12_octnov_NEWS WORLD

Global Voith launches NipVision

Voith has launched NipVision, a real time system that makes nip measurements possible while the paper machine is running.

The online and real-time measurement tool uses the latest roll cover technology, where a glass fibre is embedded in the roll cover that constantly transmits information from the nip.

The company said it is the first system to measure nip pressure, profile and the cover temperature while the paper machine is running.

The NipVision glass fibre sensors are very small, non-aging, flexible and chemically resistant. They lie inside the cover, so that the roll application and dimensions remain unchanged.

In a statement, Voith said: “It is the only system which can measure temperature within the cover while the paper machine is running.

“This is a real benefit to the customer, given that a large number of damages result from temperature-related issues.

“Until now the source of poor profiles and sheet quality, increased sheet breaks and sudden roll cover damages have often been linked to a given press nip but, without any proof.

“With the help of NipVision such problems can be detected and hence prevented.”

Kemira launches KemFlite

Kemira has launched KemFlite to reduce paper and board machine problems caused by deposits from the agglomeration of hydrophobic particles.

The particles originate from wood pitch, stickies or binders in coated broke.

Chris Lewis, regional applications manager, paper, said: “KemFlite is a concept that pools together a range of Kemira products and our process know-how in a consolidated package, directly addressing the problems customers have with deposit control on paper machines.”

He said that under certain conditions, the particles agglomerate to a larger size and eventually deposit on paper machine wet-end surfaces, wires, felts and dryer cans.

“KemFlite is designed to manage the hydrophobic substances, particularly their size, before they form deposits.

“The result is a smoother operation, decreased downtime, better cost efficiency, reduced chemical consumption and improved finished paper and board quality.”

WEPA to cut 150 jobs at its five tissue sites in Germany

German tissue giant WEPA has announced more cost-cutting measures.

In addition to the planned sale of two mills in Italy, the firm revealed plans to cut some 150 out of a total of 1,500 jobs at its five sites in Germany.

WEPA said it closed a framework agreement with the joint works council and the IG BCE trade union that provides for socially responsible job cuts. The firm mainly plans to resort to attrition, the non-renewal of fixedterm contracts, early retirements and mutually agreed terminations of work contracts. Moreover, WEPA’s employees in Germany agreed to a reduction of their bonus pay check at the end of the year.

According to WEPA, the cost-cutting measures are due to the high costs and price pressure in the sanitary paper sector.

WEPA chief executive Martin Krengel said: “As a producer of commodity products we need to use any opportunity to streamline our business and reduce costs when rising prices for raw materials, energy and logistics cannot be passed on to the customer.

“It is our only chance to maintain our competitiveness and safeguard our long-term future as a family-owned business.”

“We need to use any opportunity to streamline our business and reduce costs.” WEPA chief executive Martin Krengel

Mills for grabs in Italy: WEPA revealed plans to part with two of the five tissue mills of its subsidiary WEPA Lucca in August. The sites in question, WEPA’s Piano della Rocca and Fabbriche di Vallico mills in the Lucca area, produce 17,000tpy and 31,000tpy respectively.

Moreover, the firm plans to move two converting lines from its Salanetti converting facility to other production units outside of Italy. WEPA hopes to finalise the cost-cutting measures by the end of next year.

Pamplona sells WEPA share: As WEPA further revealed, it is no longer partly owned by the UK-based private equity firm Pamplona Capital Partners.

According to the tissue manufacturer, Pamplona sold its 32% share in WEPA to the firm Marsberger Kraftwerksgesellschaft (MKG) in August. The value of the deal was not revealed.

MKG is owned by Martin, Wolfgang and Joachim Krengel, who also own the majority stake in WEPA. Thus the firm is back under full family-ownership.

Pamplona acquired its stake in WEPA in 2010. At the time, the firm revealed plans to invest some Euro 150m over the following 18 months.

Among the planned investment projects were the installation of a new tissue paper machine in Germany and the expansion of WEPA’s hygiene products sites in Spain, France, Italy and Poland.

News from RISI (www.risiinfo.com)

Tak Investments announces tissue deal for International Paper assets

Tak Investments has completed a deal to purchase a portion of International Paper’s papermaking assets at its recently re-opened mill in Franklin, Virginia.

Over the past few months one of the mill’s former paper machines has been converted to produce tissue.

A new subsidiary, ST Tissue, has been created and will operate at the Franklin mill site.

Full-scale tissue making operations will begin in late September 2012.

ST Tissue will use sorted office paper and old corrugated containers recovered from the mid-Atlantic states as the primary source of fibre.

This post-consumer waste paper will be cleaned and de-inked so that only bright white paper fibre or clean brown (Kraft) fibre will remain for use in towel and napkin parent rolls.

Sharad Tak, president of Tak Investments and ST Paper, in Oconto, Falls, WI, said: “Our tissue converting customers will now be able to depend on a new and very competitive source of both white and brown towel and napkin grades in volumes sufficient to grow their towel and napkin businesses.”

Maury Keesler, general manager, added: “Upon completion, ST Tissue’s Franklin tissue machine with its 310” web width will be among the widest tissue machines in North America and will be an extremely cost effective producer of many high-volume towel and napkin grades.”

The total project cost of roughly $70m is being funded by Tak Investments in association with Macquarie Bank.

Kimberly-Clark in bamboo fibre agreement

Tissue giant Kimberly-Clark (K-C) has teamed up with biotechnology company Booshoot to support the production of tissue products made with bamboo fibre.

K-C said the partnership “marks a significant breakthrough” for the tissue industry and the planet, and means it can now explore the manufacture of tissue products that contain fibre derived from Booshoot’s proprietary bamboo propagation technology.

The companies will work together to develop high-yield fibre alternatives that can be grown domestically on a mass agricultural scale in environmentally and socially responsible ways.

Under the agreement, Booshoot will deliver tens of thousands of bamboo starts to be grown in K-C pilot projects. The trials are designed to prove the viability of several species of giant bamboos, including ‘Moso’ (Phyllostachys edulis), as sustainable tree fibre alternatives.

Moso grows close to 100 feet tall and is harvestable in less than a decade, producing several times the fibre of traditional timber, and capturing four times the carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) of most trees.

Booshoot chief executive Jackie Heinricher said: “Booshoot has the proven science and production capacity required to eventually produce millions of bamboo plants annually, which will play a critical part in reducing the world’s dependence on native forests.”

Gordon Knapp, president of North American Consumer Tissue for K-C, said: “Introducing alternatives to natural forest fibre to our supply chain is important to our goals associated with responsible fibre sourcing as well as our goals to improve management of input cost risk and variability.”

Booshoot is a biotechnology company that is focused on bamboo forestry, agriculture and nursery wholesale.

RCI Technology and Consos launch eco-friendly product

The American supplier of tissue softeners RCI Technology and speciality chemicals company Consos have announced the official launch of the Softener ST-A Liq product.

The 100% active Softener ST-A Liq is based on their company’s eco-friendly renewable resource technology and is a natural hydrophilic water dispersible softener.

The product has a higher molecular weight than previous products to exhibit “a higher degree of tissue lubricity, while maintaining optimum hydrophilicity and all environmentally acceptable properties”.

As a wet-end application, Softner ST-A Liq also makes it easy to create a higher grade product using a company’s present furnish, and can save money by allowing the use of lower cost fibre mixes.

In a case study, the performance of the Softner ST-A Liq at a tissue mill was analysed.

A typical equipment and furnish were used and it found that hand feel softness was increased by five points of TSA value, elasticity and compressibility value improved, while at three kg/tonne tissue tensile was not affected.

The mill realised 40 kwh/tonnes in energy savings due to reduced hood temperature.