Pulp-Paperworld.com / N.American News
Tuesday, 09 January 2018 10:26

WestRock to Upgrade Florence, SC Mill

WestRock Company, a leading provider of differentiated paper and packaging solutions, has just announced a planned investment in its Florence, South Carolina kraft linerboard mill that will significantly increase the mill’s efficiency, quality and service levels.

2015 10 18 094836The $410 million investment over two years will include installing a 330” state-of-the-art kraft linerboard machine and related infrastructure that will replace three older, narrow-width paper machines. The company expects the new machine to produce 710,000 tons of kraft linerboard annually. In addition, the company plans to invest approximately $60 million over the next five years to support the new machine and other mill projects.

When coupled with the recently completed modern woodyard, the Florence mill will become one of the lowest cost kraft linerboard mills in North America. 

“This investment will make our Florence mill a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, sustaining good manufacturing jobs and promoting the long-term success of the mill,” said Steve Voorhees, chief executive officer of WestRock. “The support of the Florence County Economic Development Partnership and the South Carolina Department of Commerce helped make this investment possible and is greatly appreciated.  We look forward to contributing to the Florence community for many years to come.”

“Any time a company invests in our state, it shows a commitment to our citizens that we couldn’t be more grateful for. This investment is something that South Carolina should be proud of, and we know that the future is bright for the partnership between our state and WestRock,” said Henry McMaster, governor of South Carolina.

“WestRock is not only a leader in the packaging industry, but also a respected name in South Carolina’s overall business community. Today, I’m thrilled to congratulate this great company on their continued success in the Palmetto State,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. 

“WestRock supports hundreds of jobs in Florence County and remains one of our top employers. We are very pleased that this industry will continue to be an important part of Florence County’s economy,” said Florence County Council Chairman Kent Caudle.

“Florence County is excited about WestRock and its investment in our area – one of the largest in recent history. This is a significant development for the people of Florence County,” said Florence County Economic Development Partnership Chairman Frank J. “Buddy” Brand.

“This new investment is an important step for Florence County in preserving jobs that support so many families in our community, and is evidence that companies that come to Florence stay in Florence. I’m very pleased that this project will help sustain the significant economic progress that Florence has made in recent years,” said South Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore Hugh K. Leatherman.

The new linerboard machine will be housed in a building adjacent to the existing complex, and the company expects production on the new linerboard machine and the shutdown of the three existing machines to occur in the first half of calendar 2020.

About WestRock 
WestRock (NYSE:WRK) partners with our customers to provide differentiated paper and packaging solutions that help them win in the marketplace. WestRock’s 45,000 team members support customers around the world from more than 300 operating and business locations spanning North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Learn more at www.westrock.com

Published in North American News

WestRock Company (NYSE:WRK) has just announced that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Plymouth Packaging, Inc. (“Plymouth”). Plymouth is a corrugated packaging company that derives approximately 70% of its sales from its “Box on Demand” systems and corrugated fanfold, and 30% from traditional corrugated box packaging.

2015 10 18 094836This acquisition represents WestRock’s entry into the growing on-demand corrugated packaging market that serves many e-commerce and other custom-packaging applications. The market-leading “Box on Demand” systems are located on the customers’ sites and use fanfold corrugated to produce custom, on-demand corrugated packaging that is accurately sized for any product type according to the customer’s specifications.

“We are pleased to welcome the Plymouth team to WestRock,” stated Jeff Chalovich, president, Corrugated Packaging, WestRock. “The addition of Plymouth Packaging and the “Box on Demand” capabilities furthers our differentiated packaging and packaging machinery strategies, and we look forward to growing this business in our portfolio.”

In addition to the market expansion opportunity represented by this acquisition, WestRock intends to fully integrate the nearly 60,000 tons of containerboard used annually by Plymouth Packaging and expects additional containerboard integration opportunities as the Company serves the growing on-demand packaging market.

About WestRock

WestRock (NYSE:WRK) partners with our customers to provide differentiated paper and packaging solutions that help them win in the marketplace. WestRock’s 45,000 team members support customers around the world from more than 300 operating and business locations spanning North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Learn more at www.westrock.com

Source: WestRock Shared Services, LLC

Published in North American News

WestRock Company (NYSE:WRK), a leading provider of differentiated paper and packaging solutions, has just announced that it has entered into agreements to acquire substantially all of the assets of Plymouth Packaging, Inc. (“Plymouth”). Plymouth is a corrugated packaging company that derives approximately 70% of its sales from its “Box on Demand” systems and corrugated fanfold, and 30% from traditional corrugated box packaging.

2015 10 18 094836Plymouth’s market-leading “Box on Demand” systems are located on the customer’s site and use fanfold corrugated to produce custom, on-demand corrugated packaging that is accurately sized for any product type according to the customer’s specifications. Fanfold corrugated is continuous corrugated board, folded periodically to form an accordion-like stack of corrugated material. Plymouth installs “Box on Demand” machines on its customers’ sites under multi-year exclusive agreements for the fanfold corrugated supply.

Approximately 40% of the “Box on Demand” systems’ sales are to e-commerce customers, with the remaining customers serving building products, furniture and other markets. Plymouth currently supplies more than 100 customers with proprietary “Box on Demand” machines, manufactured by Panotec. As part of the transaction, WestRock will acquire Plymouth’s equity interest in Panotec and Plymouth’s exclusive right to distribute Panotec’s equipment in the United States and Canada.

The acquisition of Plymouth will further integrate the company’s containerboard system. WestRock currently provides one-third of the nearly 60,000 tons of containerboard used by Plymouth annually, and intends to fully integrate these tons after the transaction closes. WestRock expects additional containerboard integration opportunities as the Company serves this growing on-demand packaging market.

“The acquisition of Plymouth Packaging will further develop our innovation platform and our differentiation strategy,” said Jeff Chalovich, president of WestRock’s corrugated packaging business. “The addition of the ‘Box on Demand’ system will enhance our automated packaging systems business and WestRock’s differentiation in e-commerce and other custom applications where on-site box making is needed. The acquisition will improve our margin profile, our growth prospects in our corrugated packaging business and move us closer to our goal to be 80% integrated.”

Plymouth was founded in 1991 by Paul Magnell and is currently owned by the Magnell family. Greg Magnell is currently the president of the company and will continue in his leadership role following the closing of the transaction.

“We are excited to become part of WestRock and believe there is a strong cultural fit with our two organizations,” said Greg Magnell. “The combination provides access to a much broader geographic footprint and significant additional resources that will help this business continue to grow and serve our customers.”

The transaction includes Plymouth’s fanfold corrugated facilities in Battle Creek, Michigan; Ft. Worth, Texas; and Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; and all of the company-owned “Box on Demand” machines located in customers’ facilities. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

About WestRock
WestRock (NYSE:WRK) partners with our customers to provide differentiated paper and packaging solutions that help them win in the marketplace. WestRock’s 45,000 team members support customers around the world from more than 300 operating and business locations spanning North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Learn more at www.westrock.com

Source: WestRock Shared Services, LLC

Published in North American News

WestRock Company (NYSE:WRK) has just announced plans to build a new corrugated box plant in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo to meet growing demand from WestRock’s regional customers in South America.

2015 10 18 094836“WestRock’s corrugated packaging business in Brazil continues to perform well, with strong relationships with customers in attractive growth markets,” said Steve Voorhees, chief executive officer, WestRock. “Our new corrugated packaging plant will enable our exceptional team in Brazil to serve these customers even better in the future, with a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility that will provide new capabilites and efficiences for our customers, and to further integrate the containerboard that we manufacture in Brazil.”

The new facility will be located in Porto Feliz and will serve all industry segments and markets both in the highly developed Sao Paulo region, as well other growing areas in Brazil’s southeast region. Construction is expected to begin later this year and be completed in mid-2019. 

About WestRock

WestRock (NYSE:WRK) partners with our customers to provide differentiated paper and packaging solutions that help them win in the marketplace. WestRock’s 45,000 team members support customers around the world from more than 300 operating and business locations spanning North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Learn more at www.westrock.com

Source: WestRock Shared Services, LLC

When completed, the Porto Feliz plant will replace the company’s existing Brazilian corrugated operations in Valinhos. The plant will be integrated with the forestry and paper production operations of the Três Barras (Santa Catarina) mill and will increase the consumption of the mill’s virgin fiber HyPerform corrugated paper, WestRock’s high-performance paper line.

Published in South American News

WestRock Company (NYSE:WRK) has just announced that it has entered into agreements to acquire substantially all of the assets of Island Container Corp. and Combined Container Industries LLC, which together are independent producers of corrugated boxes, sheets and point-of-purchase displays.

2015 10 18 094836The assets to be acquired include a corrugator and the corrugated converting operations located in Wheatley Heights, New York, and certain related fulfillment assets located in Saddle Brook, New Jersey.

“Island Container and Combined Container have longstanding relationships with customers in cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food markets in the Northeastern United States, and we look forward to continuing these relationships,” said Steve Voorhees, chief executive officer of WestRock. “This acquisition will enable us to integrate more than 80,000 tons of containerboard into our corrugated packaging business.”

WestRock will pay total consideration representing an EBITDA multiple of less than 4.5 times on a post-synergy basis. The consideration will be made in cash. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

About WestRock

WestRock (NYSE:WRK) partners with our customers to provide differentiated paper and packaging solutions that help them win in the marketplace. WestRock’s 45,000 team members support customers around the world from more than 300 operating and business locations spanning North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Learn more at www.westrock.com

Published in North American News

WestRock Company (NYSE:WRK) have just announced that it has completed the acquisition of certain operations of U.S. Corrugated, a large independent manufacturer of corrugated products for packaging and displays.

2015 10 18 094836WestRock acquired five corrugated converting facilities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana from U.S. Corrugated, through which it provides a comprehensive suite of products and services to customers in a variety of end markets, including food & beverage, pharmaceuticals and consumer electronics.

The five facilities will operate as part of WestRock’s Corrugated Packaging segment.  WestRock intends to integrate 105,000 tons of containerboard converted annually by the acquired facilities and another 50,000 tons under a long-term contract with a newly created company formed from the remaining assets of U.S. Corrugated. The transaction is expected to be accretive to earnings in year one.

About WestRock
WestRock (NYSE:WRK) partners with our customers to provide differentiated paper and packaging solutions that help them win in the marketplace. WestRock’s 45,000 team members support customers around the world from more than 300 operating and business locations spanning North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Learn more at www.westrock.com.

Source: WestRock Shared Services, LLC

Published in North American News

WestRock Company (NYSE:WRK), a leading provider of differentiated paper and packaging solutions, have just announced the completion of the acquisition of Multi Packaging Solutions International Limited (NYSE:MPSX) (MPS).

2015 10 18 094836WestRock refinanced MPS debt as part of the transaction.

“I am excited about our acquisition of MPS, which is an important step in the continuing development of WestRock,” said Steve Voorhees, chief executive officer of WestRock. “MPS is a leader in the value-added packaging sector, and the addition of MPS to WestRock strengthens our differentiated portfolio of paper and packaging solutions.”

About WestRock
WestRock (NYSE:WRK) partners with our customers to provide differentiated paper and packaging solutions that help them win in the marketplace. WestRock’s 45,000 team members support customers around the world from more than 300 operating and business locations spanning North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Learn more at www.westrock.com.

Published in North American News

WestRock Company (NYSE:WRK) has just announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire certain operations of U.S. Corrugated, a large independent manufacturer of corrugated products for packaging and displays.

2015 10 18 094836WestRock will acquire five corrugated converting facilities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana from U.S. Corrugated, through which it provides a comprehensive suite of products and services to customers in a variety of end markets, including food & beverage, pharmaceuticals and consumer electronics. WestRock will not acquire U.S. Corrugated’s facilities in California, Georgia, and in Ashland, Ohio, nor its affiliates in New Jersey and Tennessee.

“This acquisition will enhance our capabilities to serve customers across the Midwest, increase our integration and improve the margins of our corrugated packaging business,” said Steve Voorhees, chief executive officer of WestRock.  “We will be pleased to have the U.S. Corrugated employees at these five facilities join WestRock.”

“When the transaction closes, we expect to realize significant synergies from supply chain optimization, better procurement, and integrating approximately 105,000 tons of the containerboard converted annually by the acquired facilities and another 50,000 tons under a long-term contract with a newly created company formed from the remaining assets of U.S. Corrugated,” said Jeff Chalovich, president, Corrugated Packaging, WestRock.

WestRock will pay a total consideration of approximately $192 million, representing an EBITDA multiple of 5 times on a post-synergy basis. The consideration includes a combination of cash and WestRock common stock. The transaction is expected to be accretive to earnings in year one, and is expected to close in June 2017.

About WestRock
WestRock (NYSE:WRK) partners with our customers to provide differentiated paper and packaging solutions that help them win in the marketplace. WestRock’s 36,000 team members support customers around the world from more than 250 operating and business locations spanning North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Learn more at www.westrock.com

Published in North American News

All manufacturing leaders know what’s expected of them. They face financial statements, customers, stakeholders, etc. on an ongoing basis. There’s no denying the what. Truly world-class leaders continually search for the best how, and they ask, how are we going to do this? What is the best way to achieve our expectations? Even the best companies struggle with asking and implementing these questions, and they’ll struggle with it at the top of the organization. Once Leadership has consensus on the how, then it’s just a matter of maintaining that commitment and continually communicating that vision to the organization.

2017 04 19 090254Beau Groover, Director of Performance Excellence with RockTenn (WestRock), says “RockTenn was not much different from most companies in how it previously established goals. We would look at where we are performing currently in a measure and then say, ‘How do we improve that by 5 percent, how do we improve that by 3 percent?’ And that would set about how they frame up their resources and their capital and their people.”

RockTenn (WestRock) is a leading producer of corrugated and consumer packaging and recycling solutions; and is one of several companies that reached out to Performance Solutions by Milliken to helped adopt their own, unique version of the Milliken Performance System (MPS). An award-winning system geared to compliment, revamp, and accelerate current performance systems towards new levels of success.

At RockTenn, Groover serves as a conduit interacting with teams working in plants, managing the relationship with Performance Solutions, and bringing information to RockTenn’s steering committee.  He says, “at the end of the day, there are thousands of books written on lean, six sigma, and TPS. If the leadership isn’t capable or willing to go through what it takes to build a high-performing team, it doesn’t matter how many tools and how many super-duper black belts you hire, you’ll never get there. And the Milliken system, in my opinion, focuses directly on the culture. And that’s what has enabled them to reach the performance levels they have.”

Groover notes that the Performance Solutions approach is heavily weighted on the front end to how an organization puts in the Performance System, and, on the back end, weighted to the actual performance it gets from the system. “We get so wrapped up in the results that we fail to look at the process.” He uses a baseball analogy of how well a team conducts batting and fielding practice will usually parallel with how well the team performs in a game. In manufacturing, it means focusing on the processes that yield an output target, such as OEE, rather than how to move the metric.

“Through the Milliken process, we’re trying to get our plants thinking about OEE as an output mechanism,” says Groover. “How well we run the equipment, how well we train our associates, how well we take care of our equipment, how well we prepare our inventory — all of that leads to the result. And the result is a high OEE number, which is what we want.” In approximately one year, the process work at RockTenn began to move the organization across never before seen thresholds of performance, adds Groover, yielding double-digit improvements in speed, OEE, and reliability.  “We’ve uncovered/created the equivalent of 3 full sites worth of capacity that we didn’t even know was achievable.  The financial impact of that goes far beyond the P/L and starts impacting decisions such as capital investment and footprint rationalizations.”

“It’s a different way of thinking about where your problems are and where your opportunities lie.  We become very accepting of our reality that we see. We start just accepting things instead of challenging them to say, ‘Why does it work like that, or why do we have that failure, or why do we have that downtime?’ The Performance System takes all that emotion and acceptance out of it, and it makes it a data question. Here’s where you’re performing. Here’s where you’re losing dollars. What are you going to do about it?”

ABOUT PERFORMANCE SOLUTIONS BY MILLIKEN
Performance Solutions by Milliken brings a unique, Practitioner-based value proposition to its clients and has built an enviable record of helping companies achieve substantial and sustainable improvements in their operations and safety excellence efforts.  This approach, built on the foundation of lessons learned while Milliken & Company created and implemented its own world-class performance system, helps client organizations engage and empower their associates by working side-by-side to establish a culture of continuous improvement and drive breakthrough operations impact. Performance Solutions currently serve companies in more than 100 operating locations in 28 countries across a wide range of industry sectors.
performancesolutionsbymilliken.com

Published in North American News

Paper and packaging company partners to preserve forestlands and freshwater in Virginia and Tennessee

The Nature Conservancy and WestRock Foundation announced a partnership for two conservation projects in Southeast Virginia and along the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. Aligning with The Nature Conservancy, whose mission is to conserve lands and water for people today and for future generations, further demonstrates WestRock’s commitment to sustainable forestry and environmental stewardship.

2015 10 18 094836“The Nature Conservancy thanks the WestRock Foundation for their generous support of our goal to restore longleaf pine forest in Virginia,” said Bill Kittrell, acting Director of The Nature Conservancy in Virginia. “This gift will allow us to expand the Big Woods Conservation Area and protect vital floodplain forest along the Nottaway river, which will preserve water quality, support rare species like the red-cockaded woodpecker, and one day be home to the returning longleaf pine tree.”

The WestRock Foundation’s funding in Virginia will help The Conservancy establish conservation easements over 10,000 acres of forestland along the Nottoway River and nearby Big Woods Conservation Area. These easements will preserve high-quality, ecologically diverse floodplain forest and support the restoration of longleaf pine savannas, home to rare red-cockaded woodpeckers and bobwhite quail. In addition to the forest and wildlife benefits of this project, a portion of the targeted conservation region includes acreage in one of the most biologically diverse stretches of the Nottoway River, which is a tributary of the Albemarle Sound. River protection resulting from the project will benefit freshwater flows into the Albemarle Sound estuary, which supports a variety of recreational and commercial uses.

“With the support of the WestRock Foundation, The Nature Conservancy will also be able to preserve critical forestlands and important streams across Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau,” said Terry Cook, State Director for The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee. “Our scientific analysis has enabled us to target biologically rich and resilient forest areas that we will protect through acquisition and sustainable forestry agreements with private landowners. Thanks to the WestRock Foundation, these forests will remain intact and healthy, benefitting people as well as many imperiled species that live there.” 

In Tennessee, the WestRock Foundation’s funding will support land acquisition for conservation, along with efforts to grow forest certifications and increase participation in The Conservancy’s Working Woodlands program in the Cumberland Plateau. Working Woodlands is designed to empower private landowners to conserve their lands as working forests while improving forest management and water quality in headwater streams through the application of forestry best management practices.

“The initiatives, and the WestRock Foundation’s pledge, speak to the importance of shared goals,” says Kevin Hudson, senior vice president, WestRock and board member of the WestRock Foundation. “The mission and work of The Nature Conservancy and the WestRock Foundation’s commitment to sustainable forest management and environmental stewardship all align to promote sustained forest health, wildlife diversity and water quality for this generation and those to come.”

About The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 65 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

About WestRock
WestRock (NYSE:WRK) partners with our customers to provide differentiated paper and packaging solutions that help them win in the marketplace. WestRock’s 39,000 team members support customers around the world from more than 250 operating and business locations spanning North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Learn more at www.westrock.com.

Published in North American News
Page 1 of 2