It takes ALL PARTS to make a whole ! It is not either the environment OR the economy…….it is AND that ties it all together.
Friday, May 2, 2014 – 3:30pm
Many of Domtar’s Mills are integrated. That means there’s a Fiberline and a Paper Machine department. There’s a bit of pride in the groups, and this leads to some good natured ribbing. Papermakers often refer to the Fiberline as “the back end of the mill”. Papermakers are directly involved in the production of the final product and they naturally feel they are the most important part of the operation. Fiberline workers hear this and just shake their heads. The raw materials come in to the Fiberline where they are processed and made ready for making paper. Since the process begins in the Fiberline, it’s obvious that the Paper Machines are “the back end of the mill”.
So who is right?
It doesn’t matter where the mill is, Papermakers and Fiberline workers are as different as night and day, yet they both are critical in making a mill run. The differences in their point of view can be attributed to the process they work in. In a Fiberline, the process takes anywhere from 12 to 24 hours to complete. On a paper machine, it’s a matter of seconds. An operator makes a change in the Fiberline, and it could take hours, or even days, to see the result. Papermakers have seconds to act and operate under constant pressure to “keep the sheet on the reel”.
The reality is that an integrated mill’s manufacturing process is a system, where each piece is interconnected and relies on the smooth operation of the step that precedes and follows it. From woodyard to digester to paper machine to converting to shipping to sales and support…every step of the way, every step is as important as the next.
But for a simpler answer to the question, “who’s right?” Ask the folks who work in the Recovery and Utilities area (the place where the steam and power are produced) …they’ll say that nothing runs without them!
This article was first published on our blog Fiberlines: an online space where you’ll get insights about our business and our products, stories about our host communities, and opinion about industry innovation and sustainability trends.