Configurable Lines: Converting

How tissue converting machine modifications can help increase OEE and profitability

10.09.2021 | Matt Kowalski | 3 min read Topics | ,

One key to advancing overall equipment efficiency (OEE) is to take a holistic approach to production and equipment improvements. Opportunities for actions that contribute to consistent equipment availability and performance, and which support the manufacture of product that consistently meets quality standards, can arise at points all along the production line.

Technological innovations in converting equipment often focus on delivering improvements that far exceed previous equipment generations’ ability to reduce downtime, increase production speed, and deliver product that meets quality standards. But the capital investment required for all-new, advanced converting lines can impede access to machinery innovations and the OEE improvements they deliver.

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Identifying opportunities for optimizing these key metrics — availability, performance, and quality — throughout existing production lines can enable tissue converters to take advantage of newly available technological advancements without the higher cost of installing all-new equipment. Taking a holistic view, incremental adjustments and changes to the production line can also have meaningful impacts on OEE.

That’s why Valmet’s Technical Improvement Program (TIP) focuses advancements on existing, installed base equipment to help tissue converters stay on top of innovations and optimize availability, performance, and quality.

Valmet’s Automatic Log Saw Blade Change TIP and Easy Reel Change TIP puts technological upgrades within reach of more converters, helping them simplify production and deliver holistic improvements that positively impact ROI.

Automatic Blade Change TIP

Valmet’s innovative blade changing capability, developed for Valmet’s breakthrough 179AX log saw, delivers fast blade changing that helps optimize equipment availability. This advancement is now also available as a TIP on several Valmet log saws. Additional advantages this blade changing innovation delivers include:

  • Roto-reverse sharpening system increases blade life (30% in many cases)
  • Automatically set grindstone interference delivers consistently repeatable sharpening quality while significantly improving operator safety
  • System can install previously used blades, so that blades not fully consumed on large product SKUs can be reused on smaller SKUs, ensuring optimal use of blades

In a few simple actions, the existing blade is removed and replaced with a fresh one. The new blade is sharpened and installed, and in less than four minutes, the machine is ready to resume operation, saving 27-30 minutes of downtime per blade change. Over a year of operation, this simple improvement could add up to $200,000 in productivity.

The blade changing TIP modification eliminates the risk of an operator entering the machine while the blade change takes place; at the push of a button, the automated solution completes the blade change in under four minutes, minimizing downtime. By eliminating risk to the operator via machine contact or exposure to log saw blades, the blade change TIP can also reduce insurance costs to the tissue converter.

Easy Reel Change TIP

It’s uncommon for faster to be safer, too, but the Easy Reel Change TIP achieves both objectives. Valmet’s Easy Reel Change TIP delivers not only safer but also faster changeovers in toilet paper, towel and tissue product converting to optimize line productivity. This TIP enables greater product range flexibility with consistent quality control while enhancing operator safety during product mix changes on the converting machine.

The Easy Reel Change system enables the operator to prepare the new reel in advance while safely off the line and place it in a dedicated area, ready to replace the reel on the line. The system automatically ejects the finished reel and allows the operator to load the new reel. The system then joins the web of the finished reel with the web of the new reel — and all of the loading and unloading operations take place without the need to access the inside of the unwinder.

In a competitive industry like tissue converting, manufacturers need to identify and act on every opportunity to achieve the best possible OEE, whether installing new equipment or making incremental upgrades to existing machines. Valmet’s ongoing innovations in smart solutions and services are developed with continuous improvement in operations and profitability in mind. Contact us to learn more.