XXL GENERATION: the new generation of Extra-Extra-Large Lines

With 52 logs/min. reached at the demonstration phase and product changeover in less than 10 minutes, the demonstration phase and products changeover in less than 10 minutes, the new Perini XXL line establishes 2 world records and enters the Guinness book.

Cristina Bernardini

In July 2001, Fabio Perini S.p.A. presented to the world the new Sincro XXL converting line in 5500-mm format, able to pass from the production of toilet rolls to kitchen towels in just ten minutes! Inaugurated with an Open House that saw the participation of over 300 people, the newborn XXL immediately shattered all production records by reaching the speed of 52 logs per minute during the demonstration! Today, the line is in operation at the new Industrie Cartarie Tronchetti facilities in Poland, and is converting the 60,000 tpy of product coming from the new Andritz 5540-mm wide PM started up at the end of August 2001. The start-up of the second XXL line sold by Perini marks an import stage in the evolution of tissue converting technology, confirming the maturity of the XXL project. The new generation of 5.5-m wide machines unites the flexibility of traditional format lines to the large production volumes and high efficiency levels obtainable with extra-large lines.

The new XXL operating in Poland is comprised of:

-3 trolley unwind backstands model 383A

-1 one-color printing unit model 990F, set up for the addition of a second color

-1 double embossing synchronized laminator model 495C

-1 Sincro model 893A rewinding head with double type "A" perforation and complete with a special core handling and introduction section

-1 tail sealer model 590B

-1 accumulator model 583B

-2 double-blade, 4-lane log saws model 183E

-1 wrapper model CMW424

-1 bundler model CMB202

But how is this new generation of machines different from the ones presented in 1997? The difference is given by a series of innovations and details fruit of the experience acquired by Perini on systems of this size.

FLEXIBILITY. In particular, all product changeover operations have been revisited, limiting - if not totally eliminating - manual intervention by the operator. At the winding section, the rewinder possesses a double type "A" perforation head. Sheet length, in this case 120 mm and 136 mm, is set from panel together with all other typical winding parameters. The machine, guaranteed to reach the production speed of 40 logs per minute, reached the speed of 52 logs per minute at the demonstration phase. The need to face production cycles of this size has brought to the creation of a new log ejection handling system. A special servodrive-controlled device synchronizes log transfer from the winding phase to tail sealing. This device is adjustable in height so as to be able to handle both toilet tissue and kitchen towel logs.

At the embossing section, product changeover takes place through an electronic control system. This device, called the skewing system, allows to change the contact surface and the pressure of the embossing rolls, modifying the inclination of the rubber rolls. The modified parameters are registered on the control panel and can be later re-called by the operator.

To change the printing pattern, the same system of extractable sleeves normally in use on machines of smaller size has been applied here, too. In this case, however, to facilitate the handling of 5-m long sleeves, the solution of two 2750-mm long sleeves - easily extractable and replaceable - has been adopted.

EFFICIENCY. The other main innovations brought to the machine concern overall line efficiency and finished product quality guarantee. Among these, the new web handling system during the path that the web makes from the reel unwinding phase to the finished roll winding section carries particular importance. The experience acquired through converting bulkier tissue papers has highlighted the need to avoid excessive traction and a consequent loss of web thickness. The system adopted on the new XXL allows to transport and support the web up to the rewinder, treating it with the least amount of tension possible even during winding, so as to obtain optimal speed and product quality.

The system utilizes load cells mounted on carbon rollers that guarantee web tension fine adjustment. The other transport rolls are section driven so as to maintain the most appropriate speed for the draw rolls.

A detail of special importance: the web "leans" on the rolls and is not drawn by them as happens on lines of previous conception. If the effects of this innovation have appeared clearly evident on traditional tissue paper (and the speed reached during the Open House is proof of this), the impact on TAD papers is even greater. Even if through-air-dried tissue, contrary to what is dictated by tradition, is not a weak support, it is, however, sensitive to high winding and draw tensions.

Another aspect that has been studied and developed on the new-generation XXLs is cardboard core handling and their introduction to the winding phase. Each core is accumulated and transported individually so as to allow perfect drying of the cardboard comprising the tubes. In this way, it is possible to utilize cores of 5.5 meters having the same grammage as more traditional cores and thus obtain a better introduction to the winding phase.

PACKAGING. The packaging section downstream of this line is comprised of the wrapper model CMW424 and the bundler model CMB202 supplied by Casmatic S.p.A. of Bologna. During the Open House, at this phase of the process, too, a record was shattered. On the CMW424, the passage between a double-layer pack of 3x3 rolls to a package of two rolls of kitchen towels was carried out in just 20 minutes!

The line is today converting toilet rolls and kitchen towels destined for the shelves of German supermarkets. The ICT Poland facilities are strategically located near the German border, just 80 Km away from Berlin. In a total area of 200,000 square meters work 140 people under the general direction of a close-knit Polish-Italian team.

Industrie Cartarie Tronchetti's "Poland Project has arisen great interest in the world of tissue both for its technological aspects - a greenfield mill totally integrated with XXL converting - as well as for its impact on the market. But what is the genesis of the project? What are its plans for the future? We will speak about these aspects in the next issue of Perini Update.

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