Fabrica de Papel San Francisco (PSF) in Mexicali, Mexico, has set the target of growing in line with the market. To meet the demand for capacity, they have invested in new tissue machines every three or four years. Most recent installation is TM7 an Advantage DCT machine from Valmet.
Investing is one thing, but the capability to get large volumes of high-quality paper out of the lines is something else. Running as fast as possible has been part of PSF’s strategy ever since the start-up of their first tissue machine. They have a continuous production speed many other can only dream of. Dario Palma y Meza, Operations Director, explains: “In all aspects, we want to get the most out of our equipment. The machine is designed for 2,200 m/min, our strategy is to run as close as possible to that level. To be competitive in the Mexican market, you need an efficient production process and qualified people. And you always need to be in touch with the latest trends, and what can give you the edge in manufacturing”.
TM 7 sets new record
TM 7 follow this strategy. The start-up set yet another record, reaching 2,000 m/min within 48 hours – and it just continues!
To execute a start-up in that short time means that a lot of things must work perfectly together. “This was the sixth tissue machine we started up, so one big factor is of course to utilize people’s experience from previous installations. We always use operators who are familiar with the process and the technology. Support from Valmet is important, as is a stable and reliable tissue machine with high efficiency. We had a really good start-up, and we have been running at full speed ever since”, Palma continues.
Valmet’s vision is to become the global champion in serving its customers
Pioneering in tissue production
PSF is something of a pioneer in the tissue business. The company already set the world speed record back in 2009, and it was the first to start up an Advantage NTT machine. Today it produces high-value grades from virgin pulp on the NTT machine. “The NTT concept is great. It has given us the opportunity to enter the textured market. We are happy to have the capability not only to do textured tissue, but also conventional tissue at a high basis weight. Its drying capacity gives a very nice level of production that I haven’t heard of from any other machine”, says Palma.
High-quality tissue with low energy consumption
“The Mexican market mainly requires 100% recycled tissue. The virgin fiber products are somewhere between five and ten percent of the market. So, our need was a machine that could provide 100-percent recycled, low-basis-weight bath tissue. Our philosophy is also to go for low energy consumption and the lowest possible emissions. So we decided to go for an Advantage DCT machine with an Advantage ViscoNip press to achieve the best tissue quality combined with the lowest energy consumption”. explains Palma. The ViscoNip press is a new technology for the mill team in Mexicali. But they are comfortable with the process and find it easy to handle.
“The machine is running very well, and we are mainly utilizing low and medium nip loads to get more caliper and softness. Running at 2,150 m/min in daily production is not a problem, and we have even hit speeds of 2,200 for several days. We have also seen savings in electricity”, says Enrique Zarate, Mill Manager.
Trust and teamwork
PSF and Valmet have a long-term relationship with Valmet, continuing. “A good supplier becomes a part of our team. It’s very important to have a responsible crew you can trust and be open with about problems or challenges, a team that makes all the effort to solve any issue. It makes life easier for all of us”, Zarate continues.
With TM 7, the Mexicali mill will reach a daily production of 500 tons, considering they run a high percentage of very low basis weight. Their market share in Mexico is currently 18 percent, with a target of continued growth. Next machine will start-up during 2020 and with skills, dedication and expertise, they will hold on to the need for speed.