Studying cores at CoreLab

CoreLab is a laboratory. In the widest possible sense of the word. It treats paper and all the things that can be done with it. Or that can be done to it in order to improve it and make it appropriate for new uses. It does not treat only – even though it bears the word in its name – cores, the cardboard tubes for tissue products. But it is in cores that it excels.

Perini Journal

For a few thousand years, different people around the world – often totally independently of one another – have worked to find new varieties of paper and new applications. Paper has thus become a vehicle of civilization and progress. But despite this fact, we feel that the development of paper in all its facets has not reached the end: a lot more can still be done. In diligent and scientific fashion, CoreLab explores these vacant spaces. As basis for its research, it has chosen to newly evaluate knowledge that has up until now been taken for granted. Starting by denying the facts is not a paradox but the actual starting point for serious research. The first step is to put scientific truths under discussion, to destroy certainties in order to build other, more solid, more veritable ones.


INDUSTRY AND ECONOMY MOVE SO FAST THAT IT IS DIFFICULT TO KEEP UP. Product generations succeed one another in the space of just a few years, but even these few years seem like a lot. Products belonging to a certain epoch are always evaluated using the diagnostic instruments of the generations that preceded them. CoreLab works to put the instruments used for evaluation up-to-date with the times, to find connections between the answers given by the instruments and the objective situation of the production facilities under examination. Basically, putting the numbers in relation to the production.

These transversal and motley oriented objectives – observing paper from all possible angles – have required a heterogeneous and horizontal staff. Under the direction of Tiziano Pieretti, Director of ICP – and with the scientific coordination of Junio Caselli, packager and packaging designer of Archita, in CoreLab, laboratory technicians and telecommunications engineers, paper chemists and structural crystallographers, physics and mathematicians collaborate side by side.


THE PERFECT CORE. Research and development in this realm must place paper at the center of scientific activity (both microscopically and macroscopically) and consider products made with raw material paper as independent materials, to which we can apply the science of materials in general, as it is used in other, more advanced fields. Following the necessary rationalization phase of the state-of-the-art data, having passed through the formalization of the fundamentals of screw axis geometry and the definition of the structural criteria of the core, in July 2007 CoreLab began to study and design dedicated machinery, aiming to complete manufacture and start-up in a short time in order to attain a high level of understanding of the coreboard.


THE CHOICE OF COREBOARD to be used for core formation plays an important role in the production of a core that can properly carry out its function within the toilet roll converting process. A laboratory that is experimental and scientific, innovative and technological, represents a novelty for the tissue scene on a national scale, because the investigation into the combination of factors that produce and launch the perfect core on the market certainly interests not only Industria Cartaria Pieretti, but also all those who work in the industry. The substantial investment made by ICP for the birth of CoreLab is in-line with the history of the company itself: constant research towards optimization and product quality, as well as a reputation for excellence that the market knows well. Because it is time that the word innovation begins having a meaning again in the world of tissue.


1. The GEO Project

Observing phenomena, constants and variables. Deducing the laws through inducement, formulating hypotheses for improvement and confirming them experimentally. From the time of Galileo onwards, we cannot afford to distance ourselves too greatly from this approach.

For the GEO project, CoreLab has also chosen to apply to cores the science of other materials, treating the ensemble cores as scientifically self-sufficient materials, in order to discover in the behavior of these items, information on the raw materials.

Having brought to the paper field those means of investigation that are used in more advanced industrial environments – triaxial confined compression tests, bending tests, traction tests through combustion, torsion and impact tests, scannings and tomographies – has allowed to supply new standards for the production and use of cores, and new indexes in the evaluation and comparison of paper and cores.


2. The CoreCOAT Project

The physical and mechanical properties of coreboard are too often considered accessory and not fundamental in the production of toilet rolls. The truth is that, if there were treatments that could be applied superficially to the paper during its production process, we could open up a whole string of interventions that would make the tube an element of great interest. Both for producers and consumers. The latter could be trained to appreciate the differences only if these are evident and useful. The directions to be explored concern the way that a roll is used and stored, the aesthetic and marketing implications, every aspect that is too often reserved for more emotional environments than that of toilet paper. CoreLab is working towards this end: to transform a tube into a recognizable object and an object almost per se.

The CoreCOAT project, started in April 2007, has the scope of finding materials and methods, machinery and skills that can steer future research. It is hypothesizing a series of intervention so that the understanding of the world of tissue attains scientific levels.


3. The UniCore Project

The core is an object comprised of paper, glue and humidity. These materials, when subjected to an apparently simple process, form a new material with its own mechanical and physical characteristics. Raw materials and formation processes constituted the field of research that led to UniCore, the paper specific for single-ply corewinders, developed in concert with the LITEPly® modification by Fabio Perini S.p.A. It is actually a T.I.P. (Technical Improvement Program) that the company belonging to the Körber PaperLink Group proposes to its customers as a simple addition to existing corewinders. The single-ply core, presented at the MIAC 2007 show in Lucca, is now a possibility exclusively thanks to the work of these two leading companies from Lucca.


4. ICP

The company whose desire was to manufacture and finance CoreLab is ICP, Industria Cartaria Pieretti. The company has been involved in the field since the beginning of the century and today is European leader in the production of coreboard for tissue converting facilities and that constitutes part of a roll of toilet paper. Since its foundation in 1924, Industria Cartaria Pieretti has constantly strived to improve its offer to customers with investment and innovations. In the second half of 2005, Tiziano Pieretti, Director and grandson of the company’s founder, Giuseppe Pieretti, hypothesized the birth of this center of excellence, parallel to the production company, with the scope of continuous improvement (www.pieretti.it ).

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