An Interview with Glatfelter

Submitted by vbohnert on August 25, 2016
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Glatfelter is a thINK founding partner and a Gold sponsor of thINK 2016. We sat down with Rob Keller, Director, New Business Development, Specialty Papers Business Unit and Siva Mudigonda, Manager, New Products to hear their inkjet perspectives.

How important is the inkjet market for Glatfelter? 
It is one of the top priorities of our company. Glatfelter is a market leader. We were among the earliest to pioneer purposed papers for inkjet technology and establish a portfolio of leading uncoated and coated products in the Pixelle brand family, and we have steadily grown our product lineup and market leadership position through multiple channels and with many valued business partners. 

Why are you such a strong supporter of thINK? 
We understand the importance of a coordinated approach to customer solutions. thINK allows us to interface with a very important OEM partner and potential customers. The opportunity to build relationships across the supply chain and help promote this exciting technology is one we wouldn’t want to miss.

What do you think are the biggest challenges for printers starting out in inkjet? 
A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step. This technology can be a leap of faith. But it doesn’t have to be elusive. There are partners and experts that have the knowledge and more importantly are willing to help. The biggest challenge is building the network of support to build confidence in the decision. Attending the thINK 2016 conference is a great first step.

What are the biggest paper challenges you’re hearing from customers? 
There are two common themes. The first is, why can’t I use the papers I use for printing offset lithography for the inkjet application? Second, when will you have a gloss coated paper for inkjet applications?

For the first question, I think the practical meaning of this question lies in both education and the desire to purchase at an economical price point. Education is really about what are the options I have to best fit my end customer needs. Glatfelter has both the technical support and the sales knowledge to guide the inkjet printer with educated decisions about product performance and total cost of ownership. 

In regard to a gloss coated paper. We are diligently focused on this development and it is our number one priority for inkjet development. Stay tuned and follow us on pixellepaper.com for developments

What is your best advice for production printers contemplating the transition to inkjet? 
Build a network of resources and knowledge within the entire supply chain well in advance of purchasing equipment. From a Glatfelter perspective, we have scientist and engineers that developed the product and know the possibilities and the limitations. We are happy to share that knowledge and want to assist. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. 

The commercial challenge is adapting to the new possibilities that are not clearly defined. Inkjet is a totally different solution than just another method of putting ink on paper. Don’t be bound to what you think you already know about your customers and potential markets.

About Glatfelter: 
Over 40% of Americans use a Glatfelter product every day. We have been manufacturing the highest quality printing and publishing papers since our company’s beginning in 1864. Today, we have grown to also become the fiber-based engineered materials company behind items like filter paper for k-cups, playing cards, shipping labels, disinfecting wipes, snow cone cups, direct mail and more. 

Glatfelter has a 152-year history in the pulp and paper industry and is known for quality and customer intimacy. That history is our foundation and we draw our strength from the culture and practices we’ve developed in that time. However, we are not bound by the past and look to continue to evolve as a business to meet the current and future needs of the markets. 

In the mid-1990’s we set out on a vision to be the Global Supplier of Choice for specialty materials and engineered products. With this vision, we have grown from a $500 Million business with two mills in the United States, to a $2 Billion global organization with 12 facilities on 3 continents. 

Glatfelter recognized the evolving inkjet technology in the 1990’s and began working with OEM’s like Canon Solutions America during the development. Glatfelter’s Pixelle line of inkjet Papers provides production inkjet printers the broadest choice of uncoated, treated, and coated papers designed to optimize print quality, press efficiency, and ink consumption. Made in the U.S.A. and backed by a dedicated sales, service, and innovation team, Pixelle goes Beyond Paper to share market expertise and personalized service to be the supplier of choice for inkjet papers. For more information visit: pixellepaper.com