13 March 2023

Production Steeped in Heritage

Benefiting from over 30 global locations, Weidmann is able to provide a local, efficient service to support our customers. These locations range from Production and Sales sites, Laboratories and Weidmann partner sites.

The manufacturing process of our cellulose-based fiber materials utilizes Weidmann’s deep-rooted knowledge and experience and production facilities boasting a long history of paper and board production.

In this article, we shine the spotlight on two of our paper production facilities located in Pool-in-Wharfedale in Yorkshire, UK, and Urbana in Ohio, USA.

Pool in Wharfedale, UK

Located 200km north of London, in the rural Yorkshire village of Pool-in-Wharfedale, B.S & W. Whiteley Ltd was founded by brothers Ben, Sam, and William in 1886 and originally produced pressboards for the textile industry.

The 1920s–1960s saw a rapid expansion of the business, where new production mills, fabrication, and maintenance buildings were constructed to meet the increased demand for pressboard. During this time, new machinery was installed, and new products were developed. This business growth, coupled with joining the British Paper and Board Makers Association (1931), positioned Whiteley’s not only as a leading paper and board producer but also as a major employer in the region.

By the late 1970s, despite exporting to over 75 countries in the world, the decision was made by the Whiteley family to sell the business. In 1981 the company was sold to H. Weidmann and was to trade under the name Weidmann Whiteley Ltd.

Urbana, USA

Since the early 1900s, there has been a specialty paper manufacturer located in the City of Urbana, Ohio, first as the Howard Paper Company and then most recently as Neenah Paper Company. Over the years, the paper mill provided hundreds of local jobs and revenue for Urbana.

In 2010, as part of its business plans to secure long-term viability, lower global production costs, and provide a US-specialized paper manufacturing base, Weidmann announced its plans to expand operations by purchasing and renovating the former Neenah Paper Mill.

The Urbana “Paper-Center for Excellence” houses manufacturing of superior quality flat/kraft papers, crepe papers, and epoxy-coated papers, as well as a wide array of paper converting capabilities to meet a variety of customer requirements. Examples of Urbana’s production processes include pulp refining, smoothing presses, calendering, process control sensors, and real-time monitoring, slitting, and cropping.

Weidmann has invested significantly in its Urbana site to help provide competitively priced products for its customers and improve business efficiencies by consolidating multiple paper production processes into one location. This investment has included a brand-new paper machine that manufactures base paper for the Crepe and Coated paper operations – now located all within the Ubana site, having previously been situated in Framingham, Massachusetts, and O’Fallon in Missouri. The Urbana location also provides a key distribution point in Weidmann’s North American operations, contributing positively to customer service.