Green Bay Innovation Group

GBIG NEWS | 85 Stories and Links on the Internet 02/20/2023


Get links to the latest news, events, stories, and interviews from our 5P news sponsors. Our goal is to remind the decision-makers in Wisconsin of the importance of our industry both historically, and more importantly, into the future.

Read the latest 84 Stories and Links on the Internet below.

A Story of Success in the Paper Industry – ST Paper, LLC

ST has facilities in Oconto Falls, Wisconsin, Franklin Virginia and Duluth, Minnesota. The company operates five tissue machines and produces bath tissue, paper towels, and napkin parent rolls primarily for the Away-from-Home segment of the North American tissue market.  Sharad Tak and his son Sahil entered the tissue market in 2007 with the purchase of the Oconto Falls mill. Investments in the mill’s team members and assets have expanded the mill’s customer base and improved its production capabilities to create a successful tissue mill. Today, the Oconto Falls mill and greater Northeast Wisconsin community benefits by the funding of numerous local charities and scholarship support to positively impact of lives of people. A TRUE SUCCESS STORY FOR THE WISCONSIN PAPER INDUSTRY!

We want to thank Ron Thiry the COO of ST Paper, LLC for providing a tour of the new Duluth facility.  Our guests included Marty Ochs – GBIG, Peter Bekx from American Custom Converting, James W. Fuller formerly with Appvion and Alex Jerabek with Baum Machine, Inc. 

Sharad Tak acquired the paper mill from Verso Corporation in May of 2021 and immediately embarked on a project to install a new Andritz tissue machine to convert the Duluth facility from production of supercalendered printing grades into a manufacturer of recycled-paper tissue and napkins. The new tissue machine is 210 inches wide and will run at 6,500 feet per minute running lightweight tissue grades and washroom towel grades utilizing virgin and recycled pulp fiber or any blends of those combinations.

75 people are currently employed at the Duluth Mill and are prepared to operate on a 24 hour per day, 365 days per year basis. The first reel of tissue was produced  on January 20, 2023.  Within a day of running, first quality tissue was being produced with several truckloads already shipped to customers and positive feedback being received.  

The Duluth project is the second example of ST’s vision to utilize infrastructure and assets of closed mills to successfully convert them into tissue production facilities.  The first project in Franklin, VA involved the purchase of a mill site that had been closed by International Paper.  The first fine paper machine was converted into the widest tissue machine in the United States in 2013.  In 2018, the second machine was converted into tissue production.  This investment approach reduces the capital requirement to add capacity into the tissue market but more importantly utilizing the skills of the employees that would otherwise be displaced by the shuttered mill.  

Branding at its Best Webinar

Branding at its Best Webinar is March 23

You already have a logo, website, and Facebook page. But are you leveraging branding to its fullest potential to increase sales and attract employees? What aspects of branding are you missing? For branding advice you can use, attend the Branding at Its Best webinar, presented by Bill Koehne, owner of Packerland Websites. As a marketing expert, Bill provides insights and perspective, along with wit and wisdom. Everyone will walk away with at least one aha moment that will make them look at their organization in a completely different way.

Green Bay Innovation Group Webinar

The free webinar is sponsored by Green Bay Innovation Group, a business-to-business consortium of Northeast Wisconsin companies in the 5P industries: paper, pulp, plastic, printing, and packaging. Packerland Websites will host the webinar on its website. The business training event is free and open to the public.

Branding at Its Best Webinar Details

When: 2pm CT Thursday, March 23

To register: Visit the Green Bay Innovation Group (GBIG) website Events page.

Where: To access the webinar on March 23:

  • Visit
  • Scroll to the footer
  • Click on Conference Room 1

Branding & the Millennial Generation

Branding is a powerful tool for business leaders. Branding helps companies market their products and services to their audience. Additionally, branding helps companies market themselves to prospective employees and retain current employees. By 2025, 75 percent of the workforce will be millennials. Organizations are more likely to hire who they need if they understand how brands are perceived by the millennial generation.

What to Expect at Branding Webinar

In this webinar, marketing expert Bill Koehne will share information that every business leader should know about branding. Plus, Bill will share specific and practical ways to strengthen your brand. You will learn:

What is branding and why is a key to success in business?
How to build an authentic brand that tells the world the right story.
How to get your brand found on the internet for your desired search terms.
How to differentiate your organization from others in order to recruit, manage, and retain employees.

Register Today for Business Branding Webinar

What is your organization’s brand presence now and how can you improve it to achieve your business goals? Register today for this business branding webinar presented by Packerland Websites’ owner Bill Koehne and Green Bay Innovation Group.

Meet the Webinar Presenter

Bill Koehne is a high-tech people-person with a brain wired for numbers, marketing, and optimism.  He built his first website in 1999, putting him on the cutting edge of technology. Bill earned a business administration degree at UW-Green Bay. He managed a multi-million-dollar home construction company for 20 years before opening Packerland Websites in 2011. Packerland Websites creates WordPress websites and SEO strategies to achieve clients’ goals, like ranking higher on Google or gaining more customers. To see samples of Packerland Websites’ work, view this portfolio of commercial, municipal, and nonprofit websites.

Rust to Tech: Part 4

By Susan Stansbury, Industry Consultant

This is Part Four of our series: Rust to Tech. This edition is another indication that converting and associated industries have made a leap from the old rust belt days into a world of technology and advancement.

Here I cite instances of converting markets with related manufacturing technologies. One example of how to begin the overview is to look at one company supplying numerous markets and using tech developments to serve customers using a nucleus of strengths.

A Rebel Converter

Labeling and product identification in packaging are essential to consumer interest and recognition. In the canister wipes segment, Rebel Converting’s X-Treme canisters feature digital high-resolution printing which allows print of any design or graphic. Labels can be sequentially numbered, have different sets of numbers on them, or include unique images. The labels are in-molded — melted into the canister for durability.

With the approach taken by Rebel Converting to do digital printing, prototyping becomes easier. Artwork changes are quick with short lead times. Full digital technology allows Rebel to provide customers with sample canisters identical to those from a final production run. Canisters are prototyped for customers to test market new products, brands, and designs.

Sustainability & Environment

  • Some say plastics will never be biodegradable. Responding to market interest, Suominen, a U.S. and European supplier, has introduced a nonwoven substrate, Hydraspun Circula, which is bio-degradable, plastic-free and can be used in multiple applications.
  • STEM is a new line of bug killer sprays and mosquito repellents that is powered by botanical extracts formulated in combinations to optimize effectiveness. The entomologist-tested and scientifically engineered one-stop pest control shop is designed to be effective in killing or repelling bugs, but safe to use around humans and pets. The plant-derived active ingredients like lemongrass, mint and rosemary oils help fight nature with nature. STEM insecticides and repellents have no added dye, fragrance or harsh chemical odor.
  • Producers are addressing traditional blister packs with paper, film, plastics and foils used to protect medical and specialty contents. For example, Keystone’s Ecoslide-RX compliance package includes updated re-closable safety features. The award-winning Ecoslide-RX is made from 100 percent recyclable paperboard and is easily separated from its internal blister for recycling. The blister is disposed of but contains only a fraction of disposable plastic when compared to bottles.

According to Converting Quarterly which features web processing and finishing technologies, there are three “top trends:”

  1. Flexible structures, including flex packs, emphasizing medical devices and pharmaceuticals;
  2. Sustainability with newer recyclable polymers as an alternative to biodegradables; and
  3. Printed electronics specifically with growth in the healthcare industry.

Digital Manufacturing

Procter & Gamble and Microsoft Corp. have announced a new collaboration to leverage the Microsoft Cloud impacting the future of digital manufacturing at P&G. The two companies will co-innovate to accelerate and expand P&G’s digital manufacturing platform and leverage the Industrial Internet to bring products to consumers faster and improve productivity to reduce costs.

“Together with Microsoft, P&G intends to make manufacturing smarter by enabling scalable predictive quality, predictive maintenance, controlled release, touchless operations and manufacturing sustainability optimization — which has not been done at this scale in the manufacturing space to date,” according to P&G.

Further on the equipment side, current production lines increasingly include automation with complete system integration to ensure that synchronized conveyors, modules, and robots work perfectly with up-stream and downstream equipment.

Following the pandemic, with supply chain materials and logistics issues, U.S. manufacturers are moving to make more parts and substrates domestically. In addition, according to Deloitte, “The manufacturing industry is building back fast, undeterred by significant labor and supply chain challenges.”

The stress on disposables retailers from wipes to masks and tissue products has led to manufacturers making a wider array of items in-house. Why order from afar when, “We can expand our capabilities and make it right here.” Enabling that determination is continued sales growth. Protective inventory build-up also is far removed from the just-in-time era.

Many of these examples are leading indicators of the next generation of technologies that will be “disruptive.” This will change the converting world for manufacturers. Coming up is the last chapter in this series focusing on disruptive technologies.

This article is reprinted with permission of with some updates.

ATCAM Celebrates 30th Anniversary

LITTLE CHUTE – ATCAM LLC will prepare for their next 30 years in business by expanding with
additional large diameter turn tables as well as incorporating robotic cells to provide efficient
uniform thermal sprayed coatings; along with a new logo.
The first-generation family business began in Little Chute in 1993 and has continued to operate
under the same management. ATCAM, a thermal spray and custom/CNC machine shop found
success and growth by offering customers cost effective solutions and industry leading
turnaround times with most jobs completed in under two weeks. The company’s growth can be
attributed to quality service, dedicated long term employees and embracing automation and
Founder Peter Andres built the business from a small shop of less than 5,000 sqft and 2
employees into a business with over 35,000 sqft and 20 employees. Expanding into custom CNC
machining has allowed the company to machine and thermal spray under one roof. During that
time there has been incredible innovation with thermal coating allowing ATCAM to formulate
custom coatings specific to their customers desired application. The company utilizes twin wire
arc spraying and combustion flame technologies, along with powder/liquid top coatings for
various release or traction applications.
Since their founding, ATCAM has continued to invest in technology and grow the company
while maintaining incredible customer service. Company president Peter Andres has insisted
that healthy employees are the key to the company’s success and consistent customer service.
To ensure his vision of healthy employees, ATCAM is one of only a few companies to provide
100% medical coverage to employees and their families. According to Peter, “Fully paid medical
is just a small token of appreciation to our dedicated employees.”
Even with the robotics and dedicated employees, the company is still looking to fill several roles
as loyal customers continue to increase orders. The company is hoping to hire additional
employees in coating services as well as a CNC VTL machinist; however coating positions and
applications are available with little to no experience necessary. According to Peter “Training
employees on the job has always been a core strength of ours.”
Contact ATCAM at (920) 766-7880 or email

Wisconsin 5P, Converting and Supporting Industries

The Wisconsin 5P, Converting and Supporting Industries will be PAYING A BIG PRICE for neglecting our
Paper Industry!

  • Northeastern Technical Council has shut down their flexographic printing center! Wisconsin is home to the largest concentration of narrow web printing companies in the United States!
  • Printing Industries of Wisconsin was the premier printing organization in the United States. Today, it has been replaced by the Great Lakes Graphics Association.
  • The Paper Discovery Center is a museum and is replaced by The Atlas Discovery Center refocusing their efforts on STEM.
  • Verso shuts down Wisconsin Rapids, Clearwater closes, Neenah Filtration cuts back, Sonoco in Wisconsin Rapids shuts down their core plant, GP close Day Street and GP closes their Oshkosh Corrugated plant!
  • With ALL the shutdowns of the paper and pulp mills, it has had a BIG impact on the Membership Organizations across Wisconsin providing the education that is needed for employers!
  • UW Stout cuts back on their Graphic Arts Educational Program for the packaging industry!

We want to thank Paper Converting Machine Company for building their NEW state-of-the art Packaging
Innovation Center. It will be the hub for the latest flexographic print and package converting
technologies. Amcor Innovation Center in Neenah is developing new materials and products! The Great
Lakes Graphics Association based out of Wisconsin has expanded to represent the Great Lakes Region
Printing Companies representing the largest areas for printing in the United States. Billerud has
announced a $1 Billion Dollar plus Investment in their Escanaba plant offering opportunities for
Wisconsin Manufacturers. St. Paper based in Oconto Falls has finished installing a new tissue paper
machine in Duluth, MN. BPM, Inc. is making upgrades in water recovery and equipment. Green Bay
Packaging $500 + million investment in their Green Bay plant and the Georgia Pacific investments in
their Broadway plant and their distribution center has a major impact on the Wisconsin economy.

The Wisconsin Paper Council has been successful in building a non-partisan legislative group to support
the Paper Industry in Wisconsin. In addition, WPC is working on Financial Grants that support our
forestry and paper industry. The WPC and UW Oshkosh have put together a very good report on the
Paper and Pulp industries with recommendation on what the industry has to do! UW Stevens Point has
over 100 students in their Paper programs with 100% job placement plus adding Chemical Engineering
to their program. UW Green Bay has added Engineering Programs. The University of Wisconsin under
the leadership of George Huber is making huge progress in plastic recycling industries with the
development of new technologies and products! We are hearing Universities in Wisconsin looking into
developing and building packaging programs to support the 5P and Converting Industries. Currently, we
have outstanding programs at UW Madison, UW Platteville, UW Stevens Point, UW Green Bay, UW
Oshkosh and UW Stout. We ALL need to support all of our universities to build back the Wisconsin Paper
Industry! GBIG will be providing student scholarships for the 5P Industries!

GBIG NEWS | 84 Stories and Links on the Internet 02/08/2023


Get links to the latest news, events, stories, and interviews from our 5P news sponsors. Our goal is to remind the decision-makers in Wisconsin of the importance of our industry both historically, and more importantly, into the future.

Read the latest 84 Stories and Links on the Internet below.


February 8th, 2023 Newsletter

Read the February 8th, 2023 Green Bay Innovation Group Newsletter here.


The Green Bay Innovation Group will host 4 Keynote Speakers and an Outstanding industry wide Panel of 6 to address the Wisconsin Paper Industry on March 2nd, 2023. The Event will be at the Johnsonville Tailgate Village by Lambeau Field with check in time at 7:00 a.m. and our speakers will start at 8:00 a.m. for the ALL Day Event. Go to: EVENTS to register. The cost is $40.00 which includes lunch.

While Wisconsin still leads the nation in paper production, we are continuing to see the decline in paper and pulp production with no end in sight! Wisconsin was the WORLD LEADER in Paper Manufacturing and going from 58,000 employees to 30,000 and the trend will continue downward! The Paper Industry was the KEY to building a number of other industries and communities dependent on paper. The decline will have major impacts on the State of Wisconsin economy. Our industries depend on out-of-state or foreign paper companies to supply their paper needs.

Wisconsin is still a Leader in the Following Categories in the United States that need Paper resources to stay in business!

  1. Book Printing
  2. Commercial Printing
  3. Converting Industries
  4. Carton Manufacturing
  5. Catalog Printing
  6. Coating Companies
  7. Corrugated Manufacturing
  8. Digital Printing
  9. Direct Mail Printing
  10. Equipment Manufacturing
  11. Flexographic Printing
  12. Forestry Industries
  13. Label Printing
  14. Machine Shops
  15. Nonwovens Manufacturers
  16. Packaging Printing
  17. Pouch Manufacturing
  18. Pouch Production Companies
  19. Publication Industry
  20. Rotogravure Printing
  21. Tissue Manufacturing

We ask that you submit questions before the event so we can address them. Email to:

First Business Bank: 2023 Business Trends in Person Event Rescheduled to February 9th.

You’re invited to an interactive, engaging presentation revealing economic trends nationally and in Northeast Wisconsin from First Business Bank experts.

How will national and international economic trends affect Northeast Wisconsin’s economy in the coming quarters? Join us at Butte des Morts Country Club for this rescheduled event where Nancy Johnshoy, CFA, Senior Vice President – Portfolio Manager & Market Strategist, will present national and regional economic data. A panel of local business leaders will discuss inflation, interest rates, employment, and more.

This event is designed for local business and organization leaders who rely on proven, timely data to make critical budgeting and operations decisions. Seating is limited, so please register now to reserve your spot. We look forward to seeing you there.


Susan Finco (Moderator), Owner & President
Leonard & Finco Public Relations

Susan Finco

Nancy Jonshoy, Senior Vice President – Portfolio Manager & Market Strategist
First Business Bank

Nancy Johnshoy

Rick Hearden (Panelist), President – Northeast Wisconsin Market
First Business Bank

Rick Hearden

Cory VandeWettering (Panelist), President/CEO
Keller, Inc.

Cory VandeWettering

Brett Salscheider (Panelist), President/CEO
YMCA of the Fox Cities

Bret Salscheider

Komal Mehta (Panelist), Co-Owner
Triangle Manufacturing Company

Komal Mehta
Green Bay Innovation Group

Bringing Green Bay Companies Together. Green Bay Innovation Group is committed to building an authentic networking experience where innovation can thrive.

Contact Information

Phone: 608-698-3333
Subscribe to Newsletter

© 2021 Green Bay Innovation Group