Configurable Lines: Converting

3 Strategies tissue manufacturers must use to control production costs

25.07.2023 | Our Tissue Team | 3 min read Topics |

The data that advanced Valmet converting technologies and equipment capture reflect key metrics on machine or line availability (downtime), performance (production speed), and product quality.

With these insights, tissue manufacturers can quickly assess their overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), and take actionable steps to manage production costs through improving machine or line processes.

But, with the proliferation of digital transformation, maximizing capacity is multi-faceted, especially when it comes to controlling production costs. As such, it requires tissue manufacturers to develop an approach that strategically incorporates all elements that funnel into OEE.

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1. Holistic Business Planning

For tissue manufacturers, production output is a reflection of planning input. There is a tendency to want to achieve 100% OEE because it suggests perfection. However, it’s not realistic. Achievable OEE averages around 60%, and OEE of 85% or greater is considered world-class productivity.1

But, what drives achievable or world-class results? Holistic business planning that takes into account:

  • Pulp prices that remain volatile on the global scale, but cannot be dismissed out of hand since fiber is the largest input cost for tissue manufacturers
  • Sustainability initiatives developed to reduce manufacturers’ greenhouse gas emissions and also address the demands of 63% of consumers who prioritize sustainability in their purchase decisions2
  • Forecasting that continuously and accurately aligns supply chains, materials, production, and distribution with discrete manufacturing processes
  • Digitalization that maximizes technology and data

2. Innovative Technologies: Higher Productivity, Lower Costs

Recognized as a leading innovator in the tissue industry, Valmet continually introduces technologies that improve — and revolutionize — how tissue converters and manufacturers do business.

Our most recent innovations are directed at simplifying standard processes to improve operator safety, productivity, and OEE:

Auto Web Starter

Traditional web thread-up on tissue converting equipment has been an accepted practice for decades despite its inherent inefficiencies, wastefulness, and potential danger to operators.

However, just because web thread-up is a necessity doesn’t mean the standard way of doing it is the only solution. Valmet proves it with the Auto Web Starter. The automated solution simplifies thread-up process with the operator outside the line, through a series of three systems that work in succession to:

  • Alleviate operator exposure to moving and potentially dangerous equipment parts
  • Eliminate prolonged jogs
  • Decrease waste by producing a usable first log
  • Improve OEE and operator effectiveness since they can reallocate time spent on thread-up to other skilled tasks

Technical Improvement Programs (TIPs)

Valmet equipment is legendary for reliability. Keeping the machinery up-to-date and efficient is the focus of the Valmet Technical Improvement Programs (TIPs).

These aftermarket upgrades and improvements for Valmet converting, packaging, and fold machines enhance installed equipment bases to address key priorities for tissue manufacturers including:

  • Sustainability
  • Safety
  • Maintenance
  • Performance
  • Efficiency
  • Rebuilds

TIPs for Quick Delivery are technologies that provide critical components, upgrades, and maintenance to keep lead times and costs in check when supply chain issues might otherwise delay delivery. TIPs for Quick Delivery include everything from a fire fighting system to new and replacement seals, clamps, decanters, dilution and grinding systems, and HMI operator panel upgrades.

3. Sam Operational Solution as a virtual assistant

In the hands of the Valmet experts, these solutions strengthen performance metrics and OEE while simultaneously defining the future of tissue manufacturing.

Sam Operational Solution

Tissue converting equipment can be complex. Making manual adjustments can put productivity and product quality at risk, especially when the task falls to less experienced operators.

The Sam Operational Solution is based on the premise that a system of machines can autoregulate to minimize quality non-conformities. Sam acts as a virtual supervisor, working alongside operators of all skill levels to capture real-time, reliable measurements of mission-critical properties of both raw materials and finished products.

Sam enables production line machines to:

  • Identify production patterns
  • Detect any possible deviation from the desired output
  • Make informed decisions with minimal human intervention 

Production costs are influenced by a number of factors, making them sometimes difficult to determine. Valmet leans into the challenge by providing solutions that maximize productivity and OEE, even in light of unpredictable circumstances.




2Fastmarkets, Four top trends in the European forest products markets in 2022, February 2, 2022