WMU News

Joel Kendrick named operations manager for pilot coater

April 10, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Joel Kendrick has been named operations manager of Western Michigan University's newly completed Paper Coating Pilot Plant, which is now fully operational and open for business.

The paper coating facility in the University's new engineering complex, was dedicated last fall. Since then, final testing for all phases of the operation has been completed and an experienced staff of technicians has been hired. The facility is now serving paper industry clients.

Kendrick has an extensive background in the industry, having served 12 years with Allied Paper and 14 years at WMU. For the past six years, Kendrick has been lab manager of the University's paper pilot plant, which is part of the Department of Paper and Printing Science and Engineering. In that role, he was responsible for all client paper testing, CLC-6000 trials and surface treatment runs on the paper machine's size press and off-machine roll applicator coater.

"With the addition of this state-of-the-art pilot coater, WMU can help solve virtually any problem in the papermaking, printing and coating process," Kendrick says. "With our full range of capabilities, we can simulate a realistic work environment, saving companies the time and expense of taking equipment out of production for research purposes."

The one-meter wide, 4000 fpm (1220 m/mi) coater allows rod or blade metering of a short dwell or roll applied coating. The coater configurations include metering size press, pond size press, and both short dwell and roll applicator CIS. In the coater line, following a bank of IR and air flotation dryers, is a tandem four-nip, hot soft-nip calender. And the complete coating kitchen is equipped to handle dry and wet materials arriving in bags, drums or totes.

"The new Western coater provides world-class capabilities to optimize coated paper quality and develop new grades of coated and surface-treated papers," says Jan Walter, general manager of WMU's pilot facilities. "Western has been a leader in papermaking, printing and coating for over half a century. In terms of what we can now offer customers, this takes us to a whole new level."

For more information on WMU's new pilot coater and all related capabilities, log on to <www.wmich.edu/coatingplant>.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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