Appvion to consolidate some of its operations

APPLETON, Wis. — Appvion Inc. will consolidate the majority of the carbonless paper coating and rewinding operations currently performed at its plant in Appleton, Wis., to its integrated pulp and paper mill in Roaring Spring.

The company also will relocate the Appleton plant’s sheeting operations to an Appvion-operated facility near the Roaring Spring mill.

The transition will begin in January and be completed in the third quarter of 2018.

Joe Hurd, Blair County Chamber of Commerce president and CEO said: “Terrific news for our area but not necessarily surprising. The Appvion plant in Roaring Spring has built a great reputation for workforce excellence and effective use of resources. It’s great to see that the home office in Wisconsin is acknowledging that by this decision.”

Staffing at the Roaring Spring mill — which employs about 450 workers — will not be affected by the plan, but the relocating of the sheeting operation could lead to local jobs, said Bill Van Den Brandt, Appvion spokesman.

Stephen J. McKnight, president and CEO of Altoona Blair County Development Corp., said: “We look forward to working with Appvion on its consolidation and expansion plans here in Blair County. We will provide any resources and guidance we can throughout to ensure a smooth transition.”

Appvion’s Van Den Brandt said, “The details of that move (sheeting) are not yet final. We expect that the sheeting operation would require staffing of approximately 50 hourly and salaried employees. So, as we noted in our announcement, the plan would not increase employment at the mill itself, although we project that it would increase employment by Appvion in the community.”

Consolidating Appvion’s carbonless paper manufacturing, rewinding and sheeting to the Roaring Spring area, where Appvion already produces this product, will help position the company for long-term success by increasing efficiency.

“Our consolidation plan is an important operational improvement initiative de­signed to enhance Appvion’s competitive position in the carbonless paper market,” said Kevin Gilligan, Appvion’s CEO in a statement. “This move will allow Appvion to most effectively serve current and future demand for carbonless products and maintain our commitment to a market that we have been proud to serve since our company helped introduce this product 63 years ago.”

The consolidation plan will result in the shutdown of three under-utilized coaters and related rewinding and sheeting equipment at the Appleton plant and eliminate about 200 hourly and salaried jobs at that facility.

About 300 hourly and salaried plant employees will be retained at the Appleton plant to continue producing the company’s thermal paper products and some carbonless and specialty coated grades.