HIGH-TECH CORE VALUES
High-tech core values
Sonoco Alcore is part of Sonoco, a global provider of consumer packaging, industrial products and protective packaging. The Sonoco Group is a global leader in a broad range of packaging businesses from rigid paper, flexibles and plastics to industrial products such as tubes and cores, reels and spools. It is also one of the world's largest recyclers. Philip Yorke talked to Florian Heil, Sonoco Alcore's new segment and key account manager, and Markku Ronnila, the company's product manager for paper mill cores, about their next generation products and move into new markets.
Sonoco is a $5 billion global provider of industrial and consumer packaging that was founded over 115 years ago in Hartsville, South Carolina, USA. The company's first product was a cone-shaped yarn carrier used for winding and transporting yarns. Since most of the textile cones of that day were wooden, paper cones were a novelty and this resulted in the company soon becoming the leading manufacturer of cones in the United States.
Sonoco has grown consistently and today leads the world in its chosen packaging disciplines with 330 operations in 34 countries worldwide that serve customers in almost 100 countries on five continents. Like Sonoco, Sonoco Alcore works in close collaboration with its clients to develop and deliver innovative solutions that enhance and optimise manufacturing businesses' efficiency and profitability.
Sonoco Alcore delivers tube and core solutions and services to its customers in the paper, film, man-made fibre, yarn, metal and construction industries. The company has a sales and technology group dedicated to these specific markets and has the knowledge and capabilities to identify and solve the most challenging issues facing these industries. Today Sonoco Alcore takes a holistic approach to providing customised solutions to meet its customers' individual needs.
Next generation technology
Sonoco Alcore is the leading provider of cores for all printing and writing grade core applications. Recently this important division appointed a new segment and key account manager for its PMC, EMEA operations. Florian Heil comes from a background in corrugated packaging with experience gained with market leaders. His appointment heralds a new era in the creation of innovative products and enhancement of customer services at Sonoco Alcore.
In response to the evolution of highly advanced printing technologies and the introduction of unprecedented winding speeds and reel widths, Sonoco Alcore has developed a new generation of high-performance paper mill cores for the printing industry. M-Cores are proven to offer superior performance under the most demanding operating conditions due to their world-class straightness, bending stiffness and higher E-modulus values, even when compared with traditional high-grade paper mill cores used in the printing industry.
Sonoco Alcore is also the leading provider of high quality cores for rolled pulp and non-woven materials. The company's vast range of core sizes and features are designed to meet every application and to reduce overall operating costs.
Ronnila said, "We tailor-make core products for each and every requirement and location and our RFID cores help significantly when it comes to operational savings and logistics. We make cores for wide web applications and in 2011 invested heavily in new, patented technology. We develop packaging paper cores for winding speeds up to 3000 metres a minute and our new technology means that these speeds can be achieved without the risk of vibration."
Heil added, "We are the clear technology leaders, we sell total solutions and we can offer turnkey solutions for our customers. We are committed to creating innovative products that add value and efficiency to our customers' manufacturing processes. We have two labs in Finland and one in Germany dedicated to core technologies involving such things as dynamic strength and constant speed. We have plants throughout Europe and have three facilities in Russia."
The company's well-known M-coreHT series of cores lead the field and are designed for high-speed rotogravure and offset printing processes, as well as for all other high performance applications. Sonoco Alcore offers a complete line of additional printing and writing-grade cores customised to meet customer's specific applications, including sheeter cores for internal and external cut size operations.
In addition to its HQ paper mill cores, Sonoco Alcore also provides cost-effective, high quality cores for linerboard and bleached board applications. The company offers a wide range of cores with customisation available for unique applications.
Core solutions for industry
In another example of how the company improved its customers' efficiency and profitability, Sonoco Alcore provided an innovative solution for a leading Tissue paper manufacturer. The customer wanted to know the re-use ratio of the tissue cores within its production process and to reduce its inventory levels. The solution was to implement sonoco Alcore's SR-350 Intellicore tissue core, which utilises RFID technology to track core usage throughout the mill. The company installed four RFID reading points within the mill, which included the first stock point, after converting, return to stock point and the end of the production process to allow the company to replenish the stock levels as required. As a result, Sonoco Alcore was able to dramatically reduce the stock levels for its customer, thus freeing up working capital which in turn generated significant cost savings. In addition the SR-350 improved re-use ratio and runability, decreased vibrations and significantly reduced the number of machine stops.
It is also worth noting that Sonoco Alcore is committed to protecting the environment and its cores are 100 per cent recyclable and made of recycled corrugated containers. Furthermore, the Sonoco Group has established metrics to measure progress towards its reduction of energy consumption, greenhouse gasses and other air emissions, as well as its water usage and wastes.
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