Specialty Papers US 2016 Agenda

The 8th annual Specialty Papers US agenda is beginning to take shape. We are pleased to announce the following sessions slated to take place during the two-day conference.

Just Announced: Join us on Wednesday, September 21st for a networking reception to kick off Specialty Papers US!

Specialty Papers US 2016 will kick off with a networking reception sponsored by Eastman at Goose Island Brewery. Mingle with Specialty Paper attendees at this iconic Chicago brewery.  Enjoy a tour, beer tastings, hor d'ouevres provided by local Chicago food trucks.


5:00 PM  Shuttle departs from McCormick Place
5:30 PM Guests arrive at Goose Island Brewery
5:30-7:30 PM Reception and Brewery Tours
7:30 PM Shuttle departs from Goose Island Brewery
8:00 PM Shuttle arrives at McCormick Place

Food Trucks include Piko Street Kitchen, Babycakes Gourmet Pancakes  and 5411 Empanadas

Day1 : Thursday, Sept. 22

Registration & Welcome Coffee

  1. Registration and Networking Coffee

  2. Welcome

    Kimberlee Rohrer; Conference Producer; Smithers Pira

    Scott Springmier, Division Manager, Pulp and Paper, TAPPI 

Thrive and Survive

This session will take a look at the market for Specialty Papers and where the trends are going. It will also take a look at how some specialty paper mills are transforming themselves in order to stay applicable.

  1. Opening Presentation by Smithers Pira

  2. What’s Next for Specialty Paper Mills

    Matt Elhardt | VP Business Development of Fisher International, Inc.

    Fisher International’s Matt Elhardt will explore recent trends in specialty paper mills worldwide and  look ahead at what might be expected with respect to capacity and demand trends, input cost trends (including market pulp), and trends in trade and sustainability. Among topics addressed will be: What segments are growing? What are the threats and opportunities for producers? Where will new capacity come from?

  3. Trends and Opportunities in NA Specialty Papers Markets

    Frank Perkowski | President of Business Development Advisory, Inc.

    This presentation will cover recent trends and developments driving  specialty paper markets and applications, The current state and future changes that will affect demand and supply, emerging opportunities and risks and what to do going forward….ie:  implications and strategies to consider.

  4. Networking Break and Coffee

  5. Dispelling Myths about Paper and the Paper Industry

    Phil Riebel | President of Two Sides North America, Inc.

    Phil will present the results of a Two Sides consumer perception study related to the environmental and social benefits of paper and print.  Recent Two Sides initiatives and the success of its anti-greenwash campaign will be presented, including the key findings of a white paper “Contrary to popular thinking: going paperless does not save trees”.

  6. Transforming an 175 year old Paper Company to One that Fits the 21 Century

    Additional presenter include: David Mika, CFO, Southworth Company/ Paper Logic

    This presentation will talk about how we are bringing an established 175 year old paper company, into the 21st century. We will discuss the changes that means for the presentation of the company as well as the daily workings. We will also discuss the process it took to decide which direction to take.

  7. Lunch break

Specialty Paper Packaging

This session will take a look at packaging solutions from small sustainable packaging to larger luxury packaging. It will also take a look at some new innovations within the packaging sector.

  1. Flexible Packaging Strategies for Specialty Papers

    Huston Keith | Principal and Founder of Keymark Associates

    This presentation will be an overview of the flexible packaging market and the opportunities for specialty papers.  It will cover how paper fits into the material mix, key market trends and how paper could be affected.  It will focus on how paper’s printability and sustainability features are utilized and will lead to future growth. Key growth areas will be noted, especially for paper.

  2. Pet Food Packaging: Evolution and Direction

    David Long | VP of Business Development of Coveris

    Pet Food Packaging has been evolving from traditional paper based packaging to film based packaging for the last several years.  This discussion is designed to highlight the reasons for this shift in bag composition and style as well as provide ammunition for the paper industry to think outside the box for paper based solutions to the key market drivers.

    Presentation will include:

    •  Direction of Pet Food packaging and future needs
    • What are the key drivers in this packaging shift?
    • What are the key attributes that paper requires to add value to a flexible package?
    • How can paper be part of it?
    • Can this trend be reversed or how can paper co-exist?
  3. Panel With Paper Mills

    Panel with Paper Mills

  4. Networking Break and Coffee

Innovation and New Technologies Part 1: Raw Materials and Fibers

This session will take a look at how companies are using new raw materials and fibers to create better and more innovative specialty papers.

  1. Continuous Coloration of Coatings for Coated Paper & Board

    Mark Crable | President of Crable Engineering, USA

    One of the very important aspects of making coated paper and paperboard is still being done in a primitive manner, and that is the addition of colorants which give the end product much of its visual (and overall) appeal.  The dyes and optical brightening agents are added to the coating in a batch-wise manner, often through the use of manual measurement from a drum or tote into a container, which is then poured into the coating makedown tank by hand.  This leads to issues of accuracy, repeatability, manpower utilization, and safety.  There is a better way, and the model for the alternative comes from the addition of colorants to uncoated freesheet (and other types of uncoated papers).  Pilot work has proven that dyestuffs can be added continuously to coatings just prior to the coating’s application to paper or paperboard with excellent results.

  2. BCTMP in Paper, Tissue & Packaging

    Additional Presenters include: Zhirun Yuan, FP Innovations

    BCTMP possesses unique functionality and cost benefits in a variety of paper, board, and tissue/towel applications.  Papermakers who are looking to enhance, optimize, and expand their current grade portfolio through product development should consider including BCTMP in their efforts.  FPInnovations is working with West Fraser to further identify some specific attributes and unique applications of BCTMP and we will share some of these innovations in our presentation.

  3. Closing Remarks for the Day

  4. Networking Reception

Day 2: Friday, Sept. 23


  1. Welcome and Opening Remarks

Innovation and New Technologies Part 1: Raw Materials and Fibers :Continued

  1. Foam Forming Technology Enables Utilization of Long Fibers

    Katariina Torvinen | Senior Scientist and Project Manager of VTT Technical Research Centre

    The paper industry is continuously seeking new ways to reduce the raw material consumption and to improve the energy and water efficiency of the papermaking process. This is a challenging goal indeed as the quality of the end product should simultaneously remain intact. The foam forming has recently aroused increasing interest as foam inhibits mobility and flocculation of fibers improving e.g. the formation of the end product.  In this paper we show recent results on our trials on foam forming that have been performed in realistic process conditions at VTT’s pilot environment. In addition to enabling significant increase of the fiber length foam forming has potential for saving drying energy as much as 30%.

  2. METRIXTM Titan Strength, Designed for Filled Grade

    Weiguo Cheng | Corporate Scientist of Nalco Pulp & Paper R&D

    It is very challenge to increase strength of paper sheet with high filler content by addition of synthetic strength agent, mainly due to adsorption of strength agent into filler which has much higher surface area than fiber. To address such challenge, Nalco recently developed METRIXTM Titan strength technology, which includes not only a more effective, proprietary and patented, new-to-market dry strength agent that is specifically designed for filled  grades, but also a novel feeding strategy to optimize strength performance, filler retention, drainage, and press dewatering. Some lab results and field trial results will be discussed. 

  3. Networking Break and Coffee

Innovation and New Technologies Part 2: Applications in Specialty Papers

This session will take a look at how new applications are being used with specialty papers to create better and more innovative processes

  1. Controlling Wetting, Adhesion and Absorption of Water and Oils on Cellulose-based Substrates

    Dr. Victor Breedveld | Associate Professor of Georgia Tech, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the Renewable Bioproducts Institute

    We will provide an overview of our recent achievements on modification of porous cellulose-based paper substrates with controlled wetting, adhesion and absorption for a range fluids (water, as well as non-polar oils). Our research has established connections between these properties and three main surface characteristics: microstructure (fiber network geometry), nanostructures (individual fiber roughness) and fiber surface chemistry. In this presentation, we will discuss a suite of techniques that we have developed to modify and optimize paper interactions with liquids. Microstructure can be controlled during papermaking by using refining, debonding agents and solvent replacement strategies, while surface chemistry modification has been achieved by depositing thin films via a range of techniques: plasma-assisted deposition, wet liquid processing and vapor deposition.

    Three specific examples will be used to illustrate the mix-and-match approach to create paper surfaces with unique wetting and absorption behavior, while maintaining strength and porosity: 1) superomniphobic paper with roll-off behavior for water and hexadecane, 2) grease-resistant paper with tunable water absorption (from water-repelling to water-absorbing) using non-fluorinated chemicals, 3) using intrinsically hydrophilic/oleophilic coating materials to obtain porous hydrophobic/oleophobic paper.

  2. Specialty Paper Substrates for Printed Electronics

    DR. LOKENDRA PAL | an Associate Professor in the Department of Forest Biomaterials of North Carolina State University

    There is a great potential for flexible, recyclable, biodegradable, and affordable specialty paper substrates in the Printed Electronics (PE) market. This presentation will cover recent trends and developments in printed electronics market and the opportunities for specialty papers. 

  3. Fluorocarbon-Free Oil and Grease Barrier Coatings for Paper and Paperboard

    Bryan McCulloch | Research Scientist of The Dow Chemical Company

    Fatty foods pose a significant challenge for paper packaging, making Oil and Grease Resistance (OGR) a critical attribute for paper and paperboard food packaging since oils can quickly saturate untreated packaging, negatively impacting appearance. Perfluorocarbon treatments are commonly used in OGR packaging; however, there is a growing interest to remove fluorocarbons from packaging.  The Dow Chemical Company has developed alternative solutions to replace the use of perfluorocarbons with new aqueous-based coatings. These technologies work in a range of OGR applications, including high performance coatings where long exposure times, hot oil and folded packaging put additional stresses on the coating. These products can also be formulated with a wide variety of commonly used materials in the final coating and exhibit exceptional film formation properties which seal off the surface of the paper fiber to prevent oil and other liquids from wicking through the paper. 

  4. Lunch Break

Non-wood Pulps and Fibers

This session will take a look at some of the alternative fibers and pulps, besides the traditional wood, that are being used to create specialty papers. 

  1. Tree-Free Sustainable Packaging

    Richard Cohen | Founder and President of Distant Village Packaging

    As the market for sustainable packaging continues to grow the interest in tree-free paper packaging has increased.  Gain a clear understanding of how tree-free packaging produced with alternative sustainable plant fiber papers can provide an innovative and strategic advantage.  You will learn about value-added specialty packaging, such as jewelry boxes and gift boxes, made with tree-free papers such as hemp and sugarcane.  This is a must-attend if you are considering sustainable specialty packaging within your business.

  2. Properties of Nonwood Fibers for Papermaking

    Mark Lewis | President and CTO of Sustainable Fiber Technologies and CTO of Columbia Pulp of Columbia Pulp and Sustainable Fiber Technologies

    Presenter: Mark Lewis, Technical Director, Columbia Pulp

    With regard to straw pulp, the Columbia Pulp mill project in Dayton, WA is going forward. The mill will produce 140,000 tons/year of straw pulp using a novel environmentally benign pulping process. The plant will be mechanically complete by year end, and production will start in January 2017 and ramp up to full capacity by May 2017. Mark Lewis, Technical Director and the person who developed the novel pulping process, will be making a presentation at our conference.

  3. Non-wood Fibers for Innovative Use

    John Tennier | General Manager of SWM

    SWM is a leading producer of specialty papers for the tobacco industry.  Using the unique skills inherent in manufacturing and reconstituting with bio-mass, work is well advanced in developing papers for niche industries, notably packaging.  Internally, SWM has a development group, LeafLab, working on bio-mass projects with the operating facilities.  This paper will discuss some of the recent successes including manufacturing paper using cocoa husks left over from chocolate processing.   

  4. Closing Remarks & Farewell