Big success for Tissue World in Nice 2007

The Tissue World 2007 show, held in Nice, France, in March this year, was seen by nearly all participants as a great success.

Many of the senior tissue people that Perini Journal spoke with commented that the 2007 event was the best one ever in terms of quality and level of the visitors, content of the conference speeches, and overall excellence of the exhibition. Of course, the wonderful spring weather and natural beauty of the Riviera region helped add to the general satisfaction. 


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The organizers reported that the 3-day show attracted 2,400 visitors and another 375 delegates were also taking part at the 4-day conference. A key feature of this year’s gathering was the very high level of attendees from senior management positions.

Top executives from most of the world’s largest tissue companies, including K-C, SCA, GP, P&G, Sofidel, Metsä Tissue, Cascades, Kruger/Scott Paper Canada, WEPA, KartoGroup, Nuqul Group, Renova, Cartiera Lucchese, ICT and many others, were in Nice for the show. In fact, it seemed as though almost all of the world’s tissue companies were represented as the attendees came from an impressive 89 countries around the globe.

Many delegates expressed the opinion that the conference sessions had taken a step up, with the management session expanded to an entire day, from the traditional half day format. In addition, the technical papers, which sometimes can be a little too commercial and promotional, were for the most part much better and more informative than in previous years.


EXCELLENT KEYNOTE AND MANAGEMENT SESSION. The conference was kicked off with an excellent Keynote Address by Alberto Cappellini, President of Kimberly-Clark Europe Family Care. Speaking about the theme of ‘Adding Value through Innovation’, Cappellini urged the industry to take a different look at its business model, to take both value creation and innovation to a new, higher level.

Using Geoffery Moore’s model of the market adoption curve, he said that to extract more value from its products, the tissue business needs to move forward from the Horizon 1 (H1) level of simple Cosmetic Innovation.

The next level, H2, is called Context Innovation, said Cappellini, and is “where we are able to create more genuine innovation but on an existing theme – to formulate new products, new solutions or even categories. As an industry we spend some time here but not enough.”

The most important innovation level is called concept change or H3. This is advanced innovation that rethinks the business model in order to redefine how things happen. “We have to be honest,” said Cappellini, “and ask whether we spend any time here at all. If we were thinking in terms of H3 right now we would be focused on hygiene, health and well-being and, for sure, dreaming of categories that haven’t been thought of yet.”

When markets mature, argued Cappellini, the industry needs to embrace disruptive innovation as a way of life to ensure “we create new market curves as each maturing one reaches its peak. We need to regard ourselves as an industry that builds new categories, not one that merely sustains existing ones.” In this manner the entire market ‘space’ or value can grow to allow better results for all players, especially the most innovative forward thinking ones.

The management session also included many other excellent speeches. In particular the presentation given by Peter Irish from SCA on Value Growth in the European Tissue Sector stood out and complemented the Keynote speech by Cappellini very well. Many delegates said they considered it the best speech of the conference.

Irish argued that the tissue industry in Europe has mis-communicated with customers, explaining the market in terms of softness and strength. In fact, these are only moderately important from a consumer viewpoint, and are much more the result of manufacturers trying to optimize their production. Similarly, said Irish, with few exceptions, retailers also have their misconceptions thinking that price is the main focus of consumers. Again, time after time, studies show that consumers see this as less important than other attributes.

Instead, tissue companies need to discard the current business model and focus much more on what consumers really want. By identifying and acting upon consumer need themes, and creating brands that the consumer can build a relation with, value growth can be restored in the tissue industry, said Irish.

Another highlight of the first day was the session on Growing the Category: Innovation in Tissue which was arranged by Roberto Berardi of ETS (European Tissue Symposium). These included presentations by K-C, SCA and Metsä Tissue of case histories where smart marketing and product innovation has helped to grow the tissue category, which is very important in growing the entire tissue business.


NEWS IN PAPER MAKING. The papermaking developments session that covered the second morning of the conference also was highly appreciated by the attendees. Among the hot topics was the ATMOS technology which has just been introduced by Voith and has the potential to give TAD-like quality at much lower capital and operating cost. Metso’s STT process also got lots of interest, as did the new ViscoNip press and the Steel Yankee dryers being made by Toscotec.

The Converting, Wrapping and Logistics session included many good papers, including one by Fabio Perini S.p.A. on Efficiency and Flexibility through Coreless Production. Numerous other presentations in the session covered ways and means to raise efficiency in tissue operations, quite often through creative and exciting use of new software developments.

The energy session on Wednesday was highly attended as well, as this is such a hot topic for the tissue making business. In fact, some delegates were discussing the possibility of starting a broad industry energy committee or working group to try to come up with creative ways to attack the energy challenge. The session covered a wide variety of issues with one excellent paper given by SCA on the threat that biofuels and demand for wood based energy poses to the EU forest industry. As the push towards renewable energy rises, “prices for wood in Europe have already increased by 20-25% or more and energy production will start competing for recovered paper as well.”

Other sessions included topics as diverse as Process control, testing and maintenance; Reach EU chemical legislation; chemicals, stock preparation, pulp and fibers; and the Yankee dryer operations workshop. As mentioned earlier, the general feeling was that nearly all of the papers presented during the conference were of a very high level, which was greatly appreciated by the delegates.


Nice is nice. All in all, the majority of participants at Tissue World 2007 seemed to be very happy with the conference and the exhibition. The great success of the event in 2007 proved, once again, that Nice is nice. •

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