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Palm Packaging is growing - REKA Wellpappenwerke GmbH strengthens Palm Group

Palm Packaging is growing - REKA Wellpappenwerke GmbH strengthens Palm Group  (Company news)

Ever since its foundation in 1953, REKA Wellpappenwerke GmbH, a successful company with long tradition, has belonged to the Schröder family. Within the context of considerations revolving around the long-term development within a large group, the family has decided to transfer the company to Palm, a family business with whom it shares an amicable relationship.

The decentralised structures of the family-owned Palm Group ensure a continuously successful development for the modern corrugated plant in Kitzingen, which is close to Würzburg. Apart from this, in the future, the company will also be strengthened by a reliable supply of raw materials from within the Group. Under the leadership of Mrs Gudrun Schröder, REKA remains available as a reliable and competent partner to all customers.
(Papierfabrik Palm)

Domtar: Plymouth Mill Builds Sustainable Future By Conserving Resources

Domtar: Plymouth Mill Builds Sustainable Future By Conserving Resources  (Company news)

Through a combination of capital investments and continuous improvement projects, our Plymouth Mill is building a sustainable future by increasing energy and resource efficiency. In fact, the mill recently completed two more important initiatives to reduce fuel and water consumption, in turn reducing its bottom-line costs and contributing to our corporate sustainability goals.

Our efforts to optimize and improve the operational efficiency of our pulp business are part of a strategic plan to grow into a world-class supplier with strong, long-term customer partnerships and a sustainable future.

Greater Energy Efficiency
With an eye toward a more sustainable future, the mill improved its hog fuel boiler so it can produce more steam while burning less biomass (typically bark), known in the industry as hog fuel. This is particularly important because the mill has to purchase biomass from a third party to supplement its own biomass so it has enough hog fuel to produce the steam needed to power mill processes.

“We essentially modified the hog fuel boiler’s air system for better combustion,” says Bracky Bickerstaff, project manager for Plymouth Mill’s optimization program. “Now it’s burning biomass more efficiently, which allows us to produce more steam from the same amount of fuel.”

The hog fuel boiler upgrades have already made a big difference. The boiler is producing 15 percent more steam per ton of biomass, which equates to significant cost savings for the mill because now it can purchase less biomass from outside vendors. Bickerstaff says the efficiency improvement comes from better heat transfer. The upgraded boiler captures more heat to boil water to produce steam and loses less heat to venting.

Lower Water Requirements
Another step on the path toward a more sustainable future is the installation of a cooling tower and two large heat exchangers that reclaim waste heat and use it to make steam from existing process water. Capturing all that heat and water from various mill processes required the mill to install more than one mile of large-diameter pipe.

Ken Hardison, Plymouth Mill’s optimization program process engineer, says that before the new equipment was installed, the mill used water from the nearby river to cool mill processes. This water was then returned to the river in the same condition but slightly warmer than when it came into the mill.

“With the addition of the cooling tower and heat exchangers, we now have a closed loop,” Hardison says. “This eliminates the use of about 11 million gallons of river water per day. The new heat exchangers allow us to reclaim heat from the mill and transfer it to the process water. The reclaimed heat reduces the mill’s steam load, which means we burn less biomass in the boiler. Any residual heat is simply exhausted out the cooling tower.”

A More Sustainable Future
These latest projects are delivering the benefits the team expected to keep Plymouth Mill on its path to a more sustainable future.

“These projects would not be possible without hard work and collaboration with our employees and union partners to ensure the Plymouth Mill has a strong and sustainable future,” says Plymouth Mill Manager Everick Spence. “We have a strategic plan and vision for becoming a highly efficient mill. These projects are playing an important role in achieving that goal while inspiring confidence in our employees and the local community that we are committed to making the mill a good place to work for many years to come.”
(Domtar Paper Operation Center)

Metsä Board to present its premium white kraftliners at FEFCO's Technical Seminar

Metsä Board to present its premium white kraftliners at FEFCO's Technical Seminar  (Company news)

Metsä Board, the leading European producer of premium fresh fibre paperboards and part of Metsä Group, will be presenting its high-quality white kraftliners at FEFCO Technical Seminar 2019. Metsä Board’s packaging design experts will also be present to discuss the latest corrugated packaging design solutions with the visitors.

The newly enhanced MetsäBoard Classic WKL will be showcased in the event. Its improved brightness highlights the contrast between printed and unprinted areas. Additionally, the enhanced grade also allows fast ink drying times, even without dryers, making it suitable for water-based digital printing. Quick ink drying also means energy savings and therefore reduced carbon emissions in printing.

As part of the commitment to develop customer focused services Metsä Board has recently introduced a new WKL Common Stock service in Lübeck. It offers just-in-time deliveries to corrugated board manufacturers in continental Europe. This service will improve the availability of white kraftliners and help corrugated converters to be more responsive and competitive.

“Consumers expect unified brand experiences across all touchpoints – also in e-commerce. Our white kraftliners offer sustainable and strong solutions for branded e-commerce packaging,” says Veijo Korkalainen, VP Sales WKL from Metsä Board. “Also with clever packaging design it is possible to work towards more sustainable solutions. An excellent example of an innovative corrugated packaging design is Stretching Inner Part that can replace bubble wrap in e-commerce boxes.”

Metsä Board’s Panu Räsänen, Product Manager WKL, will give a presentation on 9 October at 14.50 on the importance of ‘Paper parameters and their impact on the corrugated processes’.

Metsä Board is the main sponsor of FEFCO’s Technical Seminar 2019.
9–11 October at Palexpo Geneva – Hall 1, Stand 86–87
(Metsä Board Corporation)

R&D scientists at Miraclon recognized for outstanding innovation for the ...

R&D scientists at Miraclon recognized for outstanding innovation for the ...  (Company news)

... KODAK FLEXCEL NX Ultra Solution

Recipients of the 2019 INTERTECH TECHNOLOGY AWARD and four new US patents

Picture: 4th from the left, Zaki Ali, Chief Technical Officer, Miraclon and his team

Miraclon – the new home of KODAK FLEXCEL Solutions – has received a coveted 2019 InterTech™ Technology Award for the innovative KODAK FLEXCEL NX Ultra Solution. This prestigious international awards program, sponsored by Printing Industries of America (PIA), recognizes technologies that are predicted to have a major impact on the graphic communications and related industries.

“The judges recognized the breakthrough and transformative nature of Miraclon’s technology, as it enables the shift to solvent-free flexo plate processing,” said Jim Workman, Vice President of PIA’s Center for Technology and Research.

A remarkable fourth InterTech™ Technology Award within an 11-year period for KODAK FLEXCEL NX technology, the recognition is confirmation of Miraclon’s commitment to ongoing value-driven innovation for FLEXCEL NX customers.

“The FLEXCEL NX Ultra Solution provides packaging printers with another method for producing high-performing FLEXCEL NX Plates” explained Dr. Zaki Ali, Chief Technology Officer, Miraclon. “An aqueous plate making system with newly-patented KODAK Ultra Clean Technology, the FLEXCEL NX Ultra Solution allows the preparation of a press-ready plate in under one hour while removing the hurdles and challenges that have plagued aqueous platemaking solutions for the last 25 years.”

Dr. Ali and his R&D staff, based in Oakdale, MN, have been permanent fixtures of the team behind KODAK FLEXCEL Solutions innovation from the early development of the FLEXCEL NX System. With a long string of patents to their name that protect the unique proprietary technology that has helped to transform the capabilities of flexo printing, Dr. Ali himself is affectionately known as the ‘grandfather of NX’. The prolific team was recently awarded their 4th US patent associated with the FLEXCEL NX Ultra Solution; which is the first US patent directly assigned to Miraclon since the formation of the company just four months ago.

The InterTech™ Technology Awards judges were unanimous in their opinion that Miraclon’s technology will be the catalyst for more prepress providers and printers to convert to aqueous flexo platemaking. “At Miraclon, we are committed to delivering technology solutions that drive efficiency, consistency and quality in flexo printing,” concluded Dr. Ali. “The FLEXCEL NX Ultra Solution checks all those boxes, and more.”
(Miraclon Corporation)

Norske Skog Saugbrugs granted CO2-compensation

Norske Skog Saugbrugs granted CO2-compensation  (Company news)

The Ministry of Climate and Environment amends The Norwegian Environment Agency's decision of 19 December 2013 on the basis for CO2 compensation for Norske Skog Saugbrugs AS. The changes are that Saugbrugs will not receive a reduction in CO2- compensation for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Sven Ombudstvedt, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Norske Skog, commented:

- This is a very gratifying message, and I would like to pay tribute to the Government, which has used the legal scope here to provide one of the world's most climate-friendly paper mills with CO2 compensation in line with other qualified industries”.

Norske Skog’s long-term strategy remains to improve the core business, to convert certain of the Group’s paper machines and to diversify the business within the bioenergy, fibre and biochemical markets.

Kjell Arve Kure, Managing Director of Norske Skog Saugbrugs AS says:

- The significant competitive disadvantage Saugbrugs has had since 2012, compared to our largest competitors, is now eliminated. The future CO2-compensation depends on the CO2 quota price, but for the years 2018 and 2019 the compensation for us amounts to NOK 32 million and NOK 86 million respectively. The government's decision to give us CO2-compensation is thus a significant contribution to maintaining the existing business and investing in new forward-looking business in synergy with the paper production.”

Norske Skog Saugbrugs is currently exploring the opportunity to create new, promising bio-based products. Already in 2016, biogas production commenced based on waste streams from paper production, which is delivered to local public transportation. Research and development work is now taking place concerning wood based construction board, biocomposites and nanocellulose (MFC) in collaboration with other industrial companies and with support from, among others, Enova, Innovation Norway and the Research Council of Norway.

In a press conference today the Minister of Climate and Environment Ola Elvestuen, Minister of Industry Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, CEO Sven Ombudstvedt and MD of Saugbrugs Kjell Arve Kure was present. Along with the Mayor of Halden Thor Edquist they elaborated on the very positive decision made.
(Norske Skog Saugbrugs)

MIAC 2019 Exhibition - an event not to be missed

MIAC 2019 Exhibition - an event not to be missed  (Company news)

Full overview of the technology available to the paper industry sector.

At MIAC Exhibition in Lucca (Italy) the leading companies in the sector present the latest developments in machines, systems and avant-garde solutions to improve the management of the various stages in the paper production cycle. We are waiting for you in Italy!

MIAC 2019 - 9.10.11 October - Lucca/Italy
During the three days of the Exhibition several international Conferences dedicated to the paper and tissue sector will take place. Participation in the Conferences is free of charge and simultaneous translation is available.

Date: 9.10.11 October 2019 - Lucca/Italy
Opening time: 9 and 10 October - 9.00/18.00 | 11 October - 9.00/15.30
Address: Lucca Exhibition Centre - Via della Chiesa XXXII, 237 – 55100 Lucca/Italy
(Edipap Srl)

UPM Raflatac responds to the growing need for renewable packaging materials by unveiling ...

UPM Raflatac responds to the growing need for renewable packaging materials by unveiling ...  (Company news)

...industry’s first wood-based film material

UPM Raflatac is pleased to announce it is the first label material producer to bring a new wood-based polypropylene film material into the market. The UPM Raflatac Forest Film™ label material has been developed in collaboration with UPM Biofuels using UPM BioVerno naphtha, a 100 percent wood-based solution originating from sustainably managed forests.

This innovative film will answer brand owners’ needs to replace traditional fossil-based virgin materials with renewable ones. It offers companies an efficient and impactful way to reach beyond their sustainability goals without compromising on product performance.

“At UPM Raflatac, we support the circular economy by innovating circular labeling solutions, but that is not enough. We are aiming higher by making sure that the raw materials we use are as sustainable as possible. By replacing fossil-based raw materials with renewable ones we can ensure a truly sustainable packaging solution,” says Antti Jääskeläinen, Executive Vice President, UPM Raflatac. “Our Forest Film is a natural step on our journey towards labeling a smarter future beyond fossils.”

UPM Raflatac is leading in sustainable labeling by partnering with different players in the forest and packaging value chain. As one of the signatories of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment the company is committed to developing alternative, circular and renewable labeling solutions.

UPM is building a more sustainable future beyond fossils by replacing fossil-based, non-renewable materials with renewable alternatives from wood-based biomass. The company uses raw materials efficiently to create new products and services based on wood fibre, biomolecules, residues and side streams.

"UPM Biofuels converts pulp production residue into renewable naphtha, a drop-in raw material for the chemical industry. Replacing fossil raw materials, it brings substantial climate and environmental benefits. This wood-based film is a great example of UPM’s brand promise in action. We help our partners to go beyond fossils with our sustainable innovation," says Panu Routasalo, Vice President, UPM Biofuels.
(UPM Raflatac Oy)

Valmet took total responsibility in Karlsborg and got the order

Valmet took total responsibility in Karlsborg and got the order  (Company news)

When BillerudKorsnäs Karlsborg in northern Sweden replaced the old quality control system in the drying machine with a new modern one, a certain rebuild after the dryer section was necessary in order to get enough space for the grammage and dry content scanner. Due to the fact that Valmet could take the overall responsibility for both the rebuild and the control system, Valmet got the order and now the grammage and dry content control is done by a Valmet IQ System.

Photo: The Valmet IQ Scanner after the drying section measures grammage and dry content.

BillerudKorsnäs Karlsborg produces 330,000 tonnes of bleached softwood pulp, out of which 130,000 tonnes are pumped to the integrated paper mill producing bleached sack paper, kraft paper and formable paper (FibreForm). The remaining pulp production is dried on drying machine TM3 and sold as market pulp. The mill has a long history with Valmet and in 1980 Karlsborg, as the second mill in the world, installed a Valmet Damatic Classic control system for control of the fibre line and later also production of electricity and steam recovery.

“The previous control system in TM3 had passed its technical life span and we could no longer get spare parts so investing in a new system was necessary,” says Bjarn-Olof Johansson, Project Engineer at BillerudKorsnäs Karlsborg. “For the new system we had a long-term perspective regarding monitoring and control of dry content and grammage profiles in the machine direction and later maybe also of the corresponding cross direction profiles and maybe even more properties. Therefore it was important to get the best system and not be trapped in the future.”

“Initially we looked at four suppliers of systems for dry content and grammage control in the drying machine,” says Mattias Arvidsson, Project Leader at BillerudKorsnäs Karlsborg. “The machine is quite cramped which meant that a certain rebuild after the dryer section was needed in order to make space for the dry content and grammage scanner. Different suppliers had different solutions for how this could be done and by whom but Valmet was the only one who could take total responsibility for the whole package of rebuilding and control system. That is why Valmet was chosen as supplier, we did not have to take care of the rebuild and control it ourselves as it was in their hands.”

“To us it is of course a big strength in a project like this that we can involve our “heavy metal group”, i.e. Valmet Technologies, says Juha Mykkänen, Sales Manager Pulp and paper Industry, Automation Business Line, Nordics area, Valmet Automation Inc. “Therefore we do not have to involve external mechanical partners, we can give a guarantee covering the whole package. For the customer this means safety at the same time as we at Automation know that the total solution will be good.”

“As two Valmet parts were involved we demanded and got one contact person from Valmet in this project,” Bjarn-Olof Johansson continues. “It was not so easy to find the right place for the scanner after the dryer but with help from Valmet’s specialists we found a place which turned out to a be very good one. The solution was to move the carrying roller one meter forward to get the necessary space for the scanner and at the same time obtain a good solution for the threading so that the pulp web can fall down without any problem in the pulper.”

“The project consisted of two parts, the rebuild after the dryer including necessary mounts, which was done during the maintenance stop in August 2017, and the installation of the Valmet IQ System which was done in October 2017,” Mattias Arvidsson says. “It was a giant task for us to map all signals needed for a trouble-free system integration with the existing Valmet DNA system as well as with the DCS system from another supplier in advance. The DCS system controls among other parameters pulp and steam flows as well as machine speed. The integration between these systems had to be done seamlessly and hence the preparatory work was very important. In addition, we must not forget the great importance of Valmet’s education of our operators before and after the installation of the new system.”

An important part of the project was that Karlsborg’s project group went to Tampere for a FAT, Factory Acceptance Test, of the Valmet IQ System for the drying machine. The purpose was to check that everything was built, that all process displays and controls were ready as well as a follow-up on the project status. The project group was very satisfied with the FAT results, both the technical side and the way Valmet had organised the tests. The Valmet IQ system for Karlsborg’s drying machine consists of a Valmet IQ One-Sided Scanner before the dryer, positioned above the pulp web measuring dry content and temperature, one Valmet IQ Scanner measuring grammage and dry content after the dryer and of course all the software needed.

“The start-up went better than expected and we had a good support by Valmet’s start-up staff,” Mattias Arvidsson emphasizes. “There were of course some minor things during the start-up period but they were quickly sorted out. We can now control grammage and dry content profiles as well as coordinated speed in the machine direction as the signals from the system influence the pulp flow, pressure in the headbox, machine speed and steam flow to the dryer.”

“Our fears that the relocation of the carrying roller might cause problems with the pulper during threading were proven totally wrong as it has worked just fine”, Mikael Strand, Head of Section TM3 adds. “All in all, the project has been very smooth and due to the Valmet IQ System we can see that the drying machine is now run in the same way irrespectively of different shift teams. This confirms that the operators have confidence in the new system. The old system had passed its technical lifespan and needed a lot of maintenance and the traversing measuring unit even caused web breaks now and then.”

“As we now have stable grammage measuring and dry content control we have been able to remove one maintenance demanding unit in the drying machine, namely the old balance for bale sets. It used to control the set change in the drying machine cutter,” Bjarn-Olof Johansson points out. “Instead of weighing the set of pulp bales, the weight of each set is now calculated based on the measurement results from the Valmet IQ System and the set change in the cutter is controlled. However, we still weigh each pack of pulp bales on a special pack balance and this weight is the invoiced weight.”

“To sum up the whole project we are very satisfied with how it has been run as well as with the cooperation with Valmet. The result has been very good and we look forward to a continuation during which the grammage profile in the cross direction will be controlled as well as possibly some other quality parameter,” Mattias Arvidsson ends.
(Valmet Corporation)

Marcus A. Wassenberg appointed new Chief Financial Officer at Heidelberg with effect from ...

Marcus A. Wassenberg appointed new Chief Financial Officer at Heidelberg with effect from ...  (Company news)

...September 1, 2019

The Supervisory Board of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) has appointed Marcus A. Wassenberg (52, photo) as ordinary member of the Management Board and Chief Financial Officer of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG with effect from September 1, 2019. Wassenberg succeeds Dirk Kaliebe, who, as previously announced, will leave the company at his own request at the end of September and will be available for an orderly transition.

"We are very pleased to have gained Marcus Wassenberg as a leader with many years of leadership competence in the financial sector. With his experience in the mechanical and plant engineering industry, he will align Heidelberg's future financial framework with the requirements of digital transformation and further stabilize the balance sheet. In addition, he has successfully implemented change projects to increase efficiency, making him a well-suited new CFO for Heidelberg," said Dr. Siegfried Jaschinski, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Heidelberg.

Wassenberg was most recently Chief Financial Officer at Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG in Friedrichshafen. Before that, he was CFO at plant manufacturer Senvion SE. He was born in 1966 in Grevenbroich in North Rhine-Westphalia and graduated in economics from the Ruhr University in Bochum in 1993. He began his professional career in the field of auditing; this was followed by positions as CFO of a market-leading PR agency and a German subsidiary of an American company. Thereafter, he took over the management of the medium-sized aviation group CIRRUS Group Holding.
(Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG)

World Leader in Laminate Tubes for Cosmetics and Oral Care Packaging ...

World Leader in Laminate Tubes for Cosmetics and Oral Care Packaging ...  (Company news)

... Acquires New FA-Line Presses from Nilpeter

Picture: Final tests are conducted on one of Albéa’s new Nilpeter FA-Line press, before packing and shipping to Albéa Levice in Slovakia

Albéa, the world's largest manufacturer of laminate tubes for cosmetics and oral care packaging, has further invested in Nilpeter technology with the acquisition of new FA-presses for company sites in India, Brazil, and Poland. Most have already been installed, with installation on going in Brazil.

The collaboration between the two market leading companies dates back to 2008 when Albéa, through their former UK division, Betts Group, acquired two original FA-4 flexo presses for locations in India and Indonesia.

A Comprehensive Vetting Process
Interested in adding new technology, the Albéa head office in France reached out to Nilpeter once again, and after a comprehensive vetting process with testing, trials, and visits with competing suppliers, chose Nilpeter’s All New FA to be installed in India, Poland, and Brazil. In addition to the advanced technology of the new FA, the high ease of use, and impressive press performance with tough laminate tube materials, Albéa emphasized Nilpeter’s global support setup, worldwide reach, and 24/7 hotline for troubleshooting and live technical assistance. The new FA-presses will be put to good use in the fields of laminate tubes for oral care packaging, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and other various personal care applications.

Learning and Growing Together
“In short, we are delighted to continue the close working relationship we have developed with Albéa over the years. It is truly mutually beneficial – working together, learning from each other – gaining and improving in laminate tubes, and growing together through the process. And the potential for more is evident. We cherish the collaboration and look forward to many years of mutual success,” says John Hammond, Sales, Nilpeter UK Ltd.

Built Around the Modern Print Operator
The new FA is the most versatile flexo press on the market – designed to accommodate the printer’s ever-growing needs, and built around the modern print operator, with an intuitive user interface and fully mobile print controls. A benchmark of flexibility and modularity, the FA allows printers to enhance the performance of their press with Value-Adding Units, Application and Automation Packages, according to application needs and budget. Future customisations are often done with a simple press of a button. All main components are produced in-house, meaning higher production quality and control. Nilpeter’s LEAN production flow and uniform facilities in Denmark and the US assure delivery worldwide. Albéa’s new FA-presses are prepared for the addition of digital printing stations, which will allow them to print variable data in the future. Furthermore, Nilpeter has developed a zero waste/defects solution to ensure Albéa meets market quality requirements.
(Nilpeter A/S)

Xeikon to showcase four live production solutions at Labelexpo Europe 2019

Xeikon to showcase four live production solutions at Labelexpo Europe 2019  (Company news)

Ready to share digital expertise with the launch of ‘TRANSFORM’

Xeikon is set to showcase four live production solutions at Labelexpo Europe 2019 (September 24 to 27) - Hall 5 Stand C28. The company will also introduce its latest advisory tool ‘TRANSFORM’ sharing the company’s deeper understanding, experience, and valued digital printing expertise with the international label community, Xeikon can offer printers and converters insights into different ways of transforming a label printing business into a business for the future.

Photo: Xeikon PX3000 - the ideal solution for health & beauty markets and high-performance durable label printing

Starting now and in preparation for the show, visitors to the website can consult Xeikon and get advice on the ideal digital set-up for their business by simply answering a few questions. As a pioneer in full color digital label printing, Xeikon has gathered a wealth of knowledge on the key success factors in implementing digital production.

Over the four days of Labelexpo, Xeikon will exhibit on the Flint Group stand 5C28 and feature a wide portfolio of digital label printing solutions, including entry level as well as high productivity production lines from start to finish. There will be demonstrations on the latest innovative power of Xeikon’s X-800 workflow tools driving a number of digital presses using both inkjet and toner technologies and demonstrating food safety for flexible packaging and stand up pouches.

Filip Weymans, Xeikon’s VP Marketing states, “Looking at today’s consumer-driven trends and the evolving diversity in consumer behaviour, label printers and converters are confronted with a number of challenges. They face varying run lengths, increasing numbers of jobs, long runs over many versions, personalisation, and just-in-time delivery requirements while still running their operational costs effectively. Digitising their print manufacturing process helps them to address these challenges. With ‘TRANSFORM’, we provide a tool that guides business owners in this transformation process.”

“Xeikon has over 30 years of experience in developing digital technologies for the label industry,” continues Weymans. “We have the deepest market understanding allowing us to offer label converters tailored advice on how to start with digital or optimise existing digital production. By just asking five simple questions related to their business, we provide personal advice that can set them on the right track to choose the ideal configuration for their business strategy out of almost 200 possible digital label production setups.”

Popular digital printing configurations showcased live at Labelexpo Europe
With TRANSFORM as a must-see, Xeikon will be operating a selection of popular configurations throughout the show:
-Label Discovery Package: an entry-level solution addressing 90% of all end-user label applications
-Xeikon CX500: addressing high-end food and wine label printing
-Xeikon PX3000: the ideal solution for health & beauty markets and high-performance durable label printing
-Xeikon aXelerate: helping printers and converters to go the extra mile

Xeikon will also be a key participant in Labelexpo’s Flexible Packaging Arena. There, it will showcase its digital pouch-making solution involving full color print and lamination for food packaging, both in the Brand Innovation Showcase and in the Sustainability Insight Café. Xeikon will also contribute to the Label Academy Masterclass.

Flint Group Label Factory: combining industry strengths
Xeikon, a division of Flint Group, will be present on the Flint Group stand C28 in hall 5. Visitors to this booth will discover how the “Flint Group Label Factory” offers an unmatched product and services portfolio that covers all steps of the value chain for label printing, and addresses most industry needs. Flint Group presents technologies from four different product groups that encompass the latest developments in prepress and pre-production, through digital and conventional print and embellishments, converting and delivery. These include Flint Group Flexographic Products (flexographic and letterpress printing plates), Flint Group Narrow Web (inks for any narrow web printing technique), Xeikon (digital printing solutions), and ThermoFlexX (digital imaging for flexo and letterpress).
(Xeikon Manufacturing and R&D Center)

Mayr-Melnhof: Results for the first Half-Year 2019

Mayr-Melnhof: Results for the first Half-Year 2019  (Company news)

-Significant increase in sales and results following acquisition
-Integration of Tann-Group meets expectations
-MM Karton with strong performance
-Muted demand increases pressure on prices
-Keeping up quality of results - goal and challenge at the same time

The Mayr-Melnhof Group was able to maintain well its position as a whole in the first half-year of 2019 in an environment marked by increasingly muted demand and growing competitive intensity. After six months, key profit figures of the MM Group are significantly above those of the previous year due to continued profit growth in the second quarter.
This development is affected, on the one hand, by the initial consolidation of the Tann-Group in the MM Packaging division and, on the other hand, by a strong performance of MM Karton as a result of solid volumes and prices.
Restrained demand and increasing pressure on prices still characterize the current market situation. Continuing the high level of profitability of the second quarter is therefore a challenge for the third quarter of this year.

The consolidated sales of the Group rose by 9.0 %, or EUR 104.9 million, to EUR 1,275.5 million (1st half of 2018: EUR 1,170.6 million), with growth resulting primarily from the packaging division following the acquisition. EBITDA increased by 14.5 % to EUR 191.6 million (1st half of 2018:
EUR 167.4 million).

At EUR 124.0 million, the operating profit was 8.5 %, or EUR 9.7 million, above the previous year’s value (1st half of 2018: EUR 114.3 million). One-off acquisition effects from the initial consolidation of the Tann-Group totaling EUR -4.8 million were reported due to recognition of order backlog and inventory measurement. The operating margin was at 9.7 % (1st half of 2018: 9.8 %).

Financial income of EUR 0.7 million (1st half of 2018: EUR 0.6 million) was offset by financial expenses of EUR -4.0 million (1st half of 2018: EUR -3.0 million). “Other financial result − net” rose to EUR 1.9 million (1st half of 2018: EUR -0.1 million), in particular as a result of foreign currency gains.

Profit before tax increased accordingly by 9.7 % to EUR 122.6 million (1st half of 2018: EUR 111.8 million). Income tax expense amounted to EUR 30.3 million (1st half of 2018: EUR 28.1 million). The effective Group tax rate at 24.7 % was slightly below the previous year’s level (1st half of 2018: 25.1 %).

The profit for the period accordingly rose by 10.3 % to EUR 92.3 million (1st half of 2018: EUR 83.7 million). Please refer to the notes to the half-year financial report for details about consolidation of the acquisition.

Development in the second Quarter
In the second quarter of 2019, both sales and operating profit were above the previous year’s level owing to the acquisition as well as to an improvement in the current business of the cartonboard division. A profit increase was also achieved compared to the first quarter of the present year despite slightly lower sales.

With a capacity utilization of 98 % (1Q 2019: 98 %; 2Q 2018: 99 %), stable average prices and optimized costs, the cartonboard division reached a favourable operating margin of 11.2 % (1Q 2019: 10.1 %; 2Q 2018: 10.6 %).

In the packaging division the initial inclusion of the Tann-Group influenced the development of key indicators again in the second quarter. The operating margin was 9.4 % (1Q 2019: 7.4 %; 2Q 2018: 8.6 %).

Consolidated sales of the Group were at EUR 632.6 million (1Q 2019: EUR 642.9 million; 2Q 2018: EUR 578.5 million). The Group’s operating profit reached EUR 66.8 million, after EUR 57.2 million in the first quarter of 2019 and EUR 57.2 million in the second quarter of the previous year. The Group's operating margin rose accordingly to 10.6 % (1Q 2019: 8.9 %; 2Q 2018: 9.9 %). The profit for the period increased to EUR 48.6 million (1Q 2019: EUR 43.7 million; 2Q 2018: EUR 42.0 million).

Muted demand, short-term planning of customers and increasing pressure on prices continue to characterize the market environment. Nevertheless, the goal stays on maintaining the Group’s quality of results the best possible through intensified market penetration as well as a consequent price policy and programs aimed at increasing cost efficiency. The investment activity is unabated geared towards this with a focus on the use of state-of-the-art technology and optimizations within the product portfolio. Special attention will be paid to the continuation of the long-term growth course. Maintaining the strong profitability of the second quarter is a challenge for the third quarter.

Development in the Divisions
MM Karton
The demand situation on the European cartonboard markets developed increasingly subdued in the first half-year of 2019 as a result of more restrained planning of customers with a noticeable rise in competition over all product groups.

MM Karton nevertheless succeeded in maintaining well its position in terms of both volumes and result. The disciplined price policy and the focus on the sale of products with higher value added were consistently pursued. At 98 % (1st half of 2018: 99 %), capacity utilization in the division was at a sustained high level. The division’s average order backlog was 77,000 tons, following 83,000 tons in the first half of the previous year.

On procurement markets stable recovered paper prices for mixed qualities contrasted with a gradual decline in prices for pulp-based raw materials from the high level at the beginning of the year.

Tonnage produced as well as tonnage sold, at 867,000 tons and 847,000 tons respectively, were slightly above the previous year’s values (1st half of 2018: 842,000 tons and 837,000 tons respectively). As last year, around 82 % was sold in Europe and 18 % in markets outside of Europe.

Sales increased as a result of slightly improved volumes and average prices by 2.0 % to EUR 541.5 million (1st half of 2018: EUR 531.0 million). Operating profit rose by 3.6 % to EUR 57.6 million (1st half of 2018: EUR 55.6 million), whereby, at 10.6 %, the good operating margin of the previous year (1st half of 2018: 10.5 %) could be maintained.

MM Packaging
After a stable beginning of the year, demand on European main markets turned increasingly volatile and was thus below the strong first half of the previous year. Against the background of a commencing economic slowdown and capacity reserves in the industry, the market environment remained marked by strong competition.

In this environment, MM Packaging could not maintain capacity utilization of individual plants at a consistently high level, but reported an overall sustainable development. Necessary measures to acquire new business and increase cost efficiency were consequently implemented.

The income statement of MM Packaging is primarily characterized by the initial inclusion of the acquisition of the Tann-Group, which developed according to expectations.

Sales grew by 13.5 %, or EUR 94.0 million, from EUR 696.4 million to EUR 790.4 million. The number of processed standard sheets (sheet equivalent) went up by 17.6 % to 1,374.0 million (1st half of 2018: 1,168.3 million).

Operating profit, at EUR 66.4 million, was 13.1 % above the comparative period (1st half of 2018: EUR 58.7 million), with one-off effects from the initial consolidation of the Tann-Group in the amount of EUR -4.8 million reducing the result. The operating margin thus remained unchanged at 8.4 % (1st half of 2018: 8.4 %).
(Mayr-Melnhof Karton Gesellschaft m.b.H.)

Gov. Bevin announces $200M investment by Phoenix Paper in west Kentucky

Gov. Bevin announces $200M investment by Phoenix Paper in west Kentucky  (Company news)

Phoenix Paper, which runs a paper mill in west Kentucky, is expanding with a new facility that represents a $200 million investment. Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin announced the company's investment during a conference call with west Kentucky leaders at Wickliffe City Hall. The company took over the site of the former Verso paper mill in Wickliffe. Phoenix Paper announced the completion of its first roll of paper there in May.

The commercial investment will include a paper recycling facility, Bevin said. The governor said there will be 150 employees at the new facility, which will open in 18 months. Phoenix Paper is owned by Chinese manufacturer Shanying International, and the new facility will process recycled paper and send it to China to be used for packaging.

The governor said, while the United States and China are going through trade tensions at the national level, no state is working harder with China "at the sub-national level" than Kentucky.
(Phoenix Paper Wickliffe LLC)

ABB names Björn Rosengren as CEO

ABB names Björn Rosengren as CEO  (Company news)

The Board of ABB has unanimously appointed Björn Rosengren (photo), as Chief Executive Officer. He will join ABB on February 1, 2020 and succeed CEO, Peter Voser, in this role on March 1, 2020. At that time Peter Voser will revert to his position at ABB solely as Chairman of the Board.

Björn Rosengren (60), a Swedish citizen, is a highly experienced, international executive and leader of industrial businesses. He has been the CEO of Sandvik, a high-tech global engineering group, since 2015. During this time, he has overseen the successful implementation of a decentralized structure and improved both the profitability and financial strength of Sandvik. Prior to that, he was CEO of Wärtsilä Corporation, which manufactures and services power sources and other equipment for the marine and energy markets (2011-2015) and spent some thirteen years (1998-2011) in a variety of management roles at Atlas Copco, a world leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions.

“The Board is pleased that Björn Rosengren will be taking the lead at ABB, bringing with him a proven track record of value creation and exactly the managerial skills ABB needs during the next stage of its transformation,” said ABB Chairman and current CEO, Peter Voser. “After undertaking a thorough search, the Board is convinced that Björn Rosengren is the best candidate for the role. He understands how to establish successful decentralized organizations, empower people and demonstrates the culture of cooperation and high performance. Together with our strong management team, he will drive ABB’s strategy and deliver long-term value to all our stakeholders.”

CEO-designate, Björn Rosengren, said: “I am honored to have the opportunity to join ABB, a truly global technology leader, after I have completed my current commitments. At such a pivotal time for manufacturing industries, ABB must continue to best serve the needs of global customers with a unique technology and digital solutions portfolio to help enhance their productivity. I look forward to working with my new colleagues around the globe to enhance value through the delivery of the group strategy and fully empowering our businesses and people.”
(ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd)

At the PKV paper and board mill, Papermaking 4.0 technologies are increasing overall production ...

At the PKV paper and board mill, Papermaking 4.0 technologies are increasing overall production ...  (Company news)

...and reducing energy costs

-IIoT platform OnCumulus the basis for fast, reliable and secure access to all machine and production data.
-OnEfficiency.Dewatering module and Tandem NipcoFlex press increase dry content by 1 percent
-15 percent increase in total output planned

The ongoing development of its products is just as much an integral part of the corporate philosophy of paper and board manufacturer Papier- und Kartonfabrik Varel (PKV) as the constant improvement of production efficiency. To achieve these goals the company, which was established in 1938, has been working with Voith for many years. For its current rebuild of the PM 4, PKV is also relying on the expertise of the technology group from Heidenheim.

Photo: Voith PM 4 Varel

On the PM 4, PKV produces packaging papers with a wide range of basis weights from 120 to 280 grams per square meter. Previously, the web width on the pope roller was 5,250 mm. As part of the rebuild, the width will be increased to 5,450 mm. The new width necessitates various adjustments to upstream components. Voith team will increase the widths of the first dryer group, the existing headboxes, the wire and press sections and the Fourdrinier wire.

The key items on PKV’s agenda were increasing the total output by 15 percent, improving runability and reducing specific energy costs. In addition, optimizing the dewatering capacity is intended to raise the dry content downstream of the Tandem NipcoFlex press by at least one percent.

IIoT platform OnCumulus: pivotal to digitalization
An essential prerequisite to achieving the desired effects was the integration of the latest Papermaking 4.0 technologies. In this context, the IIoT platform OnCumulus is absolute crucial, as it enables fast, reliable and secure access to data from local machines and systems in the cloud and makes them available for efficient use. Other modules from the Voith OnEfficiency product family like OnEfficiency.Strength or OnEfficiency.Dewatering are used to monitor paper production at PKV. All modules and components are networked with one another. The PKV team also has transparent access to all relevant data at any time.

Fewer strength fluctuations
OnEfficiency.Strength uses statistical models and virtual sensors to reduce strength fluctuations in machine direction. As a result fiber use and starch use are optimized. Continuous measurements and automatic adjustments to parameters ensure fewer fluctuations, which in turn minimizes broke, reduces deviations in production output and improves paper quality during grade changes.

Stable dry content
By means of systematic regulation of the former vacuum the OnEfficiency.Dewatering module stabilizes the dry content upstream of the press. This helps to save energy, while the Papermaking 4.0 technology ensures consistently high ply bond strength.

To ensure the requested one percent improvement in dry content, Voith installed a Tandem NipcoFlex system designed in this case for web widths of up to 5,700 mm. Its innovative design allows optimum dewatering for the entire basis weight range of the PM 4. As a result, PKV can further improve the strength and surface quality of its corrugated baseboard made from secondary and virgin fibers. A closed web run in combination with separation suction boxes allows production speeds of up to 1,200 m/minute and is therefore the main basis for the substantial increase in production capacity requested by customer.

Initial clothing of PM 4 by Voith
To achieve the required dry contents, it is important that the clothing is perfectly matched over the entire paper machine. From the outset, the PM 4 will be fitted with I-Series forming wires, Infinity press felts and MultiTech dryer fabrics.

More uniform CD profile
In addition, the existing ModuleJet II headbox system in the backliner headbox will be extended by adding an OnQ Profilmatic CD profile control. OnQ Profilmatic can determine the proportion of random noise in the measurements. Its continuous dynamic profile mapping allows exact local assignment of the actuator control zones to the measured values. This results in more uniform CD profiles and therefore improved paper quality. On the Fourdrinier wire, the extensively proven HiVac high vacuum suction box will replace the previously used couch roll. The vacuum system helps reduce the paper machine’s energy consumption and increases the dry content of the paper web.

Saving resources in the white top and achieving optimum paper edge
EdgeExpert returns the white paper fibers to the appropriate system, ensuring that these fibers are preserved for use in the white top. EdgeDeckle S is the latest tool for controlling the edge in the wire section. It ensures a good paper edge with optimum profile quality.

Efficient cleaning systems for greater runability
The installation of cutting-edge cleaning systems like CleanLine Excell or ProLub improves runability and increases the total output of the PM 4. The permeability of the Voith clothing is maintained for longer, which results in a more homogeneous paper web. In addition, CleanLine Excell needs much less water than high-pressure showers and cleans so effectively that the use of chemical cleaners is much reduced or dispensed with altogether.

Safer reel change
The EcoChange W reel changing system, which works with traversing high-pressure water jet nozzles, is another component which has enabled Voith to achieve PKV’s specified goals like an increase in total output and improvement in the runability of the PM 4. The system enables efficient changing of the paper rolls and will be integrated as part of the adjustment of the Pope roller’s web width, resulting in minimal broke during reel changes.

In addition, Voith’s scope of supply also includes upgrading the air systems, adapting the dryer hood and drive technology, and automating the paper machine. In this context, the Voith team was also able to contribute its expertise in detail engineering and is supporting PKV with the approval of the plant in accordance with the German Federal Immission Control Act.
(Voith Paper GmbH & Co KG)

Metsä Board’s new packaging samples highlight recent packaging trends

Metsä Board’s new packaging samples highlight recent packaging trends  (Company news)

To demonstrate how paperboard can boost brand appeal, Metsä Board has launched a new set of packaging samples. The samples demonstrate the various finishing effects and how the paperboard surface can enhance them and create impressive visual and tactile effects. The samples have been designed to inspire end-users in sectors such as food, beautycare, pharmaceuticals, luxury packaging and graphic applications. The samples are produced using the enhanced Metsä Board folding boxboard portfolio.

The organic cosmetics sample has an uncoated surface with a multilayer embossing that give a special touch and feel. White and gold hot foil stamping adds a luxurious finish to the packaging. The chocolate sample also uses a multilayer embossing with a metallic appearance added to the CMYK printing on silver PE laminate in the text area.

The most demanding sample is the headset packaging that combines various effects requiring many features from the paperboard. The cover of the box is first hot-foiled, then printed with white and CMYK, and finally a multilayer embossing were added to give touch and feel. On the front of the packaging there are tone changes made with grey drop shadows which require a high level of smoothness from the board. On the side of the box there is a silver hot-foil in the background with CMYK printing combining micro-embossing and a multilayer embossing. Keeping a rich black colour and small white text on the back of the packaging requires excellent printing properties from the board.

The samples display the desire for natural and organic packaging in the market and show how luxury finishing such as multilayer embossing, micro embossing, glossy varnishes, hot foil stamping, can really add the WOW factor to everyday items. "The samples have been designed taking into consideration what the market is looking for such as the increased use of uncoated boards, especially in cosmetics, with a surface that is highly receptive to special effects and finishing. Sustainability is a key issue and our boards are lightweighted to give bulk and stiffness with the use of less raw materials," says Ilkka Harju, Packaging Services Director, Metsä Board.
(Metsä Board Corporation)

Electronics For Imaging Appoints Jeff Jacobson as Chief Executive Officer

Electronics For Imaging Appoints Jeff Jacobson as Chief Executive Officer  (Company news)

Electronics For Imaging, Inc. (“EFI” or the “Company”) announced the appointment of Jeff Jacobson (photo), a 30-year veteran of the digital imaging and industrial technology sector, as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Jacobson will retain his position as Executive Chairman. Mr. Jacobson succeeds Bill Muir, who is stepping down for personal reasons.

Prior to joining EFI, Mr. Jacobson served as Chief Executive Officer of Xerox. Mr. Jacobson also served as both President of Xerox's Technology Business and President of Xerox's Global Graphic Communications Operations. Prior to joining Xerox in 2012, Mr. Jacobson was the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Presstek, a leading manufacturer of digital offset printing solutions.

Jeff Jacobson said, “I am thrilled to be expanding my role on EFI’s leadership team to identify unique opportunities for innovation across the Company. EFI’s portfolio of best-in-class solutions presents an exciting opportunity to drive further growth in high-quality inkjet and integrated, digital workflows. Together with my experienced and talented colleagues on the EFI team, we will provide the leadership needed to help EFI accelerate the transformation of industries where colorful images matter. I also want to join the EFI team in thanking Bill for his contributions to the Company’s success and wishing him the best in his future endeavors. Bill played a pivotal role in successfully positioning EFI for the next chapter of our evolution, always doing so with integrity and the best interests of customers and employees.”

Throughout his career, Mr. Jacobson has displayed an on-going commitment to helping customers improve their productivity and enhance their operations. As CEO of Xerox, he oversaw Xerox’s largest product launch in its more than 100-year-history and led the company through a strategic transformation, delivering best-in-class customer service, and driving innovation, while improving Xerox’s operating margins and cash flow.

Before his time at Xerox and Presstek, Mr. Jacobson served as Chief Operating Officer of Eastman Kodak's Graphic Communications Group, where he was responsible for managing operations in Eastman Kodak's Global Graphics operations, which included manufacturing locations throughout North America, Europe, Japan, China, Israel and South Africa. Mr. Jacobson also served for five years as Chief Executive Officer of Kodak Polychrome Graphics, a highly successful joint venture between Sun Chemical and Eastman Kodak.

“It has been a privilege to lead EFI through an important chapter in the Company’s history, and I look forward to seeing EFI thrive as it continues to collaborate with customers and partners worldwide,” said Bill Muir. “I have admired Jeff as an expert in the digital imaging space, and I am confident that with his vision and under his leadership, EFI will be able to successfully write the next chapter of innovation and market leadership across the Company’s portfolio of solutions.”
(efi Electronics For Imaging Inc.)

Conversion of the Line 8 at the Condat mill in France

Conversion of the Line 8 at the Condat mill in France  (Company news)

In recent years, Lecta has been evaluating alternatives with respect to the conversion of the Line 8 at the Condat mill in France.

The alternatives have included investigating a broad range of possible partnering arrangements with local, regional and national authorities, including amongst others financial support and workforce training subsidies.

In particular, Lecta has become aware that recently a particular initiative being explored requiring the European Commission approval, with respect to energy contribution subsidies over a 3 year period representing an aggregate potential value to the business of up to 35M€ over such period, has been objected to on a preliminary basis during the pre-notification phase by the European Commission.

It should be noted that this decision is not binding and the Lecta Group continues to engage with the relevant French authorities with regards to this initiative as well as other potential arrangements not subject to pre-notification.

Sonoco Completes Acquisition of Corenso Holdings America

Sonoco Completes Acquisition of Corenso Holdings America  (Company news)

Sonoco (NYSE: SON), one of the most sustainable, diversified global packaging companies, announced it completed the acquisition of Corenso Holdings America, Inc. from a company owned by investment funds advised by Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC, and management for $110 million in cash.

Corenso Holdings America (CHA) is a leading U.S. manufacturer of uncoated recycled paperboard (URB) and high-performance cores used in the paper, packaging films, tape, and specialty industries. CHA produced net sales of approximately $75 million in 2018 and operates a 108,000-ton per year uncoated recycled paperboard mill in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., as well as two core converting facilities in Wisconsin Rapids and Richmond, Va., which combined employ approximately 175 associates.

According to Rob Tiede (photo), Sonoco President and Chief Executive Officer, “We are extremely pleased to welcome Corenso Holdings America associates to Sonoco. This transaction creates a long-term opportunity for Sonoco as CHA operates a best-in-class uncoated recycled paperboard mill that is capable of producing a wide variety of coreboard grades, in addition to providing attractive core converting assets and long-term partnerships with customers.”

The acquisition of Corenso Holdings America is expected to be modestly accretive to Sonoco’s earnings in 2019 and there are no expected planned changes in operating leadership and customer relationships. Sonoco funded the transaction using available cash and short-term borrowings. CHA’s financial results will be reported within Sonoco’s Paper/Industrial Converted Products segment.
(Sonoco Products Co)

Innovative moisturizer application provides immediate benefits

Innovative moisturizer application provides immediate benefits  (Company news)

The Iggesund Workington board mill in the UK has successfully applied a Valmet IQ Moisturizer in board production to achieve higher production rates especially with higher grammage products.

Photo: The Valmet Moisturizer under the web on Workington’s board machine. Three nozzles of the two-stage spray head can just be seen in center of the picture.

INCADA is the name of the folding box board produced at Workington. The board’s five layer construction with chemical pulp outer layers give INCADA is superior surface, printablity and strength qualities. It is the preferred packaging material among companies wanting to give their products good protection with low weight while still getting the best possible print results on their packaging. One of the processes on the Workington board machine to achieve the required properties is a machine glazing (MG) cylinder located in the drying section. This cylinder commonly called an MG or Yankee cylinder has a large diameter of over 6 meters, is steam heated and has a mirror-like polished steel surface. The paperboard web, containing about 40% moisture, adheres to this surface. The web dries in contact with the rotating cylinder until the moisture content is insufficient to maintain adhesion. The sheet then leaves the cylinder, retaining the high level of smoothness imparted to it by the polished steel without loss of thickness and maintaining good stiffness properties.

Surface moisture
To obtain good adherence to the MG cylinder and control of the release line where the sheet leaves the cylinder requires the right amount of surface moisture. The common control method for surface moisture and release line is to adjust the pre-dryer steam pressure, but naturally this method not only affects surface moisture but the total moisture of the sheet. As the drying process continues on smaller cylinders, too high web moisture after the MG cylinder can limit machine speed with post-drying a bottleneck to increased production.. “This was exactly our problem,” explains- Rolf Moring, Iggesund Workington’s development engineer. “We were struggling with the limited drying after the MG cylinder but had more than enough capacity in the pre-drying. We saw the opportunity that by increasing only the surface moisture we could improve stiction, the sticking of the web to the cylinder which gives us the surface properties we require.”

Valmet IQ Moisturizer
Recognizing that surface moisture, and within limits not overall web moisture, is the key to good stiction and release line, Valmet recommended that the mill employ a Valmet IQ Moisturizer before the MG cylinder to impart the ideal surface moisture to the sheet. According to Mark Norman, Iggesund Project Engineer, “Valmet recommended a moisturizer for the pre-MG application. Although a moisturizer is not so common for this purpose, they believed in the solution and were proved to be correct.” The IQ Moisturizer is the industry’s most advanced moisturizing system with applications in paper, board and converting production. IQ Moisturizer’s two-stage spray head provides a highly atomized, full cone spray pattern that is efficiently applied to the web. The uniquely small droplet size allows its use in applications close to surface treatment processes such as machine glazing. Prior to ordering, the mill conducted a test with a special one meter trial unit from Valmet that showed that the system would meet expectations.

Increased production
The Valmet IQ Moisturizer now provides the potential to run heavy grammage products faster by fully utilizing pre-drying before the MG cylinder. The moisturizer sprays the sheet just before the MG cylinder to give the required sheet surface moisture to stick to the cylinder, without excessive total moisture. ”We are more than satisfied, stiction is improved and we have been able to increase machine speed by several percent, especially with the heavier grades where drying after the MG was a problem,” says Moring.

Smooth installation and start-up
Installation was made in three steps with the final beam installation and pipe work, that could not done when machine was running, done during a 19 hour maintenance shutdown. “The Valmet team worked well during the installation and start-up phase with completion without any H&S incidents and in line with the agreed time schedule. One point to note regarding the start-up and optimization was that there were no operational issues or disturbances which caused any loss of production from the machine. The equipment worked well from day one,” declares Norman.
(Valmet Corporation)

Lenzing solid in a significantly more challenging market environment

Lenzing solid in a significantly more challenging market environment  (Company news)

-Continued positive development of specialties business with revenue share of already more than 48 percent
-Commitment to long-term growth plan – investment in new 100,000 tons plant in Thailand approved
-Significantly more challenging market environment for standard viscose with historically low prices
-Outlook for 2019 confirmed

The Lenzing Group continued its solid business development in the first half of 2019. Despite a significantly more challenging market environment with historically low prices for standard viscose, Lenzing recorded a slight increase in revenue. The disciplined implementation of the sCore TEN strategy and the focus on specialty fibers continue to have a positive impact. Thanks to ongoing high demand for sustainably produced specialty fibers and positive currency effects, the impact of low standard viscose prices was largely offset in earnings.

Revenue of the Lenzing Group increased by 1.2 percent in the first half of 2019 and amounted to EUR 1.09 bn. In addition to more favorable currency relations, this was primarily attributable to a further product mix optimization and higher prices for specialty fibers. The share of specialty fibers in revenue, at 48.4 percent, significantly exceeded the prior-year value of 44.1 percent. EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) dropped by 7 percent to EUR 181.2 mn. This decline primarily resulted from higher production volumes and currency effects which led to an increase in pulp costs, from an increase in personnel expenses and the market environment for standard viscose. The EBITDA margin declined from 18.1 percent in the first half of 2018 to 16.6 percent in the reporting period. EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) fell by 17.9 percent to EUR 105.6 mn, resulting in a lower EBIT margin of 9.7 percent (H1 2018: 12 percent). Net profit for the period decreased by 15.9 percent from EUR 91.3 mn to EUR 76.8 mn. Earnings per share amounted to EUR 2.97 (H1 2018: EUR 3.44).

“Fully in line with our sCore TEN strategy, our specialty fiber business is developing very positively, which has made us significantly more resilient today than a few years back. The investment in new production capacities for lyocell fibers and the focus on our TENCEL™ and VEOCEL™ product brands will make us even more resistant to market fluctuations and strengthen our position as a leading supplier of specialty fibers. The first phase of this ambitious growth plan is the construction of a state-of-the-art lyocell plant in Thailand”, says Stefan Doboczky, Chief Executive Officer of the Lenzing Group. “The escalating trade conflict between the largest economies confirm our decision to temporarily mothball the Mobile, Alabama project. Lenzing will continue to monitor these developments closely and review this decision on a regular basis”, says Doboczky.

Capital expenditures dropped by 18.9 percent to EUR 95.1 mn in the first half of 2019. This decline is temporary, primarily attributable to the completion of the expansion project in Heiligenkreuz (Austria) in 2018. Going forward, the planning for major projects in Brazil and Thailand will have a significant effect on the investment volume in the coming quarters.

Expansion of specialty fiber capacities
The Lenzing Group is substantially increasing its production of lyocell fibers to meet the strong demand for these products. Lenzing puts the focus on stable and profitable growth as well as an improvement of the ecological footprint of the textile and nonwovens industries by expanding the production of specialty fibers. The first expansion phase of this ambitious growth plan, the construction of a state-of-the-art production plant for lyocell fibers in Prachinburi (Thailand), was approved in the second quarter of 2019. The investment volume for the new plant, which has a capacity of 100,000 tons, totals approximately EUR 400 mn.

The conversion of production capacities from standard viscose to LENZING™ ECOVERO™ fibers in China was also completed during the reporting period.

Expansion of pulp capacities
An increased backward integration into dissolving wood pulp is another important step in the implementation of the sCore TEN strategy. Lenzing and its Brazilian partner Duratex continue to advance the planned construction of a dissolving wood pulp plant in the state of Minas Gerais (Brazil). The basic engineering, site preparation and the applications for the required permits are proceeding according to plan. The final investment decision is expected for the end of 2019.

The expansion and modernization of the production capacities for dissolving wood pulp at the Lenzing site was successfully completed in the first half of 2019.

Transparency from wood to garment
Lenzing will use blockchain technology to support its TENCEL™ branded fiber business, ensuring complete transparency and traceability for brands and consumers of its fibers in the finished garment. In the second quarter of 2019 Lenzing announced a cooperation with the Hong Kong based technology company TextileGenesis™ to accomplish this ambition. Lenzing will carry out several pilot tests involving partners along the entire value chain and expects the platform to be operational as of 2020.

Ambitious climate targets
The Lenzing Group aims to strengthen its position as a sustainability front runner in the fiber industry, by investing over EUR 100 mn in energy-saving measures, in the continued conversion to renewable energies and in new technologies. In the planning of new pulp and lyocell facilities such as the plant in Thailand, Lenzing also puts a strong focus on low-carbon energy sources and production processes. The goal of its climate strategy is to reduce net emissions of greenhouse gases to zero by 2050. An important milestone on the way to becoming climate-neutral is set for the year 2030. By then, Lenzing commits to reduce emissions per ton of fibers and pulp by 50 percent compared with 2017.

The International Monetary Fund expects a slowdown of global economic growth to 3.2 percent in 2019, mainly driven by increasing protectionist tendencies and growing geopolitical tensions. The currency environment in the regions relevant to Lenzing will remain volatile.

Global fiber demand remains strong. According to preliminary calculations, cotton inventory levels should nevertheless increase in the 2019/20 season. Towards the end of the second quarter 2019, the polyester market recovered from slower growth in the preceding months. The price levels for cotton and polyester are expected to decline slightly. Despite continued strong demand, capacity expansions for standard viscose caused higher pressure on prices, which fell to a historic low in the first half of 2019. In specialty fibers, the Lenzing Group expects the positive development of its business to continue.

Driven by the challenging situation in standard viscose, prices for dissolving wood pulp show a downward trend. Caustic soda prices in Asia have already declined significantly over the past months; this development has now become noticeable also in Europe.

In a challenging market environment for standard viscose with prices at historic lows, the Lenzing Group continues to expect its results for 2019 to reach a similar level as in 2018 based on the current exchange rates. Above developments reassure the Lenzing Group in its chosen strategy sCore TEN. Lenzing is very well positioned in this market environment and will continue to focus growth with specialty fibers.
(Lenzing AG)

MBO announces new KT90 Curved Table

MBO announces new KT90 Curved Table  (Company news)

As a response to the need for space in printing and book binder firms, MBO has announced the new development of the KT90 Curved Table. The KT90 means that production operations can be designed more flexibly with combi folding machines and better adapted to the existing space available. The Curved Table conveys the folded product after the folding machine outlet rotated by 90 degrees. This means that delivery systems that previously had to be positioned in-line on the folding machine can now be set up at a right-angle.

Photo: The MBO KT90 Curved Table is small and compact.

The KT90 Curved Table has a simpler design and offers very good visibility. This means set-up for the table is particularly quick and easy. The folded sheets are transported flat, gently and without markings.

The KT90 is available both as a left-hand and right-hand curve. The infeed height of the left-hand curve is adjusted for the three-fold outlet of MBO combi folding machines. This means that traditional 16-pagers can be produced, for example, and transported via the Curved Table to the delivery.

The right-hand curve version of the KT90 is designed for the cross-fold stop of MBO combi folding machines. In this way, the delivery is used in-line behind the folding machine, streamlining the footprint of the machine combination.

This optionally available track system means that the delivery can be converted precisely from the three-fold to the cross-fold outlet of the folding machine with just a few manual operations. The track system is available for the MBO A500/A700 and palamides alpha500/alpha700 delivery types and can be easily retrofitted onto existing delivery systems.

Interested parties can see the performance of the KT90 Curved Table for themselves at the MBO Open House. This event will take place in Oppenweiler on the 5th and 6th of September 2019.
(MBO Maschinenbau Oppenweiler Binder GmbH & Co KG)



Glatfelter (NYSE: GLT) a leading global supplier of engineered materials, reported its results for the second quarter of 2019. Due to the divestiture of Specialty Papers in October 2018, its results are classified as discontinued operations for all periods presented in this release.

On an adjusted basis, earnings from continuing operations for the second quarter of 2019 were $8.5 million, or $0.19 per share compared with $4.0 million, or $0.09 per share, for the same period a year ago. Adjusted earnings is a non-GAAP financial measure for which a reconciliation to the nearest GAAP-based measure is provided within this release.

Consolidated net sales totaled $235.1 million and $215.7 million for the three months ended June 30, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Excluding the Steinfurt, Germany acquisition and on a constant currency basis, Advanced Airlaid Materials’ net sales increased by 11.7% and Composite Fibers’ net sales decreased by 3.0%.

“Our second quarter results reflect solid overall performance including a record quarter for Advanced Airlaid Materials and meaningful progress towards our previously announced cost reduction targets,” said Dante C. Parrini (photo), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Our Airlaid Materials business continued its strong growth trajectory, increasing both volumes and operating profit approximately 40% over the prior-year period, building on the momentum from earlier this year. Shipment growth in the legacy business was led by wipes, table top and adult incontinence products. In Composite Fibers, we delivered sequential quarter improvement in volumes and profitability, although this business was impacted by competitive market pressure and weak demand for wallcover and metallized products.”

Mr. Parrini continued, “Entering the second half of 2019, we remain focused on delivering our commitments as we continue to shape the new Glatfelter into a higher-margin, growth-oriented engineered materials company. Airlaid Materials is well positioned to achieve 10% legacy volume growth for the full year and we continue to expect the Steinfurt acquisition to deliver $7 million to $9 million of operating profit in 2019. While Composite Fibers saw some positive signs this quarter, we expect its volumes in 2019 to be flat to slightly down versus the prior year. Furthermore, we remain on track to achieve our previously announced corporate cost reductions of $14 million to $16 million by the end of 2020.”

New Operating Model Leadership
Glatfelter also announced key leadership changes as the Company executes on its previously announced transition to a functional operating model. Under the new structure, the roles of business unit presidents are being replaced by senior executives responsible for the Company’s global commercial and integrated supply chain functions. These roles will be part of the senior executive leadership team led by Mr. Parrini.

Christopher W. Astley will be promoted to Senior Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer, with responsibility for global sales, marketing, customer service and innovation, effective August 1, 2019. He will continue to report to Dante Parrini. The Company is also undergoing an external search for a global supply chain leader and will provide an update once an executive has been named.

“With this change, we are taking the next step in our strategic transformation. Chris is a proven leader capable of driving the changes necessary to make Glatfelter a more innovative and growth-oriented organization,” said Mr. Parrini. “I look forward to working with the entire leadership team and all of our employees worldwide to make the new Glatfelter a flatter, more agile and integrated engineered materials company.”

Mr. Astley joined Glatfelter in 2010 as the Vice President, Corporate Strategy before assuming the role of Senior Vice President and Business Unit President for the Advanced Airlaid Materials business in 2015. Under his leadership, Glatfelter successfully executed the airlaid growth strategy with notable achievements such as the start-up of the Fort Smith, Arkansas facility and the acquisition of the Steinfurt, Germany facility, making Glatfelter the largest producer of airlaid materials in the world.

The Company will continue to include the operating segment results of Composite Fibers and Advanced Airlaid Materials for financial reporting purposes.

Second Quarter Results
Second Quarter Business Unit Results
Composite Fibers
Composite Fibers’ net sales decreased $10.4 million, or 7.2%, primarily due to a 5.9% decline in shipping volumes. The decline in shipping volumes was primarily due to metallized and wallcover products, which were lower by 17.4% and 10.5%, respectively. Currency translation was unfavorable by $6.0 million.

Composite Fibers’ second quarter of 2019 operating income totaled $13.0 million, down slightly from the prior-year quarter. Lower shipping volumes impacted results by $1.3 million. Higher raw material prices of $1.5 million were partially offset by higher selling prices and improved operations totaling $0.8 million. Currency favorably impacted results by $1.8 million compared to the year-ago quarter reflecting hedging instruments that matured, more than offsetting the impact of a lower Euro translation rate. Composite Fibers’ operating margin increased by 60 basis points primarily due to an improved product mix and cost optimization initiatives.

Advanced Airlaid Materials
Advanced Airlaid Materials’ net sales increased $29.7 million primarily due to the Steinfurt acquisition and a 9.6% organic increase in shipping volumes reflecting strong growth in wipes, hygiene and table top products. Higher average selling prices contributed $0.8 million and currency translation was unfavorable by $2.2 million.

Operating income for the second quarter of 2019 increased $2.8 million primarily due to higher shipping volumes and the Steinfurt acquisition. Higher selling prices were partially offset by $0.4 million of higher raw material and energy costs.

Other Financial Information
The amount of “Other and Unallocated” expense in our table of Business Unit Performance totaled $8.3 million in the second quarter of 2019 compared with $13.1 million in the second quarter of 2018. Excluding the items identified to present “adjusted earnings,” unallocated expenses for the second quarter of 2019 declined $3.7 million compared to the second quarter of 2018, primarily reflecting the impact of corporate cost reduction initiatives.

Interest expense, net totaled $1.6 million in the second quarter of 2019 compared with $3.8 million in the same quarter of 2018, reflecting the debt refinancing completed in early 2019.

In the second quarter of 2019, the Company recorded an income tax provision of $5.7 million on income from continuing operations of $11.9 million. On adjusted pre-tax income of $13.7 million, income tax expense was $5.2 million compared to $5.9 million and $1.9 million, respectively, in the second quarter of 2018. The Company currently estimates its full-year 2019 effective tax rate on adjusted earnings will be approximately 38%.

Balance Sheet and Other Information
Cash and cash equivalents totaled $58.9 million as of June 30, 2019, and net debt was $326.1 million compared with $269.1 million at the end of 2018. (Refer to the calculation of this measure provided in the tables at the end of this release.)

Capital expenditures during the first six months of 2019 and 2018, totaled $10.6 million and $25.9 million, respectively. Adjusted free cash flow for the six months of 2019 was $(29.9) million compared with $(37.2) million in 2018. (Refer to the calculation of this measure provided in the tables at the end of this release.)

Discontinued Operations
On October 31, 2018, we completed the previously announced sale of our Specialty Papers business unit on a cash-free and debt-free basis to Pixelle Specialty Solutions LLC, an affiliate of Lindsay Goldberg for $360 million.

The results of operations for our Specialty Papers business unit have been classified as discontinued operations for all periods presented in the consolidated statements of income.
(Glatfelter Corporate Headquarters)

Smurfit Kappa sees surge of interest in sustainable packaging solutions for fresh produce

Smurfit Kappa sees surge of interest in sustainable packaging solutions for fresh produce  (Company news)

Smurfit Kappa has seen a marked increase in the number of companies seeking sustainable packaging alternatives for fresh fruit and vegetables.

The packaging leader, which launched its Better Planet Packaging initiative last year, has been working on a portfolio of products designed to replace less sustainable packaging as many brands come under increasing pressure to become more sustainable. In a recent survey, 75% of consumers indicated a preference for paper-based packaging against less sustainable alternatives.

Portuguese grape producer Pomares do Sol approached Smurfit Kappa with the intention of finding a solution that would meet its sustainability requirements, increase the profile of its brand and have the capacity to withstand the journey through a complex and demanding supply chain.

Smurfit Kappa has a strong track record in creating packaging solutions for the agricultural sector including its award-winning SoFru pack for berries.

Like SoFru pack, the new solution is an easy-to-assemble corrugated punnet on which high quality colour and graphics can be printed to attract consumer attention in the retail environment. It is fully recyclable, and designed to ensure that the condition and quality of the fruit remains in perfect condition from farm through to the consumer.

Raul Andre, General Manager of Smurfit Kappa Celpack, commented: “This was the result of a collaborative process with Pomares do Sol during which we analysed all aspects of the supply chain and the product requirements.

“Raising the profile of the brand was a key consideration and we also created a packaging solution that has a lifespan which matches the lifespan of the product inside which is very important.”

Smurfit Kappa’s Better Planet Packaging initiative seeks to reduce packaging waste and ultimately address the challenges of waste and litter that ends up in oceans and landfill.
(Smurfit Kappa Celpack)

PCMC to bring its Meridian laser anilox cleaner to Labelexpo Europe

PCMC to bring its Meridian laser anilox cleaner to Labelexpo Europe  (Company news)

Live demonstrations will be held throughout the show

Paper Converting Machine Company (PCMC), part of Barry-Wehmiller, will be showcasing its Meridian laser anilox cleaner at Labelexpo Europe (booth 11C36), held 24 to 27 Sept., 2019, in Brussels. This is the first time the Meridian will be showcased with live demonstrations at this show.

Attendees may visit the PCMC booth anytime to watch as the Meridian quickly deep-cleans anilox cells by using a laser to remove deposited particles inside of the cells. This cleaning technology extends the life of anilox rolls and does not require any chemicals, sodium bicarbonate, polymer beads, water or detergents—making it a sustainable cleaning technology with a very low environmental impact. PCMC’s newest Meridian models are designed for the narrow web market and include a new internal traversing vacuum system.

“We’re very excited to welcome people into our booth to view the new innovations on our Meridian firsthand,” said Rodney Pennings, PCMC’s Printing, Coating and Laminating Sales Director. “I think they’ll be impressed by its technology, speed and effectiveness.”
(PCMC Paper Converting Machine Company)

Rengo Consolidated Subsidiary to Acquire Shares of TRICOR Packaging & Logistics and ...

Rengo Consolidated Subsidiary to Acquire Shares of TRICOR Packaging & Logistics and ...  (Company news)

... Gutmann Anlagentechnik

Rengo Co., Ltd. announces that it has resolved at its Board of Directors’ meeting that its consolidated subsidiary, Tri-Wall Holdings Limited (Head Office: Cayman Islands) will acquire 100% of the shares in TRICOR Packaging & Logistics AG (Head Office: Germany) through its subsidiary, Tri-Wall Germany GmbH (Head Office: Germany), from NMJJ Allgäuer Vermögensverwaltung GmbH and 7-Industries Beteiligungs-GmbH. Tri-Wall Germany will also acquire 100% of the shares in Gutmann Anlagentechnik GmbH (Head Office: Germany) from NMJJ Allgäuer Vermögensverwaltung GmbH and both TRICOR and Gutmann will become indirectly owned subsidiary companies of Rengo Co., Ltd. upon closing.
(Rengo Co Ltd)

Neenah Reports Second Quarter 2019 Results

Neenah Reports Second Quarter 2019 Results  (Company news)

Neenah, Inc. (NYSE: NP) reported second quarter 2019 results.

Second Quarter Highlights
-Net sales of $253.4 million decreased 7 percent compared with $271.3 million in the prior year. On a constant currency basis and excluding the impact of the December 2018 sale of the Brattleboro mill, net sales were down 2 percent.
-GAAP earnings per diluted common share (E.P.S.) of $0.80 compared with a loss of ($0.29) per share in 2018.
-On an adjusted basis, 2019 quarterly E.P.S. of $0.95 compared to $1.18 in the prior year period. Pre-tax adjusting items of $3.5 million in the second quarter of 2019 included $2.0 million for accelerated depreciation and other costs related to the planned idling of a fine paper machine, $0.9 million for restructuring and other non-routine costs and $0.6 million for costs related to resolution of an indirect tax audit for 2012-15. Pre-tax adjusting items of $33.3 million in 2018 were largely comprised of a non-cash impairment loss related to the Brattleboro mill prior to its sale. Adjusted E.P.S. is a non-GAAP measure used to enhance understanding and comparability of year-on-year results. Details on adjusting items and a reconciliation to comparable GAAP measures is shown later in this release.
-Cash generated from operations of $38.0 million increased from $31.7 million in the second quarter of 2018. Cash flows in 2019 were used to reduce debt in the quarter by $23.0 million.
-Quarterly cash dividends paid of $0.45 per share in 2019 increased 10 percent from $0.41 per share in the prior year period.

"Our improving performance versus the first quarter reflects benefits from the actions taken by our teams to manage costs and pricing, as well as a moderation of input cost pressures. Although market demand and external conditions are not robust, I was pleased with our strong growth in filtration, improved operating margins in both business segments, and significantly increased cash flow," said John O'Donnell (photo), Chief Executive Officer. "We remain committed to using near term cash flow to reduce debt and maintain a strong balance sheet, and provide an attractive dividend for our shareholders. At the same time, we continue to make progress on organic initiatives that are catalysts for longer term growth, and remain vigilant and disciplined in executing our strategy to pursue additional value-adding growth opportunities."

Quarterly Consolidated Results
Income Statement
Consolidated net sales of $253.4 million in the second quarter of 2019 decreased 7 percent compared with $271.3 million in the second quarter of 2018. The decline in revenues resulted from lower volumes in both segments, reflecting the divestiture of the Brattleboro mill in December 2018 and weaker global market conditions. Increased selling prices in both segments and a more favorable Technical Products mix more than offset $4.4 million of unfavorable currency translation effects. On a constant currency basis and excluding the sale of Brattleboro, sales declined 2 percent compared with the prior year.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expense of $26.9 million in the second quarter of 2019 increased from $25.2 million in the prior year primarily due to timing of expenses.

Operating income of $19.8 million in the second quarter of 2019 increased $24.1 million compared to a loss of $4.3 million in 2018. Excluding pre-tax adjustments of $3.5 million in 2019 and $33.3 million in 2018, adjusted operating income decreased 20 percent from $29.0 million to $23.3 million. The decrease in income resulted from lower sales and production volumes and associated manufacturing cost inefficiencies, as well as $1.7 million of higher SG&A and $0.5 million of unfavorable currency impacts. These items were partly offset by benefits from higher selling prices of $5.9 million that exceeded $4.1 million of increased input costs.

Net interest expense of $3.0 million in the second quarter of 2019 declined compared with $3.3 million in the second quarter of 2018 primarily as a result of lower debt in 2019.

The effective income tax rate was 19 percent in the second quarter of 2019 and negative 37 percent in the second quarter of 2018. The effective tax rate in the prior year period was significantly impacted by the impairment loss from the sale of the Brattleboro mill, as similar sized reconciling items had a larger percentage impact on lower pre-tax book income. Excluding the impairment loss, the tax rate in the second quarter of 2018 was 21 percent.

Cash Flow and Balance Sheet Items
Cash provided from operations in the second quarter of 2019 was $38.0 million and increased compared with $31.7 million in the second quarter of 2018. Higher cash flows in 2019 resulted primarily from significant improvements in working capital that more than offset lower cash earnings.

Capital spending of $4.7 million in the second quarter of 2019 decreased from $8.2 million in the prior year.

Debt as of June 30, 2019 was $223.7 million and decreased from $246.1 million as of March 31, 2019. Cash and cash equivalents as of June 30, 2019 were $8.1 million and compared to $7.6 million as of March 31, 2019.

Quarterly Segment Results
Technical Products quarterly net sales of $146.4 million in 2019 decreased 5 percent, from $153.9 million in the prior year, and were down 2 percent on a constant currency basis. The revenue decline resulted from lower backings volumes and $4.4 million of unfavorable foreign currency effects, partly offset by volume growth in filtration, higher selling prices and a higher value sales mix.

Operating income of $12.5 million in the second quarter of 2019 decreased $3.3 million compared with prior year income of $15.8 million. Excluding $0.4 million of adjusting items for 2019 and $1.8 million of adjusting items for 2018, adjusted operating income of $12.9 million in 2019 decreased $4.7 million from $17.6 million in the prior year. Operating income decreased as a result of lower sales and production volumes and associated manufacturing cost inefficiencies, as well as higher SG&A expense and $0.5 million of unfavorable currency translation impacts. Increased selling prices and a higher value mix more than offset $2.2 million of higher input costs.

Fine Paper and Packaging quarterly net sales of $107.0 million in 2019 decreased 8 percent, from $115.8 million in the prior year. Approximately 75 percent of the revenue decline was due to the sale of Brattleboro, with the remainder due to lower commercial print volume and a less favorable sales mix that was only partly offset by higher selling prices and growth in premium packaging.

Operating income of $12.9 million in the second quarter of 2019 increased $21.7 million from a loss of $8.8 million in the prior year as 2018 included $25.5 million of costs primarily related to the Brattleboro mill impairment loss whereas 2019 included $3.0 million of non-routine costs. Excluding these items, adjusted operating income of $15.9 million in 2019 decreased $0.8 million from $16.7 million in the prior year, as a result of lower volume and a less favorable sales mix. Increased selling prices in the quarter were mostly able to offset $1.9 million of higher input costs.

Unallocated Corporate costs in the second quarter of 2019 were $5.6 million and increased compared with $5.1 million in the prior year period primarily due to timing of certain expenditures.

Other segment operating results in the second quarter of 2018 were a loss of $6.2 million, which included $5.8 million for a portion of the Brattleboro impairment loss. Following the sale of the Brattleboro mill in December 2018, the Other segment is no longer being recognized.

Consolidated net sales of $493.1 million for the six months ended June 30, 2019 were $44.7 million lower than the prior year as a result of lower volumes, including the divestiture of the Brattleboro mill, and unfavorable currency effects, partially offset by increased selling prices and a higher-value sales mix.

Consolidated operating income of $37.2 million for the six months ended June 30, 2019 increased $17.4 million from the prior year period. The increase was mainly due to the absence of a $32.0 million impairment loss related to the divestiture of the Brattleboro mill recognized in 2018. Excluding $3.5 million of adjustments in 2019 and $34.1 million of adjustments in 2018, adjusted operating income decreased $13.2 million, primarily due to lower sales and production volumes, and associated manufacturing cost inefficiencies.

Year-to-date net income from continuing operations of $25.4 million increased $14.0 million compared with $11.4 million in 2018. After excluding the 2019 after-tax adjustments of $2.6 million, and the 2018 after-tax adjustments of $26.5 million, the decrease in net income of $9.9 million in 2019 was due to a decrease in adjusted operating income.

Year-to-date earnings per diluted common share from continuing operations of $1.49 in 2019 increased from $0.66 in 2018. After excluding $0.16 per share of adjustments in 2019 and $1.55 per share of adjustments in 2018, year-to-date adjusted earnings per share in 2019 and 2018 were $1.65 and $2.21, respectively. A complete listing of adjustments for 2019 and 2018 is provided in the GAAP reconciliation table in the next section.

Cash provided by operating activities of $41.0 million for the six months ended June 30, 2019 was $1.2 million higher than $39.8 million in the prior year period. The increase in cash flow resulted primarily from additional cash generated through changes in working capital, partly offset by lower cash earnings.

Capital expenditures for the six months ended June 30, 2019 were $9.0 million compared to $15.8 million in the prior year period. For 2019, full-year capital expenditures are expected to be at the low end of a targeted range of 3 to 5 percent of net sales.

Debt as of June 30, 2019 of $223.7 million was $15.4 million lower compared with $239.1 million as of December 31, 2018. Cash and cash equivalents of $8.1 million as of June 30, 2019 decreased $1.8 million compared with cash and cash equivalents of $9.9 million as of December 31, 2018.
(Neenah Inc.)

Mondi Syktyvkar: A Russian success story turns 50

Mondi Syktyvkar: A Russian success story turns 50  (Company news)

One of Mondi’s largest operating sites is celebrating its 50th anniversary: Mondi Syktyvkar is a special story of transformation

When you look at the Mondi Syktyvkar pulp and paper mill today, it is hard to imagine its origins in 1969 Russia, twenty years before the fall of the Berlin wall. “Over the past fifty years our mill has undergone a profound transformation”, says Klaus Peller, Mondi Syktyvkar Managing Director. Today, the production site is not only one of the largest in the entire Mondi Group; it is a modern industry powerhouse, a leader in production as well as sustainability, and the employer of choice in the Komi region of Russia, which is the size of Spain with a population of 830,000.

A mill that powers an entire region
Around 4,700 people work at the mill, and its annual production reached 1.2 million tonnes of office, offset and newsprint paper, containerboard and market pulp in 2018. Most Russians will know the office paper Snegurochka, which is produced here, and recently received a brand refresh. Mondi Syktyvkar is a fully integrated pulp and paper mill operating three uncoated fine paper machines, one containerboard machine and a pulp dryer, as well as a wood yard, a pulp mill, a power plant and a waste water treatment plant. So Mondi Syktyvkar is almost a small town in itself.

The mill plays a vital role for the communities of the Komi Region. Its waste water treatment plant processes over 80 million cubic meters of water annually, including 100 % of municipal wastewater from Syktyvkar, the Ezhva district, and neighboring industrial companies. Its power plant not only powers the mill, but covers around 20 percent of the regional demand in electricity, and it is the only source of heat and warm water for Ezhva district of Syktyvkar with a population of around 60,000 people, which matters when temperatures range between –35°C in winter to +30°C in the summer.

Sustainable by design
Mondi Syktyvkar covers the entire supply chain from wood to paper and takes special care to design all processes in a sustainable way. It partners on environmental initiatives with WWF Russia and cooperates with the Silver Taiga Foundation for Sustainable Development to preserve biodiversity of boreal forests for future generations. The forest management and wood supply chain of the mill are certified in accordance with the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council® FSC-C 119916, as well as PEFC and ISO 14001.

This means for instance that 12% of all forest areas have to be conserved under the forest management plan. Mondi Syktyvkar goes one step further by leaving another 12% of the territory untouched. In its own forest nursery, the company plants more than 8 million containerised seedlings of pine and spruce per year, as part of its contribution to reforestation activities of the Komi Republic and neighbouring regions.

Time to celebrate
Clearly, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. That is why June 2019 was dedicated to the 50 year mill anniversary in and around Syktyvkar. On 6 June a photo exhibition dedicated to the past and present achievements of the mill opened in a shopping center. The visitors also had the chance to take a virtual tour of Mondi Syktyvkar with an augmented reality app.

Around 250 special guests were invited to celebrate the mill’s anniversary on 25 June: representatives of federal and local authorities, environmental and financial organizations, international and Russian customers, partners, journalists and Mondi top management. Among the participants are Peter Oswald, CEO of Mondi Group, Evgeny Ryzhov, Department Head of Ministry for Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, Klaus Peller, Managing Director of Mondi Syktyvkar, Mikhail Poryadin, Deputy Chairman of the Komi Government, Nikolay Shmatkov, CEO of FSC Russia, Vladimir Chuikov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of GOTEK Group and Denis Zhuravlyov, Chairman of the Trade Union of Russian forest industry.

"I’m very proud of the success story that is Mondi Syktyvkar, their performance, their focus on sustainable development and responsibility towards the environment, and their excellent team. My deepest congratulations to all of the employees. I am looking forward to the next 50 years." Peter Oswald, Mondi Group CEO

The main stars of the show, however, are Mondi’s employees. On 27 June, Oleg Pogudin, a famous romance singer and a People’s artist of Russia, performed for former employees, and two days later, Syktyvkar Central stadium hosted an Anniversary gala concert for Mondi Syktyvkar employees and their families featuring Russian popstars Dima Bilan and Yulianna Karaulova. The celebration concluded with a beautiful fireworks display.
(Mondi Syktyvkar OAO)

Graphic Packaging Holding Company Announces Approval to Invest $600 Million in a New ....

Graphic Packaging Holding Company Announces Approval to Invest $600 Million in a New ....  (Company news)

...Coated Recycled Board Machine in the Midwest

-Graphic Packaging's Board of Directors has approved a $600 million highly strategic investment into its coated recycled board (CRB) platform
-Investment fully supports Graphic Packaging's commitment to sustainable packaging, exceptional product quality and an unmatched cost position for producing CRB
-Capability to produce 500,000 tons of CRB is expected to be capacity neutral by eliminating higher cost production at other facilities
-Investment is expected to deliver $100 million in incremental annualized EBITDA upon full ramp up in 2022, delivering returns well above the cost of capital
-The Company has scheduled an Investor Day for September 26, 2019 in New York City at the NYSE where it will discuss the strategic and financial rationale for the investment in more detail, as well as other key strategic and financial priorities

Photo: President and CEO Michael Doss

Graphic Packaging Holding Company (NYSE: GPK), (the "Company"), a leading provider of packaging solutions to food, beverage, foodservice, and other consumer products companies, today announced that its Board of Directors has approved a $600 million investment in a new coated recycled board (CRB) machine in the Midwest with annual capacity of approximately 500,000 tons. The Company is planning to make the investment in either Ohio or Michigan, subject to a number of conditions, including environmental permitting and negotiations currently underway relative to government incentives and labor relations.

The CRB machine is designed to be the largest and lowest cost producer of CRB in North America. Upon completion of the project, the Company believes the CRB machine will produce the highest quality coated recycled board product in North America with the lowest-caliper capabilities in the industry. The Company expects the investment will be capacity neutral by eliminating higher cost production at other facilities and will deliver an incremental $100 million in annualized EBITDA upon full ramp up in 2022. The increase in EBITDA will be driven by cost savings from significantly increased scale production, reduced raw material consumption, and lower fixed costs. The investment will be funded from cash flow and existing credit facilities with most of the spending occurring in 2020 and 2021.

"We are very pleased to announce our intent to proceed with this significant investment into our integrated CRB platform. This is a unique opportunity to make a highly strategic investment in sustainable packaging, exceptional product quality and an unmatched cost position for producing CRB," said President and CEO Michael Doss. "Importantly, the investment will be capacity neutral as we expect to reduce production at other higher cost CRB facilities after we ramp up production of this highly productive CRB machine starting in early 2022. Increasing consumer preference for sustainable packaging is expected to drive steady, long-term demand for packaging solutions manufactured from 100% recycled fiber. We are confident the investment will deliver returns well above our cost of capital, and remain fully committed to executing our balanced approach to capital allocation as we continue to build a growing, highly integrated, low cost paperboard packaging platform."

The Company expects to complete final negotiations and provide an update on the status of the investment, including the location, in late September. The Company has also scheduled an Investor Day for September 26, 2019 in New York City at the NYSE where it will discuss the strategic and financial rationale for the investment in more detail, as well as other key strategic and financial priorities.
(Graphic Packaging Holding Company)

technotrans confirms forecast for 2019

technotrans confirms forecast for 2019  (Company news)

Temporary impairments at gwk / Board of Management expects significantly stronger second half of the year / Revenue in the growth markets shows a double-digit increase

Despite growing challenges, technotrans SE largely continued its successful growth course in the first half of 2019. Except for gwk Gesellschaft Wärme Kältetechnik mbH, all divisions developed according to plan. Temporary impairments in connection with gwk in Meinerzhagen caused revenue to decline by 4.4 percent to EUR 102.6 million. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) fell by 55 percent to EUR 4.1 million. The figures, which were below plan, are to be compensated for in the second half of the year. The Board of Management confirmed its forecast for the year.

"The first half of the year was particularly affected by a sharp decline in revenue and earnings at gwk, which we will be able to make up in the further course of the financial year," says Dirk Engel, Spokesman of the Board of Management of technotrans SE. Adjusted for these temporary effects, revenue for the technotrans Group rose by five percent in the period under review as expected. Net profit fell by 58 percent to EUR 2.7 million in the first half of the year. Free cash flow remained positive at EUR 1.1 million (previous year: EUR 1.5 million) despite increased investments, including the construction of the new termotek location in Baden-Baden.

As already mentioned in the report on the first quarter, the business performance at gwk, on the one hand, was attributable to the investment restraint in the automotive-related plastics processing industry. On the other hand, the introduction of a new ERP system in the second quarter of the year caused temporary revenue shifts and productivity losses at gwk in Meinerzhagen.

"These influences were of a temporary nature. We have already taken effective measures to compensate for this temporary dent in the remaining course of the year," emphasizes Engel. In recent months, gwk's incoming orders have improved significantly, in particular due to new contracts outside the automotive industry. On the basis of the renewed increase in orders, the Board of Management expects business to improve significantly in the second half of the year. The new ERP system introduced at the Meinerzhagen site represents an important milestone in gwk's integration process and establishes the basis for a future improvement in productivity and efficiency.

Growth markets exceed expectations
Except for gwk, the Technology segment developed in line with planning. Once again, the development in the growth markets was particularly pleasing, with revenue increasing at a clearly double-digit rate. However, successful growth in the areas of electromobility, EUV technology and scanner technology could not fully compensate for the adverse effects in the plastics processing industry. Revenue in the Technology segment fell by 6.6 percent to EUR 73.3 million. The operating result (EBIT) amounted to minus EUR 0.1 million after EUR 4.5 million in the same period of the previous year. The corresponding segment return was minus 0.2 percent (previous year: 5.7 percent).

The Services segment increased its revenue by 1.5 percent to EUR 29.3 million. In addition to a stable revenue contribution from the printing industry, the laser/tooling industries and the growth markets also contributed to the robust development, which compensated for the weakness in the automotive-related plastics industry. Activities in Technical Documentation remained stable at the previous year's level. With an EBIT of EUR 4.2 million (previous year: EUR 4.6 million), solid earnings were achieved. The segment return of 14.5 percent was in line with expectations (previous year: 16.0 percent).

Board of Management confirms forecast
"The technotrans growth story is intact. Based on an overall stable OEM business as well as a solid order backlog and further rising business in the growth markets, we will achieve our targets set for 2019," emphasizes Engel. For the current financial year, the Board of Management continues to expect revenue in the range of EUR 218 to 226 million. The operating profit (EBIT) is expected within a range of EUR 12.0 to 16.0 million. Free cash flow is expected to remain positive.

The Board of Management also confirms the medium-term strategy of expanding the technotrans Group to a revenue of EUR 300 million over the next three years through organic growth and further strategic acquisitions. In the medium term, the company continues to aim for a double-digit EBIT margin.
(technotrans SE)

2019 European GUA Conference Celebrates 20 Years of KODAK PRINERGY WORKFLOW ...

2019 European GUA Conference Celebrates 20 Years of KODAK PRINERGY WORKFLOW ...  (Company news)

... and sets the stage for the future

Berlin, Germany, hosts Graphic Users Association’s European members

This year’s European GUA Conference will commemorate 20 years of KODAK PRINERGY Workflow software, a premier prepress automation solution for both the commercial and packaging printing industries.

The thirteenth edition of the annual European Conference will focus on revolutionary advancements in technology, automation and security to meet the demands of these rapidly changing industries with unprecedented ease. The conference will feature presentations, demonstrations, university classes, and workshops to support evolution and sustainability for printing businesses in the ever-changing print marketplace. Berlin, capital city of Germany, will be the venue for the 2019 GUA Conference from October 29 to 31.

Attendees will have a chance to get close-up insights into Kodak’s latest workflow technologies, including the newly launched PRINERGY VME and Managed Services solution, launching in the Autumn, gather inspiration for their business transformation and share experiences and opinions with peers from all over Europe as well as senior Kodak representatives. Conference highlights include:

- Keynotes by leading industry experts
- 2019 and beyond – The future of Kodak software and your business
- One-on-one interaction with senior Kodak representatives
- Interactive round table discussions with the PRINERGY Product Team
- GUA’s highly popular INNOVATION TECHNOLOGY LAB will provide opportunities for attendees to address technical questions and get one-on-one technology demonstrations with experts from Kodak and industry partners

October 29 will be dedicated to the GUA University. A whole series of classes leading to GUA University Certification will allow attendees to profit from intensive hands-on training as they deepen their knowledge and enhance their practical skills in the use of key Kodak software solutions.

To commemorate 20 years of Kodak PRINERGY Workflow, Kodak will also host a 20th Anniversary Celebratory Dinner Reception on October 29 in recognition of the workflow solution’s history and its leading position in today’s market.

Todd Bigger, President, Kodak Solutions Division, & Vice President of Eastman Kodak Company commented: “The focus of GUA is to ensure the members are up to date with the latest technology, promote knowledge sharing and provide first class networking opportunities. The European GUA Conference remains true to these principles, while also featuring a number of new innovations which keep the event fresh and relevant. With the additional celebrations for the 20th anniversary of KODAK PRINERGY we would urge all those who can make room in their busy schedules to join us.”

“This year’s GUA Conference offers a densely packed, stimulating and informative agenda which casts a spotlight on several of the most relevant current and future issues for the industry and its technologies. I’m confident that the Berlin conference will be driven by a spirit of knowledge sharing and mutual support,” said Stephen Lavey, President of the EAMER GUA Board. “I can only encourage all users of Kodak solutions not to miss out on this high caliber event with its unique format. Both the conference and the GUA University will once again bring multiple benefits for every attendee.”

Registration for the 2019 European GUA Conference is now open at

The GUA (Graphic Users Association) is a worldwide, non-profit organization dedicated to empowering users of Kodak Solutions with the tools and information to be successful. Founded over 20 years ago, GUA is comprised of customers sharing knowledge and experience to help one another. GUA Members and regional Advisory Boards work closely with Kodak to provide feedback on new and existing solutions to optimize investments to address real-world business and technical challenges.
(Eastman Kodak Company)

Durst and IGEPA Systems announce sales partnership in Germany

Durst and IGEPA Systems announce sales partnership in Germany  (Company news)

Durst, manufacturer of advanced digital printing and production technologies, has entered into a distribution partnership with IGEPA Systems GmbH in Germany for its Large Format Printing portfolio. The agreement includes the distribution of the Durst P5, Durst Rho and Durst Rhotex series of web and flatbed printing systems as well as the Durst Software Eco-System with the Durst Workflow and Durst Smart Shop solutions. In future, Durst software solutions will be available at the respective demo centers at the IGEPA locations throughout Germany. Durst will also be exhibiting its new P5 350 hybrid printing system at the IGEPA in-house exhibition "Select" in Ulm, southern Germany, from September 12-14, 2019, with live demonstrations of the integrated processes from pixel to output.

"In addition to our direct sales, with the IGEPA Systems, a subsidiary of IGEPA group, we have a strong specialist wholesale partner at our side to further expand our presence in Germany," says Andreas Unterhofer, Managing Director of Germany for the Durst Group. "They have a wide range of products and the necessary know-how in large-format printing to be able to advise customers on the various suppliers, printing systems and software. We are already benefiting from the increased interest in Durst P5 and the integrated software solutions and look forward to exhibiting at IGEPA Select."
(Durst Phototechnik AG)

Efficient and sustainable packaging solutions with a vision of the future

Efficient and sustainable packaging solutions with a vision of the future  (Company news)

MULTIVAC at FachPack 2019 in Nuremberg (Hall 1, Stand 221)

At FachPack 2019 MULTIVAC will be showing a number of forward-looking innovations from its various business units. The exhibits include the new X-line machine generation, which will be presented at the trade fair in the form of the RX 4.0 thermoforming packaging machine and the TX 710 traysealer. Another focus of the trade fair will be concepts for sustainable packaging. These meet the current demands for recyclability and for minimisation of plastic consumption in the production of packs. The company's presence at the trade fair is rounded off with a presentation of its labelling and marking innovations, including a new generation of cross web labellers and new direct web printers, as well as a solution for efficient wrap-around labelling of packs (full-wrap labelling).

MULTIVAC has expanded its X-line machine generation with the addition of a further future-proofed model, the new TX 710 traysealer. The features of this traysealer are a robust machine concept and an intelligent control system, which together provide the maximum flexibility, output and reliability. In Nuremberg the TX 710 will be the centrepiece of a fully automated packaging line, which also includes a L 310 conveyor belt labeller for the attractive wrap-around labelling of packs (full-wrap labelling).

A second packaging line will have at its heart the RX 4.0 thermoforming packaging machine, which features a range of innovative technology. Thanks to its comprehensive sensor system and seamless digitalisation, it creates a new dimension, when it comes to packaging reliability, quality and performance. At FachPack the RX 4.0 will be equipped with a new generation of cross web labeller, which gives even greater labelling accuracy at an even higher level of output.

Another of the company's themes at the trade fair is the presentation of sustainable packaging solutions. On display will be a wide range of concepts, which contribute to reducing packaging material consumption in the production of packs, as well as other concepts for producing packs, which meet current requirements for recyclability. One example of this is the MULTIVAC PaperBoard range, which is made up of a wide variety of paper fibre-based materials for producing MAP and vacuum skin packs on thermoforming packaging machines and traysealers. This innovative packaging concept will be shown at the trade fair on the compact R 105 MF thermoforming packaging machine, an economic entry-level model for producing vacuum skin packs in small and medium-sized batches. The packs can be designed in such a way, that the end user is able to separate the cardboard backing from the plastic barrier layer and then put it into the paper recycling.

The fully automatic T 300 L traysealer is also a space-saving, entry-level model. The machine can be designed as multi-track and combined with various discharge systems. Thanks to the simple die change, it can quickly be converted for different pack sizes and shapes. All conventional trays from a wide range of materials can be run, as can pre-cut cardboard sheets.
(Multivac Deutschland GmbH und Co. KG)

Minerals Technologies Reports Second Quarter 2019 Earnings of $0.75 Per Share, ...

Minerals Technologies Reports Second Quarter 2019 Earnings of $0.75 Per Share, ...  (Company news)

...or $1.11 Per Share Excluding Special Items

-Sales of $464 Million; Double Digit Operating Margins Across All Segments
-Strong Operating Cash Flow of $68 Million
-Restructuring Program Expected to Deliver Annualized Savings of $12 Million
-Signed Agreement for New 45,000 Ton Satellite Paper PCC Plant in India
-First Commercial Deployment of ENVIROFIL® PCC Minerals Recycling Technology

Minerals Technologies Inc. (NYSE: MTX) (“MTI” or “the Company”) reported diluted earnings per share of $1.11, excluding special items, for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019. Reported diluted earnings per share were $0.75.

Worldwide net sales of $463.8 million were essentially flat compared to the prior year. Sales increased 3 percent excluding the impact of foreign exchange. Operating income was $45.5 million and represented 9.8 percent of sales. Operating income excluding special items was $61.2 million and represented 13.2 percent of sales.

Douglas T. Dietrich (photo), Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Our second quarter results were impacted by slowing demand in the U.S. Metalcasting market as well as rail infrastructure issues, which temporarily limited shipments in our Performance Materials business. In addition, we experienced generally weaker demand across our businesses in China and Europe. We continued to drive healthy sales in our Household and Personal Care, Environmental and Building Materials product lines, as well as in Energy Services. We also advanced our growth strategy with the signing of a new 45,000 ton PCC satellite contract in India and our first commercial deployment of ENVIROFIL® PCC, an innovative minerals recycling technology.”

Mr. Dietrich added, “To adjust to the changing market conditions and to improve margins, we initiated a restructuring and cost savings program which is expected to deliver $12 million in annual savings.”

During the second quarter, the Company incurred $13.2 million of severance and non-cash impairment charges related to a restructuring program to address the current demand environment. The pre-tax annualized savings from the program are expected to be approximately $12 million, beginning in the third quarter of 2019 and achieving full run-rate in the first half of 2020. The Company also recorded a $2.5 million reserve related to the bankruptcy of a Refractories customer in the U.K.

Segment Information
Performance Materials and Specialty Minerals
Sales in the Minerals businesses, which include the Performance Materials and Specialty Minerals segments, decreased 1 percent in the second quarter to $360.5 million. Sales grew 2 percent excluding the impact of foreign exchange. Operating income as reported for the Minerals businesses was $40.7 million and represented 11.3 percent of sales. Operating income excluding special items was $50.2 million and represented 13.9 percent of sales.

Performance Materials segment sales were flat with the prior year at $215.4 million. Sales grew 4 percent excluding the impact of foreign exchange.

Sales in Household, Personal Care & Specialty Products increased 18 percent, primarily due to the continued growth of our pet care products in Europe and North America. Environmental Products sales increased 15 percent driven by an ongoing large international project and Building Materials sales rose 6 percent due to an increase in U.S. commercial construction projects.

Sales growth in the segment was partially offset by decreased sales in Metalcasting and Basic Minerals. The decrease in Metalcasting sales was due to weaker demand in U.S. automotive, heavy truck and agricultural equipment as well as in China.

Operating income as reported for the segment was $20.7 million and represented 9.6 percent of sales. Operating income for the segment excluding special items was $27.7 million and represented 12.9 percent of sales. Pricing actions more than offset higher raw material costs. However, operating income and margins were affected by the lower Metalcasting sales and rail infrastructure issues impacting the Company’s operations in the Western U.S.

The Performance Materials segment provides a wide range of bentonite-based and synthetic materials for industrial and consumer markets and for non-residential construction, environmental remediation and infrastructure projects worldwide.

Specialty Minerals segment sales, which consist of the Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (PCC) and Processed Minerals product lines, decreased 4 percent to $145.1 million. Sales decreased 1 percent excluding the impact of foreign exchange.

Worldwide sales of PCC, which is used mainly in the manufacturing processes of the paper industry, decreased 4 percent to $107.5 million largely due to previously announced customer paper machine shutdowns in North America, including the closure of a U.S. paper mill in the first quarter of 2019, and foreign exchange. Paper PCC sales grew in both Asia and Latin America.

Processed Minerals sales decreased 4 percent to $37.6 million, primarily due to lower sales in the automotive and construction markets. Processed Minerals products are used in the building materials, polymers, ceramics, consumer products, paints and coatings, glass and other manufacturing industries.

Segment operating income as reported was $20.0 million and represented 13.8 percent of sales. Excluding special items, segment operating income was $22.5 million and represented 15.5 percent of sales. The lower operating income was driven by the shutdowns in North America, lower volumes and unfavorable foreign exchange, which was partially offset by higher pricing.

Refractories and Energy Services
Sales in the Service businesses, which include the Refractories and Energy Services segments, increased 4 percent to $103.3 million. Sales increased 7 percent excluding the impact of foreign exchange. Operating income for the Service businesses was $8.0 million and represented 7.7 percent of sales. Excluding special items, operating income was $13.1 million and represented 12.7 percent of sales.

Refractories segment sales decreased 3 percent to $77.5 million, primarily due to lower Refractory sales in Europe, partially offset by higher sales of Metallurgical Products. Sales were flat excluding the impact of foreign exchange. The Refractories segment operating income as reported was $7.1 million and represented 9.2 percent of sales. Excluding special items, operating income was $10.4 million and represented 13.4 percent of sales. The Refractories segment provides products and services primarily to the worldwide steel industry.

Energy Services segment sales rose 31 percent to $25.8 million, primarily driven by higher well testing and filtration activity in the Gulf of Mexico. Operating income as reported was $0.9 million and represented 3.5 percent of sales. Excluding special items, operating income was $2.7 million and represented 10.5 percent of sales. Energy Services offers a range of patented technologies, products and services for off-shore filtration and well testing to the worldwide oil and gas industry.
(MTI Minerals Technologies Inc.)

Cascades Announces Record Sales and Adjusted OIBD for the Second Quarter of 2019; ...

Cascades Announces Record Sales and Adjusted OIBD for the Second Quarter of 2019; ...  (Company news)

... Quarterly Dividend Increased from $0.04 to $0.08 Per Share

Cascades Inc. (TSX: CAS) reports its unaudited financial results for the three-month period ended June 30, 2019.

Q2 2019 Highlights
-Sales of $1,275 million compared to $1,230 million in Q1 2019 (+4%) and $1,180 million in Q2 2018 (+8%))
-As reported (including specific items)
---Operating income of $82 million (compared to $72 million in Q1 2019 (+14%) and $73 million in Q2 2018 (+12%))
---Operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBD) 1 of $154 million (compared to $139 million in Q1 2019 (+11%) and $131 million in Q2 2018 (+18%))
---Net earnings per share of $0.33 (compared to $0.26 in Q1 2019 and $0.28 in Q2 2018)
-Adjusted (excluding specific items)
---Operating income of $84 million (compared to $68 million in Q1 2019 (+24%) and $76 million in Q2 2018 (+11%))
---OIBD of $156 million (compared to $135 million in Q1 2019 (+16%) and $134 million in Q2 2018 (+16%))
---Net earnings per share of $0.28 (compared to $0.14 in Q1 2019 and $0.30 in Q2 2018)
-Net debt 1 of $1,861 million as at June 30, 2019 (compared to $1,878 million as at March 31, 2019 ) and net debt to adjusted OIBD ratio 1 at 3.3x on a pro-forma basis.

Mr. Mario Plourde (photo), President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: "Cascades delivered record quarterly sales and adjusted OIBD that were in line with expectations in the second quarter. All our segments executed well. Tissue results were supported by favourable input costs and selling prices and better operational performance, notably at the St. Helens mill in Oregon , Containerboard Packaging performance reflected lower OCC prices and good operational flexibility within a context of softer demand and pricing pressure, while European Boxboard and Specialty Products results benefited from recent business acquisitions.

On the strategic front, we announced the acquisition of substantially all of the Orchids Paper Products assets in early July. This move provides compelling optimization opportunities for our Tissue platform while reinforcing the operational foundation of this segment's U.S. consumer product business. Furthermore, the addition of these assets accelerates our ongoing Tissue modernization plan, is aligned with our efforts to enhance the quality of the products we manufacture, and reinforces our initiatives to support the growth of our customers and the segment. On the Containerboard side, analysis of the Bear Island conversion project in Virginia is advancing, with added time being taken to determine the optimal structure to successfully execute the project and to minimize risk. We expect to provide additional information by the end of the year.

Finally, we are pleased to announce that we are increasing our quarterly dividend from $0.04 to $0.08 per share. This step reflects our strong asset base and financial fundamentals. We continue to prioritize capital investments and debt reduction in our capital allocation, and believe that this dividend increase, amounting to approximately $15 million annually, will not impact our financial flexibility to continue to focus on these priorities for creation of shareholder value. At the same time, we will provide our shareholders with a higher cash return on their investment that is better aligned with the industry."

Analysis of results for the three-month period ended June 30, 2019 (compared to the same period last year)
Sales of $1,275 million increased by $95 million , or 8%, compared to the same period last year, attaining a record level for the second quarter. Specifically, Tissue sales increased by $34 million or 10%, reflecting a higher average selling price, a more favourable sales mix and exchange rate, partially offset by slightly lower volume following the previously announced closure of 2 paper machines in Ontario. European Boxboard sales increased by $38 million, or 16%, compared to the prior year. This was largely driven by the business acquisition in Spain at the end of 2018, which served to more than offset less favourable selling price and mix and Canadian dollar - euro exchange rate. The Specialty Products segment generated an 18% or $29 million sales improvement year-over-year, reflecting 2018 acquisitions and improved pricing, sales mix and volumes on the packaging side. Combined, these benefits more than offset lower results from the Recovery & Recycling sub-segment due to price erosion of recycled material. Finally, sales in the Containerboard Packaging group decreased by $13 million or 3% year-over-year. This was entirely driven by lower volume, which more than mitigated the benefits of a more favourable exchange rate and sales mix, while average selling prices were stable year-over-year.

The Corporation generated an operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBD) of $154 million in the second quarter of 2019. This compares to the $131 million generated in the same period last year. This reflects higher average selling prices, a more favourable sales mix and lower raw material prices in the Tissue and Containerboard segments. In the case of both segments, these benefits were partially offset by lower volumes during the period. Tissue results also benefited from ongoing efforts to realign the financial performance by reducing costs and improving execution. This segment also recorded $4 million of prior year U.S. tax credits during the second quarter. Business acquisitions completed in the last twelve months contributed to the year-over-year improvements generated by Specialty Products and European Boxboard. Results in the Specialty Products segment also benefited from volume and selling price improvements in packaging sub-segments compared to the prior year, the benefits of which offset lower Recovery results attributable to raw material pricing erosion. 2019 operating results also include the beneficial impact of IFRS 16 accounting for leases, which increased second quarter 2019 OIBD by approximately $7 million.

On an adjusted basis 1 , second quarter 2019 OIBD stood at $156 million , versus $134 million in the prior year.

The main specific items, before income taxes, that impacted our second quarter 2019 OIBD and/or net earnings were:
-$4 million charge in Corporate Activities related to an environmental provision (OIBD and net earnings)
-$5 million gain in Corporate Activities related to an insurance settlement from a prior year event (OIBD and net earnings)
-$4 million charge in Corporate Activities associated with transaction fees paid for the Orchids' assets acquisition (OIBD and net earnings)
-$6 million unrealized gain on the fair value revaluation of an option granted in the Bear Island project (net earnings)

For the 3-month period ended June 30, 2019, the Corporation posted net earnings of $31 million, or $0.33 per share, compared to net earnings of $27 million, or $0.28 per share, in the same period of 2018. On an adjusted basis, the Corporation generated net earnings of $26 million in the second quarter of 2019, or $0.28 per share, compared to net earnings of $29 million, or $0.30 per share, in the same period of 2018.

Near-Term and Strategic Outlook
Discussing the outlook for Cascades, Mr. Plourde commented: "Near-term results in the Containerboard business segment are expected to improve both sequentially and year-over-year, following usual seasonal trends and current market dynamics, while Tissue performance is expected to continue its positive trend in the third quarter. European Boxboard performance is expected to benefit from its recent acquisition on a year-over-year basis, while sequential performance is expected to moderate as a result of lower seasonal demand following holiday-related closures in the third quarter, and lower pricing. We anticipate stable near-term results in the Specialty Products segment both year-over-year and sequentially, as the impact of ongoing lower recycled fibre pricing on the recovery operations is expected to be offset by stable pricing and volumes in packaging. On a consolidated basis, third quarter performance is expected to improve year-over-year and be moderately higher on a sequential basis."
(Cascades Inc.)

WestRock Announces Plans to Sell Newberg Property

WestRock Announces Plans to Sell Newberg Property  (Company news)

WestRock Company (NYSE: WRK) announced plans to sell its property in Newberg, Oregon.

The 220-acre property, site of WestRock’s former paper mill, includes 100 acres of developable land along the Willamette River. Colliers International has been retained to assist with the sale.

“Partnering with the city, we have explored many options for developing the property,” said John Stakel, senior vice president and treasurer of WestRock. “We believe that selling it for a possible mixed-use development will provide the most value for both WestRock and the city. We are encouraged by the interest in the property and believe there is a great opportunity for a buyer to completely redevelop the property in line with the city’s proposed Riverfront Master Plan and for the long-term benefit of local residents.”

We have been fortunate that over the last several months, we have been able to repurpose some of the paper-making equipment and components at our Newberg site for use in several of our other facilities,” Stakel added.

“We applaud WestRock’s collaboration and partnership in the Riverfront Master Plan process and willingness to look at different options for the site, including possibly donating a small portion of the site, Rogers Landing, for public use,” said Rick Rogers, mayor of Newberg. “We look forward to working with WestRock and potential buyers as WestRock markets the property. The redevelopment of this important site will be key to the economic revitalization of the riverfront and Newberg.”
(WestRock Companies)

Ence signs a sustainable loan for its pulp business with CaixaBank

Ence signs a sustainable loan for its pulp business with CaixaBank  (Company news)

Ence-Energía y Celulosa has signed a new sustainable loan of 25 million euros with CaixaBank, which will be used to finance different projects of the company for the pulp business. This new loan will help finance, among others, investments aimed at promoting the circular economy and improving the environmental performance of the Ence biofactory in Navia (Asturias).

One of the highlights of the operation is that the loan conditions will be set based on its sustainability performance, so that if the company improves its sustainability parameters, the interest rate will also improve.

In this sense, the independent rating company Sustainalytics will be responsible for annually evaluating Ence’s performance in environmental, social and good governance aspects.

With this operation, Ence reinforces its commitment to sustainability and is positioned as one of the leading Spanish companies in promoting sustainable financing for investments with a clear positive impact at the environmental level.

CaixaBank is the first Ibex 35 bank to completely neutralize its calculated carbon footprint and, for the fifth consecutive year, has been included by the CDP in the index of leading companies in the fight against climate change. It also collaborates with the European Investment Bank in the financing of projects focused on the fight against climate change, contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals.
(Grupo Empresarial ENCE S.A. Divisíon de Celulosa)

Verso Corporation Reports Second Quarter 2019 Financial Results

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

Verso Corporation (NYSE: VRS) reported financial results for the second quarter of 2019.
-Net sales of $602 million, down $42 million compared to second quarter 2018
-Net loss of $112 million, including $116 million in pre-tax charges associated with the Luke Mill closure, compared to net income of $1 million in the second quarter of 2018
-Adjusted EBITDA of $44 million lower by $7 million versus second quarter 2018

"Even though pricing for our products and mill operating performance remained favorable in the second quarter, our results were impacted by lower sales volume attributed to the continued decline in graphic paper usage by our customers, existing customer inventory overhang and increased graphic paper imports," said Verso Interim Chief Executive Officer Leslie T. Lederer (photo). "We anticipate the balancing of supply and demand resulting from the second quarter closure of our paper mill in Luke, Maryland, along with significant announced industry conversions."

Comments to Results of Operations - Comparison of Three Months Ended June 30, 2019 to Three Months Ended June 30, 2018
Net sales
Net sales for the second quarter of 2019 decreased by $42 million compared to the second quarter of 2018 as price/mix improvement was more than offset by declines in sales volume. Total company sales volume was down from 706,000 tons during the second quarter of 2018, to 646,000 tons during the second quarter of 2019, due to continued decline of graphic paper demand by our customers, the existing customer inventory overhang and increased graphic paper imports, partially offset by an increase in sales volume of specialty papers, packaging papers and market pulp.

Operating income (loss)
Operating income (loss) was a loss of $112 million for the second quarter of 2019, a decrease of $116 million when compared to operating income of $4 million for the second quarter of 2018. Eliminating the cash and non-cash charges relating to the Luke Mill closure, the second quarter 2019 operating income equaled the operating income of the second quarter of 2018 at $4 million. Improved price/mix for the second quarter of 2019 was more than offset by:
-Lower sales volume driven by a decline in graphic paper sales, partially offset by an increase in the sales volume of specialty paper, packaging paper and market pulp.
-Higher input costs driven by wood fiber and purchased pulp, partially offset by lower chemical costs and favorable weather impacts on energy costs.
-Higher operating expenses driven primarily by mill market downtime, partially offset by improved operational performance of our mill system.
-Costs associated with the closure of our Luke Mill, including $76 million of non-cash accelerated depreciation and $40 million of cash and non-cash restructuring charges.

Interest expense
Interest expense for the second quarter of 2019 decreased $5 million from the second quarter of 2018 as a result of the reduction in amounts outstanding under the ABL facility and the repayment and termination of our term loan facility in September 2018.

Other (income) expense
Other (income) expense for the second quarter of 2019 and 2018 includes income of $1 million and $3 million, respectively, associated with the non-operating components of net periodic pension cost (income).

Comments to Results of Operations - Comparison of Six Months Ended June 30, 2019 to Six Months Ended June 30, 2018
Net sales
Net sales for the first half of 2019 decreased $42 million compared to the first half of 2018 as price/mix improvement was more than offset by declines in sales volume. Total company sales volume was down from 1,428,000 tons during the first half of 2018, to 1,311,000 tons during the first half of 2019, due to continued decline of graphic paper demand by our customers, the existing customer inventory overhang and increased graphic paper imports, partially offset by an increase in sales volume of specialty papers, packaging papers and market pulp.

Operating income (loss)
Operating income (loss) was a loss of $75 million for the first half of 2019 compared to income of $9 million in the first half of 2018. Eliminating the cash and non-cash charges relating to the Luke Mill closure in the second quarter 2019, operating income for the first half of 2019 exceeded the operating income of the first half of 2018 by $32 million. Improved price/mix for the first half of 2019 was more than offset by:
-Lower sales volume driven by a decline in graphic paper sales, partially offset by an increase in the sales volume of specialty paper, packaging paper and market pulp.
-Higher input costs driven by higher costs of chemicals, wood fiber and purchased pulp, partially offset by favorable weather impacts on energy costs.
-Higher operating expenses driven primarily by mill market downtime and union ratification expense for signing bonuses and for the settlement of various work arrangement issues, partially offset by improved operational performance of our mill system.
-Costs associated with the closure of our Luke Mill, including $76 million of non-cash accelerated depreciation and $40 million of cash and non-cash restructuring charges.

Interest expense
Interest expense for the first half of 2019 decreased $15 million compared to the first half of 2018. Interest expense for the first half of 2018 includes $4 million in non-cash accelerated amortization of debt issuance cost and discount associated with the voluntary principal prepayments and excess cash flow payments on our prior term loan facility. The remaining decrease in interest expense resulted from the reduction in amounts outstanding under the ABL facility and the repayment and termination of our term loan facility in September 2018.

Other (income) expense
Other (income) expense for the first half of 2019 and 2018 include income of $2 million and $7 million, respectively, associated with the non-operating components of net periodic pension cost (income).

2019 Third Quarter
-Net Sales expected to be $620-640 million
-Capital Expenditures of $34-38 million
-Maintenance expense $15-20 million less than second quarter 2019
-Cash pension funding of $17-20 million
(Verso Corporation)

Consumers rely on print

Consumers rely on print  (Company news)

While online channels grow, data and retailers tell us that print continues to be an indispensable part of a successful multi-channel retail strategy.

Today’s consumers are proving to be the most sophisticated ever. They shop online (about 15 per cent of all sales in 2017, says statistics portal Statista), in brick-andmortar stores (85 per cent of sales) and across multiple devices – computer, mobile phone, tablet… perhaps all of the above.

Many do their homework, too, before they buy. They watch online product reviews, tap into their favourite social network, field text messages, or rifle through a deluge of promotional email. Again, maybe all of the above.

But data, marketing experts, and etailers together tell us that consumers continue to rely on print to reach and educate them, to help “fill out the picture.” They tell us that there are physical and tactile qualities of print collateral that can’t be matched online, and keep print forever viable. And when print is part of a retailer’s multi-channel retail strategy, it positively affects customer engagement, loyalty and sales success.

Print best conveys brand
Increasingly companies are embracing printed media to round out their omnichannel marketing strategy,” notes Neil O’Keefe, Senior Vice President at the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the world’s largest advertising and marketing association. “Even newer, more disruptive brands which are predominantly online – like Harry's Dollar Shave Club and Blue Apron – have implemented printed media as a part of their omnichannel strategy,” he adds. “They tell us that print best conveys their brand, attracts new customers and retains existing ones.”

A vote of confidence for catalogues
There is strong evidence to back up O’Keefe’s observations. According to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR), several notable US retailers say that those consumers who include print among their multi-channel relationship spend more money.

For example, department store giant Nordstrom reported a four-fold increase in spending from customers whose marketing exposure included print media. Similarly, menswear retailer Bonobos reported that 20 per cent of their first-time website customers place their orders after having received a catalogue, but significantly spend one and- a-half times more than shoppers who did not receive a catalogue.

Other strong retail brands including J.Crew, Restoration Hardware, and Macy’s, among many others, have ramped-up their catalogues offerings recently in the face of compelling feedback from customers.
Long live direct mail

Still, catalogues are only one dimension of the print media mix in a multi-channel marketing strategy. Direct mail has also seen a comeback of late.

The most recent data from ANA’s Data & Marketing Association’s (DMA) division’s 2018 Statistical Fact Book reports that direct mail usage in media campaigns (in the US) rose a healthy 18 per cent, from 50 per cent in 2015 to 59 per cent last year.

O’Keefe has some insight as to why.
“It’s about personalisation and relevance – they make the difference. The ability to scale a direct mail campaign in order to drive growth is more easily achievable than it is via email or through
mobile app adoption.”

Moreover, while direct mail does have higher costs than its digital doppelgänger, the ANA tells us that the response rate to direct mail is six times higher than from digital channels, coming in at 3.7 per cent versus 0.62 per cent. But perhaps the most surprising aspect of direct mail is the acceptance by the very generation that is the most digital-savvy – millennials.

Millennials: big fans of print
According to a report entitled Millennials: An Emerging Consumer Powerhouse by Quad/Graphics, a leading global provider of print and marketing services, more than half of millennials ignore digital advertising, and instead pay their greatest attention to direct mail and print advertising.

“Millennials who have a strong relationship with technology are embracing well-executed print offers,” adds O’Keefe. Even the US Postal Service has taken note of millennials acceptance of direct mail. In their highly regarded annual publication, the 2017 USPS Mail Moments Review, a full 84 per cent of millennials reported taking time to look through their direct marketing mail, and 64 percent prefer scanning for useful information from their mailbox rather than their email inbox.

Paper or digital? It’s all about relevance
While data, researches, analysts and retailers all tell us that paper in a multichannel retail strategy is as relevant as ever, it isn’t so much about a “digital-versus-paper” conundrum. To appeal to consumers across the spectrum from millennial to baby-boomer, a winning multi-channel retail strategy must do both well.

“Marketers are elevating their sophistication in order to better identify and pair up their best customers with their best messaging – print and digital,” sums up O’Keefe.

“It’s about what is most relevant to their individual interests.”
(Stora Enso Oyj)

Automation and Digitalisation at the MBO Open House

Automation and Digitalisation at the MBO Open House  (Company news)

MBO presents the future of print finishing
One year before drupa, the world’s largest trade fair for the printing and print media industry, opens its doors once again, folding machine manufacturer MBO is holding an Open House. On 5 and 6 September, customers and interested parties can look into the future and find out today about the possibilities of tomorrow. The focus of the event will be on the current topics automation, digitalisation, robotics, networking and Industry 4.0 / IIoT.

Photo: The MBO CoBo-Stack, a collaborative robot, deposits stacks of product on pallets, thus reducing the physical effort for the operator

Automated stacking with the MBO CoBo-Stack
A total of three CoBo-Stacks will be on show at the Open House. The MBO CoBo-Stack is a collaborative robot which works directly next to and with its human colleagues, without additional protective measures such as barrier fences. With the new, automated CoBo-Stack, MBO is revolutionising the labour-intensive, manual stacking of folded signatures. The stacked signatures are transported from the delivery onto the table of the CoBo-Stack. The robot picks up the stacks from the table and deposits them on pallets. In addition to greatly reducing the physical effort required, this gives the operator time to carry out administrative tasks, for example quality control or preparing the next folding job.

Software for a networked finishing process
The MBO Datamanager 4.0, already successfully established on the market, is a software package for production planning and analysis. Datamanager uses job-specific data, such as the materials used, the sheet size and the fold types, to optimise the set-up process for the folding machine. This means shorter set-up times. But Datamanager 4.0 is also the interface to higher-level Management Information Systems. As a result of constant data exchange via JDF or REST-API, all changes to the production are immediately passed on to the machines. Live synchronisation of data makes production predictable, allowing effective production planning and objective final costing.

MBO partner Baumann Medianetics will be presenting the aepos PrePress Workflow and the cavok DAM system. aepos is a PDF pre-press workflow and a comprehensive job management system rolled into one. It allows you to conveniently manage complex printing jobs and network them to form a continuous process chain – in digital, sheet-fed or web offset printing. This makes the software the perfect complete solution for the pre-press stage. The second software package Baumann Medianetics will be presenting is cavok, a Digital Asset Management and workflow system which is quite different from traditional DAM applications, as it is particularly suitable for print and online media production and integration into other systems, even across departments and companies.

Efficient production through automation and further features
All five folding machines MBO will be showing at the Open House are equipped with the new M1 control and are automated: the K8RS, K8 and K80 combi folders as well as the T800.1 and T50 buckle fold machines. Automation means faster set-up for all folding machines. Tried and trusted MBO features such as the ergonomically designed slitter shaft cassette also contribute to reducing set-up times. With the T800.1, MBO will be demonstrating the advantages of its sheet return device. It reduces the path between feeder and delivery by around 80%. The K80 features the newly developed KT90 curved table. It deflects folded sheets arriving from the cross-fold area through 90 degrees. As a result, in order to change over from a 16-page to a 32-page production run, the delivery only needs to be moved in one direction. This saves not only set-up time, but also valuable space in the production environment.

Dynamic perforations on the web
At the Open House, visitors will be able to see how a digitally printed paper webs become a finished product with dynamic perforations and a glued spine. The product is bundled behind the delivery and then deposited on pallets by the CoBo-Stack. Both the unwinder and the dynamic perforator are new developments from MBO.

Rotary die-cutting with the BOGRAMA BSR 550 basic
The compact and attractively priced BSR 550 basic is structured as an offline solution. It is designed specifically for users who want to produce small and medium runs economically and efficiently. It is suitable for die-cutting, kiss-cutting, scoring, perforating and embossing a wide variety of products such as packaging, labels, mailings, presentation folders, to name but a few – in both offset and digital printing. Visitors to the Open House will be able to see how it is possible to punch widely ranging jobs by means of a simple tool change.
(MBO Maschinenbau Oppenweiler Binder GmbH & Co KG)

Koenig & Bauer and Klingele together a successful development partnership

Koenig & Bauer and Klingele together a successful development partnership  (Company news)

Picture: The CorruCUT will be installed and put into production in Klingele's Delmenhorst plant as of August

The Klingele Group, one of the leading independent manufacturers of corrugated base paper and corrugated cardboard packaging, and Koenig & Bauer, the world's second largest manufacturer of printing machines, are setting new standards in printing technology for packaging within the framework of a development partnership. Both companies have now reached a new milestone with the successful factory acceptance testing of a newly developed CorruCUT high board line rotary die-cutter by Klingele after conducting a test phase with the prototype. Koenig & Bauer completely redesigned the highly productive 6-colour machine in close cooperation with Klingele and adapted it to the specific market and production demands. The CorruCUT will be installed and put into production in Klingele's Delmenhorst plant as of August. The engineering design, the print quality achieved and the implementation of the operating concept not only impressed Klingele, but also received very positive feedback from visitors from the corrugated board industry worldwide.

A quantum leap in quality and performance
The combination of high print quality and precision as well as market-leading performance represents a significant further development in printing technology for the packaging sector. Klingele will use the new machine to target market segments with high demands in terms of the print image and process reliability in packaging. These include in particular brand name companies, but also food manufacturers using packaging as an advertising medium at the point of sale.

The technical specifications of the new CorruCUT are geared precisely to these exacting demands: in addition to its excellent print quality, it offers high accuracy in printing and die-cutting, thus significantly reducing waste and increasing resource efficiency. With a working width of 2.80 metres and a feed rate of 12,000 units per hour, the CorruCUT is extremely efficient; large packaging and displays are also easier to produce.

The machine has a rollerless infeed so the sheets of corrugated board are fed gently into the machine to protect the material. The vacuum
roll handling within the CorruCUT also ensures a significant reduction in wear and therefore less machine downtime and lower costs for spare parts. Automated data analyses will enable preventive machine maintenance in the future, thus avoiding unexpected failures.

A win-win development partnership
The development partnership between Klingele and Koenig & Bauer is a win-win for both sides: Koenig & Bauer is the world's second largest manufacturer of printing machines with the broadest product range in the industry and the market leader in many printing processes. Koenig & Bauer is now increasing its commitment in a growing market for corrugated board converting machines with Klingele as an exclusive partner. The partnership in turn gave Klingele the chance to actively support the development of the new rotary die-cutter from the outset, thus ensuring that the machine fully meets the demands of the market.

“Koenig & Bauer has implemented the concept and technical innovations very well. The results that we have now seen in Würzburg have impressed us”, states Dr. Jan Klingele, Managing Partner of the Klingele Group. Christoph Müller, member of the Executive Board at Koenig & Bauer: “In the last two years, we have continuously built up a new team and consistently worked on the development of the machine.” The focus on growth markets, such as conventional and digital packaging printing is part of the successful Koenig & Bauer strategy.
(Klingele Papierwerke GmbH & Co KG)

Mitsubishi HiTec Paper with two innovations at Labelexpo Europe 2019

Mitsubishi HiTec Paper with two innovations at Labelexpo Europe 2019  (Company news)

With two innovations in store, Mitsubishi HiTec Paper is presenting a wide range of coated specialty papers for the label and packaging market at Labelexpo Europe 2019. The new products: jetscript METAL VPG 1018, a metallic-silver gloss inkjet paper for the water-based inkjet printing of self-adhesive labels, as well as barricote BAG WGOM, a fully recyclable barrier paper for flexible food packaging with multi-barrier against water vapour, grease and oil, oxygen and aroma as well as mineral oil migration.

As a paper product, the new jetscript METAL VPG 1018 (110 g) is purely fibre-based with a silver metallic glossy finish and a transparent, microporous inkjet coating for excellent printing performance. The inkjet paper impresses with its high print density, fast drying, compatibility with latex inks and optimum performance in the self-adhesive production process. "This makes it particularly suitable for eye-catching and high-quality labels in the beverage, cosmetics or food sector. But also for other applications such as wrapping paper, advertising panels and displays, "says Nic Holmer, Director Sales of the Bielefeld specialty paper manufacturer.

With the new barricote BAG WGOM (89 g), Mitsubishi launches a particularly sustainable barrier paper for flexible food packaging, which impresses with a universal multi-barrier. "Because it protects food and consumers not only from water vapour, fat / oil and oxygen / aroma, but also from mineral oil migration (MOSH / MOAH), and thus offers particularly wide barrier protection," adds Nic Holmer. In addition, BAG WGOM can be heat-sealed very effectively and is approved for direct food contact. The virgin fibre paper product is 100% free of plastic films, aluminium and fluorocarbons, fully recyclable, and FSC® or PEFC™ certified.

In addition, Mitsubishi will be showcasing a comprehensive range of coated specialty papers for the label market at Labelexpo Europe:
-Thermoscript thermal papers, amongst others for linerless applications, with extra high heat resistance or with back protection
-Jetscript inkjet papers, amongst others a light 70 g version, for ticket and tag applications or with an embossed surface
-Supercote cast-coated label papers, amongst others for wet glue labels, composite cans and shoulder boxes

Samples and further information will be available at the Mitsubishi stand of Labelexpo Europe 2019 in Brussels (Hall 6, Stand 6A09), but also at the Fachpack 2019 in Nuremberg (Hall 7A, Stand 7A641).
(Mitsubishi HiTec Paper Europe GmbH)

ANDRITZ successfully starts up tissue production line with shoe press and steel Yankee

ANDRITZ successfully starts up tissue production line with shoe press and steel Yankee  (Company news)

International technology Group ANDRITZ has successfully started up the PrimeLineCOMPACT tissue production line, including stock preparation, delivered to Africaine Paper Mills (APM) in Algeria.

The ANDRITZ energy-efficient tissue machine has a design speed of 2,100 m/min and a working width of 2.85 m and produces tissue for high-quality facial wipes as well as toilet and towel paper grades. The machine is equipped with the latest ANDRITZ shoe press technology PrimePress XT Evo. With its energy-efficient design, improved dewatering, and reduced need for thermal drying, the shoe press minimizes energy consumption. Furthermore, the 16 ft. PrimeDry Steel Yankee enables a high drying capacity.

The stock preparation system also consists of equipment with the highest energy efficiency, such as a FibreSolve FSV pulper with innovative rotor, well-proven TwinFlo double-disc refiners as well as ModuScreen HBE headbox screens for the approach flow system. Fiber recovery and broke handling are also part of the scope of supply.

“Start-up of the mill was a great success, and the collaboration with ANDRITZ was very good. It is the first tissue machine for APM, and we are proud to announce the first paper on reel. For us, good paper quality combined with energy-efficiency is of utmost importance. The combination of a steel Yankee and a shoe press enables efficient drying with substantial energy savings.” Ziad Haffar, General Manager, Africaine Paper Mills (APM).

Africaine Paper Mills (APM) is an innovative paper manufacturing company founded by people with longtime and profound experience in the paper making industry. Its expansion plans include paper mills in several countries belonging to the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) region.

The successful start-up once again confirms ANDRITZ’s strong position as one of the global market leaders in the tissue industry and as supplier for complete tissue production lines, key components, and services.
(Andritz AG)

Heidelberg: Good order situation at start of second quarter

Heidelberg: Good order situation at start of second quarter  (Company news)

-Demand for contract and subscription offerings continues to develop favorably – higher share of recurring sales
-First quarter affected by reluctance to invest due to economic situation
-Seasonal increase in net working capital hits free cash flow
-Measures introduced to increase liquidity and safeguard profitability

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) has embarked on the second quarter of financial year 2019/2020 with a far better order situation, compensating in part for the weak first quarter in Europe in particular. The company is systematically continuing its digital transformation and expanding its innovative digital business models with a view to significantly reducing its exposure to economic fluctuations and increasing the share of recurring business in the medium to long term. Demand for the contract and subscription offerings that are the main focus of this strategy continued to grow in the first quarter of financial year 2019/2020. The medium-term goal is to increase the share of recurring sales – primarily from contract and subscription business – to around one-third of total sales. With customer demand rising, Heidelberg is expanding its subscription portfolio and is now offering additional contract options. At present, customers are offered a fully inclusive package that combines equipment, services, consumables, and software in one usage-based contract that runs over several years. In the future, however, they will also be able to combine and utilize individual components from this offering over a defined period of time and in line with set standards.

Towards the end of the first quarter in particular, the need for further strategic development of the company was highlighted by the increasing reluctance to invest, especially in western Europe, and associated shifts in sales due to the economic slowdown. Quarterly sales, EBITDA excluding restructuring result, and the net result after taxes, for example, were all down on the corresponding figures for the previous year. In mid-July, Heidelberg adapted its outlook for financial year 2019/2020 as a whole to reflect the changed business expectations.
(Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG)

SCA appoints new General Counsel

SCA appoints new General Counsel  (Company news)

SCA has appointed Katarina Nilsson new Senior Vice President Legal Affairs and General Counsel. She will be a member of SCA’s Executive Management Team. She succeeds Jan Svedjebrant, who will retire.

Katarina Nilsson presently holds a position at Norsk Hydro ASA as Senior Vice President Health Safety Environment. She has held leading positions in Sapa AS and at Advokatfirman Vinge, some of them in Asia.

Katarina Nilsson will take on her new position as of January 1, 2020.
(Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget SCA)

Dr. Jan Klingele becomes First Vice Chairman of the global association ICCA

Dr. Jan Klingele becomes First Vice Chairman of the global association ICCA  (Company news)

Picture: Dr. Jan Klingele: Decades of commitment to the protection of the environment and natural resources

Dr. Jan Klingele, Managing Partner of the Klingele Group, is appointed First Vice Chairman of the International Corrugated Case Association (ICCA). The Klingele Group is one of the leading independent manufacturers of corrugated base paper and packaging made of corrugated board. The ICCA is the global association for the corrugated board industry; its goal is primarily to promote public awareness of the industry, represent its concerns and support the activities of its members. These include international global players in the industry, but also national and supranational associations, such as the European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (FEFCO), whose Chairman is Dr. Jan Klingele.

As the newly elected Vice Chairman, Dr. Klingele wants to particularly encourage an exchange on best practices between members and external experts, identify common issues and derive an action plan from this. He also wants to support the members of the association in positioning the corrugated board industry as a solution provider for environmental and climate protection.

Potential for replacing plastic is by no means exhausted
Dr. Klingele is convinced that “there couldn't be any better time than at present.” “Some of the dramatic pictures of the plastic waste in the world's oceans have brought about a change in awareness in politics, business and society. This has now not only resulted in the formation of a global climate protection movement, which is actively driven especially by the next generation. Environmental and climate protection now also dominate the international agenda, even in institutions such as the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund.” When looking for solutions, the corrugated board industry is predestined to take on an important role: “Corrugated board is 100% recyclable, complies with the highest hygiene and environmental standards and, as a packaging material, is simply the best recyclable product”, explains Dr. Klingele.

“Plastic packaging can be replaced by corrugated cardboard in many cases, even for complex applications, such as shipping refrigerated food. Manufacturers of corrugated cardboard packaging already today support many companies in making their supply chains more sustainable. But the potential is by no means exhausted, especially in the logistics and retail sector; a visit to the nearest supermarket is enough to recognise this.”

Decades of commitment to the corrugated board industry
The commitment to the industry has a longstanding tradition at Klingele Papierwerke, represented by its Managing Partner. Dr. Werner Fred Klingele, father of Dr. Jan Klingele, was the founding member of the ICCA. Dr. Jan Klingele himself was Chairman of the German Corrugated Board Industry Association (VDW) from 2010 to 2016; he has been Chairman of the umbrella organisation of European corrugated board manufacturers (FEFCO) since 2016.
(Klingele Papierwerke GmbH & Co KG)

Sappi becomes an International Stakeholder member of PEFC

Sappi becomes an International Stakeholder member of PEFC  (Company news)

Sappi Limited (Sappi) is pleased to announce that we have become an International Stakeholder member of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest CertificationTM (PEFCTM). This membership aligns with our focus on sustainable forest management and responsible procurement throughout our supply and value chains.

Steve Binnie (photo), Sappi Chief Executive Officer, commented that “Credible, internationally recognised, robust forest certification systems like PEFC are fundamental to Sappi’s commitment to sustainability. These systems give assurance to our value chain of the origin of our woodfibre and responsible forest management practices.”

Graeme Wild, Sappi’s Group Head of Sustainability and Investor Relations, added “Given that stakeholder engagement underpins our approach to doing business at Sappi, we welcome the opportunity to become a PEFC International Stakeholder member. Through voting in PEFC´s General Assembly and joining Working Groups and Committees we look forward to sharing our expertise and contributing to the mission of PEFC.”

“The collaboration reinforces our contribution towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals and in particular SDG 15 - Life on Land; given our common priorities to promote sustainable forest management and support smallholder forestry around the world.”

PEFC is also increasingly becoming an important forest certification option in South Africa, responding to customers’ requests for PEFC labelled products. Over the past years, Sappi has been collaborating with national stakeholders to develop a national forest certification system. These efforts have now delivered the South African Forest Assurance Scheme (SAFAS) – which has recently been assessed and endorsed by PEFC.
(Sappi Limited)

New renewable, recyclable and compostable package for Carte d'Or

New renewable, recyclable and compostable package for Carte d'Or  (Company news)

Unilever has introduced its Carte d’Or ice cream in a new paperboard packaging in Italy. The bowl is made from PEFC certified renewable fibre with a biodegradable barrier coating, and after use it can be either recycled or composted in industrial composting.

The Carte d’Or packages are produced by Seda Italy in Naples, and the material is Cupforma Natura™ by Stora Enso. The board has a biodegradable barrier on its both sides to preserve ice cream safely in freezing and moist conditions.

Ten tons less plastic every week
The benefits of the new paperboard bowl over the former, plastic packaging are evident. The raw material comes from traceable and sustainable sources. The paperboard bowl is 23% lighter than the former plastic packaging, and it helps Unilever to reduce plastic drastically. As the total use is 11 million packages in a year, the new package enables Unilever to use 520 tons less plastic per year – ten tons less every week.

“Unilever is aiming to more circular economy in many ways, and new packaging innovations are crucial for our target to make all our packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. Unilever has also signed a two-year partnership with the WWF to clean beaches from plastic,” says Giorgio Nicolai, Marketing Director from Unilever.

Specially designed lid
Not only the bowl but also its lid is made from the same, compostable paperboard from Stora Enso, which provides excellent print quality to showcase the brand. The nestable lid is manufactured by unique and proprietary technology developed by Seda International.

According to Armando Mariano, R&D Product and Material Director at Seda International Packaging Group, the goal of the project with Unilever was to make something different from the former plastic packaging, reduce packaging weight, plastic content and improve the end-of-life options. The organic waste collection works quite well in Italy, so biodegradable and compostable packaging makes sense and consumers like that option.
(Stora Enso Oyj)

South African pulp producer Sappi chooses ABB to help boost output and ease environmental impact

South African pulp producer Sappi chooses ABB to help boost output and ease environmental impact  (Company news)

ABB will provide Sappi’s Vulindlela project with automation, electrification and instrumentation to futureproof operations

Photo: Sappi’s Saiccor Mill located in Umkomaas, South Africa

Sappi, the world’s largest producer of dissolving wood pulp, has chosen digital technology leader ABB to supply engineering, procurement and construction for the electrical, control and instrumentation portion of their project Vulindlela. The project is an ambitious plan to increase mill production by approximately 14 percent while reducing the pulp mill’s environmental impact. Due for completion in the winter of 2020, the project includes the design, supply, installation and commissioning of all electrical and automation equipment at Sappi’s Saiccor Mill located in Umkomaas, South Africa.

“Our ability to deliver a complete, multi-faceted solution, centered around a collaborative automation platform that supports the optimization of the entire production process, was key to securing this flagship order,” said John Manuell, Local Business Line Manager for South Africa, ABB Process Industries. “We look forward to helping Sappi reduce its environmental impact with safe processes and equipment, as well as assisting in realizing significant production gains.”

Based on the ABB Ability™ System 800xA distributed control system (DCS), the automation solution is the first pulp and paper project to use the single channel, Ethernet-based Select IO, which enables the decoupling of project tasks. This can lead to a significant reduction in commissioning time and helps ensure on-time, on-budget project execution.

Additionally, the solution is complemented with software tools including Field Information Manager to help manage smart field devices and mobile workplaces that will give operators and production staff access to plant information from anywhere in the mill.

“A history of working successfully with ABB gave us full confidence in their ability to provide a complete solution that will help futureproof our operations,” said Wayne Weston, Vulindlela Project Director, Sappi. “As world leaders in dissolving wood pulp, we welcome this pioneering, integrated solution that will help us achieve our Project Vulindlela goals.”

Other ABB Ability™ digital solutions, such as Asset Management, Energy Management, Safety systems and Manufacturing Operations Management will help provide total visibility into, orchestration and control of Sappi Saiccor’s entire operation. In addition to the automation platform, the scope includes the extension of the 132kV distribution infrastructure, the medium voltage reticulation and the process electrification.
(ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd)

Metsä Board to showcase its enhanced paperboards and innovative packaging design concepts at ...

Metsä Board to showcase its enhanced paperboards and innovative packaging design concepts at ...  (Company news)

...FachPack 2019

FachPack – 24–26 September 2019 at Nuremberg, Germany, Stand Hall 7A-136

Metsä Board, the leading European producer of premium fresh fibre paperboards, will be presenting its lightweight paperboards and innovative sustainable packaging solutions for packaging applications at FachPack 2019.

Metsä Board will highlight its enhanced folding boxboard portfolio released in April of this year. The new and improved FBB portfolio contains five premium boards with carefully considered features, for example, the improved high-yield pulp plays an important role in lightweighting the boards.

On display will also be eco-barrier boards that Metsä Board has specifically developed for food and food service packaging. They offer a sustainable and innovative solution for future packaging.

As part of the commitment to develop customer focused services, Metsä Board will be promoting its newly created service to improve the availability of white kraftliners and help corrugated converters be more responsive and competitive. The new Common Stock service provides easy access to ready-made standard white kraftliner reels in continental Europe.

Metsä Board's VP Sales FBB EMEA, Neil Fox, said: "Packaging of the future is all about creating better brand experiences with less environmental impact. It is important that we continuously develop new solutions and services to make packaging that is safe and sustainable. New developments in FBB, combined with our own innovative packaging design service, can help brands achieve packaging solutions of the future."

PackageLab at Metsä Board's stand will also be presenting innovative designs and showing the possibilities the lightweight paperboards can offer. Metsä Board's packaging design experts will be present to discuss the latest packaging design solutions with visitors.
(Metsä Board Corporation)

Last database update: 16.08.2019 15:27 © 2004-2019, Birkner GmbH & Co. KG