Koehler Paper's New PM 8 Produces First Roll of Paper at Kehl Mill in Germany
Koehler Paper's new paper machine, PM 8, produced its first roll of paper on October 22 at the company's paper mill in Kehl, Germany.
Oct. 30, 2019 - Koehler Paper announced that a new paper machine produced its first roll of paper on October 22 at the company's paper mill in Kehl, Germany. PM 8 produces a range of flexible packaging papers and thermal (barrier) papers.
"We are proud of everyone who worked together with us to reach this moment," said Kai Furler, CEO of the Koehler Group. The new Paper Machine 8 has just produced the first tambour. This brings a long construction and planning phase to a close, which began with in-house pilot studies back in February 2017. Furler is looking forward to energetically cornering the flexible packaging paper market.
PM 8, which was supplied by Voith, was installed with an investment of EUR 300 million, and Koehler's COO, Stefan Karrer, said he is thankful to everyone involved with the project. “The contribution of all those involved cannot be valued highly enough. It's another quantum leap for the company.”
According to Voith, PM 8 has the designed capacity to produce up to 120,000 metric tons per year.
The Kehl mill also operates three other paper machines. PM1 and PM2 manufacture thermal paper, and PM 6 has exclusively produced decor paper since September of 2000. Over 450 people work at the mill.
In a written statement, Koehler said, “It's not every day that a mid-sized family company can build a paper and coating machine that responds to technological challenges of the future on a green field site.”
According to the company, the 150-meter-long machine (492 feet) has a working width of 4.2 meters (13.7 feet) and top speed of 1,500 meters (4,921 feet) per minute. Its centerpiece is the world's biggest Yankee cylinder with a diameter of 7.3 meters (24 feet). It lends the paper its unique smoothness, which is very important for further processing.
“We are starting a new chapter in Koehler's history,” Furler said in reference to PM 8, along with new paper grades the company will produce in the area of coated and uncoated paper, which are used in composites for bags, sachets and other applications.
Koehler also will begin producing barrier paper, which will replace plastic in packaging wherever this is possible and sensible. The company already presented a heat-sealable paper at the packaging trade fair FachPack in September 2019 and says “there is a lot of interest in the market.”
In addition to PM 8, Koehler installed a new offline coating machine, CM 8, which was also supplied by Voith. The coater is fitted with ultra-modern coating equipment and offers non-contacting, gentle drying with high thermal efficiency.
“We have ideal conditions to supply the market with innovative and sustainable products,” Karrer said, and noted that R&D is being pushed both in house and with the TU Darmstadt. “The Green Coating Collaboration, our laboratory at the Darmstadt campus, is already delivering first results.”
Furler concluded, “Our strategy is aligned toward sustainability through modern machines, innovative products and renewable sources of energy. We have worked hard to create these conditions for ourselves. And now we are taking the next step.”
With headquarters in Oberkirch, Germany, Koehler Paper Group produces over 500,000 tons per year of specialty paper and board at its plants in Kehl, Greiz, and Weisenbach. The Group employs around 1,800 people. To learn more, please visit: www.koehlerpaper.com.
SOURCE: Koehler Paper Group, and information from Voith