NORTHAMPTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / September 15, 2023 / Sofidel
Where it All Began
In 1966, Emi Stefani and Giuseppe Lazzareschi started Sofidel and quickly grew the company to become the market leader in the Italian tissue industry. Over the next few decades, Sofidel expanded by introducing the innovative Regina brand to Italian consumers. From there, the company expanded throughout Europe via acquisitions or developments of new Sofidel brands in countries such as Spain, Great Britain, Germany, Poland, France, Greece and Turkey.
While expanding to other areas of Europe, Sofidel continued to invest and remodel its original plants with state-of-the-art technologies: this provided Sofidel a competitive edge also relative to its sustainability positioning.
It's clear that Sofidel's leaders have a knack for expanding into key markets. That is why in 2012, the company decided to expand into the U.S. market by launching Sofidel America. This was made possible by the acquisition of the Cellynne tissue company and its three existing plants in Green Bay, WI, Haines City, FL and Henderson, NV.
Since its first arrival to the U.S., Sofidel continued investing and growing substantially. In 2015 another acquisition happened, and more investments were made in Oklahoma, in 2018 the innovative Circleville plant was inaugurated and later another important plant was built in Inola, Oklahoma.
To show its dedication to innovation and sustainability, Sofidel America moved forward with a greenfield investment in Circleville, OH by constructing an integrated plant there in 2016. The plant officially opened in October of 2018 - a milestone in Sofidel America's growth in the United States. At this time, it was considered Sofidel's largest, most modern and sustainable plant, which still holds true today.
The location on a 280-acre parcel of land was selected for its access to an abundance of underground water along with reliable natural gas and electricity access. Furthermore, it is in a key location near distribution operators, intermodal systems, an airport and proximity to several towns and cities, like Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton.
Fun Facts About Circleville
The Circleville plant is an integrated facility. The plant's roughly 500 employees work within the paper mill area of the plant to transform pulp into paper, and the converting area of the plant to produce final Sofidel America tissue products to be sold by distributors. At full production capacity, the plant can produce 140,000 tons of product each year.
Circleville: Inspired by Innovation
The facility is highly innovative with cutting-edge paper mill technology such as two Advantage New Tissue Technology (NTT) 200 paper mill machines from Valmet. These machines enabled the plant to produce a total capacity of 103,000 tons of product in 2021. Each of the machines is equipped with a 5.5-meter format and can operate at the speed of 2,000 meters (about twice the height of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world) per minute. Advantage NTT 200 technology enables the production of standard and textured tissue paper products.
It is also equipped with high-end converting technology, using three Constellation lines, created by Fabio Perini, along with 12 other production lines. The Constellation technology is equipped with innovative reeling technology to ensure the softness of Sofidel America's products and to maintain consistent sheet separation of every roll of tissue product.
The Circleville plant also features an automatic system that moves paper reels from the paper mill to the 15 converting lines via laser guided vehicles (LGVs.) Sofidel America incorporated a Smart Store warehouse into the Circleville plant to manage over 50,000 pallets of completed tissue products which saves 40% of space.
Sustainability at the Center of Circleville
Of course, sustainability was at the forefront of Sofidel America's leaders' minds when developing the Circleville plant. One key aspect of this is the new system developed for recovering heat generated by turbines. The heat from nearby turbines runs through extractor hoods and is used to dry the rolls of paper and producing steam. This innovative system is highly sustainable as it supplies nearly all the energy the Circleville plant needs to dry the paper pulp.
Where to Next for Circleville?
Looking ahead, Sofidel America plans to increase converting capacity at the Circleville plant. When it comes to converting capabilities, the plant has the ability to produce roughly 100,000 tons per year of parent reels. The goal for converting is to keep expanding production rates and reach a converting capacity of over 100,000 tons by the end of 2022.
Furthermore, Sofidel America anticipates increasing the workforce of the Circleville plant by 15% to keep up with this anticipated growth by adding two more manufacturing finished products lines, one of which is in installation at the moment. While it's important to recognize the incredible achievements of the Circleville plant, there are many exciting things in the works for years to come.
Time to Celebrate
Sofidel America would not be as successful today if it were not for the hard work and dedication of its employees across each U.S. plant. This year, the company is hosting 10 Year Anniversary celebratory events at each plant where employees can bring their families for a day of fun activities. Sofidel's leadership team, including CEO Luigi Lazzareschi, will be in attendance to celebrate with team members at each plant's event.
A celebratory event was held at the Circleville plant on June 18. It included activities such as face painting, performances by various entertainers including a magician, DJ and a caricature artist, delicious barbecue food from a local restaurant and more. Over 600 guests, including Circleville employees and their families, took tours of the plant on golf carts, which happened to be one of the most popular attractions of the day. Employees who had shifts during the event were also able to take breaks to enjoy the festivities with their loved ones.
It was an excellent turnout and Sofidel looks forward to celebrating with more employees and their families at upcoming plant events this year!
Thank You, Circleville!
Sofidel America would like to thank the Circleville plant employees and their families who took time out of their day to celebrate Sofidel America's 10 Year Anniversary with us! We look forward to years of continued success, innovation and growth in the tissue industry.
About The Sofidel Group
The Sofidel Group, a privately held company owned by the Stefani and Lazzareschi families, is a world leader in the manufacture of paper for hygienic and domestic use. Founded in 1966, the Group has subsidiaries in 12 countries - Italy, Spain, the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Greece, Romania, and the USA - with more than 6,400 employees. A member of the UN Global Compact and the international WWF Climate Savers program, the Sofidel Group considers sustainability a strategic imperative and is committed to promoting sustainable development. For more information, visit www.sofidel.com.
Mulberry Marketing Communications