On July 15, 2013, Cascades Inc. announced that Greenpac Mill LLC group had manufactured its first roll of lightweight linerboard at its new, ultra-modern containerboard mill. The Valmet-supplied PM 1 containerboard production line successfully came on stream at the company’s new mill site in Niagara Falls, NY, in the United States.
Valmet delivered a complete linerboard line from headbox to roll handling, including air systems, machine pulpers, a broke collection system and a quality control system. Valmet is additionally assuming full responsibility for mill maintenance operations for the entire production facilities at Greenpac Mill. Valmet will also supply PM 1 with board machine clothing in a multi-year agreement.
“The board machine started on time and was producing good-quality product from day one. Valmet provided excellent support for commissioning and start-up to ensure a smooth transition to normal operations. I was very impressed with the overall simplicity and automation of the paper machine, which meant we reached safe, efficient production levels in a short time,” says Murray Hewitt, General Manager of Greenpac Mill.
The Greenpac Mill's PM 1 produces lightweight containerboard out of recycled fiber.
Before making the decision of outsourcing mill maintenance, Cascades personnel visited mills in Europe where similar agreements with Valmet have been running for several years. “We are pleased to collaborate with Valmet in creating a unique world-class operation at our Greenpac site. After visiting a similar world-class site in Europe we were convinced of the benefits, performance and customer satisfaction of Valmet maintenance operations”, says Marc-André Dépin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norampac. The outsourcing of maintenance is a first of its kind for Norampac and its partners in North America.
|Marc-André Dépin: After visiting similar sites in Europe, we became convinced of the benefits of Valmet maintenance operations.|
As mentioned above, Valmet is responsible for all maintenance operations at the Greenpac mill. The agreement includes also the establishment of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) and condition-based maintenance procedures in SAP. The focus is on improving reliability and maximizing availability, as well as safety in every respect. This six-year agreement included also the recruitment of all maintenance personnel prior to the start-up.
The 23,000 m2 (250,000 sq ft) mill sits on 7.3 hectares (18 acres) of land adjacent to Norampac Industries in Niagara County, which provides a central location and ease of access to the markets in the Northeastern U.S. and Canada. It also has low-cost hydropower and access to quality workforce.
The production speed of the 9.05 m (356.3 in) wide board machine is 915 m/min (3,000 ft/min). The annual production capacity is approximately 486,000 tonnes of linerboard in a basis weight range of 97.6–170.9 g/m2 (20–35 lb/ft2), out of 100% recycled fiber. The state-of-the-art mill has generated 118 jobs in the region and is considered one of the most advanced in its category in North America.
Greenpac Mill was designed for optimal energy efficiency and has many automated operations. The water is treated and reused to reduce consumption as much as possible, and the water treatment system generates gases that are used to produce steam in the dryer section.
Thanks to the mill’s numerous technological advances, the linerboard it manufactures has optimal strength but a lower basis weight, allowing the mill’s customers to better respond to the growing demand for lightweight packaging. Furthermore, the linerboard manufactured by Greenpac Mill has superior smoothness, offering better printability qualities.
PM 1 produces high-quality lightweight linerboard from recycled fiber. This broadens the company’s product range into a new area.
“The start-up of this new mill is a proud moment for Cascades. Its state-of-the-art technology will enable us to better meet the needs of our customers,” says Marc-André Dépin.
According to Alain Lemaire, Executive Chairman of Cascades’ board of directors, Greenpac is the most important investment in the company’s history. “Thanks to the audacity and leadership of the Norampac team, we are realizing a major project that will take our company to another level in packaging,” Lemaire summarizes.
About the mill:
Greenpac Mill LLC is a Norampac affiliate. Created in 1997, Norampac is the largest containerboard producer in Canada and the sixth largest in North America, with over 4,200 employees. Norampac is a division of Cascades Canada ULC. Today, Norampac operates several containerboard and boxboard mills, corrugated product plants, folding carton plants and a graphics center in Canada and the United States.
Founded in 1964, Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products that are composed mainly of recycled fibers. The company employs more than 12,000 people at over 100 units located in North America and Europe.