Tissue 360 - Fall/Winter 2012 - (Page 18)
THE NORTH AMERICAN TISSUE REVOLUTION
The North American Tissue Revolution— from the Chemicals Side
Ashland tissue experts share insights, viewpoints on the role of chemicals as new TAD and hybrid system technologies sweep across the U.S. and Canada
continually growing obsession by North Americans over their personal sanitary products, particularly bath/facial tissue, napkin, and towel, in recent years has spawned a revolution in new equipment technologies and production approaches in this part of the world. Equipment suppliers from Italy to Japan have responded to the evolving appetite of tissue consumers in the U.S. and Canada with new designs and systems such as throughair drying (TAD) that raise tissue quality to ever-higher levels, and “hybrid” technologies such as Voith’s ATMOS and Metso’s NTT aimed at doing basically the same thing but with dramatically reduced energy demand. Most of the discussion and media coverage with regard to these new technologies has been from the machine/equipment viewpoint. However, there is an equally important story from the chemicals/additives perspective that, at least so far, has not received nearly as much
attention. To explore this perspective more in detail, Tissue360° recently met with a team of four Ashland Water Technologies (AWT) experts in this arena: Todd Sarraf, global marketing director - Tissue Segment; Kevin Brennan, applications team manager - Tissue; John Carter, business manager - Tissue and Towel North America; and Brooks Andrews, corporate sales manager. The following highlights of these discussions focus on new and emerging advances in tissue making chemistry and the drivers that continue to shape developments on the chemicals side of TAD, ATMOS, and NTT, as well as traditional tissue production technologies. The discussions also review the ongoing R&D commitments that underlie developments on the chemicals side of tissue making. STRUCTURED SHEET VERSUS CONVENTIONAL CREPING As the Ashland team explains, during the past decade, the North America tissue and
Ashland team of tissue experts. Left to right, John Carter, Todd Sarraf, Kevin Brennan, and Brooks Andrews.
towel market has undergone a major transition due largely to external forces in the marketplace. Walmart, it says, was a major driver for some of these changes when it demanded improved quality and better price points to pass onto their customers. To meet the price points required, suppliers adjusted their sheet length and count as well as optimized their packaging. Suppliers that were most successful in meeting Walmart’s (and additional private labels for various retailers) new quality specification had assets that produced a “structured” base sheet primarily produced on TAD machines. This base sheet is superior to the conventional “light dry crepe” assets, providing more strength, bulk, softness, and absorbency at a lower basis weight. These asset designs were patent protected until recently, and following expiration of these patents, a number of companies have installed TAD machines. The only real downsides to the TAD process were high energy and furnish costs, the AWT team notes. As a result, market entrants began to design new assets that provided similar benefits to TAD but addressed the energy and furnish costs concerns, the AWT experts explain. The two most recognized of these new hybrid machines include ATMOS and NTT. Each of these new machine types provide a “structured sheet” that is unique to their design and significantly different from their light dry crepe counterparts. As a consequence of these changes in machine design, Ashland has invested in R&D and resources to understand the structured sheet challenges and develop new chemistries to help tissue makers optimize these operations, the team points out.
Tissue360º Fall/Winter 2012
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tissue 360 - Fall/Winter 2012
Setpoint: Tissue Making—from a Chemicals Viewpoint
Over the Wire
Orchids Paper Products Grows with the Times
Cascades TM 4 at Candiac Uses Hybrid Technology to Make Premium Tissue with up to 100% Recycled Fiber
The North American Tissue Revolution—from the Chemicals Side
Tissue 360 - Fall/Winter 2012