Tissue360 - Fall/Winter 2016 - 22
With the Nalco EWCD (Early Wear Chatter Detection) system on the yankee, the
mill has not developed any chatter problems.
tissue and lightweight towel. "Right now we
are making a lot of lightweight tissue. Our biggest production is a 9 lb. bath tissue," Pankratz
Describing the pulp mill layout, James starts
with the pulpers. "We have two pulpers-a
batch pulper that is the older unit (was here
when the mill was purchased from MRP) and
a new drum pulper that can produce up to
200 tpd," he says. "After that, the pulp goes
through three stages of course screening and
a fine screen, followed by stock washing (two
DNTs). Washing is followed by thickening and
kneading. Bromine chemistry color stripping
is followed by flotation and thickening. Thick
stock is pumped to the paper machine.
Natchez mill's four currently operating converting lines make basically two tissues-a
1,000 sheet, 11 lb. tissue and a 9 lb. two-ply
tissue, 500 count. It also makes jumbo bathroom tissue rolls, and two towel products. Some
kraft tissue products are made at Natchez, from
imported unbleached tissue. While most of the
plant's converted products are bleached, the
operation does bring in some unbleached parent rolls for conversion into some towel products. The plant also has one folded towel line.
The mill's fifth converting line will become
operational a little later this year.
Pankratz says that with NTT technology,
the mill has the capability to compete in the
private label at-home market somewhere down
the road. "If freight, energy, or fiber rates were
to get outrageous, we certainly could sell some
private label. But right now the business is very
good where we are. We've got the infrastructure
and the sales and service organization to deal
with small customers, and they love it, and
even some people who are tired of dealing with
the bigger producers buy products from us. So
The mill has four currently operating converting lines and a fifth one nearing startup.
Tissue360º FALL/ WINTER 2016
The machine room is designed to be expanded to house a second
tissue machine, with a common control room between them.
that's part of our fit. That's why our market
works for us."
In answer to questions about possibly
swinging production between plain and
textured on the NTT at Natchez, Pankratz
explains: "We currently have a couple of SKUs
in our product line, for which we likely will
be making a textured base sheet eventually.
"We'll experiment and develop that base sheet
later this year. Longer-term, it's a matter of
what's going on in the marketplace. There's a
lot of tissue capacity out there and if it ends
up being helpful to make a product that looks
and performs differently, operation in the textured mode will be more likely. At Karlstad,
we were able to make a textured sheet at just
over an 8 lb. basis weight. So we're willing to go
that route, but, again, there's not really a push
for it at the moment. As fiber prices start to
increase, I expect that we'd look at opportunity
to start replacing our wet crepe and dry crepe
towel grades with a textured product. But that
will be kind of a gradual thing. We don't cut
up everything we produce here. Right now,
we send some to our Memphis operation and
our Las Vegas plant. But the goal next year is
to have enough converting capacity to cut it
all up here."
Pankratz and James say that the future looks
very bright for the Natchez mill. "Anytime an
organization of our size, when you make that
leap-to make another 30,000 tons-you hope
you have a home for it by the time the machine
is running. Well, the machine's running, and
we are still buying paper. So, for us the old
adage has worked-if you build it they will
come. We've been pretty lucky in that regard.
Our market expanded just a little bit and then
a little bit more. It gets us into places that we
couldn't get to reasonably before. So it's working out very well," Pankratz concludes.