The Allied Paper Mill of Kalamazoo, MI
(Newest Updates Listed First)
If you have any information and would like to clarify or correct any of the points on this page (or anywhere else on the site), please do so. You may e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them for everyone to see on the discussion board. If you e-mail, your identity and e-mail address will be kept confidential unless otherwise specified by you. If you post on the discussion board, you may do so anonymously, without a user account.
26 September 2004:
Added more demolition pictures from the second week of September 2004.
6 August 2004:
Added pictures of the demolition activity taken during the first week of August, 2004.
14 July 2004:
Created a new main page for the site. The new front page has a cleaner look and comes closer to drawing equal attention to factories other than just Allied.
05 September 2003:
Finished the high-resolution version of the Crown Vantage pages. Also made some general improvements to the Crown Vantage section.
16 August 2003:
Moved the forums back to the main server (http://www.alliedpaper.org/forum/).
14 August 2003:
Posted the new Crown Vantage section including full tours of the Power House and Mill 2, and a partial tour of Mill 1. Also updated the front page to reflect this and to clean things up a bit on that page.
30 July 2003:
Updated the site with information on the fire that occurred at Mill D. Also made some miscellaneous updates and corrections to other pages. I'm going on vacation but when I return, I plan to open the new Crown Vantage section which will include full interior tours of several of the buildings at that mill.
01 Apr 2003:
Implemented a new navigation scheme for the Powerhouse pages. If I decide I like it, I'll probably extend it to the rest of the tour pages soon.
24 Feb 2003:
Added exterior photographs and (a small amount of ) commentary of Mill 1 to the Crown Vantage section of the site. Also revamped the Machine Room page of the Mill D tour, adding some new photographs and replacing some of the poorly-exposed photos with new, higher-quality ones.
28 Jan 2003:
I finally got around to creating the "Factory Grounds" section of the site - no more five puny pictures. I do not have photographs of every little last detail of the factory grounds, but most major items are now covered. I would like to obtain additional coverage in some areas, and if I get a chance to do this, I will update the grounds tour with them.
05 Jan 2003:
Added a link to Jeremy Winkworth's fine Allied Paper site, featuring Allied photos from the year 1980.
30 Dec 2002:
Finally acquired some images of Mill C and created a Mill C section for the site.
15 Dec 2002:
I migrated the site to a new server. You shouldn't notice any disruption; if something doesn't work, please let me know.
02 Nov 2002:
Added the Watervliet Paper Mill section.
27 Oct 2002:
A visitor to the site named C. Demaine e-mailed me with a bunch of information about things in the mill a number of weeks ago. Today, I added all of this information to the site. The information is interspersed throughout the website near the photograph that it concerns. I also added the information from a different individual's 26 Sep 2002 e-mail to the main site. (It had been below in concentrated format only before.)
01 Oct 2002:
Tweaked the contrast and brightness of the 1024x768 Mill D photos that needed it (as had already been done for their 400x300 conterparts).
29 Sep 2002:
Added 1024x768 links to all of the Mill D photos.
26 Sep 2002:
Redesigned front page. Added changelog. Added discussion forums. Began adding the following information which I had previously received about the contents of Mill D and the Powerhouse:
It was confirmed by someone working in the paper industry that the two strange cylinders that we thought had something to do with the treatment of the boiler feedwater indeed are used for this purpose. Specifically, we are told that they de-mineralize the water, which is more or less what we had speculated.
We are also told that caustic soda is often used to break down wood fiber into paper pulp. (A 10% mixture of sodium hydroxide is commonly known as white pulping liquor.) This is a bit unusual, since to our knowledge, the only on-site souce of pulp was the paper recycling operation, not an actual wood-fed pulp mill. We had thought that part of the reason the factory was unprofitable was due to the lack of an integrated pulp mill. Perhaps we were wrong, but I am pretty sure that there was not an on-site pulp mill. Perhaps caustic soda is also used in the paper recycling process, or if that is not the case, perhaps it was there for use in some other general mill or power plant related task. Further clarification on this topic by someone in the know would be appreciated.
We were also told that the scale on the sides of the No. 1 boiler look like lime scale, which would be the result of the boiler having been used to reclaim (burn) pulping liquor from an onsite pulp mill in addition to its regular fuels. Most modern mills do this, as it reduces the amount of fuel that needs to be purchased, and is also a convenient method of disposing of the waste liquor. However, as said earlier, it is thought that there was not a pulp mill at Allied Paper. The same alternate scenarios apply however: we could be wrong about the lack of a pulp mill, or the liquors reclaimed in the boiler may have been a product of the recycling process. Alternatively, perhaps it is possible that the boiler was used to reclaim liquors from a different paper mill (seems unlikely), or that the scale came from some other process than the reclamation of pulping liquors.
Evidently, the odd sink is designed the way it is so that multiple people can use it at once (this could come in handy at break times and quitting time I imagine). We are told that the faucet head is at the top and the water comes out like from a garden hose attachment spraying in a circle. I would like to have seen that sink in action.
We are told that the picture of what we labelled a "Beater" in Mill D is actually known as a broke beater chest, or broke beater tank. Evidently, "broke" paper is paper that has already been made into paper in the paper machine, but for one reason or another is being re-pulped (we do not know why this is done - perhaps if the quality of the paper is less than desired or there was some kind of mistake in the paper making process - or perhaps it is for other reasons). We are told that the broke beater is a large tank filled with "white water", which is water that has been in the paper machine once and is being recycled (it dripped out through the paper machine mesh in the early stages, I think?), and has a large spinning blade at the bottom to cut the paper up. Then, once the broke is at the correct consistency, it is pumped back to the paper machine to be made into a new roll.
I am not quite clear about what was meant by some of the things in the above paragraph. My understanding would be that the broke beater contains both white water, and the semi-finished paper from the machine that is being recycled; and the blade chops up the paper until it sort of dissolves in or becomes integrated with the white water (since both are made of pulp originally). If someone could let us know whether that is correct, or if I've got it wrong, that would be really great. Also, I am not quite sure which piece of equipment was being discussed. Perhaps it is this machine which we did call a "Beater" in our writeup, or maybe they meant this one. The bin in the second link there definately does not drop into the machine in the first link - they are in different parts of the factory. However, I do not know where exactly the bin does drop to, and maybe what it drops into is a machine similar to the machine in the first link. But, when looking down the bin labeled Broke Pulper, it does not really look much like whatever the machine in the first link is. So again, we would sure appreciate more explanation. (I'm not joking when I say I knew nothing about the paper industry before finding this mill.)
It was pointed out that the items in the picture of the "industrial room containing lots of strange things" are boxes of 5.5 or 5 and 1/16 inch core plugs for the cardboard tubes that go through the center of a roll of paper. These plugs are used to keep the cores from crushing under the weight of the paper during the stress of shipment.
We are told that Latex is used in the making of milk cartons (not bottles), which may have been one of the paper products made at the mill. This is a very good explanation for the presence of the latex, which was quite puzzling to me previously. We were told further that the clay is used as a filler (sometimes up to 18%) in some grades of paper because it is cheaper than wood fiber.
It was confirmed that at least some of the ceramic tile lined objects are indeed called pulp chests. I think that these were the specific items being referred to, although there are many tile-lined containers and machines in different shapes throughout the paper mill. It was said that ceramic tile is the only practical material that can stand up to the abrasive nature of paper pulp, so it makes sense that not only the storage chests, but also the other tanks and machines that store pulp in various stages of manufacture are also lined with tile.
Some light has also been shed on the strange looking conveyor apparatus. It was suggested that this was probably a conveyor for waste paper that was about to be recycled to go up and into a broke chest or more likely (if this was indeed general received paper for recycling), a de-inker. It is known that there was a recycling and de-inking operation at this factory, so this explanation makes a lot of sense. If this was the case, then the top of the conveyor probably is over the pit in the room (which I was not able to tell for sure about from the photographs), and that the de-inker was once installed in or on the pillars in the pit.
Finally, we were told that the "rolls of cruddy looking paper" strewn about the floor are called Kraft paper, which is a semi-waterproof wrapping paper (presumably used to wrap the rolls of finished paper in for shipping - or perhaps they were products made at the mill for sale as well).
That is the end of the changes made at this time. I will soon begin the process of integrating some of this information into the regular mill tour pages.