Packaging Paper Mill Green Bay PM 4

One of the most modern, high-tech paper mills in the world

Green Bay Packaging chooses Voith as full-line supplier of the new Green Bay PM 4

Green Bay PM 4 supplied by Voith

In Wisconsin, Green Bay Packaging has built one of the most modern packaging paper mills in the world, starting successful production in March 2021.

The facility located near the headquarters of the family-owned company in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is a groundbreaking project in several respects. The testliner machine is the first new paper mill built in Wisconsin in over 35 years, creating numerous new jobs in the Lake Michigan region. Moreover, it is the first time in history that a single company – Voith – was awarded the contract to supply a complete production line for the U.S. paper industry.

The centerpiece of the facility is the new paper machine with a wire width of 331" (8,400 mm) and a design speed of 3,937 fpm (1,200 m/min). The new mill will produce testliner at basis weights between 18 and 56 lbs/1000ft2 (88 and 273 g/m2). The testliner machine will produce 685,000 short tons (621,422 metric tons) per year enabling Green Bay Packaging to more than double its production capacity at the Green Bay facility. 

David Buchanan (Regional President North America, Voith Paper), Will Kress (President and CEO, Green Bay Packaging), Bryan Hollenbach (Executive Vice President, Green Bay Packaging), Matthew Szymanski (VP Mill Operations, Green Bay Packaging) and Johannes Rimpf (Project Manager, Voith Paper) in front of the Green Bay PM 4.
From left to right: David Buchanan (Regional President North America, Voith Paper); Will Kress (President and CEO, Green Bay Packaging); Bryan Hollenbach (Executive Vice President, Green Bay Packaging); Matthew Szymanski (VP Mill Operations, Green Bay Packaging); Johannes Rimpf (Project Manager, Voith Paper)
685.000
685.000
The paper machine will produce 685,000 short tons (621,422 metric tons) of testliner every year
Green Bay PM 4 delivered by Voith
1862
1862
The BlueLine stock preparation processes up to 1,862 short tons (1,690 metric tons) of feedstock per day, consisting exclusively of recovered paper
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3937
The PM 4 is designed to run at 3,937 feet per minute, which means the paper produced could circle the earth approximately 15 times per year
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800
For the condition monitoring system OnCare.Health, more than 800 sensors were installed

Everything from a single source

    Green Bay Packaging is relying entirely on Voith Paper to supply the technical equipment for the production facility. Since the project was implemented by a single vendor within the scope of a full-line supplier approach, there were no interface problems in any of the project phases.

    In addition to the XcelLine testliner machine, the scope of supply also includes the VariFlex Performance winder with an operating speed of 3,000 m/min, the BlueLine OCC stock preparation system, as well as a reject handling system. The supplied AquaLine Flex System includes a so-called “biological kidney,” which treats the process water in such a way that it can largely be returned to the production cycle. The overall package includes a multi-year roll and clothing servicing agreement for all sections of the paper machine. Voith also supplied the MCS, DCS and QCS automation solutions.

    Scope of supply

    • BlueLine stock preparation
    • XcelLine packaging paper machine
    • AquaLine Flex water management system
    • Reject handling system
    • Multi-year roll and clothing servicing agreement
    • MCS, DCS and QCS automation solutions

    At all points during the course of the project, we were confident that continuity between all operational segments was being achieved. It was a smooth process to integrate the many components to this mill. We had one supplier to call and Voith pulled this together very effectively.
    Jonathon Gates, Project Manager at Green Bay Packaging

    Highlights

      BlueLine stock preparation
      At the time of awarding the order, the stock preparation system was the largest of its kind in the U.S. It processes up to 1,862 short tons (1,690 metric tons) of feedstock per day, consisting exclusively of recovered paper. To ensure the high quality of the testliner produced, Voith equipped the BlueLine OCC stock preparation line with innovative technology. 

      “This means the facility can still guarantee a high fiber quality even if the proportion of mixed recovered paper is particularly high,” explains Johannes Rimpf, Senior Project Manager at Voith. At the same time, the products of the BlueLine stock preparation, including IntegraScreens, InfiltraDicfilters and InfibraFiners, allow for a maximum flexibility. The highly purified fiber suspension from the stock preparation line is important for minimizing web breaks during paper production and thus improving the efficiency of the system.

      Matthew Szymanski, Vice President Mill Operations at Green Bay Packaging
      The stock preparation line is a crucial factor in ensuring reliably high quality in this broad range. The new system is allowing us to more than double our production capacity at the Green Bay facility.
      Matthew Szymanski, Vice President Mill Operations at Green Bay Packaging


      Green Bay Packaging is using the XcelLine paper machine to produce testliner at basis weights of between 18 and 56 lbs/1,000 ft2 (88 and 273 g/m2). “The stock preparation line is a crucial factor in ensuring reliably high quality in this broad range,” explains Matthew Szymanski from Green Bay Packaging. 

      AquaLine Flex water management system
      An important part of achieving sustainable production is the AquaLine Flex system. The effluent treatment plant is fitted with a so-called “biological kidney” that treats the process water in such a way that it can largely be returned to the production process, helping reduce water consumption and protecting the environment. With the AquaLine Flex concept, 600,000 gallons (2,271 m³) of fresh water can be saved every day compared to comparable mills.

       
      The supplied reject handling system is the first fully automated system of its kind in the U.S. and improves the availability and efficiency of the PM 4. Voith subsidiary Voith Meri Environmental Solutions, Inc., was in charge of implementation and also designed and built the effluent treatment system. The facility is also designed so that only a minimal amount of sludge occurs in the anaerobic system. “Green Bay Packaging wanted an innovative system that produces as little wastewater as possible and leaves only a small carbon footprint behind,” explains Johannes Rimpf, Senior Project Manager at Voith. The installed anaerobic reactor achieves a substitution of fossil fuels of approximately 10% through biogas generation.

      Together with our municipal effluent treatment plant, we developed a concept that makes us completely independent of the nearby Fox River.
      Jonathon Gates, Project Manager at Green Bay Packaging

      Digitalization and automation
      On the PM 4, comprehensive automation and digitalization solutions ensure a stable production process and efficient work flows. “The PM 4 is equipped with the condition monitoring system OnCare.Health, for which we installed more than 800 sensors  likely a record in North America.” And it will also help Green Bay Packaging to optimize its maintenance activities and avoid unscheduled downtimes, says Johannes Rimpf, Senior Project Manager at Voith.

      Johannes Rimpf from Voith in the control room of the Green Bay PM 4
      “The sensors used in the OnQuality quality control system are highly efficient yet are currently the smallest on the market. This substantially reduces the installation space required.” The QCS passes on the data it collects to the OnCumulus cloud platform, whose analyses and evaluations provide operators on site with important tips on process optimizations. Moreover, with the OnPerformance.Lab and artificial intelligence, Voith experts can gain an overview of the production line and optimize machine behavior. 

      Maximum performance in the end section
      The new VariFlex Performance winder was assembled at the Voith workshop in Appleton, Wisconsin. Appleton's proximity to Green Bay allowed Green Bay Packaging to track and witness the winder's assembly progress. After assembly and testing was completed successfully, the VariFlex Performance winder was ready for shipment to its permanent home 31 miles away in August 2020 – no small task since the winder is 40 feet long, 8 feet high and weighs in at 142,000 pounds.

      Video of the transport of Voith's winder to Green Bay Packaging

      Did you know that the PM 4 is named “The Marguerite K”?

      Green Bay Packaging’s new PM 4 has been given this nickname as a tribute to the wife of the company’s founder, George F. Kress. In the company’s early years, Marguerite Kress was an important factor in its initial successes. She worked at the company until 1935 and thereafter was heavily involved in the company’s ongoing development. It is therefore perfectly fitting to see the name “The Marguerite K” as a reflection of the company’s essence: By giving the PM 4 this name, the family-owned company is acknowledging its roots.

      Project history

        Green Bay Packaging and Voith are longstanding partners. Voith has already demonstrated its comprehensive capabilities and technological expertise in numerous upgrade projects, e.g., the Morrilton PM1 in Arkansas. This excellent experience was one of the deciding factors Green Bay Packaging cited in contracting Voith to build the new production line.

        "Voith’s strong service organization in North America and the mill’s local proximity to Voith's U.S. headquarters in Appleton were also factors that favored the extensive collaboration on this project," says Matt Szymanski, Vice President of Mill Operations at Green Bay Packaging. "Our relationship has grown constantly over the years. The Voith team has in-depth knowledge of our plants and our objectives. The short distance also makes it easier to discuss and implement optimization solutions quickly on site."

        Contact

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          News

          Successful start-up of complete paper production line supplied by Voith to Green Bay Packaging in the U.S.

          Read the press release
          Watch a video of the ribbon cutting ceremony here
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