When You Think Paper, Remember FCM Products

Celleco Platform

Celleco Platform (Photo by Pat Fink, FCM Products)

Do you ever stop to think about how the paper products you use every day are made? We do!

Why would a metal fabrication company think about making paper? The answer is simple: some of our biggest corporate clients are paper mills!

If you have ever seen a paper mill, you know just how vast they can be. For example, International Paper’s Valliant Containerboard Mill, which began operating in 1971, is comprised of 1500 acres, according to Mill Communications Specialist Lindsey M. Hutchings.

International Paper's Valliant Mill

International Paper’s Valliant Mill
(Photo courtesy Sadler Productions)

Every mill has its own specialty. This particular mill churns out “high quality liner and medium corrugated containerboard used for the production of boxes,” Hutchings said.

The process of making paper is complex, and involves several steps, including purification. For example, mills need a way to filter the water they use so impurities don’t get into the final product. One of these purifiers is a heavy piece of equipment called the Save-All.

The Save-All removes fiber fines and other solids from white water, according to FCM Products’ owner, Pat Fink. “The clarified white water can then be used for showers, for stock dilution, and for make-down of certain types of chemical product,” Fink added.

At the Valliant mill, this device is located on the machine operator’s floor and sits on something called a celleco platform, a structure FCM Products recently built for the mill and which the mill’s team installed. The platform is 31 feet from the basement floor, measures 30 feet square, and weighs in at more than 60,000 pounds!

The platform itself is comprised of “all kinds of bracing [including] several sets of stairs, catwalks, access platforms and handrails, [which were all made from] hot dipped galvanized steel,” Fink said. That’s a lot of metal!

Just think, this is only one part of the process used in making paper!

So the next time you use a paper product, be sure to take a moment to appreciate the paper mill that made it. But just know, FCM was happy to lend a hand in the process.