Alkaline Paper Advocate

Volume 6, Number 4
Oct 1993

Westvaco's Luke and Wickliffe Mills Receive ISO 9002 Certification

The significant thing about ISO's two most comprehensive ISO quality standards (ISO 9001 and 9002) is that they go beyond assuring a quality product or service. They are standards for all aspects of an operation, whether that operation is an entire mill or just one product line. Any operation that receives certification has to be so good in all respects that it can't help producing a quality product. (The listing in Quality Systems Update of Registration Achievers gives the scope of the operation as "Production of pulp and the manufacture and converting of fine paper products to specified requirements agreed upon with Westvaco Fine Paper Division Customer Sales Representatives for delivery to sub-contracted warehouse facilities and external customers.")

And the significant thing about Westvaco's mills being certified is that they appear to be the first North American freesheet mills to do this. Furthermore, they make alkaline paper. The Wickliffe mill has been 100% alkaline since 1989. Three of the five machines at the Luke mill make alkaline paper; the other two machines are acid. The Tyrone mill, smallest of Westvaco's three fine paper mills, converted to alkaline in the mid-1980s.

The company's news release follows.

New York, NY, October 27, 1993 -- With consistent product quality a significant worldwide goal, the ISO 9000 designation has become the universally recognized symbol that a manufacturing facility meets world-class standards. Most recently, Westvaco's Fine Papers Division mills in Luke, MD, and Wickliffe, KY, received ISO 9002 certification for the manufacturing process and quality systems associated with its fine paper products. ISO 9002 certification was conferred on Westvaco's Fine Papers Division mills by Underwriters Laboratories.

Westvaco's Luke mill is the first coated freesheet mill in North America to attain ISO 9002 certification. The Luke mill produces over 1,200 tons per day of coated paper products and is the prime contributor to Westvaco's position as the second largest coated freesheet producer in North America. The mill manufactures virgin as well as recycled fiber papers that contain a minimum of 10% postconsumer fiber and a total recovered fiber content of at least 50%.

The Wickliffe mill, which earned its ISO 9002 certification after the Luke mill, is a leader in electronic documentation within the mill. Through its unique ISO 1 state-of-the-art computer system, all procedures, documentation and training records are maintained on a central computer base, assuring that everyone involved in the manufacturing process has access to the same up-to-date information. The Wickliffe mill produces 600 tons per day of coated and uncoated paper products.

In addition to the internal benefits of consistency, teamwork and the generation of new ideas, there are added benefits for Westvaco Fine Papers Division customers, both domestic and worldwide. "Most importantly, we're all speaking the same language," says Division Manager E. Lee Andrews, "because now we have a documented quality assurance program that our customers comprehend. More and more of our customers are accepting the ISO certification in lieu of performing their own audits at supplier facilities. The additional trust created by certification among our customers certainly adds to Westvaco's reputation for quality leadership."

ISO certification is not new to Westvaco. The Fine Papers Division mills in Luke, MD, and Wickliffe, KY, join the company's Kraft Division mill in Charleston, SC, and the Bleached Board mill in Covington, VA, the first mill in the U.S. paper industry to attain certification.

The Fine Papers Division mill in Tyrone, PA, along with Westvaco's converting operations throughout the company, is also pursuing ISO certification.

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