LUCCA, Italy, Dec. 6, 2016 (Press Release) -Listening to customers’ needs allows creating tailor-made machines, but it also spurs us to innovate and to develop new technologies. To meet the demands of the global market, in the last few years Recard has increasingly focused on developing projects to install tissue machines simply and economically.
This is how the Easy Crescent was born: a machine fruit of the natural progress, in terms of technological innovation, of the experience that Recard has acquired in 54 years of business activity, with the manufacture and installation of almost 130 tissue machines throughout the 5 continents. A customized solution at a limited economic investment – also in terms of ancillary works – low energy costs, easy to install and to manage.
The Easy Crescent is designed to meet the demands of those companies approaching the field of tissue production for the first time (new investors or converters who want to begin producing paper internally), companies wishing to increase their production capacity at a reasonable investment or those who intend dedicating a machine to the production of medium-high basis weights, all the while maintaining a high level of flexibility and minimal operating costs.
Keeping the needs of this important share of the tissue machine market in mind, Recard has designed a medium-sized plant having a good production capacity (from 40 to 90 tpd), with a maximum operating speed that does not require too many sophistications. A plant that is easy to run and maintain, with strong, reliable equipment, no technical compromises to reduce the price, with leading-edge technical solutions to diminish energy consumption and hence operating costs. Although the Easy Crescent is not Recard’s flagship machine – the company can boast of many machines with a high operating speed and 6 running continuously at 2000 m/min – it embodies all the company’s know-how gained in its over fifty years of business experience, and possesses great advantages in many aspects.
Characteristics and advantages of the Easy Crescent
The key words for the Easy Crescent are simplicity and savings. Simplicity as far as installation is concerned, above all. Stock preparation, approach system, the machine itself and the rewinder are installed at the same level (zero level). This is possible thanks to the special silo design and to an accurate choice of the fan pump. The wire section has a special “C-shaped” structure that allows eliminating the expensive civil works necessary to anchor the cantilever. Additionally, the Easy Crescent is equipped with a special broke pulping system – very small and highly efficient – placed in a small pit just 2 meters deep. All these features have the scope of minimizing civil works and making the installation of the plant possible also in existing machine halls that were initially intended for other uses.
The machine has a configuration featuring a blind-drill press roll only – hence it is not equipped with suction press roll – and is served by just one vacuum pump. At the speeds at which Recard tested the machine, the post-nip dryness level easily reaches 39%, a value identical to the one obtainable with a suction press roll.
The plant can be supplied with different energy saving solutions. The basic configuration features a single-line stock preparation system and a very short water circuit. The main pulper has a special high-efficiency, average-density impeller. Stock chests are equipped with special, low energy consumption vertical agitators. On the thermal side, the machine is equipped with a steel Yankee cylinder with heads insulation. If the machine is equipped with a gas hood, it is possible to install an integrated recovery boiler that can produce up to 30% of the steam required by the Yankee by using the exhaust from the hood itself.
The Easy Crescent is basically a concept, but, like all of Recard’s plants, it can be completely adapted and modified based on customer requests. For example, it can be equipped with every type of stock preparation unit, both for virgin and recycled fibers. The system can have different production capacities thanks to the possibility of installing different Yankee sizes and hood types (gas, steam, mono-system, duo-system, etc.).
Its advantages are assessed in terms of:
- Reduced investment for machines and for the necessary civil works
- Space savings: compact plant with minimal installation space required
- Simplification of civil works
- Easy installation, operation and maintenance
- Reduced energy consumption
- Operational costs reduced to a minimum.
This machine is ideal to produce medium-high basis weights because its operational speed is limited by the use of a blind-drill press and by the fact that the fan pump has a minimal suction head.
The first Easy Crescent, designed for 1000 m/min, was supplied to the Italian Group Carrara in 2001 and is still running at design speed. After a series of modifications and implementations by Recard, 1300 m/min were reached with the Easy Crescent supplied to the Celtex Group in 2012. In the recent installation of Papergroup’s PM3, the machine attained 1400 m/min with no technical issues of any kind. An extraordinary result that was retained impossible to achieve and that leaves the possibilities open to test the machine at even higher speeds, and to propose this type of machine not only to companies who are just entering the market, but also to those who have been in business for some time.
The Papergroup case-in-point
The results obtained on the Easy Crescent supplied to Papergroup in 2015 are index of the revolution that this machine can bring to the tissue market.
The goals that the paper company has set for itself in 2013, before embarking on the PM3 project, were:
- Minimizing investment
- Medium drying capacity of the plant. Initial production demand was 18,000 tpy
- Using the existing machine halls, whose size was rather limited
- Installing a highly flexible system suitable for meeting the group’s internal needs as well as for the sale of mother reels
- Having a plant that was easy to manage
- Producing high quality paper
- Having a plant pre-arranged for a future increase in production capacity
- Minimizing production costs in order to be highly competitive on the market.
“Before buying the Easy Crescent,” explains Claudio Bianucci, Plant Manager of Papergroup, “we contacted several suppliers. But then we decided for Recard because it was the company that fully met all the project’s requirements. Recard’s aptitude for adapting its plants to the needs of customers allowed us to work in close collaboration since the beginning and to elaborate a wholly tailor-made system.” The project entailed the installation of a 12-foot steel Yankee and a gas hood that allowed a maximum drying capacity of 90 tons. A recovery boiler for the hood exhaust was added, too, to produce part of the steam necessary for the Yankee.
The machine, the rewinder and all ancillary services (air system, electrical system, stock preparation) were installed in the 1530 m2available in the existing machine hall. Despite the small amount of space, thanks to the synergy between Papergroup and Recard, a very rational layout was created with very short piping and cables that minimized energy loss. Thanks to the fact that Recard machines are all very low – also in view of minimizing vibrations – the Easy Crescent was able to fit perfectly in the 7250 mm of useful height.
The simplicity of the plant and the rational setup of the machines allow operating the line with just 3 people per shift. “For the installation of this new line,” continues Bianucci, “15 new people were hired who had no previous experience in the paper field. After a period of classroom training, two-thirds of them were employed to start up and operate the new plant with the support of those who previously worked on the existing machine.” Plant start-up was vertical and the machine, after ten days of commissioning, began producing 24 hours a day. “Being able to startup and run the plant with just 5 ‘expert’ people”, underscores Bianucci, “and immediately beginning production is proof of how easy this plant is to operate.”
The quality of the paper is very high and identical to that produced on a standard Crescent Former in single suction press roll configuration. Thanks to the very short pulp and water circuits, the plant is very flexible and suitable also for the future production – with some small modifications – of colored paper.
“The machine’s installation times,” concludes Bianucci, “were in-line with expectations and the budget was respected. The total cost of the plant turned out to be at least 15% lower than what we would have spent by installing a standard plant having the same production capacity.” Operational costs, too, are reduced to a minimum: the plant is operated by just 15 people directly; water consumption is in the order of 5 m3per ton; specific energy consumption is around 750 kWh/ton; specific thermal energy consumption is 1570 kWh/ton and total specific energy consumption is 2320 kWh/ton of paper produced.
Given the optimal results obtained with the Papergroup machine, Recard wishes to continue developing the Easy Crescent technology in order to exceed the limits attained in terms of operation speed, energy consumption and installation costs.