Paper Machine Quality, energy, fibre, water, costs… the search for high end advances

TWM/1 What new technical advances have you made in the last year concerning issues such as energy, fibre and water reduction, sheet quality and reliability?

Paolo Raffaelli, technical director, Toscotec: “The focus was on specific areas of the paper process identified through field experience and with actions driven by the energy cost increase trend worldwide. We did extensive work on multiple energy recovery by heat exchangers on hot air exhausts of Yankee hood and vacuum systems, from re-boilers for steam generation to process water heating. Fairly deep evaluation of the effects of raising up within certain limits process water temperature on overall drying energy consumption has led to proven results, with the possibility to have an automatic DCS control of the actual on time performance features. Closed water loop and fibre recovery by fractionation are also substantial achievements of the last year.

“Mechanical dewatering by means of TT NextPress, Toscotec Shoe Press technology for tissue, utilised in combination with TT SYD Steel Yankee operating up to 150 kN/m, has similarly shown high post press dryness levels with lower thermal energy demand of conventional suction press. At the same time the possibility to increase the bulk or to maintain it running a Shoe Press at nip loads varying from 70 to 150 kN/m results in proven fibre saving for specific paper grades given the same target parameters.

“Significant steps have also been taken around headbox design in terms of formation, operating consistency and paper quality. Sheet stabilisation, fully integrated with dust removal system and air flow control along the paper transfer from Yankee to the pope reel, result in higher stability and reliability of the dry end of tissue machine.”

Martin Tietz, vice president, global product management tissue, Voith Paper: “The fastest-ever operating speed with a steam-heated hood, an impressive 2001 m/min, was achieved on a Voith tissue machine – TM16 at Cheng Loong in Taiwan. Steam-heated hoods are of great interest in areas where natural gas is not available or not economically feasible. Voith, as a real full-line supplier, provides the most advanced solutions within the new XcelLine – its latest generation of paper machines. We have an integrated approach to serve the whole plant life cycle.”

Günter Offenbacher, director sales tissue and drying, Andritz: “Key areas have been energy saving solutions on conventional tissue machines, e.g., double dilution system within the approach flow system, widening the operational flexibility of the shoe press for even higher post press dryness and enhancing the product quality. Another area was to increase drying performance and reliability with steam heated hoods to save energy cost and reduce the maintenance efforts and higher pre-press dryness.”

Maja Mejsner, director business development and marketing, PMP: “Last year has been very busy for us in both the tissue and paper sectors. We have been involved in projects on six continents. In tissue, we have extended our Intelli-Tissue® EcoEc line adding an Intelli-Tissue® EcoEc Premium type. It offers ultra-low steam consumption level. However, at the same time more advanced technological solutions including Intelli- Jet V® Premium hydraulic headbox, 16 foot Steel Yankee Dryer Intelli-YD®, a steam heated Intelli-Hood® and a large dia 1400 mm suction roll.

“It is an answer to more demanding consumers on emerging markets and an idea to be able to hit higher capacity numbers and sophisticated tissue quality.”

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“In addition, we have been very active in energy saving solutions provided by our Italian division PMPower Srl. One of the most interesting is a recovery steam generator system for a hood exhaust fumes as a key for spectacular energy savings. The first reference that works in France in Wepa’s mill allows steam generation of 1.2 t/h and guarantees a high level of flexibility. The recovery system allows to save more than 25% of a stem flow by main generator to the machine and as a consequence fuel consumption is reduced as well.”

Shinji Goda, director and general manager of engineering, Kawanoe Zoki: “The demand for higher value towel paper has been increasing in Asia. We started-up the new type of headbox on towel paper machine, which can realise high basis weight, high productivity, and the improvement of the paper quality. Its improvement on CD/MD ratio of our Best Former was a great achievement for us – we have never previously achieved this.”

Ingmar Andersson, sales and IPR manager, Valmet Tissue Mills Business Unit: “Energy savings and fibre reduction continue to be the focus for R&D and project implementation. Concerning energy savings the most important is to reduce the water content remaining in the sheet after pressing and thus has to be evaporated away. High intense pressing such as the Advantage ViscoNip are nowadays installed in almost all new dry crepe tissue machines. “Such new presses are making their way also into upgrades of existing tissue machines providing excellent dryness after press, in many cases close to 50%. The ViscoNip press is also flexible, changing operation from low load to high within minutes.

“The drying energy accounts for about 50% of the total energy. Such reduction of press dryness eliminates water in the sheet by up to 35%. The total energy saving when applying the ViscoNip press exceeds 15% compared to an ordinary Suction Pressure Roll.

“Also the application of Valmet’s Advantage ReTurne energy recovery system, which recovers energy from the headbox jet stream, has now successfully been applied in several cases, offering a reduction of up to 100 kWh/tonne when applied to high speed tissue making.

“Fibre saving processes, sometimes referred to as Hybrid Processes, such as the Advantage NTT process continue to make way into the high end products and is successfully applied globally. This process is making high bulk products, without any increase in energy consumption compared to standard dry crepe production.”

TWM/2 What technical areas will be your main focus in 2017?

Raffaelli: “We are investing on R&D with a continued effort on paper process analysis and verification of customers’ requirements, always seeking innovation in conjunction with environmental sustainability. Main technical targets will be quality, savings on energy, fibre and water demand with consequent reduction of operating costs, also achievable through improved process design, with solutions such as a Shoe Press or the application of specific auxiliary systems as TT SAF in the approach flow system, or moving ahead with nonconventional technologies as structured tissue and reduced energy consuming TAD machines.

“Toscotec will also continue to invest in TT SYD technology: the new technological facility for large-diameter Steel Yankee Dryers represents a further step ahead in manufacturing and quality control capability. Conventional machines can run today with TT SYD diameters up to 22ft in combination with TT Milltech Hood, and overall energy consumption below 2 MWh/ tpaper at high operating speeds.

“Winding technology is likewise a technical area of extensive engineering work by R&D in our company, as quality and runnability are also associated to the actual performances of this machinery. Concepts such as core centerwind assist and nominally zero nip winding pressure are today available as a standard option on Pope reel, for applications on conventional or non-conventional machines, and new technical concepts are also being implemented in tissue rewinders.”

Tietz: “Voith will continue to concentrate on machine efficiency. This includes reducing energy and fibre demand while also increasing productivity. In addition, we will also focus on solutions that improve paper quality.”

Offenbacher: “Increasing quality demands and at the same time intensifying price pressure for the tissue maker will remain the challenge. Andritz will introduce a revolutionary concept to the industry, with low additional investment cost on top of a conventional machine, with possibility to upgrade existing machines and with a big benefit in both areas, quality improvement and less energy cost.”

Mejsner: “As PMP we are a global player so we need to adjust our solutions to customers from both mature and emerging markets. However for both market segments of tissue industry our activities are engaged in the area of energy consumption optimization and final product quality improvement.

“We are extending our Intelli-YD® steel Yankee Dryer offer adding to standard sizes 12 and 15 feet also 16 and 18 feet size Yankee dryers. Together with solutions already offered by PMPower (high-efficient hoods, S&C systems etc) tissue makers are receiving great tools to save money every day. For our customers from emerging markets we propose an Optimum Cost Concept – an Integrated Tissue Mill (twin tissue lines, a common control room, no basement ) that ensures production flexibility and significant investment cost squeeze.

“For mature markets we are planning to extent our offer by adding a tissue making line with a shoe press technology included Intelli-Tissue® Ultra. There are two reasons behind it. First of all as PMP we are one of the key players in shoe press technology in the paper sector (at present our solution Intelli-Nip® has been already appreciated by customers from four continents).

“In addition, this line is going to be equipped with Intelli-Jet V® Premium hydraulic headbox with an alternative diffusor shape. As PMP we are a market leader in headbox technology worldwide, however we constantly are looking for smart concepts in this field to stay ahead of our competitors. Secondly, we cannot ignore a need of experienced tissue makers who are interested to produce structure tissue as a smart alternative to more expensive TAD products.”

Goda: “Further energy saving and an increase in productivity will understandably be our focus in 2017, however we think it is important to focus on the technology which will improve the working environment of our customers. We think our technologies such as dust removal and the automation of operation can hopefully change the impression to the paper manufacturing.”

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Andersson: “The Advantage NTT hybrid process offers totally new opportunities such the possibility to design the end product already in the tissue machine.

“Together with our customers and fellow suppliers we continue to develop this application in our Pilot Plant for tissue making. Today there are four NTT machines in operation and several more are coming on stream during 2017 so it is fully commercialised.

“Next year the Advantage ReTurne energy saving system will be applied also on our widest Advantage DCT 200 machines. A possibility that will offer significant savings in electricity consumption – to the machine category which today accounts for most of the tissue capacity expansion globally.

“Another important area is the development of Smart Tissue machines which is continuing with good progress.”

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TWM/3 How are the world’s changing trends and dynamics impacting your business and technical R&D? What geographical regions hold the most interest for you and why is this?

Raffaelli: “We are constantly looking at market needs worldwide, where our presence is progressively consolidating and becoming stronger, and we are investing in customer support and services.

“The continuous changes in clients’ needs require flexibility and a smart approach, with a customer oriented spirit to face changes and requirements, but specific technical solutions and R&D activity are determined also by the geographical areas which have always to be considered in any business approach.

“The market in Asia is still characterized by conventional products even though new interest is growing for different technologies and premium tissue grades.

“In cases where the steam is the only heating medium available versus gas, specific solutions have been identified such as TT Prodergy to get high drying capacity and speed with reduced energy consumption and reliable machine operation; the use of 22FT Yankee size, hybrid or steam heated hoods, air or water automatic cleaning filters, are some of the design features applied.

“North America is a premium tissue market and TAD machines and products are quite well established, but there are opportunities for new conventional machines and technological rebuilds focused on process optimization and quality.

“We are also investing to support local customers in Latin America, while our presence in Europe has become definitely stronger in the last year.”

Tietz: “As a global company, Voith is very active in all regions. China will remain very important for the installation of new capacities. Tissue consumption in China is still growing and local producers are expanding their exports, even to other continents. Other countries in Asia and in other continents are also in focus. Rebuilds are more frequent in Western Europe and North America.”

Offenbacher: “Even with overcapacity reported in China, the market will stay of high interest due to its huge potential, that is still evident. North America and Europe will be our focus and also South America – Andritz stepped into this market recently with our delivery for a new Machine to Carta Fabril, including the world’s biggest Steel Yankee. R&D work will be heavily intensified and will focus on all market areas, that is, from Premium technology to conventional machines and covering quality improvement, energy efficiency, fibre usage, synergies with other industries etc.”

Mejsner: “We are consequently following our strategy which is strengthening our position in the market where we are well established (Asia, North America, Europe, Australia). We are also increasing our marketing efforts in new, promising areas like Latin America. Our philosophy is to keep a reasonable balance between markets.

“Each day we listen to our customers carefully. Emerging markets are more and more agile. They are ready to invest more and think long term. That is the reason why we have decided to extend our Intelli-Tissue® EcoEc line: there are two options now – a standard configuration EcoEc (essential solutions) and more advanced concept EcoEc Premium as mentioned above.

“At the same time mature market need to focus more on cost optimization and alternative solutions. Our answer is above mentioned Intelli-Tissue® Ultra tissue making line (with a shoe press as key for success both for energy savings and better bulk – tissue quality).

“Moreover, we constantly provide sophisticated engineering projects for our long term corporate partners (details are confidential). These are focused on creating an added value to allow our partners to enter undiscovered market niches.”

Goda: “We predict that the demand for household tissue shall increase in Southeast Asia. Our compact tissue machine shall be acceptable in this market at this moment. In addition to further cost savings and high operating efficiency, we would like to evolve the machine in order to meet the customer’s requirement in this area.”

Andersson: “Valmet is active on the global market and receives contracts from all major markets. There are variations in business volume depending on local conditions but fortunately when one market experience periodic drops another market continues to invest, therefore Valmet´s business has been fairly stable.

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“There has been a slowdown in China but some of the bigger tissue makers continue to strengthen their market position and therefore still invest.

“The shutdown of capacity in China has helped limiting the impact from over capacity. It remains to be seen how the increased trade of tissue across the borders will impact the global tissue market.”

TWM/4 What are the main technical challenges and opportunities facing your customers and how are you helping them?

Raffaelli: “Nowadays any technical solution in tissue industry is primarily determined by clients’ needs. Our approach to the market is therefore focused on a flexible client oriented design, and our permanent R&D activity is dedicated to the design of industrial plants in a close combination with engineering study on actual process performances and our customer care feedback.

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“We are also providing services such as field optimisation surveys on existing plants, overall project management and baby-sitting on new installations, post start up assistance.

“The areas where we are mostly technically supporting our customers are energy saving, optimization of plant efficiency, reduction of operational and maintenance costs, safety implementations and procedures, paper quality, fibre and water usage reduction.

“Emissions and environment impact control are also a critical design feature to be addressed in any project, external to the building for gas exhausts and noise, but also internal in the working areas for the operators, in terms of dust and mist containment, noise silencing.”

Tietz: “The tissue market is expanding most quickly in regions where qualified personnel are scarce. Voith provides machines that are easy to operate and offers extensive training.”

Offenbacher: “Increasing quality demands at intensifying price pressure will remain their major challenges. Andritz can provide not only the right technology and equipment – with the right value for money – but we can also support with our expertise in all areas, starting from fibre technology, e.g. use of annual fibre, up to product quality optimisation and service support to increase run time efficiency of machine/plant operation.”

Mejsner: “Tissue sector is stronger than ever and, at the same time compared to previous years, it is getting more mature, more conscious. Hygiene is an important element of life of every person all over the world. Of course there are different stages of development, preferences and drivers for consumers.

“Taking all those elements into account, I would indicate three main challenges: maintain expected tissue quality, optimization & control of production costs and, especially recently, flexibility. The last one has become a key for success. Smart tissue makers are forced to look for solutions that bring flexibility of production (wide range of products) and quality diversification depends on end users preferences.

“Our scope of solutions for tissue makers is getting wider and wider based on the platform concept Intelli-Tissue® also including double width machines (5.5/5.6 m @ reel). A Crescent Former technology supported by sophisticated added-value solutions like multilayer type hydraulic headboxes, large steel YD, modern energy saving solutions (including a shoe press technology) are tools to stay flexible and achieve repeatable tissue quality.”

Goda: “Our customers are seeking for high quality products in order to differentiate from other competitors. Complying with the market requirement as quick as possible is important strategy. We are trying to realise the customer’s each demand on the machine with our high skills.”

Andersson: “There are continuous efforts to improve the technology and at the same time limiting the total investment/ton. It is also essential to increase the production output with high quality products.

“Besides this, the most important effort is to assist our customers to achieve highest possible efficiency at their plants. This is done in close cooperation, with our experts present at the mills but also by Remote Process Services and Industrial Internet. The Mill operations can be followed and analysed by our experts in our technology centres. Recommendations and discussions can place regularly or on demand without any time delay.”

TWM/5 What trends in tissue machine will have the greatest impact on the production process in the next five years?

Raffaelli: “Efficiency, runnability, energy, reduced operation and maintenance costs, operator safety, environmental impact, should continue to be considered essential requirements for any new future rebuild or turn-key project and investment plan.

“The design of machinery and process will always be driven by the customer, but it will be different for mature or emerging markets, and each region will require different product performance or quality, with an expected general trend toward premium products, to be achieved in combination with reduced energy, fibre and water demand.

“We also believe that structured tissue technologies will continue to develop and grow, having however a market impact primarily on non-conventional technologies such as TAD systems.

“In any case, conventional tissue technologies, with Shoe Press, large diameter Steel Yankee and high efficiency hood, with recent achievements to get high quality final products, with their reduced energy consumption and investment cost in comparison with non-conventional technologies, are still offering a demonstrated and up to date solution with capability for premium tissue grades.”

Tietz: “The tissue market is increasingly demanding different qualities and unique products. But the tissue producers expect that they do not need individualized machines for each grade. Instead, the variations between the many different machines a customer operates should be as small as possible. Therefore, machines will become less complex for operating personnel and maintenance.”

Offenbacher: “The tissue industry is facing increasing pressure to comply with statutory requirements, and to reduce resource
consumption.

“Based on these requirements, we offer a mill wide resource management system (RMS) that enables the monitoring, tracking and tracing of the tissue machine’s esource demands and energy flows. On the one hand, the resource demand and energy consumption have a direct impact on competitiveness and costs, on the other they are in direct interaction with the production itself. Optimisation is therefore only possible when all processes are analyzed and monitored in a transparent way.”

Mejsner: “Tissue sector is the strongest one in the Pulp and Paper industry. Forecasts are optimistic – a dynamic growth is a fact. If there is no unexpected crisis, a development should continue smoothly. Innovation starts to play a more important role as people have started to think long term estimating their business opportunities. In my option three areas will drive this growth: energy savings solutions, tissue quality improvement and safety projects.

“Energy savings solutions will be directly connected with application of large Steel Yankee Dryers (even 18 and 20 feet), efficient auxiliary systems (steam and condensate systems, vacuum systems, hoods etc) as well as a shoe press. “Tissue quality improvement will directly correlate with high tech hydraulic headboxes (multilayer type), large dia suction press rolls and/or shoe press technology.
“Safety projects will be connected with more demanding regulations and bigger care of employees.”

Goda: “The market is requiring product differentiation. The features of each machine are also differentiated. Our towel paper machine already accepted in Japan is expected to be chosen in Southeast Asia, regarded as the machine which can create the high-value paper differentiated from competitors.”

Andersson: “Lately energy prices globally have been quite moderate but prices will likely increase again.

“Consumers will over time request products with less impact on the environment therefore energy, fibre and water will continue to be very important.

“The tissue making process is quite complicated and requires relatively large investments. Therefore the time to react on changes are long, considering the total industry sector.

“Investments made today are expected to be in service for a long time. Tissue makers driven by a clear strategy, facing these challenges, will be rewarded over time. Today there are some tissue makers guided by a clear vision and continuously applying the Best Available Technology.”

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