Tecnologia e inovação
Tecnologia e inovação
Technology and innovation

Our competitiveness is related to constant investment in research, development, and innovation to improve the performance of our forests, the production process, the development of products, and the management of impact.

Technology and innovation
Technology and innovation
Tema

Research, development, and innovation for a renewable future

Our competitiveness is related to constant investment in research, development, and innovation to improve the performance of our forests, the production process, the development of products, and the management of impact.

The growing challenges of the paper and packaging market and the rising demand among consumers for products made from renewable materials have led the company to increase investment on this front in recent years. Investment in forestry and industrial research between 2019 and 2020 is expected to reach R$ 180 million.

In 2020, we continued to strive to become a world reference in responsible solutions that serve the constant changes in society, offering multi-use forest-based products that are renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable.

Learn about our value propositions and goals related to the technology and innovation sector which are part of the Klabin 2030 Agenda.

In the ESG Panel, see indicators related to the material theme Multipleuses of wood.

Our research and development path

Learn more about our research path on the site

Product development highlights

In 2020, the Forest, Industry and Research (FIR) working group continued to focus on understanding wood quality and solving deviations that may have an impact on the quality of the final product. We made progress in research into paper properties to boost its effectiveness as a sustainable material for packaging, as a barrier to water, vapor, fat, and oxygen.

In our Pilot Plant Park, in Parana state:

  • The company’s first lignin extraction plant has developed a brand-new product in the Brazilian market – pine kraft lignin. More than 40 tons of this material have been produced, resulting in more than 20 strategic partnerships in R&D projects and future customers.
  • The microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) plan ran five industrial tests in the development of new papers and cards, with properties distinct from those currently available in products on the market.
  • MFC was also applied in formulations that replace fossil compounds, which may represent a new market for more sustainable materials.

In the ESG Panel see GRI indicator 481-1 and others related to the material theme Multiple uses of wood.

Cellulosic thickener for hand sanitizer, developed at Klabin’s Technology Center, in Parana state. Photo: Klabin’s archive

Protection against Covid-19

In 2020, in partnership with Senai we developed a face shield with 10% cellulose replacing polyethylene. The product was distributed in all Klabin health units in support of the covid-19 fight.

The production of hand sanitizer using a cellulosic thickener has also been a success, culminating in the development of a new ingredient for cosmetic products which is renewable and sustainable, made from microfibrillated cellulose.

Find out more about our efforts to cope with the pandemic in chapter Covid-19.

Award-winning innovation

The development of Eukaliner® kraftliner paper made exclusively from eucalyptus fiber earned Klabin first place in the Packaging Innovation category at the eleventh edition of the PPI Awards, held by Fastmarkets RISI, in Lisbon, in March 2020. This is one of the top awards in the global pulp and paper industry.

Large-scale production of the world-leading product using technology patented by Klabin will be carried out at the Puma II Unit, with an annual capacity of 450,000 tons. Among the benefits of Eukaliner, tested and proven by customers in more than ten countries, are its high print quality and superior structure, which reduces weight compared with competing papers, in addition to reducing steam consumption and making productivity gains in customers’ corrugators.

These attributes, together with the use of planting areas up to ten times smaller than those used by global players, endow Eukaliner® with a differentiated position in the main global markets, exceeding all expectations of the product in the packaging segment.

Forest productivity

To maintain competitiveness and support the company’s expansion plans, our Research and Development projects focus on forest productivity.

Our Technology Center in Parana state develops clones and genetically improves pine and eucalyptus trees. It works on increasing productivity, adapting to possible adverse conditions caused by climate change, and increasing the basic density of wood, among other objectives. 

Trucks of the future

Two innovative trucks are being used in forestry operations. Their advantages include increased safety in operation, savings in resource usage, and space optimization. In March 2020, the first self-loading truck in the Americas entered operations in Parana, transporting logs up to 7.36 meters long. Regular trucks usually carry logs up to six meters long.

The technology, developed in Sweden and acquired by Klabin for adaptation to the vehicle, consists of a mechanical arm equipped with several cameras and sensors which transmit live videos of their movements and surroundings for 3D augmented reality goggles worn by the truck operator.

The Forest Unit team adapted the technology in partnership with the supplier. In addition to increasing the protection of the electrical cables and strengthening the rear balance of the truck, the mechanical arm base was extended to allow adjustment of the length according to needs. When using the mechanical arm, the truck is extended, offering greater safety for operators. In transit, it returns to normal size, complying with Brazilian legislation which limits length to 19.8 meters.

Bending truck

Bending truck, operating in Parana state. Photo: Klabin’s archive.

Another new addition to operations in Klabin’s planted forests in June 2020 was the first bending truck in Brazil. This innovation, also adapted by the Forest Unit, uses Australian technology. The bitrain truck is used in log transportation and the second trailer fits into the first, reducing its length from 19 meters to 15 meters, using much smaller area than that required by traditional trucks. The smaller turning circle makes maneuvering easier and improves steering and grip.

Innovation management

Innovation is in our DNA and runs through the company, as an important driver of its evolution. Innovation management is a material theme and in the Klabin 2030 Agenda its value proposition is a driving business model that is open to new processes that transform our performance and strengthen innovation ecosystems in society.

In the ESG Panel, see indicators related to the material theme Innovation Management.

Supporting the way we work

At Klabin our work is guided by a set of methods that combine the valorization of people with the improvement of processes, constituting the means to achieve operational excellence. We call this program Achievement [Superar in the Portuguese original], which really means the Klabin way of working in the pursuit of excellent results. Multidisciplinary and multifunctional teams manage the program and support its implementation in the company.

Cultural evolution is intrinsic to our way of working, which is transformed every day. In 2020, in a co-creation process involving the continuous improvement teams in different areas, we launched the Klabin Achievement Seal. This recognizes and shares the best practices in the company. We use certification processes established in the market and add elements relevant to Klabin, including sustainability efforts – in social and environmental spheres, and operational safety.

A total of five seals indicate stages of maturity: bronze, silver, gold, platinum, and diamond. They can be awarded to industrial units which meet the established criteria for continuous improvement. The seals recognize the individual progress made by the units in operational excellence and their reaching of sustainability goals, opening the way to international certification awarded to world-class companies.

Programs

We endeavor to improve our people and encourage autonomy in the development and implementation of innovative ideas for internal processes. Our open innovation strategy provides access to a global network of contacts comprising startups, universities, suppliers, customers, communities, and accelerators capable of solving challenges, sharing knowledge, and generating value for the company and society.

  • More than 1,200 startups are in our open innovation database.
  • More than 45 different startup solutions were studied in 2020.
  • 19 proofs of concept were conducted in the period.

Olho: We held a Pitch Day focused on diversity, looking for innovative solutions for management of the theme in different aspects, and we interacted with 30 companies.

Find out more about our programs on the Inova Klabin platform.

Highlights

  • Generation of the first prototypes for renewable multi-material packaging from our partnership with the Israeli startup, Melodea.
  • Filing for patents for the application of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) in countries on four continents.
  • Market launch of the new Ecolayer line: bags for the mortar market, including a water vapor barrier, after three years of research.
  • Ranked in the TOP 100 Open Corps 2020 as the most engaged company in Brazil’s innovation ecosystem. The listing includes organizations that have connected with the largest number of companies in the previous year.

In-house 

In 2020, we launched the Plant your Idea program in all our units except the newly incorporated International Paper mills, which will be included in 2021. The program encourages intra-entrepreneurship among employees, whose ideas are submitted to commissions in each unit. In total, 594 ideas were submitted for evaluation.

Another initiative for staff, Klabin Lab, which involves a week-long immersion for teams with a focus on specific problems, had two virtual editions: one for the credit area, and the other for automation of the Single Recognition Program.

Partnership in acceleration program

In a partnership with Voith, in September 2020, we participated in the fifth edition of Startups Connected, an acceleration program by the Brazil-Germany Chamber in Sao Paulo (AHK Sao Paulo), to select a startup for the Smart Sustainable Packaging project.

FiberBio, the startup selected, proposes the development of a biodegradable polymer for packaging, reducing the environmental impacts of conventional plastics. The proposed product uses cellulose nanocrystals, which have great potential in the production of flexible, biodegradable films.

FiberBio is in the process of acceleration, being advised on innovation management and business development, and has been mentored by Klabin to advance in product development.

Close to universities

The partnership with universities, Klabin + U, is critical to getting new perspectives on innovation at Klabin. In 2020, we held two hackathons, one in Rio de Janeiro, looking for a tracking solution for the circular economy, and the other with students from the Polytechnic School at the University of Sao Paulo (USP), to improve Klabin’s Artificial Intelligence system, Luna.

Partnerships also produced the technical specialization program for Klabin at the Federal Technological University of Parana (UTFPR), and innovation projects with students on the university’s engineering courses, as well as the Ecological Park Challenge to monitor fauna, with the USP Innovation Agency (AUSPIN).

Also in 2020, we organized a competition for MBA students to select the best business model for lignin, which was entered by universities in Italy, the USA, Canada, the Philippines, and India.

R&D partners in Brazil and abroad

  • Aria do Brasil
  • Associação Brasileira Técnica de Celulose e Papel (ABTCP)
  • Central American and Mexico Coniferous Resources Cooperative
  • Comitê de Produtores – Tappi Nano
  • Cooperativa Central America and Mexico Coniferous Resources (Camcore), Carolina do Norte (EUA)
  • Embrapa Florestas
  • Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (Esalq)
  • Forest Productivity Cooperative (FPC)
  • Instituto de Pesquisas e Estudos Florestais (IPEF)
  • Melodea
  • North Carolina State University (NCSU)
  • Oregon State University
  • Pine Chemicals International
  • Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE)
  • Serviço Nacional de Aprendizagem Industrial (Senai)
  • Sociedade de Investigações Florestais (SIF)
  • Unicamp
  • Universidade de Karlstad (Suécia)
  • Universidade de Leuven (Bélgica)
  • Universidade de Toronto
  • Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina
  • Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa
  • Universidade Federal de Campina Grande
  • Universidade Federal de Lavras
  • Universidade Federal de Santa Maria
  • Universidade Federal de Uberlândia
  • Universidade Federal de Viçosa
  • Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo
  • Universidade Federal do Paraná
  • Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Technology update

In 2020 we continued the technological updating of projects for our growth projects, preparing the company for Industry 4.0.

  • The Cloud Journey has been consolidated, enabling cloud data storage, boosting processing capacity and speed.
  • Expansion of wi-fi in the mills in Monte Alegre, Ortigueira, and Otacilio, and expansion of signal coverage for data transmission in forest areas.
  • Data links have been updated and optimized, allowing greater information traffic capacity at the company’s mills and offices.

Information security

Information security is a material theme in the Klabin 2030 Agenda. Our value proposition for this theme is to ensure strengthened technological capacities that protect individuals and institutions that have business with Klabin, considering the new ethical challenges arising from the advances in artificial intelligence.

Errors – whether human, programming, infrastructure, the provision of data processing services or arising from force majeure – in Klabin’s, our customers’ or suppliers’ systems, can compromise operations and information security.

Klabin, supported by a risk management plan and market methodologies, has been adopting cybersecurity controls to reduce availability risk in its operations.

We also implemented the Cybersecurity Policy and Primer, official company documents that guide employees on attitudes, good practices, and attributions to reduce the risk of cyberattacks.

In 2020, we also held the Cybersecurity and Privacy workshop for almost 2,000 people. We released a video on cybersecurity, featuring all ten pillars of our awareness program.

General Data Protection Act (LGPD)

To increase protection against cyber risks and ensure data confidentiality, we map risks related to information on or about employees, third parties, and end customers who have personal data held by Klabin. This assures compliance with the Lei General Data Protection Act (Law No. 13,709/2018) – LGPD , in force since September 2020.

  • 55% of direct employees were trained in digital language in 2020.
  • 1,993 people participated in the LGPD and Cybersecurity Workshop in the period.

In The ESG Panel see GRI indicator 481-1 and others related to the material theme Information Security.