Modest increases in wood fiber costs and a substantial rise in market pulp prices have improved profitability for many market pulp manufacturers worldwide during the second half of 2017, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly
Pulp manufacturers in many countries have seen their wood fiber costs go up during 2017, with the biggest increases in US dollar terms occurring in Western North America, Europe, Russia and Australia, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). The Global Softwood Fiber Price Index(SFPI) increased for the third consecutive quarter to reach $89.08/odmt in the 4Q/17, 4.0% higher than in the same quarter in 2016.
Hardwood fiber prices have also trended upwards over the past year, with the Global Hardwood Fiber Price Index(HFPI) reaching its highest level in almost three years during the 4Q/17. In US dollar terms, hardwood fiber prices have gone up the most in Europe, Russia and Indonesia during 2017. The only region that has experienced a decline in wood fiber costs has been the US South, where hardwood pulplog prices were 2.3 % lower in the 4Q/17 than in the 4Q/16.
Wood fiber costs remain the single largest cost component in the manufacture of wood pulp, ranging between 40-60% of the total cash costs, depending on region and pulp grade. The wood fiber costs as a percentage of the price of Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft market pulp (NBSK) have been on a downward trajectory over the past eight years.
The substantial increases in market pulp prices during the 4Q/17 and only small upward price adjustments of pulpwood resulted in the wood fiber cost percentage reaching a record low of 23.2% in the last quarter of 2017 (down from 36% in 2012). Since wood fiber costs account for a majority of the pulp manufacturing costs, the low wood cost share has improved profitability for market pulp manufacturers throughout the world during 2017.
With the launch of the new Voith OnCumulus offering, Voith customers can now benefit from an IIoT platform with specific visualization and analytics functionalities as well as the first industry-proven applications. OnCumulus enables paper producers to leverage data across the enterprise from all equipment within all facilities to optimize reliability, achieve targeted performance and increase savings that impact the bottom line.
OnCumulus.Platform: one central data hub for digitalization
The IIoT platform OnCumulus.Platform serves as the data hub for data from all kinds of sources – for example plants, production lines, machines and devices. Customers benefit from one central platform for their data from which they can launch their digitalization initiatives. The OnCumulus.Platform is based on open-source and highly standardized technologies. It provides fast, reliable and secure access to data from local machines and systems in the cloud as well as fast provisioning for value creation. The platform is scalable, flexible and extensible at any time.
With OnCumulus, Voith offers an IIoT platform that meets the highest privacy, security and compliance industry standards and best practices, such as CSA, NIST and OWASP. Voith cybersecurity experts ensure end-to-end security, so that the full life cycle of data is secure at all times. OnCumulus customers stay in control of their data in every usage scenario and define the data access. Furthermore, Voith supports local control of the data by providing data centers in every region.
OnCumulus.Suite: the first step towards visualization and analytics
Besides the IIoT platform, the OnCumulus.Suite offering already provides the first possibilities to benefit from data intelligence: by prestructuring the available data using visualization and analytical functionalities, customers benefit from the first basic, easy-to-use tools, namely: Information Flow, Monitoring and Alarming Tool, as well as Analysis. Therewith, customers can access their data in near real time and take the first step for optimizing their operating process by using persona-based dashboards.
Industry-specific applications: OnEfficiency and OnCare
In addition to OnCumulus.Suite, Voith is offering further value to its customers by launching the first solutions from the existing product families OnEfficiency and OnCare as cloud-based OnCumulus applications. Examples from the paper production industry already show the efficient and value-adding use of the new IIoT platform OnCumulus.
Applications in the Voith OnEfficiency product family:
• OnEfficiency.Pulp: Achieving the required product quality along with reduced raw material costs can be provided thanks to integrated, real-time insights and continuous guidance along the production process.
• OnEfficiency.Strength: Optimizing fiber utilization and strength agents result in a reduced off-spec production. Furthermore, the paper quality during grade changes is ensured by the reduction of fluctuations and peaks.
• OnEfficiency.DIP: Rebuilding the flotation cell in combination with Papermaking 4.0, Advanced Process Controls and modern sensors, increases yield and reduces operating costs.
• OnEfficiency.Dewatering: Using vacuum in the forming section as an actuator to stabilize the dry line will improve ply bond, increase runnability of the forming section and save energy.
From the Voith OnCare product family:
OnCare.Asset: Implementing tools for maintenance management increases the efficiency of maintenance activities, while at the same time reducing costs and saving resources. The next step is to anticipate and optimize the overall process.
Using the applications on the same cloud-based technical platform, customers benefit from bridging information and data views cross-site and cross-app, and therewith leverage untapped correlation possibilities for more advanced insights and transparency. External information such as raw materials prices, weather data, or connections to webshops or warehouses, can be easily integrated and correlated with existing operational data.
By combining the OnCumulus.Suite with the new cloud-based applications of the proven solutions, paper producers profit not only from the increase in efficiency, productivity and quality of the entire production supply chain, but also gain new additional possibilities.
“Thanks to the enormous developments within information and communication technologies, customers can now take the chance to benefit from technologies that offer faster data exchange, big data analytics and cloud solutions,” says Dr. Roland Münch, CEO Voith Digital Solutions. “OnCumulus enables our customers to intelligently benefit from this digital transformation – with optimized processes, improved use of resources, flexibility and security – so that they improve competitiveness and achieve future viability.”
Riverdale Paper has invested in a new UNTHA QR shredder to support the company’s business diversification.
The Gateshead firm quickly established itself as the North East’s leading paper recycler. But contracts with some of the UK’s largest commercial organisations in retail, financial services and public arenas, has seen demand for Riverdale’s wider expertise grow.
Now, the team is being increasingly tasked with tackling plastic waste including polypropylene, HDPE and pre-consumer material from the automotive industry, to name just a few. With volumes of around five tonnes per week, the QR1700 therefore made for the perfect purchase.
With a current processing capacity of two tonnes per hour, the shredder is reducing the plastics to a 30mm fraction that is then sold on to reprocessors for granulation and recycling. The QR is also bein configured to suit different plastic grades.
“The speed and simplicity of machine changeover is very impressive,” comments Riverdale’s assistant general manager Kevin Brown. “The QR is also very easy to clean down which reduces the risk of cross-contamination. This is crucial, given recyclate quality has never been so important.”
Riverdale acknowledged the rising plastic challenges within industry and made the bold move into this recycling niche, in late 2017.
“Plastic is a difficult material to handle, but despite the doom and gloom headlines, it is also a material rich with opportunity,” elaborates Kevin. “We knew that by recycling a ‘waste’ stream that many other firms shy away from, we could provide a better overall service to both existing and new customers.
“By carefully segregating and processing plastics in the way that we do, we’re also able to attract larger rebates than if we were producing mixed bales.”
This project marks the first QR installation since the ground-breaking new technology was introduced to the UK market last Autumn.
Commenting on the project, UNTHA UK’s sales manager Dan Fairest said: “We were incredibly excited to unveil this shredder at the PPMA Show in October, and industry feedback has surpassed our expectations.
“Interest in this machine is also high because of the extent to which plastic waste is dominating media headlines at present. China is pushing back on material quality, pollution in the oceans has never been so severe, and even Chancellor Philip Hammond raised the mounting single use plastic issue in his spring statement. The problem isn’t going to go away, so operators are looking for plastic recycling systems that will address this critical industry concern.
“The QR has been successfully installed and is performing as specified. This is therefore a very exciting time for companies like Riverdale.”
Developed in conjunction with recyclers worldwide, the QR was 18 months in the making. It can process an array of materials including plastics, film, mixed rigids, packaging waste, pallets and wood for biomass. It is available to trial, for free, in UNTHA UK’s North of England test centre.
Rottneros has appointed Kristin Israelsson as mill manager of Rottneros Mill. Kristin most recently comes from BillerudKorsnäs, where she has been for the past 16 years, most recently as sectionhead in the pulp mill of Gruvön. She will take office no later than September 1, 2018 and will be part of the Rottneros Group Management Team.
As part of strengthening our organization, I am very pleased to welcome Kristin Israelsson to Rottneros Mill and the Group Management Team. With her solid experience in the pulp and paper industry, Kristin will contribute with her competence, leadership and energy in developing Rottneros to the next level. Agenda 500 is gradually coming to an end. Within its framework, we have successfully implemented major investments in Rottneros Mill to increase capacity, strengthen product quality, and significantly improve our environmental performance. As we are now entering the next phase, Kristin is the right person to lead the mill operations. We will focus even further on optimization and efficiency, at the same time as we have all employees' safety as top priority, says Lennart Eberleh, President and CEO of Rottneros.
Since its inauguration in 2016, this fully integrated plant has been operating at full capacity, implementing the entire production cycle of Toscotec’s TT SYD, from metalworking, precision mechanical machining to thermal treatment and surface metallization, up to non-destructive tests and certifications.
The sixteen TT SYD that are presently under construction feature different sizes, with diameters ranging from 3,650 mm to 6,705 mm and width from 3,100 to 6,050 mm. Toscotec has been manufacturing the world’s largest diameter steel Yankee dryers and their demand has been steadily going up to this day: 50% of the TT SYD currently under construction have diameters from 18 to 22 ft. In view of this, the strategic choice of the Technology Lab’s location offers a clear logistical advantage, by ensuring that large diameter Yankees get easy access to the seaport for expedite shipping operations.
The market’s demand for medium and large diameter TT SYD is far-reaching around the globe. The orders for these sixteen Yankee cylinders come from paper mills situated across four continents: Asia, North and South America, Europe and Africa, with Asia and the Americas together taking the lion’s share.
Toscotec sustained operations in the manufacturing of TT SYD are testament to the success of Toscotec’s design, including large diameter Yankees. Feedback from the first installations of 18 ft Yankees and of 22 ft Yankees have been of substantial improvements in drying efficiency, attracting paper mills to the opportunity of cost savings. Toscotec’s global market share of steel Yankee dryers exceeds 60% and nearly all new steel Yankees currently installed in paper mills in Western Europe are Toscotec-supplied.
Parallel to the success of its manufacturing operations, Toscotec is relentlessly striving for new breakthroughs with its R&D division. Following the engineering of the second generation TT SYD in late 2013, with improved rib design and metallization, as well as increased thermal exchange, Toscotec’s steel Yankee dryers are now looking into the future with their third generation’s design, which will be presented later this year.
On May 2, 2018, BASF and Solenis have signed an agreement to join forces by combining BASF’s paper wet-end and water chemicals business with Solenis. The combined entity with pro-forma sales of around €2.4 billion and around 5,000 employees in 2017 aims to deliver additional value for paper and water treatment customers. The goal is to create a customer-focused global solutions provider for the industry. For the paper industry, the product portfolio of the combined enterprise will cover the entire range of functional and process wet-end chemicals, solutions for the water cycle for paper mills, as well as comprehensive service capabilities. For the water treatment industry, the customers of the joint organization will benefit from Solenis’ high-quality service capabilities and BASF’s broad water treatment chemicals platform. Pending approval by the relevant authorities, closing is anticipated for the end of 2018 at the earliest. Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.
BASF will hold a 49% share of the combined entity that will operate under the Solenis name and be headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, USA. BASF will nominate three out of seven shareholder representatives of the joint entity that will continue to be led by current President and Chief Executive Officer John E. Panichella of Solenis. 51% of the shares will be held by funds managed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
“The transaction underlines BASF’s active portfolio management and enables us to share in the future success of this promising joint entity,” says Dr. Markus Kamieth, member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE and responsible for the Performance Products segment.
The transaction comprises BASF’s global paper wet-end and water chemicals business with 2017 sales of around €800 million and around 1,300 employees globally. The transfer includes production sites and plants of the paper wet-end and water chemicals business in Bradford and Grimsby, UK; Suffolk, Virginia, USA; Altamira, Mexico; Ankleshwar, India, and Kwinana, Australia. BASF’s paper and water chemicals production plants strongly embedded in the Verbund in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and Nanjing, China, are not transferred, and will deliver products and raw materials to the combined entity under mid- to long-term supply agreements.
BASF’s paper coating chemicals portfolio is not part of the transaction.
Strategic fit for future growth
“We will remain committed to the paper and water treatment industries through our 49% ownership of the combined entity and bring our excellent technologies, products, and production processes. Combined with Solenis’ service capabilities, we will create additional value for our customers. They will benefit from our joint innovation activities, complementary state-of-the-art product portfolios, and dedicated service and application support,” says Anup Kothari, President of BASF’s Performance Chemicals division.
“Together, we have a unique opportunity to create a customer-focused global specialty chemical company with an enhanced focus and expanded offerings. I am pleased that our cultures are closely aligned and that our companies share a strong common desire to create value for our customers. Together, as one team of experts, we will continue to strive towards excellence in innovation, sustainability and safety,” underlines John E. Panichella, CEO of Solenis.
Customers to benefit from complementary range of products and services
Solenis is a global producer of specialty chemicals for water intensive industries, including the pulp, paper, oil and gas, chemical processing, mining, biorefining, power and municipal markets. The company’s product portfolio includes a broad array of process, functional and water treatment chemistries as well as state-of-the-art monitoring and control systems. Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, USA, the company has 35 manufacturing facilities strategically located around the globe with approximately 3,700 employees in 118 countries.
BASF offers a comprehensive range of chemicals for the paper and water industry. Its paper chemicals portfolio comprises dry strength agents, fixing agents, retention and drainage aids, flocculants and coagulants for water management. Furthermore, BASF offers basic dyes, direct dyes, sizing agents, pigment preparations, wet strength agents and color developers for thermal paper. The water chemicals portfolio includes products used in the key processes of industrial and municipal water treatment. BASF’s paper and water chemicals business supplies chemicals to purify the raw water used to produce drinking water, to treat waste water streams and industrial process water, to protect cooling towers, boilers and desalination plants. The paper and water chemicals business is part of BASF’s Performance Chemicals division reported in the Performance Products segment.
BASF and Solenis will continue to operate as strictly independent companies until the completion of the transaction.
SCA increases prices on coated publication paper, CMR , and improved uncoated publication paper by 40 Euro per tonne.
“ We see a substantially stronger demand for publication paper, “ says Ulf Edman Vice President Sales and Marketing Publication Paper.
The new prices are valid for all deliveries from July 1 this year.
Due to continuing rises in costs for pulp and other raw materials, especially leuco dye (ODB2), Mitsubishi HiTec Paper is increasing its prices for thermal paper for deliveries from 1 July 2018. Prices for the whole THERMOSCRIPT® thermal paper range will be increased by up to 10 % worldwide.
Customers will be contacted directly by a representative of the Mitsubishi sales team.
Resolute Forest Products Inc. has just announced major investments totaling $12,956,700 in its La Doré wood products facilities, located in the Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec. The announcement was made during a press conference attended by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, as well as dignitaries and company employees.
The investments will be used to integrate new technologies into the manufacturing processes in order to sustain the facilities' continuously enhanced performance in an ever-changing competitive environment. Also through these investments, energy efficiency will be improved as operational processes are modernized.
"This is a significant investment for the future of our La Doré facilities," said Yves Laflamme, president and chief executive officer. "We can count on innovation, regional solidarity and the pride our people have in their work to overcome the challenges facing our industry."
Mr. Laflamme also mentioned the efforts of workers, elected representatives and governments, as well as regional economic, education and development organizations, to improve future prospects in the forest products industry.
Resolute employs close to 250 people at the La Doré sawmill, planer mill and finger-jointing facility, and more than 2,000 in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region.
The investments announced today involve upgrades to several areas of the operations:
"We will rebuild the infeed section of the sawmill and add multiple programmable logic controllers, allowing the potential of each log to be better identified, used appropriately and optimally cut," explained Gilbert Demers, division vice president, Wood Products – Sawmills and Engineering. "We are also initiating the launch of a new lumber packaging system in the planer mill, using prototypes developed by manufacturers from the region. Finally, we are completing the project by adding two new electric boilers in order to generate the quantity of steam required for drying."
Metsä Board is delighted to announce it has won the 2018 Luxe Pack Shanghai ’in green’ Award with its SkinCare 2.0 gift box Design. Created by Metsä Board’s packaging design team, the new SkinCare 2.0 gift box uses fibre based materials to replace plastic. The outer rigid box is made with a new pulp molding process. Each of three cartons are made of lightweight paperboard and offer a unique opening and reclosing experience combined with maximum runnability performance on automated packaging lines.
Cyril Drouet, Design and Innovation Director at Metsä Board, comments; “We are extremely pleased with the recognition that the SkinCare 2.0 gift box design is currently getting globally. It is a great example of how we want to inspire packaging designers and brand owners with new innovative solutions in packaging design and using renewable materials.”
Metsä Board's Packaging Services team develops, together its customers, lighter, more environmentally friendly and more efficient packaging and helps to use the potential of lightweight fresh fibre paperboards in innovative way.
SkinCare 2.0 also received recognition at the 29th Hong Kong Print Awards where it was named ‘Champion of Packaging Printing, Paper Packaging’ as well as winning a Merit Award for ‘Best Creative Printing’ and a further Merit Award for ‘Best Crafted Book’.
The Luxe Pack ‘in green’ Award recognises new eco-friendly designed products which demonstrate a specific positive environmental and sustainable impact.