A paper mill’s heart is the continuous machine.

A paper mill’s heart is the continuous machine.

A paper mill’s heart is the continuous machine. “A monster of technology and speed that feeds on dirty water and produces rolls of paper.” This is how an inexperienced visitor would describe the machine. By only using words to describe the machine, we cannot add the noise that is part of the magic, and which heightens its importance. The continuous machine has been used in paper mills since 1800. It was built in Holland, and then evolved throughout the years to become more and more powerful. It’s called continuous because usually it’s a really grand system which works non-stop. It treats paper paste until it becomes real paper, making it an essential machine for any paper mill and any kind of paper.

Cartiera dell’Adda holds at the heart of its plant a continuous machine that the company defines a gem. The machine is exemplary in the production of grey cardboard. The machine is 100m long, and it’s the first in Italy in terms of width in the production of the paperboard roll. It was built by the company Carcano di Maslianico who was forced to transform their space to meet Pino Cima’s technical requests, the founder of Calolzio Corte. The year is 1956, the Cima family looks to the future and designs a new performing plant. The result of these investments is a highly technologically advanced company. Pino Cima’s intuitions on using recycled paper as a raw material were ahead of his time, as well as the idea of recovering heat for the production of electric energy.

The machine contains all the work segments which are distinctive of paper or cardboard: the Headbox where the paper paste is inserted, the Wire section where excess water is removed to form the sheet of paper, which is then pressed in the Press, dried in the Dryer, smoothed and shined in the Calendar section, and finally rolled up thanks to the Reel. During this operation the characteristics of the product are defined, like weight, candling, thickness…

Every kind of paper requires a different machine with different specifics. This is why in Cartiera dell’Adda, the continuous machine was designed and started in tight collaboration with the designer and the entrepreneur who commissioned it, producing only carboard and recycled paperboard.

Today, Cartiera dell’Adda’s continuous machine has undergone many transformations and improvements in the last 68 years of activity, always keeping up with modern times, and featuring a very sophisticated technological part which is licensed – the section where the sheet is formed.

The carboard sheets can be a few kilometers long, and the working speed can break 30km/h.

At the moment, Cartiera dell’Adda’s machine can produce more than 25 tons of paperboard every hour.

ICP’s first 100 years

ICP’s first 100 years

One hundred years.

A century of history, dedication, passion, and perspective. Industria Cartaria Pieretti reaches an important milestone with PBA Group, and becomes a testimony for how constant innovation and foresight can make a difference in a company’s project. Today, ICP produces recycled paperboard and is a leader in the tissue sector over the international and domestic market. The road to get there though has been long and full of decisions, trials, and changes.

The Beginning

Everything started in 1924 with the foundation of the F.lli Pieretti factory, which produced straw paper. Over a few years the company extended its production to different plants in Bagni di Lucca, Marlia, Ghivizzano, and Margherita di Cuneo – their first activity outside of Tuscany. Unfortunately, during the second world war the company was forced to suspend its activity and resume it only after the war, with the two paper mills in Marlia, the one in Ghivizzano, and the one in Ponte all’Ania.

In 1960, the company transformed by starting the production of paper in reels for bags and corrugated paper. Two years later, riding this wave of excitement for the expansion, a new plant was built in Marlia for the production of corrugated paper, and another plant dedicated to the production of corrugated cardboard for boxes.

In 1973 the plant in Marlia opened a new department for the production of corrugated carboard in sheets. The core business has now become the production of corrugated cardboard for industrial applications. This change of direction entails a new trade name and a new denomination: F.lli Pieretti becomes Ondulati Pieretti. This kind of expansion requires more resources, in fact in this period the company counts more than 100 employees.

Over the course of two years, Ondulati Pieretti strengthens its role as a producer of corrugated cardboard in sheets. The company starts producing paperboard for the production of tubes in the industrial and tissue sectors, first in the plant in Marlia, then in the Ghivizzano plant. These two plants are soon upgraded, opting to close the department dedicated to the production of corrugated cardboard. In 1981, the plant in Ghivizzano also started the production of paperboard for industrial use, made out of wastepaper and cut into strips to produce tubes and tissue cores.

The Production of Cores

The new phase starts in 1990 when Industria Cartaria Pieretti (ICP) is highly specialized in the production of paperboard designed for paper roll cores. ICP becomes a prominent company in the Italian market, leading to important collaborations with machine and tube producers, with the aim of making efficient cores that can meet the market’s demands.

By paying attention to the product’s quality, to the client’s needs, and to constant improvement, ICP participates to the first edition of Tissue World in Nice, 1993. Tissue World is a landmark in this sector, and ICP’s attendance to this expo show as well as China Paper in 1995 – Beijing’s first Tissue expo – launched a new expansion phase towards European and global markets.

In 1996, the second continuous machine arrived, and a new 5 megawatt cogeneration system is launched. This new system allows for better efficiency in the production of steam and energy in Marlia’s plant, along with great improvement in terms of environmental sustainability. Ghivizzano’s plant production is instead interrupted.

The 90s

The installation of the second continuous machine and the profound company renovation in the 90s allowed ICP to expand its market outside of national borders, therefore becoming a leader in the production of paperboard for tissue cores.

ICP’s growth continues. In 2008, Toscotec – a company of the Mennucci Group – awarded ICP during the third edition of “Technology and Passion. Award for innovation 2008” for having successfully installed an innovative system of paperboard pressing.

The following year marked ICP’s 85 years of activity, and the outcome is extraordinary, starting with the annual 140.000 tons of production, 45% of which are exported. ICP achieves leadership in Europe in the production of paperboard designed for tissue paper roll cores, yet continues its development while always caring for the environment. In fact, ICP start an important improvement in energetic efficiency thanks to the modernization of its implants, which also allowed for an increase in productivity.

At this point the company decided to invest even more by building a new groundbreaking biological purification system, aimed at reducing water use during the process. Meanwhile, the extremely modern continuous machine PM2 is modernized even more.

In 2009, ICP attends many conventions and meetings. Among the most important: Tissue World (Nice) in March, Chipec (China) in April, Paper Arabia (Dubai) in October, Paperex (Dehli) in December.

It was a rich, intense, and fruitful year. Not only does the company enjoy the results of this long successful journey, ICP keeps an eye on the future with determination and insight.

In fact, in 2010 a new 7,5 megawatt cogeneration system is launched for the production of steam energy for the whole plant. This new system guarantees an improved environmental safeguard.

Meeting PBA

In 2018, the company’s values, history, and goals contribute to the decision of merging ICP to Cartiere dell’Adda, creating the biggest European Group in the production of recycled paperboard for industrial applications. Today ICP continues to be a growing company that aims at quality, innovation, and cares about the environment. At the same time, the company maintains its great international vocation, high specialization, and unique know-how.

By joining the PBA Group, ICP opened up to new markets, reinforcing its position where already present, increasing investments, and optimizing the production and organization process.

Today, ICP has many new and extraordinary challenges, more projects to be made, goals to pursue, and a team of people with great professional and personal value, without whom most of the work would not have been possible.

One hundred years of history represent a wonderful and uncommon milestone of a journey which aims at an even longer future.

This is only the beginning.