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Exclusive Interview with Kelly Helein from Daikin America, Inc.

Specialty Papers will take a look at the market and where the trends are going. It will also cover several topics such as specialty paper mills, specialty paper packaging, innovation and new technologies and non-wood pulp and fibers. We recently spoke with one of the advisory board members, Kelly Helein, Business Development Executive for Daikin America, Inc., about her thoughts on innovations and trends within the Specialty Papers industry and what she is most excited about for the conference. 

Smithers Pira:  Why is the Specialty Papers Conference so important to the industry?

Kelly Helein:  The Specialty Papers Conference offers attendees the most focused speakers on innovation and trends in the paper industry. Subjects that will interest specialty and tissue manufacturers as well as converters and brand owners are highlighted. The opportunity to network with all of these influencers in one conference is hugely beneficial.

The Specialty Papers Conference allows both commodity and specialty manufacturers to interact with chemical companies, fiber suppliers and other industry players to generate ideas.

Smithers Pira:  What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the industry, right now?

Kelly Helein:  Product relevance is critical. How can specialty paper mills anticipate the emerging end use trends and assure that they are innovating for future use? Too often, specialty mills anticipate the same end use needs which then drives a specialty product to a commodity level. Commodity paper companies feel the relevance challenge too. Product development needs to be a focus but is often not a point of investment for commodity mills.

Smithers Pira:  What are some of the best innovations going on in the industry, right now? 

Kelly Helein:  I see a wonderful trend back to paper in markets that had moved to plastic. Take the fiber molded market for instance. You can now enter a grocery store and see a fiber molded storage container next to a plastic container. Another trend is that of rigid moving to flexible packaging. People are buying more items on line and flexible packaging is sky rocketing. Think barrier and strength and nano fibers.

Smithers Pira:  What are you most looking forward to hearing at the conference, this fall, in Chicago? 

Kelly Helein:  I'm looking forward to the panel discussion which generates pertinent questions and challenges thinking.