As demand for paper packaging continues to rise, production companies are investing in increasingly sophisticated manufacturing technologies. Werner Hartmann, managing director of Starkraft, discusses the advances in efficiency made possible by new machinery such as its PM2 integrated paper machine, and the significance of maintaining sustainable processes.
Werner Hartmann: Zellstoff Pöls is one of Central and Eastern Europe's biggest producers of elemental chlorine-free bleached softwood sulphate pulp, which is used to manufacture high-quality printing, writing, tissue, packaging and other special types of paper.
Our old integrated paper machine was capable of producing roughly 14,000t of this paper per annum. However, extensive market research, evidence of confirmed growth in the packaging paper industry and the limitations of the existing PM1 machine (it was older and smaller than industry-average kraft paper machines) persuaded us to build a new one, the PM2.
The PM2 symbolised a fresh market approach for us, so we also decided to create a new business unit for Zellstoff Pöls' paper brand. We named it Starkraft, and took the flying rhino as our logo.
The flying rhino design embodies our core qualities of strength, through its powerful form; and flexibility, in its wings and ability to take off. The logo also incorporates the phrase 'extended possibilities', alluding to our six newly introduced product groups: bags, shoppers, gifts, formfill, medicine and flexpack.
The PM2 is the most modern of its kind in Europe, capable of producing over 1,000m of high-quality paper every minute. The state-of-the-art technology means it can be optimised to produce a range of products that are precisely tailored to meet our customers requirements.
The new machine is now fully integrated into the pulp mill, which its predecessor PM1 wasn't. Due to the integration, the pulp mill can produce an additional 30,000t per annum of dry pulp. Moreover, its proximity to our pulp mill ensures a constant supply of raw materials and eliminates any need for difficult transportation.
In terms of quality, the PM2 will match - and hopefully surpass - the products of other top manufacturers. We have set ourselves a very optimistic goal of 15 November this year for its first paper to be produced.
Its minimum production capacity is 80,000t of high-quality kraft paper per annum. The construction speed is 1,200m a minute, grammage area is 28-120g/m2 and the working width after rewinder (cut) is 5,400mm.
Zellstoff Pöls has been in the business of sustainable investment for over 300 years. Now, with our new flying rhino paper machine, we are more committed than ever.
The entire Pöls site is certified to FSC and PEFC chain-of-custody standards, and our data provision extends to tree species as well as countries of origin. Our carbon footprint is also extremely low by industry standards, helped by the integration of the Pöls pulp mill and state-of-the-art investments in the PM2. Additionally, we always aim to use locally sourced wood.
What direction do you see paper product manufacturing taking in the years to come?
With global growth at a little over 2%, the future of paper product manufacturing looks optimistic. Demand in Europe is increasing, and there is plenty of potential in both Asia and Africa.
There is also a constant need to reduce and change the sizes of packages, as well as to create innovative new designs to attract consumers and protect products. With further development using older paper machines becoming impossible, there will likely be a movement towards new technologies. No doubt, we will also see improved use of raw materials and components. As customers and regulators grow more demanding, supply chain responsibilities are increasingly falling on everybody's shoulders. Yet, despite this growing pressure, we never forget that our customers have something to sell, and that our products and production processes form an essential part of what they can offer the market.
Starkraft is the paper brand of the Zellstoff Pöls AG, a subsidiary of the Heinzel Group. The Heinzel Group, which is united under the Heinzel Holding umbrella, ranks with its subsidiaries Zellstoff Pöls AG, Laakirchen Papier AG and AS Estonian Cell among the largest producers of market pulp and magazine paper in Central and Eastern Europe. The Group's trading division includes Wilfried Heinzel AG, a globally active pulp and paper trading company, and Europapier AG, the leading paper merchant in the CEE region. Bunzl & Biach is one of the largest and most important waste paper treatment and distribution companies in Austria as well as the leading wholesaler in Central and Eastern Europe.
Starkraft is the leading supplier of high quality, bleached kraft paper. Decades of experience in paper manufacturing has given us the know how to develop and manufacture products that meet the exact requirements of our customers, matching their needs and processes.
Our new paper machine in Pöls is the most modern of its kind in the whole of Europe. It has the capacity to produce over 1.000 meters of high quality paper per minute. Due to the modern technology it can be configured and optimized to achieve a maximal range of products, exactly adapted to the requirements of our customers.
The optimum configuration of our new paper machine allows us to be responsive to all precise requirements. Regardless of whether your product needs are for BAGS, SHOPPERS or GIFTS, or for solutions such as MEDICINE, FORMFILL or FLEXPACK, we deliver the highest quality.