PAPERMAKING

Papermaking plays an important role in our modern economy. American papermaking began with linen mills in the Northeast and then developed in the hardwood forests of Appalachia and the pine forests of the South. Eventually, paper production reached the Northwest, where it relied primarily on harvested timber.

Modern paper operations have increasingly turned to recycled materials for feedstock, and the trend toward greater use of recycled fiber is now reaching global markets. Plantation tree-farming has allowed many producers to lessen the impact of their operations on native forests, while recycled paper producers source the fiber they need from the paper-based products consumers dispose of each day.

Crossroads Paper will use the latest generation of equipment and technology, supplied by experts who specialize in the manufacture, engineering and construction of papermaking machinery.

STOCK PREPARATION

The first step in papermaking is the preparation of the raw materials. Fiber can be sourced from trees grown specifically for that purpose or harvested from available forest resources. Fiber can also be collected from recycling operations and processors. Regardless of origin, the cellulose fibers must first be softened and suspended in liquid.

Fibers are softened and prepared for processing by exposing them to heat, moisture and pressure. In recycling-based operations like Crossroads Paper, recycled paper that feeds the operation breaks down into its individual cellulose fibers much more rapidly than solid wood chips break down into individual fibers.

Fibers then pass through a refining process, where they are treated mechanically to prepare them to bond together more completely and thereby strengthen the final product. Once refined, the fibers are then diluted in process water before being placed onto the paper machine.

FORMATION

Paper is formed when diluted fibers are distributed onto a moving web and the process water is extracted using vacuum, pressure and heat. As the solution is delivered to the moving web from the highly advanced headbox, it contains less than 1% paper fiber, but by the end of the formation process, the paper web will be sturdy enough to sustain itself as it enters the press and drying sections of the machine.

DRYING

When the paper enters the press section of the machine, it is still extremely moist and not yet ready for its final use. It needs to be pressed and dried. Pressure is applied to the moving paper through a series of interconnected rollers and blankets that extract the excess moisture.

The drying section of the machine is composed of large, heated rollers that evaporate moisture, thereby aiding in the drying process and preparing the paper to be rolled at the end of the process.

Starch is also added to increase the strength of the finished paper, helping box makers and packaging customers protect their finished products. 

CUSTOM REWINDING

When the papermaking process is complete, finished rolls will be just over 18 feet wide. To meet the needs of its customers, Crossroads Paper will rewind its master rolls to form smaller rolls according to the specific dimensions required by its customers. This custom rewinding process will ensure that Crossroads Paper can adapt its output to local, regional and international demand.