To find something Special sometimes you have to look under every Rock

My dad used to tell me that if you really want to find something special sometimes you have to look under every Rock.

On June 22, 2016 I had the pleasure to visit a location of a 75 Year TAPPI Sustaining Member Company. That company is WestRock and that location was the Aurora, IL Paperboard Facility.

Jeff Barnhart and Matt Rice July 7 2016Jeff Barnhart-Manager, Sales and Business Development, Matthew Rice-Process Engineer

Jeff Barnhart hosted me for the visit and Matt Rice doubled as my tour guide. Talk about 6 degrees of separation, I had met Matt a few years back through TAPPI when he was with a supplier to our industry.

I actually introduced Jeff to our industry back in the early 90’s with Republic Paperboard.

And if that is not enough, Ed Curtis-VP & General Manger is a fellow Tennessean. After talking with Ed we discovered a kinship in the love of the mountains of Tennessee.

In operation since 1909, the Aurora mill sets the standard in Binder boards for the hard back book industry with its 100% Recycled Red Label product. In addition, the Aurora facility features a converting operation where large book board sheets are cut to size for bookmakers.  The Aurora facility also manufactures protective cornerposts and slip sheets. 

The hard back book business is alive and well in the Chicago Land area and these folks have what it takes to make some of the flattest recycled board that I have ever seen. And oh by the way, they do not paste board together to make thicker sheets. Single ply sheets come off the paper machine in calipers up to .250, that other recycled mills in North America cannot match without pasting board together.

Ed Curtis July 7 2016 


Ed Curtis - VP & General Manager, Aurora Paperboard

Ed has put together a great team here. Folks seemed genuinely happy, enthusiastic and customer focused. I was very excited about touring this facility to learn about an area of our industry that really is a niche market. Here are a few of the points that I learned on this visit:

  • The Aurora Mill has been in operation since 1909 and produces 32,000 TPY of 100% recycled Red Label Book Board
  • The mill has a fourdrinier machine, which utilizes a wet lap papermaking process
  • Book Board Caliper ranges of 70-250 point
  • Red Label book board meets or exceeds all specifications established by the National Association of State Textbook Administrators, (NASTA) and the Library Binding Institute, (LBI).



Inside banner                                Book Cover Board                                Corner Board July 7 2016

 


     My thanks to Ed, Jeff, Matt and the rest of the WestRock team in Aurora for their time and hospitality during my visit.

    For more information on WestRock Aurora contact Jeff Barnhart- jeff.barnhart@westrock.com

    For more information on TAPPI go to www.tappi.org

    Remember there are two types of people in our industry, TAPPI members and those who should be.

    Until next time………………….Larry

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Travels With Larry

Travels With Larry

The Year of the Dragon - Part 1

Back in 1991, during my days with Republic Paperboard in Hutchinson, Kan., USA, a gentleman set up an appointment with me to discuss a "revolutionary idea...

To find something Special sometimes you have to look under every Rock

On June 22, 2016 I had the pleasure to visit a location of a 75 Year TAPPI Sustaining Member Company. That company is WestRock and that location was the Aurora, IL Paperboard Facility.

Familiar Names, a New location and a New Attitude

April 19 20, 2017 (right before PaperCon2017) Kristi Ledbetter, TAPPI’s Converting Division Manager, and I had the privilege to revisit a company that I had the pleasure of writing about several years ago.

If you Mess it Up, Un-Mess It!

If you have been around any time at all in our industry, you know that things will get messed up in the areas of finished goods...

There's No Place Like Home

When visiting Thompson Industrial Services, LLC, Eric Fletty and I had the pleasure to visit a town that neither of us had been before.

Is it the People or the Equipment?

Finally an answer to that age old argument—is it the people or the equipment?


Paper Shows up in the Strangest Places

I have adopted nine cities in my career in this industry, but my hometown was and remains to be Memphis, Tenn., USA.

You Never Know

John, you will be missed...

The Great Pacific Northwest! Part 1 of 3

Travels with Larry February 2017 


A Passion for TAPPI Local Sections

How many times do you get to actually meet with two of the legends of TAPPI's Local Section community...

A Small World

On June 25, 2012, Scott Springmier, Eric Fletty, and I accepted a previous invitation from long-time TAPPI member and a young, Mike Ditka look-alike, Jim Niemiec...

What a whirlwind in September & October 2016 Volume 2

Fall 2016 -- I have seen the Future


Dreams Do Come True

Dreams do come true...in so many ways. Our industry has been called many things during the past 2,000 years...


What a whirlwind in September & October 2016 Volume 1

Fall 2016 -- Keynote Speaker at Pulp and Paper Industry Reliability and Maintenance Conference. 

An Accent on Innovation

On May 13, 2014, Eric Fletty and I had the opportunity to visit with one of TAPPI’s Sustaining Member companies, Kadant Inc., at its Kadant Johnson facility in Three Rivers, Mich., USA. 


When It Rains, It Poors Or Does it?

When it rains, it pours… or does it? During TAPPI’s recent, very successful, PEERS and IBBC conferences in Tacoma, WA, we had over 400 people registered. There were representatives from 14 countries who attended these meetings. Three of

The Sometimes Unsung Leaders of TAPPI

I have to be one of the most blessed people on the face of the earth. I get to go to work each day in an industry where I always wanted to work, at an association that I have

The Year of the Dragon: Part 2

This past May 31, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting with personnel from APRIL's pulp mill in Rizhao, Shandong Province, China.


A Very Special Visit

Turning Pulp into Possibilities; Making Big Ideas Fly; All Custom Specifications; To Protect our Customer’s Products; We Design to Our Customer’s Specification; Bigger, Brighter, and Stronger Together.

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