Drytac, during the SGIA exposition in Las Vegas, introduced its new ChalkMate specialty chalkboard film, which is a 5-mil UV printable PVC with a traditional black chalkboard finish.

Designed for use with standard chalk or liquid chalk markers, ChalkMate, which is available as either a permanent or removable adhesive (in roll widths up to 61 inches), can be installed on most smooth surfaces. The removable adhesive is built on Drytac’s ReTac technology.

Also during SGIA, Drytac featured its redesigned JetMounter Fuzion XD roll laminator, which sells for $7,595 (US pricing). Available in a 63-inch laminating width, the JetMounter Fuzion XD features interchangeable, large-diameter non-stick silicone rollers; a heat-assist top roller with digital display for Celsius/Fahrenheit; a heavy-duty lift mechanism for precise; adjustable speed control up to 20 feet per minute; and four auto-grip supply or take-up shafts with adjustable brake tension on the operator side for roll-to-roll lamination.

Additional features on the JetMounter Fuzion XD include a centre release, fold down feed table with a lay-flat paper in-feed guide; latching storage compartment on each side of the stand; maximum nip opening of one inch; and heavy-duty lockable casters for greater stability and maneuverability. The model can also accommodate 10-inch diameter rolled material and is cTUVus and CE-certified.

International Paper launched a lightweight board called Alaska Plus based on the company’s recent project in Poland to modernize its Kwidzyn mill.

“Alaska Plus represents a step-change in light-weighting, with basis weights significantly lower across the range compared to other standard GC2 products,” stated Michael Krüger, Commercial Director Coated Paperboard and Recycled Specialties at International Paper. “Using the latest technology in board making, we have been able to lower the basis weights of this product, whilst keeping all other technical parameters stable.”

The modernization of International Paper’s Kwidzyn mill in Poland was completed earlier this year, resulting in a production process that consumes fewer resources, offers lower transport weights and produces less waste.

Alaska Plus is designed for pharmaceutical, healthcare and beauty-care packaging as well as for chocolate and all kinds of dry food applications. At this moment, three basis weights are available to customers currently in Europe. The full range of products, comprising seven basis weights, starting from 200 g/m², will be available in the comings weeks.

The standard Alaska GC2 board will continue to be available with unchanged technical specifications for a certain period of time in order to facilitate the transition to Alaska Plus.

Resolute Forest Products of Montreal has added two more superbrite grades, Hybrid and Alternative, to its lines of environmentally progressive papers, which also includes Ecopaque, Equal Offset and Resolute Max.

“We now offer five different eco-friendly grades in multiple configurations under our Align brand,” stated John Lafave, Resolute’s Senior VP of Pulp and Paper Sales and Marketing. “Customers have even more choice of paper grades that reduce fiber consumption and save money without sacrificing the quality of their printed product.”

Specific grades being added to the Align umbrella include Hybrid Smooth, Hybrid Vellum, Hybrid Envelope, Alternative Book, Alternative Offset and Alternative Opaque, which are produced at the company’s Calhoun mill in Tennessee. The new additions also include Alternative Offset and Alternative Book produced at the Alma mill in Quebec.

Align's Hybrid grades are described by the company as high-yield, opaque offset papers used for commercial printing, such as comics, direct mail, directories, envelopes, inserts and manuals. Align's Alternative Offset papers are suited for print applications like book publishing, financial printing, annual reports and direct mail.

Resolute states that its Align papers are made with up to 50 percent less wood fiber compared to free-sheet paper, and have an environmental footprint 35 percent to 85 percent smaller than the average free-sheet grade, including some containing recycled content. In 2013, Resolute also switched the Calhoun mill's energy source from coal to natural gas.

The thermo-mechanical pulping process used to produce the Align paper lines applies heat and mechanical grinding to wood fibers, which, according to Resolute, results in 90 percent of the wood fiber being used. The company states this process is vastly more efficient than the traditional chemical pulping process employed to make free-sheet from kraft pulp. In the chemical pulping process, the lignin, which Resolute describes as the organic glue that holds the wood fibers together, is removed, and only about half of the original wood fiber is used.

The Align brand's thermo-mechanical process keeps the lignin in the sheet, along with the cellulose and hemicellulose, explains Resolute, which provides the mechanical pulp with higher opacity and greater bulk. The lignin's presence also allows Align papers to be produced with only half the amount of wood fiber needed to make traditional free-sheet.

Resolute Forest Products owns or operates over 40 pulp and paper mills and wood products facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea, and power generation assets in Canada. Marketing its products in close to 90 countries, Resolute has third-party certified 100 percent of its managed woodlands to at least one of three internationally recognized sustainable forest management standards.

New Leaf Paper of Oakland, California, has released what is being billed as the first coated paper made in the United States with 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Waste (PCW).

The company’s new Reincarnation 100 line has been recognized by Canopy, a non-profit out of Vancouver that works on environmentally progressive paper supply, with an Ancient Forest Friendly designation. Reincarnation 100 is also certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and is manufactured – chlorine-free – with Green-e(R) certified, renewable wind energy.

“We're delighted with this advance in sustainable paper and proud to recognize it with Canopy's rigorous Ancient Forest Friendly designation,” stated Nicole Rycroft, Founder and Executive Director of Canopy. "New Leaf is providing North American print customers with a way to achieve high-quality colour reproduction while knowing they are making a choice that helps take pressure off the world's last large intact tracts of ancient forest."

Cascades Fine Papers Group of Saint-Jérôme, Quebec, has introduced improvements to its Rolland Opaque and Rolland Hitech papers. Rather than their former blue-white shade, Cascades has updated these papers with what it describes as a pure white shade. 

The papers are manufactured at the Rolland mill in Saint-Jérôme, which means they are produced using local and renewable biogas energy. The papers also holds a minimum of 30 percent post-consumer fiber, as well as Forest Stewardship Certification and EcoLogo certification.

Rolland Opaque and Rolland Hitech have been available in the marketplace for several decades and, therefore, these papers have always undergone changes to adapt to both traditional offset and toner production requirements.

"With these changes, we are inviting our customers to rediscover these exceptional papers," stated Normand Champagne, GM, Sales and Marketing, Cascades Fine Papers Group. "With an even whiter shade, the family of Rolland Opaque paper products offers environmentally friendly options that now are better positioned to meet market needs."
Founded in 1964, Cascades employs more than 12,000 employees, who work in over 100 production units located in North America and Europe.

HP has announced it has made moves to quash black market sales of Indigo consumables. The company says that it, along with the New York City Police Department, has managed to seize approximately $400,000 of stolen HP Indigo supplies destined for the black market.

"HP is fully committed to its HP Indigo customers, channels and partners and will continue to vigorously defend its brand and intellectual property (IP) against theft as well as the actions of illegal dealers," reads a statement by the company.

The company also revealed that additional actions will be pursued against the alleged dealer and those that provided the sotlen supplies. HP will also implement further measures for Indigo supplies, which includes an end-to-end track and trace program, improved security of the supply chain and fraud prevention built into software and hardware.

Cascades has debuted a new paper line aimed specifically for the inkjet printing market. Enviro Jet is claimed to be the first inkjet paper that is 100 percent post-consumer fibre in North America. The paper was shown operating in a Oce ColorStream in Canon Oce's booth yesterday at PRINT 13 in Chicago.

According to Normand Champagne, General Sales and Marketing Director of Cascades Fine Paper Group, the paper has been in development for a year, a relatively short period given the paper's properties and the time it took to get approval through multiple vendors. The paper is pre-treated to be used with both pigment as ell as dye inks.

On the environmental front, in addition to being 100 percent post-consumer fibre paper, the paper is Ecologo and FSC certified, is chlorine free, and is also made with Cascades' plant that employs Biogas energy. Per ton, Enviro Jet paper saves 17 trees, more than 16,500 gallons of water, and 2,092 pounds of solid waste. The Enviro Jet line will be offered in four weights from 20 to 32 lbs. 

The paper has been tested to run on the following presses:

Kodak Versamark, Prosper
Ricoh InfoPrint
HP T Series
Canon Oce JetStream, ColorStream
Screen Truepress
Xerox CiPress 500
Fujifilm J Press 720

Commercial production will commence in the next several weeks, in batches of roughly 100 tonnes each. Champagne says that the versatile nature of the Enviro Jet line will be the biggest selling point, as one paper can take on multiple applications. 

Cascades Fine Papers Group of Saint-Jérôme, Quebec, introduces a lighter paper within its Rolland Enviro100 Satin line, which is manufactured with 100 percent recycled stock. The new Rolland Enviro100 Satin is 50-pound text.

According to Cascades, the new 50-pound text offering is designed for brochures, magazines, annual reports or similar high-end document requiring colourful visuals.

"With increasing pressure in the market for paper with a lighter basis weight, Cascades decided to innovate and put in the capital investments required to manufacture a lighter paper that meets demand," stated Normand Champagne, General Sales Director, Security Papers, Development and Marketing. "It was important for us to respect the environmental attributes and product specifications, as they define the Rolland Enviro100 Satin."

The Rolland Enviro100 Satin line is certified as an EcoLogo, Processed Chlorine Free and FSC product. It is manufactured in Saint-Jérôme with locally sourced and renewable bio-gas energy.

NewPage is launching a line of coated papers aimed at production inkjet presses. According to the company, the TrueJet Digital Coated Paper is the result of several years of research and on-press testing with some of the top manufacturers of high-speed inkjet presses.

Newpage describes the new line as the first gloss coated product capable of performing on inkjet presses at production speeds.

“NewPage is extremely excited to introduce TrueJet Digital Coated Papers,” stated Steve DeVoe, Vice President, Marketing and Customer Service for NewPage. “This introduction reinforces the commitment by NewPage to support our original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners and innovations within the print industry.”

NewPage was recently granted U.S. Patent 7803224 for the technology, which enables glossy coated papers to be printed via multiple processes of inkjet, offset and laser. Additional patents are pending.

Cascades has improved its ReproPlus paper, boosting it from 30 percent post-consumer waste (PCW) content to 50 percent.

The selling feature of this line, which is aimed at the office market, is that despite its 50 percent post-consumer waste quotient, it maintains a brightness that is superior to the previous 30 percent PCW version. The ReproPlus line is both FSC and EcoLogo certified. 

"The improvements in ReproPlus50's ecological attributes are in perfect alignment with Cascades' strategic vision to continuously reduce its environmental footprint. Our 2010-2012 sustainable development plan was designed to increase recycled and FSC certified fibers by four percent in our products. This is an important step for an organization that already manufactures the vast majority of its products from these types of fibers," explained Luc Langevin, President and COO of Cascades Specialty Products Group.

According to Cascades, for three cartons of ReproPlus50, the environmental savings versus virgin paper is: one tree, 683 gallons of water, 413lb of air emissions and 132lb of sold waste.

After introducing their joint venture back in July 2010, Domtar and FPInnovations have now introduced the corporate identity for the operation, which is to manufacture nanocrystalline cellulose, a recyclable and renewable nanomaterial, that will be commercialized throughout the world.

Nanocrystalline cellulose will be produced in what the partners call a large-scale commercial demonstration plant, which is currently under construction on the site of Domtar’s pulp and paper mill in Windsor, Québec. The plant should be operational in the first quarter of 2012.

FPInnovations is government body described as Canada’s national forest research institute. The joint venture with Domtar is part of FPInnovations’ Transformative Technologies Program, which largely looks at developing new materials from cellulose, the main component of the cell walls of trees and other plants.

The new CelluForce identity, according to the companies, was developed to reflect both the origin of the nanomaterial and one of the multiple properties of the product to be sold by the new company.

Jean Moreau, President and CEO of CelluForce, explained, “Our new brand reflects who we are, how we want to position ourselves in our target markets and the innovation that differentiates us within our industry. The name CelluForce reminds us that one of the main characteristics of the nanocrystalline cellulose is the great strength it provides to the materials to which it is added, but the name also represents the strength of our relationships with our shareholders, our partners and our customers, which is one of the company's core values. It was essential that this feature be one of the key elements of our corporate identity.”

Illinois-based Transilwrap Company, a manufacturer, coater and converter of plastics in the lamination, print, packaging, and industrial markets, acquired Interfilm Holdings, Inc., which is described as one of the largest distributors and converters of flexible films in the United States. 

"Interfilm has an extremely impressive reputation in the business and is highly respected in the U.S. and Canadian markets,” Andy Brewer, Transilwrap President and CEO. “This strategic combination of products, services and employees will enable us to offer our customers more diverse solutions, backed by expanded production assets and a highly experienced team of sales, operations and customer service employees."

The acquisition of Interfilm, according to Transilwrap, supports the company’s goal to expand and strengthen its current films business and access new markets. Interfilm provides the company with broader converting capabilities and new products like the Brushfoil line of specialty films.

While most paper companies provide environmental products with 30 percent post-consumer content, Cascades, one of the few remaining Canadian-based paper manufacturers, has taken a significant environmental step by increasing its green-paper lines to 50 percent post-consumer content (PCC).

Rolland Opaque50, Rolland Hitech50 and Rolland ST50 are now made with 50 percent PCC and 50 percent virgin fibre that has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). These products proudly carry both EcoLogo and FSC certifications and are made using renewable biogas energy. The company, based in St. Laurent, Quebec, also carries various 100 percent PCC products – under its Cascades Fine Papers Group Inc. division.

"We believe that there should be more environmentally friendly choices than 10 percent, 30 percent and 100 percent recycled papers in the market,” said Normand Lecours, VP of Sales and Marketing at Cascades. “Our 50 percent post-consumer product line represents one more step forward. It is a way to give life to our philosophy.”

Cascades also recently purchased the Canadian assets of Sonoco Recycling, as well as  the recovery assets of Yorkshire Paper Corporation through its subsidiary Metro Waste Paper Recovery. Both companies provide the retail sector with on-site collection services of recyclable materials, such as corrugated containers, paper and plastics.

Building on the backend architecture of Enterprise Print Management Solutions, xpedx claims to have developed the first-ever integration of real-time paper inventory and customer pricing in a print management system. This new service, based on an update of EPMS Enterprise 32, is currently being tested by printing companies in the United States and is scheduled to come online by October 1 of this year.

“Printers can get an up-to-the-moment view of xpedx inventory status, together with their specific pricing, and place an order directly from within the management system," said Carol Andersen of Enterprise Print Management Solutions (EPMS). The system is being tested by San Diego-based SOS Printing, which has 37 employees, and AMP Printing of Dublin, Califronia, which is a 30-year-old commercial printer with offset, large-format and 80 employees.

The new system will also be available to printers based in Canada, which builds upon the June 2009 launch of a dedicated xpedx Canada Website. The Canadian operations also works with Ariba, GHX, SciQuest and DataStream systems to power its Website.

With its stock losing nearly 55 percent in the past 10 months, Weyerhaeuser reopens the potential of becoming a low-tax investment trust (RIET conversion), which also typically guarantees higher dividends. At the start of July, Weyerhaeuser announced it would again cut its quarterly dividend, this time by 80 percent, which would save the company well over US$100 million.

While it sent most of its high-quality printing papers over to Montreal-based Domtar, after the two companies merged in March 2007, Weyerhaeuser remains a large global producer of newsprint and packaging substrates. However, the forest-products giant is primarily blaming its yearlong slump on the U.S. housing market.

"In light of these conditions, this dividend decision enhances our current liquidity and provides for more financial flexibility, including a possible REIT conversion should the board make that decision in the future," said CEO Dan Fulton. The company decided to stay away from becoming an investment-trust just last May. Weyerhaeuser lost US$264 million in its last quarter and more than US$1 billion in the prior quarter. It will report its second quarter results on July 31.
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