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ANDRITZ GROUP: Results for the 2020 business year

ANDRITZ GROUP: Results for the 2020 business year   (Company news)

International technology group ANDRITZ saw solid business development in the 2020 business year in spite of the global economic crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

At 6.7 billion euros, revenue reached a new all-time high, while the operating result (EBITA) and net income increased significantly compared to the previous year. The Executive Board will propose a dividend of 1.00 euro per share, which is equal to a payout ratio of almost 50%.

Wolfgang Leitner, President & CEO of ANDRITZ AG, on the past business year: “We are very satisfied with business development in 2020. Due to the enormous flexibility and huge commitment of our employees worldwide, we succeeded in managing the economic challenges of this crisis for ourselves and for our customers well. We do not expect any major change in the overall economic conditions during most of the current year, and only expect a slight recovery in the markets we serve. So, we will continue our measures to ensure our long-term competitiveness, but also at the same time focus on investments to secure organic and external growth and on innovations".

The results of the business year in detail:

- The Order intake at 6,108.0 MEUR reached a solid level, but it was below the record level achieved in the previous year (-16.1% versus 2019: 7,282.0 MEUR), which included two large-scale orders. All business areas saw a decline in order intake compared to the previous year.
- The Order backlog as of the end of 2020 amounted to 6,774.0 MEUR and was thus significantly lower than the value for the previous year’s reference period (-12.9% compared to the end of 2019: 7,777.6 MEUR).
- Revenue amounted to 6,699.6 MEUR and reached a new record level, (+0.4% compared to 2019: 6,673.9 MEUR.) This is, above all, due to the processing of some large-scale orders in the Pulp & Paper business area and the resulting high revenue generation, which more than compensated for the decline in revenue in the other business areas.
- In combination with cost discipline, this favorable development in revenue led to an increase in the Operating result (EBITA) to 391.7 MEUR (2019: 343.2 MEUR). Profitability (EBITA margin) increased to 5.8% (2019: 5.1%). This result includes capacity adjustment measures of around 79 MEUR, particularly in the Metals Forming and Hydro business areas. Excluding these extraordinary effects, the EBITA amounted to 471.1 MEUR and was thus higher than the reference figure for the previous year excluding extraordinary effects (2019: 456.0 MEUR). At 7.0%, the EBITA margin for 2020 excluding these extraordinary effects was higher than the previous year (2019: EBITA margin excluding extraordinary effects: 6.8%).
- The Financial result improved significantly compared to the previous year and amounted to -34.1 MEUR (2019: -57.0 MEUR). This is largely due to the reduction in interest expenses in connection with the decrease in financial liabilities and to the improvement in the other financial result (including the foreign currency valuation of intercompany loans and bank balances in foreign currencies on the balance sheet date).
- The Net income (including non-controlling interests) increased significantly to 203.7 MEUR (2019: 122.8 MEUR).

From today’s perspective, the ANDRITZ GROUP expects for the full year of 2021 slightly lower revenue compared to the previous year (2020: 6,699.6 MEUR) due to the lower order intake in 2020 and an increase in the reported EBITA (2020: 391.7 MEUR). The EBITA excluding extraordinary effects should remain approximately stable compared to the previous year, depending on how revenue develops (adjusted EBITA 2020: 471.1 MEUR).

If the global economic recovery expected by market researchers for 2021 does not materialize or the pandemic intensifies again, this may result in negative effects on the processing of orders and on order intake and hence, a negative impact on ANDRITZ’s financial development. This could lead to additional adjustment measures in individual business areas, which could have a negative effect on the ANDRITZ GROUP’s earnings and require a revision of the guidance.
(Andritz AG)

Arctic Paper puts the expanded hydropower plant into operation – Munken paper production ...

Arctic Paper puts the expanded hydropower plant into operation – Munken paper production ...  (Company news)

... will be based on in-house sustainable energy

Arctic Paper is commissioning the expanded hydropower plant at the mill in Munkedal (photo). The investment of just over SEK 100 million increases the power from 2 to 6 MW, which in combination with the planned solid fuel boiler is sufficient to meet up to 80 percent of Arctic Paper Munkedal's energy needs with its own sustainable energy.

– Sustainability is very important for us and our customers and we have a long tradition of high ambitions in the area. Renewable and fossil-free energy is a key factor for sustainable paper production and the investment in Munkedal is part of our investment in green energy, says Michal Jarczyński, CEO of Arctic Paper.

Last year, Arctic Paper Munkedals received final permit for the boiler to be built in collaboration with Adven. Construction will start during the spring 2021. At the same time, a pilot investment in solar cells is underway at Arctic Paper Kostrzyn in Poland. The mill in Grycksbo is already supplied with renewable and fossil-free energy with the help of biofuels.

The decision to expand hydropower was made in 2018 and is financed by bank loan and with equity.
(Arctic Paper S.A.)

PJSC 'KCPM' successfully passed recertification and certification audits

PJSC 'KCPM' successfully passed recertification and certification audits  (Company news)

KCPM (photo) has confirmed compliance with 4 international standards.

On January 19-21, PJSC “Kyiv CPM” successfully passed the recertification audit to for compliance of the integrated management system with international standards ISO 9001 (Quality Management System) and ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System).

KCPM also passed the certification audit for compliance with the international standards ISO 45001: 2018 “Health and Safety Management System” and ISO 50001:2018 “Energy Management System”.

Based on the audit’s results we will receive the appropriate certificates from the certification body.
(Kyiv Cardboard and Paper Mill JSC)

BTG opens a service center near Bangkok to support Thailand and neighboring countries

BTG opens a service center near Bangkok to support Thailand and neighboring countries  (Company news)

BTG announces the opening of a dedicated service center in Chonburi, outside Bangkok, Thailand. The center is housed within the Voith-IHI facility and is strategically located to serve customers in Thailand. This new local service capability is a natural progression as BTG further strengthens its presence in South East Asia.

The facility is equipped to provide local service and repairs across the BTG Instruments portfolio. “A high-quality service capability with fast turnaround times is now available to our valued customers in Thailand and neighboring countries” comments Akhlesh Mathur, South East Asia Sales Director for BTG.

The opening of this service center complements the footprint of BTG workshops in Asia, with locations in India, Japan and Australia.
(BTG Eclépens S.A.)

New Year, New Technology – Mimaki Launches Two Advanced Print Solutions for ...

New Year, New Technology – Mimaki Launches Two Advanced Print Solutions for ...  (Company news)

... Digital Textile Production

Mimaki Europe, a leading manufacturer of inkjet printers and cutting systems, announces the addition of two new high performance textile printers to its market-leading product portfolio – The Mimaki TS100-1600 and the Mimaki Tiger-1800B MkIII Printer (photo).

Add digital print technology to meet changing market demands
The TS100-1600 is Mimaki’s latest addition to its ‘100 series’ portfolio. This affordable, high-quality system is ideal for printers looking to add their first digital sublimation printing solution or expand their production capacity.

Bert Benckhuysen, Senior Product Manager at Mimaki Europe explained, “The textile printing industry has seen a growing requirement for increased product variety, lower inventories and shorter delivery times. Add to that the economic challenges of 2020 and we recognized that the market needed a digital textile printer that combined high quality, on-demand output with a low initial investment and cost-effective production. Having seen the success of our 100 series printers for the same reasons in other sectors, we knew that introducing a textile printer to this range would provide our customers with an opportunity to expand their businesses and seek new revenue opportunities, even amid these challenging times.”

Available in the EMEA from April 2021, the TS100-1600 has a print width of 1,600 mm and speed of 70 m2/h in the fastest mode. In addition, the use of a 1 litre ink bottle helps reduce the running cost and enables stable, continuous operation due to the reduced need for ink replacement. The printer is also equipped with a variety of renowned Mimaki features, including NCU (Nozzle Check Unit)1, NRS (Nozzle Recovery System)2, and the DAS (Dot Adjustment System) function which automates dot position correction and feeding amount correction, reducing the need for operator intervention. While the RIP software RasterLink 7 comes as standard, printers purchasing the TS100-1600 can also choose to add the TxLink4, another one of Mimaki’s original RIP software platforms.

Get ahead of the competition with the new and improved Tiger-1800B MkIII
The second printer launched today is the Tiger-1800B MkIII – the latest model of this high-speed, high-volume industrial textile printer range. Available as a high-quality direct-to-textile (reactive or direct sublimation) or sublimation transfer printing solution, the new Tiger-1800B MkIII has been developed with reliability and print accuracy at the forefront of the design process and features new software capabilities that help to increase productivity and reduce downtime.

“The textile industry is fast-moving, highly creative and leaves little room for error,” continued Benckhuysen. “Printers in this market require a robust system that will deliver the speed, quality and innovation needed to keep pace with this exciting industry. The new capabilities of the Tiger-1800B MkIII build on those featured in successful predecessor models to meet these requirements head on.”
(Mimaki Europe B.V.)

Economy meets ecology: New cardboards at hubergroup

Economy meets ecology: New cardboards at hubergroup  (Company news)

International ink manufacturer hubergroup Print Solutions has developed a new sustainable concept for its secondary packaging, harmonising the look and feel of its cardboards worldwide. The company has already been using environmentally friendly paper since 2020. Now, new wrap-around boxes, pop-up boxes and cartridge boxes will optimise and automate internal logistics processes. Distributors and customers benefit from less packaging waste and better handling. This does not only protect the environment, but also creates economic benefits such as less time and reduced space requirements when disposing of the cardboard boxes on site. This applies to secondary packaging for 2.5 kg and 1 kg cans as well as 2 kg cartridges.

hubergroup has already dispensed with the use of bleach in its secondary packaging since 2020. However, this was only the first step towards more environmentally friendly packaging at the printing ink manufacturer. Now, the company is introducing completely redesigned boxes for 2.5 kg and 1 kg cans worldwide: a variant with wrap-around folding as well as pop-up boxes with divider. Likewise, 2 kg cartridges turn also up in a revised carton.

When optimising the cartons for 2 kg cartridges, hubergroup payed special attention to the customers' workflows. Oliver Eigenbrod, Project Manager SCM and Logistics at hubergroup Germany, explains: "The most important change is the elimination of a separate perforated plate as an inlay, which is now integrated into the carton material. This reduces waste, as polystyrene is no longer needed as a filling material. In addition, the new carton box can be opened quickly with a tear strip: a small but significant efficiency advantage in our customers' daily operations."

The changeover of the cardboards will take place gradually and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. "Our new wrap around boxes for 2.5 kg and 1 kg cans will completely replace our standard bar boxes for these sizes. Besides the environmental aspect, they are much more robust and stable and therefore more effective to handle for our customers. This has been proven by extensive tests with various parcel service providers," explains logistics expert Oliver Eigenbrod.

The improved properties of the redesigned cardboard boxes accelerate internal logistics processes and thus lay the foundation for further automation.
(Hubergroup Deutschland GmbH)

Heidelberg further expands volume-based contract business with Prinect software

Heidelberg further expands volume-based contract business with Prinect software  (Company news)

- druckpartner in Essen, Germany, installs 1000th Prinect Production Manager
- Focusing on more automation and improved customer support
- Prinect Production Manager bolsters Push to Stop concept

Photo: Milestone in contract business with Prinect software: Essen-based media service provider druckpartner has commissioned the 1,000th Prinect Production Manager from Heidelberg. From left to right: druckpartner Managing Directors Dominik Schikfelder and Marco Böke and Alexander Schuster, Member of the Management Board at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen Vertrieb Deutschland GmbH.

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is further expanding its data-based contract business with Prinect software. The company recently reached a milestone with Essen-based media service provider druckpartner, when it installed the 1000th Prinect Production Manager since the product’s market launch at drupa 2016. The Prinect Production Manager is a volume-based subscription offering that ensures customers pay only for their actual usage of Prinect and do not need to purchase individual licenses up front. The transparent monthly usage fee covers all functions as well as software updates and upgrades. This means customers always have access to the most recent version and the latest functions, including the hotline and remote support. It also gives them the opportunity to achieve end-to-end workflow automation with improved productivity. Approximately half of Prinect software sales at Heidelberg are now accounted for by contract business.

“As part of its digitization strategy and in line with its focus on core business, Heidelberg is consistently pursuing the expansion of data-based contract business across all areas of the company,” explains Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer. “Our customers benefit from a needs-based offering that means they only have to pay for what they actually require in order to run their company on a productive basis. In turn, Heidelberg benefits from recurring sales in its core business, which centers on printed sheets.”
(Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG)

DREWSEN SPEZIALPAPIERE to increase speciality paper prices significantly, ...

DREWSEN SPEZIALPAPIERE to increase speciality paper prices significantly, ...  (Company news)

... effective April 1

Due to the substantial and continuous cost increases for raw materials especially pulp by approx. 30 %, DREWSEN SPEZIALPAPIERE will be increasing their prices significantly for uncoated woodfree papers for deliveries from April 1st 2021 onwards.

Customers will be contacted directly by the DREWSEN sales team.

Lecta Introduces Adestor PET Laser MW

Lecta Introduces Adestor PET Laser MW   (Company news)

For durable, high strength labelling to withstand extreme conditions.

Lecta expands its portfolio of Adestor pressure-sensitive products for the industrial, logistics and healthcare industries with the launch of Adestor PET Laser MW.

The new Adestor PET Laser Matt White facestock provides excellent performance for outdoor labelling and durable applications (high resistance to water, chemicals and fluctuating temperatures). This new product is HP Indigo certified and ideal for use with variable data printing technologies.

With this launch, Lecta continues to expand its Adestor brand portfolio with specialized, durable pressure-sensitive materials for digital and variable data printing to meet the growing demand for personalized products.

The entire Adestor range is produced in accordance with ISO 14001 and EMAS environmental standards, ISO 50001 energy management standards, ISO 9001 quality standards and ISO 45001 standards for occupational health and safety management systems.

Lessebo Recycled is awarded with EU Ecolabel

Lessebo Recycled is awarded with EU Ecolabel  (Company news)

Lessebo Paper launched Lessebo Recycled in 2019, an FSC® Recycled (FSC-C021923) uncoated range of papers produced from sorted waste, sourced from Europe. This innovative product made with recycled content is now awarded with the reputable EU Ecolabel.

Lessebo Recycled is an FSC® Recycled uncoated paper quality and matches the highest sustainability standards, available in two shades; Balder (CIE 145), and Tor (CIE 75) produced at Lessebo Paper mill in south of Sweden. The range of Lessebo Recycled is now also awarded with the EU Ecolabel.

The EU Ecolabel is a label of environmental excellence and is awarded to products meeting high environmental standards throughout their life cycle: from raw material extraction, to production, distribution, and disposal. The EU Ecolabel promotes the circular economy by encouraging producers to generate less waste and CO2 during the manufacturing process.

Lessebo Paper can see an increasing interest of their environmentally smart products, and Lessebo Recycled being the latest addition to their portfolio, the interest has increased even further. “Lessebo Paper is one of the most environmentally friendly paper mills in the world, and our low CO2 emissions of 22kg per tonne paper is difficult to match. This has been recognised in the market and we can see that it is attracting big brand owners” Explains Eric Sigurdsson, CEO at Lessebo Paper.

By offering recycled products, Lessebo Paper contributes to a circular economy and reducing the pressure on forests and the consumption of natural resources. “Environmental sustainability is a corporate priority at Lessebo Paper and offering recycled papers and boards for the market is an important part of our commitment to the planet.” Eric Sigurdsson concludes “The EU Ecolabel awarded Lessebo Recycled is a way that Lessebo Paper makes it easy for customers to make a difference for the environment”.
(Lessebo Paper AB)

Almost 100,000 voices against junk advertising: Letzte Werbung and Deutsche Umwelthilfe ...

Almost 100,000 voices against junk advertising: Letzte Werbung and Deutsche Umwelthilfe ...  (Company news)

...demand that Justice Minister Lambrecht put an end to unwanted junk mail

- Deutsche Umwelthilfe and Letzte Werbung hand over more than 97,033 signatures against unsolicited commercial mail to the Federal Ministry of Justice

- Minister of Justice Lambrecht should establish "opt-in procedure" in law: allow unaddressed advertising mail only in mailboxes with "Advertising - Yes please" sign

- Success for campaign: Ministry agrees to examine implementation for Germany

- More than 28 billion printed advertising flyers per year waste resources, fuel climate change and contribute to the destruction of forests

Put an end to the waste caused by unwanted advertising brochures. That is the message of the votes of 97,033 petitioners, which representatives of the Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) and the association Letzte Werbung handed over in Berlin together to responsible persons of the Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJV). With the voices the consumers send a clear signal to Minister of Justice Christine Lambrecht to end the garbage flood of unsolicited advertising mail by a legal regulation. To this end, she is to establish an opt-in procedure for unaddressed advertising mail. Advertising would then only be allowed to be dropped into mailboxes if expressly requested, for example with a simple "Advertising - Yes please" sign. In a discussion with DUH and Letzte Werbung today, the responsible department of the ministry showed itself to be open to the opt-in procedure and promised to look into implementing it for Germany.

"More than one million tons of unaddressed advertising land in German mailboxes every year, of which, according to expert estimates, up to 90 percent are not even read and go straight into the trash. This is an immense waste of resources and climate pollution that is unacceptable. We are pleased that the Ministry of Justice wants to examine the introduction of an opt-in procedure so that only those who expressly wish to receive advertising can do so. We will follow this with vigor, continue to demand and expect that this solution will also find its way into the coalition negotiations after the federal elections next year," says Barbara Metz, DUH's deputy federal managing director.

"Retailers must no longer be allowed to distribute advertising leaflets according to the watering can principle. Almost 100,000 supporters of our petition for an opt-in procedure send a clear message to Justice Minister Lambrecht that the current distribution system of advertising mail must be reversed. "Advertising - Yes please" instead of "Advertising - No thanks." Everyone who wants advertising mail should receive it, but only these people and not millions of other households. According to current figures, 76 percent of the population reject unwanted advertising mail. However, since only around a quarter have "Advertising - No thanks" stickers on their mailboxes, half of all households in Germany receive unwanted advertising flyers under the current delivery system. This must stop," says co-initiator of the petition and chairman of the Letzte Werbung association Sebastian Sielmann.

Every year, more than 28 billion printed advertising brochures are distributed into German mailboxes without being asked - with devastating consequences for the environment, climate and waste volumes. The vast majority of these brochures, some of which are also wrapped in plastic, end up in the trash unread. Clogged mailboxes, littered hallways and the senseless waste of resources are met with sharp criticism and incomprehension from consumers. This was the result of a great deal of feedback from petition participants.

The fact that an opt-in system achieves strong effects is shown, for example, by the Dutch capital Amsterdam, which introduced it already in 2018. According to the city administration, this saves 6,000 tons of paper and between 650 and 750 trips by the municipal waste collection service per year. Just how necessary savings would be in Germany is shown by the figures for the production of the 28 billion unaddressed advertising brochures distributed in Germany every year. Their production consumes 42 billion liters of water, 4.3 billion kilowatt hours of energy and 1.6 million tons of wood per year.
(Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.)

Stora Enso: Oulu Mill now manufactures high-quality kraftliner for the global packaging market

Stora Enso: Oulu Mill now manufactures high-quality kraftliner for the global packaging market  (Company news)

A new era has started in Stora Enso’s Oulu Mill in Finland: the mill is again producing after an investment shut-down. A former paper machine was converted for containerboard production, to serve the growing packaging market. In addition, the pulp mill was modified to produce unbleached kraft pulp.

Several enhancements were made to the mill’s environmental performance, too. The conversion brought significant improvements to the treatment of malodorous gases and wastewater, as well as to chip storage. Altogether EUR 40 million was invested in the enhancements and the mill now has the technical capability to produce all the energy it needs without fossil fuels.

Building on a proud history of paper making
Since 1996, Oulu Mill has produced coated fine paper on two manufacturing lines. In May 2019 the company made a decision to end paper manufacturing and invest EUR 350 million to convert one of the paper machines into high-quality kraftliner for packaging. Paper production and sheeting in Oulu ceased in September 2020, and in January 2021 pulp production started at the converted mill. The mill is expected to reach its designed production capacity by the end of Q2/2021.

“Oulu Mill had an ideal starting point for this kind of conversion. There was an integrated pulp mill, a power plant, existing paper lines and an experienced team. In addition, it has an excellent location for raw material and logistics, with the deep-sea harbour just adjacent to the mill,” says Hannu Kasurinen, EVP Packaging Materials.

The new kraftliner capacity considerably strengthens Stora Enso’s global offering in containerboard. A similar conversion project was carried out in 2015–2016 at Varkaus Mill when one paper machine was converted to produce kraftliner.

Today, approximately 400 people are employed on the Oulu Mill site, including facilities personnel and logistics staff. The mill’s wood consumption, mainly purchased from private forest owners in Northern Finland, will increase by 0.5 million m3 to 2.4 million m3 annually.

Strong kraftliner for food contact applications
“Oulu’s new product is a very strong, food-contact safe 100% virgin-fiber based kraftliner that will come with both brown- and white-top. There is a strong market demand for the grade and our expectation is that, when fully ramped up, Oulu Mill will generate a EUR 300 million annual sales increase for the Packaging Materials division in 2022,” Hannu Kasurinen continues.

The product, AvantForteTM by Stora Enso, has three fiber layers, making it the strongest kraftliner in Stora Enso’s portfolio. Packaging applications include fresh, fatty or moist food, as well as high-end e-commerce packaging. Customers in demanding packaging end-uses that require strength, purity and strong visual appearance features will benefit from Oulu’s new product.

“Oulu’s paper quality was the benchmark in woodfree coated papers. Our goal is nothing less in kraftliner. Of course, the journey to the best has only begun, but the team in Oulu is dedicated to safety and delivering premium quality to our customers,” says Oulu Mill Director Juha Mäkimattila.

Employment for the sourcing chain
A total of 2.4 million m3 of wood for Oulu Mill means an annual cash flow of more than EUR 100 million into the regional economy. This includes both wood trade revenues for forest owners and harvesting and transportation revenues for Stora Enso's local partner companies. The increase is approximately EUR 20 million.

In addition to wood trade revenues, wood sourcing has an employment effect. The change at Oulu Mill will create 100 new jobs in its wood sourcing area in wood purchase, harvesting, transportation and forestry work. In the future, the wood sourcing for Oulu Mill will employ several hundred people in northern Finland.
(Stora Enso Oyj)

Freeze-friendly labels - Faller Packaging offers special pharmaceutical labels for low ..

Freeze-friendly labels - Faller Packaging offers special pharmaceutical labels for low ..  (Company news)

... temperatures

Packaging specialist Faller Packaging offers special labels for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries which are suitable for use in extremely low temperatures. These labels ensure that important information accompanying the product remains legible during storage and transportation – for example in the case of the urgently needed COVID-19 vaccines.

Image: Faller Packaging has developed special labels for transporting and storing vaccines and other medicines at low temperatures.

Ensuring the global supply of the newly developed vaccines against the coronavirus, or SARS-CoV-2, is currently the main issue dominating the pharmaceutical industry. For these vaccines to arrive at their destinations safely and effectively, they must be stored and transported at particularly low temperatures. Here, it is not only the vials for containing the vaccines that need to be suited to such extreme conditions – but also all the other packaging components, for example labels.

It is for this reason that Faller Packaging, provider of packaging solutions to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, includes special temperature-resistant labels within its product portfolio. The face stock of these labels is made from a polypropylene (PP) film that easily withstands temperatures ranging from -196° C to +120° C. The adhesive is also designed in such a way that it can be applied at room temperature but continue to serve its purpose in extremely cold conditions. What’s more, it has been tested in accordance with DIN ISO 3826 and approved for indirect contact with foodstuffs as per FDA 175.105. The labels adhere to glass containers, plastic containers, steel plates and plastic plates, and can also be applied to vials with narrow radii. They are suitable for standard labelling machines, but can also be applied by hand.

This makes Faller Packaging’s temperature-resistant labels ideal for labelling COVID-19 vaccines and sterile medications, as well as for a range of other applications, for example in the field of cryogenics. Pharmaceutical manufacturers benefit from secure, durable labels which, among other things, enable reliable batch traceability and help avoid usage errors. The labels can even be printed retroactively via thermal transfer. The material from which they are made also exhibits high levels of resistance against a variety of chemicals.
(August Faller GmbH & Co. KG)

Accraply announces modular upgrade for Trine roll-fed labelers

Accraply announces modular upgrade for Trine roll-fed labelers  (Company news)

Improved throughput, changeovers and maintenance among top benefits for Trine users

Picture: The Trine Modular Labeling Station is compatible with all existing and new Trine labeling systems

Accraply, a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of label application systems, has introduced the Trine Modular Labeling Station, an upgrade for existing Trine roll-fed labelers that enables significant process improvements with minimal line disruption. Designed to integrate quickly and seamlessly with existing Trine labelers, this upgrade was engineered to improve throughput, simplify changeovers and operation, reduce maintenance costs and improve label appearance.

The Trine Modular Labeling Station can be retrofitted to an existing Trine labeling system or be used with a new Trine system. This solution was designed to satisfy the evolving requirements of Accraply’s Trine customer base.

“This innovation is based exclusively on feedback from our customers who are already using Trine labeling systems,” said Troy Peterson, Accraply’s Trine product line leader. “We are excited to bring this modular and easy-to-install solution to the roll-fed label market.”

To mitigate costs and line disruption, this upgrade leverages the customer’s existing product handling system and existing Trine change parts. It can be installed in as few as three days, bringing the latest roll-fed labeling technology to the customer’s operations quickly while minimizing downtime.

The labeling station includes Accraply’s SmartLink HMI, a next-generation controls platform with efficiency reporting, preventative maintenance alerts, self-diagnosing software, video tutorials and onboard parts ordering. This HMI simplifies operation and increases throughput. It also decreases setup time by eliminating variables and opportunities for operator error.

In addition, the Trine Modular Labeling Station includes improvements to maintenance, safety and waste reduction. The large diameter glue roll eliminates glue slinging and reduces vacuum drum cleaning time by 50 percent. The glue roller and glue scraper systems are safe, easy to keep clean and provide simple setup. The self-timing, servo-driven system includes fewer moving components and wear parts than previous Trine labelers, reducing the need for replacement parts and operator adjustment.
Accraply is one of several Barry-Wehmiller companies represented in BW Packaging Systems, which brings together the collective packaging capabilities of Accraply, BW Flexible Systems, BW Integrated Systems, Pneumatic Scale Angelus and Synerlink.
(Accraply Inc.)

Expanding the Palette: Fresh Portfolio of Colorants Helps Solenis Grow in Papermaking ...

Expanding the Palette: Fresh Portfolio of Colorants Helps Solenis Grow in Papermaking ...  (Company news)

... Chemical Market

Picture: Solenis draws heavily on the 150 years of colorant technical know-how that came with the BASF integration to produce the specialized raw materials and intermediates used in colorant synthesis.

When Solenis joined forces with BASF’s paper wet-end and water chemicals business in 2019, it paved the way for an extended offering to the global papermaking industry. Today, Solenis is effectively leveraging its newly expanded palette with a full range of basic dyes, direct dyes, pigment preparations and color developers for thermal paper.

After serving the pulp and paper industry for more than 100 years, Solenis is well known as a leading supplier of process and functional chemistries. The Wilmington, Delaware-based company already had a world-class portfolio of products, state-of-the-art monitoring and control systems and a global network of professionals respected for their consultative approach to working with customers.

Meanwhile, the Germany-based BASF had built its reputation as an innovative chemical company, and its 2008 acquisition of CIBA expanded its colorants portfolio and expertise even more, establishing BASF as the go-to reference in the market.

But every great team can be improved. For Solenis, which did not count colorants expertise as a core competency, the pickup of BASF’s basic dyes, direct dyes and pigment preparations was a key addition that strengthened an already robust portfolio. Now, Solenis has fully assimilated the acquired technologies and is well positioned to offer a colorants portfolio that gives papermakers great flexibility, along with support from a technical team.

As Solenis CEO John Panichella observed when the deal was signed, “Together, we have a unique opportunity to create a customer-focused global specialty chemical company with an enhanced focus and expanded offerings.”

Colorants are an important part of that offering.

A Full Spectrum of Solutions
Modern papermakers face enormous challenges. Their customers are becoming increasingly demanding as they clamor for a wide range of special effects, from colors and lightfastness to handling properties and custom formulations. Engaging different vendors to build a complete range of colorant products, in addition to all of the other wet-end chemistries, takes valuable time and energy that most paper mill personnel can’t spare. They would much prefer a supplier that offers a comprehensive solution, as well as the technical expertise to support it.

“There has been a lot of upheaval in the colorant supplier world,” says Christophe Zebst, Global Marketing Director, Industrial Packaging and Graphics & Specialty Papers, Solenis. “Papermakers want selection, but they also want stability and strength. Because of our track record serving the industry, our customers can feel confident that we’ll be there to support them, no matter their size or location. And, of course, we’re really pleased to offer a world-class portfolio of colorants.”

The Solenis portfolio is organized into three broad categories:
- Liquid and powder direct dyes, which comprise both powder and liquid concentrate products. These direct dyes, which are labeled under Solenis’ Pergasol™ trade name, are anionic, water-soluble synthetic dyes known for their ability to achieve precise shade and quality targets. The dye group is ideal for providing deep, lasting color in printing and writing papers, graphic and specialty papers, hygiene papers, paper board, corrugated case materials, and decorative tissue paper grades. Solenis also offers some cationic direct dyes that have very higher fiber affinity, providing outstanding bleedfastness to many paper grades.

- Organic and inorganic pigments, which Solenis markets as Pergalite™ in Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America and as Solar™ in North America. These pigment preparations are an excellent choice for tinting white paper and for producing high-quality colored paper. They are also an excellent option for producing medium and deep colored paper grades, where lightfastness and chemical resistance are needed. Notably, Solenis offers a unique range of pigment preparations for paper and board intended to come into contact with food.

- Basic dyes, which encompass Solenis’ Pergabase™ family of synthetic dyes. These colorants are well studied and allow papermakers to economically achieve brilliant shades of violet, brown, yellow, orange and red. They are ideally suited for tinting newsprint and wood-containing papers and for coloring waste-based packaging grades.

According to Zebst, it’s the versatility of the Solenis portfolio that is so attractive. “Our colorant products have been designed to provide a wide spectrum of colors that can be used to enhance just about any paper, tissue or board grade. Our team of papermaking and color experts work closely with each mill to design a program that functions properly in their operational environment, yet still allows them to meet quality, regulatory and shade requirements.”

Those requirements can vary greatly depending on the papermaking market. For example, tissue and towel makers must balance whiteness with wet strength, while deep-dyed napkins for food contact must provide excellent bleedfastness. Packaging and board makers must also be able to provide solutions for food contact, as well as other specialty packaging products such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and detergents, all of which must prevent water and vapor intrusion without sacrificing recyclability. Finally, printing and writing paper makers must be able to deliver brightness and whiteness, printability and runnability, gloss and smoothness, uniformity and strength.

In addition to these requirements, navigating the regulatory environment can be daunting. Since the Food Additives Amendment of 1958 was passed in the United States, a number of twists and turns have occurred that affect the use of colorants in food packaging, in polymers and in paper and paperboard. Similar challenges have affected EMEA, where BASF already forged a reputation as a leader in product safety and regulatory (PS&R) initiatives. Over the decades, BASF has obtained certifications with the Nordic Swan Ecolabel within different paper product groups, has developed a number of technologies with clean ecotox profiles and continues to extend its search for sustainable and renewable raw materials throughout the supply chain.

All of that regulatory expertise is now rolled up into the Solenis brand — and available to Solenis customers. In fact, having a color expert that understands and can help interpret regulations in multiple countries around the world is an essential part of a colorant solution.

As Zebst says, “There is an expression in the industry: color is easy — until it isn’t. That’s why it’s critical for papermakers to find a supplier who can solve problems and simplify their operations.”

A Problem-Solving Partner
Applying color to paper products can be an intricate process marked by a lot of decisions. Dye or pigment dispersion? Anionic or cationic? Liquid or powder? Batchwise, continuous or split dyeing? Paper mills need a supplier that can help answer critical questions, not just supply chemicals. Responsive technical support is essential to maintaining quality products and cost-effective operations.

Solenis’ field and laboratory capabilities include application expertise, color matching services, diagnostic expertise and laboratory analysis. Monitoring and control offerings — such as automated colorant feed and control systems, data management services and inventory monitoring services — help the process run smoothly once in place.

Education is an important element of a Solenis solution, which is why the company provides colorant technical training both internally and to its customers. According to Dwight Pakan, North American Colorant Portfolio Manager, “Offering short, focused training to shift operators in a mill setting so they can handle day-to-day issues can lead to significant improvements in productivity.” Solenis also offers weeklong training that includes both classroom and hands-on color matching at the Solenis Colorant Laboratories. “It allows us to train and build the foundation for the next generation of colorant experts.”

The Next Generation of Color Developer
Solenis embraces a culture of innovation across the organization, and this is particularly evident in the area of colorants. “We have an extensive R&D organization,” Zebst points out, “so we are able to drive the industry forward by introducing new technologies that address unmet needs or satisfy specialized color requirements, which could be requirements for eco-friendliness, food-grade compatibility or security. We regularly work with customers to produce solutions tailored to their unique needs for printing and writing, newsprint, tissue, paperboard and specialty grades of paper.”

A great example of this is the recent introduction of Solenis’ next-generation Pergafast™ 425 color developer for the thermal paper market. Pergafast™ 425 builds on the success of Pergafast™ 201 color developer, which supported customers when the ban on BPA (bisphenol A) was enforced in Europe. With Pergafast™ 425, papermakers will gain access to improved performance as well as an improved ecotox profile, positioning them to respond to future thermal market requirements.

Solenis also draws heavily on the 150 years of colorant technical know-how that came with the BASF integration to produce the specialized raw materials and intermediates used in colorant synthesis. “The knowledge and experience to synthesize the building blocks for colorants gives Solenis the option of producing these components if they become difficult to source in the future,” observes Pakan. “The ability to extend backward integration offers significant flexibility for production and procurement teams and is becoming more important in the current global supply environment.”

Innovation isn’t limited to colorant chemistry. Experts at Solenis are also helping customers to control their inventory and reduce costs. For example, the company offers a closed-loop color control system that can calculate the exact flow rate of a specific colorant to match target L*, a*, b* and D65 brightness measurements as closely as possible. This results in better shade control quality, quick shade change time, and less downtime due to shade changes — all of which can reduce total production costs.

For papermakers looking for specialty chemical suppliers that supply more than chemicals, this is a win-win scenario. Working with a partner like Solenis, they can enjoy immediate benefits from a world-class portfolio of products and a team of people to support them, yet they can also look forward to innovations that will help them stay competitive and profitable in the future.
(Solenis LLC)

Canfor Pulp Products Inc. Announces 2020 and Fourth Quarter 2020 Results

Canfor Pulp Products Inc. Announces 2020 and Fourth Quarter 2020 Results  (Company news)

- 2020 reported operating loss of $56 million; net loss of $22 million, or $0.34 per share
- Fourth quarter of 2020 reported operating loss of $28 million; net loss of $10 million, or $0.16 per share
- Strong balance sheet maintained, net debt to capitalization of 7.5% at December 31, 2020

Financial Results
2020 was a turbulent year for Canfor Pulp and its employees with the coronavirus outbreak ("COVID-19") taking a heavy toll on global pulp markets as well as supply channels. The Company responded decisively to an unprecedented number of challenges, moving quickly to adopt new safety protocols, take significant fibre-related production curtailments and defer scheduled major maintenance outages. The year also saw a major rebuild of the lower furnace of the number five recovery boiler ("RB5") at the Company's Northwood Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft ("NBSK") pulp mill ("Northwood") to ensure the safe and reliable operation of that boiler, which significantly reduced production volumes in the fourth quarter. On a positive note, the Company ended the year with a strong balance sheet and healthy inventory levels and, with the RB5 rebuild now completed, is well placed to capitalize on an increasingly positive market outlook for 2021.

The COVID-19 related disruptions and capital-related downtime weighed on Canfor Pulp's financial results for 2020, with the Company reporting an operating loss of $56.1 million and a net loss of $0.34 per share, compared to an operating loss of $31.0 million and net loss of $0.47 per share for the year ended December 31, 2019.

For the fourth quarter of 2020, the Company reported an operating loss of $28.3 million, compared to an operating loss of $27.6 million reported for the third quarter of 2020. The loss in the current period reflected continued soft market conditions and weak prices on pulp shipments as well as the capital-related downtime at Northwood. Compared to the third quarter of 2020, unit sales realizations were relatively unchanged with a 2% stronger Canadian dollar offsetting a modest uplift in prices towards the end of the period; reduced production from the Northwood RB5 lower furnace rebuild mostly offset the impact of material production curtailments in the previous quarter. The lower furnace replacement was completed mid-January, as planned, with a total capital cost of approximately $27.0 million and total reduction in NBSK pulp production of 70,000 tonnes (60,000 tonnes in the current quarter and a further 10,000 tonnes in January 2021).

Global pulp prices edged upwards through October and November, with more solid increases seen in December, particularly in China, driven largely by global logistic constraints and improving global pulp inventory levels (35 days at December 2020, a decrease of 7 days from September 2020) combined with strong indicators from the Shanghai Futures Exchange on future pulp US-dollar list prices. The effects of these price increases were only partially reflected in the fourth quarter's results, largely reflecting the timing of shipments versus orders.

NBSK pulp list prices to China averaged US$637 per tonne, as published by RISI, up US$65 per tonne from the previous quarter, largely as a result of successive price increases implemented through the fourth quarter of 2020, most notably in December. However, as mentioned, the Company's overall NBSK pulp unit sales realizations were broadly in line with the previous quarter, principally reflecting the timing of shipments (versus orders), as well as the stronger Canadian dollar. Slightly higher Bleached Chemi-Thermo Mechanical Pulp ("BCTMP") unit sales realizations in the fourth quarter of 2020 reflected a gradual and modest improvement in BCTMP demand and prices.

Energy revenues were broadly in line with the prior quarter as decreased energy generation due to the aforementioned Northwood capital-related downtime was offset by seasonally higher energy prices in the current quarter.

Pulp production was 233,000 tonnes for the fourth quarter of 2020, up 6,000 tonnes, or 3%, from the previous quarter, primarily reflecting the quarter-over-quarter impact of downtime. In the current quarter, pulp production was reduced by the completion of Northwood's scheduled maintenance outage in October (approximately 25,000 tonnes), as well as the aforementioned extended outage on one production line at Northwood to enable the replacement of RB5's lower furnace (approximately 60,000 tonnes). In the third quarter of 2020, the combined impact of COVID-19 related curtailments at the Company's Intercontinental and Prince George ("PG") pulp mills, as well as scheduled maintenance outages at Taylor BCTMP mill ("Taylor") and Northwood, reduced pulp production by 68,000 tonnes. To a lesser extent, improved productivity at the Company's PG and Taylor pulp mills in the current quarter more than offset several operational issues at the PG pulp mill in the prior quarter.

The Company's pulp shipments totaled 258,000 tonnes, up 9,000 tonnes, or 4%, from the previous quarter, principally due to a drawdown of inventory in the current quarter during the aforementioned Northwood downtime and, to a lesser extent, the timing of vessels quarter-over-quarter.

Pulp unit manufacturing costs were slightly lower than the prior quarter as the benefit of reduced fibre costs in the current quarter mostly offset seasonally higher energy costs, as well as increased energy usage and operating labour and maintenance spend, following COVID-19 related curtailments in the prior period. The decrease in fibre costs was primarily driven by an increased proportion of lower-cost sawmill residual chips, mostly due to higher operating rates at Canfor's sawmills.

Operating income in the Company's paper segment was $4.8 million, broadly in line with the previous quarter, as significantly higher paper shipments and production accompanied by lower paper unit manufacturing costs offset the impact of moderately lower paper unit sales realizations mostly due to changes in regional sales mix and a stronger Canadian dollar.

In early 2021, global softwood kraft pulp market conditions have strengthened significantly in response to improved market fundamentals, particularly from China, where prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange have surged in recent weeks. Reflecting this positive pricing momentum, the Company has announced increases to its NBSK pulp list price to China of US$50 per tonne for January 2021 and a further US$120 per tonne for February 2021, to US$840 per tonne. It has also announced two consecutive price increases to North America of US$30 per tonne and US$115 per tonne, for January and February 2021, respectively, to US$1,300 per tonne. Notwithstanding the potential for higher pricing volatility in the coming months, the Company currently projects the pricing environment to remain favourable for pulp producers through the first half of 2021.

The Company's results in the first quarter of 2021 will reflect the impact of the RB5 capital-related outage at Northwood into mid-January (approximately 10,000 tonnes). With the RB5 rebuild now completed and with much healthier fibre inventories, a key focus of the Company's kraft pulp mills in 2021, including Northwood, will be on improving operational reliability and closely managing manufacturing and fibre costs.

No major maintenance outages are planned for the first quarter of 2021; a maintenance outage is currently planned at the Intercontinental NBSK pulp mill in the second quarter of 2021, with a projected 12,000 tonnes of reduced NBSK pulp production. Smaller maintenance outages are scheduled for the third quarter of 2021 at the Prince George NBSK pulp mill and at the Taylor BCTMP mill with a projected 5,000 tonnes of reduced NBSK pulp production and projected 5,000 tonnes of reduced BCTMP production, respectively.

Bleached kraft paper demand is currently anticipated to be relatively stable in the first quarter of 2021 as COVID-19 led demand for bleached kraft paper products is projected to continue in the near-term, particularly for paper products that meet food grade specifications. A maintenance outage is currently planned at the Company's paper machine in the third quarter of 2021 with a projected 5,000 tonnes of reduced paper production.

Commenting on the Company's 2020 and fourth quarter of 2020 results, CPPI's Chief Executive Officer, Don Kayne (photo) said, "We want to thank our employees for their hard work, resilience and commitment to safety in what was an unprecedented and challenging year as we worked together to navigate the volatility and uncertainty associated with COVID-19. While the financial results for 2020 and the quarter reflect the challenging times, we preserved our strong cash position and ended the year with a solid balance sheet. Looking ahead, we are very focused on optimizing our production performance, reducing costs, and maximizing fibre utilization in the coming months, as we work to fully capitalize on the improving market conditions in 2021."
(Canfor Pulp Limited)

Schumacher Packaging plant in Forchheim successfully BRC-certified

Schumacher Packaging plant in Forchheim successfully BRC-certified  (Company news)

Packaging manufacturer meets highest hygiene and quality standards

Picture from left to right: Hendrik Schumacher (Management Board), Mauren Stiegler (Quality Assurance-Hygiene Management), Orcun Sönmezgök (Plant Management) and Volker Hummel (Plant Management) are pleased with the successful BRC certification of the plant in Forchheim.

Schumacher Packaging Group, one of the largest family-run manufacturers of corrugated and solid board packaging solutions (, has received the globally recognized BRC certificate for its plant in Forchheim. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) certification confirms that Schumacher Packaging meets hygiene, quality and safety standards at the highest international level in the production of food packaging. The BRC standards are set by several retail chains as mandatory standards that are effective far beyond the UK. The packaging manufacturer underwent a comprehensive audit by TÜV Rheinland for the certificate. "We are proud to consolidate the trust of our customers through the successful BRC certification," says Managing Director Hendrik Schumacher. "At the same time, it strengthens our position as a packaging specialist, including in the food industry, and enables us to tap into new customer groups."

Audit passed with very great success
With the certificate valid from January 2021, Schumacher Packaging can now prove that the audited plant in Forchheim fully complies with the BRC specifications and has passed the audit with very great success. On the one hand, the BRC certificate documents the strict compliance with hygiene regulations, which are intended to prevent the contamination of packaging materials for food. On the other hand, it proves the detailed documentation of the packaging processes, the complete traceability of the materials and the strict quality controls at Schumacher Packaging. "In this way, we create the greatest possible transparency, which sustainably strengthens customer confidence," explains Hendrik Schumacher.

Safe production of food packaging
The Forchheim plant has already laid the foundation for the safe production of food packaging in 2019. With the HACCP certification (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point), Schumacher Packaging has established a concept of measures to reduce risks during packaging production that can affect food purity. The recently acquired BRC certificate not only includes the HACCP concept, but also supplements it with other aspects that are crucial for the production of safe products that do not pose a risk to food safety. These include specific requirements for the building (solidity, cleaning, etc.) and for the behavior of the personnel (hygiene, work clothing, special training, etc.). In this way, Schumacher Packaging ensures that the production of food packaging meets BRC standards at all times.

Company lives new hygiene and safety rules
"Especially at the beginning, the employees in production were confronted with many new rules," explains Mauren Stiegler, who is responsible for quality assurance and hygiene management at the Forchheim plant and was in charge of the project surrounding BRC certification. "It is quite normal that new things are first eyed critically. Thanks to the excellent cooperation with the plant management and their understanding of the concept - led by Mr. Orcun Sönmezgök - the employees accepted the BRC requirements very quickly," praises Mauren Stiegler. "The fact that we were able to realize the certification project at all in the last twelve months is due in no small part to our dedicated team."

Ambitious goals for the future
In the coming years, Schumacher Packaging plans to have additional sites certified according to BRC. Currently, the company management is examining which plants could be considered for this. Furthermore, the packaging manufacturer aims to always complete the annual BRC audit with a very good result and thus to maintain the high level on a permanent basis. "Our goal for the future is to conduct an unannounced audit instead of the mandatory announced audit," says Mauren Stiegler. "That's the only way we can get the top score. And that's what we want to achieve."
(Schumacher Packaging GmbH & Co. KG)

Port Hawkesbury Paper installs towers to monitor wind for a potential 112-megawatt wind farm...

Port Hawkesbury Paper installs towers to monitor wind for a potential 112-megawatt wind farm...  (Company news)

... in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia

Port Hawkesbury Paper (PHP) has taken another significant step in the development process for the 112- megawatt wind farm first announced in December 2019 by directly funding the installation of two meteorological towers on the proposed project site in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia.

These two towers will collect vital wind data over the next twelve months. As part of PHP’s due diligence process, the collected data will serve to verify the wind resource over the project site and facilitate project design in terms of potential turbine distribution and arrangement. Positive results from the due diligence process could enable construction to begin in 2022, subject to all appropriate legislative and regulatory requirements. When built, this project would be the largest wind farm in Nova Scotia and supply green power directly to PHP. Construction of the farm would generate local employment and significant ongoing tax revenues in the province.

The towers are a critical piece of the due diligence process PHP has been working on in collaboration with the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) to determine the proposed wind farm’s financial viability. This collaboration could lead to a CIB investment in the project, subject to all standard due diligence and decision making.

“We are excited about the potential of this project to contribute to our mission to make Port Hawkesbury Paper the highest quality and most competitive producer of supercalendered paper in North America while at the same time being a great place to work, environmentally responsible and a strong contributor to the province of Nova Scotia,” states Ron Stern, President Stern Partners.

PHP is the largest industrial employer in the region and the largest energy consumer on the Nova Scotia grid, representing 10% of the province’s demands. Development of the project would further enhance sustainable energy supply to Nova Scotian industry while also supporting provincial and federal environmental commitments. This project is just one of PHP’s ongoing commitments to build an environmentally sustainable business.
(Port Hawkesbury Paper)

JSC Yarpaper successfully starts up PM1 after major rebuild by Toscotec

JSC Yarpaper successfully starts up PM1 after major rebuild by Toscotec  (Company news)

Toscotec successfully accomplished an extensive rebuild of Russian containerboard manufacturer JSC Yarpaper’s PM1 at their mill in Yaroslavl, near Moscow. PM1 has a wire width of 2,830 mm and produces 100% recycled-based fluting and test liner in the range from 90 to 175 gsm.

The rebuild has optimized the entire paper machine, from the approach flow system to the dryer section, and has achieved the targets of production increase and quality upgrade.

The scope of the rebuild included the approach flow system, with screens, fan pumps, a TT Headbox-H equipped with TT D-Profiler dilution control system, a newly designed Fourdrinier make up, and the optimization of the sheet path in the press section.
Toscotec installed a completely new dryer section, fitted with 35 TT SteelDryers designed for 10 barg operating pressure, structural frame, canvas rolls, doctors, stabilization boxes, stretchers, guiding, tail threading system, oil lubrication unit, as well as mechanical drives for the entire line.
The project also included a complete service package with engineering, erection supervision, commissioning, start-up assistance, and training.

Igor Noskov, Project Manager of JSC Yarpaper, says, “We successfully completed a major rebuilding operation on our paper machine in difficult times during Covid-19. We have expanded our range of high quality containerboard papers to 90-175 gsm and have increased our reel width to 2,500 mm. This will allow us to better serve our Russian customers, and expand to Europe and the Middle East.”

Luca Nesi, Toscotec Start-up Engineer, comments, “The cooperation with Yarpaper was very good throughout the entire project. They provided the best conditions for Toscotec to work on site during the pandemic. We could thoroughly prepare the machine, so that at start-up we got paper on the pope reel shortly after sending stock to the new TT Headbox. It is a great satisfaction to witness the successful completion of such an extensive rebuild, where we newly designed or extensively rebuilt most sections of the paper machine to deliver a significant production increase.”
(Toscotec S.p.A.)




The Board of Directors of RDM Group favorably assessed an irrevocable offer received by its subsidiary RDM Blendecques S.A.S. for the purchase of its 100% interest in R.D.M. La Rochette S.A.S. The offer was submitted by Bonaparte Holding SAS.

RDM Blendecques S.A.S. thus signed a put option agreement to sell its fully owned French company R.D.M. La Rochette.

The offeror, Bonaparte Holding SAS, is a company under French law controlled by Mutares SE & Co. KgaA, an investment holding listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange and specialized in the acquisition of medium-sized companies.

Michele Bianchi, CEO of RDM Group, commented: “By accepting the irrevocable offer for the purchase of La Rochette, RDM Group has taken the opportunity to exit from the FBB business, the segment of cartonboard for folding boxboard based on virgin fibers. Compared to when it was acquired by RDM in 2016, the profitability of La Rochette plant has increased, also thanks to the operating efficiencies achieved in these years and our team’s management effort. However, reaching an operating profitability in line with the average rate of the other assets in our portfolio would require further significant capital expenditures.”

“By exiting from this segment, RDM Group will effectively unlock resources and managerial energies to increase its focus on the current growth and consolidation path,” CEO Michele Bianchi continued, “Through the integration of the most recent acquisitions Barcelona Cartonboard and Paprinsa, the closing of which is expected to take place in the coming weeks, we are working to strengthen our leadership in the WLC market.”
(R.D.M. Marketing S.r.l.)

Etiflex Enters New Markets With The Installation Of A New Nilpeter FA-22

Etiflex Enters New Markets With The Installation Of A New Nilpeter FA-22  (Company news)

Picture: From left to right: Jesper Nielsen, Printer & Team Leader, and Morten Risvig, Owner & Plant Manager, of Etiflex A/S pose with the new Nilpeter FA-22.

Etiflex A/S, Nilpeter partner for more than 15 years, has acquired a new FA-22 to increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness in their label production, and to add new filmic and carton products to the portfolio. This is the Danish company’s third Nilpeter printing press, in addition to their FB-4200 and FA-4.

Important Player in the Nordic Region
Etiflex A/S was founded in 1973 on the pillars of quality, innovation, and delivery assurance. Today, Etiflex is one of the most important players in the Nordic region producing a high volume of labels and flexible packaging for customers such as Carlsberg, Velux, Tican, and more.

There’s No Denying of Nilpeter’s Impact
“We’ve worked with Nilpeter since 2005, and to be frank, there’s no denying of their impact; having a stable, high quality press is probably the most import part of our business,” says Brian Sandgaard, Technical Director and Partner, Etiflex A/S.

”The pandemic has affected everyone, us included, but Nilpeter actually managed to install the FA-22 in the start of December, at the height of the second wave, by adhering to all restrictions and guidelines. They have been extremely helpful,” Brian Sandgaard continues.

Business is Good
”A very successful installation by the way – the press has run perfectly since day 1! With self-adhesive labels, monofilms, and carton,” Brian Sandgaard concludes, before leaving the door open for new Nilpeter equipment in the future, ”We just bought one, however, business is good, so who knows.”

Incredibly Easy to Operate
”The new FA-22 is incredibly easy to operate. It goes into register in seconds and stays there no matter what material is in the press, and at any speed. I really enjoy operating this piece of equipment,” says Jesper Nielsen, Printer & Team Leader, Etiflex A/S.

Built Around the Modern Printing Operator
The FA-22 is the perfect fit for an ambitious printer like Etiflex. The press is designed to accommodate the printer’s ever-growing needs and built around the modern printing operator, with an intuitive user interface and fully mobile print controls. A benchmark of flexibility and modularity, the FA allows printers to enhance the performance of their press with a high level of automation. Last but not least, all main components are produced in-house at Nilpeter in Denmark and the United States, meaning higher production quality and control.

Delighted to Continue The Partnership
“Despite everything going on we were able to conduct both remote and in-person meetings, tests, and training, of course following all health guidelines and policies put into place by both companies,” says Jesper Jørgensen, Global Sales Manager, Nilpeter A/S. “We’ve established a great partnership with Etiflex over the years, and we’re delighted to see it grow,” Jesper Jørgensen concludes.
(Nilpeter A/S)

Coca‑Cola in Europe takes its paper bottle prototype to trial in Hungary

Coca‑Cola in Europe takes its paper bottle prototype to trial in Hungary  (Company news)

2,000 consumers will soon receive Coca‑Cola’s first ever drink in a paper bottle prototype, set to be tested in the market for the first time this summer. The innovative new packaging format will be trialed in Hungary with Coca‑Cola’s plant-based drink, AdeZ, in just a few months’ time.

The news comes after Coca‑Cola unveiled its paper bottle prototype in Brussels last year. The project will now move into the critical consumer testing phase, in order to measure how the packaging performs as well as how people respond to the new format.

The Company has set ambitious goals related to packaging as part of its strategy and vision for a World Without Waste and aims to collect a bottle or can that it sells by 2030, with 100% recyclability and zero waste. As part of this, it is exploring innovative new packaging solutions that can help contribute to a sustainable and circular economy for all packaging materials. The Company has committed to collect a bottle or can for every one that it sells by 2030, with 100% recyclability and zero waste.

The new paper bottle prototype is being developed as part of a partnership between scientists at Coca‑Cola’s Brussels Research and Development laboratories and The Paper Bottle Company (Paboco), a Danish startup supported by ALPLA and BillerudKorsnäs, in cooperation with Carlsberg, L’Oréal and The Absolut Company.

The technology developed by Paboco is designed to create 100% recyclable bottles made of sustainably sourced wood with a bio-based material barrier suitable for liquid goods such as carbonated and still drinks, beauty products and more. The current prototype consists of a paper shell with a recyclable plastic lining and cap.

Ultimately, the goal and objective of the project is to develop a bottle without the plastic liner that can be recycled as paper and the Company is excited about the potential for the technology and the opportunity to learn from this trial.

One step closer to commercial reality
“The trial we are announcing today is a milestone for us in our quest to develop a paper bottle”, said Daniela Zahariea, Director of Technical Supply Chain & Innovation for Coca‑Cola Europe.

“People expect Coca‑Cola to develop and bring to market new, innovative and sustainable types of packaging. That’s why we are partnering with experts like Paboco, experimenting openly and conducting this first in-market trial. It’s part of delivering on our World Without Waste goals”, she said.

The trial of the paper bottle prototype is scheduled to take place in Hungary in the second quarter of 2021. 2,000 bottles of 250ml AdeZ will be offered to consumers by one of Hungary’s fastest growing online grocery retailers,

Stijn Franssen, Coca‑Cola’s EMEA R&D Packaging Innovation Manager, is leading the project with a team of colleagues and emphasizes that new technology is still in development.

“This is new technology and we are moving in uncharted territory. We have to invent the technical solutions as we go along”, he said.

“We will continue to invest in innovating and exploring new packaging technologies in cooperation with our partners at Paboco. This launch shows that we’re making good progress despite the journey ahead of us. It also shows Coca‑Cola’s determination to drive this sort of packaging innovation forwards by exploring and working together”, said Stijn Franssen.
(Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP))



Easy, cost-effective liner recycling program is part of longtime labelling leader’s sustainability vision

Picture: Avery Dennison launches label-liner recycling program in Europe. (Photos: Avery Dennison)

As part of its ongoing efforts to help establish a circular economy, Avery Dennison today announced the launch of AD Circular, a comprehensive program providing recycling of used paper and filmic label liners in countries across Europe.

Through the program, companies can simply use an online web application to schedule a pickup of used label liners by Avery Dennison to one of its recycling partners. The web app also provides useful data in the form of regularly updated analytics and certificates on the amount of recycled liner material, the amount of CO2 emissions they’ve avoided as a result, and more.

Collection and transport of used liners through AD Circular will comply with EU regulations, and the costs will be comparable to existing waste disposal services.

“Companies in Europe consumed some 470 kilotons of label liners in 2019, yet just over a third were recycled,” noted Burak Sahbaz, senior director marketing & sustainability, citing statistics from AWA, a label industry consulting firm.

“Landfilling or incinerating that many liners, and using all that material only once, is not environmentally sustainable, and runs contrary to consumer expectations and the spirit of European regulations establishing a circular economy. By working in collaboration with recyclers, our peer companies, and the brands that use our materials, we believe AD Circular is a big step forward in reducing and eventually eliminating label waste.”

AD Circular will launch in eight countries during the first half of 2021, including France, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The program will then launch in other European countries in the latter half of the year. Mr. Sahbaz said the program’s ultimate goal is by 2025 to recycle 75% of the label waste Avery Dennnison brings to the European market. Recycling 1 kilogram of liner avoids the emission of 2.28 kilograms of carbon dioxide, he noted.

Material made from recycled liners will be used in new packaging materials and other qualitative products. Avery Dennison’s vision is to eventually facilitate liner-to-liner recycling.

A step toward circularity—and greater industry collaboration
AD Circular is Avery Dennison’s latest effort to offer products and services that help establish a circular economy—an economy that, through the widespread adoption of recycling and the use of recycled content, eliminates one-time use of raw materials and instead keeps extracted materials circulating, thereby reducing pollution and waste, curtailing consumption of natural resources, and stemming greenhouse gas emissions.

“As a company, we’re not content to simply reduce our own impact,” said Mr. Sahbaz. “We’re looking at regenerative practices—ways that we can apply what we do well to make whole systems better, from the label industry to communities to the environment. We’re proud to not only be making innovative contributions to the circular economy, but, as a founding member of the Circular Economy for Labels (CELAB) consortium, to also be organizing collaboration among other companies to bring that economy to life faster. AD Circular is an example of how, working together, we can meet the challenge of reducing label waste.”

“Brand blind” recycling, cost parity, and ease of use
AD Circular improves upon existing liner-recycling services, processing liners regardless of who made them or where they were purchased.

“The goal isn’t only to get our own materials out of the waste stream,” said Mr. Sahbaz. “Our vision is to solve this problem for the labelling industry, period, by setting up a thriving, wide-reaching, recycling system that one day will provide complete liner-to-liner recycling”.

Providing the service at comparable costs as existing waste disposal schemes is key to AD Circular, he said. So is ease of use.

“Companies, like consumers, recycle when it’s easy and affordable. So we’ve made it as easy and cost-effective as possible. Companies use our web-based app to schedule a pickup whenever they’re ready, and we will handle everything else—pickup, transport, recycling, and all the paperwork and regulatory compliance.” As a value-added service, the app also tracks the amount of liners each user recycles, CO2 emissions avoided as a result, and more, said Mr. Sahbaz. Users can use the data to measure progress against their sustainability goals and inform their sustainability reporting and communications.
(Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials Europe)

bvdm economic telegram February 2021: Hopes of an imminent easing of the Corona measures...

bvdm economic telegram February 2021: Hopes of an imminent easing of the Corona measures...   (Company news)

...brighten industry expectations

After the business climate in the German print and media industry had clouded over considerably in January, it brightened up again in February. The business climate index calculated by the Bundesverband Druck und Medien rose by a seasonally adjusted 4.5 percent to 93.2 points compared with the previous month. Hopeful expectations regarding an imminent easing of the current Corona measures are likely to be primarily responsible for the latest improvement. Nevertheless, the index is still well below its year-earlier level - down 8.1 percent.

In February, the print and media companies surveyed by the ifo Institute were more positive in their assessment of both their current business situation and their expectations regarding their future business development than in January. The values of the current and expected business situation determine the development of the business climate, which is a good leading indicator for the production development of the print and media industry.

After the seasonally adjusted business situation index had fallen significantly in January (-8.2 percent) compared to the previous month, it increased by 3.2 rocent to 83.2 points in February. However, this comparatively moderate increase compared with January hardly reduced the year-on-year decline observed - the year-on-year drop remains very high at around 18 percent. A key reason for this decline is the persistently weak development in demand. For example, around 53 percent of respondents currently state that demand for their products has recently deteriorated, whereas only around 11 rocent report an improvement.

The print and media companies are much more optimistic about their expected business development over the next six months than about their current situation. The corresponding seasonally adjusted business expectations index rose by 5.8 percent in February to 104.5 points, the fourth highest level since the outbreak of the Corona crisis. The index also increased by 2.6 points year-on-year. The declining corona incidence figures for much of February, and the accompanying expectations of an imminent easing of corona-related restriction measures, appear to be giving companies hope at present. In February, for example, 31 percent of participants expected their business situation to develop favorably in the coming months. Some 22 percent of companies, meanwhile, expected a weaker future business situation. These are likely to be primarily concerned with the risks of a third Corona wave.
(Bundesverband Druck und Medien e.V. - bvdm)

Ahlstrom-Munksjö's CelluStraw™ receives compostability certification

Ahlstrom-Munksjö's CelluStraw™ receives compostability certification  (Company news)

Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s CelluStraw™, a biodegradable and renewable fiber-based solution for paper straws, has received compostability certification from the Biodegradable Products Institute®.

Ahlstrom-Munksjö works to create innovative products that provide high performance as well as sustainability benefits for customers and consumers. As part of the company’s continuous commitment to sustainability, CelluStraw™ papers are now BPI® certified, in addition to carrying OK compost HOME and OK compost INDUSTRIAL certifications, qualifying compostability in a home environment and in industrial facilities.

These certifications facilitate the possibility for Ahlstrom-Munksjö customers, whether converters or brand owners, to achieve their own sustainability goals. By using a scientific process, BPI officially certifies compostable products that meet ASTM D6400 and ASTM D6868 standards for compostability. BPI Certification proves that a material will compost in a composting facility, leaving behind no toxic residue or microplastics.

“Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s CelluStraw™ papers provide a sustainable solution to the entire globe for this necessary environmental initiative,” explained Jeff Murphy, Vice President of Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s Food Packaging business. "CelluStraw™ joins a wide portfolio of compostable and sustainable food and beverage solutions. Ahlstrom-Munksjö continues to challenge the boundaries for how fiber-based solutions are a true sustainable alternative to other non-renewable substrates."

The CelluStrawTM offering consists of specialty papers developed for the inner and outer plies of paper straws. CelluStrawTM runs well on high-speed converting machines, and its wet-strength and mechanical resistance deliver excellent product integrity. CelluStraw is made of responsibly sourced natural fibers and also comes with Chain of Custody Forest Certification under the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), SFI®, and PEFC® certification schemes. In addition, CelluStraw™ carries BRC Food Safety Certification and meets BfR and FDA 176.170 food safety requirements for cold drink uses and is recyclable according to EN 13430 requirements and conditions.
(Ahlstrom-Munksjö Corporation)

Hahnemühle launches FineNotes Collection for stylish writing

Hahnemühle launches FineNotes Collection for stylish writing  (Company news)

Hahnemühle FineArt is delighted to announce the launch of it’s premium FineNotes writing range at CAA Digital Creative Days – Hahnemühle´s first digital tradeshow from Sunday 31st January until Tuesday 2nd February 2021 – the same dates CreativeWorld would have taken place.

Photo: FineNotes by Hahnemühle Manuscript Notebooks

Founded in the Solling valley in 1584, the launch of the new Hahnemühle FineNotes range extends the brands world renowned expertise into the manufacture of the finest stationery. Hahnemühle has refined the craft of papermaking for over four hundred years. With a host of distinugished accolades, innovative FineArt products and a strong brand presence internationally, Hahnemühle FineNotes will be presenting new fine writing instruments, notebooks and writing paper which will have worldwide appeal and distinction.

The three product lines within the FineNotes range are built on a historically rich foundation: Writing Instruments, Notebooks and Writing Papers. “With Hahnemühle FineNotes we implemented our unique product vision of the finest papers and writing instruments imprinted with the Hahnemühle DNA. Premium watermarked writing papers fill our Iconic and Manuscript notebook series. The patterns of the mould-made wires in our paper machines inspire the guilloché surfaces of the limited edition writing instrument series, First Edition,” says Martin Hopp, Business Manager Stationery & Merchandising at Hahnemühle. All FineNotes products are handcrafted to perfection from exquisite raw materials. Distinctive watermarks, fine engravings and beautiful embossings are finely crafted characteristics for the discerning consumer drawn to these products.

Hahnemühle FineNotes products in detail: FineNotes Writing Instruments include fountain pens, rollerballs and ballpoint pens of luxury and class. They are offered in a series of three ranges, First Edition – limited – Slim and Bold Edition. The ornamental pattern of the guilloché surfaces is reminiscent of the mould-made wires used by Hahnemühle’s papermakers.

The writing instruments complement the new Premium Notebooks perfectly for people who let thoughts flow through their hand onto paper. These notebooks, from the Iconic and Manuscript series, are valuable companions that appeal to all the senses. The finest Hahnemühle watermark paper encased in a noble leather book, preserving very personal entries and guarantees haptically and visually impressive writing experiences.

FineNotes Writing Papers will continue what began with Hahnemühle´s genuine handmade papers for royalty and nobility more than 400 years ago. When a pen glides across fine paper and ideas take shape, that is art: the art of writing and the art of paper in equal measure.

“The Hahnemühle brand has created the finest FineArt papers – since 1584. This history is now reflected in our new FineNotes collection. After the global launch, we will continue to strengthen and develop our sales activities with selected partners in the stationery industry and in cities accross the world” Business Manager Martin Hopp gives a concluding outlook.
(Hahnemühle FineArt GmbH)

deSter enters Strategic Partnership with PulPac

deSter enters Strategic Partnership with PulPac  (Company news)

- deSter will manufacture fiber-based alternative to single-use-plastic
- Renewable and cost-effective material, recyclable and naturally compostable

As part of its Environmentally Conscious Design (ECD) philosophy, gategroup company deSter has entered a strategic partnership with PulPac, a Swedish Research & Development and Intellectual Property company. Together they will focus on the development and manufacturing of fiber-based, single-use food packaging products for the airline and food service industries.

By working with PulPac and its new production technology, deSter will accelerate the development of naturally compostable fiber-based products. This will enable deSter to extend its portfolio of sustainable food packaging and service solutions.

PulPac’s Dry Molded Fiber technology is an innovative technology that can be used to manufacture almost any type of packaging and disposable item presently made of plastic.

The new partnership will cover airline industry equipment solutions as well as selected food service accounts. In support of this deSter is currently deploying a multi-million-Euro investment in new machinery in order to use this cutting-edge technology and base production close to its customers. The innovative nature of this sustainable technology allowed deSter to be awarded a major development grant from the Flemish Government.

deSter’s solutions produced using the PulPac technology will be made from renewable, locally sourced Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified materials. Items produced using this method can be recycled through normal recycling streams and are biodegradable under natural conditions without the need for commercial composting.

An important environmental advantage of PulPac’s patented technology is that, in comparison to the traditional wet molded technologies used to produce for example sugar cane waste items, no water is used during production.

Manufacturing facilities in Europe, Asia and the US will enable deSter to near-source all items.

“Our customers are demanding sustainable packaging solutions. As a result, we are making substantial investments in new production methodologies in order to create truly sustainable products, which meet their needs. Developing this technology is a key focus area for deSter to ensure we provide our customers with future-proof solutions that not only deliver for today’s requirements, but also anticipate the needs of tomorrow,” said Stef Van de Perre, Managing Director deSter.

“Local production facilities will ensure we are able to produce in proximity to all of our core markets. We will be able to minimize transportation which in turn will also significantly reduce our own carbon footprint,” Van de Perre continues.

“At PulPac it’s our vision to make impact at scale by supplying the industry with disruptive technologies for replacing plastics in packaging and disposables. The new-found partnership with deSter greatly adds to achieving this objective, looking at the magnitude and global scale of its operations in addition to its unique in-house design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities,” says Linus Larsson, Chief Executive Officer PulPac.

This new and fully biodegradable solution is in line with deSter’s ECD design philosophy. ECD stands for “Environmentally Conscious Design” and encompasses all the company’s actions towards developing sustainable products in line with the circular economy principle.
(PulPac AB)

Xeikon appointed Victor Ortiz as Sales Manager Corrugated Business Division

Xeikon appointed Victor Ortiz as Sales Manager Corrugated Business Division  (Company news)

Xeikon reinforces its go-to-market for IDERA, appointing dedicated sales manager for the corrugated market. In his new role, Victor Ortiz (photo) is first of all tasked with developing Xeikon’s IDERA business in France, Spain, Portugal and Italy.

Victor Ortiz brings 20+ years of relevant experience working in the industrial digital printing industry as well as in the Sign and Display sector. The appointment is taking place with immediate effect.

Daniel Velema, Xeikon’s VP Corrugated & Solution Services, states, “We have seen a keen interest in our single-pass, water-based post-print solution. IDERA provides the flexibility needed to move the required print volume – in terms of productivity, print quality, cost per sheet, application, sheet formats, pre- and post-equipment, and digital workflow. 2021 is all about working together with customers and strategic partners to place two printing solutions in the field and jointly shape the way forward. Victor’s experience and contacts are hereby key to our journey, and it is great to have him onboard.”

Victor Ortiz responds, “I am very pleased to take this opportunity to join the Xeikon team in the Corrugated Business Division. The company has a proven vision of product innovation, which has led it to be a global leader in the digital printing marketplace. Xeikon has always had a clear focus on its market strategy, and water-based inks for corrugated is a ‘Yes or Yes’ type of technology. It is an exciting time to enter the digital corrugated market, and Xeikon’s IDERA digital printing solution is sure to be of interest to all printers and converters working in this sector. I am looking forward to sharing my years of experience working with digital solutions and promoting the benefits of IDERA.”

Victor Ortiz resides in Barcelona, Spain, he is married with three children.
(Xeikon Manufacturing and R&D Center)

Growing demand for packaging and hygiene papers while COVID 19 impacts overall paper ...

Growing demand for packaging and hygiene papers while COVID 19 impacts overall paper ...   (Company news)

...and board consumption

Despite the slowing down of the European economy and the sanitary restrictions, most of the mills ran without disruptions in 2020; even if some operated at reduced speed because of lower levels of demand.

According to preliminary figures, the demand for packaging paper and board continued to grow in 2020 especially materials used for transport packaging and corrugated boxes, as they benefited from the e-commerce boom related to the sanitary crisis.

The production of packaging grades is estimated to have increased by 2.1% compared to 2019. They are essential to transport and deliver supplies, such as medicines or food. The output of carton board plus other packaging board – mainly used for retail packaging – and the production of wrapping grades – used for paper bag production – remained unchanged.

Domestic demand for hygiene papers has been relatively positive in 2020, despite the COVID-19 restrictions affecting the ‘away-from-home’ markets. Tissue and hygiene products are of vital importance to citizens and offer the safest option, particularly to implement the recommendations issued by national governments and the World Health Organization (WHO). Sanitary and household paper manufacturers’ output increased by 1.9% compared to 2019.

“The European pulp and paper industry’s priority in 2020 has been to ensure that EU citizens can access the products they need for hygiene, health and food purposes. We have been relentlessly working with other industries along the value chain to guarantee security of supply to citizens. Our industry data now shows that crisis and the periodical lockdowns have accelerated consumption patterns change and will have a long-lasting impact on markets,” commented Jori Ringman (photo), Cepi Director General.

The overall paper and board consumption was impacted by the economic recession and decreased by 6.6%. The European GDP declined by7.4% in 2020, after +1.6% in 2019. Cepi member countries’ paper and board production decreased by 5.0% in 2020, compared to the previous year, mainly due to COVID-19 pandemic impacting global demand.

The pandemic has also accelerated the structural decline of graphic grades. The overall production of graphic grades fell by more than 18.0%. Newsprint and printing & writing papers decreased by 20.5% and 18.4% respectively. Demand from publishers, offices and commercial printing has declined dramatically. Permanent mill closures or machines conversions have been announced, to adjust to the situation.

The utilisation of paper for recycling by paper companies in the Cepi area decreased by 2.1% compared to the 2019 level. The pandemic impacted the availability and quality of paper for recycling throughout 2020. 96% of European paper for recycling utilisation is supplied domestically. Exports went down by 8.4% according to preliminary statistics.
(CEPI aisbl)

Greif Inc. Implementing Price Increases for Uncoated Recycled Paperboard and Containerboard

Greif Inc. Implementing Price Increases for Uncoated Recycled Paperboard and Containerboard  (Company news)

Greif, Inc. (NYSE: GEF, GEF.B), a global leader in industrial packaging products and services, announced that it is implementing price increases on certain paperboard and containerboard products. A $50 per ton price increase for all grades of uncoated recycled paperboard (URB), a $70 per ton price increase on recycled and semi-chemical medium, and a $60 per ton increase on recycled linerboard will be effective with shipments on and after March 4, 2021. These price increases are in response to robust demand for our containerboard and paperboard products, as well as continued cost pressures in production and transportation.
(Greif Inc.)

Greiner Packaging brings new cardboard spoon to market

Greiner Packaging brings new cardboard spoon to market  (Company news)

A spoon included in packaging for convenience products is nothing particularly groundbreaking. But Greiner Packaging and its joint venture partner Cardbox Packaging are now taking this idea to the next level in keeping with the principles of a circular economy. The result is a 100 percent recyclable cardboard spoon.

The use of disposable plastic cutlery will be banned in the European Union from mid-2021 – but a perfect alternative is being brought to market in the form of the new fold-out cardboard spoon developed by Greiner Packaging and Cardbox Packaging. Designed for enjoying dairy and snack products away from home, the spoon is right on track with both the convenience and sustainability trends: Consumers want food solutions that are easy to prepare and can also be enjoyed on the go – and they also want the food’s packaging and cutlery to be as user and eco-friendly as possible. Cutlery made of renewable resources such as cardboard, which is 100 percent recyclable in the paper recycling loop, taps into these exact trends.

Smart and sturdy cardboard design
Folded just once, the sturdy cardboard spoon has a length of 10 cm, which gives it the perfect shape and size to conveniently consume dairy products, desserts, fruit, or various types of salad on the go. Thanks to its smart folding style and the innovative shape that resembles a bank card, the spoon is easy to use on the spot. The cardboard spoon is made from virgin fibers and is therefore approved for contact with food, while a water-based coating on the cardboard ensures the spoon can be safely used while eating. But customers can still have branding and a great look with this spoon, too. Custom printing is always available starting at a minimum order quantity. This process naturally uses special food-safe inks and coatings that meet the highest standard for food products.

The completely recyclable alternative
Once used, the folding cardboard spoon can be simply disposed of with other wastepaper. A water-based coating selected for the spoon makes it ideal for recycling in the standard paper recycling stream. Combining it with a top cup made of r-PET and polypropylene (PP) sealing film that can be fully removed from the lid results in a sustainable packaging solution with an excellent recycling profile: To access the spoon, the PP film is automatically separated from the lid. This ensures that the individual packaging components are 100 percent recyclable when correctly disposed of.

A key contribution toward a circular economy
The new cardboard spoon meets Greiner Packaging’s requirements for sustainability perfectly. The plastics experts are committed to the concept of a circular economy that aims to use plastic as sparingly as possible. When the cardboard spoon – which is made of renewable resources itself – needs to be disposed of, it is simply recycled in the paper loop.

Konrad Wasserbauer, circular economy director at Greiner Packaging:
"We are delighted that more and more partners and customers want to work on sustainable packaging solutions with us. Developing recyclable packaging solutions not only makes sense for the environment but also offers commercial advantages. We are proud to play our part in advancing a circular economy with developments such as the cardboard spoon."

The cardboard packaging experts at Cardbox Packaging are also proud of the partners’ product innovation: “We were able to pool our expertise as we worked to develop the cardboard spoon, achieving a result that meets consumers’ expectations as well as doing something positive for our environment,” Florian Scharl, managing director at Cardbox Packaging, is pleased to note.

Everything from a single source
An automated process places the cutlery made of cardboard sourced from virgin fibers hygienically packaged in the lids, which are mainly made from r-PET. As such, the cutlery can be perfectly tailored to the needs of the project and the customers, although naturally, the cutlery is also available separately.
(Greiner Packaging International GmbH)

SIG: Strong 2020 performance demonstrates business resilience

SIG: Strong 2020 performance demonstrates business resilience  (Company news)

Full year 2020 highlights:
- Core revenue up 5.5% at constant currency; up 1.7% as reported
- Adjusted EBITDA margin 27.4% (2019: 27.2%): slight increase despite currency headwind
- Adjusted net income up 7% at €232.3 million
- Strong free cash flow of €233.2 million after investments in fillers and new production plant
- Proposed dividend increase of over 10% to CHF 0.42 per share

Samuel Sigrist (photo), CEO of SIG Combibloc, said: “As we look back on the unprecedented events of 2020, we can be proud of what SIG has achieved. The early implementation of a global pandemic prepared­ness plan, starting in China, allowed our factories to keep running throughout the COVID-19 crisis. The commitment and dedication of employees throughout the year enabled us to continue serving our customers, helping them to deliver essential nutrition to consumers.

The year was proof of the robustness of our business model and the resilience of our end markets. Core revenue growth of 5.5% at constant currency illustrates the portfolio effect created by our deliberate geographic diversification of the business over many years. We continued to win new business and to expand our global footprint with the construction of a new plant in China, which is now in operation. We also announced the planned acquisition of the remaining 50% of our Middle East & Africa joint venture. This transaction will expand our presence in growth markets and enable us to fully consolidate a business with an attractive financial profile.

Through the favourable environmental footprint of our packs, we are already helping our customers to meet the growing societal demand for environmental stewardship. It is our mission to create food packaging that gives back to the people and the planet by centring our sustainability programme on four positive, far-reaching actions: Forest Positive, Climate Positive, Resource Positive and Food Positive. This means planting trees to expand forests; taking carbon from the atmosphere; creating resources for future generations; and ensuring nutrition comes safely to ever more people. We believe this pro­gramme will further enhance the value of our offering to customers while bringing us closer to realising our vision of a net positive food packaging system.

Our track record on sustainability is evidenced by our Platinum rating from EcoVadis, which puts us in the top 1% of companies evaluated.”

Revenue by region: 2020
All regions contributed to constant currency growth in 2020. For the Americas and, to a lesser extent, Asia Pacific (APAC), the depreciation of local currencies against the Euro resulted in reported revenue declines. The strong constant currency growth in Europe and the Americas reflected increased at-home consumption during COVID-19 lockdowns. The Americas growth also included a significant contribu­tion from filler placements with new customers. In APAC, where a large proportion of sales are for on-the-go consumption, lockdowns had a negative impact. This was exacerbated in the fourth quarter by lower stock-building by customers as the effects of the pandemic continued to be felt in South East Asia. APAC revenue includes the full year consolidation of Visy Cartons in Australia, acquired in No­vember 2019.

EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA
Adjusted EBITDA increased to €498.3 million and the adjusted EBITDA margin increased slightly to 27.4%. Operational leverage, lower raw material costs and production efficiencies more than offset a negative impact from the depreciation of key currencies, notably the Brazilian Real, against the Euro.

The progression of the adjusted EBITDA margin in EMEA reflects the strong revenue growth and result­ing production efficiencies. In APAC the weaker growth had an impact on margin, and both APAC and the Americas were affected by negative currency movements.

EBITDA was €449.7 million compared with €479.7 million in 2019. The decline was due to impairment losses relating to production-related assets of the Whakatane paper mill in New Zealand.

Net income and adjusted net income
Adjusted net income increased to €232.3 million from €217.4 million in 2019. The increase reflected the improvement in adjusted EBITDA and lower interest expense.

Net income was €68 million compared with €106.9 million in 2019. In addition to the impairment losses mentioned above, net income included foreign exchange losses on inter-company loans and costs re­lating to the early repayment of term loans as part of the debt refinancing effected in June 2020.

At the Annual General Meeting to be held on Wednesday 21 April 2021, the Board of Directors will propose a dividend distribution out of the capital contribution reserve of CHF 0.42 per share for the year 2020 (2019: CHF 0.38 per share). This increased dividend will be paid on a higher number of shares (17.5 million new shares) following the transaction with the Obeikan Investment Group described below.

Capital expenditure
Gross capital expenditure was €199 million in 2020 (2019: €182 million). The increase reflected invest­ments in production equipment for the new sleeves plant in China, which has been constructed close to the existing plant in Suzhou. Gross filler capex was broadly stable despite the challenging environ­ment. Net capital expenditure (net capex) was €145 million compared with €110 million in 2019, as upfront cash for fillers received from customers returned towards more normal levels. The ratio of net capex to revenue was 8.0%, just within the target range of 8–10%.

Free cash flow
Net cash from operating activities was slightly lower due to additional tax payments and costs incurred for the debt refinancing. Free cash flow generation was strong despite the increase in capital expendi­ture and higher lease liability payments.

Refinancing and leverage
On 19 June 2020 a debt refinancing was completed, replacing two existing term loans with a new sus­tainability-linked term loan and two issues of Notes. A new €300 million revolving credit facility (RCF) was also established. The lower interest on the new bank facilities and Notes reduced the Group’s average cost of debt to 1.6% at end-December 2020. The refinancing allowed a move from a secured to an unsecured debt structure on typical investment grade terms and extended the overall maturity profile.

Net leverage stood at 2.7x at the year end, slightly below the 2019 level. The higher level of gross debt reflects increased lease liabilities, including those relating to the new sleeves plant in China. The strong free cash generation resulted in a significant increase in cash and cash equivalents to €355 million.

Acquisition of remaining 50% of Middle East & Africa joint venture
In November, SIG Combibloc signed an agreement to take full ownership of its Middle East & Africa joint venture SIG Combibloc Obeikan by acquiring the 50% shareholding of its partner Obeikan Invest­ment Group (OIG). The completion of the transaction is expected in the first quarter of 2021 subject to customary closing conditions. The acquisition will expand SIG’s global presence and enhance its me­dium and long term growth outlook.

The transaction will be funded through a combination of newly issued SIG shares (from authorised share capital) and available cash balances and credit facilities. The impact on leverage will be marginal. OIG will receive around 17.5 million SIG shares, equivalent to a stake of approximately 5% of SIG’s share capital on a pro-forma fully diluted basis, and a cash consideration of €167 million for its 50% stake in SIG Combibloc Obeikan.

Decision to close Whakatane paper mill
The Group has been assessing the continued viability and different strategic alternatives for its paper mill in New Zealand (Whakatane). The mill primarily produces liquid paper board for use by SIG entities and the Group’s joint venture in the Middle East. As a consequence of the assessments, impairment losses of €38 million on production-related assets were recognised in the consolidated statements for the year ended 31 December 2020.

The Board of Directors has made the decision to close the paper mill and the Company will enter into the required consultation process with employees. The mill would need significant investment to main­tain its viability and the Group will benefit from expanded sourcing opportunities with its existing third-party suppliers of liquid paper board. As a result of the closure decision, management expects to recognise plant decommissioning costs and redundancy costs of around €30 million in the first half of 2021. As assets of the mill are monetised over time, the free cash flow impact of these costs is expected to be reduced to approximately €15 million, of which €10 million would be the cash flow impact in 2021. The benefits of the closure are expected to result in a pay-back period on the cash outflows in line with the Group’s normal standards.

Nominations to the Board of Directors
The Board of Directors proposes the re-election of the Chairman and all other current members of the Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) to be held on 21 April 2021.

Furthermore, the Board of Directors proposes Ms Martine Snels for election to the Board of Directors at the AGM. Martine Snels has more than 20 years’ experience in the food industry and from 2015 to 2017 was COO Ingredients (B2B) at FrieslandCampina. Subsequently she was responsible for regions and countries on the Executive Board of GEA, a major supplier of engineering and processing equipment for the food and beverage industry. Martine Snels is a Belgian citizen and holds an MSc in agricultural engineering from K.U. Leuven.

As previously announced, subject to completion of the Middle East & Africa joint venture transaction, the Board of Directors has nominated Abdallah Al Obeikan, Chief Executive Officer of OIG and currently Chief Executive Officer of SIG Combibloc Obeikan, for election to the Board of Directors at the AGM. This will enable SIG to build on the success of the trusted partnership over the last 19 years and to continue to benefit from the strong local presence and expertise of OIG.

2021 outlook
SIG will continue to focus on profitable growth by expanding its business with existing and new cus­tomers and further developing sustainable solutions. In 2021, the Company expects to fully consolidate revenues in the Middle East & Africa from the beginning of March, subject to final completion of the transaction. On a like-for-like basis, the combined business is expected to achieve core revenue growth at constant currency in the lower half of the 4-6% range, taking account of the continuing restrictions in South East Asia affecting on-the-go consumption and general uncertainty about the ongoing global effects of the COVID 19 crisis. This represents an acceleration of the organic growth rate compared with 2020 excluding the effect of consolidating Visy Cartons.

Assuming no major deterioration in exchange rates, the adjusted EBITDA margin, including the consol­idation of the Middle East & Africa business, is expected to be in the 27-28% range. Net capital expenditure is forecast to be within the targeted 8-10% of revenue range in 2021.

The Company maintains its medium-term guidance of core revenue growth of 4–6% at constant cur­rency and an adjusted EBITDA margin of around 29%. Net capital expenditure should remain within 8–10% of revenue. The Company plans to maintain a dividend payout ratio of 50–60% of adjusted net income while reducing net leverage towards 2x.
(SIG Combibloc Group AG)

CPH Group: The 2020 business year - Diversification proves its worth

CPH Group: The 2020 business year - Diversification proves its worth  (Company news)

The CPH Group delivered a relatively sound overall performance during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, thanks to its diversification in various business segments. With net sales of CHF 445.2 million, the Group achieved annual earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of CHF 24.7 million. The net result for the year of CHF 47.0 million was broadly at its 2019 level, thanks to non-recurring income of CHF 25.9 million. The 2021 Ordinary General Meeting will be asked to approve the distribution of a dividend of CHF 1.80 per share for the 2020 financial year.

The coronavirus pandemic had differing impacts in 2020 on the CPH Group’s three business divisions. The Packaging Division achieved new record earnings, and the Chemistry Division also raised its profitability despite a net sales decline. But the steep fall in demand on the paper markets depressed the Group’s total net sales for the year, which at CHF 445.2 million were 15.1% down on their 2019 level, or 10.7% down excluding currency factors. “Our diversification in differing business segments paid off in 2020,” says Group CEO Peter Schildknecht (photo). “Our Group further strengthened its position during these pandemic times.”

Chemistry raises profitability
The main customers for the Chemistry Division’s products in the energy and industry sectors responded to the coronavirus crisis by reducing their order volumes. The increased demand for the molecular sieves used to concentrate medical oxygen only partly offset this, and the division’s net sales for the year declined 6.3% to CHF 73.3 million. Excluding currency factors, however, net sales were only 0.5% below their prior-year level. Thanks to a rigorous cost reduction programme and productivity improvements, however, divisional EBIT was increased to CHF 4.6 million and EBIT margin to 6.3%.

Paper sees sizeable decline in demand
The demand in Western Europe for printing and publication paper declined steeply in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The Paper Division was compelled to halt production at times, and the 439 000 tonnes of newsprint and magazine paper it produced for the year were a 15% decline on 2019. Despite this, the division increased its share of Europe’s publication paper market. Rising overcapacities at paper manufacturers intensified the pressures on prices. The combination of its reduced sales volumes and the lower prices paid resulted in a 28.5% decline in the division’s net sales for the year to CHF 209.6 million. Excluding currency factors, net sales were 25.8% down on their prior-year level. Thanks to lower recovered paper and energy prices, cost reductions and higher productivity, the division posted an EBITDA of CHF 17.4 million; but EBIT for the year was just short of a breakeven result.

Packaging still on a successful course
The Packaging Division saw increased demand for medicinal packagings during the coronavirus pandemic. Order volumes for its blister films climbed to record highs. Capacities were fully utilized at its European sites, while the utilization of its Chinese capacities was also further increased. The higher sales volumes helped boost net sales for the year 5.9% to CHF 162.3 million. Excluding currency factors, net sales were 10.7% up on their 2019 level. Buoyed by low raw materials costs in the first-half period, the division also increased its annual EBIT margin to a new record 13.3%. The division continues to pursue its global strategy of achieving greater penetration in the emerging pharmaceuticals markets, and will be investing a high single-digit million-franc amount in a new coating plant in Brazil.

Non-recurring items boost net result
The CHF 17.5 million of investments in tangible fixed assets in 2020 were primarily aimed at further improving the efficiency of existing facilities and processes. The CPH Group generated a cash flow of CHF 45.8 million and a free cash flow of CHF 39.7 million. With the prices of raw materials (and of recovered paper in particular) falling in view of lower demand, cost of materials as a proportion of production-generated group sales declined from 49% to 48%. The slight rise in total workforce numbers to 1?098 is attributable to expansion in the Packaging Division: workforce numbers for Chemistry and Paper were down on 2019.

Group EBITDA for the year amounted to CHF 55.2 million, a 37.3% decline. After ordinary depreciation of CHF 30.5 million, the Group reported consolidated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for 2020 of CHF 24.7 million. The financial result of CHF –4.7 million was a slight improvement on 2019. The year also brought non-recurring income of CHF 25.9 million, largely from the release of provisions previously made for the clean-up of the former Uetikon operating site and the transfer (at market value) of real estate in Perlen to a newly-founded subsidiary, which generated deferred tax income of CHF 11.9 million. After taxes, the CPH Group reports a net result for 2020 of CHF 47.0 million, which is broadly in line with that of 2019.

Dividend proposed of CHF 1.80 per share
In line with the company’s consistent dividend policy, the Board of Directors will recommend to the Ordinary General Meeting of 18 March 2021 that CHF 1.80 per share again be distributed for the 2020 financial year, of which CHF 0.70 per share should be taken from the capital contribution reserve.

Change on the Board of Directors
Dr. Mauro Gabella will not stand for re-election to the Board of Directors of CPH Chemie?+?Papier Holding AG at the 2021 Ordinary General Meeting. Dr. Gabella has been a Board member since 2005, and served as Chair of its Personnel & Compensation Committee from 2010 to 2019. The Board thanks Mauro Gabella for his long and committed contribution to the CPH Group. The Board proposes Dr. Claudine Mollenkopf to serve as his successor. Claudine Mollenkopf can draw on more than 25 years of experience in the chemicals industry, and is Senior Vice President and General Manager Silicas at Germany’s Evonik Industries specialty chemicals company. A German and French dual national, she holds a doctorate in chemistry from Strasbourg’s Louis Pasteur University.

A cautious outlook for 2021
According to International Monetary Fund projections, economies should recover slowly from the coronavirus pandemic in 2021, with global growth for the year of some 5.5%. The CPH Group expects to see net sales increases of differing degrees in all three business divisions, although the scale of these will depend on the pace and the extent of such economic recovery. “The Chemistry and Packaging Divisions will seek to further raise their earnings, but in the present market environment the Paper Division is likely to report a lower EBIT result,” concludes Peter Schildknecht. With the adversities in the paper markets likely to intensify, the improved results expected for Chemistry and Packaging may be more than nullified by the Paper earnings trends. As a consequence, group EBIT and the net group result (excluding non-recurring income) are unlikely to improve.

The planned 2021 investments of some CHF 40 million in tangible fixed assets are primarily intended to further enhance efficiency. The Packaging Division also aims to expand its Latin American production capacities.
(CPH Chemie + Papier Holding AG)

Finland: EIB backs Metsä Group's new bioproduct mill

Finland: EIB backs Metsä Group's new bioproduct mill  (Company news)

-EIB signs €200 million loan with Metsä Fibre Oy, to support part of its investment in a new bioproduct mill in Finland, with higher production capacity and environmental standards.
-The new energy self-sufficient bioproduct mill in Kemi will produce some 1.5 million tonnes of softwood and hardwood pulp per year, as well as many other bioproducts.
-The energy self-sufficient mill will produce 2.0 TWh of renewable electricity per year (roughly 2,5% of Finnish electricity production), excess electricity is sold to national and local grids.

The European Investment Bank has signed a €200 million loan agreement with Metsä Fibre Oy, a part of Metsä Group, for its investment in the Kemi bioproduct mill in Northern Finland. The financing will support a €1.6 billion investment, which will increase the production volume of pulp and other bioproducts at the Kemi site through state of the art technology. Metsä Fibre has previously invested in a similar bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, Finland, which was also supported by the EIB under the Investment Plan for Europe.

The EIB-supported parts of the larger project concern the generation of renewable energy during the production process, as well as the environmental protection parts of the works. The mill will produce 2.0 TWh of renewable electricity per year, equal to roughly 2,5% of total Finnish electricity production. The energy self-sufficiency of the mill is high and the excess electricity will be sold to national and local grids, making the operation fully in line with both Metsä Group’s and the EIB Group’s climate ambitions.

EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros stated: “We’re glad that companies like Metsä Group are on the forefront of converting production processes to more environmentally friendly standards, producing renewable energy along the way. The EIB, as the EU’s climate bank, sees projects like this one as a signal of a changing business environment, which we hope will prompt other sectors to review their processes as well. The EIB and Metsä Group have a longstanding cooperation, and we’re glad to continue our support with this important project.”

Metsä Group CFO, Vesa-Pekka Takala, said: Demand for sustainably produced pulp is growing globally. Finnish wood is the world's best renewable raw material. Kemi's new fossil-free bioproduct plant is the number one in the world in terms of environmental, energy and material efficiency. It is important that the financing package for the project is strong and comprehensive. EIB's long-term financing is an important element in the implementation of the investment.

The parts of the project financed with the EIB loan concern environmental performance and renewable energy generation (e.g. new recovery boiler and installation of a new condensing steam turbine). The mill will produce renewable energy from biomass with high self-sufficiency, meaning that excess green energy will be exported to the national grid. No fossil fuels will be needed in the production process, and renewable energy in the form of electricity, wood based fuels and heat will be sold to external customers.

Metsä Group is a forerunner in sustainable bioeconomy utilising renewable wood from sustainably managed northern forests. Metsä Group focuses on wood supply and forest services, wood products, pulp, fresh fibre paperboards and tissue and greaseproof papers. Metsä Group’s annual sales is approximately EUR 5.5 billion, and it employs roughly 9,200 people. Metsäliitto Cooperative is the parent company of Metsä Group and is owned by approximately 100,000 Finnish forest owners.
(EIB European Investment Bank)

Effective March 1, 2021, Kemira increases prices in Americas for most process and ..

Effective March 1, 2021, Kemira increases prices in Americas for most process and ..  (Company news)

... functional chemicals for pulp and paper applications

Kemira, a global chemicals company serving customers in water intensive industries, announces a 5-15% price increase for most process and functional chemicals used by pulp and paper customers in the Americas region.

The price increases will be effective on shipments made on or after March 1, 2021 or as contracts allow. Rapidly escalating costs for raw materials, energy, packaging, and transportation make this price adjustment necessary.

Kemira remains committed to adding value to our customers’ operations by providing the highest quality products and services despite the challenging global conditions. We also continue to invest in digital technologies and the development of new products and functionalities. We are focused on increasing our operational efficiency to keep our cost of production highly competitive and to optimize our service levels to our customers.
(Kemira Oyj - Paper Segment)

Roll cover technology from Voith: latest development AiroDry H for guide rolls in the dryer section

Roll cover technology from Voith: latest development AiroDry H for guide rolls in the dryer section  (Company news)

-The new AiroDry H roll cover perfectly combines the various requirements for a guide roll cover in the dryer section.
-AiroDry H has excellent temperature-resistance and is suitable for all applications inside the dryer hood.
-The roll cover is especially resistant to abrasion, static build up and corrosion, which can therefore result in the prolonged life of dryer fabrics.

Guide rolls are used throughout the paper machine and must therefore meet a wide variety of requirements. In the dryer section the primary task is to safely guide either dryer fabrics or the paper sheet through the machine. Once the rolls become corroded, worn or contaminated, there is an increased risk to paper machine efficiency through sheet breaks. The life of the dryer fabrics could be reduced either by contamination from the guide roll or by abrasion. Guide rolls which are in an extreme condition could break causing unplanned downtime. With several decades of expertise in roll covers, Voith therefore complements its product portfolio for guide rolls with the new AiroDry H roll cover.

Advanced technology for guide rolls
AiroDry H is made of a fiber composite material. It has antistatic and highly abrasion resistant properties. It is temperature-resistant up to 130 °C, higher than the surrounding temperatures which guide rolls are subjected to. The new roll cover has excellent load bearing properties and its smooth surface finish ensures a gentle handling of the fabrics.

Excellent material properties
AiroDry H is available for all dryer sections and can be used on both steel and carbon rolls. It provides a cost-effective solution for extending the service life of damaged or corroded guide roll shells. Together with Voith's individual clothing and doctor blades, a tailored solution can be found to raise the performance and safety of paper machines.
(Voith Paper GmbH & Co KG)

New virtual event: Gallus High Performance Day 2021 takes place in March

New virtual event: Gallus High Performance Day 2021 takes place in March  (Company news)

For the very first time Gallus will host a virtual event – the Gallus High Performance Day. Using this new digital event format, Gallus will show its portfolio of digital and conventional label printing systems. The participants can choose between Wednesday, March 3rd at 4:30 pm (CET) or Thursday, March 4th at 8:30 am (CET).

The whole range of applications will be shown on the Gallus Labelfire, the Gallus Labelmaster and Gallus RCS 430 – digital and in high quality. The demo sessions will be followed by so-called Breakout Sessions giving exclusive insights by label experts e.g. about digital label printing with low migration inks or showing the flexibility of modern screen printing. This virtual live event takes about one hour.
(Gallus Ferd. Rüesch AG)

Canon launches imagePRESS C170 Series; push creative limits and produce high quality ...

Canon launches imagePRESS C170 Series; push creative limits and produce high quality ...  (Company news)

...assets in-house

Canon Europe announces the launch of the imagePRESS C170 Series, allowing businesses to explore creative printing in-house. Designed to deliver high-resolution, personalised, vividly coloured prints, it offers an alternative solution for businesses looking to push their creative limits.

Empowering productivity
With new ways of working accelerating and the role of the office diversifying, businesses have a heightened need to be as productive as possible whilst in the office. Combining office functionality and connectivity, with professional output, the imagePRESS C170 Series enables customers to broaden their print capabilities, capitalising on their investment without the need for specialist user training.

Designed to meet fast turnaround times and deadlines, the imagePRESS C170 Series offers incredible speeds of up to 70 pages per minute (ppm) in colour, and up to 80 ppm in black and white, so users can get work done quicker. The device is intended to be as easy to use as possible, offering the same intuitive interface, navigation and customer experience as other Canon devices, providing a consistent user experience.

Like the imageRUNNER ADVANCE DX models, the imagePRESS C170 Series offers security features designed to help users safeguard sensitive information, ensure employee and customer privacy, and assist in regulatory compliance in office environments. Once activated, the McAfee Embedded Control feature helps block the execution of unauthorised applications through intelligent whitelisting.

A creative powerhouse
Following the successful launch of the imagePRESS C165 in 2019 and the continual industry demand for streamlined professional workflows in office environments, the imagePRESS C170 brings serious creative power, equipping businesses with the ability to create ultra-colourful, ultra-crisp prints at a professional standard, without forgetting the everyday business requirements. Launched to further support an organisation’s wide-ranging printing needs and help them to diversify their creative options, thanks to its ability to handle distinctive formats alongside standard A4 and A3 media, including envelopes and heavy media up to 350gsm, and long-sheet banners up to 1300mm. For further flexibility and for unlocking extra potential in in-house print environment, the devices can support gloss, silk, plain and textured media, as well as delivering a large range of in-line professional finishing for versatile and creative outputs.

Hiro Imamura, vice president marketing, document solutions group, Canon Europe, commented: “The way we work is changing at incredible speed, but for many, the office is a hub for collaboration; where the physical meets the digital, and where creativity thrives. The imagePRESS C170 Series offers world-class printing technology to revolutionise print communications and empower hybrid working.”

With its high-quality printing capabilities and professional finishing options, the imagePRESS C170 Series enables businesses to drive customer engagement and unleash the power of print.
(Canon Europe Ltd)

Solenis to Increase Prices on Polyacrylamide Polymers and Retention Aids in EMEA

Solenis to Increase Prices on Polyacrylamide Polymers and Retention Aids in EMEA   (Company news)

Solenis, a leading global producer of specialty chemicals, will increase prices by up to 8 percent on all polyacrylamide polymers and retention aids across the EMEA region, effective March 1, 2021, or as customer contracts allow. The price increase is necessary due to the major impact on key feedstock costs.

Several Force Majeure situations at major acrylonitrile producers in EMEA and North America over the last few months have caused a shortage in product availability, significant cost increases and production and supply chain issues. Acrylonitrile is the key raw material for making acrylamide monomer and polyacrylamide polymers used in papermaking, municipal water treatment, mining and oil and gas applications.

“Solenis is making every effort to overcome this shortage and secure a cost-competitive supply of polyacrylamides to our customers. We thank our customers for their continued business and partnership,” said Dr. Norbert Steiner, director, Global Product Management, Industrial Polymers.
(Solenis LLC)

Great success – Hahnemühle's CAA digital Creative Days

Great success – Hahnemühle's CAA digital Creative Days  (Company news)

Lots of spectators on Sunday
The first three-day CAA digital Creative Days, which Hahnemühle organised at the end of January were a complete success. For the first time, this virtual event was hosted together with the partners Schmincke and da Vinci as the Creativeworld in Frankfurt could not take place. The colourful and varied Hahnemühle program attracted many interested parties. The product and brand updates were recorded in the Enstyle Studios, professionally accompanied and streamed live in 4K quality on the Hahnemühle YouTube channel. All recordings were produced in English and uploaded directly, so international customers could also access all news promptly, regardless of time differences. Despite the weekend, many national and international customers did not miss the welcome note from the CEOs of da Vinci, Schmincke and Hahnemühle.

Moderator Dany Michalski hosted the live sessions
Throughout all live sessions like the keynote “Recap & Outlook 2020/2021” by Jan Wölfle, CEO of the Hahnemühle Group, as well as the global product launches for the Natural Line and FineNotes, the lively and eloquent presenter Dany Michalski hosted the program.

With the global launch of the Natural Line, Hahnemühle revealed the secret of its latest addition to the range of artist papers. Since 2008, with the introduction of the mixed media paper made from Bamboo, the company has been focusing more and more on fast-growing and sustainable raw materials. With the new Agave Watercolor and Hemp Sketch papers, Hahnemühle is consistently focusing on further resource-saving papers in keeping with the zeitgeist of environmental protection. The new Hahnemühle Natural Line product family includes all papers made from environmentally friendly fibers.

In addition, product manager Rana Ardal-Altun and marketing director Ann Kristin Nohlen announced a range extension to a very successful product launch last year. Toned watercolor books, which are very popular with urban sketchers, are now available in three new formats. The grey and beige toned papers with a classic watercolor structure are now available in A5, A4 and in the trendy square format 20 x 20 cm.

With the international launch of FineNotes by Hahnemühle, the brand is expanding its paper expertise into the field of writing culture. The collection for stylish writing includes noble, leather-bound notebooks with premium writing paper with watermarks as well as fine writing implements with fine engravings or fine embossing – for a tactile handwriting experience in our digital age! The global launch of the high-quality stationery products received excellent feedback.

There will be some innovations in the internationally established Hahnemühle calendar competition. The calendar will no longer be produced as an offset printing process, it will change to digital printing. This is an important step with regards to environmental protection. Due to the change in printing processes less waste will be generated, energy is saved and emissions will be reduced. Printing plates will no longer be required, the use of chemicals will be reduced and on-demand printing will minimise any excess.
For the first time the calendar will be printed on specially developed Hahnemühle FineArt paper. This makes the calendar even more valuable as a collector’s item. In addition to the technical news, the eagerly awaited topic of the 2022 competition ‘Joy & Happiness’ has been announced in the event “Calendar Painting Competition – What’s happening next?“.

Live hands-on sessions by Gris030 and clips by international artists such as rabi_rabi and Césc Farre, who showed the new papers in action, made end-user hearts beat faster. The program was rounded off with Q&A sessions with the Hahnemühle team in various languages ​​and personal Zoom meetings with dealers, influencers and press contacts.

Positive summary of the three-day event
‘The first virtual CAA digital Creative Days were very exciting for all of us in the run-up and during implementation. The feedback we received and the continuously increasing number of views of the content produced demonstrates to us that this was the right way to inform our customers on business updates during this challenging time.
Despite the pandemic and the lockdown in many countries, we could effectively communicate our new product launches globally. It goes without saying that a virtual trade fair can not replace personal contact with our business partners. Product launches are also much more difficult when the mere view of a product has to be convincing and the feel, especially with analog products like our papers, is missing. Nevertheless, virtual events are a good alternative, ”said Jan Wölfle, CEO of the Hahnemühle Group, in summary.
(Hahnemühle FineArt GmbH)

Pixelle to Acquire Specialty Papers Business from Appvion

Pixelle to Acquire Specialty Papers Business from Appvion  (Company news)

Pixelle Specialty Solutions LLC (“Pixelle”), a leading manufacturer of specialty papers in North America, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the carbonless rolls and security papers business of Appvion Operations, Inc.

The transaction is expected to close in April 2021 and will not include any Appvion production assets. Carbonless rolls formerly manufactured by Appvion will be manufactured by the Pixelle specialty papers mill in Chillicothe, OH, and security papers formerly manufactured by Appvion will be manufactured by Pixelle or Pixelle supply partners.

Commenting on the acquisition, Pixelle’s Chief Executive Officer Timothy Hess said, “As a leader in specialty solutions, Pixelle is well-positioned to incorporate this product portfolio into our business. Pixelle welcomes the opportunity to serve these customers, who we believe will benefit from our experience in providing these technically demanding grades.”

The acquisition expands the Pixelle product portfolio by building on Pixelle’s established brands of carbonless papers (ExcelOne® and Trans/Rite®) and adding DocuCheck® and DocuMark® security papers to Pixelle’s existing brand (Defensa®).

Pixelle was formed in 2018 by Lindsay Goldberg, a private investment firm that partners with business founders, families, and management teams to actively build their businesses. In its two-year history, Pixelle has built an industry-leading four-mill specialty paper platform with mills in Chillicothe, OH, Jay, ME, Spring Grove, PA and Stevens Point, WI. Lindsay Goldberg, Affiliate Partner; Steven Klinger, Executive Chairman of Pixelle; and his management team have more than 150 years combined experience in building high-performance paper businesses.

Commenting on the acquisition, Klinger said, “A key component of Pixelle’s strategy is to take actions that result in customers viewing Pixelle as an active, valued partner in growing customers’ businesses. Doing that well has developed Pixelle into the market leader it is today and enabled Pixelle to make acquisitions like this one. Pixelle is a great example of how we invest in, partner with, and actively build businesses.”
(Pixelle Specialty Solutions LLC)

Progroup is developing Stryków into one of the world's largest corrugated board production sites

Progroup is developing Stryków into one of the world's largest corrugated board production sites  (Company news)

- Progroup is starting the construction of a second corrugated sheetfeeder plant at its site in Stryków, Poland
- Progroup is creating more than 50 modern high-tech jobs

Photo: The new plant is set to produce up to 200,000 tonnes of corrugated board sheets annually from the fourth quarter of 2022.

Progroup is continuing its growth strategy by starting to construct the PW14 corrugated sheetfeeder plant in Poland. The company’s twelfth production facility for corrugated board sheets and its third plant in Poland is being constructed on the site of the existing PW07 plant in Stryków. Over an area of around 27,900 square metres, Progroup will once again be setting new benchmarks for productivity and sustainability in the industry. The company is investing around 72 million euros in a production facility which is geared towards sustainability; among other things a combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) plant will be used to generate power. The new plant is set to produce up to 200,000 tonnes of corrugated board sheets annually from the fourth quarter of 2022. With its production capacity of 825 million square metres per annum, Stryków will be one of the biggest corrugated board production sites anywhere in the world.

“With this new plant, Progroup will not only boost Stryków as a location, but at the same time it will expand its position in the market in Central & Eastern Europe,” says Jürgen Heindl, Chief Executive Officer of Progroup. “We are consistently following our growth strategy and this will allow us to continue to offer our customers the high reliability of supply and impressive quality of product that they are used to.”

Progroup is creating more than 50 new jobs in the region
The new plant will provide a job for more than 50 highly skilled employees and apprentices. Efficient filter systems will deliver a largely dust-free working environment and an innovative sound insulation system will ensure a pleasant atmosphere to work in.

PW14 will produce Next Board® corrugated board
PW14 will manufacture virtually all common grades of corrugated board. The production speed will be 400 m/min and the working width 3.35 metres. The production line is designed to produce single-wall and double-wall Next Board® corrugated boardsheets with B, C and E flutes and smaller grammages in all combinations. Next Board® corrugated boards are renowned for much lower use of energy and raw materials and reduce CO2 emissions per tonne of corrugated board by 26 per cent on average – coupled with better strength figures.

PW14 will lead the way in the industry on energy management
Progroup is striving to achieve carbon-neutral recycling and will rely on efficient combined cooling, heat and power at the PW14 plant, for example. This involves using waste heat from its own power generation, for example, either in an absorption chiller to “produce” cold, or feeding the heat into the heating circuit, as required. This saves fossil fuels and significantly reduces CO2 emissions. The new plant will thus seamlessly continue Progroup’s Green Hightech strategy. In the final expansion stage, production in Stryków will have one of the highest levels of automation in the industry. The employees will receive the operating data for the machine and work instructions live on wearables that resemble smartwatches or will receive the information via a headset. A 32-metre-high, fully automated high-bay warehouse with more than 14,000 storage spaces and four automatic storage and retrieval machines will ensure smooth distribution. It will be able to store up to two days of corrugated sheetboard production and thus enable perfect JIT deliveries by decoupling the time between the manufacture of the corrugated board and the production of packaging by the customer.

Construction of PW14 is the next milestone in Progroup’s growth strategy
Progroup’s development as a company has a very long-term basis and is planned in strategic periods of ten years at a time. The aim for the current period is to double the size of the company by 2025 compared to 2015. This involves the construction of a total of 8 corrugated sheetfeeder plants, a CHP power plant and the PM3 paper factory. “Increasing our paper capacities with the addition of PM3 means that we can continue to offer the reliability of a stable raw material supply. We can thus remain a strong and reliable partner to our paper and corrugated board customers,” says Jürgen Heindl. Over the stated investment period more than 500 new jobs will be created overall. The total level of investment for these growth projects is around 1.35 billion euros.
(Progroup AG)

INGEDE Symposium 2021 will be online on March 2nd

INGEDE Symposium 2021 will be online on March 2nd  (Company news)

The INGEDE Symposium is the most important event in the field of paper recycling and deinking in Europe!

Besides the different eco-labels and their requirements in terms of recyclability and methods, INGEDE will look into tomorrow’s bin with paper for recycling: What about the availability of paper for recycling, how does the composition change (and how does the fraction of packaging increase even faster due to the pandemic)? What’s new in sorting? What are the current trends in printing, in printed products, in printing inks; and how does that effect recyclability and deinkability? What about mineral oil free inks, especially for newspapers? These and more issues are coming up, so save the date for the INGEDE Symposium!
(INGEDE - Internationale Forschungsgemeinschaft Deinking-Technik e.V.)

Miraclon strengthens innovation leadership team

Miraclon strengthens innovation leadership team   (Company news)

Picture: Dr. Reid Chesterfield

Dr. Reid Chesterfield named Chief Technology and Innovation Officer
Dr. Zaki Ali appointed Chief Technology Advisor to the CEO

Miraclon announced the appointments of Dr. Reid Chesterfield as Chief Technology and Innovation Officer and Dr. Zaki Ali as Chief Technology Advisor to the CEO, affirming the company’s commitment to innovation and expanding the executive leadership of the Technology and Innovation organization.

Reid brings a wealth of industry, leadership, and commercialization experience to Miraclon, having most recently been Global Director of Thermal Interface Materials at Henkel since October 2016. Prior to joining Henkel, he worked at DuPont for 13 years in a variety of technical and management roles.

Zaki Ali, fondly known as the ‘godfather’ of the FLEXCEL NX Technology, has led the technology invention and product development from the very beginning of the flexo journey at Kodak that enabled the business growth and subsequent creation of Miraclon. He holds several patents for this unique technology that has helped transform the flexo printing industry.

Chris Payne, Miraclon CEO, comments: “The expansion of our Technology and Innovation leadership team is an important step for Miraclon. Reid brings the right knowledge and experience to the team as we continue building on our rich heritage of development and innovation. Together with Zaki’s expertise, I am confident that together they will help Miraclon continue to lead the transformation of flexo and drive our customers’ businesses to greater success.”
(Miraclon Corporation)

GEMÜ honoured as 'Global Market Leader' for the fifth time in a row

GEMÜ honoured as 'Global Market Leader' for the fifth time in a row  (Company news)

The Ingelfingen-based technology company GEMÜ has once again been listed in the global market leader index of the University of St. Gallen and the Academy of German Global Market Leaders.

WirtschaftsWoche has awarded the owner-managed valve specialist GEMÜ the WirtschaftsWoche quality seal "Global Market Leader – Champion 2021" for what is already the fifth time in a row. In doing so, WirtschaftsWoche has recognized GEMÜ's renewed inclusion in the global market leader index in the segment "Valves and automation components: Valves, Process and Control systems for sterile applications".

The global market leader index is created in accordance with objective criteria and transparent selection processes under the scientific direction of Professor Dr Christoph Müller from the University of St. Gallen, in cooperation with the Academy of German Global Market Leaders (ADWM). Using this framework, the business magazine WirtschaftsWoche annually lists the 500 global market leaders in their respective sectors in a special issue.
The researchers designate companies as "Global Market Leader Champions" if they are first or second in the relevant market segment, are represented on at least three continents with their own production and/or sales companies, have an annual turnover of at least €50 million, and can demonstrate an export share or foreign share of at least 50% of their turnover. Another important criterion for a company to obtain the accolade of "Global Market Leader Champion" is to be (owner-)managed with headquarters in the German-speaking region (Germany, Austria or Switzerland).

As a family-owned, owner-managed business headquartered in Ingelfingen-Criesbach (in the German state of Baden-Württemberg), with 27 subsidiaries as well as six manufacturing sites in Germany, Switzerland, China, Brazil, France and the USA, GEMÜ fully satisfies these requirements. In addition to these prerequisites, it was the cutting-edge technology and market leadership in the field of valves, process and control systems for sterile applications that served as a crucial factor for WirtschaftsWoche in awarding the accolade and WirtschaftsWoche quality seal of "Global Market Leader – Champion 2021" to GEMÜ.

"In this unique and challenging year, we are very proud of the accolade of global market leader. It shows us that focusing on our innovative strength and customized customer solutions at the same time as investing in digital future issues has been the correct path," says Gert Müller, Managing Partner of the GEMÜ Group.
(GEMÜ Gebr. Müller Apparatebau GmbH & Co. KG)

SCA to invest SEK 460 million in Tunadal port

SCA to invest SEK 460 million in Tunadal port  (Company news)

SCA will invest approximately SEK 460 million in Tunadal port between 2021 and 2024. The investment will encompass a new container port and new cargo handling areas.

SCA’s investments in Östrand pulp mill, in addition to the ongoing investments in pulp production at the Ortviken industrial site, will more than double the volume of pulp to be shipped from the Sundsvall region. The increased volumes mean that the pulp will be delivered to new and more distant markets. Tunadal and Bollsta sawmills are also ramping up their production volumes.

Containers are being increasingly used to transport pulp and solid-wood products. Over the past five years, the volume of containerized trade from Tunadal port has more than doubled.

“This development has meant that we need to be able to handle larger volumes of containerized cargo than previously and be able to accommodate larger ships – both container ships and break bulk vessels,” says Magnus Svensson, President Sourcing and Logistics at SCA.

SCA is now building out the port to be able to accommodate ships with a draft of 15 meters, compared with the current 12 meters. SCA also will build a modern container port with a capacity of 100,000 TEU (standard containers) per year. Finally, SCA intends to build land south of the current port to create new space for cargo handling.

“With this expansion of the port, we will be able to load significantly larger ships and be able to ensure the efficient and competitive transport of the products that are growing in volume in the region. Key parts of the port expansion will be ready in time for the new volumes from the Ortviken industrial site comprising pulp and recycled textile fibers from Renewcell.”

“With the expanded port, the combined terminal being built by the Municipality of Sundsvall and the improved rail links to Tunadal port, we will have a transport infrastructure that will move Sundsvall closer to the global export markets and the Scandinavian domestic market, thereby benefiting industry and trade across Northern Sweden,” concludes Magnus Svensson.
(Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget SCA)

Paint and Draw what brings Joy and Happiness – The Hahnemühle Calendar Competition ...

Paint and Draw what brings Joy and Happiness – The Hahnemühle Calendar Competition ...  (Company news) now open

” For 2022, we would like to have an art calendar full of positive energy. In 12 monthly pictures we simply want to spread pure joy and happiness. So this year’s theme of our painting competition is “Joy & Happiness” says Barbara Knipper, the organiser of the annual calendar competition at Hahnemühle.

The theme and call for entries is eagerly awaited by the international artist community every year. For more than 10 years, the competition has regularly attracted several thousand paintings from all over the world – paintings, drawings, collages or traditional prints.

The submission phase runs from February to June each year. Participants can upload up to five works of art via an online portal. The artworks must meet two criteria: they have to be painted on Hahnemühle or Lana paper and in landscape format only. The closing date for entry is the 30th June 2021. A panel of judges will select 36 artworks and the shortlist will be announced in the Autumn. A video on the Hahnemühle homepage and social media channels will introduce the finalists.

“This year, a few innovations promise to attract even more attention in artist circles and the public: the limited edition calendars will be printed digitally on demand and the calendar will be available for purchase,” explains Stefan Neumann, Head of Technical Support at Hahnemühle.

But before that happens, the 12 winning images will be chosen and announced in November. The winners are guaranteed the prestige of being represented in the art calendar of the world-renowned Hahnemühle brand. In addition to 10 printed calendars, they will receive an exclusive creative package from all Creative Art Alliance partners consisting of valuable artist papers from Hahnemühle, paints from Schmincke and brushes from da Vinci to the value of EUROS 350. Last but not least all artists will share in the proceeds from the sale of the calendars.
(Hahnemühle FineArt GmbH)

First silphia packaging at Kaufland

First silphia packaging at Kaufland  (Company news)

With OutNature, PreZero is developing new and sustainable fiber and paper products for packaging solutions in trade and industry. After a successful pilot phase, the packaging based on the silphia plant is now being launched in the fruit and vegetable sector at Kaufland for the first time.

"OutNature's sustainable concept has fully convinced us. With the new silphia packaging, we are strengthening the identity of our own K-Bio brand," says Jürgen Schartschinski, Head of Purchasing Fruit and Vegetables at Kaufland. Initially, the vegetable varieties cress, white and brown mushrooms and tomatoes of Kaufland's own brand K-Bio will be offered in the innovative packaging.

The silphia paper can be used in a wide range of paper applications. The focus is on packaging applications, especially those with direct food contact. Dietmar Böhm, Managing Director of PreZero, adds: "The launch of our silphie packaging at Kaufland is an excellent starting point for OutNature's market entry, which will enable us to inspire other customers with our innovative packaging solutions in the future. With OutNature, we are tapping into an entirely new source of raw materials and intend to continue breaking new ground."

At the end of 2020, OutNature was awarded the German Packaging Prize in the "New Material" category for its novel idea of producing sustainable packaging from silphia fibers. This was followed in early 2021 by winning the prestigious WorldStar Award from the World Packaging Organization (WPO) in the "Packaging Materials & Components" category.

What makes the idea so special is that silphia is an energy crop that has so far been used exclusively for the production of biogas. Using a biothermal process, OutNature separates the plant fibers prior to bioenergy production, making them usable as a new raw material produced in Germany. In addition to replacing paper and cardboard packaging, the silphy products will also be tested in the future as an alternative for conventional plastic packaging. With OutNature, PreZero is making an important contribution to REset Plastic, the Schwarz Group's cross-group plastic strategy.
(Kaufland Dienstleistung GmbH & Co. KG)

PTS Conference 'Paper & Board for Food Contact'

PTS Conference 'Paper & Board for Food Contact'  (Company news)

Online Conference, 03.03.2021 bis 04.03.2021

Delegates will learn about new developments concerning legal, product and analytical requirements regarding paper, board, cardboard and tissue for food contact.

CONTENTS & Programm:
Presentations regarding new developments concerning legal, product and analytical requirements await you:
- Updates on recent legal developments in Europe, Germany and Denmark
- GMP Guidance and Halal production of paper and board
- Update on Titanium dioxide
- Ingredients in thermal papers and printing inks
- Analytical results for release of substances (PFAS, BPA/BPS, Pergafast201; Aluminium, Chloropropanols)
- Optimization of packaging through software-based prediction of shelf life
- Expert Discussions
(Papiertechnische Stiftung (PTS))

New production and business facility for SchäferRolls d.o.o. in Brnik, Slovenia

New production and business facility for SchäferRolls d.o.o. in Brnik, Slovenia  (Company news)

Quite with pride we present you our new plant, a greenfield production and business facility near Brnik Airport in Slovenia. In addition to modern architecture, we created the best possible conditions with spacious halls and the latest technical and logistical concept in order to offer our customers the best possible service all around the rolls.
(SchäferRolls d.o.o.)

Last database update: 26.02.2021 16:33 © 2004-2021, Birkner GmbH & Co. KG