Manufacturing Advances Mightily

Industries, as diverse as book publishing and direct mail marketing, have smartly progressed as a result of technology changing how paper is made

While paper for books and carbonless forms remains a traditional mainstay for progressive companies like Glatfelter, paper manufacturing technology has advanced mightily since the day in 1864 when Philip Henry Glatfelter converted an iron forge that had made Revolutionary War cannonballs to a paper mill.

Over the years, this has created new opportunities to expand and diversify, using new, fiber-based engineered solutions to make products that Glatfelter never dreamed of.

Other longtime industries that have evolved with new technology, such as book publishing and direct mail, have also created a demand for advanced papers. For example, on-demand book printing has flourished in the last five years due in part to inkjet technology. Inkjet printing, in turn, needs a different paper.

Producing new paper products isn’t the only way to meet demand. By operating their own integrated mills, paper manufacturers gain additional control over costs and quality, which helps them stay in business, too.

“In order to be cost-competitive, integrated and streamlined processes are key,” says Heath Frye, marketing manager for Glatfelter’s specialty papers business unit. “This gives us flexibility in our manufacturing facilities.”

“For example, in the Spring Grove mill, we can make book publishing paper, paper for envelopes, playing cards, advanced materials for autoclaving, food wrappers that are FDA-regulated, the list goes on and on,” Frye says. “When you combine diversification, flexibility, and innovation, we can offer endless possibilities to our customers.”

This year, in 2014, the company that bears Philip Henry Glatfelter’s name proudly celebrates 150 years of manufacturing paper.