Aktül in Turkey running Valmet ViscoNip press technology for top quality and efficiency

Ultra-modern tissue making technologies have been combined on Aktül’s PM1 in Turkey to give high quality and high output, with optimized cost and ease of operation. PM2 is on the way with the same configuration.

Perini Journal

Erkan Tirnavali, General Manager at Aktül Kagit in Turkey, is what might be called a papermaker’s papermaker. He knows a lot about this unique art and science of papermaking, and he is very clear about his priorities.
“Speed means nothing. You can’t sell speed. You can only get paid for saleable tons. So we don’t worry too much about our speeds, we worry about keeping our production efficiency at the highest levels.” The result, says Erkan, is that even with an average of three daily grade changes, the company’s PM1 is making 6100 saleable tons average per month. That equates to 73,000 tpy. Saleable.


SUPPLY FOR ITS RETAIL CHAINS. Aktül Kagit was created in 2009, initially under the name of AK Gida, as a subsidiary of Yıldız Holding, one of Turkey’s largest conglomerates which also runs a retail chain in the country. Ülker, which is a major Turkish manufacturer of food products and other consumer products is also a subsidiary of YH. The YH group decided to get into tissue manufacturing in 2009 with the idea of supplying its own retail network in addition to others with tissue products.
Erkan, who has long tissue making experience with Georgia-Pacific/Ipek Kagit and Lila Kagit, joined Aktül at that time. Work began on a greenfield site located next to a big YH dairy farm in the fertile agricultural area in Pamukova, about two hours from Istanbul.
“This has been an ideal situation, with an owner that wants to invest in the best production technology available anywhere,” he explains. “So we have been able to put it all together here, with the ViscoNip press technology, an advanced turbo blower, cogeneration, adjustable crêpe blade, pH condensate control, headbox dilution control and other leading technologies. I think the results speak for themselves, in terms of quality and production efficiency.”


VISCONIP NOT INCLUDED IN THE INITIAL ORDER. Aktül’s Valmet DCT Advantage 200 TS machine started up in 2011. However, the ViscoNip press was not included when the machine was initially ordered. Erkan says this was because he was concerned about runnability.
“When we ordered the machine,” he explains, “it was not equipped with a ViscoNip, but I agreed to go to China to see a reference, at Hengan. I stayed there for two days and was impressed. They were making 13.5-g facial tissue at a speed of 1900 m/min and I saw them make 10 mother rolls without a single break. While I was already convinced the press could help bulk and softness, I was worried about runnability. Clearly what I saw at Hengan made me excited to have a ViscoNip on our new machine as well. Within one week we had amended the contract with Valmet to add it.”
And he apparently is very happy about that amendment. The new machine started in 2011 in what he calls “a very good experience”. Aktül has therefore ordered its second, very similar, machine which will be installed in late 2015 with the ViscoNip as well.


RUNNABILITY, PLUS CHOICE OF HIGH BULK OR LOW ENERGY. “Runnability is the main benefit we get with the ViscoNip. I define this as higher machine speeds, fewer machine breaks, less broke, and better efficiency in the converting operations due to less breaks and bursts there as well. All this adds up to more production. If you ask me how this works, I see it simply as being due to the very uniform nip over the Yankee surface. It’s not like a fisheye, but instead a self-adjusting nip with no edge effects, and no sensitivity to coating buildup on the edges.”
The beauty of the ViscoNip, says Erkan, is that you can play with a wide spectrum of pressures, choosing between high bulk/softness or high energy savings. “It’s like playing a piano: at one end is high bulk/softness and at the other is energy savings. If we want high bulk, we reduce the pressure and energy consumption is like conventional, but the sheet is much softer and bulkier. Or if we want higher dryness to save energy, we raise the pressure and the sheet quality is like conventional. We have a chart for every grade we’re making which specifies the settings for the ViscoNip loading, creping blade angles, refining degrees, etc. We make the softest tissue paper in Turkey based on market analyses, running the press nip at 90 kN per meter. But can go down to 70 if we need to improve softness even further although that is not necessary at this point.”


OTHER STATE-OF-THE-ART EQUIPMENT CONTRIBUTES TO SUCCESS. The MAN turbo blower system is an advanced vacuum system with one pump for the entire machine, replacing all the traditional vacuum pumps. It’s a good solution, explains Erkan, with 20% less electrical energy, lower investment and spare parts costs, and it’s user-friendly, meaning it is easy to start, stop and control. The energy saved is a significant 200 kW.


BTG ADJUSTABLE CREPING BLADE. Another very helpful technology Aktül invested in is BTG’s adjustable creping blade. “We have worked hard on the science of the creping blade to optimize the pressure, blade life and Yankee surface. Of course the main objective is to get the highest quality tissue and we realize there’s a strong synergy between precise blade control and tissue quality. In addition, we have not had to re-grind the Yankee during the entire three years of operation; normally they need this in the first year to maintain the surface. Also, we have had no chatter mark problems, which is quite extraordinary on a young Yankee.”


CONDENSATE TREATMENT FROM SOLENIS. Condensate removal from the Yankee and treatment is another area where Aktül has made progress. Through the use of very precise condensate pH control and treatment program in cooperation with Solenis, there have been no plugged straw pipes. “After three years of operation we went in and took a look at the straw pipes and none were plugged.”


WHY CHANGE? “All of these details help sheet runnability and quality,” says Erkan, summarizing the machine project. “Obviously we’re very satisfied with the equipment and new technology that we have combined here in Aktül in a successful manner. I guess the best testimonial about that is that we have ordered our second machine with exactly the same equipment. It’s a successful concept, why change anything?”



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