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Configurable Lines: Converting
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Pilot-Line-FPNA

How big data helps maximize productivity and profits

26.09.2018 | Dean Kuntz | 3 min read Topics | ,

Data rules the day in the Digital Age, and no industry is exempt from its importance or impact. Increasingly, tissue converters need to rely upon generating, gathering and manipulating Big Data to improve both their operations and end products in order to balance customer satisfaction with profitability.

To aid tissue converters in data-driven decision making, Fabio Perini North America (FPNA) offers two initiatives for synthesizing and applying data: PIVOT and Pilot Line.

What’s PIVOT?

Available since 2017, PIVOT is an advisory service that uses FPNA’s in-house laboratory for measuring standard product attributes of customers’ product samples such as caliper, basis weight, MD/CD tensile, and roll firmness. In conjunction with its counterpart service in Lucca, Italy, PIVOT has increasingly allowed FPNA to provide a more in-depth support to North American customers during Pilot Line trials and with their product development efforts.  

PIVOT underpins FPNA’s expertise with structured feedback that tissue converters can readily use, including:

  • Tracking data for web handling, embossing, winding, log formation and packaging
  • Turning the data into actionable information on every stage of their tissue converting processes
  • Capturing interactions between tissue converting equipment and paper to adjust and optimize performance
  • Collecting machinery-specific data such as speed, rubber roll pressure and other key parameters to maximize production and profitability
  • Translating data on tissue samples and tissue converting equipment into tangible recommendations on best machinery configuration for the product as well as best practices for delivering consistent quality

Combining PIVOT insights with Pilot Line product testing and development can help tissue converters capitalize on the advantages of Industry 4.0 by using fact-based data to drive the manufacturing process improvements. 

What’s Pilot Line?

Initially focused on product testing and development, Pilot Line offers tissue converters services aimed at optimizing production processes, product innovation and analytics that keep pace with Smart Factory advancements.

The Pilot Line team oversees a broad scope of trial capabilities, including:

  • Focused improvements in product attributes such a bulk, aesthetics, absorbency, hand-feel and strength
  • Short sample runs for lab and quality inspections, and long production runs for sample sizes related to full market studies
  • Operating ranges that allow production evaluation of structured sheets (TAD, NTT, ATMOS) or traditional Light Dried Crepe webs
  • Production variability with respect to adhesives, lamination, transfer or tailsealer glues
  • Evaluation of how chemical package modifications impact paper machinery
  • Embossing using common North American formats including Registered Lamination (DESL), Random Lamination (DERL or DECO), Dual Nip Un-Laminated, Single Nip and Tip-to-Tip.
  • Pattern development that uses attributes unique to a customer’s new product to guide selection of a pattern from a library of more than 10,000 copyrighted concepts
  • Complete digitization to accommodate Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud analytics, Bluetooth sensors, Digital Twin, operational simulations, continual digital thread, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and DAQRI smart glasses for training/troubleshooting

Industry 4.0 is a dynamic space for tissue converters, and Big Data has quickly become essential for continued success since optimized operations, customer satisfaction and profitability hinge on it. 

Dean Kuntz

Written by Dean Kuntz

With more than three decades of experience at Körber, Dean Kuntz helped develop the company’s spare parts and service departments and has a wealth of experience with embossing rolls and engraving technology for tissue and towel products. Currently, he helps customers with product development and testing through the company’s Pilot Line and Pivot service.

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