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Koenig & Bauer continuing on its recovery trajectory with its figures for the first quarter ...

Koenig & Bauer continuing on its recovery trajectory with its figures for the first quarter ...  (Company news)

... of 2021

Strong order intake with double-digit growth in Sheetfed segment and improved earnings despite lower revenue

- 5.3% increase in order intake, particularly underpinned by double-digit growth in the Sheetfed segment
- Covid-19-induced decline of 7.8% in Group revenue – but better than the industry average of a 13.5% drop according to VDMA
- P24x efficiency programme spurring earnings, €8.1m improvement in EBIT despite lower revenue
- With a positive free cash flow of €22.1m, return to pre-Covid-19 net financial position

The Koenig & Bauer Group (“Koenig & Bauer”) entered 2021 on a strong note, posting a 5.3% increase in order intake over the previous year to €286.0m. This was particularly due to a double-digit increase in orders in the Sheetfed segment, of which around 60% can be attributed to the sharp growth in the more pandemic-resistant packaging printing market. This enabled Koenig & Bauer to additionally expand its position in the market for sheetfed offset presses for packaging printing.

As Dr Andreas Pleßke, the CEO of Koenig & Bauer AG, explains: This favourable order intake shows us that our customers’ spending reticence is beginning to dissipate in many areas. Nevertheless, some new investments are being postponed due to the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic. This mainly concerns digital decor and corrugated board printing as well as metal decorating, although we are still seeing noticeable interest on the part of our customers, and corrugated board printing, for example, is likely to experience a considerable boost over the next few years given the growth in e-commerce business. The end markets that we address and particularly also the structurally growing packaging printing segment, e.g. for food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, are fundamentally intact. In banknote printing, current market indicators such as the project pipeline and production figures point to a continuation of the robust business environment. Accordingly, we still see our proven broad product range as appropriate for achieving our goals and are convinced that we will strengthen and further expand our market position not only in the area of packaging printing.”

At €243m, Group revenue was 7.8% down on the previous year’s figure due to the impact of Covid-19. However, the decline in revenue was less pronounced than the 13.5% drop in industry-wide revenue from sales of printing presses registered by industry association VDMA. Service business accounted for about 29% of the Group’s revenue in the first quarter of 2021 against the backdrop of the pandemic. This means that the target of 30% for Group service business was almost reached, albeit on the basis of lower new press business than in the previous year.

Despite the lower Group revenue, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) reached -€8.9m, compared with -€170m in the same quarter of the previous year. The improvement of around €8.1m despite the negative volume and margin effects is mainly due to the P24x efficiency programme and reduced functional costs as well as the use of short-time work. As a result, the EBIT margin improved from -6.4% to -3.7% in the first quarter of 2021. Group net loss shrank from -€19.1m in the previous year to -€11.7m, translating into earning per share for the period of -€0.72 (previous year: -€1.16).

Segments painting a mixed picture – Sheetfed with double-digit increase in order intake
The individual segments were affected to differing degrees by the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2021.

In the Sheetfed segment, order intake in particular was very favourable in the first quarter of 2021 thanks to growth in the orders for large-format sheetfed offset presses and parts of the post-press range for example, rising by 20.6% to €193.1m. More than 60% of the orders were attributable to the packaging printing market, which is also growing during the Covid 19 pandemic and, for example, includes folding cartons and labels. At €145.5m, revenue remained at the previous year’s level. The order backlog grew by 23.6% to €379.7m. EBIT climbed to -€3.1m (previous year: -€4.3m), translating into an EBIT margin of -2.1% (previous year: -2.9%).

Order intake in the Digital & Webfed segment was heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2021. Growth in flexo presses for flexible packaging was unable to make up for lower orders for web offset presses. Customers’ pandemic-related reluctance to invest in digital decor and corrugated board printing was also reflected in a 46.1% decline in order intake to €23.5m. The order backlog contracted from €99m to €60.6m. At €30.5m, revenue remained almost at the previous year’s low level and had a material impact on EBIT, which came to -€4.3m (previous year: -€5.6m). The EBIT margin improved to -14.1%, compared with -17.4% in the previous year.

At €73.4m, order intake in the Special segment was virtually unchanged over the previous year. Orders registered by Banknote Solutions (banknote and security printing) and Kammann (direct decoration of hollow bodies made of glass, plastic and metal) were higher. On the other hand, there was a decline in order intake at MetalPrint (metal packaging). With respect to Coding (coding solutions for all industries), new business remained stable compared with the same quarter of the previous year. The order backlog dropped to €237.5m in the quarter under review. Despite the €18.2m decline in revenue, EBIT improved from -€4.5m to -€3.9m, with the EBIT margin reaching -5.3%, compared with -4.9% in the previous year.

Significant improvement in cash flow due reduction also in net working capital and lower net financial position against the backdrop of Covid-19
Both the cash flow from operating activities and free cash flow increased significantly over the same quarter of the previous year and also compared with the end of 2020. The cash flow from operating activities came to €27.8m, while free cash flow improved to €22.1m also due to the reduction in net working capital. Moreover, net financial debt was lowered significantly to €-26.0m (31 March 2020: €-40.7m; 31 December 2020: €-47.1m) despite the protracted global Covid-19 pandemic. With freely available funds of more than €250m and a slightly higher equity ratio of 26.0% as of 31 March 2021, the Group is financially well positioned.

Dr Stephen Kimmich, CFO of Koenig & Bauer AG: “The order backlog, which has again risen by around 7% compared with the end of the year to more than €670m, provides a solid basis for the growth that we are planning for the Koenig & Bauer Group in 2021. With the efficiency measures under P24x, we have also laid important foundations for improving our profitability. In the first quarter of 2021, we were again able to successfully implement further measures, and this should already allow us to break even at the EBIT level in 2021. After the completion of the four-year efficiency programme, we hope to achieve revenue of €1.3bn and an EBIT margin of at least 7% and to reduce net working capital to a maximum of 25% of annual revenue. In the first quarter of 2021, we came a further step closer to achieving this goal through active net working capital management.”
(Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA))

ANDRITZ to supply key pulp production equipment for Nine Dragons Paper mills in China

ANDRITZ to supply key pulp production equipment for Nine Dragons Paper mills in China  (Company news)

International technology Group ANDRITZ has been awarded orders from Nine Dragons Paper, China, to supply equipment and key process technologies for five of their mills.

Photo: ANDRITZ white liquor plant © ANDRITZ

Start-ups are scheduled for 2022 and 2023.

The scope of supply on EPS basis includes the following equipment:
- A white liquor plant with a capacity of 10,500 m3/d, including a recausticizing plant and an ANDRITZ LimeKiln. The recausticizing plant delivery includes a green liquor cooler, a LimeSlake slaker-classifier, three causticizer tank agitators, a drum filter for dregs handling, a LimeWhite filter for white liquor filtration to achieve high white liquor quality, and a LimeDry filter for efficient lime mud filtration to ensure high lime mud dryness and consequently a low heat consumption in the kiln. The ANDRITZ LimeKiln, with a capacity of 950 t/d burnt lime, will be equipped with a high-efficiency LimeCool sector cooler.
- A recausticizing plant with a capacity of 5,800 m3/d.
- Two ash re-crystallization (ARC) systems with ash handling capacities of 400 t/d and 200 t/d respectively, to treat the ash from the electrostatic precipitator by decreasing the chloride and potassium content while recovering sodium and sulphate.
- A recausticizing plant with a capacity of 5,800 m3/d.
- An ash re-crystallization (ARC) system with an ash handling capacity of 200 t/d to treat the ash from the electrostatic precipitator by decreasing the chloride and potassium content while recovering sodium and sulphate.
- Three recausticizing plants with a capacity of 2,500 m3/d each.

These orders once again confirm the excellent business relationship between ANDRITZ and Nine Dragons Paper.
(Andritz AG)

Mercer International Inc. reports first quarter 2021 results and announces quarterly ...

Mercer International Inc. reports first quarter 2021 results and announces quarterly ...  (Company news) dividend of $0.065

Selected Highlights
- Record quarterly wood products segment results
- First quarter Operating EBITDA* of $82.0 million and net income of $5.9 million

Mercer International Inc. (Nasdaq: MERC) reported first quarter 2021 Operating EBITDA increased to $82.0 million from $57.0 million in the first quarter of 2020 and from $49.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2020.

In the first quarter of 2021, net income was $5.9 million (or $0.09 per share) compared to a net loss of $3.4 million (or $0.05 per share) in the first quarter of 2020 and a net loss of $13.0 million (or $0.20 per share) in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Mr. David Gandossi (photo), the Chief Executive Officer, stated: “In the first quarter, our mills continued to run well and safely due to our extensive COVID-19 protection measures. Our Friesau sawmill’s strong operating results allowed us to take full advantage of the strong U.S. lumber market.

Our strong first quarter results reflected improved pulp pricing across all of our markets. First quarter average European NBSK list prices were up $157 per ADMT, and average net prices in China were up $246 per ADMT compared to the prior quarter.

Our wood products segment achieved another record quarterly result and continues to benefit from strong demand and robust pricing, particularly in the U.S. market. In the current quarter, approximately 67% of our lumber revenues and 44% of lumber sales volumes were to the U.S. which was our single largest market.

In January 2021, we refinanced (the “Refinancing”) a significant portion of our debt by issuing $875.0 million of 5.125% 2029 Senior Notes and using the proceeds to redeem and/or repurchase all of our 6.5% 2024 and 7.375% 2025 Senior Notes at a cost including premium of $824.6 million (the “Redemption”). We recorded a loss on such Redemption of $30.4 million (being $0.46 per share). The Refinancing reduced our annual interest expense going forward by approximately $12 million.

We have significant major maintenance scheduled this quarter, which requires a large number of specialty contractors at our mills. Consequently, we continue to maintain measures and procedures to operate our business safely and efficiently and to protect our people, including regular COVID-19 testing of employees and contractors.

While I am encouraged by the significant ramp up in the administration of vaccines globally, there has also been a widespread increase in infection rates which has led various countries to re-impose restrictions on certain activities.

Looking ahead to the second quarter, we are pleased with the strong pulp market fundamentals, which are being supported by steady demand. As well, lumber demand and pricing are expected to remain robust in all markets. Strong markets combined with our ample liquidity leave us well positioned to accelerate our strategic plan, including pursuing high return opportunities.”

Consolidated – Three Months Ended March 31, 2021 Compared to Three Months Ended March 31, 2020
Total revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2021 increased by approximately 18% to $412.7 million from $350.6 million in the same quarter of 2020 primarily due to higher pulp and lumber sales realizations partially offset by lower sales volumes.

Costs and expenses in the current quarter increased by approximately 11% to $361.7 million from $326.5 million in the first quarter of 2020 primarily due to the negative impact of a weaker dollar on our Canadian dollar and euro denominated costs and expenses and higher maintenance costs partially offset by lower per unit fiber costs.

In the first quarter of 2021, Operating EBITDA increased by approximately 44% to $82.0 million from $57.0 million in the same quarter of 2020 primarily due to higher pulp and lumber sales realizations and lower per unit fiber costs partially offset by the negative impact of a weaker dollar on our Canadian dollar and euro denominated costs and higher maintenance costs.

For the first quarter of 2021, our net income was $5.9 million, or $0.09 per share after giving effect to the loss on the Redemption of $30.4 million compared to a net loss of $3.4 million, or $0.05 per share, in the same quarter of 2020.

Segment Results
Pulp segment operating income increased by approximately 18% to $25.3 million from $21.4 million in the same quarter of 2020 as higher pulp sales realizations and lower per unit fiber costs were only partially offset by the negative impact of a weaker dollar and higher maintenance costs.

In the first quarter of 2021, our NBSK pulp sales realizations increased by approximately 19% to $668 per ADMT from $561 per ADMT in the same quarter of the prior year. NBSK pulp sales volumes decreased by approximately 4% to 418,645 ADMTs in the current quarter from 438,326 ADMTs in the same quarter of 2020 primarily due to lower production.

NBSK pulp production decreased by approximately 13% to 396,865 ADMTs in the current quarter from 455,192 ADMTs in the same quarter of 2020 primarily due to higher annual maintenance downtime. In the current quarter of 2021, our planned annual maintenance downtime at our Celgar mill of 20 days was extended to 27 days (approximately 37,800 ADMTs) for additional boiler work. In the comparative quarter of 2020, we only had two days of annual maintenance downtime (approximately 2,300 ADMTs). We estimate that such downtime in the first quarter of 2021 adversely impacted our operating income by approximately $30.3 million, comprised of approximately $21.8 million in direct out-of-pocket expenses and the balance in reduced production. Many of our competitors that report their results using International Financial Reporting Standards capitalize their direct costs of maintenance downtime.

In the second quarter of 2021, our pulp mills currently have 95 days of planned annual maintenance downtime (approximately 140,400 ADMTs) of which approximately 63 days will be at our Peace River mill and primarily relates to boiler work which was deferred from last year and resulted from an incident in 2017. We expect insurance to cover the estimated remaining costs of about $27 million for the boiler work and to receive business interruption insurance for the extra downtime relating to such work. Additionally, in the second quarter of 2021, we had 14 days of downtime at our Celgar mill related to its slower than planned restart.

In the current quarter of 2021 compared to the same quarter of 2020, primarily as a result of the weaker dollar on our Canadian dollar and euro denominated costs and expenses, we had a negative impact of approximately $30.4 million in operating income due to foreign exchange.

In the first quarter of 2021, per unit fiber costs decreased by approximately 10% from the same quarter of 2020 due to lower per unit fiber costs for all of our mills. In Germany, per unit fiber costs benefited from the continued availability of beetle damaged wood. In Canada, per unit fiber costs declined due to improved chip supply as a result of increased sawmill activity.

Wood Products
In the first quarter of 2021, our wood products segment had record operating income of $28.0 million compared to $5.6 million in the same quarter of 2020 primarily due to a higher lumber realized sales price.

Average lumber sales realizations increased by approximately 79% to $622 per Mfbm in the first quarter of 2021 from approximately $348 per Mfbm in the same quarter of 2020 primarily due to higher pricing in the U.S. and European markets. U.S. lumber pricing increased due to strong demand from the housing and renovation markets. European lumber pricing increased due to steady demand with limited supply.

Per unit fiber costs increased by approximately 6% in the first quarter of 2021 from the same quarter of 2020 primarily as a result of the negative impact of a weaker dollar on our euro denominated fiber costs.

As of March 31, 2021, we had cash and cash equivalents of approximately $395.1 million and approximately $276.7 million available under our revolving credit facilities, providing aggregate liquidity of about $671.8 million.

Included in our cash and cash equivalents is approximately $15.8 million in government grants received and committed to partially finance greenhouse gas emission reduction capital projects and innovation at our Canadian mills. These projects include upgrades to the woodrooms at such mills which are also expected to reduce fiber costs.

As a result of such new woodroom projects, our expected 2021 capital expenditures, excluding amounts financed by government grants and expected insurance proceeds, will increase to about $185 million from about $150 million.

Current Market Environment
Although there is continued economic uncertainty resulting from the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently expecting further modest pulp price improvements in the second quarter of 2021 due to stable pulp demand, particularly in China, and reduced supply.

We currently expect continuing strong lumber demand and prices in the U.S. market along with modestly improving sales realizations in the European market in the second quarter of 2021.

Quarterly Dividend
A quarterly dividend of $0.065 per share will be paid on July 7, 2021 to all shareholders of record on June 30, 2021. Future dividends will be subject to Board approval and may be adjusted as business and industry conditions warrant.
(Mercer International Inc.)

Södra recruits new Director of Strategy

Södra recruits new Director of Strategy  (Company news)

Malin Nordin (photo) has been recruited as new Director of Strategy for Södra. She has extensive experience of strategy and business development from IKEA and will be responsible for Södra’s new strategy function. Malin will also become a member of Group Senior Management.

Södra’s Group strategy involves creating profitable and sustainable growth in an ever-changing world. It will guide the work to maximise the value of the raw material from our members’ forests and to adopt a stronger position in the bio-economy. To further strengthen this work, a new strategy function is being formed within Södra and Malin Nordin has been recruited as Director of Strategy.

“I am really looking forward to Malin joining us at Södra. Malin’s experience of strategy development and change management is entirely right for our continued journey. I can see that, through Malin, we will gain several important perspectives,” said Södra’s CEO Lotta Lyrå.

20 years’ experience from IKEA
Malin has worked for 20 years in various positions at IKEA. For the past ten years, she has been involved in global business development. Her most recent assignment was to develop and implement the IKEA Group’s circular approach and goals. Malin will begin in her new position in June 2021.

“It is going to be incredibly stimulating and inspiring to work within the Södra family. The forest and its products will be even more important in the future than they are today. I find this exciting and I want to be involved in influencing that future,” said Malin Nordin, Södra’s new Director of Strategy.

In addition to pursuing work related to strategy development and business environment analysis, the strategically prioritised areas of sustainability, digitisation and communication are to placed under the Director of Strategy’s responsibility.
(Södra Cell AB)

International Paper Reports First Quarter 2021 Results

International Paper Reports First Quarter 2021 Results  (Company news)

International Paper (NYSE: IP) reported first quarter 2021 financial results.

- First quarter net earnings (loss) attributable to International Paper of $349 million ($0.88 per diluted share), compared with $153 million ($0.39 per diluted share) in the fourth quarter of 2020 and $(141) million ($(0.36) per diluted share) in the first quarter of 2020. First quarter 2020 net earnings included an after-tax charge of $337 million ($0.85 per diluted share) for the impairment of the net assets and write-off of foreign currency translation adjustment following the announcement of the sale of our Brazil Packaging business.
- First quarter adjusted operating earnings* (non-GAAP) of $299 million ($0.76 per diluted share) compared with $296 million ($0.75 per diluted share) in the fourth quarter of 2020 and $226 million ($0.57 per diluted share) in the first quarter of 2020. First quarter 2021 adjusted operating earnings* include a pre-tax earnings impact of $(80) million ($(0.15) per diluted share) related to the winter storm in the U.S.
- First quarter cash provided by operations of $512 million compared with $649 million in the same period of 2020
- Returned $331 million to shareholders through dividends of $202 million and share repurchases of $129 million
- Reduced debt by $108 million
- Monetized approximately $400 million of investment in Graphic Packaging bringing our ownership to 7.4%

"International Paper delivered solid earnings and strong cash generation in the first quarter," said Mark Sutton (photo), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Operationally, we performed well to mitigate the significant impact of the winter storm and support strong customer demand in our packaging business. Looking ahead, we see momentum continuing to build in our three businesses. We expect continued strong demand for corrugated packaging and absorbent pulp, and we're seeing a much better supply/demand backdrop for printing papers, all of which contributes to a more favorable outlook in 2021."

Sutton added, "I am mindful that we are still in the midst of a global pandemic. The health and safety of our employees remains our most important responsibility and I appreciate their commitment to take care of each other and our customers."

Business Segment Results
Industrial Packaging operating profits (losses) in the first quarter of 2021 were $447 million compared with $431 million in the fourth quarter of 2020. In North America, earnings were solid as higher sales prices for boxes and export containerboard were offset by a $(75) million impact from the winter storm. Planned maintenance outage expenses were also higher. In Europe, earnings improved reflecting seasonally higher volumes in Morocco and lower operating costs, partially offset by lower average sales margins driven by higher containerboard costs.

Global Cellulose Fibers operating profits (losses) in the first quarter of 2021 were $(82) million compared with $(114) million in the fourth quarter of 2020. Earnings improved reflecting higher average sales prices and lower operating costs partially offset by higher input costs for wood and energy. Earnings benefited from the non-repeat of an asset write-off in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Printing Papers operating profits (losses) were $80 million in both the first quarter of 2021 and the fourth quarter of 2020. In North America, earnings were lower driven by higher input costs for wood and energy and higher planned maintenance outage expenses partially offset by lower economic downtime costs. In Brazil, earnings improved as seasonally lower sales volumes and higher input costs were more than offset by higher average sales prices, lower operating costs and favorable foreign currency impacts. In Europe and Russia, earnings were flat reflecting lower economic downtime costs and favorable foreign currency impacts mostly offset by lower average sales prices, an unfavorable geographic mix and higher input costs.
(International Paper)

Follmann invests in a new GSE ink dispensing unit

Follmann invests in a new GSE ink dispensing unit  (Firmennews)

For fast, consistent, efficient and state-of-the-art ink dispensing

Customers today expect rapid supply of high-quality products. Not only are bulk standard products in demand but also company brand colours and Pantone- or HKS-based ready-mixed inks in lower amounts. To meet these needs, Follmann has expanded its production with the addition of a new ink dispensing unit.

After extending and optimizing its water-based printing-ink range last summer, the family-owned company headquartered in Minden has now invested in a new, fully automatic GSE ink dispensing unit.

“Continuous improvement and further development are priorities for us, so we are all the more delighted to have achieved the very latest state of the art and high efficiency in production with this new unit, which complements the rest of our equipment,” says Roland Geiselhart, Director Business Unit Print + Packaging at Follmann. “The new ink dispensing unit enables us still better to meet the individual wishes and needs of our customers, whether they require low volumes or just-in-time production of special colours. It also allows highly efficient, rapid sampling of new and further improved recipes.”

GSE, too, is pleased that its unit is being used in a new way: “At GSE, we promote a strong culture of cooperation, both within the company and with our customers. Thanks to excellent collaboration with Follmann and our modular system configuration, we have been able to install a customer-specific colour mixing unit that meets the agreed conditions,” explains Onno Deen, Sales Manager at GSE Dispensing.

The highly user-friendly and extremely low-maintenance unit enables quick and economical production of even very small amounts of ink for individual use, for example 10-200 kg of one colour. The latest software supports the entire data management and recipes are stored in a database.

“Exact dispensing of the individual components takes very little time and reproducibility is exceptionally high. This permits us to supply products quickly and to provide a high standard of accuracy and consistency. Potential sources of error are virtually excluded, thanks to the sophisticated software and the precision of the hardware,” adds Roland Geiselhart.
(Follmann GmbH & Co. KG)

Panther Print continues on resource-saving path with lightweight paper

Panther Print continues on resource-saving path with lightweight paper  (Company news)

The printing experts at Panther Print GmbH from Wustermark, near the capital Berlin, have always strived to develop solutions that are based in particular on the distinct idea of sustainability, and thus on the Panther pro nature strategy. This is exactly what has been achieved with Panther Smart Print, which stands for the use of lightweight papers. This has great potential for improving packaging of all kinds, both from the point of view of resource conservation and quality.

Image: Panther Smart Print - use of lightweight papers

Panther Print has defined clear goals as well as measures to make its contribution to protecting and preserving the environment. One of the ways is to reduce materials, i.e. lower mass per unit area (grammage) by using lightweight paper. Panther Smart Print was developed on this basis.

For high-quality printed packaging, white, coated as well as uncoated liner papers with a basis weight of 100 g/m² are available, which can be printed at up to 48 l/cm. They are ideal printing substrates for flexographic preprinting, on which the desired motifs can be reproduced according to specifications. With roll preprinting, there is also less stress on the shaft, so that the same technical properties can be achieved with lightweight papers as with high-grammage papers in postprinting. This means that the flexo-preprint process can benefit from lightweight corrugated board papers, especially when environmental awareness is a high priority, as it is at Panther Print.

Both economic and ecological benefits are achieved. With the flexo-preprint process (roll pre-print), the grammage of the paper can be reduced, resulting in cost savings and at the same time a lower carbon footprint due to the reduction in tonnage used.
(Panther Print GmbH)

Valmet signs an extensive Industrial Internet services agreement with ARAUCO for new ...

Valmet signs an extensive Industrial Internet services agreement with ARAUCO for new ...  (Company news)

... pulp production line in Chile

Photo: Valmet will supply Industrial Internet solutions for Arauco Mill Line 3 onsite and remotely from Valmet Performance Centers in South America and the Nordics.

Valmet and ARAUCO have signed an agreement to jointly develop the Arauco Mill Line 3 in Chile to become the world’s most autonomous pulp mill. Valmet will supply its Industrial Internet Solutions (VII Solutions) comprised of Mill Wide Optimization applications, advanced prediction and monitoring applications as well as expert services. The target is to improve the overall efficiency and profitability of the entire mill by coordinating and optimizing across process islands. The expert support is given both onsite and remotely through Valmet Performance Centers in South America and the Nordics.

The Arauco Mill Line 3, located in the Bio Bío Region in Chile, is currently being built as the MAPA project, a major investment to expand ARAUCO’s current pulp production capacity. As announced in 2018, Valmet delivers pulp drying and baling, recovery boiler and biomass boiler to the MAPA project.

“Since we started the MAPA project in 2011, we have wanted that the project represents a real contribution to the territory and is also in line with the environmental standards required today. From the beginning, this project comprised a broad investment program in technology, energy efficiency and big data, among others, which will make the processes much more efficient. Our partnership with Valmet represents another step in the sustainable development of the project. We believe that it is essential to have a world-class ally that guarantees the standards and the best technology available in the market today,” says Charles Kimber, Senior Vice President, People and Sustainability, ARAUCO.

“This is a true partnership, where we have jointly tailored the solution to best suit the ARAUCO’s needs. With this partnership it will be possible to maximize the production of the mill and move towards an autonomous mill. In this project we utilize our solid process and automation know-how and combine our strong local presence in South America with our global resources. Our common target with ARAUCO in the first phase is to secure successful commissioning of the MAPA project, fast start-up, ramp-up curve and improve the overall efficiency and profitability of the mill for the years to come,” says Félix Hernaiz, General Manager, Andes Region, Valmet.

Technical information about the agreement
The contract includes several Valmet Mill Wide Optimization applications which provide a completely new way to improve mill profitability. The Mill Wide Optimization applications use process flowsheet optimization to automate mill level decisions and coordinate process area actions by generating production and quality plans for each mill area to help increase production and reduce costs. Additionally, Valmet will deliver optimization, advanced monitoring and prediction applications for selected process areas focusing on the pulp dryer and power and recovery boilers. Optimizations are based on Valmet’s kappa, brightness and alkali analyzer measurements.

Valmet also delivers expert support onsite and remotely from Valmet Performance Centers in South America and the Nordics. A Valmet expert will be daily at the mill and Valmet specialists will visit the mill several times a year to evaluate the performance. A comprehensive Data Discovery service will be implemented during the five-year contract period.

“This agreement combines Mill Wide Optimization, Advanced Process Controls (APC), analytical applications and remote services from Valmet Performance Center. We are using Valmet Customer Portal as our digital collaboration space to provide easy access to the advanced applications and the Valmet expert team,” says Jari Almi, Vice President, Industrial Internet, Valmet.
(Valmet Corporation)

Norske Skog will enter the European packaging markets in Q4 2022

Norske Skog will enter the European packaging markets in Q4 2022  (Company news)

Norske Skog’s board of directors has made the final investment decision to convert one machine at the Bruck (Austria) industrial site (photo) from newsprint to recycled containerboard production. This is the first major step of the two planned European conversion projects in the group’s strategy of establishing Norske Skog as a leading independent European producer of recycled containerboard.

The conversion at Bruck will introduce 210 000 tonnes of competitive containerboard capacity to meet the growing demand for renewable packaging. The project has received financing commitment from regional banks. Containerboard production will be based 100% on recycled fibre and will use steam from a new waste-to-energy plant, making Bruck a cost leading and green energy producer.

“This investment decision represents the coming of a new era for Norske Skog and is a major step to become a leading independent European producer of high-quality, renewable and environmentally produced containerboard. The conversion project illustrates the inherent potential of our industrial sites and will strengthen Norske Skog’s asset base and cash flow generation for decades ahead,” says Norske Skog’s CEO Sven Ombudstvedt.

As announced in June 2020, Norske Skog plans to introduce 765 000 tons of competitive recycled containerboard capacity in Europe by investing approximately EUR 350 million to convert Bruck PM3 and Golbey PM1 (France). The converted machines are expected to generate an annual EBITDA of approximately NOK 700-800 million in 2025/26, based on historical trend prices for containerboard and recycled fibre. The final investment decision to convert Bruck PM3 was taken on 22 April, and a similar decision for Golbey PM1 is expected in the second quarter of 2021.

Norske Skog will invest approximately EUR 100 million in the conversion of Bruck PM3, and financing facilities of EUR 70 million have been committed by banks at agreed terms subject to final documentation. The remaining investment amount will be covered by cash on balance and cash flows.

Recycled containerboard production at Bruck PM3 will start in the fourth quarter of 2022 following a three-month production stand-still. Full production utilisation of 210 000 tonnes of testliner and fluting is expected in the second half of 2025. The waste-to-energy plant starting up at the Bruck industrial site in the first half of 2022, will supply cost efficient and sustainable steam for the containerboard production. The second machine at Bruck, with capacity of 265 000 tonnes of LWC magazine paper, will continue production unaffected by the project. Norske Skog will still remain a committed supplier of high-quality publication paper products, and a strong and reliable supplier of all publication paper grades after the planned conversion.

The Bruck conversion project consists of the following main installations:
- new OCC plant for production of 100% of the pulp needed for the containerboard production,
- rebuild of PM3 to production of recycled containerboard, including a new winder, electrical, automation and auxiliary systems, and
- mill site integration and civil works.

“This investment decision marks an important step in Norske Skog's evolution as we look to enhance long-term value for all stakeholders. Increasing focus on environmentally conscious products and the continued rise of online shopping, has created a significant need for renewable packaging solutions. Recycled containerboard production at Bruck will meet this demand with cost-leading and environmental-friendly capacity. Located centrally in continental Europe, the Bruck industrial site is well positioned for the large containerboard market, and it has good and established access to recycled fibre,” says Norske Skog’s CEO Sven Ombudstvedt.
(Norske Skogindustrier ASA)

Voith receives order to supply a complete paper production line to Modern Karton in Turkey

Voith receives order to supply a complete paper production line to Modern Karton in Turkey  (Company news)

- As a full-line supplier, Voith will deliver the entire production system
- The high-speed PM 6 machine will produce up to 640,000 metric tons of recovered corrugated cardboard base paper a year and will strengthen Modern Karton’s leading position in the market
- Performance and many years of successful collaboration were decisive factors in winning the order

Photo: In 2015, the construction and delivery of PM 5 to Modern Karton was successfully completed. The company has again commissioned Voith to supply a complete paper production line.

Paper manufacturer Modern Karton has commissioned Voith to build and deliver a high-speed production facility for the production of recovered corrugated containerboard base paper. Voith’s performance and competence, in particular, were decisive factors in winning the order. The two companies have already enjoyed highly successful collaboration in the past. Most recently, Modern Karton awarded the contract to modernize and expand the stock preparation units of their PM 3 to Voith. The construction and delivery of the PM 5 was also completed successfully in 2015. The new plant now strengthens the close partnership between the two companies and reinforces Modern Karton’s position as the market leader for packaging paper in Turkey.

"We are delighted to have a strong and reliable partner like Voith at our side for the construction of our new production facility. Their outstanding work in previous projects and our extremely close and constructive collaboration won us over." Ahmet Eren, Chairman of Eren Holding

“We are very pleased about this order and the confidence that Modern Karton has again placed in us,” says Dr. Michael Trefz, President Projects at Voith Paper. “As a full-line supplier, we will deliver a powerful system and comprehensive solutions which will enable Modern Karton to produce paper efficiently with lowest resource consumption and offer real added value.”

“We were particularly impressed by the determination of Modern Karton, with which the project lead time from tender to order receipt could be completed in extremely short time,” adds Helmut Grimm, Sales Manager at Voith Paper.

The scope of supply for the PM 6 comprises Voith’s broad full-line supplier portfolio, from the BlueLine stock preparation including the wet end process, the XcelLine paper machine, and a VariFlex Performance winder with SmoothRun vibration damping and TwinDrive double unwind. The key feature of the BlueLine stock preparation is the IntensaDrum Duo drum pulper and its complex feeding system, which can process 3000 metric tons of raw material a day. Furthermore, Voith will supply the complete reject and sludge system, in which up to 500 metric tons of residual materials can be treated a day. In addition to the proven and resource-efficient components of the BlueLine stock preparation line, all the engineering, including water management and internal water treatment to ensure minimum consumption, is also part of the scope of supply.

Voith will also deliver an extensive clothing package and a wide range of automation solutions comprising the quality control system OnQuality, OnControl MCS and DCS, and an OnCare.Health condition monitoring system. Comprehensive Papermaking 4.0 solutions including the IIoT platform OnCumulus, the OnEfficiency.Strength digital process control and the OnCare.Asset maintenance management tool complete the delivery and will provide Modern Karton with the latest cutting-edge digital technologies for the most efficient production possible. Moreover, the customer will offer their specialist staff dedicated training and effective professional education through the new e-learning programs and virtual reality training courses of the Voith PaperSchool.

The new high-speed facility is expected to produce approximately 640,000 metric tons of recovered corrugated containerboard base paper grades annually from spring 2023, and will thereby increase the manufacturing capacity of Modern Karton in Turkey to almost two million metric tons per year.
(Voith Paper GmbH & Co KG)

Improved sludge dewatering at Metsä Board Simpele

Improved sludge dewatering at Metsä Board Simpele  (Company news)

Good dewatering results with the WinklePress

Metsä Board is a leading European producer of premium virgin fibre paperboards and also a frontrunner in sustainability. The Metsä Board Simpele paper mill, founded in 1896, is located in south-eastern Finland on the border with Russia. The production of premium lightweight folding boxboards and food service boards are just as much a part of the product portfolio as white kraftliners for consumer goods packaging. The sludge from the production process is sent for incineration. In order to achieve the highest possible final dry content before this step, Metsä Board Simpele installed a WinklePress WPI 4 last year. The decision to go with Bellmer Separation Technology came after proven results through on-site pilot tests.

The concept of the WinklePress, with up to 5 dewatering stages, is particularly suitable for a slow and gentle pressure build-up. The WinklePress is equipped with a high-pressure press zone to optimally dewater the sludge consistency from the production process. Furthermore, the closed stainless steel frame makes it resistant to corrosion.

During project execution, the tight schedule for the production shutdown had to be strictly adhered. The Corona pandemic also hampered project implementation. Nevertheless, the cooperation between the project teams from Metsä Board and Bellmer was excellent. The timing was kept well within schedule and the WinklePress was commissioned during the 4th quarter of 2020.
The final dry content increased by more than 5%, depending on the type of sludge, to up to 30% TS while a smooth 24-hour operation significantly improved overall sludge treatment in Simpele.
(Bellmer GmbH)

Omya and BASF continue partnership for Pilot Coating Center for Paper & Board

Omya and BASF continue partnership for Pilot Coating Center for Paper & Board  (Company news)

- Renewed commitment of BASF and Omya to the paper & board coating industry
- Joint use of BASF’s Pilot Coating Center for at least four more years
- Customers benefit from continued world-class technical service and coating expertise

Photo: Omya’s and BASF’s long-term commitment to the Pilot Coating Center in Ludwigshafen, Germany, benefits the paper & board industry via continued advanced technical service and coating expertise”

Omya and BASF are the two market leaders in terms of raw materials for the formulation of coating colors used in the paper & board industry. Omya offers mineral filler solutions and innovative coating concepts based on Calcium Carbonate, complementary pigments, and additives, for the production of paper and board. BASF supplies a comprehensive and innovative product range of binders and coating additives for the formulation of paper and board coatings.

In 2003, both companies decided to join forces and bundle their know-how in the area of paper & board coating. The centerpiece of the partnership is BASF’s Pilot Coating Center in Ludwigshafen, Germany, which offers state-of-the-art pilot coating equipment – including 2 pilot coaters, one Supercalender and lab testing equipment – operated by a highly skilled team. The existing partnership would have expired by the end of 2021. Both Omya and BASF are now happy to announce that their existing partnership will be prolonged for a minimum of four years. Their customers will continue to benefit from world-class technical service and coating expertise of the two market leaders.

Maintaining the focus on technical service and coating expertise
“The pilot coating center facilitates the efficient transfer of technical solutions, new product developments and optimized recipes from lab to paper mill while reducing risk. This is even more important in today’s challenging times with increased competitive and cost pressure. Reduced time-to-market and less off-spec production help our customers to save money,” says Volker Scharffenberger, Head of BASF’s pilot coating center Ludwigshafen.

“Over the last two years we have seen that other market players reduce their service offering to the industry. For example, PTS closed its VESTRA pilot coater plant in Munich in 2019 and Trinseo followed with the closure of its pilot coater in Samstagern in 2020. Our strategy is different: We fully support our customers in formulating customized coating color solutions in the most efficient and cost-effective way. That is why we have decided to continue utilizing BASF’s pilot coating center in the future. The discussions with BASF were straightforward since both companies follow the same market approach: Both look for the best overall value proposition with a strong focus on technical service and coating expertise as a differentiating factor,” notes Karlheinz Hurst, Director Technical Services - Paper & Board, Omya International AG.

Strong yearly investment for our customers
Prof. Dr. Thomas Schiele, Vice President Business Management Dispersions for Adhesives, Fiber Bonding and Paper Coating, BASF: “The paper coating market in Europe is changing dramatically. On the one hand, we see a significant decline in coated graphical papers which was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, there is a rising demand for packaging paper and board. At the end of the day, only the fittest paper mills will survive and benefit from the change. One important part of the solution is the coating color formulation and that is exactly where we can support with our Pilot Coating Center. We invest every year several millions of euros in the maintenance and improvement of our equipment which represents a very strong long-term commitment to the paper & board industry as well as to technical excellence in such a challenging market. At this stage, we can simulate almost all common application methods in our state-of-the-art facility, including our Curtain Coater. Even air knife applications are possible on our second, smaller coater.

Optimizing coating technology to master the challenges of the future
Bernd Balzereit, Vice President Paper & Board at Omya International AG, “For Omya, the access to BASF’s Pilot Coating Center is an essential asset in the development of innovative paper & board packaging solutions and their proof of concept. Until today we have introduced several packaging concepts, such as recyclable barrier coatings to reduce the need for plastic packaging; or customizable coating concepts for cardboard and containerboard manufacturers to overcome white fiber shortness and to enhance print performance. We welcome all interested customers to make use of Omya’s offering for concept validation at BASF’s Pilot Coating Center. Only with strong and committed partners the challenges of the future can be mastered.”

Apart from the continued partnership, both companies will continue to market their products and services for the paper industry independently. Existing business relationships of BASF and Omya with their respective customers will remain unchanged. BASF also offers interested third parties the possibility to benefit from its excellent technical infrastructure which allows to simulate and optimize customer processes – from paper coating to printing.
(BASF SE Paper & Water)

Second life of an E-commerce packaging: a dog basket - upcycling for your best friend

Second life of an E-commerce packaging: a dog basket - upcycling for your best friend  (Company news)

As a goodie for its online customers and their four-legged darlings, Bubeck Petfood delivered its wide range of dog food and accessories for a short time in special shipping packaging. Its bottom part can be converted into a practical dog basket made of corrugated cardboard. The results of the promotionally effective upcycling campaign are enthusiastically posted in the social media. The ingenious design of the innovative e-commerce packaging comes from DS Smith, one of the leading manufacturers of sustainable packaging solutions. The clever design was worthy of an award from the judges of the Corrugated Board Innovation Award. They awarded the solution second place in the e-commerce category.

Almost half of German households have a pet. This is confirmed by the data for the German pet supplies market in 2019 collected by the German Pet Supplies Industry Association (IVH) and the German Pet Trade & Industry Association (ZZF), according to which the owners of dogs, cats & Co. spent more than five billion euros on the daily needs of their fellow pets in 2019. More and more often, products are being bought over the internet. The share of online business in the total turnover of the pet industry has been rising for years. In 2019, according to the study, it was already at 13.7 percent.

In addition to the stationary specialist and food retail trade, digital distribution has also developed into an important sales channel for Germany's oldest dog food manufacturer, R. Bubeck & Sohn GmbH. The premium quality dog biscuits and complete food varieties produced according to traditional baking methods are sold through various stationary shops and online retailers as well as through the company's own web shop. In order to charge the digital business emotionally and to strengthen customer loyalty in the long term, the traditional company has come up with a special goodie for its online customers in close cooperation with DS Smith: The three-part shipping box, with which Bubeck sent orders weighing 20 kg or more during the campaign period, can be converted into a hexagonal dog basket in just a few easy steps using the DIY "do it yourself" method.

Thanks to its plug-in base and U-shaped inlay, the stable e-commerce packaging guarantees safe transport of the premium products ordered online, even at high weights, thus protecting the contents perfectly. The corrugated cardboard couch that folds out of it is warming, space-saving and therefore ideal for travelling, home and garden. At the same time, it offers creative dog owners enough space for individual designs. The photos posted on Facebook and Instagram show how comfortable the four-legged friends feel in their very own personal upcycling basket.

At the end of its life, the single-material solution made of corrugated cardboard can be easily recycled via the waste paper recycling circuit. All in line with DS Smith's sustainability strategy, where one of the goals is to produce 100% reusable or recyclable packaging by 2023.
(DS Smith Packaging Division Erlensee)

Canon further expands Krefeld site

Canon further expands Krefeld site  (Company news)

Canon Germany will in future rely on a modern, dynamic and hybrid work concept adapted to the respective activities of its employees. After an intensive planning phase, Canon Germany will merge two locations on the Lower Rhine - the Canon headquarters in Krefeld and the Canon service and repair center in Willich - at the Krefeld site from January 2022. Canon is thus creating a new, modern working environment for a total of 700 employees.

Photo: Canon headquarters in Krefeld

- Canon Germany to merge headquarters in Krefeld with Canon service and repair center
- Future-oriented design and efficient use of the over 12,000m² Canon Campus
- Modern working environment for then 700 Canon employees at the Krefeld site
- Dynamic and hybrid working model

Modern, secure and hybrid working environment at Canon
A modern and digital working environment is a prerequisite for a new, hybrid working world. With over 12,000m², the Krefeld site offers the necessary capacity for around 110 additional employees and, with the integration of the Willich repair center into the headquarters, will in the future focus on a "state of the art" service center for cameras and printers.

"The requirements for future working methods have changed rapidly. By creating work concepts - hybrid, dynamic or individual - that are geared to the respective activity, we offer our employees a future-oriented and modern working environment. We already made the decision to combine the two sites in mid-2019. Of course, the events of the past year have strongly influenced our thinking about the design of our Office of the Future. I am delighted that we will be able to offer not only our employees but also our visitors an even better environment from the beginning of 2022. With this investment, we are setting a new standard," says Rainer Führes, Managing Director of Canon Deutschland GmbH.

Workplace of the future - tailored to individual activity
The fact that new working models are here to stay is also shown by an internal study conducted by Canon, which asked managers and employees about future working models. 96 percent of all Canon employees would like a hybrid or mobile workplace in the future. For activities that do not allow mobile working but require a dedicated workstation, it is essential to provide an ergonomic working environment.

Business processes and models are becoming more digital and agile. A combination of a modern work organization and qualified and motivated employees results in high performance and builds the future. Dynamic workplaces in an open office environment and the use of the latest communication and collaboration technologies will shape future working at Canon.

Strengthening synergies between divisions and more efficient logistics
The efficient use of the more than 12,000m² of space in Krefeld is another reason to combine both Canon locations on the Lower Rhine. In addition to the modernization aspect, Canon can now better utilize synergies between the individual divisions and further strengthen cooperation between employees.

Supra-regional Canon service and repair center
Customers from all over Europe take advantage of the service and support - over 50,000 photographers, dealers and end users rely on the company's expertise every year. The PSC staff are Canon's service and support contacts for various product groups:
- Compact and system cameras and lenses (EOS, IXUS, PowerShot).
- Video cameras and lenses (Cinema EOS, LEGRIA, ME series)
- reference monitors
- Broadcast lenses
- Projectors (XEED, LX and LV series)
- Binoculars
- Office printers (PIXMA, MAXIFY, i-SENSYS, SELPHY, Zoemini

Location in Willich - office building to be sold off
After successful consolidation of both locations, Canon plans to sell the building in Willich.
(Canon Deutschland GmbH)

The new Valmet Fiberline Analyzer fulfills all major process control needs in the pulp mill

The new Valmet Fiberline Analyzer fulfills all major process control needs in the pulp mill  (Company news)

Valmet introduces the new Valmet Fiberline Analyzer to enable pulp makers to improve total pulp quality management, boost process stability and gain major savings in chemical costs from the digester blow line right up to final pulp storage.

The Valmet Fiberline Analyzer includes the major advances in measuring technology gained through four generations of Valmet Kappa Analyzers. It measures pulp lignin content and brightness in addition to enhanced fiber and shive property measurements using the latest high-definition imaging techniques. Measurement data from automatically extracted pulp samples, in addition to inline sensor information can be combined with real-time production targets to provide setpoints for chemical controls from the digester to final bleaching stages.

“This is the most robust analyzer solution we have ever developed for the pulp mills and it provides a very good basis for advanced process control,” says Kari Lampela, Business Manager, Automation business line, Valmet.

Application specific measurements and controls
Built-in controls can provide external setpoints to the chemical dosage controllers using easily understood function blocks to perform filtering and calculations. For softwood pulps, the basic controller uses a Kappa factor control modified with predictive feedback taking Kappa/brightness, shive content and COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) into account.

Valmet Fiberline Analyzer can also separately measure lignin and hexenuronic acid (HexA) to provide significantly improved control of the complex chemistry of cooking and delignification, especially with hardwood pulps. These measurement and control capabilities, coupled with the analyzer’s unique ability to accurately measure final brightness, close the loop for true fiberline process optimization and quality control.

User-friendliness and remote support
The analyzer requires minimal maintenance and features chemical based self-cleaning for trouble free operation. With the built-in touch screen display, all analyzer operating parameters, operating sequences and diagnostics together with operating instruction are all instantly available. Remote configuration and operation as well as Valmet Industrial Internet (VII) capabilities provide the possibilities of remote specialist support and assistance from Valmet around the world.
(Valmet Corporation)

Tasowheel Systems receives repeat order to refurbish slice control automation at Iggesunds mill

Tasowheel Systems receives repeat order to refurbish slice control automation at Iggesunds mill  (Company news)

Tasowheel Systems received a major order from the Iggesund Mill for refurbishing 2 more headbox slice control systemsfor headboxes 1 and 4 on KM1. Headboxes 2 and 3 were refurbished by Tasowheel in 2020.

Tasowheel Systems will supply slice control automation technology to machine KM1, headboxes 1 and 4, at Holmen Iggesunds mill in Sweden. The delivery includes 2 x 29 new, motorized slice control actuators and the related equipment. The new actuators will replace the current, also Tasowheel made, ca. 20 years old actuators. Tasowheel will tailor the new actuators to be mechanically fully compatible and install them as a “drop-in” replacement solution. The start-up is scheduled for week 38.

“We are modernizing our quality control equipment on machine KM1 to continue keeping high availability and quality on our board production. It was a tight time plan for the modernization last year and it will be the same this year, but we have a competent project team, so we are confident that history will repeat itself”, says Peder Hägglund, Technical Project and IT Manager.

“Last year, we made a successful project on headbox 2 and 3 together with the Iggesund project team. This repeat order was a great expression of trust and satisfaction for our work. We look forward to continuing the same success on this project”, says Jukka Ahlstedt, Sales Manager of Tasowheel Systems.
(Tasowheel Systems Oy)

FESPA Global Print Expo October 2021 - Bringing Colour Back

FESPA Global Print Expo October 2021 - Bringing Colour Back  (Company news)

FESPA is ‘Bringing Colour Back’ at this year’s FESPA Global Print Expo, which is now scheduled to take place at the RAI exhibition centre in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, from 12 to 15 October 2021.

This will be the first FESPA live event in Europe since May 2019, following the postponement of all events during 2020 and early 2021 due to the COVID pandemic. Recent research conducted among FESPA’s audiences reveals a strong appetite for the live event, with 73% of respondents seeing trade shows as an essential platform for reviewing and making future product purchases.

With a focus on supporting speciality print communities with sustained business recovery following the challenges of the last year, FESPA aims to deliver a COVID-safe environment that gives visitors and exhibitors the first chance to connect face-to-face in over 18 months.

Occupying six exhibition halls at the RAI, print service providers and sign makers will experience the latest innovations in screen, digital, wide format and textile printing, from over 300 expected suppliers. FESPA’s popular Printeriors and World Wrap Masters features will also return to inspire visitors with the latest ideas, applications and materials in interior décor and vehicle wrapping.

European Sign Expo, the largest European exhibition for non-printed signage and visual communications, will once again be co-located with FESPA Global Print Expo, enabling brand owners and communications professionals to explore opportunities beyond print.

Neil Felton, CEO of FESPA comments: “Our audiences have told us that they need access to hands-on product demonstrations and to participate in face-to-face meetings with multiple suppliers to support their recovery, and they see FESPA Global Print Expo as a key milestone in their forward planning. Taking into account all information currently available to us, we’re re-launching FESPA 2021 this autumn with confidence that we can offer participants a live event that takes all possible health and safety precautions, while still fulfilling their key expectations of a FESPA show as an interactive, multisensory experience.”

Well packaged is half sold

Well packaged is half sold   (Company news)

Paperboard Atelier from Sappi offers endless opportunities – for any premium application

For powerful marketing that actively boosts sales and elevates consumer appeal, more and more manufacturers are developing packaging designs which interact with all senses of their targeted audience. Turkish packaging specialist PrintPark relies on the unique characteristics of Atelier, Sappi’s newly developed folding box board 1, to communicate the brand values of premium products in order to achieve highest possible attraction at the point of sale.

The effect of packaging
In general, consumers make up their minds within only a fraction of a few seconds as to whether they are interested in a product or not. Look and feel, functionality and the overall value perception are key: these attributes are the core elements in packaging when – after the first visual impression – consumers “sense of truth” comes into play at the point of sale – especially in the premium sector where packaging material standards and expectations are sky-high. Once overcoming the already high hurdle of being visually recognized by consumers, it is the rigidity of paperboard in terms of strength, bulk and stability which immediately translates into the value of the packed content. High brightness of the paperboard does not only create the ideal base for precise images and colour reproduction, but equally – like in photography – allows to set the right “temperature in imaging”, maximizing precision in setting the stage to communicate on core brand values and thus obtaining the desired consumer perception. Needless to say that on top of it all the paperboard shall also allow for a multitude of sophisticated finishing techniques to be processed without any difficulties.

Premium paperboard for premium products
An example of premium packaging that exhibits all of these virtues is the stylishly finished folding box of the women’s fragrance Paradise by Flormar. To convey the exclusive brand message of the perfume, the Turkish cosmetics company chose to work with the packaging manufacturer PrintPark. Sappi’s high-bright Folding Box Board 1, Atelier, was the choice of PrintPark for this project and the result is a feast to the eyes: a playful, yet stylish packaging that promises an exclusive product experience in terms of look and feel.

One of the biggest challenges was to select the right packaging material base. The virgin fibre FBB1 Atelier from Sappi meets all of the specified standards in terms of brightness, rigidity and finishing options. Mr. Ferit Dansık, Owner and Managing Director of PrintPark, explains: ‘If I have a product whose packaging needs to convey a sense of luxury, I would certainly recommend Atelier from Sappi, as it has a smooth surface and silky feel in addition to high brightness, and it is suitable for all kinds of demanding printing and finishing techniques.’ The digital varnish contrasts perfectly with the delicate pastel shades of the packaging. The box perfectly reflects the brand’s claim of offering the highest quality.

Optimum processing properties
Mr. Dansık’s choice for Turkish chocolate manufacturer Benuta was, again, Atelier. PrintPark seeked a functional paperboard with an understated yet stylish appeal for their premium chocolate packaging project. When asked why PrintPark chose Atelier from Sappi as the packaging material, Mr. Dansık promptly explains: ‘Quite simply because it offers the qualities of a premium virgin fibre paperboard that is suitable for complex finishes. For digital varnish, we seek a very smooth, even and consistent surface to have the best
possible effect.’

The rich burgundy hues, the golden foil finish and the silky feel give the box of chocolates the sense of a luxury item, creating the desired perception of a ‘Perfect Gift”. The virgin fibre paperboard from Sappi is also safe for use in direct contact without compromising the precious chocolates in their taste or aroma.
(Sappi Austria Produktions-GmbH & Co KG)

France's paper industry divided in two in Corona Year 2020

France's paper industry divided in two in Corona Year 2020  (Company news)

The year of the Corona pandemic 2020 has also left deep scars in the French paper industry.

As reported by COPACEL, the association of paper manufacturers in France, production and demand for graphic papers declined significantly last year, production in the packaging paper sector remained at the previous year's level despite a difficult phase from April to June and thanks to a good second half of the year, and the hygiene paper sector recorded growth again, not least due to the pandemic and thanks to newly added capacities. Overall, paper production in France fell by 6.1% last year, and due to lower prices in some market segments, the production value of the French paper industry declined by 12.7%.

In the current year, however, with the possible end of the Corona pandemic, paper manufacturers France also see opportunities for slight recovery in some market segments and anticipate more demand for hygiene products for commercial customers when catering establishments reopen, stronger demand for office papers with more workers returning to their offices from the home office and more advertising printing again.
(EUWID Papier und Zellstoff)

Duma Druck invests in a Xeikon SX30000

Duma Druck invests in a Xeikon SX30000  (Company news)

Duma Druck GmbH becomes first installation of the brand-new Xeikon SX30000 digital printing press in Germany, marking the offset printer’s entry into the digital arena.

Photo: Christoph Blank, Xeikon Sales Area Manager DACH – Frank Illi, Managing Director Duma Druck – Monika Olbricht, Global Sales Director Xeikon – Klaus Illi; Managing Director Duma Druck – Volker Lück, Managing Director Duma Druck.

Despite maintaining a healthy flow of offset orders during this difficult period, Duma Druck GmbH has decided to take a new direction towards digital and ordered Xeikon’s new digital web press Xeikon SX30000. The Stuttgart-based print services provider has been operating almost exclusively in the offset market to date. The company cites multiple reasons that led to the decision to enter the digital arena: firstly, a desire to be able to produce short runs faster and more efficiently; secondly, to expand its service portfolio with customised and personalised print products, as well as optimise lead times. In addition, the aim is to offer customers added value and the ability to respond to customer demands with more flexibility.

Volker Lück, joint Managing Director at Duma Druck GmbH states, “We studied the market carefully before we selected Xeikon’s SX30000 press. We were immediately impressed with the machine’s capabilities. The key advantages for our business are the variety of material options the press can handle and the high levels of print quality it can deliver. Being able to maintain our high standards of quality products with the new machine is essential and with a full order book at present, Xeikon’s superior digital press gives us the opportunity to add value for our customers.”

New standards for dry toner
The Xeikon SX30000 is a completely new, high-performance single-pass duplex printing press based on Xeikon’s new SIRIUS technology. It sets new standards for dry toner printing, offering a resolution of 1200 x 3600 dpi and five colour units. Able to process a wide range of substrates, it prints at a width of 508 mm at a rate of 30 m/min, or 404 A4 pages/minute. Its average speed is, therefore, more than 50% faster than its predecessor at grammages between 40 and 350 g/m2. With this new digital web press, Xeikon is primarily targeting premium applications that demand high ink coverage on high-quality papers whilst adhering to strict quality criteria. This may include book printing or high-quality direct mailshots. Thanks to the technology’s versatility and virtually no limitation on the length of a printed piece, it is also able to handle materials destined for the retail and signage markets, as well as security printing and commercial print. Xeikon calls its solutions, Production Suites. Each suite offers the customer a complete set-up of 5 different component parts, the press, workflow, dry toner, substrates and converting equipment.

Dimitri Van Gaever, Market Segment Director Graphic Arts concludes “Our Xeikon SX30000 system using groundbreaking SIRIUS dry toner technology has been designed to bring about a new era of productivity, lower running costs and a profitable TCO. At Duma Druck, the Xeikon SX30000 will be supplied with an inline and automated cut & stack solution, which is being supported by our Xeikon Solution Services Department. Duma Druck is now fully prepared to take its business to new levels, now and in the future.”
(Xeikon Manufacturing and R&D Center)

Heidelberg's digital ecosystem given the name 'Heidelberg Plus'

Heidelberg's digital ecosystem given the name 'Heidelberg Plus'  (Company news)

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is taking the digitization of its customer relationships incorporating useful value-added services to the next level. The company is combining all elements of the Heidelberg ecosystem in its new “Heidelberg Plus” digital customer portal. This includes everything from Internet presence with website and eShop to various performance report, monitoring, and service applications in the production sector and access to instructional videos plus white papers covering technical aspects and applications. Developments in the areas of cloud technology, IoT, big data, and AI have created new possibilities that Heidelberg will now be systematically harnessing to offer customers further added value. Examples include developing the first AI-based applications to advise them interactively on how they can optimize their own operations, with Heidelberg leveraging and supplying its big data expertise. In the future, customers will be able to access the entire digital world at Heidelberg using a single sign-on.

“Digitized customer relationships coupled with attractive added-value services are the key to establishing collaborative business relationships with customers in our digital world. Our aim is for the Heidelberg Plus ecosystem to simplify the way we work with our customers and offer them more added value,” explains Ludwig Allgoewer, Head of Sales and Marketing at Heidelberg.

Heidelberg is thus combining existing applications with new services for customers. In the future, a single point of access is all users will need for a complete overview of all information and tools, networked functions, and the entire Heidelberg service portfolio. This will make it quick and easy to obtain information, purchase items (eShop), and monitor operations. Over 1,600 print shops already use Heidelberg Assistant (HDA) to access their production data. To obtain the relevant services, they need to be registered or have purchased specific services (e.g. Maintenance Manager) as a contract customer.

“What is already impressing users more than anything is the option of using mobile devices to monitor machine operation, purchase consumables, or create service tickets. Regular HDA users range from large businesses with sites located in dozens of different countries to SMEs with just one site,” says Allgoewer, summarizing the customer benefits. “Key elements of the ecosystem such as HDA and the eShop have already developed very encouragingly. By merging these and other existing applications, and also integrating new ones, we will further enhance the benefits for our customers,” he adds.

The company will soon be unveiling the new Heidelberg Plus ecosystem to the public – at the China Print trade show this summer. In the fall, it will then be showcased at the Print Media Centers in Germany, the United States, Japan, and Brazil.
(Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG)

bvdm economic telegram April 2021: Upward trend in business climate index ends for the ...

bvdm economic telegram April 2021: Upward trend in business climate index ends for the ...  (Company news)

... time being

After brightening considerably over the past two months, the business climate in the German print and media industry cooled off again in April. The business climate index calculated by the Bundesverband Druck und Medien fell by a seasonally adjusted 5.3 percent compared with the previous month. At 94.6 points, however, the index stands at 15.3 percent, well above its year-earlier level. However, this sharp rise is mainly due to a statistical base effect - in April 2020, the index had fallen to a historic low due to corona, so the year-on-year comparison now appears particularly high.

In April, the printing and media companies surveyed by the ifo Institute assessed their business situation as similar to March. However, their expectations for future business development were more pessimistic than in the previous month. 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 risen in February and March, it virtually stagnated at the previous month's level in April at 85.7 points - the drop was just 0.3 percent. This was the first time since the outbreak of the Corona crisis that the index had been above its prior-year level - the increase was 5.0 percent. The central reason for this year-on-year increase is a statistical base effect. In April 2020, the index had plunged to a historic low due to the corona crisis, so the current year-on-year comparison is now very positive. This base effect also explains the high increase in capacity utilization, which rose by 6.5 percentage points year-on-year to 74.8 percent. However, it is still well below the long-term average of 82.2 percent. In addition to the shortage of orders, bottlenecks in the supply of input products are also currently affecting production. In April, for example, 25 percent of companies affected by production constraints complained of material shortages - the highest figure since 2010.

The fact that the business climate clouded over despite the stable business situation is due to the fact that print and media companies assessed their expected business situation for the next six months as weaker than in the previous month. In April, the seasonally adjusted index of business expectations fell by 10.2 percent to 104.5 points, giving back all the growth from March. After the index had made significant gains in the last two months, business leaders revised their expectations downward again in April. The central reason for this correction is the currently again very dynamic infection situation, which is dampening the hopes that have recently arisen for an early economic recovery. In April, for example, 92 percent of all respondents stated that their current production capacity is sufficient to manufacture existing orders as well as those expected for the next 12 months. The fact that an exceptionally strong year-on-year index increase of 26.6 percent was recorded despite this previous month's decline is also due in this case to the statistical base effect.
(Bundesverband Druck und Medien e.V. - bvdm)

Resolute Reports Preliminary First Quarter 2021 Results

Resolute Reports Preliminary First Quarter 2021 Results  (Company news)

- Q1 GAAP net income of $87 million / $1.06 per diluted share
- Adjusted EBITDA of $221 million
- Net debt at $449 million / liquidity at $653 million at quarter-end
- Repurchased 1.7 million shares in Q1 (2%) / 8.7 million in last twelve months (10%)
- Recent U.S. pension relief measures to improve free cash flow by approx. $30 million/year
- Target to reduce GHG emissions by 30% against 2015 levels by 2025

Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) reported net income for the quarter ended March 31 of $87 million, or $1.06 per diluted share, compared to net loss of $1 million, or $0.01 per share, in the same period in 2020. Sales were $873 million in the quarter, an increase of $184 million from the year-ago period. Excluding special items, the company reported net income of $119 million, or $1.45 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $29 million, or $0.33 per share, in the first quarter of 2020.

"This has been a very good quarter for our strong and growing wood products business as the lumber tailwind continues," said Remi G. Lalonde (photo), president and chief executive officer. "We are making good progress with the ramp-up at our El Dorado (Arkansas) and Ignace (Ontario) sawmills, both of which are now running on two-shifts, helping to increase production in favorable markets. Our balance sheet got stronger and our business more competitive this quarter with the timely refinancing and deleveraging of our senior notes, the refresh of our senior secured credit facility and the approximately $30 million in annual free cash flow improvement once the implementation guidance for U.S. pension relief measures take effect. These moves will support our progress as we continue to accelerate our evolution to generate long-term value for shareholders and to drive sustainable economic activity in the communities where we operate."

During the first quarter, Resolute announced its commitment to reduce absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (scope 1 and 2) by 30% against 2015 levels by 2025. This new target builds on the company's 83% reduction in absolute GHG emissions from year-2000 levels, two-thirds of which reflect reductions in emission intensity.

Quarterly Operating Income Variance Against Prior Period
The company reported operating income of $177 million, compared to $4 million in the fourth quarter. The improvement reflects higher selling prices in all segments ($148 million), partially offset by lower overall shipments ($23 million), and a higher share-based and variable compensation provision ($7 million). The company also incurred a charge of $12 million related to a process improvement program to improve the financial performance of the Calhoun (Tennessee) operations. The fourth quarter operating results were unfavorably affected by non-cash charges related to the temporary idling of the Baie-Comeau and Amos (Quebec) newsprint mills ($80 million), which were partially offset by a credit of $10 million under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (or, "CEWS") program. The CEWS credit was based on the significant drop in revenue in the company's pulp and paper segments as a result of the pandemic.

Segment Operating Income Variance
Wood Products
The wood products segment generated operating income of $221 million in the quarter, a $93 million improvement from the fourth quarter, due to a $266 per thousand board foot increase in the average transaction price, or 44%, on strong lumber demand. But shipments fell by 50 million board feet because of seasonal shortage in rail cars and trucks, pushing finished goods inventory up by 46 million board feet, to 143 million board feet. The operating cost per unit (or, the "delivered cost") rose by $49 per thousand board feet, or 13%, reflecting a higher variable compensation provision, higher fiber costs and the CEWS credits received in the previous quarter. EBITDA in the segment improved by $93 million, to $232 million.

Market Pulp
Operating income in the market pulp segment was $4 million, an improvement of $8 million over the prior quarter. The average transaction price rose by $51 per metric ton, or 9%, with gains in all virgin fiber grades. The delivered cost increased by $22 per metric ton, or 4%, mainly due to higher weather-related energy and freight costs. Shipments were 12,000 metric tons lower, but finished goods inventory also decreased by 7,000 metric tons. EBITDA in the segment improved by $8 million, to $10 million.

The tissue segment incurred an operating loss of $2 million in the quarter, compared to an operating loss of $3 million in the fourth quarter. The results include $1 million in costs for the ramp-up of the recently-acquired Hagerstown (Maryland) converting facility. The average transaction price increased by $21 per short ton, or 1%, and the delivered cost decreased by $28 per short ton, or 1%. Shipments rose by 1,000 short tons and finished goods increased by 2,000 short tons, to 8,000 short tons. The segment generated EBITDA of $3 million, up $1 million.

The company incurred an operating loss of $24 million in the paper segment in the quarter, $5 million worse than the previous quarter. The average transaction price rose by $13 per metric ton, or 2%, but shipments slipped by 16,000 metric tons compared to the seasonally stronger fourth quarter. The delivered cost increased by $31 per metric ton, or 5%, due to higher energy and freight costs, as well as CEWS credits received in the fourth quarter. As a result, EBITDA fell by $8 million, to negative $9 million. Finished goods inventory dropped by 9,000 metric tons, to 87,000 metric tons.

During the quarter, the company announced the indefinite idling of its Baie-Comeau and Amos newsprint mills, which were temporarily idled since the spring of 2020, as a result of market conditions and impacts of the pandemic.

Consolidated Quarterly Operating Income Variance Against Year-Ago Period
The company reported operating income of $177 million in the first quarter compared to an operating loss of $8 million in the first quarter of 2020. The improvement reflects stronger market conditions for wood products ($242 million), which was partly offset by: higher manufacturing costs ($36 million) because of higher wood costs and a charge related to a process improvement project; lower shipments in the pulp and paper segments ($11 million); and a higher share-based and variable compensation provision in the quarter ($14 million). At $221 million, adjusted EBITDA in the first quarter was $189 million higher than the first quarter of 2020.

Cash and Liquidity
The company generated $74 million of cash from operating activities in the quarter, including an increase in raw material inventory due to the seasonal build-up of logs ahead of the spring break-up and a $14 million investment, net, in fixed assets. The company incurred an expense of $37 million related to losses on lumber futures contracts, including $23 million in realized losses during the quarter. The company also used $75 million to further deleverage its balance sheet in a refinancing transaction and $17 million to repurchase 1.7 million shares in the quarter, or 2% of shares outstanding, and 8.7 million shares, or 10% of shares outstanding, for $47 million, in the last 12 months.

In the quarter, the company closed on a private offering of $300 million unsecured senior notes due 2026 with a 4.875% coupon, issued at 100% of par value. The company used the proceeds and cash on hand to redeem at par all of the $375 million aggregate principal amount then-outstanding of its 5.875% senior notes due 2023.

The company's liquidity at quarter-end was $653 million, and the leverage ratio fell to 0.9x on a net debt to last-twelve-months adjusted EBITDA basis.

By quarter-end, the company had recorded cumulative softwood lumber duty deposits of $275 million on the balance sheet, including $32 million paid in the quarter.

The recently-passed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 includes provisions that allow for interest rate smoothing of pension funding deficits to minimize the impact of lower interest rates on liabilities. It also extends the amortization period for funding shortfalls from seven years to 15 years under the new rules. While the implementing guidance should be issued later this year, the company expects the net impact of these provisions to provide approximately $30 million of U.S. pension contribution relief per year for at least the next three years.

After quarter-end, the company entered into an amendment to its senior secured credit facility to replace its $360 million facility on substantially similar terms. The amendment allows the repayment of the $180 million of pre-amendment term loans by drawing on the revolving facility and using cash on hand, extends the maturity date of the revolving facility from 2025 to 2027, reduces the spread on the term loan facility by up to 10 basis points, and reinstates in full the $180 million term loan facility, with maturities of up to ten years, with a delay draw period of up to three years.

"We see encouraging fundamental indicators to support our growth in the wood products business, with the upward trend in U.S. housing starts, the strength in repair & remodeling activity and our healthy order book. In tissue, we expect pressure on pricing and volume in the second quarter. Building on higher realized prices in the first quarter, we are optimistic for near-term performance improvements in our pulp and paper segments, as we continue to recover from the difficult economic effects of the pandemic," added Mr. Lalonde.
(Resolute Forest Products)

Arctic Paper receives Cradle to Cradle Certified™ certification for all Coated Papers ...

Arctic Paper receives Cradle to Cradle Certified™ certification for all Coated Papers ...  (Company news)

...produced at the Grycksbo Mill

The full coated woodfree product range of Arctic Paper Grycksbo have been awarded a Silver Level Material Health Certificate as part of the multi-attribute Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Products Standard. In addition, the entire production process of the mill in Grycksbo was inspected and achieved the Silver Level which therefore represents the overall level of product certification.

Cradle to Cradle Certified™ is a globally recognized standard for safe, circular and sustainable products made for the circular economy. Applying the Cradle to Cradle design principle means to not only minimize negative influences but to leave a positive footprint. This creates products and processes that are safe for people, healthy for the environment and successful for business.

From April 2021, all grades from the Grycksbo Mill including G-Print, G-Smooth, G-Snow, Arctic Silk, Arctic Matt, Arctic Volume White and Arctic Volume Ice are Cradle to Cradle Certified™ In addition, the production process at Grycksbo has extremely low fossil CO2 emissions.

The entire production process for the mill in Grycksbo was inspected by the EPEA, innovation partner and C2C Certified™ Assessment Body, and certified according to the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Standard. Development opportunities are outlined and will now be implemented in the medium and long term to achieve even better results.
(Arctic Paper Grycksbo AB)

NewsPress 100 % TMP newsprint launched to better meet customer needs

NewsPress 100 % TMP newsprint launched to better meet customer needs  (Company news)

Launched in April, Stora Enso’s NewsPress range of newsprint is now available also as a 100 % thermo-mechanical pulp (TMP) grade. Juha Ceder, VP of the News & Book segment and Håkan Naij, Mill Director at Stora Enso’s Hylte Mill in Sweden, explain the benefits NewsPress papers offer to printers and newspaper consumers.

NewsPress is a well-known newsprint brand in Europe and overseas. Juha Ceder, VP of the News & Book segment at Stora Enso, what was the impetus to now offer a 100 per cent virgin fibre alternative?

We have always adjusted our range of NewsPress papers to respond to shifting demand patterns and consumer preferences. We have a strong 100% recycled fibre based NewsPress offering, but wanted to offer a fully virgin fibre based NewsPress as well.

When making a decision on further production at our Hylte Mill, we had two alternatives available; produce TMP or deinked pulp. From the perspective of raw material and production efficiencies available to us, TMP was considered to be the better alternative.

Markets also appreciate paper made of virgin fibre as it gives body to a printed product. Furthermore, virgin fiber-based products are well perceived by the markets as they increase the fiber inflow into the recycling ecosystem.

-Håkan Naij, Mill Director at the company’s Hylte Mill in Sweden, what differences can printers and consumers of newsprint expect between NewsPress recycled and 100 per cent TMP grades?

As our 100% TMP grade is an all-virgin fibre product, this means the paper will have a discernibly firmer structure due to its higher bulk content. Consumers will perceive a fresh look, with stiffer integrity to their newspaper and a delightful tactile feel associated with this paper.

Moreover, this newest grade of NewsPress maintains other Stora Enso paper qualities of outstanding runnability and printability.

-From the standpoint of the customer, what will this added choice mean to their own business objectives?

Firstly, there are fewer and fewer mills today that offer 100% virgin fibre newsprint. For printers in markets whose customers continue to expect the same newspaper reading experience, they now have the assurance that our Hylte Mill, which has been exclusively producing newsprint in Sweden for over 50 years, will fulfil their needs.

Secondly, because NewsPress 100% TMP is bulkier than recycled newsprint, customers are able to use a lower substance alternative, and consequently print the same number of pages using fewer tonnes of material. This provides a path for our customers to better target varying weights of both 100% recycled and 100% TMP newsprint to different consumers, while still controlling costs.
(Stora Enso Nymölla AB)

ND Paper Announces a New Recycled Pulping Operation at its Old Town Division

ND Paper Announces a New Recycled Pulping Operation at its Old Town Division  (Company news)

ND Paper is excited to announce the launch of a new recycled pulping operation at its Old Town Division (photo).

This innovative new production line will produce approximately 200 metric tons per day of unbleached recycled pulp. Using patent-pending, proprietary technology, the line will consume regionally-sourced recovered paper, primarily old corrugated containers, as its primary feedstock; this incremental demand for scrap paper is anticipated to improve local recycling and ultimately reduce disposal alternatives like landfilling. In addition, while traditional pulping operations typically require considerable use of water, this new line is novel as it requires very little consumption.

At full operation, the recycled pulping operation will support approximately 20 new jobs in the state of Maine, as well as drive benefit via indirect and induced job creation. Indirect jobs are defined as those related to all of the in-Maine supply chain of vendors providing the materials and services required for pulp production, while induced jobs are those supported by employee and vendor spending. Further, ND Paper intends to spend money locally and elsewhere in the State on services including fiber sourcing, operational and maintenance supplies, and logistics.

The Old Town mill began operations in 1860 as a sawmill, moving into pulp products in 1882 as the Penobscot Chemical Fiber Company. After multiple changes of ownership through the years, the facility was idled in October 2015. ND Paper purchased the shuttered mill in October 2018 and has since invested millions of dollars into its restart and optimization. “We are thrilled to start our new recycled pulping operation at the Old Town mill,” stated Bruce Hogan, Vice President and General Manager of the Old Town Division. “This multi-million-dollar investment from ND Paper represents another vote of confidence in the State of Maine’s forest products sector, the Old Town Division, and our vision to build a sustainable company for the next 100 years.”
(ND Paper LLC)

Predictive maintenance successfully introduced in the newspaper and commercial market

Predictive maintenance successfully introduced in the newspaper and commercial market  (Company news)

- Predictive maintenance
- Thorough testing with 20 pilot users
- Enhanced availability and transparency
- Predictive maintenance adds a further layer to the service concept

Photo: Koenig & Bauer has successfully launched its predictive maintenance services for printing press owners.

Various workflows have been elaborated and implemented in close cooperation with more than 20 pilot users from the newspaper and commercial segments. The objective of predictive maintenance is clearly defined. “We use the information contained in already existing press data for automated analyses. This makes it possible to identify and rectify potential problems before they occur,” says Thomas Potzkai, head of service at Koenig & Bauer.

Service managers are provided with full details of the situation on a given press. On this basis, arrangements can be made for remote maintenance interventions or service calls, as necessary. A technician subsequently rectifies the fault within the framework of a scheduled assignment, averting the risk of unplanned stoppages. Any necessary downtime is scheduled for an already production-free period. The customer benefits from greater production reliability and increased press availability.

It is possible to assess a wide range of press components, for example the plate changers, the reel stands, or the hydraulic clamping and lubrication systems. Predictive maintenance applies artificial intelligence methods, such as rule mining or machine learning, to enable precise and automated real-time analysis of the press data. Even otherwise hidden processes and interactions of components or internal networks on the press line are subjected to systematic evaluation.

One of the first new customers was WE-Druck from Oldenburg in the north of Germany. Three years ago, the company invested in a new Commander CL from Koenig & Bauer. Margit Schweizer, senior manager at WE-Druck: “Predictive maintenance gives us peace of mind. We cannot afford sudden stoppages and unscheduled downtimes. Our customers expect us to deliver top quality within the agreed deadlines.”

Predictive maintenance as part of the overall concept
Predictive maintenance adds a further dimension to the Koenig & Bauer service concept. Together with spare parts, Visual PressSupport, ad-hoc service calls and a whole program of remote and preventive services (periodic maintenance and inspection), Koenig & Bauer is able to offer its press customers the best possible support. In addition to Koenig & Bauer’s newspaper and commercial web offset presses, the single-pass digital press RotaJET and presses of the CorruJET, CorruCUT and CorruFLEX series also benefit from predictive maintenance. Similar services are also available for presses supplied by the other business units of Koenig & Bauer.
(Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA))

bvse: Waste paper is the most important raw material for the paper industry

bvse: Waste paper is the most important raw material for the paper industry  (Company news)

The International Waste Paper Day 2021, digital and in TV format, took place on 22 April 2021 with around 200 participants.

"The digital recovered paper day was an absolute premiere and it went very well. We received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback, which was enthusiastic about the TV format we chose," explained Werner Steingaß, bvse Vice President and Chairman of the Paper Recycling Association.

Werner Steingaß was also the one who gave the first impulse to the conference. In his contribution, he pointed out that the worldwide use of recovered paper has been increasing for years. More than 250 million tonnes of recovered paper are processed annually by the paper industry. Steingaß: "This development shows that recovered paper is the most important raw material in the paper industry."

Nevertheless, the last few years have not been easy for the recovered paper companies, as the bvse vice president explained. For example, the industry had to adjust to the structural changes in the Asian markets. This was a great challenge, especially for the exporting companies. "Currently we are experiencing the effects of the Corona pandemic. We have noticed that the amount of waste paper collected has dropped significantly. This has led to a drastic drop in the supply of recovered paper and to price movements that we have never seen to this extent before. It is good that the industry is professionally positioned and has already learned in the past to adapt quickly to changes," says Werner Steingaß.

In order to be able to continue to work successfully, the recovered paper industry is dependent on the right political framework conditions. For example, it must be ensured that qualitatively processed and standardised recovered paper is removed from the definition of waste as an important secondary raw material. It must continue to be possible to trade recovered paper worldwide and at the same time bureaucracy in cross-border trade must be reduced.

Steingaß said it was important to improve waste paper collection structures worldwide. Waste paper must be collected separately from other materials, he said, because this is the basis for the waste paper industry to be able to adequately supply the paper industry worldwide with high-quality waste paper. The Chairman of the bvse Paper Recycling Association concluded by pointing out that not only the world's population but also the demand for packaging and thus for recovered paper will steadily increase. His conclusion: "Waste paper has a future!"
(bvse-Bundesverband Sekundärrohstoffe und Entsorgung e.V.)

Change of leadership at Nilfisk

Change of leadership at Nilfisk  (Company news)

Martin Führer appointed as Nilfisk's new Senior General Manager for the EMEA Central region

On 1 June 2021, Martin Führer (49) will take over the position of Senior General Manager EMEA Central at cleaning equipment manufacturer Nilfisk. With this personnel decision, a proven industry professional and Nilfisk expert succeeds Dr. Reinhard Mann, who will retire at the end of May. Thanks to his many years of experience as Country Manager Nilfisk Austria and Sales Manager for the German trade business, Führer is the ideal person to further expand the market position of the renowned global player. "We are very pleased that we were able to win Martin Führer for this task. His entrepreneurial vision and outstanding management qualities have already contributed significantly to Nilfisk's growth over the past seven years. We are confident that he will be able to sustain this success throughout the EMEA Central Region," says Steen Lindbo, Executive Vice President, Global Sales at Nilfisk A/S in Denmark. As part of this, Martin Führer will focus on further driving Nilfisk's innovation and technology capabilities to set new standards in the "Digital Transformation Journey" of the entire industry.

"Shaping the future of cleaning together with my international team - this is a key reason why I have accepted the position of Senior General Manager for the EMEA Central region. Our great teams and their passion for unique solutions, as well as our leading technologies are absolutely inspiring to me. I am more than happy to help shape the successful future of the company," says Martin Führer, delighted with his appointment.

Over the past 15 years, the accomplished manager has been able to develop profound skills in strategy development and implementation as well as in controlling, communication and human resources management in various leading positions in sales, service and marketing in several companies. In addition to his pronounced growth mentality, inspiring employee leadership is particularly close to his heart. His personal leadership motto is "If you want to build a boat with your team, don't give them hammers and nails, but awaken a longing for the vastness of the sea". In this context, the topic of diversity is also high on his HR agenda "It is a proven fact that social, cultural and ethnic diversity leads organisations to a higher level of performance. At the same time, the attractiveness as an employer increases in the ever tougher war for talents," Martin Führer continues.

Before joining Nilfisk in 2014, Martin Führer held various management positions in the international sales business. Born in Vienna, he headed the sales and customer service team for cleaning, sanitation and hygiene solutions in Austria and Slovenia at Diversey, among others. The father of two daughters completed his MBA at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, as well as several management and sales training courses.
(Nilfisk GmbH)

Zanders Paper will go into full liquidation

Zanders Paper will go into full liquidation  (Company news)

No viable concept for the continuation of business operations could be found

The business operations of Zanders Paper GmbH have been discontinued as of 30 April 2021. As the provisional insolvency administrator Dr. Mark Boddenberg announced, no viable concept for the continuation of the company could be found. After 192 years, the history of the paper mill, which is world-famous among other things for its unique Chromolux paper grade, ends today.

With regard to open orders and to the sale of remaining paper stocks, customers will be contacted in a timely manner.

The entire staff of Zanders Paper GmbH thanks all customers, suppliers and partners for their loyalty over many decades and even in the difficult past weeks and months.
(Zanders Paper GmbH)

Graphic Packaging Holding Company Reports First Quarter 2021 Results; Announces Intent ...

Graphic Packaging Holding Company Reports First Quarter 2021 Results; Announces Intent ...  (Company news) Acquire Americraft Carton, Inc.

Q1 2021 Highlights
- Net Sales were $1,649 million versus $1,599 million in the prior year quarter.
- Net Organic Sales increased 2% in the quarter driven by sustainability-supported innovative packaging solutions.
- Net Income was $54 million versus a loss of $13 million in the prior year quarter.
- Earnings per Diluted Share were $0.19 versus a loss of $0.04 in the prior year quarter.
- Adjusted Earnings per Diluted Share were $0.23 versus $0.31 in the prior year quarter.
- Adjusted EBITDA was $240 million versus $295 million in the prior year quarter, negatively impacted by $29 million of Winter Storm Uri related costs and $34 million of commodity input cost inflation.
- Strengthened balance sheet and interest rate profile by issuing $800 million of 0.8% and 1.5% senior secured notes and through retirement of $425 million in higher interest rate debt with Farm Credit System term loan.
- Acquired $400 million of International Paper's minority ownership interest in the partnership, reducing minority ownership stake to approximately 7%.
- Global liquidity was $1,444 million at quarter end.
- Announces intent to acquire Americraft Carton, Inc., a leading independent folding carton producer in North America, extending participation into new and existing end markets while continuing to increase paperboard integration rates.

Graphic Packaging Holding Company (NYSE: GPK), (the "Company"), a leading provider of sustainable packaging solutions to food, beverage, foodservice, and other consumer products companies, reported Net Income for first quarter 2021 of $54 million, or $0.19 per share, based upon 277.2 million weighted average diluted shares. This compares to first quarter 2020 Net Loss of $13 million, or $0.04 per share, based upon 288.9 million weighted average diluted shares.

The first quarters of 2021 and 2020 were negatively impacted by a net $11 million and a net $104 million of special charges, respectively, including a net $90 million non-cash charge related to the settlement of a U.S. pension plan in first quarter 2020. The charges are detailed in the Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures table attached. When adjusting for charges, Adjusted Net Income for the first quarter of 2021 was $65 million, or $0.23 per diluted share. This compares to first quarter 2020 Adjusted Net Income of $91 million or $0.31 per diluted share.

Michael Doss (photo), the Company's President and CEO said, "Consumer preferences for sustainable packaging are driving global demand for fiber-based packaging solutions. We are meeting this demand by introducing new innovative products and supporting our customers as we answer the calls from today's consumer. During the first quarter we continued to deliver on our ambitious growth strategy, increasing net organic sales by 2%. Our team's agility and resolve in executing on our commitments to customers, coupled with the competitive advantages of our vertically integrated platform, allow us to provide continuity of supply while managing a challenging supply chain environment. The underlying robust demand environment and resulting volume and pricing momentum we have coming out of the quarter are excellent and position us for a very strong second half of 2021. We are focused on capturing ongoing organic growth from the continued move to more circular and sustainable packaging alternatives and achieving our Vision 2025 for all stakeholders."

Doss added, "Today, I am very pleased to announce our intent to acquire Americraft Carton, a company built on a long history of sustainability and exceptional customer service. Their business philosophy is aligned with how we lead our business. The combination extends our end markets and customer base, further strengthening our position as the leading, integrated paperboard packaging provider in North America."

Americraft Carton, Inc. Acquisition
The Company intends to acquire Americraft Carton, Inc. for approximately $280 million. The proposed acquisition is expected to add approximately $200 million in sales, $30 million in Adjusted EBITDA and significant opportunities for paperboard integration upon completion. Synergies are expected to contribute an additional $10 million of Adjusted EBITDA within 24 months of closing. The transaction includes seven well-capitalized converting facilities and an outstanding team of dedicated employees.

Operating Results
Net Sales
Net Sales increased 3% to $1,649 million in the first quarter of 2020, compared to $1,599 million in the prior year period. The $50 million increase was driven by $33 million of improved volume/mix related to organic growth from conversions to fiber-based packaging solutions and acquisitions, partially offset by fewer selling days when compared to leap year in the prior year quarter, and $20 million of favorable foreign exchange. These benefits were partially offset by $3 million of pricing.

Attached is supplemental data highlighting Net Tons Sold for the first quarter of 2021 and for each quarter of 2020.

EBITDA for the first quarter of 2021 was $228 million, or $104 million higher than the first quarter of 2020. After adjusting both periods for business combinations and other special charges, Adjusted EBITDA was $240 million in the first quarter of 2021 versus $295 million in the first quarter of 2020. When comparing against the prior year quarter, Adjusted EBITDA in the first quarter of 2021 was positively impacted by $21 million in net productivity and $5 million of favorable foreign exchange. Adjusted EBITDA was unfavorably impacted by $3 million of pricing, $2 million of volume/mix, $34 million of commodity input cost inflation, $13 million of other inflation and $29 million of costs associated with Winter Storm Uri.

Other Results
Total Debt (Long-Term, Short-Term and Current Portion) increased $198 million during the first quarter of 2021 to $3,865 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. Total Net Debt (Total Debt, net of Cash and Cash Equivalents) increased $261 million during the first quarter of 2021 to $3,749 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. The Company returned $174 million in capital to stakeholders in the first quarter 2021 through dividends, distributions and partnership redemptions. The Company's first quarter 2021 Net Leverage Ratio was 3.69 times Adjusted EBITDA compared to 3.26 times at the end of 2020.

At March 31, 2021, the Company had available liquidity of $1,444 million, including the undrawn availability under its global revolving credit facilities. The Company issued $800 million of 0.8% and 1.5% senior secured notes and borrowed $425 million under the Farm Credit system, with proceeds used to retire $425 million of higher interest rate bonds, during the quarter.

Net Interest Expense was $30 million in the first quarter of 2021, lower when compared to $34 million reported in the first quarter of 2020, reflecting reduced average borrowing rates. Capital expenditures for the first quarter of 2021 were $146 million compared to $154 million in the first quarter of 2020. First quarter 2021 Income Tax Expense was $18 million, compared to a $5 million benefit in the first quarter of 2020.
(Graphic Packaging Holding Company)

Sappi's Ultracast Viva® Wins Green Product Award 2021

Sappi's Ultracast Viva® Wins Green Product Award 2021  (Company news)

Company awarded for sustainable product development and design of casting and release paper

Sappi North America, Inc., a leading producer and supplier of diversified paper, packaging products and pulp, announced that its Ultracast Viva release paper has won the Green Product Award 2021 jury prize in the fashion category. The award program recognizes companies and start-ups that have distinguished themselves by their sustainable practices and product results. Over a thousand applicants from 51 countries were screened for this year's nomination.

Ultracast Viva is a textured release paper made specifically for high-fidelity PVC, PU, semi-PU and solvent-free casting systems that are used in the manufacturing of coated fabrics. This first-of-its-kind product embodies Sappi's forward-looking sustainability practices in alignment with the company's global goals for environmentally-friendly manufacturing.

"On behalf of the entire Sappi organization, we are honored to receive the Green Product Award this year," said Mark Hittie, Director of Release Strategy at Sappi North America. "We're proud to see Ultracast Viva making an impact on the fashion industry and advancing sustainability standards. Our focus remains on creating innovative products that support environmentally-conscious manufacturing."

With Sappi's nearly 80 years of experience creating textures, Ultracast Viva brings to market performance improvements that are more compatible than ever with green chemistry systems, including benefits from its increased reusability and easier handling with expanded temperature limits. This release paper is designed for companies who are dedicated to using sustainable alternatives when creating high quality coated fabrics and textured materials.

"Ultracast Viva is most certainly a positive example for coatings with its scalable technical solution and high potential," said the Green Product Award organizers.
(Sappi North America Inc.)

Brand-New Premium Packaging Plant in Gdansk, Poland, Has SWEDBRAND Well-Positioned...

Brand-New Premium Packaging Plant in Gdansk, Poland, Has SWEDBRAND Well-Positioned...   (Company news)

... to Address Luxury Brand Requirements

Highest quality customized rigid boxes produced in state-of-the-art factory feature vastly reduced shipping cost and time

SWEDBRAND Group, the packaging partner to some of the world’s most iconic brands, today announced the opening of its brand-new converting plant in Poland, Swedbrand Poland Sp z o.o., for premium customized rigid boxes for luxury products. Supported by a global production network of owned and partner-run facilities, the state-of-the-art Gdansk plant is operated by experienced staff and is able to deliver significantly reduced cost and time for intra-Europe delivery. The facility is managed by Bogdan Putko, who has 35 years of experience in the Polish packaging market and has worked with many global brands.

“The company has well-established packaging capabilities in China and Viet Nam and began looking for opportunities to initiate production in Europe as well about two years ago,” said Zaid Bunni, co-founder of the SWEDBRAND Group. “This seems prescient today in light of the disruptions brought on by the pandemic and the instability in Asian markets. We are especially pleased to have Bogdan join our team and bring his extensive knowledge of both packaging and the Polish printing/converting environment as we built out our new factory.”

Bunni points out that the Gdansk factory, which is a highly automated state-of-the-art converting operation for premium rigid boxes, brings a number of benefits to brands requirement rigid box production for use in Europe.

Plant manager Bogdan Putko adds, “We’ve seen dramatic increases in both time and cost for shipping from China to Europe. While manufacturing time and labor costs are somewhat higher in Poland, it can take four to five weeks just to secure a 40-foot container in China, and then five to seven weeks to ship it to Europe. In addition, just in the last few months shipping costs have increased by a factor of four or five, from US$2,000 for a 40-foot container to as much as US$10,000. Our shipping costs per truckload from Poland to Germany, for example, are between €850 and €1,300. This way the delivery can be accomplished in as little as three days.”

These reduced shipping fees lead to a more competitive overall cost structure for the premium rigid boxes. With regards to brands, these premium boxes are important for communicating the respective brand image and increasing their luxury product’s shelf appeal, while protecting often fragile contents at the same time. In addition, being able to get products to the shelves up to a month earlier than previously possible results in a significant revenue opportunity for brands and retailers.

“We have just completed putting the finishing touches on our factory and are now entering full production phase,” Putko added. “We also offer brands a unique opportunity for a virtual factory tour in light of pandemic conditions that are still restricting travel. The virtual tour is designed to showcase all aspects of the factory and provide brands with the confidence that we can provide reliable and timely service. In addition, the Gdansk factory addresses the need of many of the world’s most well-known brands to diversify risk by moving all or some of their packaging converting from Asia to Europe.”

Bunni adds, “We also made the strategic decision to outsource the offset printing required for production of these outstanding rigid boxes since Poland features many very high-quality printers who have plenty of excess capacity. This helps better support the Polish printing industry while keeping our overhead as low as possible.”
(Swedbrand Poland Sp z o.o.)

AquaLine: Voith's sustainable water management concept for paper production

AquaLine: Voith's sustainable water management concept for paper production  (Company news)

- When using a system operated by the AquaLine concept to produce packaging papers, the fresh water consumption is 5.5 to 7 liters per kilogram of produced paper.
- AquaLine Flex brings this figure to below 5.5 liters per kilogram of produced paper by combining a biological treatment plant with filtering systems.
- AquaLine Zero further reduces fresh water consumption to 1.5 liters per kilogram of produced paper, enables complete closing of the water circuits and thereby cuts the effluent volume to zero liters per kilogram of produced paper.

Achieving sustainable reduction of fresh water consumption is one of the key challenges in the development and operation of production facilities. In the field of AquaLine water management, with AquaLine Flex and AquaLine Zero, Voith is introducing two concepts that not only minimize fresh water consumption but, as is the case with AquaLine Zero, can also completely close water circuits.

For the Progroup AG paper mill in Sandersdorf-Brehna, Voith developed the AquaLine Zero concept in collaboration with the customer, delivered it for the first time and successfully commissioned it.

"With this system, the customer requires only about 1.5 liters of fresh water to produce one kilogram of paper in their plant. At the same time, they have reduced their CO2 emissions by about 10 percent."
Eckhard Gutsmuths, Product Manager Low Effluent Mill at Voith

Progroup AG’s aim to keep its use of resources as low as possible without having to compromise production quality has been realized at the plant, which produces 750,000 metric tons of testliner and corrugating medium a year. Approximately 8,500 cubic liters of fresh water can be saved each day with the integrated, closed-loop water treatment plant.

AquaLine and AquaLine Flex
For the implementation of a sustainable water management system in paper mills, Voith has based its AquaLine concept on a water treatment plant with cutting-edge treatment technology that provides for both anaerobic and aerobic biological treatment of process water. With this technology, the fresh water supply per kilogram of produced packaging paper is 5.5 to 7 liters. From this biological treatment plant, between 4 and 5.5 liters of purified process water per kilogram of produced paper is discharged as effluent.

With the AquaLine Flex concept, the next expansion phase of its water management system, Voith can further improve on this result. The additional integration of various filtering systems in the process water circuit of the paper machine enables process water to be returned to circulation. This reduces fresh water supply accordingly. With AquaLine Flex, by combining a biological treatment plant and filtering systems, Voith can limit fresh water supply to below 5.5 liters per kilogram and the effluent flow to below 4 liters per kilogram of produced paper.

Closed water circuits with AquaLine Zero
For closed water circuits with AquaLine Zero, the biological treatment plant operates exclusively via an anaerobic process, the so-called “biological kidney”. All the purified water is returned to the stock preparation process, which means the effluent volume is zero liters. In addition, filtering systems in the process water circuit of the paper machine allow for purified process water to replace the fresh water requirement. This reduces the consumption of fresh water considerably. The exclusively anaerobic process produces a large volume of biogas, which can be used as primary energy, reducing both energy costs and CO2 emissions.

On top of the extra engineering work and greater investments required to operate a paper mill with a closed water circuit, a high degree of operator expertise and process knowledge is also needed.

Our goal is a low COD level in the paper manufacturing process
When treating process water in a biological treatment plant, the top priority is to reduce the chemical oxygen demand (COD) content, which indicates the amount of all substances present in the water that are oxidizable under certain conditions. Fiber slurry, starch and additives are responsible for the COD content in process water. The content is reduced through anaerobic and aerobic stages, and biologically treated water is produced from the process water, which can be returned to the production circuit, thereby conserving resources.

AquaLine and AquaLine Flex reduce running costs and significantly increase the sustainability of the paper mill. At the same time, they contribute to meeting the increasingly stringent environmental requirements in planned capacity expansions, for example. AquaLine Zero ensures the best possible success in the design of new systems. Voith is thereby taking a further step towards increased sustainability and decarbonization in paper manufacturing.
(Voith Paper GmbH & Co KG)

Brands that fail to green online shopping could fall behind

Brands that fail to green online shopping could fall behind  (Company news)

More sustainable e-commerce packaging is a must for businesses - not only for the environmental benefits, but also to satisfy more demanding customers.

Consumers are increasingly putting their purchasing power behind environmentally friendly products. That means brands that don't use sustainable packaging risk being left behind at checkout. As e-commerce continues to boom, DS Smith's new data shows how the need for fully recyclable, more sustainable packaging solutions for e-commerce is growing.

The explosion in e-commerce is undeniable, with 66% of Europeans reporting they have shopped more online since the first lockdown in March 2020 and 82% planning to shop online at the same level or more after the lockdown. DS Smith has seen a surge in demand for sustainable e-commerce packaging over the past year - with European growth of 35% in apparel, 35% in home and office electronics, and 51% in food.

To respond to this opportunity, it is important for brands to understand changing consumer demands. Nearly one-third of European consumers say they no longer buy certain brands because their packaging is unsustainable. While nearly half of Europeans (46%) say they want to use more cardboard or paper packaging instead of plastic packaging, 58% say they want less packaging overall.

Stefano Rossi, CEO of DS Smith Packaging, commented, "With such a dramatic shift in the way we shop, it is absolutely critical that our new online shopping habits are supported in a way that better protects the environment. It's clear that both businesses and consumers are increasingly focused on more sustainable alternatives. Every day, our expert team of designers is developing new e-commerce solutions for products like apparel, electronics, beauty and personal care that offer both environmental and economic benefits to businesses."

From apparel to home and office electronics to food and beverages, using recyclable paper-based packaging can help a brand increase its market share. With a portfolio of more than 700 e-commerce solutions, DS Smith makes it easy for brands to choose more sustainable packaging without compromising on design or performance. In doing so, we work with each customer to develop or optimize each design for their needs. The company has just unveiled three new lines of sustainable e-commerce packaging in apparel, electronics, and wine and beer.

The sustainable e-commerce packaging is designed to meet specific product requirements while enhancing the customer experience and supporting efficient product delivery. Solutions include paper-based edge protectors that securely protect electronics all the way to the front door, for example, while replacing traditional plastic use, and tamper-evident packaging with a smart design that ensures packages have not been opened during delivery. DS Smith offers reusable, paper-based envelopes that are very easy to customize in length, replacing plastic-padded shipping bags or plastic garment packaging. All without compromising on packaging function.

By applying the circular design principles developed in conjunction with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, DS Smith is helping to design products from the start to best recycle, avoid waste and pollution, and be suitable for a circular economy. The company recently set environmental goals to produce fully recyclable or reusable packaging by 2023 and take approximately 250,000 trucks off the road by 2025.
(DS Smith Packaging)

WKS Group invests in the world’s first KODAK MAGNUS Q4800 Platesetter for ...

WKS Group invests in the world’s first KODAK MAGNUS Q4800 Platesetter for ...  (Company news)

... imaging XLF plates

Kodak has just received an order from German WKS Group to supply the world’s first KODAK MAGNUS Q4800 Platesetter. This new jumbo CTP system from Kodak offers market-leading speed and productivity for extra-large format (XLF) plates and is capable of imaging plate sizes up to 1600 x 2900 mm for 96-page web offset presses. The MAGNUS Q4800 uses KODAK SQUARESPOT Imaging Technology, providing unmatched stability, accuracy, and reliability for efficient plate making and superior print quality.

The WKS Group has ordered the MAGNUS Q4800 Platesetter for its site in Essen (Westend Druckereibetriebe), where production takes place on heatset web offset presses in the class up to 80 pages. “One key argument for us is that the MAGNUS Q4800 will let us switch from UV to thermal technology. The higher imaging capacity is another advantage,” said Dr. Ralph Dittmann, Managing Director of the WKS Group, commenting on this pioneering investment. “In our opinion, the level of technical expertise at Kodak is very high. That made it an easy decision to collaborate with them again in the large-format platesetter segment.”

The MAGNUS Q4800 for the WKS Group will be equipped with an XPL Pallet Loading System for four plate formats as well as an in-line punch. Commissioning of the Kodak XLF CTP system in Essen is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2021.

“We are delighted that the WKS Group has chosen this Kodak innovation which sets new standards in the XLF category in terms of automation and productivity,” said Jeff Zellmer, Vice President, Global Sales and Strategy, Kodak. “The development of the MAGNUS Q4800 Platesetter is testament to Kodak’s ongoing commitment to bringing leading-edge technology and new efficiency potentials to the global printing industry. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the WKS Group on this and other projects.”

The WKS Group is one of the leading print and media service providers in Europe’s German-speaking countries. The Group currently employs 815 people in nine companies at six sites across Germany.

Comprehensive facilities enable printing projects to be executed ranging from print runs of one to enormous quantities in the high-volume segment. In the printing sector, the WKS Group provides web and sheet-fed offset as well as digital printing and finishing. Fulfillment and cross-media expertise round off the portfolio, making WKS Group a print and service provider with a strategic focus.
(Kodak GmbH)

DREWSEN SPEZIALPAPIERE launches new PROSEAL Heat Sealable Paper for packaging of ...

DREWSEN SPEZIALPAPIERE launches new PROSEAL Heat Sealable Paper for packaging of ...  (Company news)

...dry food and non-food items

Sustainability and environmentally friendly packaging solutions are increasingly influencing our everyday lives. Brand owners, consumers and legislation are demanding a reduction of plastic usage.

DREWSEN has been and will continue focusing on developing new grades that can replace plastic and are therefore fit for the future.

After having placed the new qualities PROBARRIER PFAS-free Greaseproof Papers and PROSTRAW for the manufacture of paper drinking straws in the market, DREWSEN is pleased to introduce to the market another sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to plastic:
PROSEALis a sealable paper that seals well with ultrasonic or high speed heat sealing devices. The excellent sealability is achieved by water based dispersion coating on one side of the paper. Due to its outstanding mechanical properties PROSEAL can easily be implemented on existing packaging production lines (form-fill and seal, vertical and horizontal flowpack). The consistent high quality of PROSEAL ensures a trouble-free processing and application.

- designed for various packaging applications, such as the primary and secondary packaging of dry and non-fatty foodstuff as well as for packaging of non-food items (DIY articles, children’s toys, household goods, etc.) that require no further barriers;
- certified for direct food contact (BfR recommendation XXXVI, FDA) and can on request be supplied with FSC or PEFC certification;
- recyclable without reserves according to EN 13430;
- printable with flexo and gravure printing.

Heidelberg surpasses forecast thanks to strong final quarter in FY 2020/2021

Heidelberg surpasses forecast thanks to strong final quarter in FY 2020/2021  (Company news)

- Sales in FY 2020/2021 slightly above expectations at around € 1.913 billion
- Substantially improved order situation in the final quarter increases incoming orders to around € 2 billion
- Transformation program is taking effect: EBITDA margin excluding restructuring result at 7.6 percent better than forecast
- Positive free cash flow and low net financial debt

Photo: Demand for the Heidelberg Wallbox charging solutions is high.

According to preliminary figures (unaudited), Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) has exceeded its own forecast in terms of net sales and operating margin for the financial year 2020/2021 just ended (April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021). Thanks to a strong final quarter, sales of around € 1.913 billion were slightly above the forecast range of € 1.85 billion to € 1.90 billion. Due to rising demand particularly in China, parts of Europe and, in the final quarter, also in the US, incoming orders rose to a high level of around € 2.0 billion by the end of the financial year. In the fourth quarter alone, the order intake improved significantly to €579 million, from € 462 million in the same quarter of the previous year. The order backlog thus increased to a level of € 636 million, providing a favorable basis for the new financial year.

"With a strong final spurt, we have been able to continue our recovery in business volume since the Corona-induced low in the summer," said Rainer Hundsdörfer, Heidelberg’s CEO. "The upturn in the regions makes us confident that we will be able to continue our upward trend in net sales and margin in the future."

As a result of the positive effects realized under the transformation program and the higher sales volume in the final quarter, the operating return exceeded the company’s own forecast. At € 146 million, EBITDA excluding restructuring result in financial year 2020/2021 was significantly higher than in the previous year (€102 million). The EBITDA margin of around 7.6 percent exceeded the company's own forecast of around 7 percent, even though the expected income from the sale of land at the Wiesloch site will only be recognized in the new financial year.

"The consistent and rapid implementation of our transformation program has stabilized Heidelberg during the pandemic and, with the tailwind of the market recovery setting in, provides the foundation for profitable growth," said Marcus A. Wassenberg, the company's CFO.

As expected, the preliminary result after taxes in financial year 2020/21 has improved significantly year-on-year. Due to the favorable final quarter, the loss is expected to be somewhat lower than previously anticipated. Thanks in particular to the sharp reduction in net working capital and income from asset management in the reporting period, free cash flow for the financial year as a whole will be clearly positive and net financial debt will be kept at a low level.

The company will publish its financial statements and annual report for financial year 2020/2021 on June 9, 2021.
(Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG)

First commercial launch for SIG's Paper U-straw for aseptic cartons

First commercial launch for SIG's Paper U-straw for aseptic cartons  (Company news)

Photo: SIG’s pioneering Paper U-straw made its commercial debut this month. CAPSA Food is the first to take advantage of this innovation for its ‘Central Lechera Asturiana’ whole milk, Spain’s number one dairy brand.

Sustainable alternatives continue to gain momentum because of the EU Waste Legislation and growing concerns about the environmental impact of plastic straws. According to the European Union’s SUP (Single Use Plastic) directive, plastic straws in Europe must be replaced by July 2021.

CAPSA Food has launched its Central Lechera Asturiana whole milk with the new SIG Paper U-straw on SIG’s combiblocSmall 200ml carton packs.

The innovative Paper U-straw supports SIG’s ongoing efforts to use more renewable materials. The paper used to produce SIG paper straws, including straight and U-shaped in 4 and 6mm diameter, is FSCTM-certified. The wrapper for the straw has also been redesigned to remain attached to the packaging to prevent littering and can also be disposed with the carton pack.

Juan Povedano, Marketing Director at CAPSA Food: “Our strong partnership with SIG has ensured we are well prepared for this important change in EU legislation. We are proud to be the first to use the new Paper U-straw and the environmental benefits this will bring. It will also respond to growing demand from our consumers for more sustainable packaging solutions.”

The new Paper U-straw is another important milestone on SIG’s Way Beyond Good journey to put more back into society and the environment than it takes out.

Ana Ruiz del Árbol, Marketing Director Iberia at SIG: “Carton packs are sustainable by nature, consisting of 70-80% paperboard. Now with the introduction of our new Paper U-straw for aseptic carton packs, we continue to lead the way in the industry. Our close cooperation with CAPSA Food has ensured they are now ready for the requirements of the SUP directive with our renewable and recyclable innovation, as well as giving their consumers the best sustainable alternative to plastic straws.”
(SIG Combibloc Group AG)

Runtech Systems delivers vacuum system rebuild to Smurfit Kappa Ania, Italy

Runtech Systems delivers vacuum system rebuild to Smurfit Kappa Ania, Italy  (Company news)

Runtech Systems will deliver a RunEco vacuum system rebuild to Smurfit Kappa Ania PM2, Italy. The delivery includes a recently launched RunEco model EP500-RS-S1 Turbo Blower with ABB motor and EcoDrop water separator. The installation will take place in September.

Photo: With Runtech's RunDry solutions on PM2 and PM3, the mill saves over 7 GWh annually and has been able to increase production by 2%. The RunEco vacuum system will provide additional energy savings. Runtech Systems sales team visited Smurfit Kappa Ania mill in 2019.

In 2018 Ania mill installed a full RunDry system on PM2, including save-alls, doctors and Ecoflow multi dewatering measurement. This system is monitoring the whole paper machine wet end from forming to press section.

“With previously installed RunDry system, Ania PM2 reached higher dryness after the press and was able to increase machine speed. The Ecoflows provide a window to the process. Installation of EP Turbo Blower will further optimize the dewatering process and decrease the energy usage by almost 50%. Installation place in the mill is very challenging due to space, but our unit is very compact and optimal for rebuilds,” says Mario Battiston, Sales Manager, Runtech Systems.

Runtech Systems has extended its well-proven turbo blower product portfolio with new models EP400 and EP500. RunEco EP400 series Turbos are single-stage blowers designed for small and medium sized paper machines. EP500 series Turbos are two-stage blowers optimal for places where higher vacuum levels are required or for the paper mills which are located in higher elevation. Both are suitable for greenfield and retrofit installations. Compact construction makes the installation fast and easy.

Smurfit Kappa is one of the leading providers of paper-based packaging in the world, with operations in 23 European countries and 12 countries in the Americas. Smurfit Kappa Ania mill produces annually over 220,000 tons of testliner and recycled fluting on their two machines in Ponte all’Ania, Lucca, Italy.
(Runtech Kolho Factory)

Q1 balance sheet - market development clouded by rising raw material costs

Q1 balance sheet - market development clouded by rising raw material costs   (Company news)

The partly positive market development of the German paper industry after the Corona year 2020 is burdened by a lack of availability and rising costs for raw materials and transport. This was announced by the Association of German Paper Mills when it presented its balance sheet for the 1st quarter of 2021.

Overall, production in the German paper industry remained at the level of the comparable period of the previous year. With an increase in sales of 6 per cent, paper and board for packaging largely compensated for the decline in sales of graphic (minus 12.1 per cent) and hygiene papers (minus 8.1 per cent). With an increase in sales of 5 percent, the small group of technical and speciality papers also stood out positively.

The boom in packaging papers is mainly based on corrugated base papers, where the new capacities added last year were easily absorbed by the market. Here, demand continues to be driven by e-commerce, which - due to lockdown regulations - remains at a high level.

Graphic papers continue to be impacted by the trend towards digitisation and restraint in print advertising. The magazine market is also affected by the closure of sales outlets. Manufacturers of sanitary paper are still struggling with the after-effects of last year's panic buying, which led to the build-up of larger stocks in both private households and the trade.

Prices for pulp and recovered paper have been rising significantly since the end of last year. The same applies to auxiliary materials. For various types of recovered paper, the increased domestic demand is leading to a tight supply situation. In the pulp market, the strong demand from China is making itself felt. In addition, the distortions in overseas logistics triggered by the Corona pandemic are making themselves felt in both raw material imports and paper exports, hindering the return of containers, among other things. Freight rates have risen drastically in some cases, while the availability of cargo space is declining. Freight deadlines are also not being met, departure times are delayed and ports are not being called at.
(VDP Verband Deutscher Papierfabriken e.V.)

New ProTect NG from Voith

New ProTect NG from Voith  (Company news)

When measuring press felts manually, there is often a risk of jamming, tripping and slipping. At some positions, the employee is additionally exposed to enormous heat and the constant danger of a felt break also represents a significant, permanent safety risk. Yet, the measurement of felts is an important component in the papermaking process. The automated measurement with Voith's ProTect NG (Next Generation) therefore offers an excellent alternative to determine the important felt data without risk.

The ProTect system consists of an autonomous carriage and one or more fixed rails (traverses). The user waits on the runway during the measurement and thus no longer remains in the hazardous area. A carriage can be used in different paper machines. It does not matter how wide the machines are, and whether the carriage has to run to the left or to the right. The new generation of the ProTect NG carriage also offers programmable measuring cycles, self-diagnosis and remote service access. Furthermore, the carriage speed can be reduced to the point where 3D mapping travel is possible. The traverses can be installed in almost any position, even those that are difficult to access. No water, electricity or compressed air connection is required at the actual measuring points, as the ProTect NG carriage is a “self-supplier”. Only the charging station needs a 110/220V power connection - and in the best case a water connection to fill the tank.

Optimized diagnostic options with the new ProTect NG
The new ProTect NG continues the global success of ProTect and offers several new benefits for customers. “With the experience of much more than 200 installed positions, ProTect has become the standard for semi-automatic press felt measurements. ProTect NG is the consistent further development of the original ProTect system with improvements in all areas. In addition to weight reduction and optimized serviceability, functionality has been improved above all,” explains Torben Beckmann, Global Product Manager at Voith Paper. “Besides the ability to program individual macros for more customized measurements, ProTect NG has a number of pre-programmed procedures, including detailed edge analysis, automatic CD and MD measurements and variable speed measurements. ProTect NG offers the service expert the flexibility for individual measurements, while making standard measurements as easy as possible,” says Beckmann.

ProTect NG provides an optimized diagnostic option, which can be combined with all available measuring instruments. The integrated display shows the most important carriage parameters as well as the pre-installed measuring run programs. The intuitive operability provides even inexperienced operators with quick access to the various analysis options. ProTect NG also convinces with its further reduced weight, which is achieved by using carbon and 3D-printed parts. The lower weight is important for more comfortable handling combined with increased safety for the staff.

3D diagnosis of the press felts in CMD
In combination with suitable felt measuring devices, the very low speed of the ProTect NG enables three-dimensional scanning of felt surface temperatures, moisture and water permeability profiles of the press felts. Depending on the machine width, a 3D scan can take several minutes, during which time the service technician now no longer needs to be in the dangerous area. Voith offers a tensiometer specially developed for felt tension measurements that saves the values on a USB stick during the measurement. After the measurement, the measured values are read out in the PC.
(Voith Paper GmbH & Co KG)

PTS Conference "Recovered Paper" - Online Conference, 18.05.2021 - 19.05.2021

PTS Conference "Recovered Paper" - Online Conference, 18.05.2021 - 19.05.2021   (Company news)

Join us for our 2021 edition of the Recovered Paper Conference, a must-attend event for the paper recycling industry!

Our conference will provide a major platform for presentation and discussion of the latest developments in the fields of recovered paper collection, sorting, and quality control. It will offer networking opportunities and include panel discussions on the current trends and their potential for transforming the paper recycling industry. The event takes place online and we encourage you to participate by asking your questions live, but we will also include a watch-on-demand option for later viewing across the globe.

We are looking forward to welcoming you on May 18!

Topic 1: Reaching a Circular Economy
Topic 2: Design for Recycling
Topic 3: Collection and Sorting of recovered paper
Topic 4: Recyclability assessment methods
Topic 5: Recovered paper quality management
Topic 6: Optimization of stock preparation and paper production
Topic 7: Reject Handling - Waste to X technologies

Normal price: 595,00 €

PTS Donor Advantage: As a member company in one of the PTS Stifterverbände you will receive a 10% discount on the list price.
(Papiertechnische Stiftung (PTS))

ANDRITZ GROUP: Results for the first quarter of 2021

ANDRITZ GROUP: Results for the first quarter of 2021  (Company news)

International technology Group ANDRITZ showed solid business development in the first quarter of 2021 in spite of the overall unchanged and difficult economic environment.

At over 1.7 billion euros, order intake reached a high level and the company’s net income practically doubled despite a slight decline in revenue compared to the previous year’s reference period.

Wolfgang Leitner (photo), President & CEO of ANDRITZ AG: “We are very pleased with business development in the first quarter of 2021. In particular, the development of order intake, which provides the basis for future revenue and earning development, makes us feel positive. With regard to the development of the markets we serve, we remain cautiously optimistic for the coming months and expect solid project and investment activity overall.”

The key financial figures developed as follows during the reporting period:
- Order intake amounted to 1,729.5 million euros (MEUR) and was thus only 6.7% below the previous year’s reference period (Q1 2020: 1,852.9 MEUR), which included a large-scale order in the Pulp & Paper business area. In particular, the Metals and Hydro business areas were able to increase their order intake significantly compared to the previous year’s reference period. Order intake for the service business also saw very favorable development, rising significantly compared to the preceding quarters.
- The order backlog as of March 31, 2021, amounted to 7,071.3 MEUR and has thus risen compared to the end of 2020 (December 31, 2020: 6,774.0 MEUR).
- Revenue at 1,493.2 MEUR, was only 1.1% lower than in the previous year’s reference period (Q1 2020: 1,510.2 MEUR). This is largely attributable to the Metals business area, where revenue declined due to the lower order intake in the past year.
- Despite the slightly lower revenue, the operating result (EBITA) increased significantly compared to the previous year, amounting to 110.9 MEUR (+58.2% versus Q1 2020: 70.1 MEUR). As a result, the Group’s profitability (EBITA margin) increased to 7.4% (Q1 2020: 4.6%). This is mainly due to the continuing good business development in the Pulp & Paper business area, which succeeded in increasing its profitability slightly compared to the previous year. Furthermore, earnings in the Metals business area improved significantly, above all due to the positive impact of the cost adjustment measures implemented in the previous year.
- The earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) increased to 96.4 MEUR (Q1 2020: 53.8 MEUR), while the net income (without non-controlling interests) practically doubled compared to the previous year’s reference period, reaching 62.1 MEUR (Q1 2020: 31.5 MEUR).

Regarding the business development for full-year 2021, ANDRITZ confirms the expectations voiced on the occasion of the publication of the 2020 financial results in March 2021 and expects – due to a reduced order intake in 2020 – slightly lower revenue (2020: 6,699.6 MEUR) compared to the previous year and an increase in EBITA reported (2020: 391.7 MEUR). The EBITA adjusted by extraordinary items should remain roughly stable compared to the previous year (adjusted EBITA 2020: 471.1 MEUR), depending on how revenue develops.

If the global economic recovery expected by market researchers for 2021 does not take place 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 financial provisions for 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)

Thimm Group reports a positive sales development in the 2020 financial year

Thimm Group reports a positive sales development in the 2020 financial year  (Company news)

- Strong sales growth in the packaging plants
- High investments in Eastern European sites
- Slight decline in revenue and number of employees
- A continued stable equity ratio at a high level

Thimm Group closed the 2020 financial year in a very robust position despite the challenges caused by the coronavirus. Revenue dropped only slightly to EUR 605 million (2019: EUR 623 million). Operating profit EBITDAR before extraordinary expenses also fell only slightly from EUR 57.5 million to EUR 56.7 million. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, in the reporting year the company invested a total of EUR 27.7 million, primarily on expansions to its Eastern European sites. The total number of employees decreased slightly from 3,512 employees in the previous year to 3,376 as of 31.12.2020, including 126 apprentices.

In line with developments in the sector due to the coronavirus, in 2020 the packaging plants in the Thimm pack’n’display business division also recorded robust sales growth, exceeding forecasts and plans. According to Mathias Schliep (photo), Chairman of the Management Board, Thimm Group, “Our packaging plants predominantly produce packaging for fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs), which were still in demand during the coronavirus crisis and will continue to make an important contribution to the security of supply for the population.” The coronavirus pandemic has also accelerated the evolution of the trading business towards e-commerce. Corrugated cardboard packaging is mainly used for transportation from the shipper to the customer and is therefore benefiting from this trend. Therefore, the Thimm Start-up Cartonara, which offers standardised solutions for e-commerce dealers, has increased its level of professionalism even more, recording positive developments.

“One of the reasons for the Group’s slight drop in revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic can be attributed to the decline in customer demand in the German automotive industry, one of the main customer sectors in our Thimm Packaging Systems business division,” continues Mathias Schliep. “As a result of the first lockdown in spring 2020, the automotive industry completely shut down or significantly scaled back its production in the second quarter for many weeks. Only in the third quarter did a significant increase in demand in this business division generate revenue at the pre-pandemic level. In an annual comparison, lower raw material prices also led to lower sales prices on the sales side. Despite an overall increase in sales volumes, the resulting revenue losses could not be fully compensated for.” Thimm Group’s equity ratio remained stable at a high level of 40.6 percent (previous year: 41.0 percent). The company is therefore still well-positioned financially, even in a challenging environment.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Group invested a total of EUR 27.7 million in 2020. One focus was on expansion investments in the packaging plants in the Czech Republic, Romania and Poland. Thimm has updated its production capacities there and purchased additional production facilities to enable further growth in the local markets. For example, in early 2020, at the Czech site in Všetaty the company invested in a new laser cutting machine which can create digitally precise designs made from corrugated cardboard. At the end of the year, the packaging specialist also installed a new state-of-the-art corrugator in Všetaty, further supporting Thimm Group’s digitalisation strategy. A technically state-of-the-art HQPP printing system was installed at the Romanian site in Sibiu, which, following the commissioning of a new corrugator in the previous year, adds yet another technological advantage to the site and also enables the production of technically sophisticated products.

The focus of the Thimm Packaging Systems business division in 2020 was on the integration of the two locations Serba (Thuringia) and Viernheim (Hesse) acquired in 2019. They have now been fully integrated into the existing structures and processes.

Mathias Schliep: “Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Thimm Group performed well in a challenging 2020 financial year. We expect sales to increase further in 2021, particularly in the Thimm pack’n’display and Christiansen Print business divisions. The continuous growth of online commerce will also have a positive effect on our business development. Overall, we are expecting revenue increases due to the sales volumes, provided there are no further pandemic-related restrictions. However, increasing paper, freight and energy prices will also have an impact on the result.”

The Thimm Group with its innovative and sustainable packaging solutions is well-positioned. The food industry, retailers and end-consumers in particular are increasingly demanding recyclable packaging. Solutions made from corrugated cardboard already fulfil these ecological requirements as it is recyclable packaging based on renewable raw materials. According to Schliep, “Our third Sustainability Report, published at the end of 2020, is proof that the issue of sustainability is very important to us. This report provides transparent information about the sustainability performance of our company.”
(THIMM Group GmbH + Co. KG)

BOBST enhances design of Mouvent LB701-UV digital label press for optimum user experience

BOBST enhances design of Mouvent LB701-UV digital label press for optimum user experience   (Company news)

BOBST has updated the design of its digital label press to improve convenience and usability, helping to make this highly productive machine even more efficient.

Design updates include a more ergonomic and easier-to-access ink cabinet, the possibility to fit rolls up to 600mm for ultimate substrate versatility and a flexible / movable screen for an even more convenient management and control of the machine from every angle.

“One of the hallmarks of BOBST is we never sit still, we are always thinking of ways we can improve the customer experience,” said Erik van Sloten, Head of Sales, Labels. “And the way we do that is by first and foremost listening to our customers. The changes we have made to the Mouvent LB701-UV have come from speaking to printers and converters, understanding their needs, and acting on them.”

The Mouvent LB701-UV enables digital label production for ultra-short and medium run label jobs, with no trade-offs. It is associated with very high productivity, with a speed of up to 70m/min, exceptional print quality (1,200 x 1,200 dpi), and the widest color gamut in its category – printing with up to 6 colors plus optional white with 70% opacity, at 45m/min.

The machine already had a compact and ergonomic design, but this has been enhanced further ensuring one operator only is able to run the press.

“It’s by watching that you design optimal efficiency,” explained van Sloten. “By making the design as user-friendly as possible, we provide the operator the means to complete the tasks at hand.”

The machine provides the best TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) in its category. Elements contributing to its excellent TCO include low initial investment, ongoing operational costs, quick set-up time and high productivity, allowing for higher profitability.
(Bobst Mex SA)

NORPAC Announces Arrival of New Recycling Equipment for Packaging Papers

NORPAC Announces Arrival of New Recycling Equipment for Packaging Papers  (Company news)

New pulping equipment will produce recycled packaging papers from waste material previously sent to China, helping to solve a major environmental challenge while supporting local jobs

North Pacific Paper Company (NORPAC) is excited to announce the arrival of a new state-of-the-art drum pulper that will help the company expand its production of lightweight recycled packaging papers and safeguard more than 400 mill jobs and support other indirect jobs in Cowlitz County.

The new pulper arrived at the Port of Longview and will be moved to the NORPAC mill. The pulper and other mill infrastructure upgrades represent more than a $50 million capital investment that will expand Longview mill operations to transform wastepaper into lightweight recycled papers for corrugated boxes, displays, bags and various other packaging products.

"We're excited to reach a big milestone in our work to achieve our vision of opening new markets, providing low-carbon, recycled packaging papers and retaining our talented, innovative workforce," said NORPAC CEO Craig Anneberg. "This new machine is up to the tough job of keeping wastepaper out of landfills and turning it into new, recycled products – that's good for jobs and our environment. I'm also pleased NORPAC can support our local economic recovery in real-time with construction jobs that will make our new facility operational."

"It's great to see new construction jobs literally rolling into Cowlitz County," said Ted Sprague, Cowlitz Economic Development Council President. "The EDC was pleased to help connect financial resources in support of NORPAC's project that will put people to work and place Cowlitz County on the cutting edge of recycling sustainability."

After two years of constraining imports, in late 2020, China effectively banned the import of waste papers. This dramatic change in wastepaper markets has caused major disruption in the Pacific Northwest recycling system – resulting in paper that was traditionally recycled being sent to solid waste landfills. To help the state respond, NORPAC plans to recycle hundreds of thousands of metric tons per year of recovered wastepaper into recycled packaging papers, including linerboard, corrugated medium, bag grades, and specialty Kraft papers.

NORPAC began producing packaging papers in 2018 and has since refined its product offerings, process, and raw material sourcing to enable this expansion, which takes advantage of current wastepaper supplies while enhancing the mill's product diversity and agility in dynamic markets. As a result, NORPAC expects to consume substantial amounts of waste and mixed paper grades – effectively dealing with the environmental challenge and diverting this waste material from landfills.

When announcing the expansion in the packaging papers business and acquisition of the pulping equipment in August of 2019, NORPAC's move was widely heralded by elected leaders in Washington and Oregon. Here is what they had to say:

"Washington businesses are at the forefront of tackling big problems through innovation. Producing alternatives to single-use plastic packaging is not just about protecting our environment, but also about creating business opportunities and good-paying jobs. North Pacific Paper Company's continued commitment to Washington state shows that sustainability is an economic winner."
-Washington Governor Jay Inslee

"Increasing local capacity to process recyclable materials has the potential to benefit Southwest Washington, and NORPAC's expansion into recycled paper operations demonstrates an innovative path forward."
-Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler

"Today's good news from NORPAC about its expansion into recycling will have long-term benefits for the environment in our state and throughout the Northwest. This expansion of its recovered fiber business will ripple across the Columbia River by also helping Oregonians working at the company's Longview plant and our state's companies that do business with NORPAC."
-Senator Ron Wyden

"I applaud North Pacific Paper Company (NORPAC) on their expansion, which will create good jobs and address an environmental challenge facing the Pacific Northwest. We shouldn't have to ship our recyclable paper and other materials across the ocean to be processed and recovered in China. The growth of the domestic recycling industry will benefit consumers who want to recycle more, businesses that want recycled paper products, and the environment."
-Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici
(North Pacific Paper Corp. (NORPAC))

Smurfit Kappa announces €35 million further investment in Germany

Smurfit Kappa announces €35 million further investment in Germany  (Company news)

Smurfit Kappa has announced a significant investment in its Hoya paper mill and board manufacturing plant in northwest Germany. It is the latest phase of an investment programme, which commenced in 2011, and this last phase will see production output increase by 70 kt to 450 kt per annum.

The investment will replace the complete press section of the PM2 paper machine with new state-of-the-art technology, increasing the overall efficiency of the manufacturing process. The PM2 is a 7.5 meters wide paper machine, producing both testliner and fluting packaging paper. Production speed will increase to 1250 m/min and upon completion, this world class machine will further strengthen the industrial efficiency of Smurfit Kappa Group's containerboard system. It is expected to be operational from the first quarter of 2023.

Saverio Mayer, CEO, Smurfit Kappa Europe said: “This investment will be the final and significant phase of a programme of sustained investment at our Hoya Mill which commenced over a decade ago. Today’s announcement underlines Smurfit Kappa’s continued commitment to developments in leading edge technology and our operations in Germany.”

The investment means that CO2 emissions will be reduced by 5,500 tons per annum.

Also commenting on the investment, Andreas Noss, Managing Director of the Smurfit Kappa Hoya Mill, said: “This investment will make the PM2 a state-of-the-art light weight paper machine that enables us to meet the changing needs of our customers. It will increase production speed and produce light weight paper in the most efficient and sustainable way possible.”

The Hoya site in Germany has been in operation for over 50 years and is a major regional employer, with over 300 people working at the facility.
(Smurfit Kappa Group Headquarters plc)

BillerudKorsnäs launches new generation of coated liner from KM7

BillerudKorsnäs launches new generation of coated liner from KM7  (Company news)

With Pure DecorX™, BillerudKorsnäs is introducing the latest development in White Top Kraftliner. The launch opens up great improvement potential for decorative corrugated packaging, in terms of strength, print appearance and sustainability.

Photo: Thanks to its strength and superior printability Pure DecorX is an excellent choice for premium consumer goods.

Pure DecorX is a 3-ply construction made of 100% primary wood fibres, which makes the liner strong, stiff and with high thickness. In practice, this means great lightweighting opportunities, high runnability in converting machines, reduced risk of washboarding, and enhanced packaging performance.

The use of only primary fibres also makes Pure DecorX a climate-smart choice: it is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable, and the fibres can be traced back to responsibly managed forestry.

Pure DecorX is coated for surface smoothness, yielding excellent print results in terms of lifelike image reproduction and colour fidelity. This makes the product very competitive in applications such as shelf-ready packaging, displays, and packaging of food & beverages and premium consumer goods.

“Thanks to our knowledge, experience, and state-of-the-art technology we have been able to secure the quality parameters needed for the highest pre- and post-print demands in one product,” says Rolf Gustafsson, Director Product Management Containerboard BillerudKorsnäs. “Customers can use just one coated quality for pre-print as well as for post-print – an extra benefit.”

The new liner is produced on KM7, the world’s most modern board machine. Product quality parameters are monitored in real time using advanced sensor technology, which ensures unique product consistency. And with the impressive capacity of 550,000 tons a year, availability is secured.

The BillerudKorsnäs range of Pure liners are backed up by the Containerboard BoxLab services, where customers can turn for support and advice on optimisation of packaging solutions.
(BillerudKorsnäs AB (publ))

Bailprint Labels Modernizes With The Installation Of A New Nilpeter FA-17

Bailprint Labels Modernizes With The Installation Of A New Nilpeter FA-17  (Company news)

Picture: The newly installed Nilpeter FA-17 at Bailprint Labels in Chorley, just north of Manchester, England

Striving to “perfect the art of self-adhesive label printing,” Bailprint Labels Ltd. from Chorley, just north of Manchester, England, has added a new Nilpeter FA-17, the company’s third from the Danish printing press manufacturer. Wanting to add a more modern and faster press with higher automation and less waste, the choice was clear - the new FA had everything they were looking for.

Ahead Of The Competition
Bailprint is driven by a strong desire to look after their customers, stay ahead of the competition by investing in new technology, and always finding ways to say “yes”. As a result, Bailprint delivers the best quality self-adhesive labels on any paper, film, laminate or board, with full in-house design capabilities, not to mention friendly, honest, and reliable service.

The New FA-17 Ticks All The Boxes
“This is our third Nilpeter press, and we’ve built a good partnership with Nilpeter UK, Nick Hughes, and the team. We’ve been very happy with our previous equipment, but wanted to modernize, increase speeds and efficiency, and lower our waste output. The new FA-17 does all those things,” says John Hayward, Managing Director, Bailprint Labels Ltd.

“The press was installed just last month, and while still early, we’re very pleased with the results. Our operators are getting accustomed to the new equipment, which is very easy to use, and the labels look great,”. he continues.

Excellent Printing Results On Multiple Substrates
Built around the modern print operator, with an intuitive user interface and fully mobile print controls, the Nilpeter FA-Line provides a maximum level of stability, the tightest register tolerance, and excellent printing results on multiple substrates: All normal self-adhesive materials, including flexible packaging films, polymer films, metallic films, and paper.
The FA features Nilpeter’s lightweight, easy-load sleeves for reduced setup times, easy handling, increased production speeds, higher print quality, and impressive durability, not to mention a lower cost per label.

Positive Results On The Bottom Line
“John and the Bailprint team are a pleasure to work with, and we’re grateful we get to continue the partnership we’ve built over the years. With the new FA they’ll be able to meet even more customer demands, while seeing positive results on the bottom line. Credit to the Nilpeter UK and Bailprint teams for a smooth installation process during difficult times,” says Nick Hughes, Managing Director, Nilpeter Ltd.
(Nilpeter A/S)

Last database update: 30.04.2021 15:26 © 2004-2021, Birkner GmbH & Co. KG