On the whole, fiber-based products are in demand. The global compound annual growth rate (CAGR) across segments is projected to crest an average of 2%, with the tissue market anticipated to see even higher percentages.1
The climb is encouraging for the tissue industry, but it’s not without complications. Several years of substantial fluctuations in hardwood and softwood pulp prices have impacted tissue product costs. As a result, tissue converters are seeking innovative ways to meet consumer demand and protect margins.
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Tissue converters — like consumers — are keenly aware of the balancing act between cost and quality of paper, process, and finished product characteristics. Optimizing all areas takes shrewd decision making and focused attention on tissue industry trends.
Heightened sensitivity surrounding sustainability influences decisions related to which solutions tissue manufacturers and converters can pursue. Finding ways to eliminate adhesives during the tissue converting process, for example, is paramount in reducing waste and stress on the environment.
The same holds true for pulp. Fiber costs partially drive decisions and profitability. Pricing can be predicted, but there’s no way to know with certainty when and how its impact will be felt. Further, common solutions like de-sheeting and reformulation aren’t necessarily appropriate fixes. The processes introduce fiber mix changes that can increase time and labor costs for converters, and also compromise converting, bulk properties, and product strength.
All of these factors shape the direction tissue converters can take in meeting the need for quality, cost-effective tissue products while remaining competitive and profitable.
Valmet innovation gives tissue converters a distinct advantage.
Eco-focused, adhesive-free solutions
The Valmet focus on sustainability has brought about forward-thinking, earth-friendly solutions including:
- SOLID® and SOLID+® Compact Rewinders: Perini-patented rewinding technologies that eliminate the use of a central core. Solid produces rolls wound with no cardboard cre, and Solid+ is the first toilet roll to replace the traditional inner cardboard core with an extractable mini roll.
- Aquabond Water Lamination (Glueless Technology): A sustainable water lamination technology, Aquabond is an upgrade for Valmet embossing that replaces adhesive with water during ply bonding of pure or recycled paper fiber, without requiring new machinery or compromising the machine’s mechanical features and final product quality.
- Web Tuck Glueless Rewinder: The Web Tuck system allows for initial core pick-up without adhesive. Web Tuck technology is available on Horizon, Historia, and Millennium rewinders to make production sustainable, less messy and wasteful, and more cost-efficient.
- Tail Sealer 563: Combining the features of a rewinder with a new tail sealing system, the Tail Sealer 563 joins the tail to the roll using mechanics instead of adhesive.
Pivot laboratory and Pilot lines
Further, our PIVOT Solutions fully integrated center of excellence gives tissue converters the tools for cost-effective research and development. The Pivot Laboratory and Pilot Lines are advanced, controlled-environment testing grounds for new ideas and formulations in small-batch runs.
Equally as exciting is the exclusive testing access that tissue converters have to up-and-coming technologies like Aquabond and Warm Up, a heated roll embossing system that preserves paper quality and increases ply thickness and volume in finished rolls. The collective insights gleaned from Pivot Laboratory and Pilot Line runs help tissue converters make informed decisions that address short-term opportunities and support long-term needs.
Tissue converters that understand industry trends are well-positioned to leverage innovative solutions like Pivot Laboratory and Pilot Lines. Contact Us for more information!
1McKinsey & Company, Pulp, paper, and packaging in the next decade: Transformational change, August 2019
Written by Dario Giannini
Dario Giannini is Customer Product Innovation Manager at Körber where he oversees PIVOT, a center of excellence for tissue converting and packaging. During his more than 15 years with the company he has held product and business development roles related to embossing and tissue products that create long-term customer value.