High levels of flexibility – a necessity caused by unprecedented economic circumstances – characterise the global industry response in the supply chain to production … constant monitoring, advanced diagnostics, efficient data storage, intelligent automation, co-generation, carbon-reduced sourcing, and more.
TWM/1: With inflation impacting the global tissue market, how is your company evolving its R&D and technologies to support your customers?
Jenny Lahti Samuelsson, Vice President, Tissue Global Technology, Valmet: “Our main focus in all development projects for the whole life cycle is on lowering the total OPEX, helping our customers to be as efficient as possible in all phases; e.g. ROI with short start up curves, low energy consumption as well as being fibre and water efficient.
“Our development is aiming on lowering energy consumption in all aspects, for instance:
• Providing technologies utilising energy in waste heat streams;
• Hybrid technologies to produce higher tissue quality using less fibres compared to conventional technologies and when comparing to TAD we can get closer to or similar quality but at a much lower energy consumption;
• Utilising the combination of our own development such as Advantage ViscoNip press, Advantage ReDry and Advantage AirCap Hood;
• Development in next generation water removal in any of the process steps;
• Increasing overall asset efficiency by digital tools, “easy to run” technology will of course minimise waste and energy consumption.”
Paolo Raffaelli, Chief Technology Officer, Toscotec: “We are constantly looking at market demands, as well as considering cost and future availability of papermaking process resources.
“Over the last year we have further strengthened our R&D activities to develop higher energy efficient technologies supporting real and specific customers’ needs. This supports the possibility of more customised solutions also applicable on new or existing assets through dedicated surveys and feasibility analyses.
“Recent achievements resulted in energy saving solutions, which cover different operational areas, ranging from multiple heat recovery to steam generation, automatic energy balance, or use of electric based, zero carbon process air systems.
“However, the stability of the papermaking process and its actual control represent both a large energy efficiency driving factor so that digitalisation and Industry 4.0 packages, largely available within our group, combined with state-of-the-art technologies, representing a big step ahead that is real and already possible today.”
Shinji Goda, Director, General Manager of Design Dept., Kawanoe Zoki: “It is said that the price of the household paper products in Japan is the lowest in the world. For that reason, it is necessary for us to raise the product price and make it fair.
“We started operation of our pilot test machine in 2022 to provide any additional value to our customers’ products, engaging in developing new products such as making long roll products, and improving absorption better and using complex materials.”
Marcelo Marlon Silveira dos Santos, Head of Application Engineering, Hergen: “In a market that becomes more and more competitive daily, we support our customers with solutions customised for each energy matrix. This involves always evaluating customer demands and costs of the available media to deliver the best possible solution, not only in terms of final product but also so it is a competitive product when concerned with paper quality and reasonable cost. This gives our customers some advantage in their markets.
“We understand that even though we have standard solutions regarding machine sizes, each solution (not only the PM itself) must be customised because only in doing so is it possible to reach our customers goals.
“With that premises in mind our R&D department is working on two solutions to improve the paper machine’s energy efficiency. The first is our shoe press technology which targets a reduction of the overall thermal energy consumption (drying energy), and the second solution improves the bulk and feel of the paper quality and optimises a concept that was launched last year. It was developed for countries where access to natural gas in not possible or is too expensive for a competitive product. It consists of using the boiler heat to increase the impingement temperature of the hood wet end and improve the paper machine’s drying capacity resulting in very little steam consumption.”
Benny Peng, Vice president, Baosuo Paper Machinery Manufacture Co.: “2022 is the year we have seen the greatest impact of the global epidemic for three consecutive years. The economic downturn and inflation will deeply affect the global paper towel market. With the full opening of the epidemic, the demand for paper towels has picked up rapidly. In order to stabilise and popularise the price of household paper consumer goods, some developing countries or regions no longer rely on raw paper imports, and encourage local enterprises to introduce paper-making equipment to produce by themselves.
“In this way, production costs are effectively controlled, commodity prices are stabilised, and it plays a positive role in the stable development of the local consumer paper consumer goods market.
“The strategic planning goal is no longer limited to the development of modularisation, so that enterprises can better grasp the market dominance. Combining the strong strength of Baosuo Enterprise Group, Baotuo Company adheres to the purpose of creating an overall solution for intelligent equipment for household paper companies, invests with the best cost performance, produces the most competitive products, and thus obtains good returns and shortens the investment recovery period.
“Papermaking enterprise customers which are the first to step into the ranks of intelligent and digital information technology have deeply felt this dividend.”
Roy Vincent, Director Technical Sales, Andritz Tissue North America: “Inflation has mostly impacted our overall costs and equipment lead times, as with everyone else. It has also impacted our customers’ operating costs and profitability. Nevertheless, Andritz is still committed to its long-term strategy. Including our pilot machine, we are constantly allocating around 10% of our tissue segment revenues to R&D and new product development annually, utilising those state-of-the-art trial facilities as a springboard for innovative developments.
“We have made significant progress on fossil energy reduction by developing efficient green energy equipment and our intention is to keep improving in this area. Our customers need these new developments and energy options to operate more effectively, especially considering the challenges from the global energy instability we are all faced with.
“Our PrimeLineTM and our PrimeLineTAD can offer solutions using steam or electric heating technologies for drying, significantly lowering CO2 emissions. Andritz is also working on advanced hot air exhaust recirculation systems to lower any energy waste to the atmosphere.”
Valter Canelli, Sales Director, A.Celli Paper: “The trend of recent years in all industrial sectors and, above all, in manufacturing, is to move towards green policies, whether they are eco-sustainability or pure energy saving. Constant monitoring solutions, advanced diagnostic tools, efficient data storage, processing and consequent intelligent automation allow you to optimise existing processes and obtain flawless products by consuming the least amount of energy possible.
“With the aim of saving energy, the macro parameters of a tissue machine that A.Celli Paper can act on are:
• Degree of refining, on which we will intervene by setting the related parameters;
• Stock consistency in the headbox;
• Vacuum level on the suction press and on the suction boxes;
• Steam temperature and pressure inside the Yankee Dryer;
• Temperature of the air emitted by the extractor hood.
“The main targets that are taken as a reference for the setting of the tissue machine are the daily quantity and the quality of the paper to be produced. Once these two objectives have been defined, the plant can be optimally set to obtain the greatest energy savings and maximum efficiency by combining the five variables above, which are able to directly affect the consumption of electricity and fuels.
“Thanks to A.Celli’s machine learning solutions, the plant’s software will be able to pursue the set objectives by modifying the process control strategy, limiting or even eliminating both out-of-specification production and excessive consumption of chemical additives, energy and variable sources. The result will be greater operational stability and a reduction in waste.
“The intelligent controls and assistance provided to the operator in the execution of his tasks will be able to facilitate a series of diagnostic sequences that will result in adaptive setpoints and predictive controls, with scheduled maintenance proposals aimed at minimising downtime.”
TWM/2: What are your latest efforts towards environmentally-friendly tissue production?
Samuelsson: “During the last decade we have lowered the energy consumption in our conventional tissue machines (DCT machines) by 25% through developing and improving products such as the ViscoNip press, ReDry (pre-press web heater), AirCap Hood and ventilation optimisation systems such as the Advantage Balance Control. These technological steps have reduced CO2 emissions.
“Furthermore, we have worked on enabling 100% flexibility in the hood air heating technologies such as electrical heaters and hydrogen burners. We can also combine these with gas burners which have substantial flexibility as different fuels can be used. This enables a CO2 free tissue production.
“In parallel, we have focused our development on fibre and energy saving technologies. The hybrid concepts mentioned earlier, when comparing to conventional lines can make a better product at lower fibre usage. If comparing to TAD technology the quality is very close and even overlapping but at an energy consumption cut with 40-50%.”
Raffaelli: “Most of our resources over the last couple of years were dedicated to eco-efficient technologies, with the visible result of various active projects, most of them targeting full decarbonisation. This is achievable by replacing traditional fossil fuels with alternative heating sources, and partial or total electrification, always in combination with breakthrough processes for papermaking.
“At the same time we are focusing on carbon-reduction technologies and validating energy efficient solutions, also driven by savings in the valuable natural resources of clean water and wood fibres.
“Targeting an improved general process runnability is additionally an effective tool to determine real efficiency figures on net paper production volumes. This leads to digitalisation and process control, which many companies have implemented already or will have to consider over the next few years.”
Goda: “The recycling rate of used paper in Japan is still very high compared to other countries. However, there could be growing concerns of the supply shortage of used paper in the future. Therefore, some customers have started to develop the technology to make renewable sources from alternative materials not previously used. Furthermore, they seek their own procurement routes with companies and local government. Our company proceeds with the development of our latest technology for use with these recycle materials. We believe that recycled materials will be utilised further in terms of attention to the environment.”
Santos: “We concentrate most of our efforts on the reduction of media consumption because the reduction of energy and water usage is directly connected to effluent generation and NOx and COx emissions. We do so to optimise the use of fresh water, keeping it to a minimum and on the optimisation of the drying process with our high-performance Steel Yankee Dryer and Yankee Hood. We are aware of the fierce competition faced by our customers, and we use our innovative solutions and creative engineering to help them reaching their goals with minimum impact on the environment.”
Peng: “Reducing steam consumption and power unit consumption, and reducing emissions, are the ultimate goals pursued by paper-making enterprises. Based on this concept, stabilising the linear pressure of the roller is to effectively remove more moisture from the upper cylinder paper sheet and increase the speed and output of the machine. Depending on the model, it is necessary to upgrade the pneumatic system to a hydraulic system and a water pressure system.
“Large roller diameter pressing systems easily solve the problem of vehicle speed and do not rely on natural gas combustion to save energy. The multi-level waste heat recovery system makes the unit consumption of steam more economical. The newly developed energy-saving TAD paper machine will also start operation in 2023, saving more than 40% of fibre materials. The energy-saving turbo blower replaces Roots blower and water ring pump, reduces noise, and saves electricity, etc. We have always put the safety of equipment, energy conservation, and environmental protection at the top of the project!”
Vincent: “Sustainability is an essential part of Andritz’s business strategy and our corporate culture, and all employees are committed to participate. We have defined specific initiatives such as “We Care” and “Circle-To-Zero”, to steer these important efforts.
“As well known, in 2018 Andritz inaugurated the PrimeLineTIAC – our Tissue Innovation and Application Centre – located in Graz, Austria. This is a complete pilot tissue machine where many different machine configurations and technologies are tested, developed, and optimised. This is an excellent tool for Andritz and its customers to develop opportunities to reduce the overall CO2 footprint by investigating various inputs and outputs of the process: furnish (alternative fibres), energy sources (gas, steam, electricity), fresh water, chemicals, effluent and emissions.
“We have various programmes in place that involve each of these aspects in one way or another, with the goal to support our sustainability targets. For example, we look at ways to optimise the water balances to reduce fresh water use, find ways to use the effluent emissions, investigate ways to replace waste streams and turn them into products, produce tissue grades with alternative fibres, test different mechanical concepts to reduce thermal drying demand, improve digitalization to enhance efficiency of production and save resources, etc.
“We believe that sustainable solutions will continue to be a key area of focus in the upcoming years as the world’s conscience is evolving towards the protection of our environment.
“To provide one concrete example, Andritz has optimised its shoe press design and concept. Our PrimePress XT Evo, with its patented loading design ensuring a constant pressure in CD, and along with its edge control system and optional cantilevered design, has really helped tissue manufacturers capitalise on energy and fibre savings without sacrificing on their OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness). For example, in dryness mode, the after-press dryness can increase by up to 6% compared to a suction press roll, resulting in thermal energy savings of up to 24%. In quality mode, the paper bulk is improved, resulting in better paper quality and/or possible fibre savings of up to 10% compared to conventional presses.
“Another example is the Andritz PrimeTurnUp system, our full width single wrap turn-up system, which has delivered 99+% efficiency whilst eliminating dust contamination that highly contributes to increasing production and reducing emissions.”
Canelli: “In general, tissue production can have a significant environmental impact due to the large amount of water and energy required to grow and process the raw materials, as well as the emissions associated with transportation and disposal of waste.
“However, there are several ways that tissue producers can work to reduce their environmental impact. For example, they can use sustainable sourcing practices to ensure that the raw materials they use are grown and harvested in an environmentally responsible way. They can also use energy-efficient manufacturing processes and recycling and composting programmes to reduce waste and decrease their carbon footprint.
“A further solution is to produce tissue paper using electricity produced from renewable sources such as solar or wind power, which can help to reduce CO2 emissions. This not only helps to reduce emissions but also helps to promote the use of clean energy and supports the transition to a low-carbon economy.
“Last but not least, we can’t forget that thermal energy can also be used to produce tissue paper using a cogeneration system, which is a type of power plant that generates both electricity and thermal energy.
“Cogeneration systems can use a variety of fuels including natural gas, biomass, or waste heat from industrial processes. This thermal energy can be used for tissue paper production as well as for other industrial processes or for heating in nearby urban areas. It can also be shared between companies to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs. This is a common practice, especially at industrial parks where different companies share a cogeneration plant and use the energy produced by it.”
TWM/3: What have been the most important technical developments made at your company during 2022, and what can we expect in 2023?
Samuelsson: “We are putting a lot of emphasis on energy and CO2 minimising solutions, not necessarily meaning new disruptive development but utilising already known technology used in other processes and applying to the tissue making process.
“In 2022 we further developed our digital solutions and capability in supporting our customers remotely. That work will continue and be enforced during 2023 to increase our customer’s asset efficiency by optimisation and trouble-shooting.”
Raffaelli: “Several innovations were officially announced by Toscotec during 2022, some related to solutions achieving improved process performances and energy balance/recovery, some to the use of renewable or alternative energy sources.
“New technologies, such as the latest design of TADVISION and INGENIA, were also introduced for the production of premium and ultra-premium quality grades with reduced energy demand.
“Along with the above, and with the perspective of energy transition from fossil-based to zero-carbon industrial operations, we introduced TT Hydrogen Burner, a new generation of 100% hydrogen fuelled burners designed and tested for Yankee hoods.
“TT Induction SYD (Steel Yankee Dryer) is another significant carbon-reduction breakthrough that redefines Yankee dryer technology entirely, by using electric induction instead of steam energy to dry the paper web, thereby possibly cutting direct greenhouse gas emissions to zero with the proper electrical source.
“INGENIA is a new concept tissue machine that produces premium structured tissue paper close to the quality of TAD paper but using 35% less energy.
“Looking at 2023, more advances will come on CWP (Conventional Wet Press) machines with added electric based solutions in place of natural gas, or at least as an alternative energy source, and applications of the latest technologies in terms of heat recovery systems and renewable energy with a larger use of our Papermaking 4.0 portfolio.”
Goda: “Our company is striving to develop not only products from conventional pulp, but also from various kinds of materials such as used paper and complex materials, utilising our pilot facilities set up in our Technical Centre. We expect that new products and new functions will be created through these efforts in 2023.”
Santos: “During 2022 we started-up a tissue machine with an innovative hood design, which consists of using the boiler high temperature gases to heat up the air that then goes to the hood wet end, enabling it to run with temperatures up to 300°C. We use the exhaustion to heat up the fresh air that goes to the dry end canopy hood and with this hood concept allied with our Steel Yankee Dryer we manage to reach an excellent cost/produced ton ratio which makes us and our customer very optimistic as we can achieve good results and the machine still has some room for optimisation.
“For 2023 we plan to explore further this hood concept evaluating its usage and performance with different presses layout such as a single suction press, double presses and shoe press, and this is being developed by our R&D department.”
Peng: “The high-end models to be launched in 2022 have been successively put into production at major customers such as Zhongshun C&S Paper Co. (Tangshan), Asia Symbol (Jiangmen, Jiangxi), Sun Paper Group (Guangxi), and Hengan Group (Hunan).
“At present, in the 1800m/min high-speed machine, we still insist on using the high-efficiency hot air circulation steam recovery system without natural gas assistance. These are the products of comprehensive optimisation technology upgrades for paper machine rollers, drying cylinders, gas hoods, and heat recovery systems. In 2023, we will continue to strengthen the promotion of this model in domestic and overseas markets.
“In 2023, with the full liberalisation of the domestic epidemic situation, the mainland will face greater domestic demand and market growth, and the global economy will definitely recover and improve compared to the previous three years. We are optimistic about both domestic and overseas markets. We have also systematically planned and sorted out the supply system, production chain and technical service team to meet the next market’s needs.”
Vincent: “We have several new developments that our team is proud of. Andritz has introduced the PrimeDry Hood E, which uses the same air system as gas or steam-heated hoods, but electric heaters replace gas burners or steam heaters. The PrimeDry Hood E does not need combustion air, so this increases energy efficiency for the hood drying system by up to 4% compared with gas-heated systems.
“Electrical heating offers a further advantage as there are no products of combustion emitted to the air. Tissue mills can expect a reduction in CO2 emissions of approximately 70% of the tissue machine – a particular advantage in parts of the world, Europe and the USA included, where mills have limitations or incur costs related to CO2 emissions.
“As well, we developed a patented configuration to retrofit existing gas-fired drying systems with a hybrid gas/electrically heated approach, allowing a mill to switch to the preferred option, depending on cost and availability of the energy source during a specific operating period. This allows a mill utmost flexibility with regards to drying cost reduction, energy savings and emissions reduction.
“We continue to optimise our very successful Steel Yankee Dryer and have demonstrated its capability for TAD applications. We have developed and refined drying concepts using steam and electrical heated components that will be applied for conventional dry crepe and TAD tissue machines; we continue to investigate advanced or ATAD drying concepts to reduce energy usage in TAD; we developed and installed high-performance dust removal systems to improve machine and machine-room cleanliness, reduce sheet breaks and machine maintenance, and increase machine operating efficiency; we installed and started up our PrimePress XT Evo cantilevered shoe press on a new tissue machine in North America; and we continue to grow our installed base of industrial automation and digitalisation products and services that are part of our Metris brand.
“Moving into 2023, we intend to optimise these developments and push innovative technologies even further. We have several active projects that will be installed and started up with new technologies.
“For example, we are cooperating on a project in Europe with our customer and our equipment partners where we will generate high-pressure steam for a large Yankee and steam-heated hood by using a boiler with biomass as fuel, resulting in an almost fossil-free thermal energy system. The biomass is used to generate syngas (fossil-free fuel) and this fuel will feed a specially developed Syngas Yankee hood burner. Mills are seeking options to replace LPG or Natural Gas in tissue dryers with an alternative solution to reduce CO2-emissions, reduce operation costs or to improve fuel availability.”
Canelli: “Among the main features of quality tissue paper is a high bulkiness and softness. How can this be achieved by using a conventional configuration with a single press nip and, at the same time, decrease energy consumption? The answer is our A.Celli X-Roll solution developed to optimise the configuration with a single press nip in order to obtain tissue paper of equal quality and, at the same time, a reduction in energy consumption associated with the drying area.
“In terms of energy savings, we were able to detect – from tests performed on a pilot line – that the A.Celli X-Roll solution leads to a 4% increase in the degree of dryness of the paper exiting the pressing process compared to the conventional configuration, which translates into an energy saving of over 16% in the drying phase.
“Another important characteristic for many types of paper is the softness of the papers for hygienic-sanitary use is the bulk. In these cases where it is essential to implement a correct and effective pressing process, the A.Celli SMARNIP-T mini shoe press is the ideal solution to optimise the dryness and mechanical properties of the paper.
“The SMARNIP-T is an innovative shoe press concept designed to be simple, user-friendly, and at the same time energy saving effective. We are now dedicating our efforts to introduce a new product that combines the profiling capabilities with a unique loading system into the market.”
TWM/4: What overall trends in tissue machine technology will have the greatest impact on the production process in the next five years?
Samuelsson: “The volatile geopolitical situation we are seeing will demand high flexibility in everything from the supply chain to production, which can mean importance of flexibility in fuels that can be utilised for e.g., drying, depending on where you are in the world and what kind of energy sources you have available, e.g. electricity from waterpower with zero CO2 emission.
“Of course, the ever-increasing awareness and regulations around sustainability will continue and for us this means continuing with energy efficient development as well as minimizing consumption of natural resources like water and fibres. Also utilising different kinds of fibre sources, alternative fibres, will be a tool to be more flexible and sustainable.
“Another area is to understand all waste streams and taking care of this waste and create value from it, which at the end of the day will be of more and more importance.
“The fourth area I want to bring up is competence and how to ensure that the industry attracts and retains competence. This we see is getting more difficult over the years and here our development within digitalisation comes to play its role together with the training programmes for different levels in the production organisation.”
Raffaelli: “The ability to react to market needs, despite the current global tissue business instabilities, represents a critical but at the same time challenging opportunity for any OEMs.
“Without doubt decarbonisation and fossil-free operations – to match climate neutrality – will continue to be the driving path for design and solutions over the coming years, with the need to progressively match the zero carbon emissions in the process.
“This will be achievable by means of further development and implementation of more conventional technologies on the one hand, and on the other by introducing new engineering concepts and breakthrough processes, potentially redesigning the traditional papermaking approach.
“At Toscotec we have already started a larger implementation of electric heating systems, from hot air systems, with burners replacement with resistance element heaters, to TT Induction SYD.
“Digitalisation is also crucial to optimise the tissue making process over the complete industrial cycle, with the certainty that only necessary resources are used, reducing energy, water, and fibre use to a minimum to maximise efficiency.”
Goda: “The overall trends for tissue machine manufacturing in Japan are seeing market demands for household papers becoming further complicated. Our company is the only manufacturer of both tissue machines and converting machines in Japan, and this year we have established a framework that allows us to verify the quality of the final product by utilising our pilot machines. We believe that not only improving the quality of the parent rolls, but also how to add value by using our framework will make our products competitive in the future.”
Santos: “In the years to come we will see more and more machines running with a shoe press, which is an equipment that has a huge potential for further development and can reduce thermal energy consumption keeping the paper bulk and softness. We also believe that apart from the Steel Yankee Dryer – which is a must-have item on every energy efficient tissue machine – there will be a substantial development on the Yankee Hood in order to reduce media consumption (gas, steam, other heating media and electrical energy). This development will also mean the reduction of greenhouse effect gases such as NOx and COx as it will use more efficient burners and optimised heat recovery devices and use most of the heat generated on different processes of the paper production process. Additionally, equipment and solutions that reduce the use of fresh water will be mandatory for every tissue mill.”
Peng: “It is estimated that in the next five years, there will still be an annual demand for paper machine capacity of one million tons in China. The areas with the larger growth rate will be in the south of the Yangtze River, mainly concentrated in Guangxi, Hainan, Guangdong, and other places. Large-scale production of paper enterprises will gradually expand, production capacity will increase, and market competitiveness will also increase.
“Baosuo Enterprise Group took the lead in launching two sets of swords to adapt to future development: overall solutions and large-scale intelligent factories for paper enterprises. The former is the rationalisation of household paper equipment and the overall contracting of turnkey projects, while the latter is the application of digital information technology for daily production management including data, monitoring, remote maintenance, etc.”
Vincent: “This is not an easy question to answer since the world now evolves at a quicker pace since before the pandemic in terms of technology. We believe that progress in the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies will help maximise overall production by enhancing troubleshooting capabilities. By unlocking data and using thorough algorithms, knowledge gained from one area of the process can typically also be applied to optimise the overall machine performance.
“The operator no longer needs a deep understanding of the machine since adjustment recommendations can be made live on the DCS or another device in the control room. Even a new and unskilled operator can now run a tissue machine without knowledge of appropriate machine parameters.
“With the global labour shortage and the high turnover rates in the plants, AI, cyber security, and condition monitoring with smart sensors in an integrated approach or the digitalisation of the entire process will be a critical area of development for tissue manufacturers and OEMs. Andritz has made significant progress in machine automation and remote assistance (remOT), besides other developments mainly via our Metris Performance Centres, which will help improve the OEE of tissue producers on the paper machine and when converting jumbo rolls.
“The cost of energy trending up globally will also push tissue manufacturers to select different types of machine concepts to achieve their desired tissue quality, depending in which region they operate in the world. For example, Andritz PrimeLineTEX technology, which is optimised to produce close to structured tissue products using advanced dewatering and drying technologies, will allow tissue manufacturers globally to still consider making such tissue products without incurring the high energy costs that are typical for a conventional TAD machine concept.
“Trials at our PrimeLineTIAC pilot plant have demonstrated huge energy and fibre savings opportunities with a higher sheet quality than a conventional three-ply paper product. Andritz’s commitment to keep developing technologies that provide enhanced quality at lower energy costs will remain strong for the upcoming years.”
Canelli: “Tissue machine manufacturing and technology are constantly evolving, and new developments are expected to continue in the next five years. Some of the trends that are likely to have the greatest impact on the production process include:
• Increased automation and digitalisation: Automation and digitalisation are likely to continue to play a significant role in tissue production, with more and more machines being equipped with advanced sensors and control systems that enable them to operate more efficiently and effectively. This can help to improve production speed, quality, and reliability, while also reducing costs and minimising waste.
• Energy efficiency: There is a growing emphasis on energy efficiency in tissue production as manufacturers look for ways to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint. This is likely to lead to the development of more advanced energy management systems that can optimise energy use and minimise waste, as well as the use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power.
• Flexibility and customisation: Manufacturers are under pressure to be more responsive to customer demands and to be able to produce a wide range of products quickly and efficiently. This is likely to lead to a greater focus on flexibility and customisation, with machines and equipment that can be easily reconfigured to produce different types of tissue products and to adapt to different production conditions.
• Advanced Analytics: With the integration of digital technologies and sensors in tissue production, it will be possible to gather more data about the production process than ever before, enabling the monitoring and optimising of production efficiency, quality, and cost. This trend will help manufacturers to improve decision making, predict potential downtime, and identify opportunities for process improvement, which will optimise production performance and reduce costs.
• Materials innovation: Development of new materials and technologies that can be used in tissue production will continue to be an important trend. These materials may not be wood or recycled paper, which can help to reduce the environmental impact of the tissue production process.
“These trends are expected to continue to evolve and interact with each other in the next five years, driving further innovation and improvements in tissue production.”
TWM/5: Are you seeing any slowdown in terms of tissue demand/supply globally?
Samuelsson: “In the long run we don’t expect a slowdown overall, the tissue business has stable growth in the global market and there is still a need for conventional tissue lines like Advantage–DCT and IntelliTissue. However, we can also see an increased demand of higher tissue quality in China and Asia where the hybrid technology is a perfect match – high tissue quality and capacity at lower energy and fibre consumption.
“After Covid we also see an increase of tissue products in the health sector and usage of napkins and towel in some market areas. This health awareness is most likely here to stay.”
Raffaelli: “Undoubtedly the Covid-19 pandemic has boosted global tissue demand in 2020, but the trend was the opposite in 2021 when the world saw a sensible reduction of volumes.
“In 2023 we expect to see a general slowdown due to the energy crisis, the war in Ukraine and the global recession.
“At the same time, China and Latin America will be key areas of a growth trend that is projected to continue in the following years. This trend will be driven by a higher sensitivity to hygiene habits developed during the pandemic, and by improved standards of living, which promote demand for premium quality tissue as we have witnessed in China.
“Sustainable solutions that combine environmentally-friendly processes with tissue quality demand will play an active part in this process.”
Goda: “Our company predicts that products will be subdivided based on its purpose or use, at least in the Japanese market. As a result, the demand for facial tissues may be reduced to some extent.
“On the other hand, we think that there will be an increase in the demand for paper towels. As we become more conscious of our personal hygiene, we tend to focus mostly on the merits of disposable products again to prevent us from infections. We think that it will accelerate the product development more and more.
“As for paper towels, it is penetrating in households, and it will gradually and steadily increase production.”
Santos: “So far, we haven’t seen any slowdown on tissue demands lately. However, what we have seen over the past couple of years is that the number of small to medium size producers are being purchased by big groups or new players. This process has created some disturbance on the retailer tissue price with affects small and medium tissue mills that strive daily to keep their market with a reasonable profit.
“We have also noticed an increase on the number of inquiries for countries from the Middle East and Asia. Based on the fact that these areas house more than 65% of the world’s population, we believe this trend will not only maintain but increase along with the consumption per capita.”
Peng: “Affected by the global epidemic, the demand and supply of household paper will slow down for a certain period. This is an undoubted reality, and it is closely related to shipping, tourism, social activities, etc. In the past three years, it has affected all walks of life, not only in the household paper market.
“The needs of overseas developing countries or regions will be more obvious, in regions such as Southeast Asia, the Middle East, South Africa, Egypt, and the South American countries.
“The formation of paper enterprises will become a trend for large-scale development from papermaking, processing, and packaging to sales of finished products.
“Developing countries that rely on imported toilet paper will plan to build a new systematic and advanced household paper factory after overcoming local policy, capital, environmental and other problems. This progress will come soon.”
Vincent: “We believe the overall tissue demand will for the most part follow the global population growth, and yet we remain cautious with our forecast as we are uncertain how the economy will react in the years to come.
“In the past 20 years we have witnessed an annual growth on average of 3.6% and we believe this will remain very similar or slightly lower over the next seven years. Historically, China has been by far the highest growing region in the world, and this should remain the same in the years to come.
“In North America we could witness a potential supply change as the tissue consumers will become more conscientious of their environmental impact. North America should see a larger demand increase especially with environmentally-friendly and CO2 footprint reduced tissue products, but we should expect a lower overall market growth in the next seven years.
“We also expect the Asia Pacific region to see growth with the hotel and restaurant tissue products AfH market. We also predict an increased production of facial and higher quality bath tissue in this part of the world as the population raises its demand for higher quality and premium products.
“We could also see an interesting growth in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, as the population increases boost the consumption of tissue products in the years to come.”
Canelli: “Tissue products are essential in our daily lives, therefore it’s a steady business. However, the demand for tissue can be affected by a variety of factors, including changes in population growth, economic conditions, and consumer preferences.
“In recent years, for example, there has been a growing trend towards single-use, disposable products, which has led to increased demand for tissue products. This trend is likely to continue as people are becoming more health-conscious and are looking for ways to reduce the spread of germs.
“Generally, the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the use of tissue products such as toilet papers and paper towels as people spend more time at home, and this has led to temporary shortages and price increases in some areas. This trend might not continue once the pandemic subsides.
“In terms of geographical distribution, the tissue market is mainly concentrated in developed regions such as North America and Europe. These regions have a high standard of living and well-developed infrastructure, which supports the growth of the tissue industry.
“Asia-Pacific and Africa are expected to be a key market for tissue products due to changing lifestyles and rising disposable incomes in the region. People are becoming more health-conscious and are looking for hygienic alternatives to traditional cloth or reusable products. This is resulting in a growing demand for tissue products such as toilet paper, paper towels, and facial tissues. In Africa, the population is projected to continue growing, and with it the demand for tissue products is also expected to rise.
“The demand for tissue products is expected to continue to grow in the next few years, driven by population growth, economic development and consumer preferences. Changes in consumer behaviour caused by the pandemic may also have a short-term effect on the market. However, overall trends tend to be stable, so it’s expected that the market will continue to evolve, but at a steady pace.”