MP Hygiene Successfully Trials CeraEdge™ Ceramic Tip Creping Blades
Independently owned MP Hygiene, now in its fourth generation, recently seized the leadership position for hand towels in France. This fully integrated tissue maker and converter provides paper and non-woven wipes, disposable safety products, and hand cleaners for automotive, janitorial, medical, and food processing industries.
Located in Annonay in the Rhone Alpes region, famous for the invention of hot air “Montgolfiere” balloons back in 1783, and more recently St. Joseph award winning Syrah wines, MP Hygiene approaches towel making much like a master specialty winemaker.
“We have invested €30 million in our 30,000 tpy greenfield tissue facility, servicing four converting plants. Using 100% premium virgin fiber, customers prefer our hygiene products, including our Evadis brand towel dispensers,” according to MP Hygiene’s President and CEO, Marc Miribel.
The centerpiece of the Annonay mill is a Toscotec machine with a design speed is 1,900 m/min and a net web width of 2.8 m.
“Being a niche player, quality is critical to our ongoing success. Soon after start-up, we saw the opportunity to increase softness and thickness, as well as overall efficiency with innovative doctor blades from Kadant,” says Christopher Colin, Mill Manager.
A matter of degrees to perfect performance
Kadant’s CeraEdge™ creping blades were employed at various degrees and coating finishes. First, the CeraEdge S-75 creping blade was trialed for the purpose of softness and thickness.
According to the mill, the CeraEdge S-75 creping blades produced a smooth, soft and thicker sheet immediately. Next MP Hygiene tried the CeraEdge creping blade at a 90 degree angle, producing a 16% thickness gain, while accelerating speed at the reel by 1.5%. Tissue was found to be even softer, giving them confidence to keep pushing.
Seeking to control costs, another objective was longer life for doctor blades. The CeraEdge L-85 creping blades ran for over 48 hours without incident. This was a 35% increase in operating life and a noticeable performance advantage. In another test, two blades ran for more than 60 hours without any performance degradation.
All in the family
Adds Colin, “The partnership relationship with Kadant is as important to us as the blades themselves. When you do trials, it matters to closely observe gains and shortcomings. When a supplier listens, and pushes their manufacturing team for further enhancements, a tissue maker improves continuously.
“Our idea of being a family business means that we work as equals without a hierarchy. We can decide on new ideas quickly. We collaborate. We look for best practices from all over the world to solve problems. This is why Kadant fits well for us.”
Says Vincent Charpentier, Technical & Sales Representative for Kadant, “MP Hygiene deserves credit for pioneering new developments in tissue making. Because they are close to their customers, they know what is needed to make better products. Our role is to help them achieve tissue performance properties not previously possible, and to help them improve quality while containing costs.”