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An attractive gift item requires an equally impressive package. Together with its partner network Metsä Board’s packaging design team helped to create an appealing package for a luxury golf ball gift set featuring the universally loved Moomin characters - Metsä Board is a leading European producer of fresh fibre paperboards and part of Metsä Group.

Aki Kuivaniemi, Managing Director of the end client Golf Coat explained “We wanted the packaging to be both appealing and luxurious, and also as sustainable as possible. It is important that we take the environment into consideration in everything we do from the product to its packaging.”

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“Our aim was to create a packaging that both protects its contents and also displays the products inside as well as possible. We also considered the unboxing experience and that it conveys the feeling of luxury,” said Ilkka Harju, Metsä Board’s Packaging Services Director EMEA and APAC.

The box material is an all-white N-flute corrugated board, produced from MetsäBoard Natural WKL Bright. It is lightweight but strong and recyclable. The package is composed of the same white kraftliner for all layers with gold foil on the lid, which gives an exclusive feel when touching the package. The Moomin characters are printed on the packaging sleeve which is made from MetsäBoard Natural FBB folding boxboard. The packaging was manufactured by Finnish Cadpack that also participated in the design process.

Thursday, 23 April 2020 20:47

Essity interim Report First Quarter 2020

The Group’s net sales increased 10.0% in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the corresponding period a year ago. Organic net sales increased 7.8%, of which volume accounted for 5.9% and price/mix for 1.9%. In mature markets, organic net sales increased 10.2%. In emerging markets, which accounted for 35% of net sales, organic net sales increased 4.0%.

  • Net sales increased 10.0% to SEK 33,712m (30,656)
  • Organic net sales increased 7.8%
  • The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a sharp increase in sales and earnings in March 2020 as a result of stockpiling among consumers and distributors
  • In emerging markets, which accounted for 35% of net sales, organic net sales increased 4.0%
  • Operating profit before amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets (EBITA) increased 77% to SEK 5,316m (3,002)
  • Adjusted EBITA increased 67% to SEK 5,333m (3,190)
  • Adjusted EBITA margin increased 5.4 percentage points to 15.8% (10.4)
  • Profit for the period increased 87% to SEK 3,610m (1,929)
  • Earnings per share increased 85% to SEK 4.61 (2.49)
  • Adjusted earnings per share increased 69% to SEK 4.83 (2.86)
  • Cash flow from current operations increased 25% to SEK 3,044m (2,434)

2020 04 23 204445The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a sharp increase in sales in many markets for Consumer Tissue, Incontinence Products, Baby Care, Feminine Care and Professional Hygiene as a result of stockpiling among consumers and distributors. In March 2020, organic net sales for the Group increased 19.7% compared with March 2019. Organic net sales for Personal Care rose by 17.0%, for Consumer Tissue by 19.5% and for Professional Hygiene by 24.5%. Sales in future quarters will be adversely impacted by the stockpiling seen in March and sales in Professional Hygiene will also be negatively impacted by reduced travel, fewer restaurant visits and more people working from home. In the long-term, the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to increased demand for hygiene and health products due to, for example, a greater focus on hand hygiene.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Essity has three main priorities: care for our employees, continuing to operate a successful business and contributing to society. To maintain a safe work environment for our employees, satisfy increased demand and safeguard production and logistics, we have carried out measures in all parts of the business, including new ways of working for our employees, production adaptations and securing transportation. We have increased our presence and activity in digital sales channels. We contribute to society by delivering our leading hygiene and health solutions. In Sweden, the US and Mexico, we are investing in the production of surgical masks and face masks for the healthcare sector and our employees. We support the WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and several local initiatives.

The Group’s adjusted gross margin for the first quarter of 2020 increased 5.6 percentage points to 32.8% compared with the corresponding period in the preceding year. The gross margin was positively impacted by higher volumes, a better mix and costs savings. Continuous cost savings amounted to SEK 260m. Lower raw materials and energy costs increased the gross margin by 4.7 percentage points. Lower raw material costs were primarily the result of lower pulp prices. Our production facilities outside of China did not experience any major production disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, although distribution costs have increased. Lower prices, mainly related to Consumer Tissue in Europe and Asia, had a negative impact on the gross margin. The Group’s adjusted EBITA margin rose 5.4 percentage points to 15.8%. Investments in growth increased sales and marketing costs, also as a share of net sales. Adjusted EBITA for the first quarter of 2020 increased 67% compared with the same period in the preceding year. Adjusted return on capital employed rose 7.1 percentage points to 18.4 percent. Operating cash flow increased 108%. Earnings per share increased 85% to SEK 4.61.

Essity has a robust financial position and a solid funding situation. At March 31, 2020, net debt in relation to adjusted EBITDA was 2.09. The rapid spread of COVID-19 pandemic and related countermeasures mean the level of uncertainty in future forecasts is much greater than normal. At the Annual General Meeting, it was decided not to pay a dividend for 2019. The Board of Directors has announced that it intends to revisit the issue concerning a dividend later in the year when a better overview can be gained of the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, interim reports will be published on July 17 and October 22.

The Spanish paper factory Papel Aralar commissioned Voith and the nonwoven fabric expert Trützschler Nonwovens to deliver a new system for specialty paper production. The PM 5 was developed as a joint project by both companies specifically for the wiping cloth industry. Delivery is planned for September 2020.

Aralar site in Amezketa, SpainAralar site in Amezketa, Spain

The special sustainable feature of the wet-laid machine ordered is that the adult and baby wet wipes it produces are completely plastic-free, flushable and biodegradable, a characteristic that conventional wet wipes do not have.

HydroFormer and AquaJet for high-performance Wet-Laid Spunlacing
Voith supplies the HydroFormer, which is one of the main components of the new system. The HydroFormer technology draws on Voith’s extensive experience in the paper-making and pulp industries. In this technology, the suspension is heavily diluted to produce nonwoven materials made completely of cellulose, a renewable resource. Besides the HydroFormer, the Heidenheim-based technology company also supplies the stock preparation system, a master reel, and the wet end process for the new system constructed in accordance with the Process Line Package (PLP). A comprehensive automation and control package is also included in the delivery.
Trützschler Nonwovens completes the production process with the proven AquaJet technology for spunlacing and a multi-drum dryer. The many years of expertise and experience of the Trützschler company form the basis of the components that have been adapted to the needs of the wet-laid process.

A.Celli Nonwovens SpA is honored to continue the fruitful collaboration with Karweb Nonwovens thanks to the supply of a winding line dedicated to the production of Spunlace

Karweb Nonwovens, a division of the KARA Holding Co. and one of the major player active in the production of Spunlace and Airlaid, has renewed, after a first order made in 2016, the trust in A.Celli and its cutting-edge solutions in the nonwoven market.

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The installation and start-up of the line, which will take place in the Turkish plant of Karweb Nonwovens located in Gaziantep, are scheduled for early 2021. A.Celli's supply includes a “Stream” Master Roll winder, an off-line slitter rewinder “Rapid” with an operating speed of 800m/minute and equipped with trim suction system, a shaft handling solution with "easy core" positioning device and a finished reel handling and packaging system.

A further confirmation of the customer's trust in A.Celli Nonwovens technology, that thanks to this supply proves, as always, to be at the cutting edge of the market and able to satisfy any type of requirement with flexibility and readiness.

Despite dramatically changed conditions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, production rates at Södra’s facilities remained high and stable in the first quarter. Sales amounted to SEK 5,576 million (6,318). Operating profit for the quarter totalled SEK 227 million (1,148). At the end of the quarter, cash and cash equivalents and current investments amounted to SEK 2,627 million (1,527) and the equity ratio was 60 percent.

Peter Karlsson, Interim President and CEOPeter Karlsson, Interim President and CEO“In the wake of the ongoing global spread of COVID-19, conditions changed dramatically towards the end of the first quarter. Södra has taken a number of steps to protect our employees, customers and suppliers in the first instance, but also any others that we come into contact with in order to save lives and protect health. “It is with great gratitude that I see how we are working together to slow the spread of the virus and to mitigate the negative effects of the ongoing crisis,” said Peter Karlsson, Interim President and CEO.

“The economic slowdown from 2019 was replaced by a general decline in supply and demand due to the outbreak of COVID-19, and the consequences are difficult to predict at present. Nonetheless, the first quarter result was in line with expectations. Net sales amounted to SEK 5,576 million (6,318) and operating profit totalled SEK 227 million (1,148),” said Karlsson. “Demand for Södra’s core products was favourable, although prices for paper pulp and sawn timber remained low during the quarter, albeit slightly higher at the end of the quarter compared with the beginning of the year.

“The necessary adjustment to these changed market conditions has been handled impressively by all employees in our respective operations. Without this commitment, we would not be so well-equipped to meet the future,” said Karlsson. “So, although the global economy is now slowing down, it is important that we maintain a long-term approach. Economic cycles will always cause market conditions to fluctuate, but in the long run, there is an underlying and steadily rising demand for forest-based products,” Karlsson concluded.
During the first quarter, consolidated net sales amounted to SEK 5,576 million (6,318), down 12 percent year-on-year. Operating profit totalled SEK 227 million (1,148) and the decline in profitability was due to lower price levels for paper pulp and sawn timber. The result corresponds to an operating margin of 4 percent (18). Return on capital employed was 4 per cent (22). At the end of the quarter, cash and cash equivalents and current investments amounted to SEK 2,627 million (1,527) and the equity ratio was 60 percent.
Södra Skog’s operating profit for the period totalled SEK 1 million (56). The result was due to weaker margins. During the period, Södra Skog acquired 4.9 million m³sub, comprising 54 percent pulpwood and cellulose chips, 32 percent saw logs and 14 percent biofuels.
Södra Wood’s operating profit for the period totalled SEK 22 million (147) and reflects the considerably lower price formation for sawn timber. Underlying demand for sawn timber also remained favourable. Sales for the quarter amounted to SEK 1,507 million (1,498). The delivery volume from Södra Wood rose to 519 km³ SW, compared with 476 km³ SW in the year-earlier period.
Södra Cell’s operating profit for the period totalled SEK 302 million (1,112). The earnings decline was due to a weaker price level, while higher volumes and a more favourable USD exchange rate had a positive impact. Sales for the quarter amounted to SEK 2,867 million (3,501). The production volume totalled 474 ktonnes, comprising 402 ktonnes of softwood sulphate pulp, 34 ktonnes of hardwood sulphate pulp and 38 ktonnes of dissolving pulp.

The Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA) has opened applications for its Masters of Engineering (M.Eng.) bursary programme which offers eligible BSc engineering students the opportunity to pursue a career in the forest products industry and contribute to the circular economy. Awarded annually, each bursary is valued at R260,000 for two years of full-time study towards an M.Eng. degree at participating universities.

Applications must be done online by Friday 22 May 2020.

PAMSA, which represents the majority of South African pulp and paper producers, has been running the bursary and research programme for 10 years. Some 65 students have completed the programme with three progressing to PhD while more than 90% of the graduates have found careers as chemical and process engineers with PAMSA’s member companies.

Various biochemicals as well as lignosulphonate can be derived from wood through the pulping process. Lignosulphonate, a brown powdery substance, is used as a dust suppressants on gravel roads in the mining and forestry sector.Various biochemicals as well as lignosulphonate can be derived from wood through the pulping process. Lignosulphonate, a brown powdery substance, is used as a dust suppressants on gravel roads in the mining and forestry sector.

The pulp and paper sector’s research aims to maximise the use of commercially grown timber by using – and re-using – as much of the tree as possible, such as lignin and sugars. There is also a lot of work being done on using process waste and by-products to develop biomaterials and nanocellulose structures for industrial application.

“Wood for commercial and industrial use comes from sustainably managed plantations in South Africa,” says Jane Molony, PAMSA executive director. “The science and chemistry behind wood, pulp and paper products presents our industry and country with some unique opportunities in the circular economy, in mitigating climate change and making sustainable use of an available and renewable resource – farmed trees."

By working with the Universities of North West, Pretoria, Stellenbosch and Witwatersrand, PAMSA is able to open bright young minds to the opportunities within a truly sustainable industry. "Our message for interested students is to 'go beyond' and imagine the possibilities of being involved in our industry."

PAMSA requires that the students have a good academic record with a minimum 60% average in the final year of study. Applicants must also have completed their BSc studies in five years or less.

Two short videos clipped introducing the students to the sector have also been produced.


More details and the online application form are available here.

Mitsubishi HiTec Paper Europe GmbH, with its Bielefeld and Flensburg locations, is the first company in the paper industry to receive the "Safe with a System" seal of approval from the BG RCI: the professional association for raw materials and the chemical industry. At the same time, the company has been certified for occupational health and safety management (“AGM”) in accordance with DIN ISO 45001:2018.

The DIN ISO 45001 for occupational health and safety management "AGM" replaces the BS OHSAS 18001:2007 standard, which was withdrawn in 2018 and was mainly used by companies in the chemicals, paper and sugar sectors. The new standard now also requires the assessment of risks and opportunities and a proactive prevention approach, thus increasing the demands on senior and middle management. When companies are preparing for assessment for the "Safe with a System" seal of approval with the additional module DIN ISO 45001, certain legal requirements have to be met and competence criteria for employees, whose participation play an important role, have to be determined.

Bielefeld Mill | Mitsubishi HiTec PaperBielefeld Mill | Mitsubishi HiTec Paper

Managing Director Dr. Martin Schreer is convinced that "If you think about the safety and health of your employees from the outset, you will achieve more for your company and your economic success in the long term. This assessment and the certification of our occupational health and safety management are logical steps for us to further advance occupational safety in our company. Our exemplary company integration management, which was awarded the "Action Alliance Schleswig-Holstein", ideally complements the “AGM” system."

The new DIN ISO 45001 certification is another component of the voluntary compliance system at Mitsubishi HiTec Paper. At the same time, the monitoring audits of the integrated management systems DIN EN ISO 9001 (quality management), DIN EN ISO 14001 (environmental management) and DIN EN ISO 50001 (energy management) have been carried out successfully for both locations. Regular certifications by the independent auditors from TÜV Nord underscore the high demands that Mitsubishi HiTec Paper places on itself in order to continue to be a reliable partner for customers.

Thursday, 23 April 2020 20:12

Södra Invests in FITNIR for a Second Time

For a second time, FITNIR Analyzers was selected by Södra, a leading pulp producer based in Sweden, for its online pulp liquor analyzer. “This is an exciting project for FITNIR, as it is our second installation at a Södra mill,” says Thanh Trung, COO & CTO. “Being awarded with a project at Södra Cell Mönsterås in 2016 and now at Södra Cell Värö is an indication of approval of our technology.”

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Södra invests in state-of-the art technologies, making its Värö mill one of the most modern pulp production facilities in the world. FITNIR Online will replace the current liquor analyzer in the causticizing plant at Värö and will provide insightful data for optimizing process control and automation. Södra Cell Värö’s main goal is to reduce the need for burnt lime in the causticizing process. The data from FITNIR’s online analyzer will reduce green liquor TTA variations to make correct lime dosing possible. The impact of reduced lime consumption is far-reaching, including energy and cost savings with the reduction of fuel needed in the lime kiln as well as the ability to produce enough lime for higher overall pulp production. Moreover, the increased measurement frequency with FITNIR Online opens a new world for recovery boiler optimization and subsequently lower energy consumption.

“FITNIR’s NIR technology provides greater opportunities for our Värö mill, while being the most cost-effective solution,” explains Södra Cell Värö Process Engineer Andreas Martinsson. “Very important to us is that FITNIR has proven their equipment works in mill industrial applications. No other supplier has the combination of top scientific experience and practical knowledge. With the excellent experience our sister mill in Mönsterås has had with FITNIR, we have very high expectations for this project.”

Kick-off and installation are expected to begin in the summer of 2020.

Valmet will supply a complete mill-wide Valmet DNA Distributed Control System (DCS) to JK Paper Limited for their upcoming board project at Fort Songadh Mill in India. JK Paper selected Valmet’s automation system based on good references in technology, service support and low ownership costs. The installation is scheduled to start by May 2020.

The order is included in Valmet's orders received of the first quarter 2020. The value of the order is not disclosed.

valmet logo rgb“We are investing in advanced and proven technologies in the mill, with a target to bring high-quality product to Indian market and grow our business further. Valmet is one of our key partners and we are working closely together on the new Coated Board Machine. We are looking forward to continue the cooperation with them on the automation system to bring the mill to a new level,” says S.K. Jain, Head (Packaging Board Project) of JK Paper Limited.

“We are happy to be selected to provide a complete DCS solution to JK Paper. The solution will ensure the customer easier, more efficient and secured operation and maintenance through common operator interface and engineering environment,” says Pravin Tripathi, Head of Sales & Services, Automation, India, Valmet.

Technical details about the delivery

Valmet’s delivery includes the design, engineering, manufacturing, factory acceptance test and installation of Valmet DNA DCS. The mill-wide DCS system will cover the control of paper machine, pulp mill, recovery island and power block sections. All controls are in one platform that allows users easy access the data and collaborate. It will also help in synergizing Valmet Industrial Internet offering for any optimization needs in future.

JK Paper has also placed an additional order for Valmet DNA DCS of Power Block for their Sirpur unit.

Information about the customer JK Paper Limited

JK Paper was established in 1962 with an integrated pulp and paper plant. JK Paper has three large integrated paper manufacturing units, JK Paper Mills, Rayagada, Odisha, Central Pulp Mills, Songadh, Gujarat and Sirpur paper mills, Telangana with a combined annual capacity of 625,000 TPA. It is the market leader in Branded Copier paper segment and leading players in Coated Paper and high-end Packaging Boards in India. It offers a wide premium quality paper and board product range. Subsequent to commissioning of the new Board Machine, the overall production shall increase to 800,000 TPA.

Verso Corporation has just announced that Matthew M. Archambeau has been appointed Verso's Senior Vice President, Manufacturing and Energy, effective immediately.

logo"I am very pleased to have Matt join our senior leadership team with responsibility for leading our safety, manufacturing and energy strategic initiatives," said President and Chief Executive Officer Adam St. John. "Matt will easily transition into this new position because of his 26 years of extensive experience at Verso in various manufacturing leadership and technical roles, including his current responsibility for our Centers of Excellence."

Mr. Archambeau's previous leadership experience at Verso includes Vice President of the Centers of Excellence/Technology; Mill Manager at Verso's Escanaba, Michigan, mill and former Bucksport, Maine, and Sartell, Minnesota, mills; Director of Manufacturing Support, Memphis, Tennessee; and numerous manufacturing roles at Verso's former Bucksport, Maine mill. 

Mr. Archambeau holds a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota – Duluth.