Pulp-Paperworld.com / Canadian News

For more than 30 years, Voith has been supplying highly efficient and durable screen baskets for various screening applications in the stock preparation unit – with the aim of continuously improving screening efficiency. With SmartBasket, Voith is now offering an intelligent screen basket add-on tailored to customer requirements that is unique in the market. Thanks to the integrated RFID chip, customers have all the important information related to inventory, location and lifecycle status of their screen baskets at all times.

Given the large number of screen baskets used in the stock preparation unit and that are regularly exchanged, re-chromed or stored in the warehouse, it is a challenge for paper manufacturers to maintain an overview of their inventories in one or several paper mills. Manual documentation of the screen baskets in use and in stock, which has been the usual practice until now, is time-consuming, susceptible to error and results in high costs for inventory management. With SmartBasket, Voith is now offering an efficient, user-friendly solution for asset and lifecycle management of screen baskets, providing paper producers with maximum transparency and availability across all their manufacturing facilities.

Using a hand scanner, the RFID chip integrated into the screen basket is scanned and the data transferred to the mobile SmartBasket app via Bluetooth.Using a hand scanner, the RFID chip integrated into the screen basket is scanned and the data transferred to the mobile SmartBasket app via Bluetooth.

SmartBasket: Tracking with RFID chip
The new Voith screen baskets are equipped with an RFID chip. The baskets are scanned with a special hand scanner that is connected via Bluetooth to a smartphone or tablet and the associated SmartBasket app. This allows all relevant information – like the storage location, running time and condition of every single basket – to be added to a database. The data can be easily viewed in the user-friendly mobile app or in more detailed form via a cockpit solution, a web-based application with more extensive functions including Excel export.

Integrated lifecycle tracking and re-ordering
SmartBasket therefore provides an overview of the entire supply chain and paper manufacturers can optimize their inventory, as the lifecycle status can be tracked at all times. Another advantage of SmartBasket and the app for the customer is the direct connection to the Voith Paper Webshop. Just one click is all it takes to buy screen baskets online from the Webshop.

For intelligent paper manufacturing of the future
“The smart technology not only creates transparency at all levels; it also allows inventories and costs to be reduced,” says Christian Gommeringer, Strategic Global Product Manager at Voith. “The product reflects our forward-looking vision of making paper manufacture even more efficient using smart solutions. In this context, SmartBasket is the next important step toward Papermaking 4.0.” Voith will be adding other smart products to its range in future.

The SmartBasket app is available for mobile devices or as a web-based version with extended functionality.The SmartBasket app is available for mobile devices or as a web-based version with extended functionality.

For more information about SmartBasket, visit the Voith website: www.voith.com/smartbasket

About the Voith Group
The Voith Group is a global technology company. With its broad portfolio of systems, products, services and digital applications, Voith sets standards in the markets of energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transport & automotive. Founded in 1867, the company today has more than 19,000 employees, sales of € 4.2 billion and locations in over 60 countries worldwide and is thus one of the large family-owned companies in Europe.

The Group Division Voith Paper is part of the Voith Group. As the full-line supplier to the paper industry, it provides the largest range of technologies, services, components and products on the market and offers paper manufacturers solutions from one single source. The company’s continuous stream of innovations takes papermaking to the next level and facilitates resource-conserving production. With its Servolution concept, Voith offers its customers tailored service solutions for all sections of the production process. Voith Papermaking 4.0 ensures that equipment is optimally connected, while the secure use of generated data enables paper manufacturers to improve plant availability and efficiency.

#pulppaperworld #voith #ppw

Valmet will launch a new-generation Valmet IQ Web Inspection System (IQ WIS), which enables board and paper producers to inspect and improve product quality in greater detail. IQ WIS works in real time, enabling immediate root-cause analysis and corrective action. IQ WIS is one of the integral elements of the Valmet IQ Process and Quality Vision system; another element is the Valmet IQ Web Monitoring System.

Improved quality through excellent synergy

Valmet IQ Web Inspection System has been developed in collaboration with Dr. Schenk, a global supplier of inspection and measurement solutions.

"The collaboration between Dr. Schenk and Valmet is a showcase of excellent synergy by smartly combining the know-how and experience from the world's best inspection system provider with a world-class paper process specialist. After having delivered a total of 450 Valmet IQ Process and Quality Vision systems globally, this new product launch is an important step toward even higher precision in quality control. Valmet continues to support the existing installed base and offers a seamless upgrade path. The advantages offered by the new features can be integrated into existing systems through upgrades," comments Marko Toskala, Director, Quality Management Systems, Automation, Valmet.

The new-generation Valmet IQ Web Inspection System utilizes an intelligent 8K camera technology for high measurement precision. The new-generation Valmet IQ Web Inspection System utilizes an intelligent 8K camera technology for high measurement precision.

"We are pleased with the development of the new Valmet IQ WIS. Valmet is the frontrunner in the pulp and paper business. Through their strong sales and service organization, we can offer our leading inspection technology to these processes globally," says Dr. Peter-M. Heinze, Sales Manager, Dr. Schenk.

Efficient tools for analysis and paper quality rating

Valmet IQ Web Inspection System utilizes intelligent 8K camera technology, which combines the best features of an area scan (matrix) camera and line scan camera technologies. It enables immediate identification of production that does not meet quality criteria through a wide range of technical features.

High measurement precision can be reached even with higher maximum paper web speeds. More sensitive and reliable defect analysis can be achieved with multigeometry. It is also possible to replace several camera beams with one unit, resulting in cost-efficient, compact installation and lower service needs.

Technical information about Valmet IQ Web Inspection System

The latest IQ WIS technologies provide paper processors with the means to achieve profound quality monitoring and control. Unique lighting technology enables the detection of print-critical defects that have not been visible before. This illumination provides excellent opportunities for 3D defect contrasting. Particularly longitudinal structures and oil stains, for example, which are often hard to detect with standard lights, are also highlighted. Precise detailed defect classifications can be made by means of the MIDA (Multiple Image Defect Analysis) and the latest software algorithms based on artificial intelligence principles.

Multigeometry inspection gives more sensitive and reliable defect information. Unique lighting technology enables the detection of print-critical defects that have not been visible before.Multigeometry inspection gives more sensitive and reliable defect information. Unique lighting technology enables the detection of print-critical defects that have not been visible before.

Valmet Industrial Internet solutions can utilize the data from the web inspection system to further benefit customers. A comprehensive process picture is created by combining the data from the quality control system and the machine vision system. By adding other key process data, it is possible to find optimal solutions to ensure desired process performance and end-product quality.

Information about Dr. Schenk

Dr. Schenk GmbH, established in 1985, is an innovative high-tech company based near Munich, Germany. It develops, produces and markets optical inspection and measurement solutions for automated quality assurance and production process monitoring. The systems are a key success factor in the making and converting of many materials for a multitude of markets. Throughout the world, Dr. Schenk's 300+ employees continue to set new standards for inspection.

Information about PaperCon

PaperCon is a technical conference for the paper and packaging industry, taking place on May 5-8, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. Developed by experts and business leaders in the paper, packaging and nonwovens industries, PaperCon 2019 offers networking events and informative sessions that provide tangible takeaways to solve many of today's technical challenges.

Valmet is the leading global developer and supplier of process technologies, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries. We aim to become the global champion in serving our customers.

Valmet's strong technology offering includes pulp mills, tissue, board and paper production lines, as well as power plants for bioenergy production. Our advanced services and automation solutions improve the reliability and performance of our customers' processes and enhance the effective utilization of raw materials and energy.

Valmet's net sales in 2018 were approximately EUR 3.3 billion. Our more than 13,000 professionals around the world work close to our customers and are committed to moving our customers' performance forward - every day. Valmet's head office is in Espoo, Finland and its shares are listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki.

Read more www.valmet.com

Voith, a trusted solution partner for the paper industry, will feature interactive experiences for visitors to booth 301 at PaperCon 2019 from May 6 to 8 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.

"The paper industry is quickly evolving and as a full-line supplier, PaperCon offers us an opportunity to share innovative technology that will help our customers meet their goals," said David Buchanan, president, Voith Paper, North America. "From spare parts, fabrics and rolls, paper machine rebuilds, stock preparation systems, complete paper machines and secure digitalization to customized service packages – we help our customers strengthen their papermaking processes to serve their customers."

End-to-end paper solutions that make customers’ production smarter and more sustainable on display by Voith in PaperCon 2019 booth 301. For more information, please visit www.voith.com/PC19.End-to-end paper solutions that make customers’ production smarter and more sustainable on display by Voith in PaperCon 2019 booth 301. For more information, please visit www.voith.com/PC19 

New this year, Voith offers attendees a unique view of key products through holographic technology to highlight innovations that:

  • Enhance paper operations and maintenance
    With CleanLine traversing cleaning systems, visitors can see a cost-effective solution to reduce the effects of contamination.
  • Increase capacity
    The new SmoothRun hydropneumatic damping bearing system for winders effectively reduces vibrations occurring during the winding process and allows for higher operating speeds and better winding results. This compact winder upgrade can increase capacity up to 15 percent.
  • Improve paper quality
    The DuoShake, an advancement of conventional breast roll shaking technology, emits frequencies that were previously unattainable, allowing it to create a more homogenous distribution of fibers while reinforcing the orientation of the fibers in cross direction.

Beyond the holographic displays, PaperCon attendees can explore other solutions, including:

Data analytics/applications, cloud solutions, and real time adaptive training
Voith‘s OnCumulus lloT cloud platform optimizes efficiency, maintenance and performance using advanced analytics and data harmonization enterprise-wide for one central, secure approach to digitalization. DRIVE is Voith’s real time adaptive 4.0 training ecosystem for 4.0 digitalization dexterity enterprise-wide.

Enhanced safety and efficiency
In addition, the ProTect, which is designed to increase safety, and the SmartBasket, which is designed to increase efficiency, will be available at the booth for a hands-on experience:

  • Regular measurements are essential for efficient operation and the ProTect system offers a safe alternative to manual measurements. The ProTect is a cost-efficient system that makes the press felt measuring process – normally a high-risk task that is usually done manually while the paper machine is running – safer while also delivering more reliable results.
  • For easy identification, lifecycle tracking and asset management, the SmartBasket is an advanced screen basket equipped with RFID technology. Customers can simply scan the RFID technology, add relevant information (such as run time, condition or inventory location) on a smartphone or tablet, and then easily send updates to a dedicated database.

Couch Pit University Young Professionals Mixer
Voith is sponsoring the Couch Pit University Young Professional Mixer on May 5 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. EDT at the Westin Indianapolis hotel. The mixer offers an expert roundtable format focused on topics pertinent to young professionals in the paper industry.

PaperCon presentations

  • May 6 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT – Voith knowledge expert, Michael Potts, will present "Keys to Successful Papermaking Conversions" during the Supplier Experiences with Paper Machine Conversions session.
  • May 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 to 3:30 p.m. EDT – Voith experts will also present on a variety of papermaking topics during Poster Sessions which highlight the latest developments in the paper industry. Featured posters will take a look at winding technology, the fundamentals of water removal and real-time adaptive training for industrial workplaces.
  • May 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EDT – Voith knowledge expert, Timo Frick, will present "Modelling of a Viscoelastic Compression Model for the Simulation of Mechanical Dewatering Processes" during the Fundamentals of Water Removal session at PaperCon.

To learn more, please visit booth 301 or www.voith.com/PC19.

About Voith
Voith is a global technology group. With its broad portfolio of systems, products, services and digital applications, Voith sets standards in the markets of energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transport & automotive. Founded in 1867, today Voith has more than 19,000 employees, sales of $5 billion and locations in over 60 countries worldwide, and is one of the largest family-owned companies in Europe. For more information, visit www.voith.com.

The Group Division Voith Paper is part of the Voith Group and a leading full-line supplier as well as pioneer in the paper industry. Through constant innovations Voith is optimizing the paper manufacturing process and facilitating resource-conserving production. With its Servolution concept, Voith offers its customers as reliable partner tailored service solutions for all sections of the production process. The company’s Papermaking 4.0 concept ensures that equipment is optimally networked, while the effective and secure use of the generated data enables paper manufacturers to improve their competitiveness.

logo biditupBIDITUP Auctions and Appraisals Worldwide and Maynards, global leaders in asset conversion is announcing that the entire plant and assets of West Linn Paper Mill will soon be coming to auction. West Linn Paper Mill is closing its door after 128 years as one of the Oregon’s premier industrial businesses. This significant 2-day global “online only” webcast auction of some of the most sought-after assets in the paper milling industry will take place on Wednesday and Thursday June 19th & 20th, 2018, starting each day at 8AM PDT.

There are over 2,000 lots in this huge sale. Featured assets include:

  • • Complete Fourdrinier Paper Machines (3)
  • • Coating Plant
  • • Stock Preparation System Equipment
  • • Lamb-Grey Roll Wrapping Line
  • • Maxson Sheeter
  • • Shop Equipment including: Lab Equipment, Store Rooms, Tool Rooms & Machine Shops
  • • Rolling Stock including: Forklifts, Scissor Lifts, Roll Clamp Trucks, Industrial Carts & Golf Carts
  • • Misc. Shop Equipment, Spares & Tools, Electrical, Plant Support Equipment
  • • Plus Much More!

For a catalog and complete listing of the assets for sale, please visit us on the web at www.biditup.com.

"A sale of this magnitude is really a very important development for the any customers in the paper milling industry -- especially those who are looking to upgrade, update or add to their services and equipment with high-quality assets from a well-established company,” said Steven Mattes, CEO of BIDITUP. “With over 2000 lots being offered, this opportunity should provide interest to our customers in all industries, as there is literally something for everyone in all asset categories,” Mattes added.

This global “online only” webcast auction will commence at 8AM PDT on Wednesday June 19th and Thursday June 20th, 2018.  Assets will be available for inspection at West Linn Paper Mill, 4800 Mill Street, West Linn, Oregon 97068. Inspections will take place on Monday, June 17th and Tuesday, May

18th from 9am - 4pm OR By Appointment. For more information please call 818-508-7034 or contact us

at smattes@biditup.com.

BIDITUP Auctions Worldwide (www.biditup.com) is a subsidiary of Industrial Assets and was established in 1977 and is a global leader in asset conversion and provides auction, real estate, and appraisal

services to a comprehensive array of markets. The company is recognized as one of the world's leaders in the auction industry.

Maynards Industries (www.maynards.com) was founded in 1902. As auctioneers with an established global presence, Maynards conducts over 100 asset auctions and liquidations each year worldwide.

Valmet will supply a Valmet DNA automation system and a Valmet IQ quality management solution to Suzhou Taison Paper Co., Ltd. in China. The systems will be installed on two tissue machines, enabling the mill to increase production efficiency and improve product quality.

The order was included in Valmet's first quarter 2019 orders received. The delivery will take place in the third quarter of 2019.

valmet logo"We have very good cooperation with Valmet. We already have Valmet's automation systems installed on four tissue machines in the Taison Group's Jiangxi mill, and their performance has exceeded our expectations. Valmet's advanced technology fits perfectly with our company's strategy to implement innovative solutions," says Shengyou Zhu, Deputy General Manager, Taison Paper.

"Valmet ensures maximum and sustainable performance of production lines with its accurate and reliable process and product measurements. We are happy that the customer relies on us and are delighted to provide solutions to move their performance forward," states Andy Zhang, Area Sales Manager, China, Automation, Valmet.

Information about Valmet's delivery

Valmet's delivery consists of a Valmet DNA automation system and a Valmet IQ quality management solution. Valmet's comprehensive and scalable automation solution is geared toward optimum productivity, energy efficiency and product quality.

Information about the customer Taison Group

Suzhou Taison Paper Co., Ltd. is one of the subsidiaries of the Taison Group, a large and comprehensive international enterprise, which integrates forestry, pulp making, plastic packaging, timber processing, real estate and trading.

Valmet is the leading global developer and supplier of process technologies, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries. We aim to become the global champion in serving our customers.

Valmet's strong technology offering includes pulp mills, tissue, board and paper production lines, as well as power plants for bioenergy production. Our advanced services and automation solutions improve the reliability and performance of our customers' processes and enhance the effective utilization of raw materials and energy.

Valmet's net sales in 2018 were approximately EUR 3.3 billion. Our more than 13,000 professionals around the world work close to our customers and are committed to moving our customers' performance forward - every day. Valmet's head office is in Espoo, Finland and its shares are listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki.

Read more www.valmet.com

The pulp, paper and supplier industry will meet also this year at the Zellcheming Expo 2019 in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. From June 25th to 27th the company emtec Electronic will present their innovative measuring devices in hall 4.1 at the booth no. G18, by which the complete production process can be controlled and guided in the right direction.

emtec zellAt the beginning of this year, emtec Electronic celebrated a great success: the 300th TSA Tissue Softness Analyzer has been sold. The device is now used in 48 countries, in each part of the world. Especially for tissue products, the TSA gives reliable and objective information about the three basic parameters, which determine the human feeling, the softness, roughness and stiffness. From these three, an overall hand feel value can be calculated.

New for hand sheet measurements: an updated version of the TSA and an improved measuring method for hand sheets (made in the lab) enables a reliable prediction of the final product quality in the lab without expensive machine trials.

2019 04 23 063745Two of the most-modern measuring systems for the wet-end are the CAS touch! to measure the particle charge, and the FPA touch! to measure the surface charge of fibers. The small and light devices help to optimize the utilization of chemicals with the target to stabilize the process, to improve the product quality and to reduce costs.

The ACA Ash Content Analyzer enables the determination of the mineral filler content without combustion, that means without destruction of the samples, within seconds. Both, the total mineral filler content, as well as the individual filler components (e.g. calcium carbonate, kaolin/talcum, titanium dioxide, iron oxide) and their percentage distribution are measured.

Besides this, the EST12 emtec Surface & Sizing Tester is shown. A device to determine important and for the converting relevant paper surface properties such as surface hydrophobia / sizing as well as the surface porosity, which influence printability, coatability and gluability of paper and board. The PDA.C02 Penetration Dynamics Analyzer as modular system is the equivalent, that delivers additional information by the use of different modules.

Saturday, 04 May 2019 22:59

Rottneros changes clothes after 47 years

Rottneros is now taking another step to meet the future. In conjunction with the Annual General Meeting on May 2 in Sunne, Värmland, the company’s new logo is presented. A symbol that clarifies the company’s focus on climate and environmentally smart products and equality.

”With our new graphic profile, we want to show the forward-looking Rottneros. Now we harvest the fruits of our investments in the facilities, focusing on efficiency and sustainability - both ecologically, socially and economically”, explains Lennart Eberleh, President and CEO of Rottneros AB.

2019 05 04 225725Rottneros was founded in 1887. Over the years, a number of logos have passed by. The existing one has been around for 47 years. In 2018, Rottneros had sales of SEK 2.3 billion with about 300 employees and the operating profit was record high of SEK 295 million.

Products that are smart for the planet

Rottneros has factories for high quality pulp in Rottneros, Värmland, and Vallvik, Hälsingland. Of sustainable and renewable forest raw materials, fibres are produced with specific properties that are demanded worldwide. The pulp is used, for example, for products such as air filters, transformers, tissue and cardboard.

The newcomer in the group is Rottneros Packaging, a newly-started factory in Sunne, which manufactures climate-smart packaging for primarily food. The packaging is made from pure forest raw material and replaces the traditional fossil-based plastic packaging.

”Much of our success depends on our ability to be innovative and develop in step with time. Our corporate culture is based on the fact that we respect everyone, are committed and are professionals. Rottneros can and wants to offer products that are smart for the planet. We also want to clarify this by renewing our logo”, explains Lennart Eberleh.

Rottneros is an independent producer of market pulp. The Group comprises the parent company Rottneros AB, listed on Nasdaq Stockholm, and its subsidiaries Rottneros Bruk AB and Vallviks Bruk AB with operations involving the production and sale of market pulp. The Group also includes Rottneros Packaging AB, which manufactures fibre trays, and the wood procurement company SIA Rottneros Baltic in Latvia. The Group has about 300 employees and had a turnover of approximately SEK 2.3 billion in the 2018 financial year.

Valmet has on May 1, 2019 completed the acquisition of J&L Fiber Services Inc., a manufacturer and provider of refiner segments to the pulp, paper and fiberboard industry. The company is located in Wisconsin, U.S. The enterprise value of the acquisition is approximately EUR 51 million on a cash and debt free basis subject to ordinary post-closing adjustments.

valmet logoJ&L Fiber Services manufactures and supplies low-consistency refiner segments that are important wear parts used in pulp and paper production, complementing Valmet's offering in refiner segments. It also supplies high-consistency refiner segments that are used in thermomechanical pulping and medium density fiberboard (MDF) refining.

In the last twelve months, the company had net sales of approximately EUR 30 million with an EBITA margin of around 15 percent. The acquired operations employ about 100 people, most of whom are located in Wisconsin, U.S. J&L Fiber Services operates globally through a sales representative and distribution network. Over 75 percent of its sales goes to North America. The acquired business becomes a part of Valmet's Services business line, as Waukesha Service Center.

"We are continuously strengthening our stable business, meaning Services and Automation. The recent acquisition of North America -based GL&V is now followed by adding J&L Fiber Services' complementary refiner segment products to our services offering. This acquisition also further strengthens our local presence especially in North America. I warmly welcome the 100 new employees to become part of the Valmet team and into our strong, global Services organization," says Pasi Laine, President and CEO of Valmet.

Valmet is the leading global developer and supplier of process technologies, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries. We aim to become the global champion in serving our customers.

Valmet's strong technology offering includes pulp mills, tissue, board and paper production lines, as well as power plants for bioenergy production. Our advanced services and automation solutions improve the reliability and performance of our customers' processes and enhance the effective utilization of raw materials and energy.

Valmet's net sales in 2018 were approximately EUR 3.3 billion. Our more than 13,000 professionals around the world work close to our customers and are committed to moving our customers' performance forward - every day. Valmet's head office is in Espoo, Finland and its shares are listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki.

Saturday, 04 May 2019 22:40

Zanders Paper with new co‐investor

Production of all core poducts continues

JOOL Invest AB has become a co‐investor in Zanders Paper GmbH. The Swedish company with subsidiaries mainly within paper, wood products and finance industries, has a clear industrial mindset and will be an active partner bringing further experience and capital creating a strong foundation for the planned growth of Zanders Paper.

Zanders Paper: Chrome cylinder for Chromolux productionZanders Paper: Chrome cylinder for Chromolux production

Zanders Paper will continue with all core products Chromolux, Zanlabel, Zanbarrier, Zanpack, Zanjet, Silver Digital and RX Nature. In addition, it is planned to introduce further grades in the coming months.

About Zanders Paper

Zanders Paper is a German manufacturer of high‐quality specialty papers and cartons for labels, packaging and graphic applications. Founded in 1829 by Johann Wilhelm Zanders in Bergisch Gladbach, the company still operates the Gohrsmühle paper mill with about 310 employees.

The portfolio includes high‐gloss label papers and premium board qualities of the traditional brand Chromolux, one of the world's leading paper brands, as well as high quality variants with extra smooth or naturally napped surfaces. These include Zanlabel label papers and Zanpack packaging board qualities.

Especially designed for digital printing, Zanders Paper offers the premium range of Chromolux digital and Silver digital brands as well as Zanjet, a double‐sided coated paper for commercial high‐ speed inkjet printing.

The portfolio is rounded off by Zanbarrier, the barrier paper for flexible food packaging, which is available in the variants Zanbarrier OGR (Oil and Grease Resistant) and Zanbarrier NGR (Natural Grease Resistant – a barrier function completely without fluorocarbon or other chemicals).

The company's customers are manufacturers of beverages such as spirits; sparkling wine, wine, beer or water, food and luxury foods, tobacco products, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.

Verso Corporation (NYSE: VRS) has just announced it will permanently close its paper mill in Luke, Maryland, in response to the continuing decline in customer demand for the grades of coated freesheet paper produced at the mill, along with rising input costs, a significant influx of imports, and rising compliance costs and infrastructure challenges associated with recent environmental regulation changes. The closure, which is expected to be complete by June 30, will reduce Verso's coated freesheet production capacity by approximately 450,000 tons, reducing total annual paper production capacity to approximately 2.7 million tons.

Verso Logo"It is unfortunate that we had to make the decision to close the Luke Mill, but the continuing decline in demand for the grades of paper manufactured there left us no choice but to close this facility that has struggled with profitability for a number of years," said Verso Interim Chief Executive Officer Leslie T. Lederer. "The company explored the possibility of producing alternate grades of paper products but the conclusion remained the same – we could not achieve profitability at the mill in today's market environment.  Consistently matching the supply of our graphic paper products with customer demand for these products, reducing our costs and rapidly diversifying our product portfolio into growing markets remain essential drivers for Verso's long-term success, and we continue to vigorously pursue these objectives."  

Most of the Luke Mill's paper grades are already qualified to be produced on other Verso paper machines, and the company is working to assure all customer needs are met, according to Verso President of Graphic and Specialty Papers Michael A. Weinhold.  "Because Verso is continually evaluating the best use of our highly flexible manufacturing system to assure we deliver the quality, reliability and value our customers depend on, our Luke Mill customers can remain confident in Verso's ability to meet their needs now and in the future," he said.  "We will be working closely with our customers to assure they continue to receive the high quality products and exceptional service they have come to expect from Verso."

Approximately 675 employees will be impacted by the closure of the Luke Mill.  Employees were notified in accordance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act that their last day of employment with Verso is expected to be June 30.  Eligible hourly employees will receive a severance allowance in accordance with local collective bargaining agreements, and the company will begin effects bargaining with the local unions soon.  Salaried employees will receive a severance allowance in accordance with Verso's established severance policy.  In compliance with the WARN Act, Verso sent notification of the decision to close the mill to the appropriate authorities in Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia, and will continue to work with state and local officials to help Luke Mill employees take full advantage of all available support resources.

"The decision to close this mill that has been in operation for more than 130 years was an extremely difficult one, and is in no way a reflection on the dedicated men and women who work there," Lederer said.  "We know that this will be an extraordinarily emotional and challenging time for our Luke Mill team, and Verso is committed to treating them with fairness, respect and dignity during this difficult time. We will also do our utmost to ensure employee safety during the transition. I want to thank each and every member of the Luke team for their hard work and dedicated service to the mill, to Verso and to our customers."

About Verso
Verso Corporation is the turn-to company for those looking to successfully navigate the complexities of paper sourcing and performance. A leading North American producer of specialty and graphic papers, packaging and pulp, Verso provides insightful solutions that help drive improved customer efficiency, productivity, brand awareness and business results. Verso's long-standing reputation for quality and reliability is directly tied to our vision to be a company with passion that is respected and trusted by all. Verso's passion is rooted in ethical business practices that demand safe workplaces for our employees and sustainable wood sourcing for our products. This passion, combined with our flexible manufacturing capabilities and an unmatched commitment to product performance, delivery and service, make Verso a preferred choice among commercial printers, paper merchants and brokers, converters, publishers and other end users. For more information, visit us online at versoco.com

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