MP Hygiene, now in its fourth generation of ownership, 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, France in the Rhone Alpes, famous for the invention of the hot air balloon, and more recently award winning Syrah wines, MP Hygiene approaches towel making much like a master specialty winemaker.
The centerpiece of the MP Hygiene’s Annonay mill is a Toscotec machine with a design speed of 1,900m/ min and a net web width of 2.8m.
“Pioneering with new technology is essential at MP Hygiene to assure us of market leadership with hand towels,” says Christopher Colin, Mill Manager. “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.”
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 blade produced a smooth, soft and thicker sheet immediately. Next MP Hygiene tried the CeraEdge S-90 creping blade, producing a 16% thickness gain, while accelerating speed at the reel by 1.5%. Tissue was measured 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 doctor blades actually ran for over 48 hours without incident. This was a 35% lifespan advantage. In another test two blades ran for an additional 15 hours.
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.”