The Aq-Vane technique is derived from the aircraft industry. It deals with the separation of fibre layers before they are joined together to form the paper.
"This technique uses a thin layer of water to stabilise the fibre layers and consequently form an even flow while they are being joined together. This prevents the layers from blending with each other. This means that it is now possible to keep the layers separate as well as to control the precise properties that are wanted in a paper."
A lighter IKEA catalogue
For a product such as the IKEA catalogue, approx. 200 million copies of which are distributed each year, this means enormous savings. For the papermaking industry as a whole, this implies a savings in billions of kronor.
Daniel explains, "We've tailor-made a new kind of uncoated paper, which is the same type as that used in the IKEA catalogues. By putting finer fibres in the surface and coarse fibres in the middle of the paper we're able to save up to 10% in costs on fibre raw materials and energy."
European collaborative project
As of June 2010, Innventia is leading BoostEff, an EU project with a total budget of 11 million Euro, to demonstrate the industrial and economical potential of the method. Using Aq-vane, with its possibilities for advanced dosage, Innventia, in collaboration with Stora Enso, a paper producer, is developing the kind of paper that is used in catalogues and magazines.
"This project also signifies a completely new way of working," states Daniel. "The starting point in the project is three existing industrial production units, one of which belongs to Stora Enso. Using these, the possibilities of the new technique, together with existing techniques, are being adapted to demonstrate the potential product and the production process involved. The results from the project are going to be used as a basis for three investment projects involving technical specifications and economical results.
The Aq-vane technique has the potential to generate increased profits based on the form of savings in the fibre raw materials and energy.
"Within BoostEff several companies and institutes from around Europe are collaborating with us at Innventia," explains Daniel. "When the project comes to an end in 2013, the technology will also be available to the rest of the industry giving the opportunity of an increased profitability and, most of all, an improved paper."