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A double challenge in China for the ALLIMAND Group

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Zhejiang province : Simultaneous delivery of two “green technology” paper machines with very high added value in hitherto unseen conditions.

The ALLIMAND Group as designer & manufacturer of paper and nonwovens machines recognized for its innovation strategy has delivered simultaneously to one of its Chinese historical customers, HUAFENG, two paper machines with very high added value in replacement of the 3 previous ones initially installed by ALLIMAND. As part of the contract signed at the end of 2015, which came into effect in 2016, the delivery of these two complete production lines was planned in response to the customer strategic, economic and technical challenges. The objective of HUAFENG was as follows : to have the most efficient machines and to improve the quality of the paper products. Let’s focus on a double challenge taken up by the ALLIMAND Group in Asia.

Hangzhou, Zhejiang province
Hangzhou - capital city of the Chinese Zhejiang province is recognized for its sweet life atmosphere as a resort for former Chinese emperors. Over the years the population has grown and factories formerly installed in the suburbs were forced to move away from the city center. The Hua Feng Group was the first one to move and took advantage of this opportunity to replace its three old paper machines. The first machine designed for different paper types has got the objective to produce cigarette, tipping, plug wrap papers, etc. ; the second is dedicated exclusively to the cigarette papers.
"The constraints of our customer have been expressed according to the real estate program put in place by the City of Hangzhou" explains Jean-Dominique BONFANTI, Technical Director of the ALLIMAND Group. "The total transfer of production was planned on the new site of our customer end of March 2017, i.e. at the time of the shutdown of the last chimney of the coal-fired power plant that produced the steam required for the old site - our customer had to let run the machines in place until the last moment in order to keep an uninterrupted sales capacity. The customer has also pushed to get a quality level ever yet achieved within its group ".

A strategy for sustainable development and public health
The exponential growth of China in recent decades made it a country ranking among the first economic powers in the world, and as such the first worldwide polluter with sulfur dioxide (SO2).
In this context for increased sustainable development, the customer required very strict specifications from the ALLIMAND group, aimed in particular at reducing the rate of carbon emission. The Research & Development department of the group has responded favorably to this technical constraint in presenting technologies with low energy consumption. Public health issues related to the consumption of tobacco in China have pushed the Allimand engineers to design both production lines to manufacture papers with a perfectly controlled porosity. This know-how on the porosity consistency has helped to decrease significantly the rates of tar and carbon monoxide in the smoke of cigarettes made with the papers produced by the 2 machines.

Ergonomics and design : a competitive asset
Highly concerned with the industrial design of the machines of its customers, the ALLIMAND group has managed to customize the safety guards of paper machines with the same colors and logo of the customer in accordance with the graphic charter of Hua Feng mainly in red color. This "final touch" on ALLIMAND machines responds in fact to the objectives of the security criteria optimization associated with the ergonomics of both machines.

A process of training and support to the customer
"The willingness of our Chairman & CEO, Franck RETTMEYER, is to provide ongoing support to our customers during all phases of a project. It has been the case for Hua Feng especially for the auxiliary equipment that they had to pur-chase" continues Jean-Dominique Bonfanti.
The ALLIMAND Group is thus in a permanent process of support to the customer at several stages. 6 months prior to the delivery of the machine, a delegation of about fifteen people constituted of engineers and supervisors came on ALLIMAND site to receive a theoretical training in dedicated rooms during two weeks. 1 months later, a second delega-tion (for the second ALLIMAND machine) was given the same training in France.
1 month prior to the delivery a series of practical trainings in the new plant in China -this time- were added to the first theoretical training in order to give the operating staff the ability to work on its own. Of course a simultaneous transla-tion into English and Chinese was ensured by ALLIMAND during these periods of training. The customer plans to install a total of 6 complete production lines of paper machines on the new site. The ALLIMAND Group can look to the future with confidence on a market that he knows perfectly well.

KEY FIGURES OF THE 2 PAPER MACHINES

Production : A sheet of 3.35 meters wide at 550 m/minute or more i.e. 30 m² of paper per second.
Dimensions of each machine : length = 65 meters ; width = 5 meters ; height = 12 meters.
Dimensions of each building : length = 150 meters ; width = 33 meters ; height = 21 meters.
Number of employees on the new site : 300 people.