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OPERATING CAPACITY FOR PAPER MACHINERY:
Preferred Practical Year Capacity Capacity 1986 65 56 1985 70 55 1984 71 57 1983 54 41 1982 79 66 1981 75 65
Source: Survey of Plant Capacity, MQ-Cl (86) -l, 1987, United States Bureau of the Census, U.S. Department of Commerce.
As noted earlier, capital spending by paper machinery makers Fell sharply during the 1982 recession and has not rebounded to pre-recessionary levels. Paper machinery industry R&D expenditures are not so easily quantified, but the same pattern of decline during and after the recession appears to have taken place, based on discussions with industry sources.
Both industry and government perform important roles in paper machinery R&D efforts. The Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) has served since 1910 as the major center for U. S. Government research into wood and paper products. FPL, located on the Madison campus of the University of Wisconsin, is a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. Its current budget is approximately $15 million per year. About 300 persons are employed at the laboratory. Two-thirds of these employees support research related to wood products industries and the remaining one-third are active in research in support of the pulp and paper industry.
FPL maintains an opera ing experimental paper machine and facilities to produce corrugated containers. Among its current projects is the development of a new type of fiberboard called "FPL Spaceboard." This product takes advantage of another FPL process development called "Press Drying," which itself can be used for making high-strength paper from low-quality and hardwood pulp furnishes. FPL Spaceboard, however, is not a paperboard, but a thick twoply structural sandwich which has strength properties greatly superior to conventional corrugated fiberboard. The Laboratory has further encouraged, without great success, U.S. firms' efforts to develop new drying machinery suitable for the manufacture of FPL Spaceboard. FPL is currently attempting to utilize provisions of the Technology Transfer Act of 1986 to work out a method that will attract industry support for insuring that development is first initiated in the United States.
The Herty Foundation, a state Corporation located in Savannah, Georgia, provides confidential testing and pilot-scale development for clients in the paper and paper machinery industries. As a quasi-private organization, budgetary data for Herty is not available. Herty operates three research model paper machines and supporting pulp and stock preparation systems. Specialized R&D is performed under contract on various pulp and paper projects. The Herty Foundation announced at the beginning of 1988 that it would embark on a major modernization of its facilities. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a U.S. Department of Commerce agency formerly The National Bureau of Standards, also maintains a laboratory-scale paper machine at its facilities in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Seven colleges and universities maintain degree-granting programs in the paper sciences. Several institutions, including the University of Maine and Western Michigan University, operate pilot-scale paper machines on which contract work is performed for the pulp and paper industry.
The Institute for Paper Chemistry (IPC), affiliated with Lawrence University, at Appleton, Wisconsin, also conducts research programs in the paper sciences, including projects which have received funding from the Department of Energy. IPC announced in December 1987 that it plans to relocate in Atlanta by 1990-91 from its current base at Appleton, Wisconsin. IPC has been affiliated with Lawrence University since 1929; it will affiliate with Georgia Tech. The State of Georgia is providing $15 million to assist the move with an equal amount to be raised from private sources.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) provides important cost-sharing support in conjunction with private industry for research directed to finding energy-saving technology in connection with the highly energy-intensive paper machinery industry. More efficient energy use would improve the competitiveness of this sector. As of July 1987, DOE assumed about 75 percent or $18.8 million of approximately $25 million allocated to 19 separate research contracts among 11 research organizations (2 government agencies, 6 private firms, 2 universities, and 1 industry trade association). These funds are directed toward four major research areas: Black liquor recovery (funded at $11.3 million or 59.8 percent of DOE funding), sensors ($4.8 million or 25.4 percent), separations ($1.7 million or 9 percent), and process control ($1.1 million or 5.8 percent). Within each of these four major research areas, highlights of research focus are:
o Black liquor recovery: This research has received the majority of DOE funding because of the potential of pollution from the alkaline, noncaustic, intensely Black liquid residue from the pulp washing process (Black liquor is so named from the intense Black color of the residue).
Projects focus on factors relating to the pulp washing process and recovery of the residue. Efforts include characterization of physical properties affecting pulping process changes and equipment design, ultrafiltration, droplet formation-nozzle design, and fundamentals of construction which May affect recovery boilers, gasification, and delivery systems.
Black liquor recovery is mandated to meet water quality requirements and obtain point source permits for discharge. The recovery boiler installation is among the most expensive items in a pulp mill. The boilers also must meet extensive safety requirements. A boiler explosion, besides being potentially fatal, can put a pulp line out of operation for months.
o Sensors: The National Institute of Standards and Technology is concentrating on pulp consistency-quality control and Combustion for recovery boiler temperature profiling. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is focusing on temperature and humidity measurements in paper dryer hoods; measurement of residual lignin-chemical changes in paper pulp; steam flow meter; and temperature measurement at various stages within a kiln. The Institute of Paper Chemistry's on-machine sensor relates to Z-direction paper properties measurement on a moving web of a paper machine. Finally, an optical motion monitoring sensor, the Optra, is being tested to detect flaws in products while moving on high-speed production lines. Commercialization May be 6 months to 2 years away.
o Separations (pressing and drying): The Institute of Paper Chemistry estimates that commercialization of its drying work May begin this year, primarily with impulse drying retrofit machinery-equipment.
o Process controls: The focus of research in this area is on artificial intelligence. Developments in this area are 2 years away from industrial application at a minimal level.
Three DOE-funded research projects which are completed are mill-wide control (at least three pulp and paper companies are implementing it within their Mills), mechanical dewatering of paper, and advanced pressing concepts. DOE is also cost-sharing with the American Paper Institute an elaborate technology transfer program directed at three levels of industry responsibility: chief executive officer-management, directors of research-engineering, and operator training/familiarization.
The preceding discussion clearly shows that both the U. S. Government
and the U.S. paper machinery industry are devoting substantial resources to R&D.
Some foreign nations with prominent paper machinery firms are also allocating government and private resources to research and development. In some foreign nations, U.S. subsidiaries are conducting R&D programs. For a more detailed discussion of foreign R&D see Chapter V, Foreign Competitiveness and Regional Markets.
The United States is the world's largest producer of paper machinery, with annual shipments exceeding $1.3 billion. Canada, with an industry about one-fourth the size of the United States, Finland, and West Germany, similarly sized, are the next leading worldwide producers. The United Kingdom follows with France and Italy somewhat smaller in size. Sweden, Switzerland, Brazil, and Japan form a lower tier, although Japan and Brazil are rising rapidly.
These and other nations producing paper machinery supply a world market for these products valued at around $2 billion annually during 1981-85, as shown in Table 19. The remaining discussion and tables in this section as well as share of world market data in later discussions of individual nations are based on the Standard International Trade Classification which differs from the U.S. Standard Industrial Classification used elsewhere in this report.
The value of world exports of paper machinery declined to a low of $1.8 billion in 1983. By 1985, however, shipments to markets abroad had recovered to $2.4 billion and were slightly above the 1981 level. Exports of cutting, bag-making and box-making machinery accounted for about one-third of the value of these exports followed, in order of value, by machinery for making or finishing paper-paperboard, and machinery for making cellulosic pulp. International trade of machinery parts was also substantial, valued at over $800 million in 1985.
West German producers were the dominant exporters over the entire period, supplying about one-fourth of the world market for paper machinery. In 1985, West German exports, valued at $644 million, exceeded those of the United States, Italy, and Japan combined. U.S. manufacturers consistently held on to a distant second place with a declining share trend, 10 percent in 1985 compared to nearly 15 percent in 1981. At the end of this period, U.S. exports partially recovered to $241 million, about two-thirds of the value at the start of the period.
Italian and Japanese exporters improved their market positions impressively -- the former from ninth place in 1981 to third place (8.3 percent in 1985) and the latter from eighth to fourth place (7.7 percent in 1985). Finnish producers ranked fifth in 1985 compared to third in 1981.
Table 20 shows that most countries, other than the United States,
Canada, and the United Kingdom, have maintained favorable trade balances in paper machinery during recent years. Trade has grown