The 2018 Western Michigan University (WMU) Recycled Fiber Course was, by all accounts, a rousing success. The speakers were excellent and led the attendees through the full cycle of the paper/fiber based circular economy.
Paul Schutes, President of the RPTA led off with an overview of his member mills and their needs and markets. Sandeep Kulkarni, President KoolEarth Solutions, followed with the brand owner’s perspective on sustainability to set the table to Bernie Lee (ISRI) and Michael Timpane (RRS) to dive into recycled grade structures, curbside challenges, and MRF history/design/future. Bill Moore continued the discussion with an enlightening talk on global fiber markets and opportunity grades, before getting into the equipment, chemistry, instrumentation, and challenges of paper mill operations with Mike Lopane (Kadant), Mahendra Doshi (Doshi & Associates), Todd Jordan (BTG), and Charles Angle (Solenis). WMU’s own Dr. Kecheng Li (WMU Chemical & Paper Engineering Department Chair) and Shawn Mortimore (WMU Pilot Plants Associate Director) rounded out the course with talks about WMU’s fiber recycling capabilities and some of the graduate level projects the students and faculty are working on.
The speakers were also impressed by attendants that came from a wide range of backgrounds and experience; bringing a variety of different perspectives on the recycled paper circular economy and a lot of great questions and discussions! We had paper mill managers, paper buyers/brokers, brand owners, process engineers, packaging professionals, and materials engineers all in the same room. The networking was among the highlights for many of the attendees; culminating with a dinner and brewery tours at one of Kalamazoo’s great gathering places - Arcadia Brewery. There is nothing like good beer and barbeque to get the creative juices flowing.
The feedback has been so strong that we have already started planning next year’s course. There will once again be a focus on sustainability, recycled fiber markets, and unit operations throughout the collection/sorting/papermaking processes, but will also include an optional ½ day of fiber recycling and papermaking on WMU’s newly remodeled twin-fourdrinier paper machine.
Please use the following link to receive further information about next year’s WMU Recycled Fiber Course!
For any questions or comments, please contact either Bernie Lee
or Lon Pschigoda