KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Western Michigan University unveiled Tuesday a paper manufacturing machine that’s one-of-a-kind in North America.
Officials hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and demonstration of the machine at the university’s Paper Coating Pilot Plant. The device is unique because it can manufacture 2-ply paper used in a broader variety of products. The university says it will be used to research recyclability and sustainability.
The university says paper industry clients can use the machine to do small-scale testing of new products without interrupting their own production lines. The device will also provide opportunities for students to get hands-on experience.
“When they come in, and they see the equipment, and they see the people with a passion for making everyday products, they get connected to it,” Lon Pschigoda, general manager of WMU Pilot Plants said. “I think many of these students will tell you that story. When they saw the process, they were drawn to it, got an immediate connection to it, and now they have a passion.”
The new machine replaces the one installed in the late 1950s used in the former McCracken Hall.