Willstätt/Kehl-Kork, 2021/07/14 – Beaver Paper Group— Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia—was purchased by Oberkirch-based Koehler Group last year, representing an extension to its portfolio for specialty papers for sublimation printing. Beaver Paper’s German site is located in Willstätt, not far from the head office of the new parent company Koehler.
Beaver Paper supplies its global customers with goods from both its US and German sites. In the past, rolls were cut at the Willstätt site while sheets were cut overseas. A year ago the company also began cutting sheets in Germany. There has already been a significant increase in turnover in 2021. For cutting and further processing, Beaver Paper entered into a unique partnership with Hanauerland Werkstätten, part of the civic and social organization Diakonie Kork. The Diakonie Kork workshops employ people with disabilities and have several sheet cutting machines and enough staff to pack the sheets.
Joint Investment for Successful Long-Term CollaborationBoth parties benefited from the collaboration and managed to significantly increase the cutting volume in a short space of time. “It quickly became clear that the existing capacity at Diakonie Kork would not be sufficient,” recalls Tobias Sternbeck, CEO of Beaver Paper, who was adamant that the cooperation should continue.
A fast and straightforward solution was required, and Beaver Paper and Hanauerland Werkstätten ultimately decided to invest in a new cutting machine. Baumann Maschinenbau Solms GmbH & Co. KG were chosen to supply the machine and the company was also prepared to make a contribution to the project by adjusting the price accordingly. The new machine was put into operation within five months of the decision being made. Uwe Streit, Sales Further Processing at Baumann: “We are amazed at how well a cooperation like this can run; this is the first such project that we have been involved in.”
Beaver Paper not only sees this as an investment in a trustworthy partner but also as an investment in social responsibility: “With this in mind, we also wanted to give these processing steps to the workshops for people with disabilities since we are very much committed to helping them participate in the job market,” says Tobias Sternbeck.“We now employ a team of eight people with disabilities to work on the new machine. Everything runs smoothly as we have divided the work into small steps. The excitement about the new machine and the feeling of playing an important part in a task makes a huge contribution to the satisfaction of all those involved in the process,” explains Hajo Maelger, Operations Manager in Kork. His colleague Markus Deger from production management is also delighted with the cooperation: “We have been active in paper processing for many years. The collaboration with Koehler represents a new dimension for us, and one which will make us stronger for the future.” Markus Deger is particularly impressed by the technology from Solms-based machine builder Baumann: “We are working with a machine that meets the requirements of the employer’s liability insurance association from the start and protects our employees.” Those involved all agree on one thing—seeing the happy faces of those working in the workshops was worth all the effort.
More about the Koehler GroupThe Koehler Group was founded in 1807 and has been family-run to this day. The Group’s core area of business is the development and production of high-quality, specialty paper, including thermal paper, playing cardboard, drink coasters, fine paper, carbonless paper, recycled paper, decor paper, wood pulp board, sublimation paper, and, since 2019, innovative specialty paper for the packaging industry, too. In Germany, the Koehler Group, with its more than 2,000 employees, has five production sites, as well as three more in the USA. The Group operates on an international level, with an export ratio of 70% in 2020 and annual revenue of €770 million.
As an energy-intensive enterprise, Koehler invests in renewable energy projects such as wind energy, hydroelectric power, photovoltaics, and biomass. The Koehler Group has committed itself to produce more power from renewable sources than is needed for paper production by 2030.