The cold, blustery weather of Montreal does
not discourage more than 10 000 visitors from regularly
attending the PaperWeek International annual event year after
year. The 87th Annual Meeting of the Pulp and Paper Technical
Association of Canada (PAPTAC) and the EXFOR™ trade
show held between January 29 and February 1, 2001, provided yet
another successful meeting place to display world-class
technology exchange opportunities and showcase equipment and
services. Delegates, visitors and exhibitors came from mills,
supplier companies, research institutions and universities
across Canada and from countries world-wide to gather in
Montreal for this event. The programme included open forums,
presentation of technical papers on the latest trends and
technological advancements and research activities from
recycling and pulping to paper machine technology and printing.
PAPTAC reported that, for the first time, it held an open forum
for young people who are set to graduate from colleges and
universities. Its chief aim was to introduce the industry to a
next-generation of researchers, scientists and paper-makers.
Also taking place at the same time were the
annual meetings of the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association (CPPA),
which has subsequently been re-named Forest Products
Association of Canada (FPAC), and the Pulp and Paper
Products Council (PPPC). This year’s total attendance,
including delegates to the technical presentations, visitors to
EXFOR trade show and exhibitors, was 11 353. This article
provides some coverage in brief of the various events that took
place during PaperWeek 2001, starting with the open forums. This
year’s theme was "Paper: A Timeless Medium".
annual gathering kicked off with the formerly named CPPA and its
State of the Industry open forum. The Canadian industry had
recorded shipments of 31.5 million tonnes in 2000 — a
2.1-per-cent increase from the previous year. Pierre Monahan,
past chairman of CPPA and president CEO of Montreal-based
Alliance Forest Products Inc., indicated that the annual return
of 9 per cent in the invested capital is insufficient given the
cyclical nature of the industry. In a good year companies ought
to expect a return of 20 per cent to offset lean years, Mr.
Monahan pointed out.
Booth at EXFOR 2001
| The open forum provided some initial
statistics on the industry'sperformance during 2000. Stronger
economic conditions in the first two quarters in North America
and Europe resulted in volume increases of 10 per cent and 3 per
cent, respectively, only to be offset by a 4.8-per-cent decline
in over-all shipments in the fourth quarter, reported Pulp and
Paper Products Council (PPPC). The forecast for 2001 also
predicts a decline in over-all shipments. The industry taxes
being high, there will be intensive lobbying at the federal
government level, said Lise Lachapelle, president and CEO
of CPPA. Ms. Lachapelle added that the current tax scheme
undermines any natural competitive advantage Canada might have
in the forest-products sector.
Recovered (or recycled) paper consumption is likely to increase
in the coming years, as Asian countries play a major role. Peter
Cardellichio, Boston representative from Asian Pulp and
Paper Service, had quite an optimistic view in this regard. Asia’s
recovered paper consumption has risen by 20 million tonnes in
the last decade, and will continue to be a dominant factor as
China, South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia take a fair share of
imports with resources coming from United States and Europe.
Montreal-based Abitibi Consolidated Inc., the world’s largest
newspaper producer, has as much interest in recovered paper’s
(i.e., old newsprint, or ONP) collector system as anyone, said
another guest speaker, Michael Sullivan, Houston representative
of Abitibi organization.
Display of Fibron 3000
The major focus still appears to be on
the collection programme. According to Association des
industries forestieres du Quebec (AIFQ), the immediate goal is
to find the means and sources to share the short supply, and the
long-term goal is to improve the collection system in such a way
as to provide a reliable fibre supply to industry. On a side
note to this forum but on a similar subject, ONP consumption
will grow among major recovered paper grades, noted the American
Forest and Paper Association (AFPA).
Its recent capacity
survey concluded that through 2003, the use of ONP is likely to
increase at an average annual rate of 3.5 per cent. This trend
explains, in part, one of the largest North American recycled
newsprint projects currently under construction at the Alliance
Forest Products mill in Coosa Pines, Alabama, in the southern
U.S. The new recycling centre is expected to become operational
in the first quarter of 2002. Then, it will produce fibre that
is 100 per cent derived from recovered paper. (Detailed
engineering is being done by Montreal-based ABGS Inc.)
The Future of the Paper Open Forum: There were mixed views on
this issue. Are we headed for a paperless world? Has high
technology and in particular the Internet done considerable
damage to the paper industry? Is there less consumption of paper
around the world? Have our imports and exports reduced
considerably from where they were 10 or 12 years ago? These were
some of the key questions going through the minds of the
delegates attending this forum. Derrick de Kerckhove, director
of the McLuhan Program at the University of Toronto, held an
optimistic view. Dr. de Kerckhove said that as the technology
continued to evolve there was room for both paper and
electronic-based text. However, Jean Lanoix, director of
integrative strategy at Montreal-based DMR Consulting, said that
there are signs that we are moving more and more towards a
paperless office. Mr. Lanoix added that once people get used to
controlling the flow of information there would be no returning
to traditional ways. With the development of electronic books
(or E-books), the consumers of information will have a choice to
select between a book and computer screen. Mr. Lanoix cited Dell
Computer’s completely paperless ordering system for desktop
and laptop computers. Frank Dottori, president and CEO of Tembec
Inc. and session moderator expressed a compromising view. Mr.
Dottori predicted that demand for paper should keep growing each
year, but at low single-digit levels.
Canada can boast about its vast forestlands,
which comprises 10 per cent of the world’s forests.
"There are advantages [to] being big and there are also
disadvantages given the ecological diversity", said Yvan
Hardy, the assistant deputy minister of Canadian Forest Service
and Natural Resources Canada. Canada is the most regulated
country in the world with regard to forestry practices, Dr.
Hardy added. Third-party certification continues to rise and it
is expected that Canada will have 92 million hectares of
certified forestlands by 2003. At the end of 2000, about 31 per
cent or 37 million hectares of Canada’s active forestlands
were certified by one of Canada’s four major standards.
display of "The Eagle" at CAN-AM booth
According to Hardy, certification is a principal element on the
federal government’s agenda. Certification spread to North
America only recently. There are still conflicts between
environmentalists and the forest industry, which needs to be
more ecologically responsible to alleviate differences, one of
the speakers stated.
Other Open Forums included those on packaging, communication,
building blocks for environmental sustainability and market
Several technical sessions were held in a
span of three days. All the technical sessions were sponsored by
PAPTAC standing committees. The topics ranged from recycling to
pulping and bleaching technologies to paper- and board-making
and printing technologies. As well, there were sessions on
mechanical, electrical/instrumentation engineering and
maintenance, and one afternoon was devoted to steam power and
mill-wide approaches to energy efficiency. Since there were many
technical papers presented, too numerous to mention, this
section highlights only a few of them. However, you can obtain
copies of technical papers from the Pulp and Paper Technical
Association of Canada by visiting its Web site (www.paptac.ca).
The Recycling sessions lasted almost a day.
One of the papers presented compared recycled market pulp to
virgin hardwood-based pulp, "Can a deinked pulp outperform
virgin hardwood pulp or BCTMP?" In the paper, the authors
state that mills producing market-deinked pulp have had a
reputation for mediocre quality. The market demands a better
quality pulp, said Loreen Ferguson, technical director of
American Fiber Resources (AFR). According to the paper, some
mills have fixed the problems (although there are some
continuing ones), and are able to produce market pulp that is
indistinguishable from virgin pulp. The results compare the
recycled pulp to virgin wood-based pulp such as eucalyptus,
birch, northern woods, mixed hardwoods and hardwood BCTMP. The
physical properties (burst, tear, tensile, smoothness, etc.) and
optical properties (brightness, opacity, dirt count, etc.) are
equal to, and in some cases better than, pulp derived from
Again on recycling technology, the paper "Effect of
Initial pH on the Release of Dissolved, Colloidal and Suspended
Solids During Repulping of ONP and OMG" (whose authors are
F. Brouillette and C. Daneault of University of Quebec’s pulp
and paper research centre, and Gilles Dorris of Paprican)
conclude that the amount of DCS released from ONP and OMG during
repulping increases significantly when the pH of the water in
contact with paper is greater than 11.5.
Therefore, a reduction of the initial repulper pH below 11.5 is
highly beneficial because it reduces the carryover of DCS to the
paper machine, which is known to be very harmful to paper
machine operation, and accordingly to end product quality.
In the new technology presentations, the
sessions were divided into six different categories: paper
machine, paper machine clothing, pulp and stock preparation,
water treatment, maintenance and measurement and controls. E.
Rooney of Fibron Machine Corp. made a presentation on "A
new Family of Vacuum Conveyor Threading Technology". D.
Maltais and F. Crepeau of Johnson Diagnosys Inc. provided a
paper on "The Diagnostic Tool for Optimization of the Press
and Dryer Sections — Case Studies on Energy Savings".
According to this paper, the diagnostic tool acts as an in-house
expert, which monitors, analyses and optimises critical paper
machine performance. For example, in one of the mills studied,
mill personnel were advised of excessive steam loss and its root
cause and were then given recommendations for corrective action,
resulting in cost savings.
In the Millwide Approaches to Energy
Efficiency session, there was a paper on "Water and Energy
Savings at a Kraft Paperboard Mill Using Process
Integration" by L. Savulescu, B. Poulin, A. Hammache and S.
Bedard of CANMET, Natural Resources Canada. The paper gives
results on the effect of heat-recovery projects. According to
the paper, introducing a heat-recovery system allows mills to
achieve reductions in operating cost and lower CO2 emissions and generate steam savings, with the added
result that the payback associated with these projects is good.
EXFOR 2001: EXFOR™ celebrated its 43rd
anniversary at the trade show. There were 478 exhibitors
displaying their products and their latest technological
advancements. More than 100 companies were present for the first
time, so that visitors were able to learn about new products and
services. ActivExpo inc. put the trade show together.
A popular attraction was the world’s
smallest paper machine, "The Eagle", an early 1900
vintage displayed by CAN-AM Machinery. This booth always
attracts a large crowd.
Here are some notable examples of what
exhibitors were showing at EXFOR 2001:
Kaverner Pulping AB, fibre line division,
officially released its new Compact Press™ to the pulping
industry. The new press covers capacities between 500 and 3000
tonnes a day, securing single-line solutions for small and large
fibre line projects. It is also designed for wide range of inlet
consistencies. The press provides high loading (tonnes/m2),
thanks to the unique compact design, making it an excellent
choice for retrofits.
ABB highlighted "Industrial IT
solutions". The information technology (IT) solutions are
organized into customer-focussed suites. These suites are then
organized according to individual needs. An example of
industrial IT solution might be a single replacement actuator or
a completely integrated automation system seamlessly linked with
business process software. As well, combining wet-end controls,
paper measurements, drives, supply chain automation, software
and service technologies brings a customer a complete industrial
The Hi-Spec Solutions Business of Honeywell
introduced operations management (OM) for pulp — a new
software solution for improved pulp mill performance and
profitability. The OM software sets priorities for process units
in a pulp mill; and, it then monitors, calculates and highlights
Fibron, a division of Voith, introduced
Fibron 3000, a state-of-the-art threading system with a full
range of input/output options. It also provides system
automation and control including performance logging and remote
troubleshooting. One of the main features is that the system can
adapt to various machine speeds — from the slowest machine
speed to highest machine speed operating today. As well, Fibron
3000 is suitable for all paper and board grades and can be
installed at all locations on the machine, from press to reel.
In addition, some large suppliers of
equipment and technology took the opportunity to announce recent
major acquisitions and marketing agreements.
GL&V Black Clawson-Kennedy, a subsidiary
of GL&V, Montreal, Canada, signed a marketing agreement with
The Industrial Control (IC) business of Honeywell to supply
their new BTF consistency profile control technology for head
boxes. (visit GL&V’s web site: www.glv.com)
DuPont Chemical Solutions Enterprise and Hercules Pulp and
Paper Division have announced a distribution agreement to sell
potassium monopersulphate to the global pulp and paper industry
for recovering and repulping paper containing wet strength
resins. The product will be marketed as Kybreak®
500 repulping agent. This is totally chlorine free and does not
produce AOX or other chlorinated organic compounds, interfere
with wet-end chemistry, degrade fibre or darken mechanical pulp.