As a glue manufacturer for the packaging and printing manufacturers, our team at LD Davis has the opportunity to work alongside top leaders and suppliers in the industry.
Glue and paper often go hand-in-hand. In most cases, you won't come across one without the other.
After working on countless technical projects with our customers that involved glue to paper bonding analysis, we figured it was about time we take a closer look at one of the largest and best known paper manufacturers in the United States: Neenah Paper.
More About Neenah Paper
Neenah Inc., the parent company of Neenah Paper, was founded in 1873 in Neenah, WI. Their impressive operation has spanned, and thrived, through three centuries. While they are rooted in tradition, Neenah is continually innovating their product lines. Their line of papers is available on six continents.
Neenah is widely recognized as the premium specialty paper product leader. They manufacture top quality papers, offer insightful technical service, all while striving to keep sustainability a top priority.
We have worked alongside Neenah Paper in many manufacturing packaging and printing facilities. Our team had the opportunity to sit down with Neenah Paper's Technical Service Manager, Stella Alstede, to take a peek behind the scenes at Neenah and learn more about her role with the company.
Pulling Back The Paper with Stella Alstede
Can you tell us a little more about your role at Neenah Paper (what does a typical day look like for you)?
I am responsible for providing technical service to our sales team and customers – helping when there are questions about processing our products, and providing suggestions that best fill the customers’ performance needs. Also, my role includes providing custom marketing materials that are specific for each territory-based project.
How did you get your start in the paper industry?
My earliest exposure to the paper industry was when I worked as a lab technician in a molded pulp operation. It is interesting to see paper egg and berry cartons coming back into style due to the drive toward using sustainable materials.
My career path has taken me through customer service, sales, marketing and now to Technical Service Manager for the Publishing and Packaging markets.
What goals do you have for your team at Neenah as you enter the next decade?
We are working to help customers identify the perfect product for their project quickly and accurately. This includes electronic and other printed tools as well as keeping our customer facing teams up to speed on industry trends and technology changes.
What upcoming projects are you working on that you are particularly excited about?
We have a variety of new products coming into the market – we’re just not ready to promote them yet…
Other than that, I am excited about selling tools I’ve been able to provide to our team, especially useful for our new team members.
How does Neenah Paper contribute to the Green movement and being Eco-Friendly?
Neenah is a conscientious manufacturer, utilizing clean energy and protecting forests by sourcing pulp from responsibly managed forests. We make every effort to minimize environmental emissions by driving efficiency in all of the resources used to make our products. We use water based coatings in our processes when creating our beautiful yet durable products. The covers we make last and last – so that products can be reused many times without needing to be replaced. We are proud of our record as an environmentally friendly manufacturer.
I’ve heard that Neenah offers paper training for customers – can you tell us more about this program (Neenah University)?
Neenah University is a program that we provide at no charge for customers who would benefit by better understanding the basics of paper making and the coating, printing and converting of our beautiful, durable, luxurious cover materials. Participants leave with a much better understanding of paper in general and covering materials and report back that they walked out with usable information that helped in completing their job, whether that was one of design, production or sales/marketing their products.
What do you feel makes Neenah a leader in the industry?
Neenah was the first company to ever reinforce pulp based papers with polymeric materials and the first to coat those materials with water based coatings which make them great substitutes for leather, cloth and weaker papers. We have redundant manufacturing capabilities across the globe which allows unprecedented security of supply, proven to provide the same products, with the same looks and same consistency, no matter what.
Additionally, our ProtoLab allows us to match a customer’s dream material – combining the right durability with the color, feel and texture in a matter of days in full size sheets allowing the completion of their mock-up. Our ProtoLabs span from simple copies of other materials in the market to believable reproductions of ancient to high-tech materials.
We welcome any “match this” challenge our customers send our way!
When you aren’t working with paper, what do you like to do for fun?
I enjoy spending time with my family and being the “favorite aunt” to my nieces and nephews. I also seek every opportunity to look at “old junk” at antique markets and auctions and pursuing an active, healthy lifestyle.
We are so appreciative to Stella for offering us some insight into her role and experience at Neenah Paper. It's clear why they are regarded as one of the top suppliers in the paper industry.
If you're team is working on a project that calls for luxury or unique substrates, our team of Lab experts can test them in-house to determine the best packaging or printing glue for you.