Tissue producers increasingly opting for Voith

In the last 20 years the tissue sector has reached a respectable growth rate averaging around 4%. And Voith is participating in this growth. This is predominantly due to technologies such as ATMOS, which enable cost-efficient and environmentally compatible production, but also results from product developments like the NipcoFlex T shoe press.

“What benefits us significantly in this development is our holistic approach, with which we systematically use the synergies within Voith Paper to the advantage of our customers.”

Marcus Schwier, Vice President Tissue Europe


30 million tons of tissue were consumed worldwide in 2010, above all in North America, Europe, China and Latin America. Looking at this figure in a 20 year comparison – in 1990 it was around 14 million tons – one thing in particular stands out: Tissue papers have demonstrated a steady growth rate of more than 4% per annum. After a lower growth last year, the figures expected for 2010 are promising. This is mainly due to the increasing demand in China and Latin America.

40% of the growth in China

It is likely that the demand for tissue paper will continue to grow in the coming years. Experts forecast for the coming six years an average growth rate of 3.6%. In China alone tissue consumption will account for 40% of this growth.

What makes the tissue market so unique for the industry are the very different specifications for the paper from region to region. Marcus Schwier, Vice President Tissue Europe at Voith Paper: “Above all these are differences in the end product itself, e.g. the number of plies, or the  softness of the paper, and in market behavior that varies from country to country. The opinions and wishes of consumers in this regard often diverge widely. In addition, paper manufacturers have to reduce their production costs, and consequently their use of energy and raw materials, in order to stay competitive.”


Progress with ATMOS

Against this background Voith Paper is pursuing a clear strategy: “Voith is focusing on concepts that reduce raw material and energy consumption. We therefore support our customers in operating sustainably. In addition, they also benefit economically, as our solutions offer low total cost of ownership,” explains Schwier. “Innovative concepts such as ATMOS and the NipcoFlex T shoe press have won over our clients and have allowed us to make positive inroads into the premium tissue and dry crepe tissue market in the last three years.”

Until 2007, for example, the manufacture of premium tissue was generally the realm of those producers that had cornered thismarket with TAD (through air drying) technology. This is a technology that not only requires a large capital investment but also entails high energy consumption, and thus, high production costs.

Since then, Voith Paper has successfully countered this technology with its ATMOS technology. It was developed in the Tissue ProcessTechnology Center at Voith Paper São Paulo. Compared with TAD, the ATMOS technology enables premium tissue to be produced at a 40% lower investment cost, using 60% less energy and also up to 100% recycled or virgin fibers.

Nevertheless, this technological progress, which also represents an ecological and economical advance for papermaking, did not just happen by accident. Voith Paper’s pilot machine in São Paulo is of great interest for customers and works on full capacity. The machine can use ATMOS to produce premium tissue but can also manufacture dry crepe conventional tissue. The pilot trials cover the entire tissue process from fiber to finished product.

Investing in research pays off

These kinds of investments are also yielding results for paper manufacturers. For example, Voith Paper won the order to supply aturnkey production line for tissue  paper to Bahrain. The client company is a joint venture between the Olayan Group and the Kimberly- Clark Corporation. Other orders come, for example, from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), YinGe Paper and Hengan Paper, who will commission a total of five Voith tissue machines in China each capable of producing 220 tons daily. In Mexico and Brazil too, a major tissue manufacturer, CMPC Tissue, opted for Voith Paper when ordering two new machines. ATMOS rebuilds can be done as well. In Chile and North America,customers decided to have ,rebuilds for their existing machines. “What benefits us significantly in this development is our holistic approach, with which we systematically use the synergies within Voith Paper to the advantage of our customers,” explains Schwier.