MIAC Show 2012: prospect for the Tissue field

MIAC - International Paper Industry Exhibition - is the official Italian event by the Assocarta Paper Industry Association that represents paper, cardboard and pulp producing companies in Italy. The 19th edition of theshow was welcomed with great interest by all those involved in the field. The figures of the three-day event held in October of last year (precisely on the 10th, 11th and 12th) once again confirm the show’s success1

Perini Journal

One of the important aspects of MIAC is without a doubt its strategic venue: the city of Lucca. The Association of Industrialists of the Province - supporter and promoter of the event - together with the presence of the leading companies in the field, confer added prestige to the show and make MIAC the ideal place to delve in depth into the world of paper and its future prospects. During the three show days, conferences were held where trade associations and the major companies offer their insight, proposing solutions and strategies in an intensely rich program that yields plenty of food for thought.


On the first day, CEPI (Confederation of European Paper Industries), Assocarta and McKinsey (prestigious international consultants with offices also in Italy), in their conference entitled “Use of secondary fibers in the Italian and European industries: from the proximity principle to the recycling society”, talked about recycling and waste sorting, analyzing current scenarios and European and national norms and legislature and identifying potential opportunities. According to CEPI, the road that Europe has embarked on leads to a Recycling Society, and the aim of the congress was to analyze the comparative advantage of European waste paper collection systems, discussing the foundational role that the paper industry plays in today’s recycling effort and identifying the conditions necessary for further development.

And speaking about waste paper, proximity recycling rather than prevalently Asian destination becomes imperative for the field. Italy - a country that has also become a good collector - has reached optimal results in paper recycling, and this is also due to a strong production structure in the territory represented by papermills. “But in order to maintain this achievement”, explains Paolo Culicchi, president of Assocarta “we must pursue European and Italian norms to their fullest and give greater value to the waste paper collected, keeping the principle of proximity in mind and introducing a monitoring system on exports, in-line with the EU decisions and directives regarding the European Recycling Society”. Indeed, as a consequence of the difficult production situation that the field is currently experiencing, waste paper (main raw material) consumption was down by 10% in the first 7 months of 2012. This result is connected to the substantial re-dimensioning of waste paper imports, in contrast to the expansion in export due to the increase in volumes destined for Asian markets (+62% overall, +87% for those directed to China) that absorb 70% of total exports.


The paper field is affected by the overall economic scenario and risks being strongly damaged due to the continuous increase in energy costs that weighs for about 20% on production costs. In Italy, this cost is even higher compared to the European average and is defined by Culicchi as “a veritable occult tax for paper companies’ budgets” capable of damaging competitiveness and the ability to innovate.


Energy, water, steam and gas, productivity and costs were the themes treated on the second day of conferences. CEPI, in its presentation entitled “Roadmap 2050, the future of the paper industry and of tissue”, tried to fashion a rather pressing timetable for de-carbonating the entire European economyand has set the target of minus 80% emissions by 2050. A sure challenge for the paper field that is thus admonished and warned of the many changes taking place in society and of the as many opportunities it must seize in order to take part in this “battle”! Concrete answers are needed that can ensure a better future already starting in 2030; a “break through technology”, a great idea, a really innovative solution, a new production model, more competitive and sustainable in the long term that can delineate new horizons, exploit bio-economy and total integration. According to CEPI, the field needs evolution and updating. It brings the example of Apple with its iPod: the paper world will have to have “version n. 10” available within the next twenty years… An arduous task!?


Companies immediately answered this provocation. Modular solutions, compact layouts and low energy consumption such as PrimeLine COMPACT by Andritz, a ShortFlow proposal that allows reducing investment costs and guarantees savings in terms of energy and steam. From the collaboration between Novimpianti (Steam Generator) and Honeywell (Steam Box), MAGIC BOX is born: the union of two consolidated systems that together overcome the difficulties connected to ROI and allow reducing gas consumption and CO2 emissions, recovering energy, thermal power and water. The focus is on sustainability as well as on production capacities, easy installation and simple maintenance.

For Toscotec, too, the attention is concentrated on energy savings and compact solutions, united in the TTSAF (Short Approach Flow) for the machine head. Fewer units, the volume of the machine chest is reduced with consequent reduction in power and energy consumption in order to create lean, compact systems, smaller in size and easy to install, characterized by low maintenance and high production levels. Also noteworthy is the fact that the use of chemical elements is optimized and further reduced and this, too, represents greater savings for the paper mill.


In the world of converting, Fabio Perini S.p.A. is established as a supplier of services for the tissue industry with the aim of empowering the capabilities of its customers to the fullest: spare parts, assistance and maintenance, machinery updating, on-site and online training, together with product valorization and differentiation (B.E.S.T. Lab) are the keys to growth in a mature market like the European one. WVT Industries proposes a roll cleaning system with low environmental impact for converting lines. The traditional cleaning system based on mineral oil is replaced by a water-based biodegradable formula that is more economical and appropriate also for products coming into contact with food. WATER LUBE does not wet the tissue paper because the product is sprayed as a mist directly on the rolls, eliminating routine cleaning operations. Paper Converting Machinery Company presents PROLOG, a new two-blade, five-lane log saw featuring the Eco-Trim system that can guarantee a real added value in terms of production, quantifiable in a greater number of tissue rolls that yields a production increase of 4.2% per year.


During the seminar entitled “The hygiene global demand and the potential of tissue paper” with the participation of Pasquale Salcuni of the Italian Ministry of Health, the market survey commissioned to Lorien Consulting focusing on the citizens’ point of view in terms of tissue paper, and a study conducted by the University of Westminster on the hygiene of away-from-home hand drying systems were presented.

Among the different hand drying systems used in public establishments, 51% of Italians interviewed wrongly feel that electric dryers are more hygienic than paper, while 54% retains the roll of paper or paper towels to be more effective, efficient and comfortable to use. A clear division that demonstrates how far we still have to go in terms of informing and sensitizing people on this topic.

When speaking about hygiene, hand drying is extremely important: the amount of bacteria that remains on the hands also depends on how these are dried and the study conducted by the University of Westminster underscores once again how drying hands with paper products leads to an average 5% reduction in the total number of bacteria. Roberto Berardi (President of ETS) acknowledges this information gap and states that his Association gives full support to every type of activity and initiative in this regard. The World Health Organization dictates clear and precise instructions in terms of hygiene, and dissemination remains foundational: studies, research, seminars and committees of authorities are as important as succeeding in widely diffusing these opinions. In this sense, the development of new technologies is the required trend to improve the capacity of tissue products (sustains Poyry) and in the next round table, representatives from Sofidel and Cartiera Lucchese acknowledged the importance of the role of converters in the Horeca and AFH fields in choosing tissue paper, supplying an interesting, captivating product and underscoring how this cleaning toolis rich in a large number of eco-friendly, communication or anti-bacterial potential. With this debate, MIAC anticipated by a few days the “Global Hands Washing Day” organized by UNICEF that took place on October15, 2012, dedicated to disseminating awareness on the importance of hand hygiene.


Within the MIAC conference program, the Technology Lecture constituted a novelty for 2012: a mini-course at the end of which a participation certificate was issued. An occasion where paper technicians and operating personnel could gain in-depth information, examining in detail a theme of practical interest for those whose daily work involves a paper system. For this edition, the topic was retention in a paper machine: fundamental principles, control methods and techniques for proper management.

Society evolves and sets its targets; MIAC is the ideal place to extend the limits and the possibilities of renewal for the world of paper.

MIAC 2013 (20th edition) will take place in Lucca on 16, 17 and 18 October 2013. •





The idea was born almost by chance from the desire to put together “comic strips and paper culture”, a perfect binomial for Perini Journal that has always united both with light-heartedness and simplicity.

The Vernissage organized in collaboration with Lucca Comics and Games in the city on the first day of the Miac show (October 10th, 2012) focused on Gary Frank, creator of Superman, with an exhibition containing 16 works - many of which never before published - that gave rise to an unusual evening in B&W tones. A narrative journey that recounted the artist’s work from the Nineties until today through the unforgettable myth of his cult characters, like the 400 cover of The Incredible Hulk and Midnight Nation, passing through Superman,the super hero who came to life in a show case capturing the attention of the participants who followed the “live” production of the sketch in awe. Gary, a master of comic strips who, with his unique and inimitable stroke of the pencil, creates characters like Batman, The Incredible Hulk and Midnight Nation, one of the most interesting comics of the beginning of the 21st, and then Tomb Raider with Lara Croft and Vampirella, asui generis comic strip.

But just who is Gary Frank? Certainly closer to the shy Clark Kent than to Superman, the 47-year-old cartoonist originally from Bristol presents himself in simple and rather “normal” fashion, gentle and with placid tones, no special effects but a great gift and passion for drawing. “I grew up reading all the American comic books I could find. I did not go to University or to an Art College. I approached comics first through reading and then with the idea of turning them into a passion,” says the artist. A successful target that he set for himself, since Gary has worked for Supreme Power, Marvel and Supergirl. Constance, a strong will and determination have allowed him to arrive at Marvel.

“At the beginning, it wasn’t easy; I was drawing mainly for my portfolio, then I bombarded Marvel and the other companies with sample drawings. In the end, I made it. The real turning point was when Marvel Italia began to publish books and called me for Motormouth, the book that brought me to the attention of Marvel USA and landed me my subsequent work with The Incredibile Hulk”.

A passion for superheroes fostered since he was a child and the creation of Lara Croft and Shazam have not changed his passion. Just like modern technologies have not changed his love for paper and pencil, while the adventures of his characters have followed his evolution. Today, they are more sophisticated and move in their worlds with more awareness and reality. A result that is also a sign of the times where today’s readers of superheroes and other comic strips are transversal to age. Usually the characters idealize what we are.

“Today, those who read publications and comics prefer action and history must travel in parallel. People still like superheroes but the life and history of every character lives and intertwines with the cinema and with videogames.” The comic strip has taken on a three-dimensional life that still continues to find its genesis in the black&white of the sheet of paper and the pencil. Gary is currently working on the new adventures of Shazam produced for The New 52s project, a reboot of all the vicissitudes and adventures of the superheroes, super-criminals and contour characters featured on DC Comics publications from 1935 until today.

The Vernissage organized by Perini Journal gave life to a week of exhibitions at the headquarters of the Association of Industry of Lucca, an entertaining and cultural moment where the works were displayed for the audience. Today, the comic strip is an art that survives the times by imposing itself as a contemporary work ready to accept new challenges while undergoing a continuous metamorphosis, never losing sight of its true identity. “The future of traditional comics is probably very similar to its present,” explains Gary Frank. “It is a relatively economic way to develop and test new ideas on an audience that is already prepared to exploit and consume other media. Comics allow authors great freedom in developing plots and characters; the budget necessary to make a city made of paper and ink explode is the same one that is required by a character to drink a cup of coffee, and readers can test these creations before they are contaminated by the outside. It is not yet time to abandon paper, but surely it is vital that comics appear under other forms, too, in order to reach a different audience.”


1. Number of visitors registered just once during the 3 show days: 3,768 - Visitors who came to the show also on the day following initial registration: 29% (4,860 in total). Source: Edinova

  • MIAC Show 2012
  • MIAC Show 2012
  • MIAC Show 2012
  • MIAC Show 2012
  • MIAC Show 2012
  • Stefano Di Santo (CEO of Fabio Perini S.p.A.) with Gary Frank and Francesco Caredio, Director of Lucca Comics&Games
  • A few moments of Gary Frank's showcase.
  • A few moments of Gary Frank's showcase.
  • A few moments of Gary Frank's showcase.
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