2016 Edition of TAPPI Tissue360 Forum Best Yet

Eleven sessions examine alternative fibers,
process optimization, yankee operation

TISSUE360o STAFF REPORT

The 2016 TAPPI Tissue Forum at PaperCon, May 16-18, in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, features one of the most expansive and in-depth technical programs since the Forum series began in Atlanta in 2013. This year’s program includes 11 sessions that span three days of PaperCon, exploring a full spectrum of topics from alternative fiber breakthroughs, new tissue technology developments, tissue market updates, and mill and converting
plant process optimization to advances in yankee dryer design and operation and energy saving opportunities.

The Forum begins with a close-up look at the latest tissue industry data showing some interesting new tissue and towel patterns and trends. In his TF1 Session keynote presentation on Monday afternoon, Rod Fisher, president of Fisher International, uses data and analytics to shine a light on capacity, fiber, regional differences, capital investment, consolidation, U.S. versus European versus Asian models, new facilities versus aging fleet and much more in the tissue and towel sector.

In the second half of the TF1 keynote session, Cristine Schulz, North American Sustainability Business Partner, Kimberly-Clark, focuses on “Creating a Better Future with Alternative Fibers.” In her two-part presentation, she describes how K-C is producing paper towels and tissues that are environmentally responsible and meet performance expectations associated with the Kleenex and Scott brands. As demand for forest resources increases and available recovered paper is on the decline, K-C is identifying new sources of fiber such as wheat straw, which can provide the quality people expect while aligning with corporate sustainable fiber commitments. In 2014, K-C introduced products with wheat straw that provide the quality people expect while aligning with corporate sustainable fiber commitments. 

Schulz continues her presentation in Session TF2, which examines Alternative Fibers for Tissue. She will talk in more detail about the products and claims (20 percent wheat straw, no loss of performance, etc.). Session TF2 includes three additional presentations on alternative fibers, including an extensive review by Xuejun Zou of FPInnovations on non-wood fibers and their applications in tissue. As Zou notes, non-wood fibers are becoming a hot topic as non-wood pulp mills are being built in North America and tissue companies are rolling out new lines of tissues and paper towels that incorporate wheat straw and bamboo pulps.

One reason for this trend, Zou contends, is that there is a growing consumer perception that “tree-free” tissues are more environmentally friendly. The second reason is that some non-wood fibers (e.g. bamboo) seem to have some unique properties for enhancing bulk and softness of tissue. “Although these points are debatable, the use of non-wood fibers does provide some opportunities for marketing and new product development,”
Zou explains.

Also part of the TF2 Session, Hiroki Nanko of Insight Technology International presents the latest approaches to kneader-based non-wood pulping for tissue fiber production. His presentation focuses on a new Alkaline Peroxide Mechanical Pulping (APMP) system based on kneader technology developed by Taizen of Japan. According to Nanko, a wide variety of non-wood plant materials can be pulped, including wheat straw, rice straw, bagasse, bamboo, kenaf, Arundo donax, Miscanthus, switch grass, flax, oil palm EFB, etc., with this mechanical
pulping system.

Rounding out the TF2 Session, Zhirun Yuan of FPInnovations updates attendees on new developments using Bleached Thermo Chemi-Mechanical Pulping (BTCMP) for processing of tissue fibers.

TISSUE SOFTNESS,
PROCESS CONTROL

Session TF3 on Tuesday, May 17, is a panel discussion on understanding and measuring tissue softness – how it is created and measured. This panel will explore the physical nature of softness and the pros and cons of the measurement techniques, sensorial and mechanical. Panelists include experts in both areas. One panelist, Nicolette Vanderklaauw of Procter & Gamble, explains that the session “will go behind the scenes with sensory experts to learn how we train and qualify sensory judges, and how we use a range of sensory tools for the whole spectrum of product development, from developing new paper products to substantiating softness claims and ensuring consistent quality at the manufacturing sites.”

Another TF3 panelist, Jessica Carette of FPInnovations, says that “understanding the origins and influential factors of softness are the first steps to successfully measuring and benchmarking tissue products. Once understood and quantified, improving tissue quality and entering the premium bracket is within reach.”

Session TF4 on Process Control for Tissue has three key presentations that cover advances in crepe blade monitoring, the latest in on-machine instrumentation and the use of predictive analytics, dynamic suction roll/yankee nip monitoring and innovative cover venting for significant energy savings and improved efficiency on modern tissue machines. Session TF5 on Structured Sheet Innovations looks at the compressibility of kitchen towels, measuring the compressive response of embossed and TAD features in paper towels and the use of TAD structured sheets for ultra-premium quality
tissue products.

ENERGY SAVINGS, OPTIMIZATION

Session TF6 on operating efficiency and energy savings features a presentation by Benjamin Drummond of Spraying Systems Co. that will be helpful for anyone looking to decrease additives costs for spray applications on a paper machine or converting line. Drummond’s presentation explores how measuring the drop sizes produced in a spray can provide key indicators into the expected transfer efficiency of the spray system, and what modification can improve current or new applications. He also explores how placement of the spray headers themselves, or external elements, can improve the spray transfer efficiency.

Also in Session TF6, Dick Reese of Dick Reese and Associates talks about tissue and towel machine energy scorecard guidelines that have been developed to benchmark and identify energy reduction opportunities. The scorecards have been successfully used on more than 10 paper machines to identify annual energy reduction opportunities averaging $200,000-plus per machine. About 25 percent of energy reduction projects identified can be implemented without capital expenditures. The Wisconsin Focus on Energy provides incentives to implement projects that reduce electricity and natural gas use. Effective audits combined
with energy reduction incentives has resulted in a high percentage of projects being implemented.

Also in Session TF6, Marco Pescantin of QUATTRO Paper Technologies explores “How to Minimize Energy and Increase Cleanliness in Tissue Plants: Part 2-Energy versus Cleanliness-Experiences
and results,”

Session TF7 focuses directly on optimization of the tissue process with presentations on proven methods for improving the complete tissue production system, improving dry strength in bath tissue without softness impact, the creping operating window (adhesive and modifier contributions) and fiber management techniques for improving tissue machine productivity and quality.

YANKEE DRYER TECHNOLOGIES

In Session TF8, a panel of experts from Jaeger Cylinder Services, Valmet, Thermal Coatings International, and Andritz takes a close-up look at current yankee metallization technologies and practices. The following Session TF9 on “Practical Solutions for Tissue” examines regulatory standards and practical solutions for combustible dust control, liquid ring vacuum pump energy consumption, and “How Yankee Metallurgy Plays a Critical Role in Machine Runnability.”

Session TF10, also a panel discussion, covers global steel yankee technology and experiences. During this session, steel yankee manufacturers will discuss their experiences to date using the yankee material of the future. Scheduled participants include A.Celli, Andritz, Toscotec, Valmet, and Voith.

Clive Butler of A.Celli, one of the participants in Session TF6, points out that steel yankee dryers have been around for some time. However, he says that only in recent years have they overtaken cast iron as the principal material of construction. There are several reasons for the change to steel, the main one being the decline of the specialized foundries that can produce castings in the
size and quality required by today’s tissue machines.

Session TF11 is a wrap-up and refreshments session chaired/hosted by Bruce Janda of InnovaSpec and Ayse Alemdar-Thomson of FPInnovations. 

Keynote session: Rod Fisher
of Fisher International.

Keynote session: Cristine Schulz
of Kimberly-Clark.

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