One year ago, Voith started up its pilot coater in its Technology Center in Heidenheim, Germany, after an extensive rebuild. Since then, the demand for pilot trials for coated and sized paper grades has increased enormously. In particular, barrier coatings for sustainable packaging papers are being explored by numerous customers from countries around the world. Together with the other pilot machines, all production steps throughout the entire papermaking process are covered – from stock preparation to coating and calendering.
“With the help of the state-of-the-art pilot coater, we can drive innovation together with our customers while minimizing investment risks,” explains Georg Scholl, R&D Engineer at Voith Paper. “In an efficient way, we develop new processes and products. By optimising raw materials and production parameters, our customers can also identify significant cost-saving potential. The utilisation of the pilot coater is good and we are conducting many customer trials.”
“Together with our customers, we develop sustainable packaging solutions for the future,” says Nina Köpl, R&D Engineer Sustainable Packaging at Voith Paper. “For example, we work together to find the best overall process for the pretreatment of the base paper, for the application, and for the drying of our customers’ individual barrier solutions. If necessary, adjustments are also made to the machine technology used.”
Experienced experts from Voith accompany all test runs and advise customers individually for the best result. The experts are also available after the trials, whether by presenting new ideas, further development of the innovations or even an extensive service partnership.
In addition to the production of barrier papers, Voith Paper also offers trials for stock preparation. In the Fiber Technology Center, customers can directly test the recyclability of their newly developed papers. The pilot stock preparation covers the entire process for primary and secondary fiber stock for board, packaging, specialty papers and graphic papers. All machines are available on an industrial scale. Both trials with individual units and complex system trials can be realised by customers on site.
“We test the recyclability with the help of the latest processes and products,” says Jürgen Dočkal-Baur, Expert R&D Fiber Processes at Voith Paper. “It is important to us that the customer can take a look at the entire process and that the fibers can also be optimally reprocessed. For the process analysis, we use the latest online measurement technology from BTG and carry out extensive laboratory measurements in parallel with the trials.”