FPInnovations has introduced three new unique, fully automated tools that improve the speed, efficiency, and reliability of performance measurements and quality control in the manufacture of tissue products.
Each tissue brand attempts to stand out based on performance attributes such as softness, water absorption, and strength while minimizing dusting/linting. Delivering on the brand promise requires rapid and quantitative measurements that match consumer perceptions and improve quality control during production.
Currently available to FPInnovations’ members, the three new tools assess product performance in minutes. They include an automated water absorption tester based on ISO 12625-8, a wet scrub strength tester for towels, and a tissue dust/lint tester. “By eliminating the need for manual, labour-intensive testing, tissue manufacturers can ensure better quality control and identify cost-effective ways of improving performance,” says Xuejun Zou, Research Manager of the Paper, Packaging and Consumer Products program.
The water absorption tester, which is robust enough to be used in a mill environment or in a laboratory, measures total absorption capacity and absorption time, water retention, and absorption rate. It comes equipped with a touch screen and USB flash drive for exporting data to a spreadsheet. The scrub strength tester measures tissue wet strength, and the tissue dust/lint tester assesses dust and lint potential by simulating end-uses. Advanced image analysis software has been developed to quantify the measurements that can be used for quality control as well as for supporting product development and monitoring the impact of process changes.
Feedback from members who have installed the units in their mills has been positive. “Tissue mills report that the new tools are helping improve tissue performance. The tissue lint/duster has helped a member promote its market pulp to major tissue producers who needed to improve tissue bulk and softness while minimizing dust and linting,” adds Zou.
To learn more about this project, please contact Xuejun Zou, Research Manager of the Paper, Packaging and Consumer Products program.
This article was originally published in the 2016-2017 IMPACT magazine.