From Left: Engineering technician Jeremy McDougal, engineering process control superintendent Steve Padasak, paper manufacturing technical leader Jenn Sweenor, Omya regional sales manager Tim Bradely, pulp prep process leader Kathrin Dastillung, PCC operator Michael Wallace, PCC operator Jeff Valastro, and project engineer Greg Smotzer.
Finch Paper, a dynamic uncoated paper company, has announced a long-term supply agreement with Omya, a leading manufacturer Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (PCC).
The Finch mill, established in 1865, has a long history of manufacturing innovation. Its integrated infrastructure has allowed Finch to capitalize on integrated processes which in turn improves quality control and financial performance. Finch Paper was one of the first paper mills to construct its own PCC plant in 1984, and now looks to Omya’s technological advancements and process capabilities to accelerate their success in new markets.
Omya is a leading global producer of industrial minerals derived from calcium carbonate. Paper being just one of their major markets, Omya operates nearly two dozen PCC plants in paper mills around the world. Finch Paper President and CEO Joseph Raccuia said “Omya has developed proprietary operating techniques that, combined with new investments we are making in our own plant, will take our operations to a whole new level.”
In a unique arrangement, the experienced team of Finch employees will continue to operate the PCC plant. Omya employees will be on-site on a regular basis, training the Finch Paper PCC team in these advanced operating practices. Omya Regional Sales Manager Tim Bradley said “Our organization is dedicated to finding solutions that increase the viability of the paper mills across the U.S.” The strategic partnership, built upon a mutual respect, is a key advancement within both companies’ business strategy.
“The Finch operators not only understand PCC, but also have an intimate knowledge of the papermaking process,” Tim Bradley said. “Their holistic approach is a definite advantage in terms of quality, speed and cost.”
Precipitated Calcium Carbonate is used to fill gaps between the fiber in a sheet of paper. The “filler” contributes to important paper characteristics such as brightness, opacity, and bulk. PCC is formed by adding carbon dioxide gas to lime and water. Producing its own PCC is more economical for Finch than buying this ingredient, but also enables the company to capture and re-use 50 million pounds per year of carbon dioxide from its Power Plant rather than emitting the greenhouse gases into the air.
PCC can be formed in a variety of particle sizes with varying surface characteristics to produce specific paper properties. The collaborative effort of Omya and Finch will augment the mill’s ability to produce tailored solutions and further supports Finch’s growth in the emerging transactional-promotional and print-on-demand book segments.