Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2015 - (Page 8)

feature A Century of tissue: Career experts explore Past, future Three tissue veterans examine developments, events, direction of industry KEN PATRICK 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 8 Tissue360º Spring/Summer 2015 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 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. www.tappi.org http://www.tappi.org

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