Over the last ten years, the Peoria Mill has taken many steps to improve the quality of the paper, improve the efficiency of the paper mill and widen the range of products for its customers.
On the quality side, the Mill installed a radial distribution header from Germany to level out the profile of the sheet. We rebuilt a dated press section with reconditioned equipment to improve the moisture variations across the paper web. A home-made calendar stack was replaced with a two roll calendar with a controlled crown roll enhanced with a computer configured loading system to produce a smooth sheet with caliper control. A dye distribution system was added that allows the Mill to produce its colored paper grades with a tighter color variance than ever before at the Mill.
In dealing with the improvement of efficiency in a Mill that is over 100 years old, new dryer cans were installed that replaced dryer cans dating back to the 1920’s. New paper machine drives were installed replacing technology dating back to the 1980’s. In conjunction with the local utility, the boiler combustion control system was overhauled replacing a linkage system that dates back to the 1960’s. In 2010, the control schemes of the paper machine that consisted of 1980’s technology and manual controls were replaced with a current technology computer controlled system that could be widen to include most of the control needs of the entire paper making process.
In order to widen its product base, the Mill added a chemical surface treatment system at its calendar stack for producing a particular grade of paper. The mill replaced a 1980’s winder with a winder with tension controls and spreading devices that will slit paper off the winder with a +/- tolerance of 1/16” width. Recently, the Mill added a duplex slitter capable of slitting widths down to 1” and producing rolls that separate automatically.
Through all of these changes, the Mill has maintained its strongest asset as is: its employees, who are seasoned and experienced with over 60% of its employees working at the Mill for over 20 years. This shows the heart that Ivex has and the dedication our employees thrive on!