SCPA: a taste of modern life
TW meets the domestic Filipino player’s president and founder Renato Sio to get the latest
For 15 years, Sanitary Care Products Asia (SCPA) has provided its customers with a progressing line of tissue products that convey a taste of modern life. The company manufactures 12,000 tonnes per year of bathroom tissue, facial tissue, table napkins and paper towels under the brand names Sanicare, Tisyu, Femme and Cheers using 100% virgin pulp.
Today, SCPA is the leading Filipinoowned tissue converter in the country with about 25% share of the market and since being established in 1996 maintains the nationwide distribution and sells its innovative products in nearly 5,000 stores. The company currently employs 400 staff, has expanded from a small shop located in Taguig City, one of the industrial satellites of Great Metropolitan Manila, and now operates five plants throughout the Philippines. Still privately owned and managed by the Sio family, SCPA combines the benefits of local tissue manufacturing and availability of virgin fibre sources in the region and minimum shipping costs. Diversity of tissue goods is one of the major concerns to succeed in the difficult Philippines’ market, Renato Sio, SCPA founder and current president and chief executive says: “We started the company as a private label supplier and now we are represented in almost every segment of tissue market. We have modernised, for example our website now provides product information and hygienic and ecological guidelines for consumers. We are also active in our brand promotion, distributing free paperboard stand featuring calendar, vanity mirror and a line-up of all SCPA brands.”
In 2010, SCPA launched the latest supplement to its Sanicare brand – the Sanicare Ecolayer tissue rolls. This innovative concept has been introduced for the first time in the country’s tissue product manufacturing industry. The threeply tissue has top and bottom layers made from 100% virgin pulp, which guarantees a stronger tissue structure with recycledgrade Ecolayer paper placed between them. All three sheets are combined in the process called laminated nested embossing. This lamination technology ensures adequate bonding between the virgin pulp sheets and the middle layer. SCPA is the first company in the Philippines to use this technology for bathroom tissue production.
According to SCPA marketing communications director Lea Sio, there is still an unenthusiastic perception of the hygienic properties of recycled fibre use in bathroom tissue. The use of virgin pulp in tissue making is standard practice for hygiene and sanitation purposes in Philippines. “While there is demand for recycled materials, we acknowledge that human contact with recycled-grade paper may have harmful effects. Thus, we developed the Ecolayer line to address both paper consumption and comfort demands of customers, and we look forward to using and developing more innovations to address both needs.” To further support its green manufacturing values, SCPA sources its pulp stock from suppliers that use managed forest plantations.
The most advanced and brand new tissue converting lines came from Asian manufacturers. For the last decade a number of companies from China have established themselves as suppliers of various tissue converting equipment with proven technology concepts and very competitive prices. The price is not only advantageous for the locally sourced converting lines – low cost service calls also help to reduce the overall product expense (taking into account that the price level of a jumbo roll would not give any leverage in competition). SCPA converting lines for tissue and kitchen rolls come from Dechangyu Paper Machinery Co. Ltd and Baosuo Paper Machinery Co.Ltd. Baosuo is affiliated with Alvarez Tissue Machinery Engineering and manufactures in China with design concept coming from the well-known European engineer. Its ULTRA series line is processing tight low grammage tissue at 160 toilet rolls per minute into four and six roll packages.
At present the company still operates a secondhand Fabio Perini rewinder purchased from Israel almost 15 years ago. Recently the company acquired an Omet napkin line from a Russian converter.
It seems that an emergence of new “green” trends in toilet paper has reached the Philippines. Coreless toilet paper is currently being sold in almost every supermarket in the country and SCPA has contributed a large share to this product line. This concept, however, is locally grown and was conceived somewhere in the early 2000s – long before Kimberly-Clark’s Scott brand offered its new tube-free line of toilet paper throughout the northeastern USA in 2010, eliminating the cardboard core tube that the paper is wrapped on. The Filipino approach came from local habits when toilet roll was used as an all-purpose tissue, so a paperboard core has been removed, a roll was flattened and put in the handbag.
Coreless tissue brand Tisyu is produced at SCPA on a regular schedule using the company’s own technological sequence. At first tissue stock is being rewinded on the long removable mandrel, then the resulting logs are flattened and finally saw cut before packaging. This product is obviously popular and is offered by the other local manufacturers.
Speaking about recent development at SCPA, Sio says the continuing regional natural turmoil from 2012’s earthquakes and flooding cannot break the company’s spirit of innovation. “We continue to introduce new environmentally friendly products made from recycled brown paper free of artificial whiteners and chlorine. This new brand Naturale offers attractive table napkins and kitchen towels featuring embossed and printed in green patterns,” she says.