According to Pasaban, in order to understand the state of the global paper and cardboard converting industry, we ought to focus on and analyse the paper sector.
Interestingly enough, the paper converting industry is becoming increasingly important to the paper sector. The significance of its activity lies in the flexibility and speed with which required formats of reels or sheets of paper and cardboard are cut and distributed to end customers. Taking that into account, having reliable machines and trustworthy suppliers are the key to success.
In recent years, it has been seen that due to the overcapacity in certain types of paper and a decrease of demand in others, the strategy adopted by increasingly more paper manufacturers has not been to focus on competing in production, but on higher added value products such as specialty or coated paper and boards. In addition, we have also seen that a growing number of pulp and paper manufacturing groups have concentrated their production, resulting in the closure of smaller sites.
Regarding converting, it should be noted that in the paper industry, managing and manipulating paper is considerably important. This activity, like others, works on what is called the ‘communicating vessels principle’, where the large paper mills top the list, followed by the converting companies and then by the printers and packagers.
Many paper and cardboard manufacturers still produce and cut or convert the paper they produce. The tendency of the sector has been to delink to a greater or lesser extent the cutting activity to focus on its core business of paper production, leaving the cutting activity to other specialised companies (1).
This reality favours the fact that converters are becoming increasingly important, especially in regions like Europe and North America but countries such as China, India and Australia are expected to attract part of the paper converting market share over the next decade (2).
A clear example of this trend is the case of the Stora Enso group in Europe. According to their 2018 press release, the Finnish converting company Pyroll acquired the Stora Enso sheet cutting services centre in Baienfurt, Germany. This transaction has allowed Pyroll to expand its cutting operations in Europe while keeping Stora Enso as one of its key clients (3).
The activity of converting is important; its importance resides in providing value throughout the entire supply chain for different-sized sheets and reels to a highly fragmented sector as the packaging and printing one.
Additionally, although the size of converters is not always directly related to the paper and cardboard production capacity in the region – it is usually more associated with consumption – what is certain is that some of the biggest converters are found in Europe and North America. In these regions we can find converting units and distribution centres strategically located throughout the different states in order to provide rapid service to customers in the area.
In order to convert paper or cardboard from reels to sheets and from parent reels to smaller reels, converters need flexible and reliable machines that are capable of producing according to customer requirements. Likewise, the quality of the finished product must be impeccable in order to provide a high-quality product to the downstream value chain.
(1) Converting Paper Market – Global Industry Analysis and Forecast 2019 – 2027- link
(2) Converting Paper Market – Evolving Industry Trends and Key Insights by 2024 – link
(3) Pyroll news – Pyroll expands its business operation to Germany- link