Voith has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Shandong Huatai Paper Co., Ltd., one of the largest paper manufacturers in China, as the company said in the press release received by Lesprom Network.
Under the framework agreement, Huatai Paper and Voith will strengthen their cooperation in a number of areas in the next five years, including the upgrade of existing production lines, the expansion of R&D activities, and the implementation of Industrie 4.0, which will be supported by a total investment of RMB 840 million from Huatai (approx. Euro120 million).
The five-year partnership with Voith will involve improvement of five newsprint production lines and an increased capacity for the production of graphic paper and packaging paper, as well as the establishment of a joint R&D center focused on papermaking.
Huatai will also work with Voith to adopt “Papermaking 4.0”, a concept modeled on Industrie 4.0 to achieve smart manufacturing in the papermaking process. Introduced by Voith, Papermaking 4.0 is well aligned with China’s efforts to upgrade and transform key manufacturing sectors, including paper, steel, and nonferrous metal, as outlined by the recently released “Made in China 2025” plan.
Huatai Paper is the world’s largest newsprint manufacturer, operating six newsprint production lines with a total annual output of 1.8 million tons.