First paper produced on newly upgraded papermachine

During our 300 year history, we have been a leader of security feature integration, developing the first windowed threads with the Bank of England in the 1980’s.

The need for greater security continues to grow and evolve and in recent years we have seen an exponential growth in the demand for wider security threads to combat the counterfeiting threat seen by our customers.

With this market driven need, we made the decision to invest in upgrading the capability of one of the three large paper machines at our Overton Mill, meaning that we now have four highly capable paper machines in the UK.

Despite challenges arising from the Covid pandemic, this week the newly upgraded ‘PM1’ successfully produced its first banknote paper since being switched off in late 2019. This is a major step towards completion of this complex project and the first customer order is expected to roll off the line before the end of September.

The programme has seen the replacement of the majority of the papermachine including the latest, state-of-the-art technology to optimise quality and performance.  The introduction of an advanced quality control system has brought improved real-time data with online quality control check points, with a new state of the art vision system checking that our paper meets our customers technical and visual requirements. The wealth of information from these new technologies offers even greater control, less variability and quality assurance that is second to none.

The project is the largest investment in a £21m programme focussed on transforming the efficiency, quality and sustainability of our business.

The investment is testament to the fact that the process of paper making remains at the heart of our business. With a heritage dating back over 300 years, we continue to invest in driving the quality and future of security paper forward.

Ross Holliday, Portals’ CEO commented:

Following a major rebuild of PM1, I am delighted to see our first banknote paper being produced. Two years ago we embarked on an investment journey that has seen us transform our business and ensure that we are able to improve performance for our customers and partners around the globe. This project comes after successful investments already commissioned in our pulp mill and finishing operations. I am extremely proud of what Portals has achieved in the past two years and would like to recognise the Portals team and our partners who have been involved in this project and who have made it happen in a safe and socially distanced way. I look forward to welcoming our customers at a later stage to the grand unveiling

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