A production line in the tissue industry needs to handle products in various sizes and shapes

A production line in the tissue industry needs to handle products in various sizes and shapes

Tissue products come in handy in most situations. If you, for example, are a parent to small children or have a cold you are most likely to use them on a daily basis. The need for tissue products will never fade and therefore the tissue industry needs to maintain a high production flow to meet the great demand for the products. In this article, I will describe the tissue industry and its requirements on highly automated production equipment.

Tissue products and non woven hygiene products are manufactured in great volumes

Tissue products and non woven hygiene products are manufactured in great volumesThe tissue industry includes many different tissue products for both home care and professional use. Toilet paper, paper towels, and handkerchiefs as well as paper products for offices, hotels and workshops are just a few examples. Also, non woven hygiene products are included in the tissue industry, such as diapers and feminine care products. Common for the tissue industry as a whole are the high production flows. The products are manufactured in big volumes, which require effective production processes with high levels of automation. Also, there is tough competition between the different companies manufacturing products for the tissue industry. Every manufacturer has their own brands, which, in addition, have to compete with the retailers’ private labels.

The manufacturing process differs depending on the product’s complexity

The manufacturing processes in the tissue industry differ depending on the product. A diaper, for example, is a complex product that requires a complex manufacturing machine. In order for a diaper to be comfortable, it needs to consist of many different materials, be easy to put on as well as absorb fluid without causing leakage. To manufacture toilet paper, on the other hand, does not require an equally advanced machine. However, both products are manufactured in high production flows of about 1200 to 1500 products per minute. After the products have been manufactured, the packaging processes look basically the same for all products in the tissue industry.

Production equipment adjusted to a dusty environment for a longer lifespan

Production lines in the tissue industry need to be flexible in order to manufacture products in various sizes and shapes and maintain the high quality of the productsThe production equipment must have high reliability to maintain the high production flows required in the tissue industry. Ideally, a manufacturing machine operates non-stop and that put high demands on the machines downstream, such as the packaging machines. A fault on the packaging machine should be addressed without having to impact the speed on the manufacturing machine. This require highly flexible and automatically controlled production flows.

Many factories in the tissue industry manufacture several different products with various qualities and characteristics in the same production line. The products are often light, soft and sensitive and can be damaged if not handled properly. Therefore, the production lines in the tissue industry need to be flexible in order to manufacture products in various sizes and shapes and maintain the high quality of the products. Also, the production equipment needs to maintain high production speed when switching from one product to another in order to meet the high market demands. One of the challenges in the tissue industry is to handle the large amount of paper dust coming from the products. There is always a risk that the dust gets caught in the production equipment, which may affect the equipment in a negative way. So, in order to extend the lifespan of the equipment it needs to be adapted to a dusty environment.

Fewer and shorter conveyors increase efficiency in the production plant

To facilitate the production in the tissue industry it is important to use well-proven equipment and adapt the layout of the production line according to the production plant’s needs. Through history, there has been quite a lot of conveyors and production equipment in the tissue industry. The industry’s development has brought different technical developments such as faster manufacturing machines. However, the packing machines have not developed at the same pace, which has lead to a need for more packaging machines in order to handle the high production flows. Consequently, more conveyors have been added in order to connect the machines together. Today, the packaging machines are more flexible and have higher capacity than before. As a result, the current trend goes towards fewer and shorter conveyors in the tissue industry.

FlexLink adapts their automated production flow solutions to the tissue industry

The tissue industry has a bright future due to an ever increasing demand from the consumers. The US is at the top of the list of countries with the largest paper consumption per capita and the need for diapers is increasing in several parts of the world. There is a strong need to increase efficiency in the production plants and change old production equipment to new, smart automation systems. FlexLink designs automated production flow solutions that create a flexible and balanced production flow in the tissue industry. Our solutions are adapted to the dusty environment and enable cleaning of the equipment without having to disassemble it. We assist in upgrading old production systems as well as help design and develop new ones. The demand for tissue products will never fade and we are here to make sure the supply never does either!

I hope you enjoyed reading my article about the tissue industry. Would you like to know more about our solutions or the other industries we work with? Visit our website or contact me directly with questions. You are also welcome to interact with us on social media!

Hans Östergren 2 Articles
Hans Östergren works as Head of SBU Tissue at FlexLink in Sweden.

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