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Precision landing in record time

New VariFlex winder in operation at Mpact

2014-01-20 - At Mpact Limited’s paper mill in Felixton, South Africa, a VariFlex winder has been installed in only eight days, which is quite remarkable. Only two days after the start of production it was running at its maximum operating speed of 2,500 m/min. The paper manufacturer had thus already achieved a key investment objective with the start of production.

The VariFlex installed is a two-drum winder from Voith’s new series. It is 1000 m/min faster than the previous modell at Mpact and can process the planned quantity increase of 60,000 metric tons/year.

Mpact had formulated another aim for the rebuild: the period from switching off the old winder until the start of production for the new one should not exceed ten days. A daunting specification, when you consider that the time required is usually around 30 days. But in fact the task was actually achieved after eight days.
How was that possible? Good planning and effort alone were not enough. The team led by Voith project manager Klaus Winkels took unusual measures to achieve this ‘precision landing’. The winder was not put into operation as usual in the paper mill, but instead in advance at Voith in Krefeld. Then the main components of the VariFlex were packed in three oversize crates and transported by sea to South Africa. When the valuable freight arrived at the paper mill, everything was already prepared. A mobile crane hoisted the 43-ton high-tech package into the paper mill.
Round-the-clock shifts of concentrated collaboration between Mpact and Voith employees followed before the VariFlex was able to take up the first reel spool. ”With the demanding schedule, it was essential that all possible pre-installation works and commissioning were done before shutdown. This required close collaboration between both teams to ensure everything was ready. The planning and execution of the shut was flawless which enabled the rebuild to come in ahead of schedule.” says Brian Smith , Mill Manager of Mpact Felixton Mill.
Data and facts on the Mpact VariFlex

VariFlex two-drum winder:
  • Width: 4,300 mm
  • Operating speed: 2,500 m/min
Items included:
  • Slitter section
  • Reel: new design with solid press cylinder traverse and optimized stand
  • Lowering platform
  • Automatic roll transport system (RTS) with four belts, one with a scale
  • Roll ejector
  • Three roll stops in a ramp
Mpact Ltd. is one of the largest paper and plastics packaging manufacturers in southern Africa. The company has 31 locations in South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Felixton is in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, in the east of South Africa. At the Felixton location, Mpact produces various grades of corrugated board base paper on the PM 3 in the basis weight range of 90–190 g/m2.