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Young and dynamic – Lamix typifies Poland’s emerging tissue sector

Successive investment has strengthened Lamix’s hold on the hygiene market. Here the company discusses its market strategy with TW.

“The customer is getting richer and richer as Poland has become better off,” says owner Miroslaw Laszko with the relish of a man with a well thought through business plan to take maximum advantage of that fact.

“We’re a young company working in a fast changing environment and we are growing and changing with the times,” he adds through his translator. “The final customers are requiring a product that has a better appearance, is more efficient to use and better quality, and we have to respond to that.” And respond Lamix has. We meet at the company’s Witnica site where it manufactures 22,000 tonnes of tissue for the hygiene sector annually. Recent investments include a new headbox and press rebuild, a move that will help modernise the plant and enable Lamix to further strengthen its market strategy. “Since Poland joined the EU we’ve received a lot of support,” Laszko says. “We’ve successfully raised a great project and that’s one of the key elements to our growth. Our aim is to make some sort of investment every year to improve on quality, increase our capacity and be environmentally sustainable.”

The company was established in 1991 as a distributor of hygienic paper, branching out into manufacturing in 1995. In October 2004 it built its own paper production department and bought in two lines to process hygienic paper in 2008, boosting its product range to include Z-folded paper and jumbo paper rolls. Three years ago it invested in an anaerobic wastewater treatment facility, the first in Poland.

‘These investments respond to the market changing from 1- to multi-ply products. Our aim is to make some sort of investment every year to improve on quality.’

It now produces tissue paper as well as high quality crepe paper to produce hygienic paper for professional use. Lamix sells a lot of products to western Europe and has seen an increase in demand for high ecological standards. “More and more we are seeing customers asking for ecological production processes that have no impact on the environment,” he says. “And it’s very important that we’re seen to be a convertor of recycled papers.”

He says the objective is to reduce the impact of the plant’s production process on the environment as well as to balance the use of natural resources. “Clearly defined production standards are of crucial importance in this context,” he says. The company uses recycled paper to manufacture 100% recycled products and it continually optimises its production process. It also re-uses the technological water from the paper mill for more than 30 cycles and it segregates any waste that occurs in the production process.

“These investments have been in response to the market changing from 1- to multi-ply products,” he says. “We have to respond to that.”

Lamix’s export market is growing “very fast.” It now sells into 20 countries and this revenue makes up over 50% of its turnover. “We need to make sure the same quality is offered to our customers all around the world. It’s crucial,” he says. “We are a Polish owner and have Polish capital, so of course the market here will always be very important to us. We would like to continue to be a very strong company in this market, and the leaders in folded products. But that doesn’t mean we focus just on Poland.”

Any future presence at home and abroad will be “balanced and steady.” “We’re not a multinational. We use our strength and don’t compete on price. We compete on quality. And at the end of 2013, we will have a significant increase in capacity to take full advantage of the market potential.”

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Lamix’s Witnica site: 22,000tpy for the hygiene sector

 

 

FACTFILE

Location – Witnica, Poland

Markets – Production of paper products destined for professional use, tissue paper, high quality crepe paper to produce industrial hygienic paper

Machines – PMP Group delivered a new headbox and press rebuild

Brands – Cliver, Ellis

Tpy – 22,000

Established – April 1991

Staff – 180

Products – Folded handtowels, handtowels in rolls, industrial rolls, jumbo toilet paper, medical paper, facial tissues, toilet paper, kitchen towels, dispensers

Markets – Hygiene