Profits Bubbling Up in Champagne—From Waste!

New ideas for fibre yield and composites re-use of heated process water and other raw materials are producing results worthy of celebrating with a quality champagne at the Kadant Technology Centre in Champagne, France.

Highly confidential developments with non-wovens, tissue, banknotes, luxury and containerboard are ongoing, and sometimes profound.

Kadant Technology CentreEveryone in industry wants to reduce raw material and process costs, improving quality and sustainability. But how? Collaboration with the Kadant Technology Centre in Champagne, France is a proven path to literally millions saved in industrial processes, and the creation of entirely new products, which include waste materials.

The Kadant Technology Centre extends the R & D capabilities of industrial enterprises, which use large amounts of water, fibre and recycled materials in their processes. Trials are tailored to a specific optimisaation needs, and run on industrial-scale equipment in a pilot plant.

Innovations in process water, recovered fiber and by-products result from tests and pilot trials, as well as process and product development.

  • A UK papermaker now harvests wood fibre from fast food cups, a technological breakthrough.
  • A European linerboard mill uses no energy to filter fibre and send hot water back into their processes, reducing costs substantially. They also save on wastewater treatment.
  • Existing products gain greater strength at lighter weight, saving raw materials, shipping costs and energy.
  • 12-18 projects in progress at any moment, aiming to reduce energy, water and raw-material costs, and invent entirely new sustainable products
  • Currency is more secure

These successes and more are made possible with the Kadant Technology Centre, working confidentially with customers.

According to Alain Lascar, Technology & Strategic Marketing Director,  “We are lucky to have a full-scale pilot plant, which was originally an enormous investment for pulp and paper mills. We’ve retooled to support a range of process industries which are driven to reduce energy, water and raw-material costs, and invent entirely new sustainable products.”

“We currently handle about a dozen secret projects, and are gearing up to double our capacity. Our team contributes to over one hundred smaller efforts, which sometimes need full scale trials and product prototypes.”

Says Jalila Bachiri, Test team Leader of the Kadant Technology Centre, “We are a motivated and open-minded team. Each year we invest money in the pilot plant and laboratory to provide entirely new ways of understanding customer requests. We develop new methods, such as a repulping index, contaminants and flakes determination, micro-stickies and colloids evaluation.  Partner laboratories extend our capabilities.”

Listening first

“Listening to what the customers want and need is essential to understanding and responding to their requests and expectations,” continues Bachiri.

“We do proposals and then test different solutions, seeking to prove and demonstrate an ideal path forward. When a customer comes to the Technology Centre, we showcase solutions from others, providing insights to gain the most from of our equipment and methodology. We are honest, flexible, and patient, because that’s what it takes to add greater value.”

Innovation spirit, exploration, continuous development.

Bachiri concludes, “Facing new customers, new cultures, learning new things, and utilizing our collective knowledge—that’s our way of being.  Managing the technician team, guided by motivated and ambitious managers like Alain Lascar, Frederic Vaulot, and Thierry Le Guillou is our winning combination.”

 

Contributed by Martin Koepenick