This leading kraft paper manufacturer invests in paper bags to increase productivity and market share. Reuben Ford wraps up an intuitive approach.
Cocelpa (Companhia de Papel e Celulose do Paraná) is Brazil’s second largest producer of natural extensible kraft paper, recognized worldwide for quality and durability.
Products range from variations of kraft paper in rolls and paper packaging for retail to multifunctional, valve-sealed sacks for industrial use.
As the strength of the Brazilian real threatens paper and cellulose exports, Cocelpa is focusing on valve bags as a means of not only maintaining, but increasing domestic and international sales.
On a Roll
Cocelpa was founded in 1963 by the De Pauli family in the south-eastern state of Paraná in Brazil.
In a short time the company was a national success, especially after acquiring the first Voith Paper machine, developed in Brazil for paper manufacture. The technology marked an important step forward in Cocelpa’s history, doubling production and initiating exports.
The following decades saw constant growth. Riding the wave of its success, Cocelpa invested in the latest technology, management processes and expansion opportunities.
Today, the company has facilities in Curitiba and neighboring Araucária and forest reserves that guarantee self-sufficiency in raw materials.
Cocelpa is the first company in the De Pauli group, and produces kraft paper. The kraft process converts wood into wood pulp, consisting of almost pure cellulose fibers. The result is high-strength paper or paperboard.
The kraft paper is produced on rolls and is approved by diverse industry segments.
“Our distinct product lines include rolls of high-resistance paper and paper for lighter packaging. We manufacture elastic, recycled and humidity-resistant variations,” says Rinaldo Dalaqua, Commercial and Logistics Director of Colcelpa.
The use of kraft paper for packaging, and in particular bags and sacks has been instrumental in Cocelpa’s success and is the company’s focus for the future.
In 1973, ten years after its inauguration, Cocelpa began manufacturing paper bags for commercial and industrial applications.
“Making sacks was a logical step – kraft paper is durable and economical and lends itself to industrial packaging of products like cement and grains as an environmentally-friendly alternative to plastic,” Dalaqua says.
The Cost of Paper
Cocelpa produces three lines of kraft paper; Kraft Liner Board (KLB), Natural (unbleached) Kraft and Extensible Natural Kraft Paper (KNE). Within these categories, other variations are available depending on specifications and requirements of the end product.
“Our main product is KNE – in rolls and sacks it represents 65 percent of sales,” Dalaqua affirms. Cocelpa’s two production units work in unison to produce paper and 20, 25, 40 and 50-kilogram sacks in KNE. The 360,000-square-meter paper factory in Araucária manufactures and transfers paper to the nearby 8,000-square-meter Curitiba industrial plant, where packaging is made.
“The proximity of our two facilities is a distinct competitive advantage – affording minimal transport costs,” confirms Dalaqua.
Keeping logistics’ costs low in Brazil is a challenge as total dependence on the country’s roads is a result of an under-developed rail network.
Nevertheless, Dalaqua cites transport costs (which include bringing wood from Cocelpa’s plantation reserves) as one of the company’s ongoing investments.
The main focus of spending however is technology and maintenance: “We have bought the most modern machinery available, including furnaces, which when cleaned stop production for twelve days,” he explains.
Cocelpa first began by producing natural kraft paper. Kraft pulp is darker than other wood pulps, giving the paper and the sacks their brown appearance.
Manufacturing extensible natural kraft was the next step. Also known as sack kraft paper, extensible natural kraft is a porous paper with high elasticity and high tear resistance, designed for packaging products with high demands for strength and durability.
Cocelpa produces kraft paper and sacks for paper grocery bags, multiwall sacks, envelopes and other packaging.
“The move to making extensible kraft increased investment without increasing our suppliers. Additional processes are carried on in our factory,” Dalaqua continues.
Subsequent growth has not been based on increasing the company’s product range, but increasing productivity. Dalaque says: “In the last ten years we have doubled our production figures and our focus is to continue.”
Cocelpa has a capacity of 12,000 tons of kraft paper a month and currently produces 6,000 tons. The aim is to hit capacity – doubling productivity again in the near future. “There are many factors to consider in achieving this goal, such as cellulose production, logistics and commercial performance, but the plant is equipped and ready to go,” Dalaqua confirms.
In the Bag
Cocelpa already enjoys a 28 percent kraft paper market share in Brazil. Exchange rate fluctuations have reduced exports, which once reached up to 30 countries in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia.
“We are rebuilding our exports again. Paper presents more of a challenge in foreign markets and is more influenced by the increased value of the Brazilian real. Sacks and bags are more secure export goods for us and we are already exporting to Argentina,” Dalaqua explains.
The company is growing. Annual growth in 2012 reached 6.8 percent and similar figures are projected for 2013. Sack kraft paper bags are mostly responsible.
“We are selling more valve-sealed sacks than paper in rolls,” Dalaqua affirms.
Machine sealed valve bags and sacks provide excellent advantages for packaging operations. They are an ideal solution for a wide range of products, minimizing waste and dust problems while offering tamper evident seals. Another advantage is the ability to easily stack many bags securely on one pallet.
Manufacturing different sizes of these bags from quality kraft paper has earned Cocelpa a renowned name in the market and assured continued growth.
“We understand kraft paper and we understand how it can be used in industry to benefit more customers. Cocelpa is synonymous with quality,” Dalaqua says.
Efficient management of paper and packaging production goes beyond the technicalities of manufacture and the logistics of supply. Cocelpa provides full technical support and aftersales service.
The company is also committed to environmental issues. From the beginning wood from sustainable forests has been used. Cocelpa’s 18,000-hectare plantation that provides is 100 percent replanted and observes ecological concerns.
This year will be Cocelpa’s 50th anniversary. Still in the hands of the founding family (now third generation), the company has more than longevity to commemorate. Performance results prove that companies are turning to kraft valve sacks and Cocelpa has the capacity to meet demand.