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Manufacturers Exhibit at Tissue World

Manufacturers Exhibit at Tissue World

By Susan Stansbury, Industry Consultant


Wisconsin and the Midwest were represented at the early February Tissue World Show in Miami. However, the rest of the world was more well-represented. Several exhibitors with international headquarters had significant U.S. divisions too.

Like the rest of the current paper industry, tissue mills have virtually no local or regional U.S. ownership. GBIG research projects tissue-towel growth at 2.3% CAGR to 2028, while Freedonia research has a 6.66% CAGR in the away-from-home tissue segment during the same period. Freedonia attributes more than a third of global tissue consumption to away-from-home markets like restaurant and commercial users.

With a total of about 125 exhibitors, Wisconsin represented a range of companies that supply tissue or support the industry. Some of these I visited in Miami included these companies (with key locations):

  1. Adhesives Research Inc, Glen Rock PA.: For splicing and converting applications.
  2. Alwin Manufacturing, Green Bay WI: Producer of towel, tissue & napkin dispensers.
  3. American Roller, Union Grove WI: Engineered services & industrial rollers.
  4. C. G. Bretting Manufacturing, Ashland WI: Paper converting equipment supplier.
  5. Convermat, Great Neck NY: Supplier of parent rolls of tissue.
  6. CR Meyer, Oshkosh WI: Contractor specializing in industrial, pulp & paper.
  7. IMA TMC, Italy: Tissue machinery company; packaging & handling tissue.
  8. Infinity, Green Bay WI: Machine & engineering, for automated tissue packaging.
  9. Paper Converting Machine Company, Green Bay WI: global equipment manufacturer.
  10. Optima Packaging, Green Bay WI: From single machines, to complex turnkey systems.
  11. Precision Roll Solutions & GB Embossing, Green Bay WI: Full-service capabilities.
  12. Sellars Nonwovens, Milwaukee: Flushable, dispersible materials for cloths, towels etc.
  13. SGS-IPS Testing, Appleton WI: Inspection, testing & certification support services.
  14. Trebor, Inc. Matawan NJ: World’s largest independent marketer of parent tissue rolls.
  15. WEKO, Germany: Systems for customized additives including softeners, lotion, extracts.

The conference sessions focused on current issues, the state of the industry, and “unveiling the future.”

  • 2024 “is a year of election campaigning,” says Dr. Antonia Colibasanu, “It will be a milestone for power structures and global trade pathways. Even if more stability prevails, the bill will come due on the post pandemic recover, social cost of warfare, and society’s green transition…. The flows of trade and investment likely to stabilize during 2024….”
  • From stumps to rolls, understanding and navigating supply chain volatility with its dynamics in supply and demand, regulations, interest in alternate markets, imbalances—are aspects facing the tissue industry.
  • Envisioning carbon-free tissue production: The tissue-making process is one of the most energy-intensive papermaking processes, accounting for only 9% of global paper production tons, but 14% of total…yearly carbon emissions on the machine, per the conference agenda. Low carbon drying equipment and tissue machine projects are in demonstration stages.

Wisconsin still has stellar resources, from pulp to tissue mills, to finished tissue products via the converting industry. Locally, we do have tissue manufacturing like St. Paper, LLC., in Oconto Falls, WI, which is headquartered in Virginia. Geogia Pacific in Green Bay and Proctor and Gamble in Green Bay are tissue giants making paper towels, and toilet paper.

BiOrgin tissue mill in Lady Smith, WI, is one of the only tissue manufacturers with full spectrum color matching and is also known for its eco-friendly specialty tissue products.

Kimberly Clark in Marinette, WI, is part of the K-C packaged products division with its tissue-based “shop towels.”

In Wisconsin, the power shift to international ownership affects each of the issues outlined above. However, these issues affect the industry globally too. Hopefully, local managers and outside owners can come together to solve problems, invest for the future, and realize growth goals.

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