Successful startup of cutting-edge packaging paper machine Propapier PM 3

  • New production line at Progroup AG is setting benchmarks for efficiency and sustainability
  • Voith realized the project as a full-line supplier and developed customer-specific solutions
  • Timely startup despite pandemic
The PM 3 in Sandersdorf-Brehna is setting new benchmarks for efficiency and sustainability.

HEIDENHEIM/SANDERSDORF-BREHNA. German paper manufacturer Progroup AG has successfully commissioned the PM 3, one of the most modern packaging paper machines in the world, at the company’s Sandersdorf-Brehna facility in Saxony-Anhalt. The PM 3 is set to produce 750,000 tons of testliner and corrugated medium annually. A comprehensive sustainability concept ensures the least possible consumption of resources.

Thanks to its exceptional flexibility and the close consultation between all project participants, the companies managed to complete the PM 3 within the original schedule despite the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. “The successful startup within the planned schedule represents an important milestone in our growth strategy,” explains Maximilian Heindl, Member of the Board and Chief Development Officer at Progroup AG. “By deploying extra personnel and working additional day and night shifts, we were able to accelerate the work in such a way as to enable us to meet the commissioning date,” says René Bauer, Project Manager at Voith.

Julia Schaefer

Group Communications


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From left to right: René Bauer, Project Manager at Voith Paper; Peter Resvanis, Project Manager at Progroup AG; Maximilian Heindl, Member of the Board and Chief Development Officer at Progroup AG; and Dr. Michael Trefz, President Projects at Voith Paper.

As a full-line supplier, Voith delivered the entire production line including a BlueLine stock preparation with the new IntensaDrum Duo drum pulper, which can process almost 3,000 tons of recovered paper a day. The XcelLine paper machine has a wire width of 10,000 mm and an operating speed of 1,600 m/min. The TwinDrive double unwind also included in the scope of supply increases winder capacity by up to 20 percent and allows automated full reel changes. It is complemented by the high-performance winder VariFlex Performance. The scope of supply also includes the process air and hall ventilation systems. Based on a long and successful cooperation, Voith also received a comprehensive startup clothing package for all sections of the paper machine.

Other key innovations include the closed water loop that Voith developed in collaboration with Progroup. In this system, all water used in the paper production process is cleaned in the company’s own water treatment facility using anaerobic and aerobic biological treatments and is then returned to the production process in a resource-conserving manner. This allows a wastewater-free paper production process.

Thanks to the integrated water treatment plant, we save about 3.75 million cubic meters of fresh water annually. This is equivalent to the water consumption of more than 80,000 people.
Maximilian Heindl, Member of the Board and Chief Development Officer at Progroup AG

“The Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) certification of the European Union verifies the sustainability of our facility.” For the new facility, Progroup is additionally investing around €100 million in resource-saving technologies and environmental protection, explains Maximilian Heindl. 

Apart from its particularly efficient and resource-conserving operation, the paper machine is also a cutting-edge solution thanks to the components from the new XcelLine machine and equipment design. Streamlined structures and exceptional materials ensure a professional structured impression and calm overall effect. The optimization of functional elements, such as the improved walkway design of PM 3, has simplified operation. Moreover, the headbox foundation, VariFlex Performance winder and Sirius winding system have been integrated into the new design of the entire paper machine. These changes simplify maintenance work and at the same time improve occupational safety.

Closed water loop: All water used in production is cleaned in the company’s own water treatment plant and then returned to the production process.

About the company

About the Voith Group

The Voith Group is a global technology company. With its broad portfolio of systems, products, services and digital applications, Voith sets standards in the markets of energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transport & automotive. Founded in 1867, the company today has more than 19,000 employees, sales of € 4.3 billion and locations in over 60 countries worldwide and is thus one of the larger family-owned companies in Europe.

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About Voith Paper

The Group Division Voith Paper is part of the Voith Group. As the full-line supplier to the paper industry, it provides the largest range of technologies, services, and products on the market, and offers paper manufacturers holistic solutions from a single source. The company’s continuous stream of innovations facilitates resource-conserving production and supports customers in significantly reducing their carbon footprint. With its comprehensive automation products and leading digitization solutions from the Papermaking 4.0 portfolio, Voith offers its customers state-of-the-art, digital technologies to increase the availability and efficiency of their systems in all areas of the production process.

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