Domtar Expands Presence in Thermal POS Paper Market

Thermal point-of-sale (POS) paper is part of your daily life. For example, it’s used for the receipts you receive when you put gas in your car, buy groceries, or eat at a restaurant.

We have expanded our participation in this market by acquiring a thermal paper coater and related equipment at a facility in West Carrollton, Ohio, previously owned by Appvion Operations, Inc. The transaction makes Domtar the only large-scale North American producer of thermal POS paper.

“We are excited to add this product line to our portfolio and expand our core capabilities,” says Domtar Paper Vice President and General Manager Rob Melton. “The West Carrollton coater, combined with Domtar’s low-cost base paper, now positions us to compete domestically and globally in the lightweight thermal paper market, while also providing new options for our paper business’ future growth.”

Thermal POS Paper Complements Existing Business

The acquisition complements our existing paper business. Many thermal POS paper customers are already Domtar customers, and we’re very familiar with the high-quality thermal paper produced by the West Carrollton coater. The facility has applied thermal coating to base paper made at our Marlboro Mill since 2012, when Domtar agreed to a long-term supply agreement with Appvion.

Rolls of 165-inch-wide lightweight base paper are shipped to West Carrollton from the Marlboro Mill in South Carolina. After the paper is coated, it’s cut into three separate rolls, each about 50 inches wide, on a winder. These rolls are shipped to customer facilities where they’re converted into even smaller rolls, down to the size you see at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants.

The technology is simple. The paper’s coating changes color when exposed to heat. During printing, a small printhead runs across the coated paper, heating it beyond its melting point. The reaction is what produces the printed image. Thermal printing became common in the 1980s and has stood the test of time thanks to its simplicity and durability. It also spares merchants the hassle of having their machines run out of ink; the paper does all the work.

“We consider entering the thermal POS paper business a long-term strategic initiative,” says Domtar Pulp & Paper President Michael D. Garcia. “This acquisition provides us with access and knowledge into a growing coated specialty papers market. We are excited to start on our plan to grow and strengthen the business for long-term success.”

The next time you make a purchase, use an ATM or print your boarding pass from an airport kiosk, remember that thermal POS paper is just one of the many ways paper plays an important, and often overlooked, part of your day-to-day life.

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