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.

PBA’s products. The future’s keywords? Customize and diversify.

PBA products

“Let’s think of Ford’s first model. When Henry Ford built his first car, the Ford Model T, he said ironically ‘you can choose any color you like, as long as it’s black’, because he could only produce black cars. Today, instead, any car can be customized by choosing the color, the accessories, the interior, and much more.” Through this clear and straightforward car analogy, Roberto Severini, PBA Group’s Marketing Director, describes how Cartiera Dell’Adda’s and Icp’s approach to the client has changed over the years. Few and simple words that show us sharply what direction the two companies have taken: to meet the client’s needs, and to create something that is tailor-made for them adapting to their needs, not vice versa.

A different outlook, a more open one, that has allowed the companies to focus on an important aspect over the years: improve the quality of production by limiting the industrial approach, in favor of a more client-oriented attitude. Something which was not as present in Cartiera dell’Adda as it was in Icp. In fact, it was the combination of these two entities and their unique features that made it possible to develop a series of new products, by revolutionizing the companies’ strong points, and reinforcing the “niche” ones.  

The final result was significant, and the numbers can confirm it. As for sales, the Group’s main product at the moment is paperboard for tissue, which is made in Icp. The second one is paperboard for industrial tubes which is made in Adda, and the third is paperboard for edge protectors. “These are the first three which make up a very important share of our production – Roberto Severini explains – Together, in fact, they account for 60% of our business”. But that’s not all, following these products are tubes for thermocouple sensors, as well as paperboard for food use. 

Moreover, production is looking at new markets. A direction which is revealing to be a winning choice, although it brought a significant change inside the company organization, and in particular, a change in the study and design of the product, completely switching up the order of things. 
The first step, in fact, is to ask the client “What do you need? How can I create a product that is best suited to your expectations with two productive plants and three continuous machine?”. Only then can the work get started. In this perspective, Roberto Severini points out that marketing has chosen to follow a very clear approach: diversify

The market is so volatile that if we standardize certain products too much we risk missing out on important opportunities, and we become victims of the industrial pace of the market itself”.

Cartiera dell’Adda supports the Molinatto campus

Cartiera dell’Adda supports the Molinatto campus

Cartiera dell’Adda supported the second- and third-year students of the Molinatto Campus, in Oggiono (Lecco), who, on the open day, presented their project “An enterprise for adults“. The project envisaged their participation in the national competition 10X Challenge, which was aimed at strengthening economic-entrepreneurial skills.

The two groups worked as real start-ups, carrying out a market survey and creating a logo for their company. They also deal with the social media communication and built prototypes, conceiving the points of sale to display their products.

Cartiera dell’Adda has strongly supported their creations, linked to the concept of eco-sustainability and the value of the circular economy.

The company has in fact supplied the cardboard useful for the creation of the “Ecobomb” packaging; it has been used also for a chromatic variation of the “SEI” object holder.

The students had many purchase requests and their next commitment will be the creation of the products.

To know better the Molinatto Campus: https://www.campusmolinatto.it/
For more information on the 10X Challenge project: https://www.jaitalia.org/10x-challenge/

Training course in dialect of Bergamo

training course in dialect of bergamo

Training course in dialect of Bergamo for the mechanics of Cartiera dell’Adda. In April, the team of mechanics revolutionized their workspace in an exceptional way!

How did they do it? Introducing some elements for the “reduction of waste” during work.

Under the guidance of a consultant, who presented explanatory slides and practical examples, the mechanics tried to apply 5 basic rules to tidy up the workspace. Objective: to optimize the activity in terms of efficiency and savings, considering time and effort. The peculiarity of the course was the translation of the guidelines provided by the consultant into the “native language”: the dialect of Bergamo.

Thus, during the training course, the watchword “reduction of waste” became TÉGN A MÀN, which means save money!

The commitment during the course was remarkable. The collaboration and harmony between everyone have led to clear results, repaying the great effort of the day.

icP on top of the Everest with Andrea Lanfri

icP on top of the Everest with Andrea Lanfri

Industria Cartaria Pieretti supported the endeavour of Andrea Lanfri, an athlete and Paralympic mountaineer from Lucca who made his dream come true: to reach the top of the world with prostheses.

ICP, together with other companies in the area, bet on this new challenge and reached the summit of Everest with Andrea Lanfri.

In 2015, due to fulminant meningitis with meningococcal sepsis, Lanfri underwent the amputation of both legs and seven fingers. Despite this, the athlete from Lucca never lost heart and made his life an example of tenacity and courage for all.

The last challenge was the most important one: to reach 8848 meters of the highest peak in the world. Challenge won by Andrea on 13th May, around 1am (Italy time). An exceptional sporting feat, in which he was accompanied by his friend and mountain guide Luca Montanari.

This was much more than just a sport challenge: it was making a dream come true, setting goals and going beyond your limits.

Well done Andrea!

Cartiera Dell’Adda testimonial at the Ecoforum Rifiuti Lombardia

Cartiera Dell’Adda testimonial at the Ecoforum Rifiuti Lombardia

Cartiera dell’Adda was invited to the Ecoforum Rifiuti Lombardia to talk about its “sustainable” experience.

The event took place on March 10th, at the Palazzo Reale in Milan.

The Ecoforum is organized annually by Legambiente with the aim of promoting multidisciplinary projects with various national and international stakeholders (institutions, companies, universities, research institutes) by linking different realities, making them dialogue and giving a boost to ongoing innovation processes, often isolated and disaggregated.

So Cartiera Dell’Adda was represented by Eng. Giuseppe Cima. The director of the company told the story and the projects in the field of sustainability by speaking at the round table discussion “The new opportunities of the circular economy package. How companies face change “.

In particular, Eng. Cima talked about the sustainable practices implemented by Cartiera dell’Adda throughout the paper production process: from the exclusive use of waste paper to careful and meticulous use of raw materials.

For more information: https://www.legambientelombardia.it/ecoforum-rifiuti-leconomia-circolare-nella-transizione-ecologica/

Cartiera Dell’Adda was represented by Eng. Giuseppe Cima

Paper Board Alliance acquires Tecno Paper in Lucca

Paper Board Alliance acquires Tecno Paper in Lucca

Paper Board Alliance – PBA has purchased Tecno Paper, a metalworking company in Marlia (Lucca) which produces machinery and equipment for paper mills. It was founded in 2005 thanks to the experience of some engineers, and their expertise with metal working. 

The acquisition was made official yesterday – Friday 5 March – by the transfer of shares. The company from Lucca has grown exponentially over the years, and today has a turnover of around €9 million with around 60 employees.

The agreement establishes that Tecno Paper founding business partners Claudio Ferrari and Paolo Baldaccini hold 30% of the company, splitting 15% each. The other 70% is purchased by Paper Board Alliance – PBA, the holding company that combines Cartiera dell’Adda and Industria Cartaria Pieretti – ICP. These two companies produce 100% recycled paper and cardboard in the respective plants of Lecco and Marlia (Lucca).

Assisting Paper Board Alliance S.p.A in this procedure was law firm Studio Legale Gattai, Minoli, Partners, a team consisting of partner Luca Minoli, counsel Francesco Buoso, and associate Tommaso Soragni. Ceresio Investors – a Swiss banking group with offices in Milan and London – assisted Tecno Paper and the selling associates as a financial advisor under Alessandro Santini’s lead, and handled all the agreements regarding the associates who will maintain shareholding.

This operation allows PBA to expand its growth: the company purchased 80% of ICP in July 2018, and Tubicom through ICP in January 2020. Then, after the recent exit by Tiziano Pieretti from the company’s capital and board of directors in December 2021, the holding company owned by the Cima family again holds all of the PBA Paper Mill Group capital, and carries out a development programme for internal and external lines, as announced last December.   

Paper Board Alliance President Giuseppe Cimastates “We’ve been working for a long time on an improvement programme of the organisational aspects that are essential for an increase in production. We do this by combining our family’s experience with the strengthening of management structure, which is responsible for strategic planning. The Group’s aim for the years to come is to keep growing. We want to do this through “horizontal” operations, which means purchasing other paper mills to specialise each plant with resulting advantages in cost and quality, as well as “vertical” operations, meaning integration projects with the supply chain based on an increase in our innovation skills and technological development, which have always been cornerstones of our company. The operation with Tecno Paper fits in perfectly with this framework because it allows us to improve our quality further, and ensures the assistance of a qualified technological partner who can offer more and more customised solutions. At the same time, we avoid the risk of seeing it purchased by a big foreign plant engineering player who could misrepresent its peculiarities”.

PBA Group ended financial year 2021 with 250 employees, a paper production of 320.000 tons, an estimated turnover of around €130 million, and an increasing growth in volumes. Besides the production centres of Lecco and Marlia (Lucca), the Group includes 3 operational companies: one specialises in the purchasing of raw material, one is a logistics and cutting centre in the province of Lodi, and the third is a subsidiary for waste management. In 2020 the operational holding company was established, which is not only a shareholder, but also supplies the Group’s companies with qualified services in the fields of finance and administration, engineering, logistics, sales, and IT.

Cima continues “Tecno Paper will operate in full autonomy under the strong guidance of Paolo Baldaccini, who will be the President and CEO. Our goal is to guarantee Tecno Paper the conditions to keep growing on the market by increasing the quality of the services, and the range of machinery produced for their clients. By joining our Group – Cima concludes – Tecno Paper will benefit from our organisation’s management skills, and the experience of our paper mills in plant engineering planning. Furthermore, Tecno Paper will benefit from financial, administrative, and legal support from the Group’s holding company, which is important to easily overcome the market’s cyclic nature”.

Tecno Paper CEO Paolo Baldaccini, leading figure in this transition to PBA, addsThis agreement with PBA took place when we were making a new rewinder for them. We designed it, they liked the machine, we installed it, and we discussed the machine’s start up and installation. This is when our collaboration started, which became stronger over time up to PBA’s shareholding in Tecno Paper. The merging of these two entities, which are different but complementary, will bring future benefits as for the supply we can offer to paper mills. Besides mere mechanical working, a paper mill needs a targeted service. It needs specific and dedicated solutions that only those with great knowledge of paper production can give, knowledge which goes beyond the mechanical. Thanks to PBA’s experience we will develop new activities in the field of service, meaning assistance and the intervention of our engineers in the company, as well as the production of new highly specialised mechanical processes, which we will create from scratch to offer our clients an even more complete service. I’m referring to activities of planning which concern not only our “winding system technology” – our core business made of rewinders and reels – but also the adjustment of our lines of production, the paper machines, where we can offer appropriate solutions for the requested purposes. All of this is possible thanks to the synergy inside the group that allows us to test what is being produced, and introduce it on the market with an already high level of efficiency”.

Paper Board Alliance acquires Tecno Paper in Lucca
From left: Fontanelli, Ferrari, Baldaccini, Cima
Paper Board Alliance acquires Tecno Paper in Lucca
PRESS RELEASE in Tecno Paper – 5th March 2022

icP delivered core board for the Kirikù kindergarten in Lucca

Core board for the Kirikù kindergarten: a special delivery from icP for kids and teachers of the Kirikù kindergarten in Lucca. They can use the board for fun and educational activities throughout the month of July. This donation comes from icP -industria cartaria Pieretti, part of the Group Paper Board Alliance (a business reality which combines icP from Lucca and Cartiera dell’Adda from Calolziocorte – Lecco). icP is long-time producer of recycled core board.

Sonia Bernicchi, International Sales and Marketing Manager of Paper Board Alliance, delivered icP core board in the hands of the teachers of the Cooperative La Luce. Cooperative La Luce handles the kindergarten and works together with icP to develop a stable collaboration for initiatives dedicated to nurseries.

The goal is to promote and encourage the idea of the recycling from an early age. In fact icP produces core board with raw material coming from the waste collection. Touching and using the material help kids to be aware of the importance of the environment   through educational activities that support their  coordination and creativity.

For more info: Cooperativa La Luce

Cartiera dell’Adda Sailing Trophy

Cartiera dell'Adda sailing trophy

Cartiera dell’Adda organizes a sailing Trophy with the collaboration of Marvelia sailing club dedicated to young sailors. It will be from 12 to 17 July 2021 in Dongo (Lake Como). Optiweek is the six-day Trofeo Cartiera dell’Adda: an event for Optmist and Optimisti.


Such an inititative is produced by the technical sponsor Negri Nautica. Cartiera dell’Adda Sailing Trophy is a real event with six-day of tactics, strategy, racing rules and athletic training: from 12 to 14 July, the technical meeting and from 15 to 17 July the team racing. Michele Ricci is the International coach leading the Regatta and he is a high-caliber professional, specialized in Team race and Match race. He is also one of the best Italian referees. His lessons are a great success especially about the basic rule 42. At the end of the Trofeo Cartiera dell’Adda, evening with closing party.

For more info: Marvelia