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: 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.