- Published on Thursday, 23 December 2010 15:21
- Written by Staff Reporter
CHINA - The demand for polymer coated cutsize wrapping material is growing at a fast pace in China and the Asia-Pacific area, because of the rapidly growing demand for office paper. To meet the increasing demand Walki Group has started an investment program in the company’s plant in Changshu, the first major part of the investment being a 1.6m wide high-tech glue laminator.
The new machine produces mainly BOPP (bi-axially oriented polypropylene) laminates for A3/A4 size wrappings, but it can also be used in other sorts of wrapping materials, such as barrier board and aluminium laminates, and for other lamination combinations.
“One of the main advantages with the technology we have chosen is that the printing is actually made on the backside of the BOPP-film, which is then glued on the wrapping paper with the new laminator,” says Timo Saahko, managing director of Walki Packaging Paper (Changshu), China.
“As the film is very smooth and dense, and has an excellent printability and transparency, the result is a very glossy and good looking wrapping, where both the packaging and the printing is protected by the polymer film.”
The laminator is part of an ongoing investment program in the factory that serves not just China, where Walki is one of the largest producers of protective packaging materials, but the whole of the fast growing Asia Pacific region.
“At the moment, we sell roughly 70% of our products in China and export the rest to nearby countries,” Saahko explained.
“Since the inauguration of the plant in 2006 our sales have been growing significantly every year. We have most of the big international paper manufacturers as our customers and we are now aiming at the growing amount of smaller paper manufacturers in Asia Pacific.”
He emphasizes that the new machine is not just very efficient, but also environment friendly thanks to its advanced dry lamination technology. “It allows us to increase our production without affecting the environment, which is of great importance to Walki,” says Saahko.
The Changshu factory was built in 2006, logistically well located by the Yangtze River, about 100 kilometres from Shanghai, and close to several paper mills. It primarily focused on reel and ream wrappers for the Chinese paper industry and barrier board for the Chinese and Asian packaging markets.
“The paper markets in China are growing at an incredible pace that we have to keep up with. Thanks to our local staff, which we have recruited for duties all the way to management, we have succeeded to deliver 98% of our sales according to schedule, which is an outstanding figure in the business,” adds. Saahko.
Walki in brief
Walki Group is a leading producer of technical laminates and protective packaging materials, specialising in the production of fibre based, intelligent, multilaminate products for markets as diverse as energy saving construction facings to barrier packaging applications. Walki Group has operations in Finland, Sweden, Germany, Poland, the UK and China with a workforce of approx 1,000 people. Annual net sales for the Group are EUR300 million.