BRUSSELS, Oct. 31, 2011 (RISI) -The PPI Award for Mill Manager of the Year recognizes the efforts of those who are on the front lines of the pulp and paper industry. And the individuals nominated for this year have certainly earned their stripes. With decades of industry experience between them, each faced daunting challenges this year but still found ways to implement changes that improved productivity or lower costs.
Closely related is the PPI Award for Efficiency Improvements of the Year. For those mills that took innovative, unique or exceptional approaches to efficiency, the year's nominations made significant improvements and achieved impressive results. From resource consumption to improved technologies, the variety of initiatives shows that efficiency can be improved in any area of the mill.
We have had a truly global response to the PPI Awards this year, with numerous entries from all continents and in all categories. Over the next few weeks, in the run up to the event in Brussels on 15 November, we are reviewing the companies, mills, products, and people of the industry. So far, we have looked at theEnvironmental Strategy of the Year Award, theInnovative Product of the Year Award, theBusiness Strategy Award, and theWater Efficiency Award.
Mill Manager of the Year Award
Emmanuel Boullay - Cascades Sonoco, Birmingham Mill, USA
Emmanuel Boullay has managed the Birmingham mill since 2008. Producing high quality coated and laminated paperboards and structures for an extensive array of value-added products, the mill's production increased by 20% from 2009 - 2010 under his supervision, reaching record levels. Mr. Boullay has implemented several improvement projects, including the ISO 9001 accreditation in 2010 and starting a 5S program at the mill. Described as an "impactful leader," Mr. Boullay enacted a closed loop recycling system to reduce waste sent to the landfill. Process scraps that are recycled as a part of this system generate annual revenues over $200,000.
Gerhard Kronfeld, Mondi Syktyvkar, Russia
Gerhard Kronfeld is the CEO of the Mondi Syktyvkar mill, which focuses on office, offset paper, newsprint and white top liner. Appointed to the position in 2009, Mr. Kronfeld helped increase sales by 21% and revenue by 19% in 2010, while decreasing overall operating costs and improvement safety standards at the same time. In late 2010, the mill completed its STEP expansion and improvement project, which saw wood consumption increase from 3 m3/ton to 4 m3/ton, annual pulp output raised from 700 kton to 900 kton, and board and paper production increased by 20%. Known for his motivation style of management, Mr. Kronfeld led the mill to win numerous awards in 2010, including the Russian national Lesprom Award.
Karl-Heinz Gerlach - Smurfit Kappa Group, Herzberger Papierfabrik, Germany
Karl-Heinz Gerlach is the Managing Director of the Herzberger Papierfabrik mill, which produces nearly 260,000 tons of various board grades for customers throughout Europe. Promoted to the position in 1999, Mr. Gerlach introduced an integrated management system, new environmental programs and emphasized controlling costs through a lean production structure strongly focused on automation. Under his management, the mill's output has increased almost 250%. With the reputation of a dedicated, driven and creative person, passionate about his business, Mr. Gerlach was recognized for his achievements within the Smurfit Kappa Group as Manager of the Year in 2008.
Roger Hagan, RockTenn, Solvay Mill, USA
Roger Hagan, with over 30 years experience in the industry, will be the first to say that any leadership achievement is the result of a team effort. As the mill manager at Solvay since 2010, Mr. Hagan's team has accomplished record performances. In the last year, the mill is on track to achieve the best safety record in its history and total production is forecast for a record 34,000 tons, with no associated capital capacity expansion. Honored with an award for 100% compliance in permitted effluent limits, the Solvay mill has been recognized as one of the safest, lowest cost, highest quality, and most efficient 100% recycled containerboard mills in the world.
Siddha Jothykrishnan Varadarajan, Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers, India
Siddha Jothykrishnan Varadarajan is the Senior Manager for the Project Management Division of Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Limited (TNPL). The TNPL mill is one of the largest integrated pulp and paper mills in India and has the world's largest bagasse-based pulp mill. With over 20 years experience in project management, Mr. Varadarajan has contributed to the mill's expansion capacity in various stages from 90,000 tons/year to is present 400,000 tons/yea. He is responsible for the conceptualization of the mill's cogeneration scheme and implementation of a bio-methanation plant to generate biogas from bagasse wash water. Currently, Mr. Varaharajan is working on a 300 ton/day de-inking pulp line to be completed in early 2012.
Tom Detwiler, Domtar, Johnsonburg Mill, USA
Tom Detwiler has devoted his entire career to the Johnsonburg mill. When he was named vice president and mill manager in 2006, it caped a professional journey that began 37 years ago at the same facility. Through his career, Mr. Detwiler has secure air and water permits for the mill to allow expansion projects and the installation of cogeneration facilities. He was instrumental in reorganizing the salaried group to create a high performance work team, and led in the development of campaigning softwood pulp. As a direct result of his work, the mill established new production records for pulp output that was manufacturing cost competitive with mills twice the size.
Efficiency Improvements of the Year Award
BILT Graphic Paper Products, Bhigwan Unit, India
The Bhigwan mill has been the biggest coated fine paper mill in India for over a decade and this Indian-based giant has spent the last three years on a mission to improve efficiency in every area. In an effort to address rising fiber and energy costs, the mill has come up with "path breaking" initiatives to reduce fiber consumption and increase filler and coating pigment without sacrificing strength properties. Through a Reduce, Reuse & Recycle approach, the resulting reductions have directly improved the overall profitability of the mill.
BILT Graphic Paper Products, Ballarpur Unit, India
In the last decade, India's paper industry has undergone a seesaw change with competitors choosing technology for their economies of scale and adding a strong focus on quality. BILT's Ballarpur Unit has made two important decisions within the last two years, both with goals to improve the mill's efficiency. First, installment of a new paper machine has seen a reduction in power, heat and fresh water consumption, and a reduction in overall costs. Next up, a new ECF-supported pulp mill is expected to bring down energy, water and chemical consumption even more.
Domtar Kamloops Mill, Canada
Domtar has invested a total of CDN$110 million in its Kamloops mill since 2009 to upgrade energy systems, implement efficiency projects and improve process controls. These initiatives to modernize and optimize production have resulted in improved reliability and pulp production capacity, reduced steam requirements and a 70% decrease in particulate emissions. Power generation has also increased 50% making Kamloops a leading producer of renewable energy in British Columbia and a reliable power supplier in the province, providing further support for the mill's long-term viability.
LC Paper, Spain
LC Paper in Besalú, Girona has squeezed its energy costs for tissue production to just over half the typical cost of running a tissue machine in Europe. Since installing a new machine in 2009, the mill's average energy cost is just over 84 Euros/tonne, compared to an average of 157 Euros/tonne in Europe. Knowing the tissue machine hood held the key to the most potential energy savings, LC Paper began with a blank sheet of paper to see how to operate as efficiently as possible and integrate effectively with its co-generation facility. Matching energy savings and energy production has enabled LC Paper to remain an extremely competitive manufacturer.
Mondi Dynäs, Sweden
Critical market situations during the global economic crisis required one of the two paper machines at Mondi Dynäs to be shut down. In response, the pulp mill team embarked on a state-of-the-art production efficiency increase project that focused on fixing bottlenecks in four main areas: the cooking plant, recovery boiler, lime capacity, and the tall oil plant efficiency. By the project's end, both the pulp and paper mills set production records in 2010 and achieved an 8% total production increase for the year.
Mondi SCP, Slovakia
The Mondi SCP team is proud to have emerged from a post-communist local paper producer into a strong competitor in the European markets. PM18, at the group's Ruzomberok mill, claimed third place in the uncoated fine paper rankings of the world's fastest paper machines in 2009. The mill's PM16 has been the Metso Efficiency Benchmark leader from 2007 - 2010. Improvements in 2010 continued to produce impressive results, with productivity increasing to 2.5 times its 2003 level, alongside major reductions in heat and electricity consumption.
For more information about the PPI Awards 2011,please click here.