Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2015 - (Page 8)
A Century of tissue:
Career experts explore Past, future
Three tissue veterans examine developments, events,
direction of industry
It's difficult to look over the past
century of tissue making, especially its
first 50-60 years, and track progress step
by step. However, there were some notable
developments from which modern tissue
technology evolved. The process of creping,
for example, is said to have been invented in
Germany during World War II to make filling for ammunition shells, and some nurses
also used this material to cleanse wounds.
Reportedly, Kimberly-Clark brought this
technology from Germany to the U.S.
Having been "invented" (sort of) by the
Chinese some 3,000 years earlier, tissue
making on a commercial scale got underway
in the U.S. at the close of the 19th Century.
Interestingly, the Chinese around that time
also were adding perfume to tissue, which
is something fairly recent in today's world.
A U.S. patent was granted in 1871 for
perforated papers to be used as a type of
sanitary paper, and about that time Scott
Paper was the first to put "TP" on a roll. The
first facial tissue in America was introduced
by Kimberly-Clark in 1924, as a means to
remove cold cream, and K-C's Kleenex brand
over the years has become a generic name
for facial tissues.
From then until the middle of the twentieth century, sanitary tissue seems to have
been stuck in the muck, with little if anything happening. Then in the mid-1960s a
new approach to tissue emerged in the U.S.,
with a new face and an unforgettably irritating character to go with it-Mr. Whipple.
Admonishing grocery store shopper-housewives and television audiences nationwide
with his "please don't squeeze the Charmin"
command, Mr. Whipple was with us daily
from 1964 to 1985.
Mr. Whipple's beloved Charmin, made
with an early version of a new type of tissue
former known as a crescent former, began
an era of improved quality tissue products, followed by other processes such as
thru-air-dried (TAD) technology. TAD was
patented by Charmin in 1973, but only during
the past decade or so, some years following
expiration of the original patents, has TAD
technology set real roots in the industry.
To discuss some of these issues from a
first-hand perspective, Tissue360° magazine recently met with three career tissue
experts, to look more closely at what actually happened in the tissue industry from
the mid-twentieth century (Mr. Whipple's
time), when they first entered it, to today
and going forward globally.
George Hartmann, who started in the
industry in 1964, spent his entire career
in the industry until he retired in 2002.
Bill Sleeper started in the packaging sector of the industry in 1969, later switching
over to the tissue side where he spent the
final 15 or so years of his career, retiring in
2012. Wlad Janssen, who was with Kruger
for many years until five years ago when he
became a consultant to the industry, looks
more globally at future directions the tissue
industry likely will take.
GEORGE HARTMANN PERSPECTIVE
A couple of things "strike me during my
career in the tissue industry," Hartmann
notes. "Certainly the mergers, the consolidations of assets in the tissue industry, both in
the at-home (AH) and the away-from-home
(AfH) side were, in my mind, the key issue
during the time I was in the business. The
number of companies in the business when
I started, compared with the number who
were in control of the business when I ended,
was night and day. The industry had become
very, very consolidated.
"One of the things I find interesting about
the G-P/Koch approach, is that they have
given up significant market share in the AfH
business in exchange for huge gains in profitability. This is a very interesting approach
that other companies in the industry also
have used. During my tenure in the business, we literally 'killed' for market share
points. That was our driving thing-go for
market share. And of course Fort Howard
during all of those years was the low cost
producer, so we had the capability of driving
for market share, providing an acceptable
quality product at a competitive price. And
that strategy worked. We had a preemptive
strategy in terms of growing the tissue business-meaning that our competitors knew
that we were the low cost producers, and
so when we announced a paper machine,
George Hartmann, beginning in 1964, spent the first 10 years
of his career with the old Marathon Corp., then a division of
American Can Co., in tissue sales and marketing. He moved
eight times, living all over the country, which gave him an indepth geographic understanding of different markets and how
things work. He left American Can in 1974 and went with Bay
West Paper, which became Mosinee, and is now Wausau Paper
and Tissue. In 1981 he left Bay West and spent the balance of
his career with Fort Howard, which became Fort James after
the merger with James River in 1997, which most recently was
acquired by Georgia-Pacific/Koch Industries. During his final five
years with G-P, Hartmann ran the company's North American
Commercial Away from Home business.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2015
A Century of Tissue: Career Experts Explore Past, Future
Sheet Structure Process Effect on Tissue Properties
Rapid Growth Puts GapCon on Global Tissue Stage
New Tissue Technologies Showcase
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2015