks, from 30 grams doses for IoD color matching up to 25 Kg quantities.

A further highlight at the show will be the technologies stemming from BOBST industry collaborations with leading industry suppliers, such as a range of new technologies for UV food safety, or those developed within the REVO Technology Team, such as Packaging Connected. This latter development is a fully digitized and connected workflow enabling the traceability of every item of packaging, from the original file, to the press, to job validation and storage of the digital data generated from the final printed job. These advanced technologies are features of BOBST DigiFlexo lines for label and packaging production such as the M5 and the M6.

For converters looking for label dedicated lines delivering high performance at a competitive cost, the new M1X inline UV flexo press is the right solution. It is a partially fixed configuration machine, 370mm in web-width, developed with todays’ requirements for automation and connectivity in mind that can print and convert a wide variety of applications in one pass.

“The M1X has an interesting price and short delivery time, as well as automation features, production data access from remote, and levels of energy efficiency that are unmatched in its class of equipment” explains Maurizio Trecate “This, combined with the extent of BOBST capabilities to deliver support to its customers in Central and Latin America, makes the new M1X an extremely attractive proposition that we look forward to presenting in detail to visitors of our stand at the label summit”.
(Bobst Firenze srl)

Smurfit Kappa Q1 2019 Trading Update

Smurfit Kappa Q1 2019 Trading Update  (Company news)

Smurfit Kappa plc announced a trading update for the 3 months ending 31 March 2019.

First Quarter Overview
-Revenue growth of 7% to €2,316 million
-EBITDA growth of 25% to €424 million
-EBITDA margin of 18.3%

Performance Review
Smurfit Kappa has delivered a very strong first quarter performance with EBITDA up 25% year-on-year to €424 million. The improved result reflects higher corrugated pricing, demand growth, a relentless focus on cost efficiencies and the benefits of our capital programme.

In Europe, SKG’s first quarter organic corrugated volume growth was 2% year-on-year, against a strong 2018 comparison, with corrugated pricing in line with expectations. In the Americas, organic volume growth was 3% year-on-year with especially pleasing performances in our three largest countries: Colombia, Mexico and the US.

During the quarter, the Group completed acquisitions in Bulgaria and Serbia, further expanding its geographic reach.

The Group continues to progress its industry leading Better Planet Packaging initiative, working with brand owners, retailers and designers to develop the most sustainable, biodegradable and innovative packaging solutions for our customers. SKG will shortly host its biennial innovation event which will be attended by over 350 global customers. Better Planet Packaging will be the cornerstone of that event.

Tony Smurfit (photo), Group CEO, commented:
“The Group has had an excellent start to the year building on our established strengths of customer-focused innovation, our integrated operating model, and our ever expanding geographic reach.
“While there is invariably political and economic risk, we confidently expect to deliver another year of progress.”
(Smurfit Kappa Group Headquarters plc)

This year's planting season underway at SCA - 43 million seedlings to be planted

This year's planting season underway at SCA - 43 million seedlings to be planted  (Company news)

The planting season is now beginning in Northern Sweden and 43 million seedlings are to be planted by SCA in its own forests and on the land of private forest owners. The seedlings are from the Bogrundet nursery, the largest nursery in the world for forest trees.

SCA cooperates with approximately 25 contractors as part of the planting work. This in turn means almost 500 planters will be active in the forests, from Svappavaara in the north to Hassela in the south. The planters are from many different countries, including the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Romania, Ukraine and Nepal. They begin planting in mid-May and continue into October.

“The planting season is longer than you think, which is why you need staff that can work the entire season. Some contractors also employ young people who work during the summer,” says Leif Johansson, forest management specialist at SCA.

The planters work both in SCA’s own forest and on the land of private forest owners, who have contracted SCA to help with planting. Before the planters leave for the forest, they must have successfully completed the Skötselskolan (Forest Management School) training course, which is a industry-wide online training course. Those working as planting supervisors, meaning people leading planting work in the forest, must also have completed a practical course covering consideration for nature conservation and cultural heritage.

“A planter normally plants an average of 2,500 seedlings per day, so it is important that everyone knows how to work as smoothly as possible for the sake of the new forest and to ensure that we are taking the right considerations into account,” says Leif.
(Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget SCA)

Clearwater Paper Reports First Quarter 2019 Results

Clearwater Paper Reports First Quarter 2019 Results  (Company news)

Clearwater Paper Corporation (NYSE:CLW) reported financial results for the first quarter of 2019.

The company reported net sales of $428.8 million for the first quarter of 2019, which were $8.2 million or 1.9% lower than net sales of $437.0 million for the first quarter of 2018. The decrease was due to lower paperboard and tissue shipments including the impact from the sale of the company's mill in Ladysmith, Wisconsin in August 2018, partially offset by higher tissue and paperboard pricing.

Photo: NuVo CupStock

Net earnings determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, for the first quarter of 2019 were $3.8 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, compared to net earnings for the first quarter of 2018 of $2.6 million, or $0.16 per diluted share. The increase in net earnings was mainly due to improved operating results in paperboard driven by higher pricing and the absence of reorganization expenses associated with selling, general and administrative cost reduction efforts in 2018, offset by a tax provision in the first quarter of 2019 versus a tax benefit in the first quarter of 2018. Excluding certain non-core items identified in the attached Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures, first quarter 2019 adjusted net earnings were $3.5 million, or $0.21 per diluted share, compared to first quarter 2018 adjusted net earnings of $5.2 million, or $0.31 per diluted share.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, were $38.9 million for the first quarter of 2019, compared to $35.4 million for the first quarter of 2018. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $39.8 million, down 3.0% compared to first quarter 2018 Adjusted EBITDA of $41.1 million. In 2018, the company adopted a new accounting standard which requires all net periodic pension and postretirement costs (other than service cost) to be presented on a line outside of operating income. Beginning in the first quarter of 2019, the company is excluding these non-operating costs from its calculation of Adjusted EBITDA. The corresponding Adjusted EBITDA amount for the 2018 period has been reclassified to conform to this presentation.

“The Adjusted EBITDA of $39.8 million achieved in the first quarter of 2019 included approximately $3 million of additional professional fees associated largely with the assessment of material weaknesses and our evaluation of goodwill impairment, both of which were previously reported in the fourth quarter of 2018. It also included an approximate $4 million impact from significantly higher utility costs associated with an unusual gas pipeline disruption that occurred during the first quarter of 2019,” said Linda K. Massman, president and chief executive officer. “Excluding those items, our Adjusted EBITDA would have compared favorably to Adjusted EBITDA achieved in the first quarter of 2018 and would have been comparable to Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2018. For the remainder of 2019, we will be focused on ramping tissue production at our Shelby, North Carolina mill to meet the growing demand for ultra-quality tissue and reducing costs throughout our facilities to generate stronger cash flow and improved returns on invested capital.”

Consumer Products
Net sales in the Consumer Products segment were $223.3 million for the first quarter of 2019, down 6.5% compared to first quarter 2018 net sales of $238.8 million. This decrease was due to lower volumes sold, including the impact from the divestiture of the Ladysmith, Wisconsin mill in August 2018, partially offset by higher average prices for both retail and non-retail tissue products and a favorable mix shift to ultra-quality products.

Segment operating income and margin for the first quarter of 2019 was $1.3 million and 0.6%, compared to operating income and margin of $1.6 million and 0.7%, respectively, in the first quarter of 2018. After adjusting for certain non-core items identified in the attached Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures, adjusted operating income and margin were $1.3 million and 0.6% for the first quarter of 2019, compared to $3.1 million and 1.3% of adjusted operating income and margin, respectively, for the same period in 2018. Adjusted EBITDA for the segment was $16.0 million in the first quarter of 2019, down from $17.4 million in the first quarter of 2018. The decreases were primarily due to lower shipment volumes, including the impact from the divestiture of the Ladysmith mill, unfavorable absorption of fixed costs over lower shipment volumes, and higher pulp costs, which were partially offset by lower costs for transportation and warehousing.

Tissue Sales Volumes and Prices:
• Total tissue volumes sold were 83,622 tons in the first quarter of 2019, a decrease of 8,585 tons or 9.3% compared to 92,207 tons in the first quarter of 2018. Converted product cases shipped were 12.3 million in the first quarter of 2019, 7.1% lower than the 13.3 million cases shipped in the first quarter of 2018.

• Average tissue net selling prices increased 3.9% to $2,667 per ton in the first quarter of 2019, compared to $2,568 per ton in the first quarter of 2018.

Pulp and Paperboard
Net sales in the Pulp and Paperboard segment were $205.4 million for the first quarter of 2019, up 3.7% compared to first quarter 2018 net sales of $198.1 million. The increase was due to higher paperboard prices, partially offset by lower sales volume.

Segment operating income and margin for the first quarter of 2019 were $29.4 million and 14.3%, compared to $26.2 million and 13.2%, respectively, for the first quarter of 2018. Adjusted EBITDA for the segment was $38.9 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to $35.9 million in the first quarter of 2018. The increase was primarily due to higher average selling prices for paperboard, which were partially offset by higher wood fiber costs due to weather conditions and higher natural gas prices at both the Idaho and Arkansas mills.

Paperboard Sales Volumes and Prices:
• Paperboard sales volumes were 202,834 tons in the first quarter of 2019, a decrease of 1.7% compared to 206,309 tons in the first quarter of 2018.

• Paperboard net selling prices increased 4.3% to $1,001 per ton for the first quarter of 2019, compared to $960 per ton in the first quarter of 2018.
(Clearwater Paper Corporation)

Imagine the future of print with Mimaki at FESPA 2019

Imagine the future of print with Mimaki at FESPA 2019  (Company news)

Mimaki to take FESPA visitors on a future journey exploring a whole spectrum of creative opportunities, and connecting them to valuable partners, designers and innovators

-New Mimaki industrial printer to be seen for the first time at FESPA 2019, delivering increased productivity and unprecedented application capabilities
-New 3D printer focusing on JIG self-production
-New exciting workflow IoT solutions and connectivity; learn about the next level of IoT
-New design software for the retail industry; design, print & cut your own signage

Mimaki Europe, a leading manufacturer of inkjet printers and cutting systems, announces that it will inspire customers to explore creative, innovative, profit generating possibilities in a futuristic atmosphere at the FESPA Global Print Expo 2019 (Munich, Germany – 14-17 May 2019). Under the theme “Imagine the Future of Print”, the company will take visitors to its booth (stand B6-A30) on a journey through its world-first and market-first innovations in printers, software and cutting-edge solutions, to demonstrate how they can take their businesses to the next level.

Another must-see stop along that journey will be a brand-new Mimaki large format printer, displayed at FESPA 2019 for the first time in EMEA. Featuring a best-in-class combination of productivity and print stability, new application opportunities, boosted usability and unprecedented substrate range flexibility, the new Mimaki print platform will provide a glimpse into future developments of UV LED inkjet technology. Due to Mimaki’s development of the 3D printer and its slicing software, preparation and printing of 2,5D up to multiple layers will be easy and fast. A further highlight on the booth this year will be the new FDM 3D printer for the small Print to Object market, focusing on JIG self-production.

The journey continues with workflow efficiency, which will be the keyword for Digital Printing for years to come. As Mimaki already introduced its IoT solution for the UJF-7151plus and the JFX-series, this year’s FESPA visitors can learn about the next phase of IoT showing a glimpse of the new upcoming software Job Controller IP. Come and learn how your improved efficient workflow is going to look like with Mimaki’s solutions! Connectivity with Gravograph and Trotec laser systems will be fully supported in the latest Rasterlink Rip.

Last but not least on this journey, Mimaki will demonstrate its new Simple POP software, specially developed for the retail market. Shop-owners don’t need any graphic knowledge to create and design their own shop signage such as labels, stickers, roll-ups and so on. This new software connects one-on-one to Rasterlink for an automated workflow from design to print and cut on Mimaki’s successful and popular UCJV series.

“Mimaki boasts a history of pioneering inkjet technologies and breakthrough innovations. Building on those solid foundations, the company aims to maintain its position at the forefront of advancements in digital printing,” comments Danna Drion, Marketing Manager, Mimaki EMEA. “This vision of reflecting on past innovations and leveraging state-of-the-art solutions to deliver a whole spectrum of unexplored future customer opportunities, underpins that ambition, and embodies our FESPA show theme.”

Designed with a futuristic theme, Mimaki’s largest ever FESPA booth will lend a glittering silver guise to proceedings. As an example, LED-lighting paths on the floor will lead to a central hanging kaleidoscopic installation, incorporating UV digital print on mirrors. Encompassing four key business areas strategically integrated across the booth – Sign Graphics; Industrial Products; Textiles and 3D – flagship Mimaki technology and a wealth of exciting, creative applications will be showcased.

Visitors will also be able to take part in product demonstrations and engage directly with the Mimaki team. To learn more about how they could implement and use Mimaki technology to offer and sell new inkjet applications, Mimaki visitors will also have access to some leading designers and creative professionals who regularly use digital print within their work. Connecting customers, partners, designers and innovators to generate new and rewarding collaborations will be key to Mimaki’s FESPA 2019 show and vision for the future.

“With the help of our industry-acclaimed inkjet print and cutting technology, we will use the show to demonstrate how businesses can become forward-thinkers and boost productivity in a more advanced workflow. At the same time, we will also encourage and welcome visitor ideas, feedback and requests too – as always, this is essential R&D learning for us,” adds Drion. “What’s more, why not talk to us live at the show using #FutureofPrint and tell us what you think? In addition, go to Mimaki’s registration page for a chance to win one of 50 fantastic Flic Wireless Smart Buttons that we will give away during the show.”
(Mimaki Europe B.V.)

Ahlstrom-Munksjö: Changes in Management Team and new business structure for integration of ...

Ahlstrom-Munksjö: Changes in Management Team and new business structure for integration of ...  (Company news)

...acquired business and strategic alignment to be implemented

Ahlstrom-Munksjö will implement a new business and reporting structure as of January 1, 2020. The new organizational structure is a natural next step following the completion and initial integration phase of the Expera Specialty Solutions acquisition. With the new structure, Ahlstrom-Munksjö will promote its core business capabilities, sharpen its strategic targets and align business characteristics of each business area.

In the new organizational structure, businesses are combined which share same core capabilities, strategic targets and characteristics. This enables Ahlstrom-Munksjö to strengthen and further promote its capabilities in areas of product development and innovation, global key customer account management, product and production technology as well as process improvement and production optimization. The reorganization will support profitable growth, competitiveness as well as customer service.

The transformative acquisition of Expera Specialty Solutions was completed on October 10, 2018. The acquisition almost tripled Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s net sales in the U.S. This specialty paper business is highly complementary with Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s fiber-based solutions businesses and provides attractive cost and business synergies. The integration work has proceeded successfully. In the new business structure, where the acquired fifth business will be integrated into Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s operating platform, the full potential of the business combination will be realized.

The new Business Area structure as of January 1, 2020
Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s organizational structure and reporting segments, as of January 1, 2020, and their leaders will be as follows:
-Business Area Filtration and Performance Solutions, Executive Vice President Daniele Borlatto
-Business Area Advanced Solutions, Executive Vice President Omar Hoek
-Business Area Industrial Solutions, Executive Vice President Dan Adrianzon
-Business Area Food and Technical Solutions, Executive Vice President Robyn Buss
-Business Area Decor Solutions, Executive Vice President Tomas Wulkan

Long-term business planning and target setting for 2020 and beyond will be completed during the second half of this year based on the new structure. The businesses and organization within each Business Area will be announced in the third quarter of 2019.

Hans Sohlström (photo), President and CEO, comments: “The global Business Area and Business Unit structure is a strategic cornerstone and key success factor of our company. Decentralized end-to-end business responsibilities and local accountability drives good customer service, quality, innovation and profits as well as growth in the most effective way. The five Business Areas are defined and the Business Units grouped into Business Areas based on strategic targets, core capabilities and main characteristics of each business. This organizational change is a preplanned and natural next step in the integration of the acquired Expera Specialty Solutions to our Group.”

Changes in the Group Executive Management Team
Robyn Buss is appointed Executive Vice President of Business Area North America Specialty Solutions as of October 1, 2019. She is succeeding Russ Wanke, who retires end of September.

President and CEO Hans Sohlström says: “I thank Russ Wanke for his valuable contribution to ensure a smooth integration of Expera Specialty Solutions in to Ahlstrom-Munksjö and wish him all the best for his retirement. At the same time, I welcome Robyn Buss to our Group Executive Management Team. Her strong customer centric leadership, business skills and experience especially from North America bring valuable contribution to our Group Leadership Team.”

Daniele Borlatto is appointed Executive Vice President of Business Area Filtration and Performance as of June 7, 2019. He is currently Executive Vice President of Business Area Industrial Solutions. Daniele succeeds Fulvio Capussotti, who will take up new responsibilities outside Ahlstrom-Munksjö and leave the company at the same date.

Hans Sohlström says: “I thank Fulvio Capussotti for his valuable and successful contribution to our company and wish him success in his future career. Daniele Borlatto, who is an experienced leader and has been working for the company since 1990 is well placed to lead and develop Filtration and Performance further, as he has earlier, as Fulvio’s predecessor, built up and led this business.”

Dan Adrianzon is appointed Executive Vice President of Business Area Industrial Solutions as of June 7, 2019. He is currently Executive Vice President of People and Safety. Hans Sohlström continues: “Dan Adrianzon is well placed to lead Business Area Industrial Solutions, as he led successfully the Business Area Industrial Applications in Munksjö Group during the years 2013 – 2017, before taking over the leadership of the integration of Ahlstrom and Munksjö. As the integration has now been completed and the main synergies have been achieved, Dan is ready for his next important mission.”

Tarja Takko, currently Vice President, Talent and Development, Group HR and HR Business Partner, Filtration & Performance, is appointed acting Executive Vice President of People and Safety as of June 7, 2019. Hans Sohlström continues: “Our main success factor is our knowledgeable and engaged people, it is therefore of utmost importance to have solid succession. I’d like to welcome Tarja Takko to our Executive Management Team.
(Ahlstrom-Munksjö Corporation)

Toscotec chosen as turnkey supplier by Cartiera Cama in Italy to rebuild the dryer section of PM1

Toscotec chosen as turnkey supplier by Cartiera Cama in Italy to rebuild the dryer section of PM1  (Company news)

Cartiera Cama S.r.l. chose Toscotec for the complete rebuild of the dryer section of its PM1 at Lallio mill, Bergamo, Italy. PM1 produces core board and carton board from 650 to 1,200 gsm, using 100% waste fibres. The delivery is planned in two steps, in July and December 2019.

Photo: TT SteelDryer

Toscotec’s supply will be on a turnkey basis. It includes 29 TT SteelDryers designed for an operating steam pressure of 10 barg, which will replace most of the mill’s existing cast iron dryers. Toscotec will supply the bearing housings, steam fits, joints and turbulence bars for the entirety of the dryer cans, as well as the new dryer section’s main components, including stretchers, guiding devices, canvas rolls and doctors. The scope also comprises mechanical drives for the entire paper machine.

The services package consists of onsite erection, supervision, commissioning and start-up assistance.

The rebuild will boost the mill’s production by more than 10%, only by increasing PM1’s drying capacity and maintaining the original machine length and the original number of dryers. An additional improvement will be the implementation of the silent drive concept, through the replacement of the existing gears. The simplicity of the silent drive solution drastically reduces maintenance costs and noise generation.

Davide Bettanti, CEO of Cartiera Cama, says, “Sustainability is the keystone to our business. Today’s market is increasingly demanding in terms of environmental protection. At Cartiera Cama we invest in new technology to increase the efficiency of our operations, reduce our environmental impact and improve product quality. On this turnkey project we chose Toscotec, because we wanted to increase the production and efficiency of PM1, by relying on the best available drying technology. ”

Enrico Fazio, Toscotec’s Head of Sales, says “It is a great pleasure for us to cooperate with a family business such as Cartiera Cama, here in Italy. We had the opportunity to work with them many years ago and we were happy to rediscover during the negotiation of this project that we share the same traditions and vision on the importance of trust and relationships. We are confident that the rebuild will deliver on Cartiera Cama’s demanding green targets and, thanks to our solution with TT SteelDryers, we will increase the machine capacity.”
(Toscotec S.p.A.)

MBO and partners present the world of networked print finishing 4.0 at the Baumann Open House

MBO and partners present the world of networked print finishing 4.0 at the Baumann Open House  (Company news)

MBO Group is pleased to be an exhibitor once again at an Open House event of the Baumann Group. The event takes place from 14 to 16 May 2019 in Solms. In addition to MBO and the host company Baumann will be presenting their products.

MBO will be exhibiting the K8RS (photo), the fastest folding machine in its format class. As a special feature, the machine will be integrated into the cutting-edge, cloud-based management platform Keyline from Crispy Mountain. The Keyline MIS maps all classic printshop processes – from offer preparation to printing and print finishing right through to invoicing. The user interface is very clearly structured and intuitive.

The MBO Datamanager 4.0 functions as the “translator” of the data exchanged between the K8RS MBO folding machine and the Keyline MIS. Datamanager first saves the data of the jobs arriving from Keyline and converts them to the machine language. The operator can access the data directly via the touchscreen of the folding machine. For example, he can use the data for automatic set-up of the machine or check that the correct paper pallet is in place in the feeder. This prevents transmission errors.

And the operator no longer needs to compile information on a print job once it has been completed. The number of folded sheets, quantity of waste paper and other data such as set-up times and machine speeds are recorded during ongoing production and reported to the higher-level Keyline MIS with the help of MBO Datamanager 4.0. The real-time data from this networked application ensures that job planners have a clear overview of the status of all jobs at all times and can carry out fine planning based on the specific situation if required.

With its open interface, MBO Datamanager 4.0 can be incorporated into almost any MIS. And it goes without saying that a random number of folding machines can be integrated. These folding machines do not necessarily have to be on the same production site. As the customer’s network is used for data transmission between folding machine and MIS, a decentralised organisation is not a problem for Datamanager.
(MBO Maschinenbau Oppenweiler Binder GmbH & Co KG)

emtec at Paper Vietnam 2019

emtec at Paper Vietnam 2019  (Company news)

For the first time emtec Electronic will attend Paper Vietnam 2019

Photo: CAS touch! and FPA touch!

The pulp and paper industry will meet at the international exhibition and conference Paper Vietnam 2019 in Ho Chi Minh City from June 26th to 28th. Emtec Electronic, the German developer and producer of innovative testing instruments, will attend for the first time. Together with the Southeast Asian representative CLC Certified Lab Consultant, the company showcases a variety of its innovations at booth no. P65.

For the wet-end in paper and board production, the smallest, lightest and most-modern charge measuring systems are the CAS touch! and the FPA touch! The use of both instruments in the production process helps to optimize the utilization of chemicals with the target to stabilize the process, to improve the product quality and to reduce costs.

Besides this, the EST12 emtec Surface & Sizing Tester is shown. A useful tool to determine those surface properties of paper and board, that are relevant for the converting process, in particular the surface hydrophobia (sizing) as well as the surface porosity. Both parameters help to predict the converting behavior while printing, coating and gluing and enable the optimal runnability during the converting processes of paper and board.
(emtec Electronic GmbH)

Valmet to launch a new-generation web inspection system at PaperCon 2019

Valmet to launch a new-generation web inspection system at PaperCon 2019  (Company news)

Valmet will launch a new-generation Valmet IQ Web Inspection System (IQ WIS), which enables board and paper producers to inspect and improve product quality in greater detail. IQ WIS works in real time, enabling immediate root-cause analysis and corrective action. IQ WIS is one of the integral elements of the Valmet IQ Process and Quality Vision system; another element is the Valmet IQ Web Monitoring System.

Photo: The new-generation Valmet IQ Web Inspection System utilizes an intelligent 8K camera technology for high measurement precision.

Improved quality through excellent synergy
Valmet IQ Web Inspection System has been developed in collaboration with Dr. Schenk, a global supplier of inspection and measurement solutions.

"The collaboration between Dr. Schenk and Valmet is a showcase of excellent synergy by smartly combining the know-how and experience from the world's best inspection system provider with a world-class paper process specialist. After having delivered a total of 450 Valmet IQ Process and Quality Vision systems globally, this new product launch is an important step toward even higher precision in quality control. Valmet continues to support the existing installed base and offers a seamless upgrade path. The advantages offered by the new features can be integrated into existing systems through upgrades," comments Marko Toskala, Director, Quality Management Systems, Automation, Valmet.

"We are pleased with the development of the new Valmet IQ WIS. Valmet is the frontrunner in the pulp and paper business. Through their strong sales and service organization, we can offer our leading inspection technology to these processes globally," says Dr. Peter-M. Heinze, Sales Manager, Dr. Schenk.

Efficient tools for analysis and paper quality rating
Valmet IQ Web Inspection System utilizes intelligent 8K camera technology, which combines the best features of an area scan (matrix) camera and line scan camera technologies. It enables immediate identification of production that does not meet quality criteria through a wide range of technical features.

High measurement precision can be reached even with higher maximum paper web speeds. More sensitive and reliable defect analysis can be achieved with multigeometry. It is also possible to replace several camera beams with one unit, resulting in cost-efficient, compact installation and lower service needs.

Technical information about Valmet IQ Web Inspection System
The latest IQ WIS technologies provide paper processors with the means to achieve profound quality monitoring and control. Unique lighting technology enables the detection of print-critical defects that have not been visible before. This illumination provides excellent opportunities for 3D defect contrasting. Particularly longitudinal structures and oil stains, for example, which are often hard to detect with standard lights, are also highlighted. Precise detailed defect classifications can be made by means of the MIDA (Multiple Image Defect Analysis) and the latest software algorithms based on artificial intelligence principles.

Valmet Industrial Internet solutions can utilize the data from the web inspection system to further benefit customers. A comprehensive process picture is created by combining the data from the quality control system and the machine vision system. By adding other key process data, it is possible to find optimal solutions to ensure desired process performance and end-product quality.
(Valmet Corporation)

Last database update: 10.05.2019 16:05 © 2004-2019, Birkner GmbH & Co. KG