When two heads proved better than one
For a jumbo tissue reel producer, fibre can account for 66% of total costs so working out how to balance cost with performance is essential. Södra was approached by one of its customers with just this issue: They wanted to work out what their optimum softwood/hardwood pulp ratio might be, to balance cost with performance.
The project included several aspects of Södra’s service offering, from benchmarking pulps and advising on optimum furnish mixes to mechanical testing and education. Södra analysed the share of softwood and hardwood in each product. At the same time, samples were sent back from the customer’s mills and entered into Södra’s refiner database, tested on its LR-40 refiner and analysed using Södra’s virtual refiner tool – not just to check that the customer was getting the most out of its existing stock, but also to analyse other pulp mixes and provide optimum alternatives if needed.
Trials were conducted using various softwood pulp quantities before the paper was converted to find the optimum performance-cost efficiency balance and the critical point at which too little softwood begins to affect performance.
“Our customer had been able to benchmark their own products for certain parameters,” Peter Carlsson, technical product manager, explains, “but they didn’t have a dedicated pulp lab for refining under different conditions and trying out new furnish combinations under test conditions. This process helped us show them a variety of other choices to achieve an optimal fibre mix, including pulp grades from Södra that they hadn’t tried before. It also helped them troubleshoot mills which might not have been performing as well as others. You could say we acted as a third-party consultant, highlighting issues and helping focus on solutions.”
If you feel Södra could help improve your business, just contact your local sales representative to start the discussion.
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