Espoo, Finland 27 May 2015 -- Metsä Board, a leading European producer of folding boxboards and linerboards, is to start live testing of foam forming on a production scale at its Kyro mill in Finland. The company has already done extensive development work for years to commercialise the new technology, which is expected to result in considerable benefits to its customers.
In foam forming technology, the water-fibre suspension is aerated with a stream of tiny bubbles. By using foam forming, the paperboard structure becomes bulkier, lightening the board's weight. In addition, fibres are distributed more evenly in the web, improving formation of the board and resulting in more consistent properties and appearance. On top of these benefits, the technology reduces the use of raw materials, energy and water, enhancing sustainability.
"We have already seen that the technology works in a laboratory environment as well as on pilot machines," says Mika Joukio, CEO of Metsä Board. "Following promising laboratory scale results and our detailed feasibility studies, we reached a decision to invest in further development of the technology on a production machine. Our target is to offer our customers even more efficient and ecologically sound paperboards in the future."
Metsä Board is a forerunner in developing the foam forming technology. The company has been undertaking research as part of the Finnish Bioeconomy Cluster FIBIC's research programmes which have been successfully scaled up together with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Different phases of research and development have been accelerated through funding support from Tekes - the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation.
Valmet, the leading machine supplier to the pulp and paper industry, is installing the technology at Metsä Board's Kyro mill.
Metsä Board is a leading European folding boxboard and white fresh forest fibre linerboard producer as well as a market pulp supplier. The company's sales network serves brand owners, carton printers, corrugated packaging manufacturers, printers and merchants.
Metsä Board supports its customers' businesses by providing high-performance paperboards for consumer and retail packaging and graphics. Together with its customers and partners, Metsä Board develops products and services for demanding end uses. The company's paperboard is mainly used for the packaging of beautycare and healthcare products, foods, cigarettes, and consumer durables as well as graphics.
Metsä Board is headquartered in Finland. In 2014, the company's sales totaled EUR 2.0 billion, and it has approximately 3,100 employees. Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki.
Metsä Group is a responsible forest industry group whose products' main raw material is renewable and sustainably grown northern wood. Metsä Group focuses on tissue and cooking papers, fresh forest fibre paperboards, pulp, wood products, and wood supply and forest services. Its high-quality products combine renewable raw materials, customer-orientation, sustainable development and innovation. Metsä Group's sales totalled EUR 5 billion in 2014, and it employs approximately 10,500 people. The Group operates in some 30 countries. Metsäliitto Cooperative is the parent company of Metsä Group and is owned by approximately 122,000 Finnish forest owners.