Getting to Know Our Neighbors

The Quality Promotions Committee in Johnsonburg recognizes the importance of building strong relationships with customers, including its closest neighbor. Johnsonburg is DuBois Converting’s largest supplier, providing most of its copy, envelope and printing paper—nearly 30 percent of Johnsonburg’s production.

Despite being just 36 miles apart, most employees at these locations had never met until last year, when the Quality Promotions Committee proposed tours between the two facilities. First, the DuBois site hosted groups from Johnsonburg, led by Chuck DeWitt and Al Leathers. Participants took tours through the cut size and folio sheeters, the rewinder, and the packaging equipment.

“I took the opportunity to review quality issues, with a focus on converting,” said DeWitt, quality and technical manager. “The highlight for me is when a DuBois operator gets to talk with paper machine personnel about how important roll structure is to their jobs, and about issues they have with baggy/soft ends, wrinkles, corrugation, ridges. It also helps when they tell our operators that they prefer our paper over all they convert!”

In March, DuBois employees began visiting the Johnsonburg Mill. The tours included a presentation on the mill’s history, discussions on the grades made on each machine and end uses, and a quick papermaking 101 session. Visitors saw the digester, fish nursery and paper machines.

“By visiting and touring the other’s site, employees gained a valuable understanding of the accomplishments, histories, and specifics of the other’s operations, as well as the challenges that each site faces in maintaining our positions in the industry,” added Kip Jones, DuBois plant manager.

– Megan Subilia