E-Newsletter - A Publication of Interstate Resources


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Interstate Resources Gathers in Memory of Georges Frem

Interstate Resources News homepage: http://news.interstateresources.com/  

Source: OUTBOUND E-newsletter, 29 April 2008


Family and friends celebrate the second memorial mass in Reading, Pennsylvania.


On 27 April 2008, Interstate Resources Inc. (IRI) organized a family mass to remember Georges Frem, founder of INDEVCO Group, at St. Catherine’s Church in Reading. Sixty Interstate family and friends from Pennsylvania and Virginia attended the mass, conducted in English, Arabic and Aramaic.



Fr. Paul Mouawad, rector of St. Charbel Church in Philadelphia, celebrated the mass with his choir and organist. Charles Feghali and Pierre Fares served the mass.


Karim Frem, son of Chafic Frem, and Hilary Nykwest, daughter of Larry Nykwest, Technical Customer Service Manager at IRI, read the scriptures. Timmy and Danny Faust, children of Rick Faust, Fulfillment Manager at United Corrstack, were the acolytes.




After the mass, the congregation shared a Lebanese meal together at a nearby restaurant owned by a former Interstate member.




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Monday, April 28, 2008

Interstate Container Lowell Seeks to Extend Green Initiative for U.S. Department of Defense

Interstate Resources News homepage: http://news.interstateresources.com/  

Source: OUTBOUND e-newsletter, 28 April 2008


Interstate Container Lowell (ICL) applies for second phase of sustainability project for the redesign of Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) packaging for the U.S. Army.


Interstate Container Lowell has been invited by the U.S. Army to submit a budget for continued work and grant money for the redesign of Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) packaging. Should the Lowell, Massachusetts-based corrugated manufacturer be selected to receive an additional $60,000 grant, the second phase of the project could include production trials and airdrops to evaluate product integrity.

From 2006 to the present, ICL has engaged in the sustainability project for the U.S. Army, one of the largest customers in the United States.


In 2006, ICL was invited to bid on and won a $60,000 Department of Defense (DOD) grant to modify the current packaging design of Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) for the U.S. Army. MREs are self-contained meals, individual rations that provide all nutritional needs for soldiers.




The objectives were to have:

- Less overall fiber than the current design
- Equal compression strength
- The ability to decompose in the field

Since 9/11, approximately 3-6 million MRE ration cases are produced per year for the U.S. Army alone. The current packaging incorporates a solid fiber body and a corrugated insert.


The solid fiber body is made from three wet strength laminated liners (two 90# liners & one 69# liner), while the corrugated B flute insert is made with 55# liners and a 26# medium.

The total weight for such a package is 393#/1000 sq. ft. These packages were originally designed for “burst or Mullen” strength after World War II, but the true functionality is box compression
.

After meeting with representatives from the U.S. Army Research Facility in Natick, MA, ICL was awarded the grant to conduct research and field testing.

The team, including Larry Nykwest, Contract Signature / Project Manager, Keith Gray, Design Manager, and Terry Moore, Sales Manager, met quarterly and made incredible progress with the following results:

Result #1: Up to 31.9% Reduction in Cost

Given the proposed design’s reduction in fiber and square footage, ICL estimates a total cost reduction of 28 to 31.9%.

Result #2: 61% Less Fiber & Greater Box Compression Strength

Corrugated boxes designed by Gray, containing linerboard grades suggested by the Technical Manager, have 61% less fiber and greater box compression strength than the current MRE ration boxes. The corrugated insert in the current MRE box was eliminated.


Result #3: Durable ‘Non-Wet Strength’ Liners

Through various wax replacement coating trials, ICL has demonstrated that boxes can be produced with ‘non-wet strength’ liners that hold up in a variety of conditions.

Result #4: Ability to Decompose in the Field

Testing conducted at the University of Kansas has shown that all ICL prototype boxes and respective coatings have the ability to break down and decompose in the field.

The ICL team, which has since grown to include Richard Geyer, Sales, Pete Bugas and Jim Krahn, Interstate Container Cambridge Representatives, has demonstrated its value and partnership with DOD in their sustainability effort.

ICL, member of the international INDEVCO Group, will learn in May 2008 whether DOD has approved its budget submission


Submitted by

Larry Nykwest
Project Manager / Technical Customer Service Manager
Interstate Container Lowell
240 Industrial Avenue East
Lowell, MA 01852 USA

Tel: 800-234-9496
Fax: 978-458-4475

E-mail: larry.nykwest@interstatecontainer.com

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Interstate Resources' Green Initiative for the Department of Defense

Interstate Resources News homepage: http://news.interstateresources.com/  

Source: Interstate News, Spring 2008


In the past few years, customers have shown that they are becoming more and more engaged with efforts involving sustainability and “Green Initiatives.” In 2006, through the efforts of Keith Gray (ICL Design Manager) and Terry Moore (ICL SalesManager), Interstate began a “Sustainability” project for one of the largest customers in the United States - The U.S. Army.

Interstate was invited to bid on a Department of Defense (DOD) project for the U.S. Army, to modify the current packaging design of Meals Ready to Eat (MRE). The objectives were:

• To have less overall fiber than the current design


• To have equal compression strength

• To have the ability to decompose in the field


Since 9/11, approximately 3-6 million MRE ration cases are produced per year for the U.S. Army alone. This current packaging incorporates a solid fiber body and a corrugated insert. The solid fiber body is made from three wet strength laminated liners (two 90# liners & one 69# liner), while the Corrugated B Flute insert is made with 55# liners and a 26# medium. The total weight for such a package is 393#/1000 sq. ft. These packages were originally designed for “burst or Mullen” strength after World War II, but the true functionality is box compression
.

Needless to say, after meeting with representatives from the U.S. Army Research facility in Natick, MA, Interstate was awarded the grant to do research and field testing. A team was formed that included Keith Gray, Terry Moore, and me.

While the task at hand appeared quite daunting, we
have made incredible progress with the following results:

• Most importantly, the corrugated boxes (designed by Keith Gray), containing liner-board grades suggested by the Technical manager, not only have greater box compression strength than the current MRE ration boxes, but have 61% less fiber!

• Through various wax replacement coating trials,Interstate has demonstrated that boxes can be made with “non-wet strength” liners that can hold up in a variety of conditions.

• Ultimately, testing conducted at the University of Kansas has shown that all the prototype boxes and respective coatings have the ability to breakdown and decompose in the field.

Thus far, Interstate has more than demonstrated its value and partnership with the DOD with regard to their sustainability effort. The U.S. Army has again requested that we submit a budget for additional work and grant money for 2008. We anticipate that this will entail actual production trials and airdrops where product integrity will be evaluated.



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Newport Timber Takes the Step Towards Sustainable Forest Initiative Standard

Interstate Resources News homepage: http://news.interstateresources.com/

Source: Interstate News, Spring 2008


Newport Timber is in the process of taking the step from active Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) Program Participant to third party certification to the SFI Standard. Independent third party certification to the SFI Standard provides verified assurance that a Program Participant’s practices in the field meet the SFI Standard requirements.

Newport Timber has retained a consultant, Scott Berg of R.S.Berg and Associates, to provide training and template documents necessary for review by an auditor. Training was conducted for Newport Timber employees on February 5.


Implementation of processes and systems to document compliance has begun. Plans are to select an auditor and achieve third party certification by the end of the third quarter of 2008.


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RB Lumber Assumes Newport Timber's Chipmill Operations

Interstate Resources News homepage: http://news.interstateresources.com/  

Source: Interstate News, Spring 2008


RB Lumber LLC assumed operation of the Newport Timber chipmill on 21 August 2006. Currently, the chipmill operates 24 hours per day/six days per week, producing 14-15,000 tons of wood chips per week. This is more than 80% of the Interstate Paper weekly chip needs.

Due to the unavailability of purchased chips on the open market, the percentage of chips furnished by the chipmill has increased 30% over the last 8 years. As Interstate Paper increases production, the chipmill will be required to keep pace.

The chipmill, which was built in the late 1990’s, was designed to run 9-10,000 tons per week. It is currently producing 50% more tons at essentially the same cost per ton without any significant improvements to the mill since conception.


Although chip production has significantly increased, we continue to require a high standard of chip quality. Newport Timber maintains an independent contractor on-site to take chip samples of both internally made and externally purchased chips.

If chip quality falls below standard, Newport Timber requires that RB Lumber shut down and fix the chipmill in order to make chips of the required quality, the same requirement expected from our former contractors and external chip sources.

Our goal at the chipmill is to produce the highest quality chips at the lowest possible cost.



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Interstate Container Reading Installs Bobst Pacific Polyjoiner

Interstate Resources News homepage: http://news.interstateresources.com/  

Source: Interstate News, Spring 2008

Author: Ron McInnis, Operations Manager


Interstate Container Reading (ICR) installed a new Bobst polyjoiner specialty gluer during October of 2007. This is only the third machine of its kind sold in North America. Its flexibility allows for the production of value-added products, such as two-part display boxes, boxes with partitions, box-in-boxes, as well as conventional boxes.

The polyjoiner module has the latest technology, utilizing a unique robot which enables the simultaneous feeding of 2 to 3 blanks.

The plant has successfully run its first commercial order of 80,000 boxes for mead products with delivery in February 2008. This new technology will aid us in enjoying many new customers and orders in the coming year.




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Lebanese National Symphony Orchestra Holds Christmas Concert in Memory of Georges Frem

Interstate Resources News homepage: http://news.interstateresources.com/  

Source: Interstate News, Spring 2008


The Lebanese National Symphony Orchestra presented a Christmas concert in memory of Georges Frem at the St. Joseph Church of the Jesuit University of Beirut. This concert was held as a tribute to Georges Frem as the man who strongly believed in the artistic mission of the Lebanese Conservatoire.

To achieve his life long dreams, he founded a philanthropic foundation now known as the Georges N. Frem Foundation.


Among many of its initiatives contributing to economic, educational, rural development and promoting a democratic and pluralistic society, comes the initiative of upholding the culture of peace through one of God’s most precious gifts, music,….


“If you don’t think every day is a good day, just try missing one.” - Cavett Robert


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