The Kaga Paper Co., Ltd. in Kanazawa, Japan, is unique when compared with a lot of other paper mills in the country. First of all, its old. It was founded in 1915 and has run continuously ever since. Its small and very specialized. Currently it produces about 55,000 tpy of board on two board machines. And it serves the domestic market exclusively.
Until the late 1940s when Kaga Paper pioneered the use of recycled paper, the raw material for production at the mill was rice straw. Today its roughly 99% recycled paper. The mill produces board in as many as 10 layers varying in
basis weights from 270 to 1000 g/m2. All of the layers except the top layer are produced from mixed non-deinked and non-bleached wastepaper.
The top layer is either white or decorative. The white top layer is produced at the mill from very high-quality recycled paper and a very low percentage of purchased bleached kraft pulp. The decorative top layer is purchased and laminated at the mill to board produced at the mill.
Competes in special markets
Kaga Paper competes in the special board markets where recycled products are desirable. Typical end products for Kaga board are covers for ring binders,
books and notebooks and secondary packaging such as decorative boxes for various consumer products. The mill produces more than 100 grades of board.
Paper and board produced from recycled raw materials is an area that the giant papermakers in Japan have left to small operations like ours. Therefore
we can target the very special market that requires thick board. Our top layer has to be attractive and allow for good printability, says Mr. Kikuo Ishiyama, the Sub-Mill Manager at Kaga Paper.
Process control and profitability
Kaga Paper recognized early on the positive relationship between process control and profitability. Stable production is important for profitability, Mr. Kikuo Ishiyama points out. Consistency is one of the most important variables in our process and stable consistency contributes to stable production on the board machines.
We started monitoring consistency in the early 60s, says Mr. Kenzo Kita, the Mill Manager at Kaga Paper. We bought our first BTG transmitters from
Gadelius back then. There were no Japanese manufacturers of consistency transmitters then, so this was our only choice. But the quality was number one
and the equipment was compact. Weve used and continue to use various generations of BTG transmitters ever since then.