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Five things to expect at PaperWeek Canada 2020

PAPTAC's pulp and paper conference runs Feb. 3 to 6, 2020 in Montreal

January 27, 2020  By Kristina Urquhart

PaperWeekCanada-2019Photo: © Pulp and Paper Canada

Pulp and paper professionals from across the country descend on Montreal next week for PaperWeek Canada, running Feb. 3 to 6 at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth hotel.

Here’s a preview of what’s happening at PAPTAC’s flagship conference:

1) A wide range of technical sessions

Session tracks this year include papermaking, bleaching, pulping, tissue, environment and energy, safety and management. Mill personnel and technology suppliers will share research papers and case studies on a variety of topics including, but not limited to:

  • Using MES for autonomous mills
  • Effluent improvements for bleach plants
  • Fibre species and chip classification
  • Energy optimization in TMP mills
  • Experiments in tissue creping
  • Improvements in reliability

Also of note: John Mullinder, executive director of the Paper and Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council, will present on his book Deforestation in Canada and Other Fake News. And Kristi Kobetich of Columbia Pulp, Washington’s newly opened straw pulp mill, will discuss applications for tissue and towel.

2) Insights on recruitment and talent management

Our recent HR survey of the Canadian pulp and paper industry indicated that finding and retaining talent is one of the most pressing issues facing mills today. For example, 61 per cent of senior-level mill managers said not having enough applicants is one of their biggest hiring challenges.

Two panels at PaperWeek Canada this year will dive into talent management strategies and the workforce. On Feb. 4, panellists from industry and employment services firms will discuss long-term strategies for human capital management. And on Feb. 5, a new set of panellists gather to discuss how to best harness the talents of a multi-generational workforce – and how to recruit new workers.

3) The latest research and opportunities in the bioeconomy

BIOFOR International runs concurrently with PaperWeek Canada, offering presentations on new research and innovations in the forest bioeconomy sector.

BIOFOR wraps up on Feb. 6 with reflections on the forest bioeconomy by post-secondary students, who share posters of their school research on topics ranging from digital twins to aerogels to lignin recovery.

4) An intimate trade show

Conference attendees gather on breaks and receptions in the trade show venue, which brings together the latest innovations from business and technology vendors in the pulp and paper industry.

5) A new crop of award winners

The annual PAPTAC National Awards will be presented Feb. 6, recognizing contributions to the organization and achievements in research papers.

Recipients include Robert Pelton, professor of chemical engineering & director at the McMaster Centre for Pulp and Paper Research, who will receive the John S. Bates Memorial Gold Medial for his contributions to the pulp and paper industry.

For more information on this year’s program, visit PaperWeek 2020.

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