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HISTORY OF PAPER PRODUCTION AND PROCESSING AT DOLNÍ BRANNÁ


Ignác Dix enterprise – beginnings of paper production…

In 1889 Ignác Dix of Velká Úpa commissioned a paper production and processing factory, which he built at the edge of the village of Dolní Branná near the confluence of the Labe River and the Sovinka Brook. Initially, the paper mill was equipped only with one machine with a drying cylinder 2.20 metres in width, which was powered by a steam engine. The steam engine also provided the propulsion for three beaters for the preparation of paper stock and for a dynamo. The factory also housed a grinder with a refiner, and a wood steaming chamber. The plant equipped in this way produced brown wrapping paper. The owner modernised the production in 1904–1906. He purchased two paper-making machines with their own steam drive. He also expanded the number of beaters to nine. The drive of all the equipment was provided by a steam engine with a dynamo, and a water turbine. Cutters, an embosser and reeling machine were installed into a finishing room that had been set up newly. As a result, the range of products was expanded considerably - the factory produced fine cartons, draft and writing paper, tissue paper, timetable paper, and toilet paper. Ignác Dix with his sons owned the factory at Dolní Branná up until 1945.

In the hands of the state – tradition continues…

After the war, people’s administration began to act in the firm in 1945, and after 1948 the firm was incorporated under Krkonošské papírny. In the course of 1949, the original small beaters were replaced by four larger ones. The plant became part of Polabské papírny in the 1950s for a short time – as “cech Dolní Branná” – but in 1958 the paper mill again passed to Krkonošské papírny. At that time, the steam engines were replaced, one by one, by electric drives. In 1989 –  i.e. at the 100th anniversary  – the plant was equipped with two paper-producing machines, two pulpers and four beaters. This technology, installed after the war, had undergone several refurbishments and modernisations – PS I, on which paper with an area density of 15–30 g/m2 was produced, in 1972, 1978 and 1987, and PS II, which produced paper with an area density of 60–110 g/m2, in 1961 and 1977. The resulting assortment included carbon paper, wrapping tissue paper, special non-corrosive paper, electrolytic capacitor paper, paper for continuous forms, special paper for multicolour printing “Marioni”, colour and white paper for the manufacture of artificial flowers, underlying paper for PVC wallpapers and highly absorbent dielectric paper.

KRPA group – on a new way…

In early May 1992, the joint-stock company, Krkonošské papírny, a.s., was formed through the privatisation of the former state-owned enterprise. The plant at Dolní Branná was incorporated into the joint-stock company with the designation “Division 5”. As early as 1993, the first stage of conversion of the paper mill to a solely processing plant with modern facilities for final processing was completed. Simultaneously, the issue concerning the environmental impact of the production was dealt with. A wastewater treatment plant was built and the boiler room was switched to gas. In particular, the production of “continuous” single- and multi-layer forms for computing technology designed with or without prints became the content of new production. These forms have been and still are sold under the designation KRPA FORM. The course of 1994 saw the setting up of a workplace for graphic preparation, and the then Division 5 thus became self-sufficient within the entire process of producing printed forms. Further changes with an orientation to printing production took place in around 2000. The graphic preparation workplace was extended to house three graphic stations and the workplace for the manufacture of printing plates was modernised as well. The purchase of three high-performance rotary printing machines resulted in a significant expansion of the offering of printed forms. At the turn of the millennium, there were five rotary printing machines for printing with one to five colours and one sheet machine for two-colour printing in operation in the plant at Dolní Branná. Investments in the following years were directed mainly at equipment for the final processing of forms, e.g. an extension of the range of formats, gathering, separation bonding of NCR folders to create notepads, personification of forms and their folding.

KRPA FORM, a.s. – in the new millennium…

KRPA Holding was formed in May 2008 as part of the process of restructuring the KRPA Group and Krkonošské papírny, a.s.  The newly founded company, KRPA FORM, a.s., which continued the hitherto tradition of quality branded production in its own name, assumed the responsibility for producing forms at Dolní Branná and rolls in Hostinné. The manufacture of continuous unprinted forms in single- up to five-layer versions takes place on two machines. It is possible to make prints by means of six machines. Final adjustments are made on other equipment. The company offers a broad range of products that are used in many areas. They include, above all, pre-printed forms, invoices, delivery notes, bills of lading, accompanying documents, internal warehouse and production documents, headed papers, bank and cash documents, postal orders, business cards, tickets, discreet envelopes, notepads, single- and multi-layer forms, forms designed as a continuous sheet or cut formats, forms designed as JUMBO rolls for mass data processing. KRPA FORM, a.s., developed itself in other areas as well – it arranged for the sale and distribution of office papers and provided a comprehensive offering of paper rolls for cash registers, fax machines, printers and other equipment. A stable position not only in the Czech market and testimonials by key partners from among the most notable companies is one of the strengths of KRPA FORM. The original paper mill at Dolní Branná has undergone a great number of significant changes over the 120 years of its existence. Its original orientation to primary production was switched, in response to the market conditions, to processing and printing production.   

180th anniversary of KRPA Holding – investment for the future…

The production of Division 11 of Obchodní tiskárny, a.s. Kolín, specialising in the production of forms, was purchased in 2013. Hence, KRPA FORM acquired further technological facilities and circle of customers. In 2015, KRPA FORM along with the other sister companies within the KRPA Holding group celebrated the 180th anniversary of paper production in our enterprises. The same year also saw the production extended by digital printing, and the group invested in resuming the production of paper bags in Hostinné a year later. KRPA FORM took over the production.

The company’s priority is customer satisfaction, which KRPA FORM achieves primarily through the quality of products and services it offers. The quality of the output is also attested by the prestigious Czech Made mark which the company has been holding for a long time. For the years to come, KRPA FORM plans further development, chiefly in extending the production of paper bags and in modernising the production of cash register rolls.

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