1. What have been the most important technical developments at your company during 2012?
Emmanuel Allibe, ABK Group managing director: “ABK Group has taken a decisive step in 2011 with the acquisition of the well-known tissue machine manufacturer Over Meccanica. Since then, we have managed to integrate that new company, ABK ITALIA, into the group, putting in place a certain number of processes aimed at benefiting from the level of knowhow of former OM engineers, as well as from extensive workshop capacities in Verona. After one year of working together, we are pleased with the level of synergy that we have been able to reach, and of the trust expressed by the paper tissue makers at time of signing new contracts.
“In 2013 we have planned to install our own intranet in order to implement a centralised network of communication and control. On the other side we are also standardising all our internal procedures and documents. This kind of job is a step forward for the future ISO certifications of the group.”
Sonia Bertetto, PMT Italia, tissue sales manager: “Our present development is being carried out on new press section configurations in order to achieve higher sheet dryness out of press. We believe that nowadays the most interesting developments for our customers are to be found in the details of the tissue machine in order to improve its overall performance.”
Davide Mainardi, Toscotec sales and customer care director: “2012 has been a very important year for us. We have consolidated our position creating new project opportunities, reached important sales target (including the sale of 100 Steel Dryer TT SYD), enlarged our product portfolio with the acquisition of Milltech Company, optimised our existing product range and introduced new integrated solutions.
“Our optimised patented concept for the short approach TT SAF has been developed to provide energy savings and space savings.
“The Steel Yankee Dryer (SYD) remains one of the most interesting solutions for the drying of tissue and the reduction of energy consumption.
Toscotec is the world leader in and pioneer of the SYD and has over the years carried out revolutionary applications of this technology which is now patented. We have substantial experience working in different mill environments with different types of pulp. Through our associate with Milletch, we have introduced several interesting applications using the TT SYD technology combined with different types of hoods.
“In the dry end sector and rewinder cycle, Toscotec has also upgraded its product range, preserving the bulk and quality of the tissue winding cycle as well as optimising the sheet stabilisation system.”
Klaus Gissing, Andritz vice president tissue machines/air engineering: “To get the biggest and widest Steel Yankees in operation!”
Shinji Goda, Kawanoe Zoki, design department manager:“Our BF concept has been recognised and embraced in the market as the most energy efficient machine. By optimising every component and device in the BF tissue machine to its maximum extent as well as increasing production capacity, we have succeeded in remarkably reducing its energy consumption. We have also focussed on user-friendliness to ensure overall operational efficiency. “With our continuous development, our BF concept achieves the best investment efficiency as well as customer/user-friendiness.”
Ingmar Andersson, Metso Tissue Business Unit, sales manager: “Metso has developed a unique energy recovery system in the forming section of tissue machines into a commercial product ready to be delivered to tissue makers around the world. The Advantage ReTurn system installed in the forming section recovers about 50% of energy used by the fan pump.
This is very important because tissue making uses relatively high energy levels for the fan pump as speeds are high and headbox flows are high.”
Nestor de Castro, Voith Paper, president, South America:“In 2012, Voith Paper has worked in the development of a new technology for the tissue industry targeting lower energy and fibre consumptions and, at the same time, better paper quality for the conventional Dry Crepe machine market. This new technology will be officially launched soon.”
William R. dos Santos, Hergen, general manager: “During 2012, Hergen has successfully started up its first Crescent Former in the Smart Plus concept, which is designed to offer excellent tissue paper quality with low cost investment. Its exceptional performance motivated the client to say it intends to invest in a second unit. “With this same concept of high quality with low investments, Hergen has worked to update its Steel Yankee Dryers, mainly the 12” units, and has looked for economical projects with high operational efficiency.
“Following markets tendencies, it has also designed and started big diameters suction rolls (1,200mm), aiming for high operational efficiency and production of papers with high bulk and smoothness.”
Ivo Olibano, A Celli, sales and customer care director: “We patented and produced our innovative long life Steel Yankee dryers and have been focused on combining rewinder product improvements, particularly on cycle reduction time, speed increase, output and cost optimisation.”
Mauro Michelini, Recard, general manager: “Our technical developments are generally represented by small but continuous steps forward. Any new tissue machines manufactured by Recard are different from previous ones. Sometimes the difference represents steps ahead in the paper quality, or better runability, a more environmentally-friendly machine, less energy consumption, etc. The year 2012 can be defined as a standard year from this point of view.”
2. What are the key technical opportunities and challenges facing your clients? How are you helping them?
Allibe: “The pulp and paper industry has been badly hit by the economic recession in many countries around the world. The increase of the cost of production is one of the main causes of the shutdown of a production line. Of course the problems facing the tissue paper industry in Europe are not similar to the problems faced by American paper mills for instance. Globally speaking, we can agree on three main issues facing our clients worldwide: paper quality, fibre saving and energy saving.
“In order to meet those identified issues, ABK Group is involved in a substantial programme of R&D aimed at developing specific products and at improving the reliability of already known equipment. With more than 60 years of experience, we have a sound catalogue of high technology and brand new products duly combined with full in-house and on-site services. Nonetheless we consider as essential to refresh our solutions and to keep pace with developments aimed at facing the challenges of a very demanding market. In 2013 onwards, our application and process engineers will be in charge of improving the efficiency of dry end (energy savings) and wet end (paper quality and fibre savings).”
Bertetto: “The benefit for our clients has to be in terms of costs. Specifically to what PMT is developing, the new solutions will reduce drying costs and give customers the required flexibility to reach their production targets. Customers need to keep being competitive also in a frame of increased environmental constraints.”
Mainardi: “Today, we stand firmly behind our products with a wealth of experience that competitors lack and we continue to make progress where it counts for businesses – capacity and efficiency. The name Toscotec has always been associated with innovation as well as in flexibility.
Most of our implementations have been applied thanks to the continuous cooperation with Final End Users. The market is now recognising that the TT SYD has been the most revolutionary tool in the tissue industry during the past 12 years. When we introduced it there were a lot of concerns due to the conservative nature of the industry as well as comments against it by companies that are now also proposing the same concept. We strongly believe that we have helped our customers find ways to produce tissue at lower costs with high quality and safety, while maintaining energy saving and helping mills to remain more sustainable and “green” in terms of emissions.
“We are now a global supplier that offers a wide range of solutions from stock preparation, tissue machines (conventional and TAD up to 6m wide), Steel Dryers (up to 22’ diameter and 8.2m shell width), hoods and drying solutions up to winders. Our added value lies in the ability to manage turnkey solutions and complex rebuilds.
Our implemented service and follow up offers options that can complete the full cycle for the tissue machinery business.”
Gissing: “Operational costs generated by raw material and energy. We are working primarily on further energy savings on the whole process.”
Goda: “Our clients focus on productivity and runnability improvement, as well as energy efficiency. While there has been strong demand for these developments in new tissue machine projects, we also see demand growth for upgrading existing machines with these latest technologies. Kawanoe’s commitment to pursue efficiency and optimsation allows us to meet the clients’ needs for such upgrades with minimum investment and the best results.
“Our dedicated customer support team responds timely to customers’ needs and technical or operational inquiries. One of our strengths is proximity to our clients, allowing us to offer dedicated and ongoing customer service and technical assistance.”
Andersson: “The reduction of operating costs is always on the agenda of tissue makers. Reduction in fibre costs is therefore very important and new tissue making technologies that provide new standards for bulk and performance make their way into the market while at the same time using less energy.”
De Castro: “The escalating energy costs are a real challenge for all tissue producers worldwide but mainly in Europe and some countries in Latin America and Asia. For that reason, Voith Paper’s focus for all new developments for the tissue industry is on solutions that save energy and natural resources, such as water and fibre – from stock preparation to all tissue machine areas. “Additionally, the increasing demand for better products in several developed and emerging regions worldwide is also pushing our customers to the edge. Voith Paper has recently developed products to support our customers to deliver better quality in those regions. A very good example for that is ATMOS, a technology that allows the production of premium and ultra premium tissue with less fibre and energy usage.”
Santos: “Our main focus to fulfil our clients’ needs is equipment that reduces energy and water consumption, and is also associated with high quality paper. Hergen is working very hard to adapt its products to this challenges and necessities.”
“Current efforts for savings in raw material, water and energy will continue and at the same time production efficiency should be further improved. Make more with less.” Metso’s Andersson
Olibano: “In the current hard times, more and more customers are willing to push the existing equipment up to the maximum of their capacity, before investing in new equipment. Increasing existing machinery efficiency and speed, optimising the automation level, understanding the customer’s wishes and needs and being able to work on this, is now even more important than in the past.”
Michelini: “Clients are more and more exigent. Our philosophy is to be flexible at the extreme. In this way we are pushed to study new solutions and modify our machines to meet their needs. This makes our work harder but at the same time obliges us to grow technically.”
3. How are you focusing your attention on saving energy?
Allibe: “Thanks to the synergy between ABK Machinery and ABK Italia, a new generation of headboxes has been created. This new headbox is mainly used in tissue machines and can give the usual top class formation performance of the Dynaflo CR at higher consistency, especially at speeds higher than 1,800mpm. The design is of modular type, so that with a small intervention its configuration can move from single to multilayer. Advantages in terms of fibre savings are promising, and water consumption is reduced.
“On the dry end, our sister company MDS (known as MADELEINE) has developed a new steam generator able to recover more than 25% of the steam required in the Yankee using the hood exhaust air. As a result, the total gas consumption of the tissue machine is drastically reduced with an unquestionable advantage in terms of energy saving.”
Bertetto: “Energy consumption often remains one of the main uncontrolled issues. This can be partly overcome by new cost efficient technical solutions, which again are to be found in the detail design of the equipment. Part of the increasing energy cost can also be offset by an increased efficiency of the tissue machine. For this we believe that the best way for us to help our customers is to offer customised solutions, i.e. develop the best technology on a case-by-case basis taking advantage of our customers’ knowledge of the peculiar production environment.”
Mainardi: “We are focused on approach flow, headboxes, pressing, TT SYD and heat recovery in the steam and hood circuit. During the past two years, Toscotec has mainly worked on optimising solutions to save energy and fibre. In parallel with the Steel Dryer we have developed and optimised the application of our big suction press roll (TT SPR 1430) in the press area to enable us to work with a longer nip and higher nip load. In addition, energy recovery with the steam generator and heat recovery systems has been applied to the hood using exhaust gases, as well as on turbo-blower vacuum pumps. “A new range of products as indicated above that is optimising the usage of steam instead of natural gas (the ES tissue line) has been developed specifically to meet energy savings demands. Many references for these machines are now up and running in China with low energy consumption figures for the overall mill process (less than 2.100 KWh/tonne).”
Gissing: “Higher post press dryness and improved re-generated heat.”
Goda: “Pursuit of saving energy and efficiency is open ended. We have offered our heat-recovery system, high efficiency Yankee hood, and CBC creping blade control, all of which have made a significant contribution to energy saving. One of our latest developments is the BF-DD6000, a high efficient refiner, applied splinetechnology that achieves significant energy saving of up to 30%. Our approach is for comprehensive energy saving throughout the tissue production line.”
Andersson: “Energy savings are always a key driver for all development projects. Metso is putting significant importance on energy savings in future processes.”
De Castro: “Voith Paper has recently developed several products to reduce the energy consumption in the tissue production, from the pulper to the reel. Some examples are: the new Intensa Pulper, the Pluralis refining disc, the new MasterJet Pro T headbox, the 2nd shoe press generation named NipcoFlex T, the ATMOS technology for premium tissue, the Steel Yankee to save steam energy, among others.”
Hergen: “Hergen is focusing in the optimisation of its Steel Yankee Dryers’ projects aiming to develop tissue machines’ productivity up to 35% comparing with the conventional cast iron ones. Also in the development of a metallic coating (metallisation) with higher hardness providing applications with lower thicknesses which allow better thermal transfer levels beyond better creping and raising paper’s quality.”
Olibano: “More and more customers are considering the energy consumption level as a major factor in the choice of the machinery supplier. In this respect we are giving our customer a return on investment calculation for any improvement introduced, aimed at decreasing the energy consumption value. We are hence supporting a responsible customer’s attitude in taking decisions. Our proven results in terms of overall energy consumption constitute one of the best examples of our excellence in tissue machines technology.”
Michelini: “Solutions to save energy are available in many areas of the tissue plant. They are well known to us and are offered to those customers who appreciate them. Sometimes the cost is too high, so they are obliged to accept standard solutions.”
4. What areas will your R&D research be on in the next few years?
Allibe: “We are investing in Dry Crepe tissue as well as in TAD tissue machines with a new TAD machine concept based on multi-dryer drums. This development is going in the direction of high paper quality and energy saving performance. The use of our pilot machine will surely increase our capability of designing new and more reliable machinery. It is also a tool for our customers for products development.”
Bertetto: “Shoe press application needs to be possible at all levels, no matter what the size and the speed of the machine are. Increased production capacity and efficiency are a target, but also quality must be improved. R&D needs to take all needs into consideration at one time. Sheet properties can be kept under better control if production monitoring and controlling can be directly linked to all production tolls on the run.”
Mainardi: “We are mainly seeing potential development in the pressing area, as well as solutions for overall mill operations. We are also ready, after years of research, to start promoting and proposing our next generation of Steel Yankee Dryers that will allow us to reduce more energy consumption. We are always looking for ways to improve product features and find ways to make our products more energy efficient. Specifically, in cooperation with Milltech, we are working on solutions that integrates the press, Yankee dryer, hood and steam systems. This could be advantageous because it can be customised with the goal to reduce energy consumption by 15-20% with respect to conventional systems. Plus, with our experience from the paper and board industries we are developing and starting to promote a tissue press that can produce higher quality products or result in energy savings.”
Gissing: “Operational costs.”
Goda: “Our commitment is to constantly develop the lowest utility per tonne production machines while enhancing production capacity. Our latest machines are currently operating with high consistency forming, and this is having a great impact on energy saving. Therefore, we are striving to implement even higher consistency forming in the future.”
Andersson: “Current efforts for savings in raw material, water and energy will continue and at the same time production efficiency should be further improved. Make more with less.”
De Castro: “Our tissue R&D team will continue to focus on the development of new technologies which save resources, such as water, energy and fibres as well as reduce the production costs and, at the same time, allow our customers to deliver better products to their customers, the end consumers and supermarkets. Thereby, we are always looking to the necessities of our customers that vary from region to region around the globe.”
Hergen: “In the reduction of energy and water consumption, keeping product’s quality and manufacturing customised machines according to each specific need from each client.”
Olibano: “On winder technology the optimisation of the entire cycle is our goal. Many serial operations are still present in the state of the art of winding. Minimising them, toward an optimised cycle, will be a benefit for both the safety and the production.
“On the tissue machine, after concentrating on drying during the last two years, it’s now time to focus our efforts again on the devices directly affecting tissue quality, like the headboxes, to keep and improve our positive gap versus the competitors.”
Michelini: “Energy reduction will be a must in the future. The research will be focused to find low cost applications.”
5. What are your views on the Steel Yankee versus conventional cast iron?
Allibe: “In combination with the Yankee hood, a new concept of Yankee dryer has been designed. We are manufacturing the first Yankee dryer with heads made of cast iron and the shell made of steel. The aim of this project is to provide a Yankee offering the advantages of both technical solutions (cast-iron and steel manufacturing).”
Bertetto: “The question of iron versus steel is common. The Steel Yankee are a fairly recent product and so there’s very little long term knowledge. There’s no difference in performance in either iron or steel, although steel is stronger but the thermal stresses are much higher, so this tends to even things out. Steel manufacturers claim an increase in evaporation rate, but they tend to base it on the old iron Yankees that they are replacing; a new iron Yankee would also have an increase in evaporation due to superior rib design and condensate system. Of the new Yankees we are now quoting against steel that there is next to no difference in evaporation rate, while a steel Yankee shell is manufactured by rolling and welding, creating seams with a change in thermal and mechanical properties every revolution of the Yankee, thus creating wet/dry strips and shape/crown change and the seams themselves are subject to fatigue.”
Mainardi: “There are no doubts in terms of benefits in a Steel Yankee adoption: several applications in all type of mill conditions (raw materials, chemicals, coating etc…) as well in sizing have defined which are the main advantages of the Steel Dryers. This includes reducing root thickness by using steel instead of cast iron to increase heat transfer coefficient, superior hardness through thermal spray metallization, more flexible production process than for cast iron Yankees – also no risk for casting failures, delivery times normally shorter, easier maintenance, vertical start-up and easy-to-coat surface as well as a reduced warm up procedure to name a few.
“More than 140 tissue Steel Yankee Dryers have now been delivered or are on the order books, the majority of which are represented by Toscotec TT SYD of all sizes. Steel Yankees already account for half of Yankee deliveries.”
Gissing: “Steel Yankees became a reliable technology that decreases energy consumption and increases runability.”
Goda: “There are already several Steel Yankee installations in Asia. Performance analysis from various prospects is ongoing because we view it as potential technology. ”
Andersson: “The Steel Yankee has earned its share of the market as a good complement to cast Yankee cylinders suitable for certain applications, particularly for smaller standard dry crepe Yankee cylinders. However, Metso also has the best available Casted Yankee Technology and the resources for making such Yankees based on over 100 years of good experience.
“In many cases, technologies as TAD and the new textured type processes do not allow for the use of Steel Yankees as these always have to be metalised on the surface. Metalised surfaces do not stand the high doctor blade loading necessary for such processes. Additionally, in the case of high pressure loading from the ViscoNip or shoe type presses, the deep rib casted Yankee is still outstanding. Furthermore, it is a myth that the Steel Yankee consumes less energy. The energy needed for evaporation depends on the amount of water to be evaporated and also a modern, deep rib Yankee has excellent data for evaporation. Therefore both types of Yankees will be used for years to come.”
De Castro: “Voith Paper is the only tissue machine supplier that has the capability to offer both solutions, the well-known Cast Iron Yankee and the Steel Yankee. As a result, Voith Paper really supports every customer to choose between these two solutions, always highlighting the benefits of both technologies, such as the longevity and thermal stability from the Cast Iron Yankee and the better heat transfer and thus, lower steam consumption of the Steel Yankee, for example.”
Santos: “Steel Yankee Dryers are the future for tissue machines due to its high quality, stable work behavior and reduction impact in the energy consumption.”
Olibano: “While we do see an upward trend to Steel Yankee dryer, motivated by the higher heat transfer capacity, we think the Cast Iron Yankee has other advantages. Thinner shells accompanied by higher ribs and surface metallisation has brought the Cast Iron Yankee to a new competitive position supported by decades of references. We explain to our customers the different features of both Yankees and help them to make a conscious decision based on their specific needs.”
Michelini: “Absolutely positive.”
6. What overall trends in tissue machine manufacture will have the greatest impact on the production process in the next decade?
Allibe: “As a papermaking equipment builder now playing a significant role on the international scene, ABK Group is definitely ready to face the challenges of the future tissue market and to develop energy saving solutions limited to the paper machine. This will mean the use of ever more efficient pressing techniques in order to reduce the amount of water to be evaporated from the paper, and at the same time we will design more and more efficient heat recovery devices to avoid as much as possible wasting heat and energy into the atmosphere. Among many tracks of investigation, we are studying a heat recovery system for our tissue machine hoods, capable of recycling the heat extracted from the tissue machine and of reducing the temperature of the exhaust air to the very minimum.”
Bertetto: “High performance of the systems in terms of energy consumption is a trend, which has already started and will continue. Once again, technical solutions will have to be tuned on the specific needs of the clients. High speed and width will always be an issue for new machines in some parts of the world, provided most new machines will be there. For other quality trends, they must be analysed not only by geographic areas, but also by single countries within a same continent. “Better tissue quality” doesn’t have the same meaning everywhere and hence the impact on technology can be different. This means that also technology will need to be customised.”
Mainardi: “Pressing is certainly the main area for continued development in tissue machines, but sheet stabilisation between Yankee and reel and winding operations also require significant focus. The use of different pulp types in new market areas around the world is an issue which requires specific attention in order to maintain efficiency and quality results.
“There has been and will be a lot of growth in the Asia Pacific area and so we aim to stay on top of it. That is why we started up Toscotec Asia Pacific in China with an integrated international team located in the region to guarantee more immediate response to our clientele there.
“But in general, we are hoping to grow in a sustainable way, while continuing to offer high-quality products and services worldwide. We believe in quality over quantity. We think there are still many opportunities, not only in China, but also in North Africa, Russia, India and south America. The north American market could also be attractive. In this area we see opportunities working in rebuild projects with high technological contents as well as we trust that, with the new demand for private labels, the market could reserve rooms for new conventional machines.”
Gissing: “Raw material and energy.”
Goda: “Energy saving. Regardless of machine size and production capacity, energy saving continues to be a major challenge for tissue machine manufacturers. The industry’s focus has been on recycling to tackle this challenge, and Kawanoe’s future attention will certainly remain on this area as well. We will continuously develop our BF with innovative technology in recycling fibre, water, and energy.”
Andersson: “The development of tissue products for different markets will change the requirements for production equipment. Today tissue products preferred by customers are very different for different markets. North America for example has other product trends and marketing strategies compared to China. If comparing to other industries, it’s likely that marketing practices globally will emerge and call for new premium products in less developed markets today. The amount of labour for tissue manufacturing needs to be reduced as the cost increases at a fast pace in all markets. This will lead to other tissue production processes, higher efficiency and increased automation. However this development will still require a constant striving for reduced production costs.”
“While we do see an upward trend to the Steel Yankee dryer motivated by the higher heat transfer capacity, we think the Cast Iron Yankee has other advantages.” A Celli’s Olibano
De Castro: “The goal is to continue developing products and technologies to support our customers worldwide, and that is the real benefit for our customers of having a global and innovation-driven company.”
Santos: “Machines with high operational speeds with good runability which are still technological challenges. Other key point are machines with ever more modern concepts, reducing water and energies (thermal and electrical) consumptions optimising costs and profits.”
Olibano: “Asia and particularly China will increase their production capacity at a faster pace. Machines with higher production, lower energy consumption and quick return on investment will be the trend. Large and high speed machines, in some cases with steam heated Yankees, will meet this demand.
“On the other hand, there will be emerging countries like Africa entering the scene. They will require smaller units (30t/d) with crescent former latest technology. Compact std machines, with low cost, will be the answer to this demand. “Softness and accuracy in the humidity profile and in the basis weight, are still in the next decade trend for premium products.”
Michelini: “The tissue market is continuously requiring more soft paper. The production of soft paper requires high-energy consumption and this is against the request to save energy. The production process will change only if tissue machine manufacturing companies will be able to find a good compromise between the two above needs.”