German-based Paul & Co is expanding its footprint in the fast-rising battery and electric vehicle markets.
Founded in 1893, the company offers paper products such as cores, edge protectors, and core boards, and is part of the Kunert Group. Paul & Co Asia handles business in South Korea.
The company’s paper cores are used industrially to wrap metals or plastics. In batteries, its materials are used in copper and aluminum foils as well as separators.
In an interview, Paul & Co Executive Vice President Kilian Kunert explained that using ABS or fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) was the norm for industrial cores in the past.
But the trend was shifting towards paper, which is hugely more advantageous in price and being recyclable. Because of this, more electric vehicle and battery companies using paper, he said.
ABS and FRP materials, practically speaking, can’t be recycled. Because battery factories are susceptible to dust, when used in batteries, they also go through an additional processing process, which drives up costs.
According to Paul & Co, its paper cores are 80% cheaper than its ABS and FRP counterparts. And as they are paper, they can be easily recycled.
Paper cores are also in rising demand due to environmental concerns. European automobile makers are also keen to reduce their carbon emissions. They now demand battery cell makers turn in their carbon emission figures before delivery. This is a hot issue as automobile makers are trying to end the claim that electric vehicles emit the same about of carbon as conventional combustible engine vehicles.
For workers in the field, paper cores are also more convenient than ABS and FRP as they have the same durability but are half the weight.
Regulations are strong in Europe that it is almost impossible to manufacture ABS and FRP cores in Europe, Kunert noted.
Paul & Co was the only company that can offer paper cores for batteries, the executive vice president said.
Battery cell companies with facilities in Europe and related material companies were currently using Paul & Co’s cores, Kunert said, though he didn’t name the customers. However, many of them were South Korean companies, he said.
Paul & Co is aiming for an annual revenue of 3 million euros for its paper core business this year. In the mid- to long-term, the company is also planning to produce paper cores in South Korea.
The company was currently producing its paper cores in Germany, Hungary, and Indonesia, Kunert said, and it has plans to produce them in South Korea as well.