Paper360 - January/February 2010 - (Page 25)

CLOTHING SPECIAL FEATURE SMARTMILL Paper MACHINE CLOTHING SUPPLIERS PLAN FOR A BRIGHT FUTURE GLENN OSTLE he global paper machine clothing (PMC) market is about US$ 2.7 billion and is dominated by a few large suppliers, a number of which are today part of major machinery builders seeking to extend their product offering. It is estimated that due to the poor economy, the global PMC business is currently down about 15%. To see how suppliers are coping in this traditional yet changing business, we posed a number of questions to some of the major players. Q: How has your product line changed in the last five years? Albany: Five years ago, double layer structures were most prevalent for forming. Today, triple layer structures dominate the market. Our press product line continues to evolve with new seam fabric developments, and multiaxial and non-woven structures are expanding at the expense of conventional woven products. For drying we have developed aerodynamically active structures that focus on air handling including a design for single run applications that addresses sheet handling. AstenJohnson: In 2007 we introduced a true fourlayer seamed fabric that offers a fully integrated single seam and an incompressible, high void volume base. T We have also introduced products to enhance nip dewatering on light weight print grades, a performance enhancing treatment to significantly decrease break-in time and increase drying rate in the tissue market, and a dryer fabric line that provides improved contamination management. Xerium: Today it is about producing at the highest quality and efficiency with the lowest possible operating costs. As a result, we rely on specially engineered PMC plus our roll products to help customers reduce their cost-per-ton. Q. Have the traditional forming fabric performance drivers changed—surface properties, drainage, operating life, machine speed/runnability, and energy? Voith: Reducing consumption of wood fiber, expensive fillers and chemical additives is a key focus for us, along with reducing energy consumption. Improvement of sheet properties such as porosity and formation are also important drivers. Albany: The importance of different drivers varies by paper grade or machine requirements. Sheet support/drainage considerations are significantly different for light weight tissue on a crescent former compared to a fourdrinier making heavy weight liner. But the desire for optimal production, speed, energy costs and fabric life are common to both. Paper360º January/February 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Paper360 - January/February 2010

Paper360 - January/February 2010
Over the Wire
Outlook: North America 2010
Confronting the Carbon Challenge
Improve Your Energy Efficiency
Feature: Paper Machine Clothing
Around the Industry
Association News
Improving Print Performance
Tracking Tension
Dateline: London
Index of Advertisers

Paper360 - January/February 2010