FCM Helps Domtar Celebrate the Opening of Its New Fluff Pulp Line

A Frame for Domtar
The A Frame at Domtar marks the grand opening of the A-1 fluff pulp line in Ashdown, Ark. (Photo by FCM Products Inc.)

After nearly two years of planning, construction and lots of hard work, the A-1 fluff pulp line opens today at Domtar in Ashdown, Ark. As we mentioned in August, we’ve been very happy to play a part in making this dream a reality. Most recently, to commemorate the grand opening ceremony, the mill commissioned us with a new task, to engineer and build an A Frame to hold more than six tons of pulp.

With this new endeavor in mind, we knew we would need lots of strong, heavy-duty metal to support so much weight. But first we had to design this iconic structure, which wound up being 15.5 feet tall and 22.5 feet wide from leg to leg. You can see just how big it is with our safety coordinator and public relations director, Manuela Santifer, standing here beside it.

Once designed, we ordered the material to build the frame. You might not be able to tell by looking at it, but we built it with 1/4-inch carbon steel plate, 10-inch C-channel for bracing, and 10-inch I-beams for support. After all, a frame holding up 12,100 pounds worth of fluff pulp was a bit like Atlas supporting the world, so we needed every bit of strength we could get.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of this project, however, is that we needed to give the pulp bales the illusion of weightlessness, as if they were floating in this A formation. So we painted the metal the same color as the bales to achieve this effect. We are very proud of how it turned out.

We could not have accomplished this feat without the tireless efforts of our marvelous team who worked so diligently on this project. Therefore we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Jose Yhoss, Santos Asencio and Santiago Aquilar for working two long nights of overtime to complete this job to meet Domtar’s grand opening schedule.

Today, as both investors and corporate employees from Domtar’s headquarters in Canada visit the Ashdown facility to attend the grand opening, we hope they are as delighted as we are when they see this engineering marvel.