Voith Paper

Over the Wire


Metso Paper
Weekly Spotlight

Reducing air emissions, actively managing water use, and building community relationships are examples of work by Georgia-Pacific's (Atlanta, Ga., USA) operations that were honored this year through the company's Environmental Excellence Awards program. For 15 years, G-P has recognized projects and achievements that create value for society and exemplify the company's environmental vision.

"Across Georgia-Pacific, employees are using innovative approaches to help reduce our environmental impact and become a more sustainable business," said Jim Hannan, CEO and president. "By continuously improving environmental performance in our operations, we are creating more value for the company and the communities where we operate. Our Environmental Excellence Awards help us recognize projects and programs that are leading the way."

The following are examples of projects receiving awards this year:

  • Employees at G-P's Brewton, Ala., containerboard mill worked to reduce visible emissions from the mill by more than 70% from 2008 to 2009, even though emissions were within the mill's permit limits and historical norms. The operation has not had a visible emission since July 2009.
  • The company's tissue mill in Cuijk, The Netherlands, improved its wastewater treatment system to meet new upcoming environmental standards as well as lowered sulfur dioxide emissions and increased biogas generation from its anaerobic wastewater treatment system, which it uses to help fire its steam boilers. The mill went from being one of the highest sulfur dioxide emitters in The Netherlands' paper industry to being one of the lowest, and notably increased its wastewater treatment system's efficiency.
  • G-P's Consumer Products business took steps to improve energy efficiency, decrease fuel use, and minimize the impact of its transportation on the environment. This included increasing the use of intermodal shipping, instituting an idle reduction policy, and even using special technology in loading trucks that reduced the total number of trucks on the road. The group also decreased the total miles traveled from manufacturing point to customer delivery by four million miles. In 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named G-P Consumer Products a SmartWay Excellence Award winner.
  • The company's Chemical's wood adhesives group developed a new line of low-emitting adhesives (called LEAF resins) to meet market interest in new technology and a regulatory change in California that requires lower formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products. The LEAF resins not only meet the emission requirements but also work well with existing manufacturing processes, minimizing the cost and efficiency impact to customers.
  • G-P's Nova Scotia gypsum operations established important relationships with local environmental organizations, government agencies and the First Nations community in its efforts to protect and maintain water quality in the area. These relationships have led to a successful river habitat restoration project as well as participation in planning for future management of the local watershed.

TMI Group, formerly Long Island, N.Y., USA, has moved its corporate headquarters to New Castle, Del., along with a new manufacturing facility that created 15 new jobs and is a model of sustainability. John Sullivan, CEO, explains that the move "makes good business sense in a lot of ways. It's a high tech area with a highly educated workforce, it is the second lowest tax state in the nation, and it's a pleasant place to live," he notes.

The privately-owned TMI Group of Companies consists of Testing Machines Inc., New Castle, Del.; Lako Tool, Perrysburg, Ohio; Lawson-Hemphill, Swansea, Mass.; Messmer Büchel BV, The Netherlands; Adamel Lhomargy SARL, France; TMI Asia, Indonesia; and TMI Canada. TMI Group's new home also serves as the manufacturing location for Testing Machines Inc. Serving the testing industry for 79 years, TMI manufactures and markets laboratory testing instruments that measure materials properties for packaging, paper, pulp, packaging film, plastics, foil, ink, coatings, nonwoven, textile, yarns, and corrugated industries.

Sullivan will oversee the company and all of its divisions from the new headquarters in Delaware. A full 60% of his employees made the move with him, and he's already added 15 local new employees to his payroll. Of TMI Group's 100 global employees, 40 will be based in Delaware. Sullivan intends to add 10 more employees to his New Castle headquarters within the next three years. Some of his newest employees include recent graduates of the University of Delaware and Delaware Technical and Community College.

In addition to bringing new private sector jobs to the area, Sullivan is also setting a good example for other CEOs of manufacturing firms—by showing that going green means more green for the company's bottom line. The move gave Sullivan the opportunity to do something he'd long envisioned—create a state-of-the-art, sustainable facility. He purchased a 10-year-old building at 40 McCullough Drive in New Castle. He then contacted Alan B. Levin at the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO). With the assistance of DEDO, an additional investment was made through grants offered by the State of Delaware to transform the building into an environmentally-friendly plant.

Four initiatives were involved in the scope of the project. The first initiative included installing 160 solar panels generating 50 KW of energy. The second investment included a geothermal heating and cooling system that consisted of 15 wells. The third initiative was installing a new membrane roof, and the last investment was the installation of a LED lighting system throughout the manufacturing plant. All four projects were completed on time and are up and running. The combined energy savings, according to Sullivan, will total 80%.

"The additional energy we produce will be sold back to the grid of DELMARVA Power and Light," he says. The TMI Group will also receive energy credits based on a Net Metering system that will track energy outflows generated by the company against energy inflows supplied by the power company. "The investment in sustainability not only enables us to leave a small environmental footprint, but is also economically feasible," Sullivan points out. "The solar power panels and geothermal wells help us lower our operating costs—which in turn allows me to reduce our prices to our customers."


The TAPPI Biorefinery Committee, the planning organization for TAPPI's International Bioenergy and Bioproducts Conference (IBBC), has created four new subcommittees to provide for a more focused review of specific technical advances and industry issues. The new subcommittees will focus on the following areas:

  • Biomass supply, demand, and handling
  • Thermochemical, chemical, and catalytic conversion
  • Biochemical/yeast and microorganisms
  • Policy, tax, legislation, and incentives.

If you are a TAPPI member and interested in participating in one of these subcommittees, please contact Mary Anne Cauthen (mcauthen@tappi.org) for details on how to join.


The International Forest Products Transport Association (IFPTA), New York, N.Y., USA, has announced the dates and location for its 2nd South American Regional Seminar. The Seminar will be held September 27 - 28, 2010, at the Sheraton WTC Hotel in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It will feature a two-day program focused on current opportunities and challenges of the continued growth of the South American forest products logistics industry in the past few years. It will include speakers from leading companies in South America and from around the world involved in the transport, handling, and distribution of forest products and related industries.

"Since our first seminar here in 2007, demand for forest products from South America has grown exponentially," said Ana Paula Trilho, South American director of the IFPTA. "This growth, while good for the economy, has brought its own set of challenges, infrastructure issues being at the top of the list."

Registration details, preliminary agenda, and hotel details will be available soon on the IFPTA web site. For information on how to become a sponsor of the seminar, contact Wendy Parsley at wparsley@ifpta.org.


Market Roundup

The supply and demand for Eucalyptus logs in Brazil has been in balance the past year, resulting in stable log prices in the local currency, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ), Seattle, Wash., USA. As a result of the strengthening Real, log costs have gone up in U.S. dollar terms and were 25% higher in the 1Q/10 than in early 2009.

Five years ago, Brazil had some of the lowest wood fiber costs in the world in U.S. dollar terms, but since that time the Real has appreciated against the dollar with the result that costs for pulpwood traded in the open market in Brazil now are close to the global average hardwood fiber price index (HFPI), WRQ explains. Eucalyptus fiber prices in the 1Q/10 were about 60% higher than five years ago, it adds.

Demand for Eucalyptus logs has increased in some regions of Brazil not only from pulp and panel manufacturers, but also from some sawmills that are producing lumber from both pine and Eucalyptus for the construction market. The increased demand for logs has not changed stumpage prices much in the local currency, and it is not expected that they will increase much in the coming years because of the additional supply of wood that will be available from recently established plantations, according to WRQ. During the past five years, the area of Eucalyptus plantations has expanded by more than 7% annually.

The pulp industry consumes about 45% of harvested Eucalyptus logs, while an estimated 48% is used for fuelwood and for making charcoal for the steel industry, WRQ says. A growing but still small consumer of Eucalyptus is the sawmilling sector that last year used approximately 4% of the total harvest of logs.

There is still not much interest in utilizing Eucalyptus fiber for the manufacturing of wood pellets in Brazil, neither for domestic nor for export markets. Investments in pellet plants have been limited and are not likely to grow unless prices for wood pellets in the major export markets in Europe improves, WRQ notes. More information is available online.


According to the May 2010 Recovered Paper Monthly Report published this week by the AF&PA, Washington, D.C., USA, total U.S. industry consumption of recovered paper was 2.6 million tons, a 1.3% increase from last month, and an increase from May 2009 of 7.1%. Compared with the same five months of 2009, consumption is up 8.5%. The current month consumption changes compared with May 2009 are as follows: mixed (+5.8%), news (+5.2%), corrugated (+11.7%), pulp substitutes (+2.2%), high grade deinking (-14.6%).

The April 2010 U.S. exports of recovered paper stock increased to 1.8 million tons, a 7.7% increase from April 2009, and a 3.5% increase year-to-date. The April 2010 U.S. imports of recovered paper stock decreased by 2,161 tons to 63,712 tons, a 3.3% increase from last month. Compared with April 2009, however, imports are up by 207.0%.


The U.S. markets for bleached board/SBS are currently "very snug," according to Mark Wilde, senior analyst with Deutsche Bank. All of the major NA producers (representing ˜75% of capacity) have announced $50-$60/ton price increases on cupstock, platestock, and bristol grades, effective this month and/or in July. This is the second price increase for the year after producers implemented the full $50/ton March cupstock price increase by May. The current price increases are driven by seasonally stronger demand., Wilde says.


Unbleached board U.S. list prices in May remained flat at $825-$885/ton, according to Wilde. Reports suggest that producers are finding it difficult to implement the $40/ton January price hike. The issue? The market continues to remain soft with supply exceeding demand, Wilde explains. Producers continue to take downtime to manage supply.


List prices in May for recycled board remained flat for both CRB & URB grades. Wilde reports. In April, CRB rose $35/ton (of $45/ton attempted increase) and URB rose $40/ton (of $60/ton attempted increase).The price hike is driven by improved order backlogs, higher wastepaper costs, higher operating rates, and an overall improving demand. However, a $40/ton decline in OCC prices in the last couple of months has prevented full pass-thru of prices. Reports suggest that the CRB price hike was more successful than the URB increase, due primarily to better backlogs (+56% y/y), relatively stable costs for other recovered paper grades, and continued substitution from SBS grades, Wilde points out. Capacity rationalization has also helped producers.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation
Pulp & Paper

AbitibiBowater, Montreal, Que., Canada, this week released an independent Life Cycle Assessment on the environmental impact of its Equal Offset paper as compared with traditional offset paper--uncoated freesheet (UFS). In 14 of the 15 categories examined over the full life cycle of the products, Equal Offset had a lower environmental impact than UFS, the company noted. In five of the categories, the impact was reduced by 50% or more. The most significant results were found in areas of particular interest to the pulp and paper industry:

  • Fewer trees are used in the production of Equal Offset due primarily to the higher pulping yield, reducing impacts on land occupation
  • Reductions in transportation, chemical use, and ash production lead to lower impacts on terrestrial ecotoxicity
  • Equal Offset emits only about 38% of the greenhouse gases associated with the production of UFS over its life cycle.

"This Life Cycle Assessment gave us tremendous insight into the full scope of the environmental benefits of Equal Offset," said Luc A. Ranger, AbitibiBowater VP, Business Strategy and Product Development. "The analysis was a cradle-to-grave comparison of our product against the standard alternative, and we found the results compelling."

The Life Cycle Assessment was conducted by Dr. Paul Stuart, Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Dr. Matty Janssen, Post-Doctoral Fellow, in the Department of Chemical Engineering of Ecole Polytechnique at the Universite de Montreal. The independent third-party peer review of the LCA was carried out by the Interuniversity Research Centre for the Life Cycle of Products, Processes and Services.


Buckeye Technologies Inc., Memphis, Tenn., USA, reports that its Foley Plant in Perry, Fla., which manufactures specialty wood cellulose and fluff pulp, is back in operation following a power failure and electrical surge on Thursday of last week. The power failure was triggered by a malfunction in a main incoming electrical line from a power provider and caused an unplanned complete shutdown of the facility that damaged numerous pieces of equipment. Purchased power has been fully restored to the facility, and one of the plant's two production lines resumed operation at reduced rates this past Sunday. The second line began resuming operations yesterday.

Buckeye Chairman and CEO John B. Crowe said that "we appreciate the efforts of our employees and contractors who literally have worked around the clock in a safe manner since Thursday's power failure and surge to test motors and other equipment, to identify the damaged equipment and then to replace it. Replacement equipment has been ordered and shipped in on an emergency basis. We will be working during the week to minimize the impact of this event on our customers. The production of the Foley Plant remains sold out, and our highest priority is to continue safely returning the plant to full capacity in compliance with our environmental permits so that we can meet our customers' needs."

The company indicated that it currently is unable to fully quantify the financial impact of the event. However, depending on the timing of returning to full production, the company estimates that the financial impact of the outage, excluding the effect of any insurance proceeds, could be in the range of a $4 to $5 million reduction in pretax operating income for the quarter ending June 30. This would result in earnings in the range of 24 to 27 cents per share for the quarter. The company reported that it has property loss and business interruption insurance with a single $2 million deductible and has received a preliminary report from its insurance broker that the event is a covered loss.


Catalyst Paper, Richmond, B.C., Canada, announced the appointment of Kevin J. Clarke as president and CEO, effective the beginninig of this week, June 21. Clarke is a seasoned print industry executive bringing nearly three decades of experience with World Color (Quebecor World) to his new role at Catalyst. He replaces Richard Garneau who left the company May 28 to be closer to his family in eastern Canada. The company had named Denis Jean, a director of the board, as the company's interim president and CEO, until Garneau's replacement could be found.

Clarke held executive positions in sales, marketing, and operations and was, most recently, president, Publishing Services Group, where he directed a global organization of 7,500 employees with 20 manufacturing facilities producing one billion books and 1,600 magazine titles. His achievements include major restructuring, market development, plant closure, and startup initiatives. In addition, his background includes an extensive record of business results in revenue growth, technology deployment, strategy development, and cost reduction.

"Kevin's knowledge of the marketplace and his experience in printing and publishing are well-matched with our requirements and will ensure momentum continues as Catalyst transforms its business to keep pace with the very competitive global paper industry," said Catalyst Board Chairman Michel Desbiens.

With six mills located in British Columbia and Arizona, the company has a combined annual production capacity of 2.5 million metric tons.


International Paper, Memphis, Tenn., USA, this past week launched WatchPrintWork a customizable video that offers printers a new, free way to sell their digital printing capabilities through a professionally produced on-line video. The video is accessible through a unique URL that will also incorporate the printer's name, contact information, and company logo.

IP notes that recent research by the Printing Industries of America (PIA) suggests that more than one in three printers are using social networking to grow their business. IP's new service is positioned to help the printer sales representatives showcase their capabilities using social media, as well as through e-mail. WatchPrintWork will help printers showcase the benefits of variable data for their clients.

Oftentimes, IP points out, the concept of variable data printing is a tough sell because it may be ambiguous to a marketer. The video explains the concept through the watchful eye of a reporter. At the end of the video newscast, it is shown that the printer sales representative is responsible for campaigns that experience unprecedented results. The WatchPrintWork service is free to any and all printers.


International Paper, Memphis, Tenn., USA, reports that it has been named an IDG Computerworld 2010 Best Places to Work in IT honoree for organizations that challenge their IT staff while providing excellent benefits and compensation. Honorees will be included in Computerworld's coverage along with results from the 17th annual Best Places to Work in IT survey.

"We are extremely proud to have earned a place on the Best Places to Work in IT list," said John Balboni, Senior VP and chief information officer for IP. "At International Paper, the Information Technology organization is an integral part of the day-to-day operations and strategic direction of our many business and staff organizations. We recognize that hiring and retaining the best IT talent is critical to the success of our mission. Our IT team has successfully delivered on a tremendous number of initiatives under extremely difficult economic conditions over the past 18 months. These challenges have served to energize and engage the entire organization. I congratulate our team for their spirit, efforts, and accomplishments that have led to this honor."

IP's IT organization employs more than 1,200 IT professionals throughout its global operations. The group is responsible for designing, implementing, upgrading, and sustaining the information infrastructure and systems that support and enable the company's worldwide operations.


Kemira Oyj, Finland, will sell its global Fluorescent Whitening Agents (FWAs) business to German Catec GmbH, financially supported by Fengler Beteiligungs GmbH. The deal covers a production plant in Leverkusen, Germany, the global FWA sales network, and the associated support functions. The FWA business and its staff of about 100 persons will be transferred to the new owner once the companies have closed the transaction in August. The parties agreed not to disclose the transaction price.

"Kemira is focusing according to its strategy on products and services that enhance the water quality and quantity management in the water intensive industries such as the pulp and paper industry. Exiting the FWA business is in line with our strategy to enhance the product lines that are common for all our segments and on which we are building our competitiveness," said Petri Helsky, head of Kemira's Paper segment.


Marcal Manufacturing, Elmwood Park., N.J., USA, reports that new packaging for its Small Steps tissue products highlights environmental facts about the brand's manufacturing process. A nutrition facts-style "Environmental Facts" panel is now placed on the front panel of every Small Steps package, clearly detailing information such as recycled paper content (100%), how much chlorine bleach was used for whitening (0%), and use of chemical-based additives, e.g., fragrances and dyes (0%). The refreshed packaging has completed a nationwide rollout to grocery, drug, convenience, and other major retail outlets.


Shanghai Orient Champion Paper Co., Shanghai, China. has ordered two complete tissue production lines from Metso, Finland. The first line is scheduled to startup in the second quarter of 2011 and the second in the fourth quarter of 2011. The value of the order was not disclosed, but Metso notes that the combined market value of two tissue production lines of this type is about EUR 15-25 million, depending on the scope of delivery and production output.

Metso's scope of delivery will include two complete tissue production lines, featuring two tissue machines with stock preparation systems and auxiliaries. Each of the machines will be equipped with a headbox, a yankee cylinder, a hood, a dust management system for enhanced working environment, and a reel. The stock preparation systems will include pulpers, conical refiners and deflakers, and machine screens. Both machines will be delivered with a Metso automation package that includes machine, process, and integrated drive controls, as well as a quality control system and a steam box for energy saving and moisture profile control.

Both production lines will be installed at Shanghai Orient's mill in Jinshan, outside of Shanghai. After installation of the two lines, total capacity at the mill will double from 70,000 to 140,000 metric tpy. The company currently operates the Jinshan mill with six smaller tissue machines and converting lines and notes that it is now prepared to grow further, utilizing the latest technology.

Shanghai Orient Champion Paper Co. is part of the CIMIC Group, which operates companies in various businesses. The CIMIC Group has operations in consumer goods, real estate, building materials, education, electronics, and communications industries.

Shanghai Orient Champion Paper has a sponsorship agreement with the Shanghai World EXPO, 2010, to provide tissue paper made from recycled milk packaging during the event.


UPM's Chapelle Darblay mill in Grand Couronne, France, has successfully retrofitted and started up a Voith Paper C-bar C screen basket in an existing Kadant-Lamort SPN 15 screening machine. Successful retrofit of the C-bar C centripetal screen basket allowed the permanent shutdown of a screening machine.

The extra screening capacity allowed the permanent shutdown of one of the two parallel SPN 15 screens (a saving of approximately 560 MWh/yr, or more than EUR 30,000/yr). The manufacturing concept, with more open area and an optimum profile performance, resulted in a higher screening capacity. Therefore, the installation of the C-bar C led to an 11% improvement in stickies removal efficiency (from 74% to 85%).


Amcor, Melbourne, Australia, this past week agreed to purchase the assets of Ball Plastics Packaging Americas from Ball Corp. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval in the USA. The purchase price is $280 million, which represents four times the last 12 months acquired EBITDA of $70 million.The business has five plants in North America and sales of approximately $600 million.

The acquisition will expand Amcor's Diversified Products business, which targets the health care/pharmaceutical, personal care, food, and distilled spirits end markets. It brings Amcor exposure to new growth opportunities including wine bottles, retort packaging for food, and high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) containers for various market segments


Chesapeake Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Packaging, U.K., has entered into a trading alliance with one of Spain's top suppliers of pharmaceutical and cosmetic cartons, Cartonajes Leca S.A. (Leca), extending its global supply network to Southern Europe. Leca will represent both parties in Spain. Chesapeake and Leca plan to work closely together to ensure that customer standards are maintained and any technical and marketing opportunities are maximized. The trading alliance, established for commercial reasons only, does not involve the ownership/exchange of shares or any other investment interest.

Leca, part of the Lantero Group, has three production sites in Spain with two operations in Madrid and a plant in Barcelona. It supplies a number of lmultinational pharmaceutical manufacturers as well as local specialists.


Graphic Packaging International, Marietta, Ga., USA, this week announced that it plans to close its Golden, Colo., paperboard beverage packaging plant. The company will transition business and equipment from Golden to other U.S. operating locations. GPI notes that closure of the Golden facility reflects the company's ongoing efforts to align its manufacturing footprint to the changing needs of its beverage customers and improve its cost structure and margins to better position it for future growth.

"While closing the Golden facility is a difficult decision, it is necessary to ensure that we are able to consistently serve our customers and meet their changing needs from a solid network of efficient, low-cost manufacturing facilities, even in the face of the ongoing economic challenges of today's marketplace," said David Scheible, president and CEO. "In the long run, we expect this move to help us better align ourselves with our customers' evolving manufacturing footprints and maximize our operational effectiveness as we focus on growing our business."

Graphic Packaging International is a provider of paperboard packaging for a variety of products to food, beverage, and other consumer products companies. The company is one of the largest producers of folding cartons and holds a leading market position in coated-recycled boxboard and specialty bag packaging.


Kolicevo Karton, Slovenia, will rebuild the wet section (wire and press section) of board machine KM 2. The rebuild, to be conducted by Andritz, Graz, Austria, is designed to increase production from the current maximum of 140 m/min to 200 m/min, as well as to improve the quality of the folded boxboard (GC grade). Startup is scheduled for this December.

Andritz Pulp & Paper will supply a headbox (PrimeFlow SW), a fourdrinier wire section (PrimeForm SW), and a shoe press (PrimePress X). The machine's cylinder mold formers will be replaced with a new fourdrinier wire with an Andritz hybrid former (PrimeForm HB). The existing wet section (including the press section) will be relocated to make room for additional drying cylinders to increase performance.

Kolicevo Karton is a member of the Mayr-Melnhof Group, the largest producer of folded boxboard in Europe and a leading producer of coated recovered cartonboard worldwide.


Pregis Hexacomb, Deerfield, Ill., USA, has received Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody certification for products produced at its Ermelo, Netherlands, production facility. The company is one of the first honeycomb producers to receive FSC certification. There are two parts to the FSC system. The Forest Management certification ensures that the forest is managed to high standards covering social, environmental, and economic issues. The Chain of Custody certification traces the wood from those forests through all stages of processing and distribution.

The Ermelo facility is one of three Hexacomb plants located in Europe. The other two are located in Amboise, France and Aoiz, Spain. The Ermelo plant services customers within a 1,000 km (620 mile) radius of its 10,000 square meter (107,000 square foot) plant. This impacts customers in the UK, Spain, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy.


Smurfit-Stone Container Corp., Chicago, Ill., USA, reports that Judge Brendan Shannon of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., has entered an order confirming the Joint Plan of Reorganization and Plan of Compromise and Arrangement (the POR) filed by the company and each of its subsidiaries and affiliates currently acting as debtors in possession under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, including those debtors that are Canadian subsidiaries and parties to the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) of Canada proceeding. This action, which follows similar relief previously granted in Canada, positions Smurfit-Stone to emerge from Chapter 11 in the U.S. and CCAA protection in Canada.

"With confirmation of the Plan of Reorganization, Smurfit-Stone is now on a path to emerge from our financial restructuring on June 30," said Patrick J. Moore, chairman and CEO of Smurfit-Stone. "Upon consummation of the restructuring plan, we will have successfully reduced our debt and realigned our capital structure in a way that dramatically improves the company's prospects for long-term growth and profitability.

"We are pleased to have been able to reach agreement with our creditors and stockholders on a plan that enables us to continue to drive value for our stakeholders and help our customers grow their businesses," Moore continued. "I particularly want to thank our employees, whose hard work and enduring dedication have allowed us to continue meeting and exceeding our customers' expectations throughout this process and whose efforts contributed greatly to positioning us for a successful emergence."


A preliminary test of Fibertect on the soiled beaches of Grand Isle, La., USA, has proven it successful at picking up the oily paste washing ashore at beaches and marshes across the U.S. Gulf State region. Seshadri Ramkumar, an associate professor of nonwoven technologies, said the Texas Tech-created nonwoven cotton absorbent wipe with activated carbon core makes it a perfect remediation tool for use by cleaning crews trying to remove the toxic material. Not only did it clean up the rust-colored crude oil, but also adsorbed toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon vapors reportedly sickening oil spill clean-up crew members.

"It definitely has proven itself a perfect product for cleaning up the oil spill," Ramkumar said. "This preliminary test in Louisiana has shown that our wipe material is unique from others in that it easily absorbs liquids, and it has vapor-holding capacity. This will help workers clean beaches and stay safe at the same time."

Ramkumar said his latest research shows raw cotton-carbon Fibertect can absorb oil up to 15 times its weight. Unlike synthetic materials such as polypropylene that are currently used in many oil containment booms, Fibertect is made from environmentally friendly raw cotton and carbon.

Amit Kapoor is president of First Line Technology, which distributes Fibertect commercially. Though the product has been tested in the lab with raw crude and motor oil, he said the company wanted to field-test the product. The product is manufactured by Hobbs Bonded Fibers, Waco, Texas, USA. Earlier this week, Kapoor sent a sales representative, who also works as an independent contractor for BP, to one of the worst-hit areas. "We wanted to test the effectiveness of Fibertect on the crude oil for beach cleanup," Kapoor said. "Fibertect was taken to the empty beaches of Grand Isle, and then laid out on top of a blob of oil that had settled on the beach. It worked very well in absorbing and containing the oil. The glob stuck to the Fibertect and did not release from the material."

Fibertect was approved for use as a sorbent by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Ramkumar said. The product already has proved that it can also adsorb toxic fumes associated with chemical remediation, he added. Evaluation by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory found that it can retain offgassing mustard vapors efficiently and does not shed loose particles.

Originally developed to protect the U.S. military from chemical and biological warfare agents, Fibertect contains a fibrous activated carbon center that is sandwiched between layers. The top and bottom layers, made from raw cotton, can absorb oil while the center layer holds volatile compounds such as the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or blistering agents such as mustard vapors or other toxic chemicals.

New Products

MGI Digital Graphic Technology, IVRY sur SEINE, France, announced this past week that it has renewed its partnership with Phil@poste, a division of La Poste, the French Post Office, to print envelopes on the Meteor DP60 Pro 4-color multi-substrate digital press, the only production digital press with envelope capabilities. The Meteor DP60 Pro met and exceeded Phil@poste's criteria, which includes near-offset print quality as well as high color consistency and productivity, the company reports.


Mohawk Fine Papers, Cohoes, N.Y., USA, as part of its program to make envelopes easier to get, is now offering any of its stocked envelopes in broken cartons or new 10-packs. Mohawk's envelope offering includes #10, #9, #6¾, #A2, #A6, #A7, #A8, #A10, Monarch, and 9 in. x 12 in. booklet sizes, available in all of the company's writing, text, and cover grades, including the entire line of environmentally preferable Mohawk Loop papers.

"Product selection is an area of focus for us now. We plan to do all we can to make envelope purchasing an easy process," says Laura Shore, senior VP Communications and Innovation Strategies. "Customers can now order cartons for their larger jobs, and as little as 10-packs for samples or small projects. Plus, with more than 1,100 items stocked, they can get what they need fast. Non-stocked envelopes are guaranteed to deliver within 10 days." More information is available online.

Published Pricing

Eka Chemicals, Marietta, Ga., USA, the AkzoNobel Pulp and Paper Chemicals business, this week reported that it will increase prices across its entire North American Paper Chemicals product range by up to 20%, effective immediately or as contracts permit.

"Dramatic increases during the past year in the cost of basic materials have impacted Eka Chemicals' cost structure," says Greg Bengtson, VP, Sales and Marketing, Eka Chemicals Inc. North America. "Our continual efforts to optimize operational costs are being outpaced by these increases. It is therefore necessary for prices to be increased in order to maintain a sustainable business model."

Eka Chemicals is a supplier of bleaching chemicals, paper chemicals, and systems to the pulp and paper industry throughout the world, and supplies certain special chemicals to the pharmaceuticals industry, water treatment, the electronics industry, etc.


Mondi, U.K. and South Africa, reports that it is raising the European price of its sack kraft paper by EUR 100 per metric ton. The increase is effective with deliveries beginning August 1. The company notes that it might increase prices again near the end of the year to compensate for continually rising raw material costs.


Specialty paper producer James Cropper plc, U.K., this week reported that Mark Cropper has been appointed by its board of directors to serve as chairman. The 36-year-old, who will take over as chairman of the Cumbria based company on July 28, will be the sixth generation of the Cropper family to lead the 165-year-old business. He takes over from his father, James Cropper, chairman since 1971.

The change at the top of one of Britain's oldest manufacturers coincides with favorable full year results. James Cropper plc has posted a pre-tax profit of GBP 2.4 million compared with GBP 0.9 million in the previous financial year. The improvement reflects a strong performance by James Cropper Specialty Papers, which recorded an operating profit of GBP 3.4 million (the second highest in the firm's history), having recovered from an operating loss of GBP 0.3 million the year before.

Cropper's advanced materials division, Technical Fibre Products, meanwhile, weathered difficult trading conditions in the wake of customer "de-stocking" due to reduced economic activity. Turnover fell 14% with operating profit down GBP 0.8 million to GBP 1.3 million, although according to Mark Cropper, TFP's sales to the aerospace, defense, security, and consumer electronics sectors will build strongly in the next 12 months, as the impact of the recession on down stream customers begins to ease.


Kimberly-Clark Corp., Dallas, Texas, USA, this past week announced several executive changes. Jan Spencer, currently president of Kimberly-Clark Professional, has been elected senior VP, continuous improvement, sourcing, and sustainability. Christian Brickman, senior VP and chief strategy officer, has been elected president, Kimberly-Clark Professional, succeeding Spencer. Elane Stock, currently national VP of the American Cancer Society, will join the company in mid-August as senior VP and chief strategy officer.Stock and Brickman will transition the strategy role through the end of August. The other executive changes are effective September 1.

In his new role, Spencer will be responsible for accelerating the adoption of business process improvement initiatives across the company's global operations, as well as driving sustainability initiatives deeper into the business units. He has been with K-C for 32 years in multiple business areas, including management of the Coleshill manufacturing facility in the U.K. during the 1990s.

Brickman joined K-C in 2008 and guided the company through its ongoing strategic planning process and the evolution of its current Global Business Plan. Prior to joining the company, he served as a principal at McKinsey and Company. Earlier in his career, he was president and CEO of Whitlock Packaging, the largest U.S. specialty beverage packaging company, and was VP and GM of Latin America for Guinness Brewing Worldwide.

Prior to her role at the American Cancer Society, Stock was regional manager of Georgia Pacific's (Koch Industries) Color Box business, a $280 million print packaging company. She has also held progressive management positions at McKinsey and Company, both in the U.S. and Ireland.


Jussi Ollila has been appointed senior VP, Communications for the Metso Group, Finland. He will start in his new position on or about September 1, reporting to Jorma Eloranta, president and CEO. He joins Metso from SRV Group, a construction company, where he has worked as senior VP, Communications & Marketing.


Smurfit-Stone Container Corp., Chicago, Ill., USA, has named John Knudsen senior VP of supply chain and board sales. As senior VP of supply chain and capital strategy, Knudsen has been responsible for Smurfit-Stone's strategic sourcing, global logistics, and supply chain groups, as well as the company's capital strategy process. In his new role, he will assume additional responsibility for Smurfit-Stone's Board Sales group, which markets and sells the company's containerboard and pulp products to external customers in the U.S. and overseas.

Knudsen has more than 24 years of experience in sales and operations management in the packaging industry. He joined Smurfit-Stone in 1986 and has served in a variety of management and executive management roles for the company, including senior VP of manufacturing for its Container division, VP of strategic planning, VP and regional manager of the Container division; and VP of manufacturing engineering.

As recent headlines have emphasized, safe and renewable fuel sources are the direction of the future -- with awareness and incentives for clean energy increasing on a daily basis.  To reflect the latest regulatory and technical developments in sustainable energy production, TAPPI is moving BioPro ExpoTM to March 14-16, 2011 and will be held at the downtown Atlanta Hilton.  This move enhances BioPro Expo's mission to bring attendees critical information to immediately capitalize on the growing market momentum for renewables.

Look for more details on this event in the coming weeks. You can always find the most current information at www.BioProExpo.org.

The 2010 TAPPI PLACE CONFERENCE focusing on Sustainability and Innovations in Flexible Consumer Packaging was held April 18-21, 2010 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, with nearly 300 attendees. If you missed it, don't worry: the 2010 PLACE Conference Proceedings are now available on CDROM.

Here are some highlights of the conference:

Twenty-four educational sessions, including an interactive troubleshooting session led by Ginger Cushing of Michelman and Duane Smith of Davis-Standard, LLC focusing on the TAPPI Roll and Web Defect Terminology Handbook.

Two keynote presentations by Tony Knoerzer, vice president of  Packaging Advanced Research at Frito-Lay provided fresh insights into compostable food packaging and its future in consumer packaging markets; and Christa Martin, vice president Product Development and Management at Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE, a UPS Company) provided an overview of the UPS Stores work on Sustainability in Packaging and their work in their Packaging Testing Laboratory to develop packaging that will optimize space requirements for transportation and Damage Protection.

You can still "attend" 2010 PLACE via our comprehensive Conference Proceedings on CDROM.

Product Code: PLACECD-10
List Price: $111
Member Price: $74

Ways to Order
1.    Online
2.    By e-mail with product details and payment information to memberconnection@tappi.org.
3.    By phone: please contact TAPPI's Member Connection by phone at 1.800.332.8686 (US), 1.800.446.9431 (Canada), or +1.770.446.1400 (Worldwide).
Plan to attend the 13th European PLACE Conference to be held at the  Festpielhaus in Bregenz, Austria on beautiful Lake Constance, May 30 – June 1, 2011. More information will be coming soon regarding the location for the 2012 PLACE event in North America.

Formerly known as TAPPI Engineering, Pulping and Environmental Conference, registration for the newly-named TAPPI PEERS Conference and the 9th Annual Research Forum on Recycling is now open.  To accommodate tight budgets, one registration fee will allow attendees to access both conferences.  

PEERS is designed to answer the most pressing business and technical questions faced by pulp and paper companies as they manage raw materials, assets, regulatory requirements and production assets. With several focused tracks and more than 50 sessions, PEERS offers peer-reviewed papers, expert speakers, exclusive networking opportunities and new technologies that can help mills optimize operations. Learn more about PEERS at www.tappipeers.org

The 9th Annual Research Forum on Recycling, running in conjunction with the PEERS Conference will continue its history of highlighting cutting-edge research results from around the world and will offer extraordinary opportunities for professional development and personal growth.  For program information, go to www.tappipeers.org/recycling.asp.

These events will also include workshops, a mill tour (focused on recycling), Hot Topic Breakfast, a New Product Showcase, a Trade Fair, networking events, a spouse/guest program, a dinner cruise, and a 5K Fun Run. 

For detailed information, go to www.tappipeers.org.

The CorrPak® 2010 Competition is accepting entries through Friday, August 27, so you have about two months to get your materials together.  That's plenty of time to earn much-deserved recognition for your work.

The coveted award competition is open to ALL corrugated manufacturers worldwide. Entries are being accepted for corrugated package products manufactured between August 1, 2008 and August 1, 2010.

The CorrPak® 2010 Competition is sponsored by TAPPI's Corrugated Packaging Division and is held every other year. The competition identifies and recognizes the finest commercially produced corrugated package products in the industry.

You can even consider more than one entry! If you've been particularly busy, feel free to submit more than one submission for consideration, even in the same category. So, get an early start on the entry process and show off all that great work.

Want to see all the winning products?  Register for Corrugated Week 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland for the dates of October 4-8.  We'll see you at the show!

Early registration for the TAPPI Introduction to Kraft Pulping and Bleaching course is coming up soon - July 12.

This course offers an overview of all kraft mill fiber line operations.  TAPPI's ever-popular Kraft Pulping course includes a comprehensive introduction to kraft pulping, pulp processing, bleaching and wood and chip preparation -- in only two days.   See the (preliminary course schedule) [http://www.tappi.org/content/events/10kraftp/schedule.pdf] for the full curriculum.

Just think what you'll be taking home with you:

- More confidence that will enable you to interact with other experienced process engineers and operators
- A better overall understanding of kraft pulp mill operations and bleaching processes
- The ability to troubleshoot product-quality problems
- Better awareness of how one part of the process affects other operations
- An understanding of how kraft processes affect pulp quality
- You can view the Preliminary Course Schedule here to see the day-by-day instruction that you'll be gaining.

Register by July 12 to save.

You can't get it in a store.  But, you can earn it.  CONFIDENCE!  Whether you have it or you don't, everyone can appreciate the value of confidence and would admit that it's worth every penny.

Gain confidence for your work with the TAPPI Introduction to Tissue Manufacturing course set for August 11-12.

The course is ideal for those new to tissue making or who want to gain a better understanding of mill operations in order to produce better, more competitive products.

"One of the most significant benefits of this course is the confidence attendees will enjoy once they leave the training room," says Dr. Kocurek.  "They can in turn use that confidence and knowledge to help influence positive changes within their workplace because they'll understand their roles better, and see the bigger picture of production."

View the Preliminary Course Schedule to find out exactly all that you can learn.

The TAPPI Introduction to Tissue Manufacturing course will be held at the Kemira Training Room in Kennesaw, Georgia, USA.  Seating is limited to 30, so be sure to register before the July 14 early-bird discount deadline if possible.

Attend TAPPI's Lean Maintenance for the Corrugated Industry Course, August 17-18, 2010 in Norcross, Georgia.

Designed to provide you with the information and knowledge required to create a smoothly functioning, effective and efficient maintenance team in your corrugated plant, this two-day course focuses on the critical elements that drive maintenance efficiency and effectiveness. 

What will you learn?

You'll learn how to organize a maintenance department and put into place the processes required to reduce downtime and improve productivity.

The six elements will be presented in a "Lean Maintenance" context focused on eliminating waste at every opportunity.  Excess repair parts inventory, excessive downtime, excessive crew size and poorly defined jobs are examples of areas that have waste that can be reduced.  Root Cause Failure Analysis will be reviewed as a tool to reduce repeat failures.  In addition, application of 5's and visual work practices will be covered as well as processes such as Reliability Centered Maintenance and the Visual Workplace.

The six elements will be reviewed in sufficient detail to allow you to develop an action plan for making improvements upon return to your plant.

Each participant will receive a workbook containing a copy of the presentations used during the two days and space for notes.

As a result of attending this course, you'll be able to:

  • Understand the part maintenance plays in plant operations.
  • Use of Root Cause Analysis to define problems.
  • Define maintenance tasks that prolong the life of equipment, reduce downtime and reduce the cost of maintenance
  • Understand the requirements for the maintenance department to maintain keen troubleshooting and problem solving skills, as well as sharp technical and craft skills.

Learn more about this course.

"Whatever we learn to do, we learn by actually doing it; men come to be builders, for instance, by building, and harp players by playing the harp. In the same way, by doing just acts we come to be just: By doing self-controlled acts, we come to be self-controlled; and by doing brave acts, we become brave." -- Aristotle

Nalco Company
EKA Chemicals Inc.