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Andritz Has Developed A High-Speed Converting Line For The Production of Face Masks

ANDRITZ Diatec, part of international technology Group ANDRITZ, has developed a fully automatic, high-speed face mask converting line for the production of disposable face masks. In the first configuration, this new converting line will be able to produce masks for surgical/medical applications; other mask types – like N95/FFP2 – are currently being evaluated.
The new ANDRITZ D-Tech Face Mask line produces and laminates three or more layers of fabrics (spunbond, meltblown, thermo-bonded nonwovens and others) and ensures highest quality and hygiene standards. It comprises unwinding and guiding units for nonwoven webs, cutting and positioning devices for the metal nose bar, an edge welding and cutting unit, a 90° rotation process, as well as positioning and welding of the ear loop elastics.


The line has a speed of up to 110 m/min and is able to produce up to 750,000 face masks per day. There are also different packaging options available: products can be packed in bags by an automatic flow wrapping machine or in cardboard boxes by an automatic cartoner.
ANDRITZ Diatec is one of the globally leading specialists for converting machines for the production of hygiene end products: diapers for children and adults, feminine hygiene, underpads, absorbent pads for the food industry, and now also face masks.

Andritz Needlelooms: Leading The Way In Quality Performance

Andritz Over the coming years the market for nonwoven materials is set to grow significantly, and because of its ability to produce strong, durable end-use products, needlepunch technology will become one of the most important bonding processes in nonwoven production.

Based on many years of experience in this field, Andritz has the expert knowledge, technical capability and flexibility to create reliable needlepunch lines to meet the specific needs of its customers.

Needlepunch technology can be used with nearly all fibers and can be customized to produce fabrics of varying tensile strength and weight distribution, making it extremely versatile for use in many applications. One of the most dynamic markets for this technology is in the automotive industry where there is an increasing need for lightweight and heavyweight applications to insulate against external noises made more noticeable with the trend towards electric powered vehicles. There is also a growing market for materials produced with needlepunch technology in the areas of geotextiles, filtration products, roofing and flooring materials and furniture.

Andritz Asselin-Thibeau, located in the town of Elbeuf in Normandy, France, is the Center of Competence for the manufacture of needlepunch, thermo bonding and chemical bonding technology for the global nonwoven business. Jean-Philippe Dumon, Sales Director, Nonwoven Division says, “We have quite a history of manufacturing nonwovens equipment on this site, the Asselin company originally started creating and manufacturing crosslappers, pre-needlers and needlers as long ago as 1950 and could be considered as real pioneers in the creation of the nonwoven industry.”

Fast forward to the present and the company in Elbeuf is one of Andritz’s leading production sites in the area of nonwovens. Dumon continues, “The pioneering attitude of the past continues here, and every year we increase our repeat business, but we are also growing in terms of market share for our needlepunch lines and technology.

“We are proud of the fact that we are always investing at this site, every year we are commissioning new tools for our machine tool plant, we have implemented all the latest management principals, and despite continuous growth, we have managed to increase production with the same footprint.”

The needlelooms manufactured at Andritz Asselin-Thibeau go out to nonwoven producers all over the world, with 40% going to countries in Europe, including Russia and Turkey, 25% to the US and another 25% to Asia.

“In an industry which is currently moving in many new directions, Andritz also works with independent mid-size nonwoven producers, offering knowledge and expertise to enable the creation and running of an optimal needlepunch line,” says Dumon. “This can be supplied entirely by Andritz, where it can control everything and guarantee the final results, or, with its capability to mix technology, can supply individual machines into an existing line.”

Andritz Needlelooms: Robust, Versatile, Easy to Operate

The design of the needleloom, a key piece of machinery in the needlepunch line, takes a large part of Andritz’s innovative work at Elbeuf. The company focus is to offer high reliability, high performance and the lowest cost of ownership as possible. Andritz needlelooms are highly durable and offer a variety of punching speeds and working width sizes. The needling density can be adjusted to accommodate any thickness of material and can be made capable of needling from one side or both, making them extremely versatile for a wide range of applications.

An important feature of the Andritz needleloom is the way in which it is designed for ease of cleaning. Some fibers create a lot of dust during the loom process which can contaminate the product, especially where the line is used for creating different types of materials. “Andritz needlelooms are designed so that all the areas that come in contact with the product are visible and a space over the plate gives clear accessibility for suction to remove dust from the plate and needles,” explains Dumon. “This greatly increases the efficiency of the loom by producing consistent products and reducing the time required for cleaning and maintenance as well as being safer for the operator.”

A further key contribution to the efficiency of ANDRITZ needlelooms is the use of the largest, toughest available bearings, resulting in a much more robust machine with a much longer life expectancy. These bearings can last for years – in many known cases they were only replaced after 12 years of constant use as a precaution, even though they were found to still be in good condition. This extended life requires the bearings to be kept at an optimum working temperature, which is why Andritz needlelooms use oil as a lubricant, applied constantly to ensure the lifespan of the bearings. The combination of using large bearings and oil lubrication results in less downtime for maintenance bringing a far greater return on investment for the customer.

Within bespoke designs, Andritz can adapt the needleloom according to the need of the customer. For example, in lighter weight nonwoven fabrics where the surface aspect is of high importance, the parts of the needleloom that interact with the fabric are optimized to minimize uncontrolled draft and create the ideal needle distribution pattern, enabling the production line to run faster. For fabrics that require a heavy punching load, Andritz has introduced the Dynamic Harmonic Shifter (DHS), technology, which eliminates the vibrations generated from the tougher needling requirements which would otherwise damage the machinery.

“We listen intently to our customers”

The use of the needlepunch process is growing steadily across Europe and globally where in today’s nonwoven market, customers are looking for flexibility, low operating costs and consistent quality of the finished product. Andritz works directly with customers to discuss specific requirements according to their end products and available resources. In this way a thorough understanding of how best the needlepunch line and needleloom can be designed is gained, to bring high added value to the customer by creating stable products and getting long-lasting results, bringing them the best return on investment. Where required needlelooms can be customized for specialist use, one example of which is the double velour machine which incorporates two frames with the same brush, resulting in doubling the process speed while reducing handling which increases the quality and consistency and brings production costs down.

As part of the design procedure Andritz uses its neXmatrix simulator tool to compare different possible line set ups to find the best possible solution to identify and meet the customer’s requirements. Customers can also make use of the state-of-the-art trial center facility in Elbeuf, which combines all the latest Andritz technology in its complete needlepunch pilot line, including the SCADA monitoring system.

Performance may vary from one fiber to another so the trial center enables the design team to record the machine performance and adjust it according to the customer’s needs to create the optimal conditions for the most efficient line and best product quality. Having this facility helps to reassure the customer and give them a real feel for nonwoven lines and equipment working at an operational level.

“We really like to get close to our customer,” says Dumon. “We listen intently to what their situation is, what their products are, and what they are used for. We engineer a simulation in our pilot line here in Elbeuf and give them a real-time first-hand demonstration of their products being made. Customers are always impressed with our ability to not only simulate their needs, but also show them what other possibilities for new products there could be in the future.”

By using this approach, Andritz can create a proposal that meets the customer’s business plan. New, innovative and proven equipment can then be installed, up and running in a short space of time offering greater potential for high productivity from the outset. This method ensures that Andritz provides the appropriate range of equipment with the innovations needed to optimize the customer’s investment by producing the most viable volume of a consistent, high-quality product in a cost effective and efficient way.

ANDRITZ launches new StrataPress SX single-seam press felt technology

International technology Group ANDRITZ has launched its new-generation “StrataPress™ SX” felt with integrated single-seam technology.

  • Integrated seam for faster and safer installation
  • Most efficient water removal for reduced energy consumption
  • Available with exclusive “QS” technology for superior sheet smoothness
  • Enhanced seam flap integrity for longer lifetime

StrataPress SX is specifically engineered for the most demanding positions in paperboard/packaging, graphical, and pulp machines. Its integrated seam ensures strength and durability while delivering rapid and safe installation.

It is specially designed with a game-changing combination of materials, base fabric structures and unique batt concepts that deliver the highest sheet quality, faster machine speeds, reduced energy consumption, and extended life potential.

“With StrataPress SX, for the first time in our industry, customers can now enjoy the convenience and safety of seam felts along with the superior machine performance previously only available from premium-class endless press felts. And with its unique compressibility and nip dampening characteristics, StrataPress SX provides that superior dewatering performance even in the hardest press nip applications, and with reduced operating costs,” says Bill Butterfield, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at ANDRITZ Fabrics and Rolls.

STRATAPRESS SX – THREE PRODUCT CLASSES

As StrataPress SX technology is built utilizing three distinct warp systems, there is an exact product specification specially engineered to maximize machine performance for graphical, board and packaging, and pulp grades.

StrataPress SX is also available with ANDRITZ’s exclusive “QS” Quick Saturation technology. Hydrophilic components embedded in the base fabric structure ensure optimized water management to provide improved start-up behavior, enhanced profiles and better NIP dewatering over the entire service lifetime.

With the new StrataPress SX technology, ANDRITZ once again confirms its position as one of the global market leaders for the supply of innovative fabrics, press felts, and roll technology solutions.

For more information, please visit andritz.com/fabrics-and-rolls.

Andritz was at IDEA 2019 with Its Innovative Nonwovens Production

Andritz presented its innovative nonwovens production and converting solutions at IDEA 2019 to be held in Miami, USA, from March 26 to 28.

In a continuously changing nonwovens market, the demands of first-class nonwovens production are increasing constantly – lower production costs, higher capacities and speeds, improved product quality as well as sustainable and intelligent production, to name but a few. ANDRITZ provides first-class air-through bonding, spunlaid, spunjet, spunlace, WetlaceTM, converting technologies and corresponding services to meet these demands for years to come.

Very high productivity is needed for the lighter fabrics required with perfect uniformity. ANDRITZ provides technologies that can more than fulfill these challenges. The spunlace roll goods may achieve weights of 25 gsm and even less for ultralight spunlace fabrics, and the web uniformity is of excellent quality. In addition, maximized uptimes, high capacities and intelligent production processes are the main requirements in a modern spunlaid production plant. The newly developed ANDRITZ neXcal twin pro generation is the response to these demands. With its outstanding features, like high-speed production of up to 1,300 m/min, IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) systems, clean production concept and operator-friendly machine configuration, it is a new milestone in nonwovens production. In addition, the spunjet process (in-line hydroentanglement of continuous filaments) can open up new business opportunities in terms of innovative products with added value, such as softness and bulkiness.

Moreover, the converting process for hygiene products requires premium quality standards, high capacities, and top-level production efficiency by reducing labor costs and machine down time. Every detail is essential. The latest developments take customers a step ahead in terms of diaper production. ANDRITZ Diatec offers its customers a comprehensive baby diaper lineup and meets diversified market requirements. Adult care is another key segment of the converting industry with growing demands from manufacturers all across the globe. The ANDRITZ Diatec adult pull-up line responds to this demand with its high-quality components and innovative technology processes. Converting processes applied to the food pad industry have resulted in ANDRITZ’s dedicated line for food pads.

100% BIODEGRADABLE, FLUSHABLE WIPES

The production of flushable/dispersible wipes is a frequently debated topic in terms of sustainablility and dispersibility of the product. These wipes can block the sewage system easily, whereas flushable wipes made on ANDRITZ WetlaceTM solutions (inclined wire forming and hydroentaglement), are 100% biodegradable and dispersible. In addition, fabrics produced using this innovative process comply with the latest EDANA/INDA flushability standards, passing all tests according to the new guidelines.

SPOT-ON AND SMART SERVICE TO KEEP CUSTOMERS’ MACHINES RUNNING

ANDRITZ offers a full service portfolio and thus can ensure improved uptime, productivity, and product quality – for years to come. This includes on-site support, specific training, line audits and troubleshooting, upgrades and modernizations, spare parts, and roll repair centers in Europe, North America, and China. In the USA, ANDRITZ is well supported in sales and service by its local branches ANDRITZ Küsters in Spartanburg, SC and ANDRITZ SHW in Torrington, CT.

ANDRITZ has developed attractive overall IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) solutions for existing and new plants under its new technology brand Metris. Nonwoven producers have high expectations of the greater plant efficiency and increased profitability that can be gained by networking machines and applying new technologies. Metris products are the very latest state of the art – they can be customized to suit individual customer requirements, and they make a substantial contribution towards helping customers achieve the best possible productivity and efficiency goals.

New Solutions for Nonwoven and Finishing Technologies from Andritz

International technology Group Andritz presented its innovative nonwovens and textile finishing technologies for the Asian markets at the ITMA Asia + Citme 2018 Fair.

In response to market demands, Andritz has yet again raised the bar for turnkey and customized solutions for drylaid, spunjet, thermobonding, and wetlaid, as well as for conversion of absorbent hygiene products. Andritz offers unique technologies tailored to each customer’s individual needs.

Andritz Air-Through Bonding Technology – A New Solution For The Hygiene Market

Air-through bonding lines are the preferred choice for producing nonwovens with the best quality of  softness and bulk for acquisition and distribution layers, top sheets, and back-sheet products. With Andritz carding machines and the new flat belt oven, customers benefit from high production capacities and high-performance fabrics from 16 to 80 gsm, produced with bicomponent fibers. Several Chinese customers have already invested in Andritz aXcess carding machines, which provide perfect web uniformity. In addition, the CETI (European Center for Innovative Textiles) in Lille, France, has recently installed an air-through bonding oven from Andritz. Customers can compare the technical results obtained from two different options: bonding with the flat belt oven or with the drum (both supplied by Andritz). If customers would like to see the new solution for themselves, they are most welcome to conduct trials at the CETI (European Center for Innovative Textiles) in Lille, France.

Full Drylaid Processes Offer With The Andritz Axcess Range

Thanks to its aXcess portfolio, Andritz offers the full range of drylaid processes for medium production capacities. During the past few months, Chinese spunlace producers have invested in several aXcess lines with direct-line and crosslapped configurations manufactured by Andritz Wuxi. This booming market goes hand in hand with new trends such as the development of the facemask industry and continues to be driven by the growth of wipes applications.

In the medium-capacity needlepunch area, Andritz signed a cooperation agreement in 2017 with ShanTou SanFai Nonwoven Machinery, a leading supplier of needlelooms in China. This cooperation fits together perfectly, uniting the advantages of proven technologies and providing reliable solutions for a wide range of applications in the needlepunch industry. The Andritz aXcess range for web forming and SanFai’s needlelooms offer a big advantage in terms of investment security, innovation, and quality, and this combination also meets the increasing demands of a strong, growing market.

To better serve the local market, Andritz Wuxi focuses on in- creasing efficiency and shortening delivery time – from project management and design, to service work.

New Development In Textile Calendering

With the latest development in textile calendering, Andritz in co-operation with Rolf Ramisch, who has over 45 years of experience in this specific business and commands excellent expertise in deflection-controlled roll technology, is again raising the bar for the textile calender market.

The new teXcal raconip calender is versatile, operator friendly, and provides IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) features for a smart production process. Sensors on the machine collect and archive all machine data and send them to a monitoring system. This intelligent production equipment offers a transparent and optimized process as well as a forecast for maintenance planning. In addition, the calender includes an optimized, deflection-controlled roll with unrestricted profiling possibilities over the entire roll width.

This ensures maximum production flexibility and reproducible product properties – e.g. absolute flatness and ideal air permeability for technical textiles.

ANDRITZ and BCNonwovens celebrate successful long-term partnership

International technology Group ANDRITZ and BCNonwovens, Spain, have been working together successfully as business partners for the past 15 years. This cooperation started in early 2003 right after BCNonwovens was founded.

By offering state-of-the-art technology, including tests and trial runs at ANDRITZ’s technical center, and providing comprehensive expert know-how, ANDRITZ has supported and helped the family-owned company BCNonwovens to become one of the leading producers of spunlace fabrics for the wipes market as well as for medical and industrial applications.

BCNonwovens is now running two ANDRITZ spunlace lines successfully, producing high-quality products that are sold globally. To cope with the demand for higher productivity and product quality as well as for lighter products and patterned webs, BCNonwovens’ R&D team and ANDRITZ process engineers were able to retrofit the existing lines to bring products up to the standard currently requested by the markets. Sergio Rosales, R&D Director of BCNonwovens says: “Thanks to ANDRITZ, we have been able to test the latest innovations available on the market and adapt them to our production lines.” As BCNonwovens has always been commited to responsible and sustainable production, the company has installed ANDRITZ’s proven neXecodry system, thus achieving a significant reduction in consumption of water and gas.

Didier Vulliet, General Director of ANDRITZ Perfojet, says: “For years we have been building a strong partnership with BCNonwovens. They used our ANDRITZ spunlace pilot line for validation of new products or implementation of new fibers, and we were able to test new developments under industrial conditions.”

ANDRITZ is accompanying BCNonwovens in the development of new products with new fibers and features that are increasingly innovative or meet the demands of converters with ever more relevant end-products. Miguel Vinas Pich, CEO of BCNonwovens, concludes: “ANDRITZ has been supporting us for years in our development, which has been allowing us to offer our customers some of the most competitive and highest quality products in the world.”

Andritz neXline Wetlace Running At Full Capacity At Dalian Ruiguang Nonwoven Group

The Andritz neXline wetlace producing wipes at Dalian Ruiguang Nonwoven Group in China has successfully achieved full capacity of 15,000 t/a.

Andritz has delivered a complete neXline wetlace line to Dalian Ruiguang that integrates stock preparation, wet forming, hydroentanglement, and drying. Thanks to the flexibility of the line, the customer is able to produce the full range of wipes applications, including industrial composite wipes.

The highly flexible Andritz WetlaceTM technology, combining wet forming and hydroentanglement, is especially suited for the production of flushable wipes that are dispersible, 100% biodegradable, and without any chemical binders. This fulfills the highest environmental standards for the end products and enables production of certified nonwovens quality according to the latest EDANA/INDA guidelines for flushable wipes.

Successful performance by the Andritz neXline wetlace sets a new benchmark in Asia and underlines Andritz’s position as one of the global market leaders for the supply of complete nonwovens lines, key components, and services.

Dalian Ruiguang Nonwoven Group is one of the leading Chinese producers of nonwovens, supplying its products mainly to international customers. “The flushable wipes produced on the neXline wetlace line are excellent and fulfill the highest environmental standards. Our customers are more than satisfied,” says Mr. Gu Yuanming, President of Dalian Ruiguang.