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When East met West, the walls came down
Uniting two mills is more complicated than tearing down a fence and running a few pipes. That's what Gaylord Container Corp. is finding out as work continues combining its Antioch, Calif. kraft and recycled mills into one operation.
Good fences make good neighbors. That's what Robert Frost stated in his poem, "Mending Wall," and that was the situation in Antioch, Calif., as two separate mills producing different products co-existed side-by-side for 35 years. Beginning in 1988, however, Gaylord Container, now owner of both mills, began combining the two operations. Managers at both sites are learning that fences are not the only things separating the mills. Stock transfer, production schedules, safety requirements and separate unions are just a few logistics that need to be resolved before "East meets West."
In 1986, Gaylord bought the recycled linerboard mill on the West side of the site originally owned by Crown Zellerbach. The East side of the mill is a kraft plant originally owned by Fiberboard Inc., a subsidiary of Louisiana Pacific. Gaylord bought this side of the mill in 1988.
The East mill operates two paper machines producing brown linerboard, mottled white linerboard and corrugating medium. The combined mills' production in fiscal 1989 exceeded 1,350 tons per day. With this combination, Gaylord can offer many different grades. Combined, the mill has the largest old corrugated container (OCC) capacity of any mill in California and is the only kraft mill in the state, according the Gaylord officials. There are several recycled mills, they say, but the combination of kraft and recycled puts the Antioch mill in a unique market position.
Molding the two mills into one is an on-going project. "The joining of the mills is an …