ANDRITZ: at the forefront of innovation in Tissue

ANDRITZ has reinforced its position as a leader of innovation in the tissue industry by recently appointing a new member to its Global Tissue and Paper team. Klaus Blechinger joins as Vice President Tissue and has been with ANDRITZ for close to 20 years.

author: TissueMAG

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The high-level appointment goes in line with other major developments at ANDRITZ in the tissue sector including the launch of a new machine concept for textured tissue “PrimeLineTEX” (a result of the R&D activities at the ANDRITZ tissue pilot plant PrimeLineTIAC) and the launch of the PrimeLinePerformance Center for digital customer support worldwide.


What is your impression of the tissue industry and in your opinion what does the future look like for tissue as an industry?

Klaus Blechinger, Vice President Tissue, ANDRITZ AG.

Klaus Blechinger: The tissue industry is highly competitive and growing at the same time. Innovation is key in this industry, production costs and product features are in focus. In order to be able to take a lead in this dynamic industry, customers need to rely on strong suppliers, suppliers who are able to support their development efforts.


How do you rate the tissue industry in terms of innovation?

KB: I rate the tissue industry very high in terms of innovation and this applies as such not to innovation for tissue products and production processes only. The tissue industry naturally triggers innovation in affiliated industry sectors, for example in the logistic sector. Thus, we must draw our attention in the future also to the whole lifecycle of a tissue production line and to the entire sourcing, production and distribution chain. Lifecycle Service, customer care, quick reaction support, reduction of logistic costs are all in the focus of our tissue customers.


On the subject of innovation, and now that the tissue pilot plant PrimeLineTIAC has been in operation for a couple of months, can you tell us about some of the work that ANDRITZ is carrying out in R&D? Anything important to report?

KB: Our PrimeLineTIAC Tissue Innovation and Application Center has developed very successful since its official launch in March 2018. The pilot plant is available to tissue producers and suppliers, research and development companies and universities but also for our own R&D activities. Within the last months, we carried out several internal R&D projects to further develop and improve ANDRITZ products for tissue machines. For example, new products such as the latest shoe press technology, PrimePress XT Evo, have been developed and tested successfully under all conditions. Furthermore, existing products and technologies, for instance the ANDRITZ Vertical CrescentFormer (VRT) have been optimized. Our latest R&D project is the new machine concept PrimeLineTEX that we now officially introduce to the global tissue market.


The PrimeLine Performance Center offers digital service and support for tissue, paper and board mills worldwide.


What does this new machine concept PrimeLineTEX offer to tissue producers?

KB: The new machine concept, focusing on the reduction of investment and operating costs, enables the production of textured tissue with a quality much better than dry-crepe and very close to structured (TAD) tissue. The machine offers up to 25% fiber savings (compared to dry-crepe) and even 50% less energy consumption compared to TAD. It is remarkably shorter in length than other market solutions, and uses only one fabric instead of two. Furthermore, the PrimeLineTEX machine can be rebuilt within one day for the production of dry-crepe tissue.

Process technologies, equipment, plants, and systems: ANDRITZ provides a comprehensive product portfolio


What results do you see in the tissue industry with the introduction of digitalization or the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) through Metris PrimeControl E?

KB: Digitalization will be of utmost importance in this industry. Metris PrimeControl E is our answer to this development and is the ANDRITZ current state-of-the-art IIoT solution for tissue machines. Others might come, as we are continuously advancing in this area. PrimeControl E is supplied with every ANDRITZ tissue machine. Initially, we installed it at PrimeLineTIAC to optimize and monitor R&D activities and trials, as well as to develop new, pioneering solutions for OPP (Optimization of Process Performance). At the pilot plant, OPP is used to monitor and control the different machine configurations as well as stock preparation and includes alarm management, advanced reporting, drive systems, quality control systems, and remote support. There are also reports on energy and resource efficiency capabilities available to monitor and optimize consumption of energy and other resources. Metris PrimeControl E is used for immediate, fast and efficient customer support and increasing efficiency during start-ups and operation. We expect the first OPP contracts to be concluded with tissue producers later this year.


ANDRITZ has also recently launched the PrimeLinePerformance Center. Can you give us an overview of the digital services that this center provides to customers?

KB: The PrimeLinePerformance Center is an impressive milestone for ANDRITZ in the area of digitalization and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions. Tissue, paper, and board mills are able to benefit from individual and fast customer service by using the ANDRITZ Metris platform for the optimization of production processes, operator trouble shooting and decision support.

The center is located at the ANDRITZ headquarters in Graz, Austria and demonstrates an excellent combination of process, technology and product knowledge with digital services for our PrimeLine tissue, paper, and board mills. It features various applications for a perfect global customer service and support by providing remote solutions, real-time communication or data analytics. The paper & tissue industry will see a constant operating cost optimization and thus, also, a strong move to digitalization. With the PrimeLinePerformance Center, we can offer support to our customers exactly when they need it.


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