An End and a Beginning in Ashdown

On March 31, the A64 paper machine at Ashdown produced its last reel of paper, marking the last day of operation for one machine and setting the stage for a new era for the future of the mill.

After employees had shut down the machine, work began on the three-month window to convert and start up the new A1 fluff pulp machine, all while focusing on the ultimate goal of having stock on the former by July 3 to begin producing bale pulp.

Employees assigned to the A1 machine began their extensive two-month training on April 5. A motivational speaker kicked off the training initiative, and enthusiasm quickly built among the team members as they realized the significance of their role.

The team members moved into in-depth training designed by Delta Training Partners, which includes both classroom and hands-on training.

Demolition of A64 meant removal of the winder, reel, size press, press section, top former, hood, and all dryer frames except the second dryer section, all drives, piling, as well as conduit removal. All of this work was finished by early May.

In May and June, the focus shifted to installation of the new equipment for A1, including the Pesmel fluff roll wrap line and Valmet bale wrap line. Construction of a new rail spur and warehouse expansion has been completed.

The installation of the new equipment is scheduled to be complete by mid-June. Check-out and commissioning for the machine is under way, and the team is training on new equipment to be prepared to begin production in July.