IPBI: 'Innovate for the greater good'

Another article talking about Exilva has been published to the International Paper Board Industry magazine. In the April issue, you can read more about how Exilva, as a radical innovation result, can help corrugators innovate for a greener future. Read the full article here.

Innovation could be defined as ‘the process of generating and implementing new ideas and solutions increasing the value added to your customers’. By that, an innovation could vary in size and effort from a tiny adjustment to a completely new process. In many industries, innovation is critical to stay alive in a continuously more disruptive business landscape.

In the corrugated business, you can easily point out three drivers for innovative exploration: productivity (higher speed, lower cost), quality (less waste, less complaints) and sustainability (lower emissions, safer production). The underlying goal is always the same – profitability. Productivity, efficiency and quality is quite self-explanatory and ‘easier’ to control for a corrugated company, but how do you deal with customer and regulations that demand change in process, emissions, raw materials or additives?

You stay in front. You innovate.

Bio-Based Radical Innovation

Exilva is a radical result of an innovation programme at in Borregaard, Norway. This Microfibrillated cellulose technology is a completely natural and sustainable wood-based solution. The product has a special combination of robustness and rheological properties, creating a strong network that brings stability to starch based adhesives. It can be applied in various ways to achieve productivity and
quality improvements and possibly enables the replacement of boron derivatives in corrugated starch glue systems. *1

For corrugated board production, Exilva gives innovation opportunities. From one of the concepts, with Exilva in your starch-based adhesive, you can expect increased speed, even on complex qualities – and therefore productivity. Other benefits to measure are board quality, warp, waste and bonding issues. It has been very much welcomed by operators that prefer more stable production. In addition, it has showed less waste and customer complaints due to flatter and stronger boards. Here, Exilva acts as an additive on top of your current glue solutions. It has proven to give up to 45% speed increase on complex production, which is learnt from several corrugators who are using Exilva.

Keep an Eye on Brand Owners

A more strategic and longer-term option is to replace boron compounds from the starch glue – either immediately, or step by step. Several borates have as ‘Substances of Very High Concern’ (SVHC) and been on the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) candidate lists since 2010 and during the last year, two of these substances of borates were moved to the authorisation list. When borates are on this list, corrugators must apply for authorisation in order to use it. If there are substitutes to those SVHCs, those would have to be considered and used. If you want to stay in front of the regulatory demands, now is the time to consider replacing these SVHC additives.

The fact that the Exilva technology is one of the flagship projects for EU's Horizon 2020 Program, proves the importance and opportunities of this product.

Next to regulatory concerns, you will find brand owners and officers for social responsibility and risks. An important driver for these positions is the peaceful mind of the consumer. If you can be one step ahead of their demands and deliver next-generation corrugated board now, you will help create that peaceful mind.

The Exilva boron free innovation concept is in an early phase. A true innovation that would need further innovation investments. It should be tested and proved, compared to the current glue solutions. Several corrugators are already working on the boron free concept with promising results.

Now is The Time

The fact that the Exilva technology is one of the flagship projects for EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, proves the importance and opportunities of this product. The purpose of the flag ship programme is to develop and introduce the new Microfibrillated cellulose as a novel and bio-based raw material, with the focus on improving sustainability and enabling innovation.

Exilva innovation is an investment that up front may increase the cost of the board by a maximum of 0.5%. The following return on this investment should be calculated from production effects, both short term and longer term, as well as from the market value of corrugated packaging related to the opportunity to phase out the boron compounds in the glue.

With the current trend focusing on sustainability and social corporate responsibilities, Exilva could be the innovation opportunity you need to make relevant changes for the future.

Want to try Exilva in your setup?

Order your free sample on this page, or contact Justin Scarpello directly at justin.scarpello@borregaard.com to schedule a plant trial. We will provide you with Exilva MFC, guidance and on-site help.

You can find the International Paper Board Industry and more packaging news at The Packaging Portal.


*1 Two examples out of several borates that within ECHA illustrates the regulatory concern and development is Disodium tetraborate decahydrate with EU no 214-540-4 and Sodium perborate; perboric acid, sodium salt with EU no 239-172-9 / 234-390-0