Successful start-up of complete paper production line

Green Bay Packaging started operating its new PM4 production line. The facility located near the headquarters of the family-owned company in Green Bay, Wisconsin is a groundbreaking project in several respects. The testliner machine is the first new paper mill built in Wisconsin in over 30 years, creating numerous new jobs in the Lake Michigan region.

Moreover, it is the first time in the history of the U.S. that a single company was awarded the contract to supply a complete production line for the paper industry: Voith.

The scope of supply of Project WolfPack includes a BlueLine stock preparation line including the wet end process, the XcelLine paper machine, a VariFlex Performance winder and reject handling system. The supplied effluent treatment plant for wastewater treatment rounds off the scope of supply. The overall package includes a multi-year roll and clothing servicing agreement for all sections of the paper machine. Voith also supplied the MCS, DCS and QCS automation solutions.

Since the project was implemented by a single vendor within the scope of a full-line supplier approach, there were no interface problems in any of the project phases. “At all points during the course of the project, we were confident that continuity between all operational segments was being achieved. It was a smooth process to integrate the many components to this mill. We had one supplier to call and Voith pulled this together very effectively,” emphasizes Jonathon Gates, Project Manager at Green Bay Packaging.

Johannes Rimpf, who accompanied the construction of the facility in his capacity as Voith Project Manager, also underlines this aspect: “Green Bay Packaging has been given a plant from a single source that is nevertheless precisely tailored to the customer’s requirements.” The accurate matching of all components to one another also ensures optimum plant performance.

PM4 has a wire width of 331″ (8,400 mm) and a design speed of 3,937 fpm (1,200 m/min). Green Bay Packaging will use the facility to produce testliner at basis weights between 18 and 56 lb/1000ft2 (88 and 273 g/m2). “Thanks to the new facility, we can more than double our production capacity at the Green Bay site,” says Matt Szymanski, Vice President of Mill Operations at Green Bay Packaging.

Only recovered paper is used as feedstock. Voith equipped the BlueLine stock preparation line with innovative technology that minimizes fiber loss. In addition, the highly purified fiber suspension is important for minimizing web breaks during paper production and thus improving the efficiency of the system. Through its BlueLine stock preparation line and XcelLine paper machine, Voith has created the basis for PM4 to achieve resource-conserving paper production. “Environmental protection is one of our core values,” explains Szymanski. As well as the many components that allow sustainable production on the new facility, an effluent treatment plant also helps reduce water consumption and protects the environment.

Green Bay Packaging and Voith are longstanding partners. Voith has already demonstrated its comprehensive capabilities and technological expertise in numerous upgrade projects, i.e. the Morrilton PM1 in Arkansas. This excellent experience was one of the deciding factors in contracting Voith to build the new production line.

“Voith’s strong service organization in North America and the mill’s local proximity to Voith’s U.S. headquarters in Appleton were also factors that favored the extensive collaboration on this project,” says Szymanski. “Our relationship has grown constantly over the years. The Voith team has in-depth knowledge of our plants and our objectives. The short distance also makes it easier to discuss and implement optimization solutions quickly on site.”

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Written by Kevin Gambrill