The hub, but not the whole.
The tissue machine is the hub of our projects today, rather than the whole. Increasingly, customers seek a turnkey supplier, with expertise in all aspects of the mill. We are no longer a mechanical workshop, but a process supplier, responsible for all aspects of production including the critical factors of energy and minimizing fibre loss as well as chemical and water use. From multinationals to family-owned independents, different challenges require a flexible approach, rather than one-size-fits-all.
From a single component rebuild to a complete greenfield site - all require a specific approach and skills. From our "Modulo" (one of which we have just started up in Mediterranean Paper Mill in Syria) up to advanced "Ahead" lines, including TAD Vision we are handling capacities from 35 to 240 tpd, and this flexibility in output and technology is essential when dealing with the diverse needs of tissue producers across the globe.
In Europe, where greenfield projects are rare, you are likely to be working within an existing building, adapting and extending the services and support technology as necessary. If the replacement of an existing line is called for, we need to keep the paper-to-paper gap wafer thin while accounting for critical parameters such as the change in dynamic load which a new, faster tissue machine imposes on the infrastructure.
A German process challenge at SCA Hygiene involved a new tissue machine specified to use both slush pulp and dry pulp. The tissue machine was certainly noteworthy - a 220 tpd toilet paper unit with dilution consistency profiling, and automatic reeling with nip control. But the stock preparation was the special case. It is unusual for a mill to produce its own virgin fibre pulp in Europe, so this project required tissue machine dewatering capacity and the ability of the headbox to optimize consistency to keep energy consumption in check and provide the best sheet formation. This requires specific expertise. With global scope, however, the ability to work with slush pulp is a big advantage, with mills in India and China increasingly favouring integrated pulp and tissue production. It has also proved critical to us for Syassky Pulp & Paper in Russia.
Accommodating different fibres.
Another continent brings a different challenge. Our project with Bel Papyrus in Nigeria involves a combination of recycled fibre and virgin pulp. The customer required an entire deinking plant, with deinking cells, cleaning, screening, two-loop washing and hot dispersion, to guarantee the customer's required brightness. The project spans stock preparation to slitting/winding, including all engineering and procurement, electrification, control and ancillary items such as cranes, steam generation and sludge/water treatment.
Customer care is no longer shorthand for a spare parts service. We must be tissue making experts, at the customer's side until they achieve the tissue quality they seek. Customers need their supplier's help more than ever in order to produce saleable tissue with the minimum of downtime, possibly with challenging new fibres. An intimate understanding of refining, for example, is essential, plus comprehensive strategies to minimize fibre loss and the ability to stabilize the sheet and manage water retention, whatever the furnish.