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Ahlstrom-Munksjö's CelluStraw™ receives compostability certification
 26.02.2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hahnemühle launches FineNotes Collection for stylish writing
 26.02.2021

Hahnemühle launches FineNotes Collection for stylish writing  (Company news)

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

Photo: FineNotes by Hahnemühle Manuscript Notebooks

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

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

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

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

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

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

deSter enters Strategic Partnership with PulPac
 26.02.2021

deSter enters Strategic Partnership with PulPac  (Company news)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Xeikon appointed Victor Ortiz as Sales Manager Corrugated Business Division
 26.02.2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

Growing demand for packaging and hygiene papers while COVID 19 impacts overall paper ...
 26.02.2021

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

...and board consumption

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greif Inc. Implementing Price Increases for Uncoated Recycled Paperboard and Containerboard
 26.02.2021

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

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

Greiner Packaging brings new cardboard spoon to market
 26.02.2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SIG: Strong 2020 performance demonstrates business resilience
 25.02.2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CPH Group: The 2020 business year - Diversification proves its worth
 25.02.2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finland: EIB backs Metsä Group's new bioproduct mill
 25.02.2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Effective March 1, 2021, Kemira increases prices in Americas for most process and ..
 25.02.2021

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

... functional chemicals for pulp and paper applications

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

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

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

Roll cover technology from Voith: latest development AiroDry H for guide rolls in the dryer section
 25.02.2021

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

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

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

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

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

New virtual event: Gallus High Performance Day 2021 takes place in March
 25.02.2021

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

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

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

Canon launches imagePRESS C170 Series; push creative limits and produce high quality ...
 25.02.2021

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

...assets in-house

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Solenis to Increase Prices on Polyacrylamide Polymers and Retention Aids in EMEA
 25.02.2021

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

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

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

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

Great success – Hahnemühle's CAA digital Creative Days
 24.02.2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pixelle to Acquire Specialty Papers Business from Appvion
 24.02.2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Progroup is developing Stryków into one of the world's largest corrugated board production sites
 24.02.2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

INGEDE Symposium 2021 will be online on March 2nd
 24.02.2021

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

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

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

Miraclon strengthens innovation leadership team
 24.02.2021

Miraclon strengthens innovation leadership team   (Company news)

Picture: Dr. Reid Chesterfield

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

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

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

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

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

GEMÜ honoured as 'Global Market Leader' for the fifth time in a row
 24.02.2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

SCA to invest SEK 460 million in Tunadal port
 24.02.2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paint and Draw what brings Joy and Happiness – The Hahnemühle Calendar Competition ...
 23.02.2021

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

...is now open

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

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

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

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

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

First silphia packaging at Kaufland
 23.02.2021

First silphia packaging at Kaufland  (Company news)

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

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

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

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

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

PTS Conference 'Paper & Board for Food Contact'
 23.02.2021

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

Online Conference, 03.03.2021 bis 04.03.2021

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

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

New production and business facility for SchäferRolls d.o.o. in Brnik, Slovenia
 23.02.2021

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

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

Metsä Board starts a development programme for its Kemi paperboard mill
 23.02.2021

Metsä Board starts a development programme for its Kemi paperboard mill  (Company news)

Metsä Board launches a development programme for its white-top kraftliner mill in Kemi (photo), enabled by Metsä Fibre's new bioproduct mill investment. The development programme is a significant step towards the company's sustainability targets for 2030. Metsä Board and Metsä Fibre are parts of Metsä Group. Metsä Board owns 24.9 per cent of its associated company Metsä Fibre.

The development programme will increase the mill's annual paperboard capacity by approximately 40,000 tonnes. The programme includes a series of modernisation and bottleneck investments in the paperboard production line, and as part of the programme, Metsä Board will purchase the modernised unbleached pulp production line with an annual capacity of approximately 180,000 tonnes from Metsä Fibre in 2023. The total investment value of the programme is approximately EUR 67 million, divided in 2021–2023, and mainly in 2023.

The development programme will reduce the Kemi paperboard mill’s water consumption by about 40 per cent and energy consumption by about 5 per cent per tonne of paperboard produced. Metsä Board's company-level target is to reduce water consumption by 30 percent and energy consumption by 10 percent per tonne of paperboard produced by 2030 compared to 2018.

Metsä Board’s annual net surplus in pulp will increase by approximately 325,000 tonnes in 2023, consisting of Metsä Board's 24.9 per cent share of Metsä Fibre's new bioproduct mill’s capacity increase, the transfer of the unbleached pulp production line to Metsä Board's direct ownership and the impact of the increased paperboard capacity on pulp consumption.

Financing for Metsä Fibre's bioproduct mill consists of funds generated from operations and debt. Metsä Board does not invest equity in Metsä Fibre to finance the project. Metsä Fibre will record an impairment loss impacting the result in the first quarter of 2021 related to the old pulp mill in Kemi. The impact on Metsä Board’s share of Metsä Fibre’s result is estimated to be approximately EUR -8 million and it will be classified as an item affecting comparability.

“Demand for premium and recyclable white-top kraftliners is growing rapidly in our main markets in North America and Europe. After these investments, Metsä Board's leading position in coated white kraftliners globally will be further strengthened, and Metsä Fibre's new bioproduct mill together with Metsä Board's paperboard mill will form a world class integrate in Kemi, Finland. The investment will significantly reduce water and energy consumption at the Kemi paperboard mill, and bring us closer to our ambitious sustainability targets, which we have set for year 2030. This also supports our customers' sustainable business,” says Mika Joukio, CEO of Metsä Board.
(Metsä Board Corporation)

Solidus Solutions acquires Heathpak Limited, a provider of fibre-based packaging solutions ...
 23.02.2021

Solidus Solutions acquires Heathpak Limited, a provider of fibre-based packaging solutions ...  (Company news)

...in Wales, UK

Solidus Solutions announces the acquisition of Heathpak Ltd, based in Newport, Wales. The acquisition, which was signed and completed on February 1st 2021, signifies a strategic investment to further expand Solidus Solutions’ operations and broaden the product portfolio.

Solidus Solutions acquired Heathpak from its two owners, Mr. Alan Heath and Mr. Lyndon Whitlock. Mr. Whitlock is joining the Solidus Group will continue leading Heathpak, with John Curran, Managing Director for the UK, assuming overall responsibility of Solidus’ operations in the UK.

This strategic acquisition enables Solidus to broaden its product portfolio and further optimize service levels to existing and new customers through shorter lead times as well as improved innovation capabilities.
(Solidus Solutions Board B.V.)

AF&PA Elects Michael Doss as New Board Chair, Announces Officers at Winter Board ...
 23.02.2021

AF&PA Elects Michael Doss as New Board Chair, Announces Officers at Winter Board ...  (Company news)

...of Directors Meeting

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) announced the election of Graphic Packaging International, LLC, President and CEO Michael Doss as the new AF&PA Board Chair and released its 2021 slate of AF&PA Board Officers. Paper and wood product industry leaders participated in the association's Winter Board of Directors Meeting, which took place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we continue to navigate challenges during the pandemic, we can clearly see the essential role the U.S. paper and wood products industry has played to manufacture items of critical need,” Doss said. “Our industry produces essential and sustainable goods, such as paperboard and containerboard, as well as tissue products and paper bags. We also cannot forget about the work across the value chain - from sustainable forest management to safe, responsible manufacturing practices and innovations that allow our industry to use more recovered fiber. I’m excited to be part of an industry that exemplifies the circular economy, American jobs and a brighter future.”

AF&PA President and CEO Heidi Brock said, “The paper and wood products industry has been strengthened by its focus on safety, adaptability, resolve and hard work during this pandemic. Our industry has remained essential because our people making sustainable products are essential. That commitment to sustainability guides our business practices. As we prepare to soon release 2030 sustainability goals, the progress we have made as part of our Better Practices Better Planet 2020 initiative will continue this year and in the decade ahead. I look forward to working alongside Michael Doss and AF&PA’s Board Officers.”

Additional elected officers include: Christian Fischer, President and CEO, Georgia-Pacific LLC (First Vice Chair); Brian McPheely, Global CEO, Pratt Industries, Inc. (Second Vice Chair); and Mark Sutton Chairman and CEO, International Paper will serve as Immediate Past Chair.

The AF&PA Board of Directors consists of top industry leaders who represent a broad spectrum of companies in the paper and wood products manufacturing sector.
(AF&PA American Forest and Paper Association)

OX INDUSTRIES ACQUIRES COREX US, LLC IN STEVENS POINT, WISCONSIN
 23.02.2021

OX INDUSTRIES ACQUIRES COREX US, LLC IN STEVENS POINT, WISCONSIN  (Company news)

Ox Industries has acquired Corex US, LLC. The Corex facility, located in Stevens Point, Wisconsin is a manufacturer of spiral wound tubes and cores customized for any application. This facility adds high strength paper core production technology for plastic film and paper mills to the Ox converted product line.

Ox Industries is again furthering their reach with converted products in the Midwest. Kevin Hayward, Ox Industries’ CEO stated, “We couldn’t be happier about this acquisition. The Stevens Point facility expands our converted products footprint in the Midwest, and we’re adding a solid team to our organization. We welcome the employees and anticipate great things out of this facility.”

The Corex US facility will be vertically integrated within the Ox paper mill network and immediately operational.
(Ox Industries)

Lecta Presents Recytal Matt, Its New Coated Recycled Paper
 23.02.2021

Lecta Presents Recytal Matt, Its New Coated Recycled Paper   (Company news)

Exceptional print results, naturally.

At Lecta we remain firm in our commitment to the environment and sustainability, offering natural paper solutions in which quality assurance is always guaranteed. We are now proud to present Recytal Matt, a new 2-side coated recycled paper in a natural white shade, with excellent results with all types of printing methods.

Obtained from 100% recycled fiber, this new paper generates less waste, promoting a circular economy.

The Recytal Matt range has FSC® Chain of Custody certification and is available in substances from 90 to 240 g/m2 in sheets and reels. It is suitable for an extensive range of applications such as books, brochures, catalogs, direct marketing, folders, inserts, magazines, environmental reports, etc.

Recytal Matt is the natural choice for all types of high-quality prints and finishes, contributing to a more sustainable world.
(LECTA)

DREWSEN SPEZIALPAPIERE invests in its format equipment
 22.02.2021

DREWSEN SPEZIALPAPIERE invests in its format equipment  (Company news)

In order to maintain the continuous growth of the last few years in demand for speciality paper formats, DREWSEN is investing in a highly efficient Questec small volume sheeter (photo) from BW Papersystems.

A wide range of paper weights from 30-300 gsm can be cut into sheets in a single layer, at speeds of up to 400 m/min. Security papers with cut to register watermarks can also be precisely cut.

Since February 2021, DREWSEN has been developing solutions for the diverse requirements of speciality papers on a pilot machine that has been set up in Lachendorf in cooperation with specialists from BW Papersystems. The knowledge gained from this process goes into the planning and construction of the Questec machine, which is tailor-made for DREWSEN’s requirements. The new sheeter will be set up in Q4/2021.

This development will provide DREWSEN with the capability to process large and small lot sizes, and leaves them well equipped for the requirements of the future.

‘Together with the experts from BW Papersystems, we are working to fine-tune the new small volume sheeter ‘Questec’. Our team is already training on the pilot machine, and our practical requirements have been understood and quickly implemented. We are confident that by the end of the year we will receive exactly the small volume sheeter that we need. Our team is already familiar with the new technology. Since engineers from BW Papersystems experience the demands of the production environment directly, a real win-win situation arises’, reports Managing Director Dr. Matthias Rauhut.
(DREWSEN SPEZIALPAPIERE GmbH & Co. KG)

Valmet delivers all main process islands and automation for Metsä Fibre's Kemi bioproduct mill...
 22.02.2021

Valmet delivers all main process islands and automation for Metsä Fibre's Kemi bioproduct mill...   (Company news)

...in Finland

Photo: Valmet will deliver the full production process from wood handling to baling, as well as automation system for Metsä Fibre's Kemi bioproduct mill in Finland.

Valmet and Metsä Fibre, which is part of Metsä Group, have finalized the agreement for the key technology delivery covering all main process islands and automation systems for Metsä Fibre's Kemi bioproduct mill in Finland. The new bioproduct mill will have an annual pulp production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes and in addition produce various other bioproducts. The new totally fossil fuel free mill is scheduled to start-up in the third quarter 2023.

The order is included in Valmet's orders received of the first quarter 2021. The value of the order covering the core equipment supplied by Valmet, is about EUR 350-400 million.

“We want the best professionals in their field to partner with us to build a modern bioproduct mill in Kemi. We expect our partners to commit to the goals of the project in terms of safety, schedule and quality. Valmet operates in accordance with these principles and is able to supply our bioproduct mill with the best available technology (BAT). As an example, the sulfuric acid plant represents even more advanced technology. The very high environmental efficiency of the mill is achieved by combining the expertise of our staff and the technology of the mill,” says Jari-Pekka Johansson, Director of the bioproduct mill project at Metsä Fibre.

“The Kemi bioproduct mill is a trailblazing investment for which Metsä Group has chosen the most environmentally efficient and sustainable solutions. Valmet delivers all the key technology processes for the mill and offers the full benefits of our innovative full scope offering consisting of process technology, automation and services. The solutions represent leading sustainability performance with minimized emission and with the efficient utilization of side streams. As an example, sulfuric acid, which is used in mill processes, is produced using the mills odorous gases," says Bertel Karlstedt, Pulp and Energy Business Line President at Valmet.

“The mill’s advanced mill-wide automation system will be delivered with our latest technology. Valmet’s innovative web-based Valmet DNA User Interface will form the core for intelligent control of mill’s operations and maintenance. It enables efficient collaboration by letting the mill teams access relevant information securely whenever needed, regardless of their location. The delivery also includes integrated industrial internet applications to help optimize the mill’s production efficiency,” says Sami Riekkola, Automation Business Line President at Valmet.

Complete mill delivery
Valmet will deliver the full production process from wood handling to baling, designed to produce both softwood and hardwood pulp, as well as automation system for the whole mill including features from Valmet’s Industrial Internet (VII) offering. In addition, as part of the project, Valmet delivers a rebuild of the existing fiber line.

Valmet's project delivery includes engineering and supply of the main process equipment, as well as management of construction and start-up partly with an Open Book delivery model. Project’s degree of Finnish origin is estimated above 60%.

“The delivery will have an important employment impact on Valmet and its subcontractors especially in Finland. The employment impact of Valmet's project delivery is expected to be around 800 man-years, out of which about 500 man-years in Finland. Safety, close cooperation and open communication are the key success factors to ensure we reach the shared quality, schedule and cost targets,” says Risto Hokajärvi, Project Director, Pulp and Energy, Valmet.

Technical details of Valmet’s delivery
The mill will feature leading process technology and the most advanced automation systems. Valmet's delivery includes the wood handling, cooking and fiber line, pulp drying and baling, evaporation, recovery boiler, recausticizing, lime kiln, biomass dryer, gasifier, ash crystallization, mill-wide non-condensable gases (NCG) handling solution and electrostatic precipitators (ESP) for the recovery boiler and lime kiln. Valmet will also deliver the sulfuric acid plant with an extended scope of supply including construction. In addition, Valmet will deliver rebuild of the existing fiber line including new chip feeding and washing systems.

The wood handling includes log infeed system with de-icing, debarking, chipping, log washing, sand and stones removal system, chip storages, and bark and water handling system. The new wood room produces chips both to the new and to the modernized fiberline. The system is designed for low wood losses, superior and even chip quality as well as high availability and easy maintenance.

The fiberline includes the latest generation of Valmet’s Continuous Cooking technology G3 and TwinRoll wash presses to reach excellent energy efficiency, high end-product quality, high environmental performance with low effluent flows and COD (chemical oxygen demand) levels.

Pulp drying and baling line includes many advanced features to secure safe and easy operation and combined with dedicated automation and control systems makes the operations efficient needing minimum human intervention.

The recovery line, including white liquor plant, evaporation, recovery boiler and ash crystallization, together with mill-wide NCG handling and ESPs, is tailored for high energy efficiency and minimized emissions. The recovery boiler includes modern high-power features and the energy efficiency of the mill is further improved with energy integration between evaporation and cooking processes. The ESPs are optimized for the bioproduct mill operations, to reach high availability and very low dust emissions in heavy process conditions. The limekiln is fossil-free, using product gas, which is produced from dried and gasified bark, as fuel.

The mill-wide automation delivery includes Valmet DNA control system, plant information management system, advanced process controls (APC), analyzers and online measurements, and dedicated systems for pulp dryer. The Valmet Industrial Internet features include simulators and optimizers for selected process islands as well as Valmet Performance Center connectivity.
(Valmet Corporation)

New Heinz Eco-Friendly Paperboard Sleeves
 22.02.2021

New Heinz Eco-Friendly Paperboard Sleeves  (Company news)

Wave goodbye to multipack plastic, say hello to recyclable cardboard packaging

Heinz continues to remove plastic from supermarket shelves with the launch of a convenient & skinny cardboard sleeves on all multipack canned products, the new Heinz Eco-Friendly Sleeve Multipack.

The PEFC certified paperboard used is fully recyclable and comes from renewable and sustainably managed forests. The innovative wrap design uses 50 percent less material than a fully enclosed wraparound box and 10 percent less than a traditional paperboard sleeve design. In addition to selecting renewable, responsibly-sourced material and optimizing the design to minimize the footprint, Heinz is also advancing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The manufacturing and transport of this new innovative sleeve is also carbon neutral.

Heinz’s new solution is part of a three-year, £25 million investment and installation at its Kitt Green factory near Wigan. The paperboard design offers a sustainable solution as well as convenience.

They are available now across the Heinz Soups range as part of the “winter bundle” on Heinz to Home, and will be launching across all Heinz’s canned products and major retailers in the UK as of Autumn 2021.

PEFC Certified Paperboard
The PEFC certified paperboard used in the new Heinz Eco-Friendly Sleeve is fully recyclable and comes from renewable and sustainably managed forests.
(Kraft Heinz Foodservice)

Successful start-up of Papel Aralar's PM 5 for sustainable wet wipes
 22.02.2021

Successful start-up of Papel Aralar's PM 5 for sustainable wet wipes  (Company news)

-Production of plastic-free, flushable and sustainable wet wipes
-Technological highlights are Voith’s HydroFormer and Truetzschler’s AquaJet for high-performance Wet-Laid Spunlacing (WLS)

Voith and the nonwoven fabric expert Truetzschler Nonwovens have delivered a new system for specialty paper production to the Spanish paper factory Papel Aralar (photo). In December, the PM 5 successfully started up and is now stably producing adult and baby wet wipes that are completely plastic-free, flushable and biodegradable, a characteristic that conventional wet wipes do not have. With the recent investment, Aralar now has two WLS lines with a total production capacity of 45,000 tons/year.

"The successful start-up of PM 5 is an important step forward in our company’s sustainability strategy. And it is Voith’s innovative papermaking solutions and know-how that are contributing to this success. Our decision to invest in this state-of-the-art new production line was driven by the forecast growth in demand for biodegradable substrates for wet wipe production." (Senén Amunarriz, CEO of Papel Aralar)

"We are happy and proud to partner with Papel Aralar and to provide them, together with Truetzschler, with our efficient and sustainable papermaking technologies. Thanks to the Aralar-Truetzschler-Voith team and the close collaboration we were able to carry out a smooth and timely start-up." (Marcos Garcia de la Torre, Managing Director Voith Paper Spain)

HydroFormer and AquaJet for high-performance Wet-Laid Spunlacing
As a full-line supplier, Voith supplied the BlueLine stock preparation, the main components of the XcelLine paper machine and a comprehensive automation and control package from one single source. The HydroFormer, which is one of the main components of the new system, draws on Voith’s extensive experience in the papermaking and pulp industries. With this technology, the suspension is heavily diluted to produce nonwoven materials made completely of cellulose, a renewable resource. Besides the HydroFormer, Voith has supplied the BlueLine stock preparation, a master reel, and the approach flow for the new system.

Truetzschler Nonwovens completed the production line with the well-proven AquaJet in an innovative configuration for hydroentangling (spunlacing) and an energy-efficient multi-drum dryer. The many years of expertise and experience of the Truetzschler company form the basis of the web bonding and drying components that have been adapted to the needs of the wet-laid process.
(Voith Paper GmbH & Co KG)

Mondi expands release liner range with launch of two new paper-based sustainable ...
 22.02.2021

Mondi expands release liner range with launch of two new paper-based sustainable ...   (Company news)

... EverLiner products

Picture: Mondi expands release liner range with launch of two new paper-based sustainable EverLiner products. (Photo: Mondi, PR175)

- Mondi creates new range of sustainable paper-based release liners, EverLiner
- New products help reduce carbon footprint while ensuring high performance on existing machines and applications
- EverLiner range comprises liners created from recycled paper and light-weight solutions
- EverLiner M R is the first release liner on the market using recycled base paper

Leading global packaging and paper group Mondi is launching a range of new paper-based release liners which are created using recycled and light-weight materials and provide a more sustainable solution for a range of applications.

The new products have been created with FSC® or PEFC® certified paper to ensure responsible sourcing and, being lighter in weight, they offer a sustainable solution for labels, tapes, envelopes and industrial usage.

EverLiner labelite is a lighter option to standard glassine for label applications, with the same thickness of 58 gsm glassine but engineered to a reduced weight of 47 gsm. This results in 20% less raw material used to produce the liner. The mechanical and transparency properties of the EverLiner labelite are also comparable to standard 58 gsm glassine. Furthermore, its lighter weight allows for optimised transportation. With Mondi using paper from an integrated production process with manufacturing and converting taking place in-house, this leads to a significant reduction in the product’s overall carbon footprint.

EverLiner M R is the first release liner on the market using a recycled base paper. The machine glazed paper (MG) with 70% FSC® recycled certified content reduces the amount of fresh fibres used and is FSC® certified so ensures responsible sourcing. In a first cooperation with a European label producer, Mondi was able to achieve a significant CO2 reduction for their customer.

Andrea Lackner, R&D Director Release Liner, Mondi, comments: “Our aim is to create sustainable alternatives with no need to change the silicone system in order to offer products that are effective in usage, work for our customers and ultimately help protect the environment. By using recycled fibres, reducing the amount of material used, and looking at the whole production and logistics process, we have been able to create new highly effective options that manufacturers can choose from, depending on their product application and specific needs. We apply our EcoSolutions approach, to support customers develop sustainable packaging solutions and are committed to reduce raw material usage.”
(Mondi Europe & International Division)

Campaign chooses Screen 520NX for its expanding transaction business
 22.02.2021

Campaign chooses Screen 520NX for its expanding transaction business  (Company news)

Screen’s technology helps German full-service company strengthen its position in consolidating market.

German full-service direct marketing specialist Campaign has chosen the Screen Truepress 520NX to accommodate its growing transaction print business. “The 520NX’s high productivity, its ability to print colour in one run and its favourable costs per printed page make it the right machine for our transaction business”, says Michael Tigges, Member of the Executive Board at Campaign.

The German transaction print sector, as in other developed markets, is decreasing in overall volume due the shift to online bank and other transactional statements. As a result, it has seen strong consolidation, dominated by a relatively small number of print companies. Campaign is one of the companies strengthening its position and has acquired more transactional work thanks to its strategic investment in innovative digital printing.

“The machine’s reliability, high up-time and print quality help us meet our customers’ requirement for high quality printing in short lead times”, he adds.

A subsidiary of Bertelsmann Printing Group, Campaign has worked with Screen digital equipment for several years. “The Screen 520NX is highly versatile, enabling us to print a wide variety of products efficiently and in a sustainable manner”, Tigges explains.

From its main location in Gütersloh, Campaign works for clients from various industries, including banks, insurance companies, telecommunications and energy suppliers, car manufacturers and international travel and retail companies. It has a strong focus on sustainability, running its business according to firm ecological guidelines and social responsibility criteria.

“One of our strengths is our customer focus and, given our size, our ability to provide a large portfolio of services and solutions that specifically meet our customers’ needs and requirements”, Michael Tigges explains.
(Screen Europe)

Smurfit Kappa sets new sustainability targets with Better Planet 2050
 22.02.2021

Smurfit Kappa sets new sustainability targets with Better Planet 2050  (Company news)

Better Planet 2050 broadens the Group's commitment to sustainability by introducing ambitious targets in new areas and updating its existing set of sustainability targets

Smurfit Kappa has today announced ambitious new sustainability targets in a number of different areas. The new targets focus on a further reduction of its environmental footprint, increased support for the communities in which it operates and further enhancement to the lives of its employees. These targets build upon the company’s well-established sustainability record, on which it has been reporting since 2005, and are contained in the Better Planet 2050 commitments.

Better Planet 2050 quantifies Smurfit Kappa’s continued commitment to sustainability, targeting environmental and social sustainability in areas where it believes it can have the greatest impact. These include delivering sustainable packaging to customers, reducing its environmental footprint in water usage, waste and carbon emissions and supporting its communities, promoting inclusion and diversity as well as health and safety. The targets identified are specific, measurable and provide a roadmap to deliver results in the short, medium and longer timeframes.

Smurfit Kappa Group CEO, Tony Smurfit said: “Sustainability has always been part of our DNA but concerns about how we treat our planet, how we create a more inclusive world and support greater equality across our communities has never been so important. More needs to be done to address these global challenges. That is why we are setting new, more ambitious short-term targets and longer-term goals. Better Planet 2050 quantifies our commitment to protect what we care about – our planet, our people and our business - through a set of ambitious goals that will drive actions and behaviours that will deliver better outcomes.”

Smurfit Kappa is the undisputed industry leader in delivering Chain of Custody certified sustainable packaging solutions to its customers. The company will further increase its certified deliveries to customers to 95%, up from its current 90% target. Chain of Custody certified deliveries are essential in providing transparency and traceability to customers who have trust and confidence that our raw materials are sustainably sourced.

As a large processor rather than a large consumer of water, the new target will see the company reduce its overall water intake. As a manufacturer of products that are renewable, recyclable, recycled and biodegradable, the company will continue to seek alternative ways to reuse, recycle and recover waste material to reduce waste to landfill. Last year, Smurfit Kappa set out its most ambitious target to date when it announced a goal to achieve at least net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

Demonstrating Smurfit Kappa’s care for its people and support for communities in which it operates, the company is targeting a range of measures including a further annual reduction in its Total Recordable Injury Rate (TRIR). Separately and in addition, its stated ambition is to ensure female gender representation is above 30%. Finally, the company is also committing to donate over €24 million in the next five years to support community initiatives, building upon the extensive volunteer and community work done locally throughout the world.

Tony Smurfit continued, “We recognise that good social citizenship, shown in our interactions with employees, business partners and host communities, can improve lives. It is essential to creating a sustainable future for all.”

By committing to these sustainability targets, the company’s Better Planet Packaging portfolio of sustainable products will continue to be produced using less resource, less energy and create less waste. In providing and developing innovative paper-based packaging solutions, reducing its impact on the planet, Smurfit Kappa can make a positive contribution to the world and help its customers to deliver on their own short and long term sustainability goals.

Finally, the company recently aligned its sustainability ambitions and targets into its financing by embedding its sustainability targets via Key Performance Indicators into its existing €1.35 billion Revolving Credit Facility (“RCF”), creating a Sustainability Linked RCF.
(Smurfit Kappa Group Headquarters plc (Dublin Office))

Nazdar announces plug-and-play inks for Mimaki® UV-LED LUS170 Series
 22.02.2021

Nazdar announces plug-and-play inks for Mimaki® UV-LED LUS170 Series  (Company news)

Nazdar Ink Technologies has announced the launch of the 708 Series, a UV-LED ink series that is plug-and-play for Mimaki® UCJV300 and UCJV150 printers using LUS170 Series. 708 Series is the first of a three-ink collection which will include additional plug-and-play offerings for Mimaki® LUS120 and LUS150. Announcements regarding these additional inks will follow in the coming months.

These new 708 Series inks offer exceptional compatibility, quality and cost effectiveness, combined with a seamless conversion process. Closely colour-matched and chemically-compatible with the original inks, users can save both time and money by switching one colour at a time. Flushing, purging, or re-profiling is not necessary when transitioning, due to the accurate colour reproduction capabilities of the ink set.

On the introduction of the new inks, Josh Lutz, Market Segment Manager, UV Inkjet Inks at Nazdar Ink Technologies says: "Nazdar UV inkjet ink users worldwide continue to benefit greatly from the high quality and consistency of our inks. Our new plug-and-play compatible inks continue to meet the needs of our partners in the market."
(Nazdar Limited)

New study: corrugated board impresses with sustainable and durable raw material base
 19.02.2021

New study: corrugated board impresses with sustainable and durable raw material base  (Company news)

Paper fibers in corrugated board can be recycled at least 20 times under laboratory conditions without any significant loss of quality. This is confirmed by the bifa Umweltinstitut in its latest study "Sustainable paper cycle - a fact base", which was based on numerous scientific studies commissioned by the Verband Deutscher Papierfabriken e. V..

"The new fact base provides up-to-date evidence on the sustainability of paper-based packaging - and at the same time refutes older studies," comments managing director of the Verband der Wellpappen-Industrie e. V. Dr. Oliver Wolfrum on the publication. He said the previously frequently cited figure of a maximum of seven recycling cycles for paper products came from older analyses, but these also included fewer remanufacturing processes overall. "The study by the bifa Umweltinstitut now confirms a new state of knowledge and shows how durable the basis of corrugated board is," says Wolfrum. The very good recyclability creates the prerequisite for the practice already largely practiced in Germany: corrugated board here already consists of about 80 percent recovered paper-based papers.

With regard to the renewable primary raw material wood, the bifa study states that it does not cause any greenhouse gas emissions in the balance sheet and does not impair the forest ecosystem if used sustainably. An analysis of the origin of wood shows that clearing or conversion of primary and near-natural forest predominantly serves purposes other than paper production, such as the extraction of agricultural land in South America. By certifying forest areas and purchasing FSC- or PEFC-certified wood, pulp or paper, many companies also support sustainable forest management.
(VDW Verband der Wellpappen-Industrie e.V.)

Inkjet printers in medical practices: PTS tests document authenticity
 19.02.2021

Inkjet printers in medical practices: PTS tests document authenticity  (Company news)

The document authenticity of printed forms must be guaranteed. For this reason, the Federal Mantle Agreement stipulates that the printer manufacturer must provide a test certificate from the Papiertechnische Stiftung for the production of original documents for the inkjet printer.

The background for this is the approval of inkjet printers in medical practices, which will apply from January 2021. So far, only laser printers have been approved. Annex 2a of the German Federal Medical Covenant (BundesmantelvertragsÄrzte) will be amended accordingly.

The medical profession has expressed the wish to permit other processes in addition to laser printing technology. As a result of the new regulation, practices will have a choice as of January 2021 as to which printing technology they wish to use.

With blank form printing, practices can print special security paper with the contents of the forms. The advantage: practices do not have to keep any forms on hand, but "only" a sufficient amount of security paper. This means they can print out almost all forms themselves - for example, certificates of incapacity for work, prescriptions for remedies or referrals - as required.

Experience and test certificate
Due to its high level of competence and experience in testing document authenticity within the Service Regulations for Notaries Public (DONot), the specifications of the state ministries of justice, the Federal Budget Code and the service instructions for the registry office system, the PTS team will now also be the contact for manufacturers of inkjet printers whose devices are to be used in medical practices.

The overall system "printer - ink - paper" is tested as a unit. Test printouts for future certificates and documents, the unprinted paper itself, and selected data from the printer for reproducibility of the test result are examined here. The test printouts are subjected to chemical, mechanical, optical and thermal stresses, after which the print characters must also be clearly displayed and legible. Special attention is paid to the durability of the printed image in order to exclude invisible manipulation of the printed documents. If the test is passed successfully, we issue a test certificate to the equipment manufacturers, which they can use as proof or for marketing purposes.
(Papiertechnische Stiftung (PTS))

Mayr-Melnhof Karton to acquire Kwidzyn (Poland) mill from International Paper
 19.02.2021

Mayr-Melnhof Karton to acquire Kwidzyn (Poland) mill from International Paper  (Company news)

Proposed acquisition expands MMK’s activities in virgin fiber-based cartonboard and creates attractive development potential

Mayr-Melnhof Group has agreed to acquire International Paper (Poland) Holding sp. z.o.o. (“Kwidzyn”) from International Paper for a debt and cash free amount of around EUR 670 million and additionally assuming ca. EUR 33 million of usufruct and operating lease liabilities according to IFRS treatment. The acquisition of Kwidzyn forms part of MM's strategy to grow in high quality virgin fiber based cartonboard with innovative, sustainable and cost effective FBB grades. The proposed transaction will be immediately earnings accretive.

At its integrated pulp and paper site in Poland, Kwidzyn operates a pulp mill with an annual capacity of around 400,000 t and four integrated cartonboard / paper machines: The flagship is a FBB board machine with 260,000 t annual capacity. In addition, Kwidzyn has recently entered the MF kraft paper segment through the conversion of one of its paper machines to serve the growing demand for flexible fiber-based packaging products. Production of this machine is increasing up to an annual capacity of 75,000 t. Finally, Kwidzyn operates two of the most attractive copy paper machines (UWF) in Europe with an annual total capacity of 410,000 t. About 2,300 people are working at the mill. In 2020 it generated an Adjusted EBITDA of ca. EUR 92 million on sales of ca. EUR 510 million.

The cash payment will be funded from committed bank credit lines and the issuance of a Schuldschein. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. Closing of the transaction is expected in Q3 2021.

Strategic Rationale
-Expand Mayr-Melnhof Group’s competitive position versus the two market leaders in the growing European FBB market with innovation of sustainable products and a broader service offering
-Enter the attractive flexible fiber-based packaging segment
-Enter the Uncoated Fine Paper (UWF) segment via an established low cost producer
-Leverage the favourable cost position for further growth in FBB or other packaging grades
-Harvest synergy potential

Mayr-Melnhof Group CEO, Peter Oswald (photo), comments: “The acquisition of Kwidzyn perfectly complements our existing cartonboard business. It enables MMK to drive innovation for more sustainable packaging solutions in the growing virgin fiber-based cartonboard market and creates attractive new perspectives from the integration of pulp and paper at a site in Europe with cost advantages. We have great confidence in the highly qualified team of Kwidzyn to shape a promising common future together.”
(Mayr-Melnhof Karton Gesellschaft m.b.H.)

Paragon expands direct mail capabilities with Ricoh Pro™ VC70000 technology
 19.02.2021

Paragon expands direct mail capabilities with Ricoh Pro™ VC70000 technology  (Company news)

Paragon Customer Communications, the UK’s largest producer of direct marketing print collateral, has expanded its direct mail capabilities on coated media following investment in a Ricoh Pro™ VC70000 high speed colour inkjet press.

Photo: Dave Phillips, Site Director at Paragon Customer Communications, with the Ricoh Pro VC70000

The new press joins two existing Pro™ VC60000 systems at the east London site and expands Paragon’s capacity to produce offset quality direct mail, financial reports such as pension plans as well as letters and shelf labels. Paragon has also implemented RICOH Process Director™ software to support smoother production workflow management across multiple sites.

The investment continues Paragon’s commitment to innovative technology and follows installation of Europe’s first Ricoh Pro™ V20100 mono continuous feed inkjet solution 18 months ago chosen to expand book on demand services. The Pro VC70000 delivers an array of printing options, including personalised content for perfect bound books and folded sections. Covers are produced on a recently added Ricoh Pro™ C9210 colour sheetfed press.

Clive Stringer, Director of Continuous Feed Print and High-End Software, Commercial and Industrial Printing Group, Ricoh Europe, says: “We are proud to be working with Paragon on the next step of its growth strategy. We have a longstanding relationship, with Paragon being an early adopter of Ricoh inkjet technology, starting over a decade ago. The Pro VC70000 will accelerate the transfer of offset print to digital and allow it to stand out from the crowd, while potentially saving up to 40% in paper costs.”

Dave Phillips, Site Director at Paragon Customer Communications, comments: “Our latest Ricoh investment will allow us to diversify our product offering. We value the input of Ricoh to our business both in terms of technology and as a partner in developing new business.”
(Ricoh Europe PLC)

Succession plan at MABEG Systems GmbH
 19.02.2021

Succession plan at MABEG Systems GmbH  (Company news)

The traditional Swiss mechanical engineering company Gietz, Gossau, Switzerland, takes over the majority shares of MABEG Systems GmbH, Moerfelden-Walldorf, Germany, as part of a succession plan.

Photo from left to right: Daniel Burkhardt, Michael Grübel, Jens Gebel, Hansjörg Gietz, Michael Keie

MABEG, founded in 1946, has been managed by Jens Gebel, CEO, and Michael Grübel, CFO, as managing partners since 2009. In 2011, Dr. Daniel Burkhardt, CMO, also joins the management team as managing director and partner. After almost 10 years together, Jens Gebel and Michael Grübel are handing over their shares to Gietz Deutschland GmbH, which thus becomes the majority shareholder. Daniel Burkhardt keeps his shares.

In this context, Jens Gebel is relinquishing his management at his own request and will continue to manage his previous areas of work at MABEG as Director Operations. Michael Grübel will remain managing director and CFO until his departure in mid-2021, thus ensuring a smooth transition at his resort. Dr. Daniel Burkhardt will continue to run MABEG as managing director. This ensures continuity and thus the important connections to partners, customers and suppliers.

“Especially nowadays it is important for business partners, regardless whether they are customers, suppliers or banks, that the baton is handed over early and that continuity is maintained. We achieved this with our partner of choice Gietz. By this handing over the two companies will make it even better to be able to offer our customers around the world additional new joint product innovations and professional service. I'm really looking forward to the collaboration / future.” Says Jens Gebel, who is resigning his position as CEO and Managing Director but will remain with the company for the long term as Director Operations.

“As an entrepreneur in medium-sized mechanical engineering, you are always involved in day-to-day business, but you also have to look ahead strategically. The need for an external succession plan was recognized at an early stage and I am pleased that this can be implemented as planned.” comments Michael Grübel, Managing Director and CFO.

Daniel Burkhardt, who keeps his shares and continues to run MABEG, points out: “In the last few years, we have been able to steadily expand MABEG's product portfolio. Our sheet transport lines came to the sheet feeders and inline cross cutters. Today the sheet transportation lines are used for coding, serialization and for track & trace solutions in the packaging sector and as a platform for digital printing machines. As a special machine builder, we are now active in several markets as OEM supplier and as end customer provider. With Gietz we have a majority shareholder whom we have valued very much as a customer and partner for many years and who also knows our work as a machine builder focusing on robustness and reliability. We look forward to this cooperation."

“As a medium-sized Swiss mechanical engineering company, it is of course a big step and responsibility to make an acquisition in Germany. For both companies, this is a clear sign of further development and growth. Both companies are active in the high-quality packaging segment, so we can jointly offer our customers comprehensive concepts” explains Hansjörg Gietz. "I am extremely pleased that we succeeded in taking over the majority of MABEG as part of this succession plan and that Mr. Burkhardt as CEO and Mr. Gebel as Director Operations will continue to work for MABEG and thank Mr. Grübel for that remaining months as CFO and the orderly handover. "
(MABEG Systems GmbH)

New perspectives for the Print Media Academy in Heidelberg
 19.02.2021

New perspectives for the Print Media Academy in Heidelberg  (Company news)

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) continues to systematically implement its strategic agenda: As part of the planned site and structural optimization measures, the company is selling the Print Media Academy (PMA) in Heidelberg to a Luxembourg-based investment company. A corresponding purchase agreement has been signed. The sale paves the way for a new, forward-looking use of the building at a central location in the city. Heidelberg is achieving a purchase price in the low double-digit million-euro range. As an agile, modern company, Heidelberg is committed to short distances and efficient use of space. This means that employees are as close together as possible at the central site in Wiesloch/Walldorf. With this in mind, Heidelberg had already moved the few employees still working at PMA to Wiesloch/Walldorf in 2020.

"For us, the sale of PMA is the next logical step on our agenda. We are aware that the sale has a signal effect: However, we will remain closely connected to the city as well as the region in the future. At the same time, we are convinced that the change of ownership will open up new, diverse perspectives for the city and the local people," says Rainer Hundsdörfer, CEO of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG. "With the proceeds from the sale, we can once again strengthen our liquidity in the persistently challenging Covid 19 environment and further increase our financial stability in the long term through future cost savings."

Heidelberg will retain its headquarters and representative office in rented premises in the PMA and will therefore continue to make company-relevant decisions in the city, including at committee meetings held there.
(Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG)

Baldwin presents free webinar on automated cleaning of high-graphics presses
 18.02.2021

Baldwin presents free webinar on automated cleaning of high-graphics presses  (Company news)

Corrugated printers can attend a live session hosted in German or view a recorded English session

Picture: Baldwin's unique FlexoCleanerBrush achieves unparalleled automatic cleaning results on high-graphics corrugated printing presses

Baldwin Technology Company Inc. is inviting corrugated printers to a free webinar hosted in German on February 25 at 11 a.m. Central European Time. The live educational session—which will be recorded for later viewing—will present corrugated cleaning trends, challenges, needs and solutions. An English version of the webinar is available on-demand as well.

“In our webinar, corrugated printers will see comparisons of manual and automatic cleaning, as well as cloth versus brush technology,” said Michael Stürmer, Vice President of Product Line Cleaning at Baldwin and webinar subject matter expert. “The corrugated business is booming, and because there are many companies, printers need to differentiate themselves by speeding up production and enhancing production quality.”

Webinar attendees also will learn more about Baldwin’s cleaning technologies and how they can improve sustainability, safety, production speeds, waste reduction and more. Baldwin’s FlexoCleanPick and FlexoCleanerBrush automate common cleaning tasks, like hickey-picking and end-of-run cleaning. In fact, with the FlexoCleanerBrush, printers can pick hickeys in seconds and run complete full-plate cleaning programs in minutes.
(Baldwin Technology Company Inc.)

Graphic Packaging International Launches Paperboard Innovation ProducePack™ for ...
 18.02.2021

Graphic Packaging International Launches Paperboard Innovation ProducePack™ for ...  (Company news)

...Fresh Produce

Paper-based packaging leader, Graphic Packaging International (‘Graphic Packaging’) is proud to announce the launch of ProducePack™, a sustainable paperboard packaging range of solutions for fresh produce.

Aligned with Graphic Packaging’s Vision 2025 to be better stewards for the environment, the innovative carton offers brands and retailers an eco-friendly solution for a variety of applications with an artisan look that protects, preserves and presents fresh produce, from field to store. ProducePack, available in multiple different configurations and structures, can offer comfortable carrying handles, beautiful branding and product differentiation in the otherwise monotonous produce aisle. Additionally, ProducePack offers another level of hygiene protection as the produce is prepacked and can reduce excessive handling in store.

Jackie D’Ambrosio, senior manager, new product development – omnichannel at Graphic Packaging, commented: “At Graphic Packaging, product innovation never stops. We’re committed to providing our customers with high-performing solutions that are relevant to the ever-evolving market and consumer needs. We’re delighted that our innovative ProducePack range is proving to be a viable commercial solution for our customers that can make a positive contribution to the environment.”

Leading Michigan apple distributor, BelleHarvest, recently introduced ProducePack to its three most popular apple varieties (Fuji, Honeycrisp and Gala). The 3-pound paperboard cartons developed for BelleHarvest, present a 100 percent recyclable, sustainable solution with consumer-friendly features such as a quick ‘grab & go’ carry handles and striking graphics that create impactful branding in the produce aisle.

Angela Sommers, marketing director at BelleHarvest, said: “69 percent of consumers prefer paper-based product packaging to plastic, and consumers see paper-based solutions as a trusted sustainable option. Our partnership with Graphic Packaging represents a natural shift towards respecting the environment, while ensuring our nutritious, flavorful apples are readily available and in the best possible condition.”

The fully scalable ProducePack range is designed to support brands and retailers around the world on their journey to plastic reduction and replacement. The patented intelligent design enables easy stacking through reinforced corners with visually stunning shelf appeal that grabs the eye of the consumer. The innovative carton range can be hand- or machine-packed for small scale or mass production and is available now in the United States and Europe.
(Graphic Packaging Holding Company)

Paper Excellence Given Approval to Complete Acquisition of Leading Brazilian Pulp Producer,...
 18.02.2021

Paper Excellence Given Approval to Complete Acquisition of Leading Brazilian Pulp Producer,...   (Company news)

...Eldorado Brasil Celulose

-Arbitration Panel Rules in Favor of Paper Excellence
-Paper Excellence to become the 100% owner of Eldorado Brasil Celulose, one of the largest pulp producers in the world

Paper Excellence (“the Company”), one of the largest global producers of pulp and paper, today announced that the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) arbitration court has ruled in favor of Paper Excellence thereby enabling Paper Excellence to proceed with the full acquisition of the Brazilian-based pulp producer Eldorado Brasil Celulose (“Eldorado”). The acquisition will be completed under the terms of the agreement between Paper Excellence and J&F Investimentos that was entered into in 2017. Paper Excellence presently owns 49.41% of Eldorado. With the completion of this acquisition, Paper Excellence will strategically enhance its international presence in the pulp and paper markets in the Americas and its ability to serve customers across the globe.

Eldorado, with headquarters in Três Lagoas, in Mato Grosso do Sul, is one of the world’s largest pulp producers.

“We welcome Eldorado’s employees and all of its stakeholders to Paper Excellence. We are a strong and experienced organization fully dedicated to maximizing our businesses’ potential in the pulp and paper markets. Our immediate focus with Eldorado will be to integrate it seamlessly into the Paper Excellence Group, including evaluating how best to invest in expanding its capacity in a timely manner”, says Claudio Cotrim, Managing Director of Paper Excellence in Brazil.

Paper Excellence Group operates in the manufacture of high yield pulp and paper. Since its founding in 2007, the Group has been growing rapidly through strategic acquisitions globally. With the incorporation of Eldorado Celulose, Paper Excellence will have approximately 7,000 employees worldwide and an annual production capacity of 5.3 million tons of pulp and paper.
(Paper Excellence Canada)

Papeterie de Bègles in France will be closed
 18.02.2021

Papeterie de Bègles in France will be closed  (Company news)

Trade union Filpac CGT says that the time for the search of a buyer was too short.

Following a futile search for a buyer, Belgian producer and distributor of construction materials Etex Group has decided to close its subsidiary Papeterie de Bègles in southwestern France. The mill produces paper used for plasterboard. A company spokeswoman informed that the deadline to find a buyer expired on 15 January and no bid had been submitted that fulfilled the necessary criteria.

Papeterie de Bègles has capacity to produce 75,000 tpy of paper for plasterboard and employs about 90 persons. The spokeswoman reported that the company is now discussing the terms of a social plan with employee representatives. At the moment the mill is still active even though production is currently idle, she added. Mill employees are said to have exercised their right to resign on 8 January. According to local media reports, the site will be definitely closed at the end of March 2021.
(EUWID Pulp and Paper)

Mondi launches AegisPaper, a complete range of recyclable barrier papers for sustainable...
 18.02.2021

Mondi launches AegisPaper, a complete range of recyclable barrier papers for sustainable...  (Company news)

... packaging solutions

- Offering a fully integrated value chain solution, Mondi is launching a range of recyclable barrier papers that can be used as a replacement for plastic films and laminates
- The range provides a one-stop shop solution from paper production to barrier application and can run on existing form-fill-and-seal (FFS) lines
- This product innovation provides a sustainable packaging alternative in particular for FMCG applications

Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper, has successfully developed a new recyclable functional barrier paper range. Designed with protection in mind, this range of certified recyclable barrier paper solutions is fully integrated across Mondi’s value chain—from paper production to the barrier application—and can run on existing filling lines for form-fill-and-seal (FFS) applications.

Mondi’s AegisPaper range reduces the amount of plastic used by replacing it with a renewable resource that has specific mechanical properties, such as puncture resistance, flexibility, printability and barrier protection. The coatings technologies applied to these papers create custom barriers against grease and water vapour and ensure sealability. AegisPapers are suitable for numerous packaging applications within the dry food, frozen food, pet food, confectionery, secondary packaging, toy, e-commerce, flower packaging, and DIY industries.

The functional barrier paper can replace plastic packaging that has traditionally been used for FMCG and consumer products. In a first step, Mondi’s collaboration with a European dry pasta producer will reduce the plastic used by 90% and save them 7,5 tonnes of plastic film per year for one of their product ranges. This pasta packaging and other commercialised solutions will be entering the market in the first half of 2021.

"Sustainability is at the centre of our strategy and I am pleased that this continues to be a focus for our customers. Thanks to combining Mondi’s know-how of paper making, coating, printing, converting, pouch and bag making alongside our expertise in selected end-uses for consumers, we make ‘paper where possible, plastic when useful,’ a reality. This launch is a breakthrough for the next generation of sustainable packaging", says Peter Orisich, CEO, Flexible Packaging and Engineered Materials, Mondi.

Within AegisPaper, there are three grades available for different applications and requirements:
- AegisPaper select offers a wide range of custom barrier properties
- AegisPaper 95/5 food is certified as fully recyclable and has the best mechanical properties for food applications
- AegisPaper reduce provides the thinnest functional barrier paper to reduce amount of packaging material needed

The paper and coatings are all produced and applied in Europe.
(Mondi Europe & International Division)

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