PIE….A Trip that will never be Forgotten

Generous Support made Life Changing Trip Possible

The 2017 Paper International Experience is in the books and it was an incredible experience! This experience would never have been possible without the help of our donors. On behalf of this grateful group, we would like to thank everyone who contributed for making this trip a reality. Our group would also like to recognize and thank Dr. Chang for his dedication, planning skills and network made this trip possible and tremendously memorable. Inside of ten days, our group experienced the high rises of Shanghai, the Forbidden City in Beijing and everything in between. In just a short time, we were completely immersed in Chinese culture and eagerly awaited the next marvel, we would see. Throughout our trip, we went to several extraordinary places including the Great Wall and Bund along the Huangpu River.  Overall, we were able to see many incredible historical sites and experience a life changing trip abroad.

Three-ply linerboard….containerboard and more

PIE China

In addition to our cultural experiences, we were able to visit several unique papermills and two universities, Nanjiang Forestry University and Qilu University. Voith was our first industrial experience. There we learned about their employee training programs and saw their production lines. We were able to see the construction of Yankee Dryer hoods and saw the assembly of tissue machines in their warehouse. We toured the Gold East Paper Mill where we saw three coated free sheet machines. Later that same day we toured the Yongfeng Yu Paper Mill. At this facility, we saw a three-ply linerboard machine using old corrugated containerboard sourced partially from the United States.

World’s Largest Continous Digester

We also toured SunChem, a company founded by NC State alumnus, Dr. Michael Sun. His facility makes specialty release paper for synthetic leather production. The most impressive feat was Dr. Sun’s explanation of how they pieced together this one of a kind machine from several different manufacturers.  We went to an Asia Symbol manufacturing site where the world’s largest continuous digester is housed. Unfortunately, the mill was on an outage so we were not able to tour, but we still were able to learn a tremendous amount from our generous hosts. Our last mill, Tranlin, uses wheat straw to make their products. We toured across the mill seeing everything from the wheat straw piles to the finished tissue product. Each facility provided us with plenty of opportunities to ask questions and learn how their processes differ from ours.

From Inquisitive Paper Students to Close-Knit Group

This trip was filled with laughs and memories that will not soon fade. We started the trip as a group of inquisitive paper students and came back as a close-knit group of world travelers. This was the largest PIE group ever and the bonds that we forged with each other amongst old friends and new, was surely a highlight. The trip was much more than we ever could have imagined. You can check out our daily blogs and our concise photo gallery here.

Another huge thank you to all involved and we are excited to start thinking about PIE 2019 . . . . . Where will our group go?