The potential of Tissuehub with AirMill & PatternLab

TISSUEHUB, Gambini’s new Technology Development Center is now host to the first full-width 2.8 m (112”) Pilot Line that’s been operational since this past spring. TISSUEHUB is designed for sharing ideas, testing innovations and developing new solutions.

author: TissueMAG

Industry Insight by:

Gambini S.p.A.

After only a few months of its opening, concrete results have already been realized. Gambini’s Sales Director, Mr. Carlo Berti, and Technical Director Eng. Paolo Lazzareschi provide deeper insight into all the advantages of this innovative laboratory.


Mr. Carlo Berti, Gambini’s Sales Director.

Carlo Berti tells us:

A year ago, we announced the opening of TissueHub, and it’s now a well-established reality. Although we imagined the potential of this great technological laboratory, the numbers its generated are far beyond our original expectations, Numbers related to visits by existing and prospective customers who have come to test our new AirMill technology, and numbers of those who have tested new embossing solutions on the Pilot Line with the PatternLab’s support. Also, numbers related to orders & projects generated after trials with our technologies. Since this past April 1st, when TissueHub was officially opened, we have had over 15 customer trials and the projects created for the company are beyond our expectations. For sure, an investment that has immediately translated into many new opportunities.


What do customers who have chosen TissueHub have in common?

In my opinion, the common thread is the desire to explore and find new solutions in the context of an advancing technological innovation which allows the use of fewer resources and a reduced environmental impact while maintaining high-quality finished products. That is a key point for our customers. This is one of the main purposes of our Research & Development department that continues to explore new paths and which last year allowed us to launch AirMill to the marketplace.


Therefore, can we say that AirMill is the real protagonist of TissueHub?

The AirMill technology is certainly very much a main area of focus for our customers but it’s not the only testing that our clients require at TissueHub. Customers also choose TissueHub to develop new patterns or improve existing ones. PatternLab, a section inside TissueHub, is dedicated to the development of embossing designs and is responsible for supporting customers in all parts concerning the development of new products. Sometimes the customer brings an idea to be processed and implemented by our developers, while other times they rely on our PatternLab professionals to request the complete project from the embryonic idea stage to final pattern development. In both cases, the trials allow our customers to obtain all the technical information needed to make the right choices and obtain the best possible product to meet their needs without expecting surprises during production. That’s why many customers rely on TissueHub. New products and patterns can be tested before having the machine installed. A guaranteed product that’s ready to be launched on the market.

TISSUEHUB is designed for developing new solutions

Key advantages.


Eng. Paolo Lazzareschi, Gambini’s Technical Director.

Mr. Lazzareschi, can you better explain how all this happens?

As Carlo has already explained, the TissueHub is chosen by customers with different needs who want to make trials with AirMill, and by those who want to develop new embossing patterns for new products or improve and enhance existing ones. The real revolution of the Development Center like ours is that tests are carried out on a complete full-width line at production speeds up to 550 m/min (1,805 fpm) and therefore the product obtained is fully reliable as it’s tested at industrial speeds.

The same test performed on conventional pilot machines cannot give the same result due to the obvious differences in terms of paper width and the maximum achievable speed. Instead, in our TissueHub, the results of the testing corresponds perfectly to the production reality which allows having certain verifiable results, optimizing time and costs. Additionally, the 2.8 m (112”) machine format allows customers to test up to 5 different patterns on the same embossed roll, at the same time.


Eng. Lazzareschi, how is AirMill behaving in these tests?

AirMill has confirmed everything stated to date: thickness and absorbency increase without losing any softness or tensile strength. The numerous tests we have carried out on paper of differing characteristics confirm the expected results, which in some cases have even been exceeded.
Sustainability is an equally important aspect as this technology requires the use of fewer resources for a result that can be even better if seen in the context of a cooperative effort between converting and the paper mill. In a few words, to get the tissue paper with the features that AirMill is able to achieve through its embossing process, it’s usually necessary to spend high amounts for energy costs in the paper mill. In the overall balance between the amount of energy spent in both processes, and in view of potentially lower use of fibers in the paper-making process; reduced use of chemicals and in the refining process, this technology greatly lowers the environmental impact.


Mr. Berti, often happens that products that best protect the environment are considered of less quality and less attractive for the consumer. Is this the case?

Protecting the environment is an essential prerogative and AirMill brings advantages in this sense since it allows to obtain the same finished product while reducing the use of raw materials without changing the clients perception. The very same roll will contain less cellulose, therefore less felled trees, while still maintaining its volume, absorbency, softness, and tensile strength.


Mr. Berti, one last question, what else should we expect from Gambini?

It is important for us to continue innovating. We will do it again in the embossing and winding areas and in the cutting section as well; further stages of which we will talk to you in the near future. Meanwhile, we are preparing a big party to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Company, which began its activity back in 1870. At MIAC 2020 there will be a great surprise!

PatternLab’s innovative products.



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