Vinda continues its fast expansion in tissue to reach over 1 million tons per year

Vinda is one of the major players in the Chinese tissue business and has been growing at a very steady rate over the past years. The company’s annual tissue capacity will reach over 1 million tons by the end of 2016, meaning it has more than doubled since 2011, when it was just under 500,000 tons.

Perini Journal

We recently spoke with Mr Dong Yi Ping about the company, its growth and the recent projects at Sanjiang mill, in Guangdong Province. Mr Dong Yi Ping is Chief Technology Officer - Mainland China, and Executive Director of Vinda International Holdings Limited.

How has Vinda been expanding recently?

Mr Dong: We have been growing our tissue business at a very fast rate so we now have a total of 56 tissue machines. We will reach a total production capacity of 1,040,000 tons by the end of this year, meaning a doubling in capacity over the past five years. Our expansion has been done based on growth in the market of our brands, which are known for their product quality. We have worked a lot with our marketing strategies to improve market penetration in different segments and also to get benefits from product differentiation. To feed this growth we have worked to get additional production capacity through various means such as optimizing operations, the construction of new mill sites and by installing new tissue capacity in existing sites.

Have you been able to keep growing in spite of the slowdown in the Chinese tissue market?

Mr Dong: Yes, Vinda has continued to grow in recent years despite the general slowdown of the market. Certain producers have had to cut their selling prices to survive the crisis, as competition is extremely fierce. Vinda’s strongpoint is the brand, and our sales and marketing team is made up of very driven, focused professionals. We have spent significant energy and money in building a strong Vinda brand. In recent years, we have reaped the fruits of this work and continue to do so today. This is the main difference with our competitors.

What are your biggest tissue product lines?

Mr Dong: Our main products include toilet rolls, which account for 50% of total revenue. Other big products include facial tissue, primarily softpack but also box tissue. In recent years, this segment has shown the highest increase, and it’s a good business for us. We also supply other product lines including hankies, hand towels, wet wipes and paper napkins.

How successful is the Tempo brand for you?

Mr Dong: When we acquired Tempo from SCA in 2014, we were very excited because this is a brand with 87 years of history. In Hong Kong it was already the number one brand for hankies, with strong brand recognition. Our strategy was immediately to give it a top ranking position, the premium segment. Now Tempo is growing fast in China’s main cities and mainland consumers are giving positive responses. We believe that it will continue to grow and establish itself as a major brand in Mainland China, as it has been in Hong Kong.

How have you expanded at the Sanjiang mill?

Mr Dong: As part of our growth plan, we decided to add two machines at the Sanjiang mill in Guangdong Province in 2014. The reason for installing these two machines was to produce more of our top quality Tempo brand, for the premium segment in China. Therefore, PM 7 and PM 8 at Sanjiang started up in August and September, respectively, of 2014. Both of these machines are from Toscotec. They are Crescent formers with steel Yankee dryers, TT SYD®. The key features for us are the TT DOES® technology (Drying Optimization for Energy Saving) and the short approach flow system TT SAF®. The reasons we chose this technology is that we felt it would give us many advantages including superior paper formation and an excellent CD & MD profile. In addition, an optimal configuration of press, SYD and hood allows us to reach the desired drying results with the highest energy saving. Thanks to the short approach flow system we get further energy savings and this technology also means that less space is required for the layout.

How have the results been?

Mr Dong: The projects to install and start up PMs 7 & 8 were very successful. The machines achieved excellent results in terms of runnability and product quality extremely quickly. We were able to rapidly finish the fine-tuning and enter the phase of stable production. In the market the products have been very well accepted, which is important since the quality of our products has been regarded as the market benchmark in China in the recent years. So we are very happy with the PM 7 & 8 projects. In fact, shortly after they started up we placed an order for two identical machines, PMs 9 & 10, to be installed at the same mill. Those machines will start at the end of 2016. The very latest project for us is the new site of Yangjiang, in Guandong Province, which is our 10th paper production site. Toscotec will erect for us two new AHEAD-2.0M machines, PM1 and PM2, for a total production of 65,700 ton/year. Once again, our need to avoid using gas as natural resource has been solved with a tailor-made drying package which delivers higher drying efficiency and output, as well as key energy savings. Both the PMs will feature a TT SYD-18FT with a TT Milltech-HYH steam heated hybrid hood, a combination of a custom-designed Wet End high efficiency hood and Dry End suction canopy heated design.

How would you describe the cooperation with Toscotec?

Mr Dong: It is a strategic partnership for us. They have been our only tissue machine supplier for 5 years now, with our first project together dating back to 2011. That was PM 1 in the Sanjiang mill; today we are close to starting up PM 10 there. At present, we have 23 Toscotec machines running all over the country, in five different production sites.

What is Vinda doing to reduce energy consumption in tissue making?

Mr Dong: Our business is tissue making, and our focus is on cutting operating costs. And energy is a big cost. We have therefore chosen the best technology available in terms of energy reduction. We mainly use steam energy and thanks to the technology we chose, we have cut production costs significantly. We put a lot of work into finding a good solution which combines the right size of Yankee dryer, type of hoods and press to increase the drying efficiency to a maximum and reduce energy consumption to a minimum. We’ve had excellent results and the lowest consumption per ton of paper produced. We never stop thinking to further reduce the energy in each single component and at the end of the year that makes all the difference.

You seem to favor installing small- and medium-size machines of around 2.7 m and 3.4 m width, rather than the wider 5.4 m “double” machines. Why?

Mr Dong: Our approach is to work step by step, to bring about continued and sustainable growth. We have installed both 2.7 m and 3.4 m machines. So far, we chose the small/medium size, but it does not mean that in the future we won’t install double machines. It’s also a matter of the converting machines in existing plants. The choice is made by taking into consideration what will give us the highest flexibility, efficiency and ease of runnability on those machines. *

Login or Register to publish a comment