150 years of Palm – Aalen-Neukochen paper mill celebrates its anniversary in 2022 with the inauguration of the world’s largest PM 5 paper machine.


Aalen is cooking. On September 16, 2022, the 150th anniversary of the Palm paper factory at the headquarters in Aalen-Neukochen was celebrated in a ceremony, as well as the inauguration of the largest and most modern paper machine PM 5 in the world for corrugated base paper, for which a room considerable was specially built in Aalen-Neukochen was built and has been in operation since 2021. In addition, in the anniversary year 2022, together with Dr. Wolfgang Palm, who can look back on 40 very successful years as managing director of the company founded in 1872, now his daughter Dr. The responsibility of Marina Palm Management in the family business, which is now in its 5th generation. Professor Dr. Clemens Fuest. Aalen’s mayor Frederick Brütting and Pasí Laine, managing director of the Finnish company Valmet, which manufactured the PM 5 paper machine, gave welcoming speeches, which included several world firsts. An overview of the history of the company was given by Dr. Wolfgang Palm and future vision explained by Dr. Marina Palm.

From a small paper mill in Aalen-Neukochen, the Palm family business has continuously developed its business since 1872 and is now considered a major player in the field of paper production based on waste paper and corrugated board production.

In 1872, the founder of the Palm company, Adolf Palm, took over the Sutor’sche paper mill in Aalen-Neukochen, which was in trouble. This was founded by the brothers Josef and Johann Sutor in 1840 as the “New Hammer Works” at the meeting of White and Black Kocher. In an ideal location, because in addition to the strategically important connection to the train station in Aalen-Unterkochen, the hydroelectricity of both bodies of water and the natural difference in altitude could be used in an ideal way. And first of all, the tools for agriculture were made in the mill, plows, wagon axles, hammers and pickaxes were forged, however, because of too much competition, the Sutor brothers then changed to paper production, for which they were lack of specialist knowledge and that too Capital.

The founder of the company, Adolf Palm, came to paper production through several points of contact: Through his half-brother Carl Philipp Palm, who was already successfully involved in paper production and managed the traditional “Unterkochen paper factory” (founded in 1613) and later. also large paper factories in Saxony and Silesia. And also through his own professional experience, Adolf Palm, who worked for many years in Cannstatt at the machine factory “Decker & Co.”, had contact with customers, among them were also paper and groundwood companies. Visiting the Württemberg State Exhibition in Ulm in 1871 was also a UN. And his commercial and technical knowledge allowed him to manage a company. Adolf Palm had a good school and professional education: in 1860, after graduating from high school, he did a commercial apprenticeship in a department store in Weil der Stadt and then he worked for a year in Ravensburg in “the shop made and bank Joh. Jac. Cathedral”. Then he went to commercial school in Kirchheim unter Teck, which was a gift of Württemberg at the time. Then, at the age of only 20, he began his long-term work in the machine works of the Decker brothers in Cannstatt, where he was able to learn a lot in the technical and commercial fields.

Adolf Palm took over the Sutor paper factory in 1872 without any in-depth knowledge of paper production, but thanks to his character traits of passion, tenacity and energy, as well as the skills and abilities he learned in work and thought processes, and above all his Swabian intelligence, he achieved considerable entrepreneurial success. It invests in new machines, technical innovations and in 1873 developed quality products “hard premium natural brown bast paper” for packaging purposes, which helps the company to be successful and stable. In 1876, still under Adolf Palm, a new iron wheel was commissioned and in 1881 a steam engine was used. In 1896 electric lighting was introduced.

The founder of the company Adolf Palm, who already in 1872 considered old clothes (ultimately also rags), waste paper and raffia packaging not as waste but as recycled material, can be described as a “pioneer in the production of paper from recycled material”.

And in addition to the other members of the Palm family who came after Adolf Palm, regardless of the generation they came from, who contributed to making the Palm company a very successful, innovative and meanwhile medium-sized company with 4000 employees spread over many people . where companies in Europe do, also show Dr. Wolfgang Palm and Dr. Marina Palm today has internalized the motto “Paper is our passion”:

At the headquarters of the Palm group of companies and the Palm paper factory in Aalen-Neukochen, which focuses on the business areas of recycling, paper and packaging, a new paper factory was built from 2019-2022, for which the factory existing papers there. was completely disassembled. Space was needed for the new PM 5 paper machine, a new gas turbine-based power plant and a new sewage treatment plant.

The PM 5 is the world’s largest and most efficient paper machine for lightweight corrugated base paper, manufactured by the Finnish company Valumet. Their capacity is 750,000 t per year. The length of the machine is 200 meters, its net working width is 10.9 meters and its operating speed is around 1,800 meters per minute. Its water consumption is significantly lower compared to previous machines and it is also very efficient in its steam and electricity consumption. By reducing the material, lighter base weight can be achieved.

In the newly built power plant, which works according to the cogeneration principle, a high-performance gas turbine from Siemens is used to produce steam and electricity, with an energy efficiency of 90 percent. This is a world first, a newly developed type of the last generation, which means higher power generation and lower CO2 emissions and can compensate for load fluctuations in the electrical grid. Together, the gas and power turbines produce about 80 MW of electricity. The largest steam boiler in the world is used here.


Next to the paper factory, another hall was built with a new roll store. In a fully automated transport system, paper rolls from PM 5 are labeled and transported via conveyor belts and crane systems to the roll store, where they are stacked up to a height of 15 meters and from there to the loading ramp. , from where rail cars and trucks are transported to the destination.

A flashback to 2011, when the Palm company received an important visit:
In 2011, Queen Elizabeth II visited Palm Paper’s King’s Lynn Mill in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, when the world’s largest and most efficient paper machine went into operation – and on this occasion, entrepreneurs a. Dr. Wolfgang Palm introduced the British Queen personally – and together they also unveiled a commemorative plaque at the inauguration.

dr In the festive event on the occasion of the anniversary “150 years of Palm”, Wolfgang Palm looks back on the history of the Palm company and also remembers many childhood experiences in the company premises.

Diana Rasch
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dr At the anniversary event, Marina Palm talks about the future of the Palm company

Diana Rasch
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Text and photos: Diana Rasch


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