Amcor is one of the world’s largest packaging companies. Growing from humble beginnings, we now enjoy vast global resources enabling the development of market leading packaging.
For most of its life Amcor was known as APM - Australian Paper Manufacturers and it was the largest paper manufacturer in Australia. Victoria’s first paper mill on the banks of the Yarra River in Central Melbourne was established by APM with the company at any stage running up to 15 paper machines across Australia.
On May 1, 1986 APM became Amcor Limited, a name that has become increasingly well known throughout the world for its packaging innovation and its global reach.
World-renowned innovation and customer service has seen Amcor expand from its Australian heritage to now serve markets around the globe. Profitable organic growth and strategic acquisitions and divestments continue to change the face of Amcor and reinforce our global leadership position in packaging innovation.
In 2001 Amcor divested its printing and Kraft paper manufacturing capabilities to PaperlinX Ltd. This has since been sold to Nippon Paper.
Amcor now produces recycled packaging paper at the Botany Mill, located in New South Wales, Australia, and carton board at the Petrie Mill, located in Queensland, Australia.
About the “B9” Paper Machine
The next phase in Amcor’s Australian paper making journey, the “B9” paper machine is the largest single capital investment in the company’s over 140 year history. So named as it is the ninth paper machine to operate at Amcor’s Paper Mill located in Botany, New South Wales, this state-of-the-art paper machine will deliver the next generation of paper manufacturing to the Australian and New Zealand market.
The B9 project was announced in 2008 and construction commenced early in 2011. Construction at the Mill is now complete and the B9 machine is producing world-class recycled paper for the Australasian market – a defining achievement in Amcor’s history and a proud milestone for manufacturing in Australia.
The Next Generation of Amcor Paper
The ninth paper machine at Amcor’s Botany site (hence ‘B9’), the new mill will replace two existing paper machines at the site (B7 and B8), as well as one mill located in Fairfield, Victoria (F6). The Botany site will now be the face of Amcor’s Paper & Recycling business, and service all of Amcor’s Australian and New Zealand paper requirements.
B9 will produce 100% recycled paper, which is then converted into corrugated board through Amcor’s Fibre Packaging business. Amcor’s Recycling business will continue to collect pre and post-consumer waste paper material for use in the recycled paper production at B9.
This demonstrates Amcor’s relentless pursuit of responsible packaging – for today + tomorrow.
To find out more about Amcor Paper, contact us.
Amcor’s Paper Making History
Now a global leader in packaging across a wide range of markets, Amcor has a rich history in Australian paper-making.
Amcor’s history dates back to the 1860’s when Samuel Ramsden, a young stone mason from Yorkshire, arrived in Australia to seek his fortune in a new land. He established Victoria’s first paper mill. Standing tall on the banks of the Yarra River in Melbourne, the Mill employed more than 50 people at a time when the Australian population was a mere 1.5 million.
For most of its life the Company was known as APM - Australian Paper Manufacturers. Even during this time APM products touched the daily lives of all Australians. After establishing a further two mills in Victoria before the turn of the century, APM acquired mills in Sydney, including the Botany Mill in the early 1900’s and began the search for Amcor’s existing site in Fairfield in 1916.
On May 1, 1986 APM became Amcor Limited, a name that has become increasingly well knownthroughout the world for its packaging innovation and global reach.
True to our history, Amcor’s investment in B9 is an investment in the future of Australian manufacturing.
History of the Botany Mill
|1901||Federal Paper Mills Company Limited buys land at Botany from The City Bank of Sydney on 1 October for 3243 pounds two shillings and sixpence.|
|1902||Federal Paper Mills officially opens new paper mill at Botany on 10 February. No. 1 Machine (B1) produced paper measuring 92in wide and ran at speeds from 35ft to 300ft per minute. Initially, the mill was anticipated to produce 90 to 100 tonnes of unglazed wrapping paper per week made from bagging, rope, straw and waste paper.|
|1905||Sydney Paper Mills Ltd, a new company formed in 1905, takes over all assets from Federal Paper Mills following financial and structural difficulties.|
|1908||No. 2 Machine (B2) commences production of machine glazed lightweight paper measuring 120 inches in width, and was one of the largest paper machines in the world at the time.|
|1920||Sydney Paper Mills Ltd and Australian Paper Mills Ltd amalgamated in August to form the Australasian Paper & Pulp Company Limited (AP & P).
No. 3 Machine (B3) commences production of lighter weight papers.
|1929||No. 4 Machine (B4) commences production of cartonboard. The machine was built mainly from salvage equipment from the Lane Cove mill, New South Wales, of which some components were destroyed by fire.|
|1934||No 1. (B1) Machine was modified with the addition of a 3.66 metre wide Machine Glazed (M.G.) cylinder for the satisfactory production of M.G. papers.|
|1936||Paper Research Division established in June.|
|1938||No 5. (B5) Machine commences production. Officially opened by Prime Minister Hon. J.A. Lyons in May, it was one of the largest paper mills in the world at the time, with A.P.M. News considering it “the biggest single development in Botany’s history.” Paper width measured 132in and it produced 500 tonnes per week upon start-up, and soon increased to 800 tonnes per week, totalling 40,000 tons of cartonboard per annum.|
|1940||Australasian Pulp & Paper Co. Ltd. Head Office moved from York Street, Sydney, to the Botany mill, on McCauley Street, Matraville.|
|1942-43||Botany mill produces paper for war time products, such as ration books, coupons and security papers.|
|1947||No 6. (B6) Machine commences production of XXX. This machine was originally erected at the Broadford mill (Victoria) as Broadford No. 1 Machine around 1890, before being reinstated at Botany.|
|1950’s||First forklift trucks introduced to replace significant manual handling and the use of wheelbarrows and other outdated equipment.|
|1952||Botany mill produces pink butcher’s paper to combat the recession. This replaced the use of newspaper for fish and chips and within butchers shops across Australia.|
|1954||Australian Paper Manufacturers Ltd. (APM) absorbs and liquidates Australasian Paper & Pulp Co. Ltd. This marks the beginning of APM’s commanding position within the Australian paper industry.|
|1955||No. 2 (B2) Machine begins production of “Sorbent” toilet rolls. The company held a competition to name the tissue roll brand - they were looking for a good name, one that would allow the brand to grow and compete strongly in the market. Ernie Clay, Chief Engineer won the competition with the name “Sorbent”.|
|1960||No. 7 (B7) Machine commences production in September. This was APM’s 18th mill, capable of making 842 acres of Machine Finished (M.F.) Kraft paper per day at a speed of nearly 18 miles an hour. Initial production was 40,000 tonnes per year, with an eventual output of 100,000 tonnes per year.|
|1966||No. 2 (B2) Machine modified to make flat facial tissues.|
|1967||No. 4 (B4) Machine closed.|
|1969||No 8 Machine begins operations. Initial capacity of 80,000 tons per annum, which soon expanded to 150,000 tonnes. This project was relatively simple, as this machine was very similar to the company’s recent installation of the No 6 Machine at Fairfield, Victoria.|
|1971||Botany Bay reclamation dredging begins. This changed the face of the Botany mill, which had stood on the shores of Botany Bay for over 70 years. This project meant the mill was now located a significant distance from the coastline.
No. 3 (B3) Machine (paper) closed in May after 48 years of operation.
No. 2 (B2) Machine (paper) closed in December after 56 years of operation.
|1972||No. 1 (B1) Machine (paper) closed after 70 years of operation|
|1976||No. 6 (B6) Machine closed in March. It was reinstated in September in response to increased demand, however it was finally closed in March 1977 after 28 years of operation at Botany.
First computer installed at Botany Mill in November on the No. 8 Machine.
|1978||No. 5 (B5) Machine (cartonboard) closed after 40 years of operation.|
|1986||Company name changed from APM Limited to Amcor Limited.|
|1993||Amcor commences production of 100 per cent recycled paper.|
|2008||No. 9 (B9) Machine project announced.|
|2012||No. 7 (B7) and No. 8 (B8) Machines closed in May, after 52 and 43 years of operation respectively.
No. 9 Machine (B9) officially opened. This state-of-the-art paper-making technology produces 100% recycled paper at a maximum speed of 1.6km per minute. This equates to 400,000 tonnes of paper per annum.
This is the largest paper machine of its kind in Australasia, and will deliver a new era of paper making for Amcor.
To find out more about Amcor’s history in paper making, contact us.
Source: ‘Botany Mill – A Century of Paper from Botany Bay’ J. Peter Thoeming 2004
Images above (left to right):
• Samuel Ramsden, Founder of the company
• Botany Paper Mill, Circa 1900
• First APM Recycling collection by horse drawn cart
• Early reels of recycled paper
• The Australian Paper Manufacturers logo and letterhead
Paper Making Process
The paper making process has remained largely unchanged for centuries, however the modern technology of the B9 Machine allows Amcor to create high quality recycled paper grades like never before.
The industrial paper-making process follows seven key stages:
- Forming the paper sheet
Recycled fibre is blended with water and then pumped through a narrow opening onto a wire mat. This produces a layer (or ply) of paper. This process is repeated to create a number of layers, which determines the weight/grammage of the finished paper product.
- Pressing the paper sheet
The wet paper sheet is pressed under high pressure and vacuum to remove water from the sheet. The pressing also helps to increase the strength of the final paper sheer.
- Drying the paper sheet
The pressing process removes most of the water from the sheet. To ensure that the remaining water is removed, the paper is dried over steam heated drying cylinders.
- Size Press
During the drying process the paper sheet passes between two rolls which apply a thin film of starch to each side of the sheet. The starch is absorbed into the paper to provide extra strength.
The paper is wound into a large reel before being transferred to the Winder. Samples are taken from the large reel and tested to ensure the paper meets stringent quality standards and customer specifications.
In order to supply appropriately sized rolls of paper which conform to our customers’ requirements, the large reel of paper is unwound, cut into smaller widths, and rewound into rolls which can be more easily handled by our customers.
To find out more about Amcor’s paper making process at B9, contact us.
Amcor officially opens $500million ‘B9’ paper machine
New South Wales Premier, the Hon Barry O’Farrell, MP, officially opened Amcor’s new state-of-the-art recycled paper machine ‘B9’ on Friday 1 February.
On the day, Amcor Australasia welcomed around 200 guests to the Botany Mill, including:
- Senior executives from Amcor Australasia’s key customers
- Key business suppliers and stakeholders
- Local, State and Federal Government representatives
- Senior leaders from across Amcor
Guests were formally welcomed by Ken MacKenzie, CEO and Managing Director of Amcor Limited, who spoke of Amcor’s long history in paper manufacturing and how Amcor has spent the past several years building a focused portfolio of businesses that deliver outstanding value propositions for customers.
Before handing over to Nigel Garrard, Managing Director of Amcor Australasia & Packaging Distribution, Ken thanked everyone involved in the making of B9.
Nigel welcomed guests to the site and spoke of the importance of Safety during the building of the site. He talked of the incredibly complex logistical challenge posed by building a machine so large and complex. Nigel also talked of helping customers to grow their businesses through innovation and expertise. He said the team bringing these innovations to life will also help to realise the full potential of the state-of-the-art B9 machine.
Finally, Nigel thanked the NSW Government, Metso, Leighton Contractors and Amcor Australasia’s B9 co-workers for their support, expertise and hard work. He then welcomed NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell to the stage.
Mr O’Farrell thanked Amcor for making such a significant investment in NSW and spoke of the major boost the machine will bring to the local manufacturing sector. At the conclusion of Mr O’Farrell’s keynote speech, Nigel invited Pasi Lane, Metso Pulp, Paper and Power President, to join himself and Ken MacKenzie on stage to unveil a commemorative plaque.
Guests were then given high-visibility vests, ear plugs and safety glasses before being invited to tour the facility. It was a wonderful day for all guests, and a proud moment in Amcor’s 140 year history.