The new production line for machine-glazed specialty papers for Papierfabrik August Koehler SE went into operation at the end of October 2019. With a volume of 300 million euros, this is the largest single investment in Koehler’s company history. Production line 8 was installed at the company’s Kehl site in a project time of only two and a half years and consists of a BlueLine stock preparation unit, Wet End Process, XcelLine paper machine, offline coating machine and VariPlus winder. The paper manufacturer further relies on the maintenance solution OnCare.Asset and the condition monitoring system OnCare.Health from Voith. Koehler and Voith have effectively pooled their extensive technological expertise to make this one of the most efficient specialty paper machines in the world.
Efficient, large-scale production of flexible packaging papers
Designed for around 100,000 tons per year, production line 8 produces an extensive portfolio of standard papers and papers with functional surfaces for flexible packaging. The 150 meter long machine has a wire width of 5,000 mm and design speed of 1,500 m/min. Its centerpiece is the world’s biggest Yankee cylinder with a diameter of more than 7,300 mm. It gives the paper its unique smoothness, which is very important for further processing. The innovative Nipcorect Fullflex roll is used as a press roll at the Yankee cylinder and allows ideal line load distribution over the whole width.
The multi-layer coating for differentiating premium paper qualities is realized with the offline coating machine SM 8, which is fitted with DynaLayer, the latest curtain coater from Voith, and non-contact, gentle drying with high thermal efficiency thanks to MCB-Dryers. The final smoothing of the specialty papers is done using an innovative calendering concept.
“The chosen paper machine concept combines the latest Voith technology for headbox, former and press section to guarantee optimum CD profiles, excellent fiber orientation with ideal dewatering capacity, and high efficiency,” states Thorsten Heidt, Senior Sales Manager at Voith Paper.
Digital transformation with maintenance 4.0 and condition monitoring
With OnCare.Asset all relevant information for machine maintenance is immediately available in a central system at the time of commissioning. In order to further optimize maintenance activities, Koehler is also using OnCare.Health. The condition monitoring system processes real-time data from various process parameters and automatically generates a message in the asset management system as soon as one of the values exceeds the defined alarm limit. With this technology, the mill will benefit from a significant reduction in unplanned downtime and maintenance costs in the long term.
Longstanding partnership based on trust and technological expertise
“Koehler uses the new paper machine to produce paper for flexible packaging. Herewith, we are starting a new chapter in Koehler’s history,” says Kai Furler, CEO of the Koehler Group. “With this project, Koehler and Voith are continuing their longstanding successful collaboration.” As part of the development partnership for new paper grades for Koehler, Voith carried out several test series on the R&D pilot coater in the Voith Paper Technology Center in Heidenheim. The technological requirements of the new grades were investigated and then implemented on the new production line.
In addition, Voith and Koehler agreed long-term contracts for the supply of clothing, roll covers, wear parts and services. Partner programs for technology optimization will ensure consistently high paper quality. This is yet further evidence of the customer’s trust in Voith and the confirmation of Voith’s success as a full-line supplier.