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Industrial automation in tissue, paper and nonwovens industries

Upgrades & Retrofits | Valter Canelli, 3 June 2020


As innovative technology becomes increasingly more available and automation becomes the new norm in plant retrofitting, it is important for companies in the tissue, paper and nonwovens industries to move toward the industrial automation of their plants.

This can results in a higher quality product manufactured with increased speed and efficiency at a lower cost. Of course, the initial cost of the implementation of these automation processes can be high, but the money saved each year is substantial.

Savings in key areas include:

  • Maintenance and repair
  • Manual labor
  • Waste of raw materials and final product
  • Energy usage
  • Productivity

There are a few process on the production line that are ideally suited to industrial automation. These would normally require people to perform manual labor that takes time, effort and precision, often resulting in error and reduced productivity. This is human labor that would be better used elsewhere. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best industrial automation upgrades.

5 components that can benefit from industrial automation 

1. Unwinder

The automation of the unwinder is specific to the web tension control system. In conventional web control systems, the tension is controlled by the difference in speed between motorized parts in relation to the Master Roll (winder) and this leads to speed differences between contiguous motorized organs. This system requires frequent manual adjustments to maintain sub-optimal web tension.

With the automation of the unwinder, an additional roller is placed at the exit of the unwinding machine, below which is placed a load cell. The two exit rollers still act in coordination with the movement of the flat belts system. However, web tension is automatically measured by the load cell, which is sensitive enough to detect minute variations in web tension, and controlled by the software.

The benefits of this upgrade are:

  • Reduced bulk loss
  • Product quality improvement
  • Reduced need for manual tension adjustments
  • Reduced occurrence of human error
  • Minimized wasted time
  • Production increase

2. Slitting section

An upgrade to automate the slitting system provides revolutionary improvements in the precision of the machine. The automated system simplifies the precise positioning of the knives and counter-knives during the slitting process.

This upgrade comes with proprietary software with a user-friendly interface that stores the knife settings and makes it easy for the operator to adjust those settings as needed.

This upgrade can made on an existing slitter rewinder with minimal or no structural modifications to the machine. The automation system is fully assembled prior to installation, which minimizes the amount of downtime needed.

The alternative to upgrading an existing system is to switch to A.Celli’s SLITTOMATIC®


The benefits of an upgrade or replacement of the slitting system are:

  • Improved cutting precision and product quality
  • Cutting format changed without breaking paper sheet - only with the automatic positioning web out option (SLITTOMATIC®)
  • Improved operator safety
  • Less interruption to production
  • Reduction of time required for each setting
  • Reduction of measurements errors (the cutting recipes can be loaded automatically from the ERP of the plant to the rewinder) 

In addition, both the slitting system upgrade and the SLITTOMATIC® are designed for the easy installation of a dust removal system.

3. Dust removal system

The slitting of tissue, paper and nonwovens products can produce a substantial amount of dust. This dust contaminates the product, reducing its quality, and can compromise the correct functioning of the blades and other parts of the machinery. In addition, dust in the air becomes a safety hazard for workers

A.Celli’s automated dust removal system is custom designed to be added to a new or existing slitting system. This system can be installed on in-line slitting winders, rewinders, spooling lines and printing lines, and it consists of individual suction heads positioned on the knife holder equipped with a blower system to remove dust accumulation on the knives. Captured dust travels via ducts to a filter system (or a scrubber, when it comes to tissue rewinders) that filters out the dust, while clean air is circulated back to the plant.

The benefits of this solution are:

  • Less wear on machine parts
  • Improved health and safety of the work environment
  • Minimization of fire risk in the plant
  • Product quality improvement

Read more: Why you should worry about NOT having a dust removal system

Dust Removal System

4. Reel Ejector and Core Loader

The upgrade to automate the reel ejector and core loader can be made to an existing system, as the old parts are replaced by their upgraded versions with minimal modifications.

The benefits of the automation of the reel ejector and core loader are:

  • Decreased time to change the reel
  • Increased winder versatility and runnability
  • Minimized need for manual operations
  • Enhanced workers’ safety and reduced accidents
  • Improved product quality and increased productivity

5. Cross Cutter

When it comes to nonwovens, for example, the A.Celli solution for the automation of the cross cutter is fully motorized and capable of completing a cut with the use of a trolley directed on a transverse movement across a circular blade and a counter blade. We can also perform this upgrade for tissue and paper machines, using a different cutting method than the one described.

The benefits of this upgrade are:

  • Elimination of the need for human intervention
  • Elimination of product waste
  • Improved quality of the finished reel
  • Enhanced workers’ safety

Ultimately, our industrial automation solutions of your tissue,paper or nonwovens plant will set your company up to compete in this ever-changing industry!

Do not hesitate to contact us today if you have any questions or you wish to discuss the industrial automation of your plant.

Improve your tissue and nonwovens plants