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36 Paper360º MAY/JUNE 2016 www.tappi.org
millwise | TISSUE
Be Original: The Path to LC
Paper’s OnePly Tissue
MARTIN KOEPEN...
Paper360º MAY/JUNE 2016 37
From this philosophy came the break-
throughofOnePlytissuepaper,thecompany’s
monolayerproduct,w...
38 Paper360º MAY/JUNE 2016 www.tappi.org
size distribution and chemical composition
to meet their needs.”
PM 2 AS A TISSUE...
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Be Original: The Path to LC Paper's OnePly Tissue

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What tissue maker doesn’t dream of making premium tissue with less fiber, energy and water? What if it’s soft, pliable
and nearly dust-free?

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Be Original: The Path to LC Paper's OnePly Tissue

  1. 1. 36 Paper360º MAY/JUNE 2016 www.tappi.org millwise | TISSUE Be Original: The Path to LC Paper’s OnePly Tissue MARTIN KOEPENICK What tissue maker doesn’tdream of making premium tissue with less fiber, energy and water? What if it’s soft, pliable and nearly dust-free? That’s exactly what LC PaperhasachievedwithitsOnePlyecobrand, focusedontheAwayfromHome(AfH)sector. Anotherachievement:LCPapermanufactures in Spain, yet wins customers as far away as North America. “Never copy, be original; that’s our core idea,” says Joan Vila, CEO of LC Paper in Besalu, Spain, just inland from the Costa Brava. “Tissue making advances are usually based on copying a good idea and taking it up a notch. But, what if you invent an idea around a need, test it and perfect it to deliver anentirelynewoffering?Youhaveanopening as amarket leader.Then youcanworkrelent- lesslytoadaptandadaptagainuntilyoureach your own finish line.” LC Paper, which began as a papermaker in 1881 as part of the Spanish industrial revolution, fell into decline 40 years ago and almost ceased to exist. That’s when Joan Vila brought in his team to revitalize the mill. Transformation began on day one. They rebuilt both existing and newly-acquired used equipment, and worked long hours to produce wrapping paper. They self-financed anddevelopedrelationshipswithsuppliersto keep moving forward. INTENSE ENERGY FOR ENERGY REDUCTION Oncetheybroughtthemilltoaviablelevel, Vila and his team turned to energy reduc- tion as a critical path to profitability. To take control of spiraling energy costs, in 1993 the companyinstalledaco-generationplant.The 12MWfacilityreducedenergycostsconsider- ably,andthatledtodoublingcapacityin2001. Building on its success with PM 2, producing a range of wrapping grades at the time, LC Paper launched a bold new tissue machine in 2009. The PM3 tissue machine included a patented process that takes exhaust from the co-generationplanttodrythepaperbymeans of an innovative hood already in place. This machine became the runway for the OnePly breakthrough, which took several years to commercialize. In 2012, LC Paper found a way to replace a diesel engine with a new gas engine in the cogeneration plant. Always seeking greener solutions, this decision allowed for six MW of energy for the new hood on PM2, which further reduced energy consumption at an equal level of production. Vila notes that the rebuild project was suc- cessfulbecauseofclosecollaborationbetween the LC Paper team, Toscotec and Milltech, whichwereabletointroduceinnovativesolu- tionstothetissueproductionprocessinaccor- dancewiththeLCPaperbusinessphilosophy. R & D WITH PASSION Well before installing PM 3, LC Paper embarked on a research and innovation ini- tiative focused on new ways to manufacture tissue paper, enabling the company to lower rawmaterialcostswhileusinglessenergyand water. They also had aspirations for a switch to one-ply, combined with high flexibility on the fly. “Our complete reengineering of the tissue paper manufacturing process led to altering the traditional concept of plies. Conserving energy and water, consumption fell to 2,100 kWh/metric ton (compared to standard 3.100 kWh/metric ton) and water consumption of 2.5 cubic meters/ton – levels unheard of in the tissue sector,” says Vila. Alongside their research and innovation developments, the LC Paper team realized the importance of changes in thinking about the day-to-day process of tissue making – not only considering the equipment, controls and consumables. They launched “linear manufacturing,” allowing changes to be made in real time; this spontaneitysupportsnewproductdevelopment andcustom-madeorders.Whenanopportunity arises from new or important customers, the team uses an “all hands on deck” approach to meetthechallenge.Theyrisksomelostproduc- tion,buttheteamconsidersthatlessimportant thananewcustomerwonoranewdooropened. Joan Vila, CEO of LC Paper, believes in being hands-on with his team. “Never copy, invent your own future,” is his philosophy.
  2. 2. Paper360º MAY/JUNE 2016 37 From this philosophy came the break- throughofOnePlytissuepaper,thecompany’s monolayerproduct,whichreducesthedemand for raw materials, energy and water. At the same time, LC Paper found a way to produce tissuewithsuchdensityontherollitcan“ship like bricks.” In what has become a tradition of pioneer- ing,Vilaandhisteamhavetakenstepsforward usingnewceramic-coatedbladedevelopments. DUST-DEFYING CERAMIC BLADES Vila, always seeking higher productivity and energy reduction, believed that ceramic- coateddoctorbladescouldbemadetoenhance quality and last longer. As he puts it, “if the equilibrium between the felts and the coating could be enhanced, a better, more consistent product would result.” Infact,specially-developedCeraEdgecrep- ing blades from Kadant are achieving that equilibrium so effectively that productivity has risen. According to Vila, “The blades last four times longer, and best of all, we have a dramatic reduction of dusting in the mill and in thesheet.We don’t have documentedproof yet, but energy savings are clearly another advantage.” Vincent Charpentier, who leads CeraEdge creping blade sales for Kadant in Europe, explainstheseresults.“TheCeraEdgecreping bladeproduceslessdustingandlintingduetoa smootherwearedgeandimpactsurfaceversus traditionalceramicblades,”hesays.“LCPaper’s focus on innovation gave us a unique oppor- tunity to refine the particle selection shape, Joaquin Biera, Kadant representative, and Joan Vila, CEO of LC Paper, discuss improvements on the PM 3 tissue machine. Kadant’s CeraEdge creping blades reduce dust and last four times longer. When the tissue machine runs cleaner, worker safety gets a boost.
  3. 3. 38 Paper360º MAY/JUNE 2016 www.tappi.org size distribution and chemical composition to meet their needs.” PM 2 AS A TISSUE MACHINE In late 2014, LC Paper relaunched its vastly updated and customized PM 2 to produce tis- sue,reinforcingthecompany’svisionofbeing amarketleaderinsingle-layertissuemanufac- turing through its OnePly line. PM2 has been retrofitted to produce tissue from 100 percent recycled paper. LCPapercontinuestodeveloptechnologyin the tissue manufacturing sector to meet cus- tomerneedsbycreatingenvironmentallysus- tainable products. “Every product that leaves our factory is certified with the Ecolabel and PSFCorFSCenvironmentalpolicies,”saysVila. “Ouraimisalwaystobesustainableandenvi- ronmentallyfriendly.Sustainabilityisourway of funding future investments.” BasedontheadvancesinproducingOnePly, the focus is now on converting. The tissue on the roll can be so dense that it’s a challenge to cut. Overcoming this obstacle will open the way for sales far and wide because tissue is usually not dense enough for long distance shipping.FranceandSpainareLCPaper’spri- marymarkets,butOnePlyhasopenedtheway for customers as far away as North America. NorthAfricaisalsoagrowthmarketforthem. “When a niche product allows you to compete in entirely new markets, you have a solid basis for growth,” says Vila. “If this means continuous adapting of tissue making processes, including converting, we’re up to the challenge.” Martin KoepenickispresidentofInnovaandcan be reached at mkoepen@earthlink.net. Operators have the flexibility to make changes on the fly, as well as meet customer needs. “Fuel innovation by listening to yourself and the dynamic team around you,” states Joan Vila, CEO of LC Paper and “Innovator in Chief.” Reduce Costs, Strengthen Performance Bearing Repair for Any Brand, AnyType A bearing remanufactured byTimken can cost 20 to 60 percent less than the cost of a new bearing, regardless of bearing brand or type. Discover Timken Bearing Repair at PaperCon 2016 and how we can help you significantly reduce your overall cost of operation. phone: (877) 4 TIMKEN (877.484.6536) email: bearing.repair@timken.com online: www.timken.com/bearingrepair PaperCon 2016 : Booth #831 : May 15-18 : Duke Energy Center : Cincinnati, OH : Proud Member of TAPPI 804723_TheTimken.indd 1 4/1/16 1:07 AM

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