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

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...

Seneca Steel Erectors, Inc.

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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...


A Very Special Visit

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Is it the People or the Equipment?

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


How Many Times Have You Heard the Term Found Money?

During a recent early morning walk around Peachtree Corners, Ga., I found what I thought was a small pile of leaves.

You Never Know

John, you will be missed...

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. 


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...

Old Home Week

It never ceases to amaze me, when TAPPI Members come together for a corporate visit or TAPPI conference with 100-5,000 people...

One of a kind CEO, one of a kind company

Recently a politician made a statement during a campaign speech: "Corporations are not people, people are people...


Runs Batted In

In non-baseball terms, RBI stands for the Renewable Bioproducts Institute located at Georgia Tech. 

WestRock Production Managers Development Program

Have you ever had one of those days when you discover a project that makes you say; “Wow, I wish I had thought of that one!”?

The Missing Link

The dates of February 28-March 1, 2012 will go down in history as the kick off dates of the one event that has been on the minds of many...


Larry Travels to Delaware

Our trek to Wilmington, Del., although extremely interesting was not to find the answer to this burning question.

International Research Management at Its Best

On Nov. 4-7, 2013, 36 of our industry’s’ top research leaders, representing more than 30 institutions...

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

What a whirlwind in September & October 2016 Volume 2

Fall 2016 -- I have seen the Future


The Great Pacific Northwest! Part 1 of 3

Travels with Larry February 2017 


Inside this Section

Paper Technology Foundation at Western Michigan University