Strong business relationship builds supplier partnership

Strong business relationship builds supplier partnership

Stitt, John B

EARLY IN 2007, Voith Paper Holding GMbH & Co KG and Buckman Laboratories International Ine announced a new cooperative business agreement. This was conveyed through distribution of official releases from Voith and Buckman. However, because of a number of privacy issues, an in-depth discussion of the agreement has not yet been attempted. Due to widespread industry curiosity regarding the agreement, now is a good time to discuss the Buckman-Voith relationship.

Close cooperation yields promising results

At the end of March 2007, during the Tissue World trade show in Nice, France, Dr. Sollinger, Voith’s president, announced the Atmos machine concept and the partnership with Buckman Laboratories. At various events thereafter, Voith gave presentations on its Atmos machinery, and specialists from Buckman gave presentations on the Magnos chemistry used with this machinery.

The Buckman-Voith partnership began with an exceptional business relationship. Several years ago, Voith Tissue in Sao Paulo approached the Buckman tissue coordinator there regarding a possible cooperative venture. Voith and Buckman began working together to develop new chemistry for Voith’s new tissue machine design, Atmos, which was developed to produce TAD quality tissue with lower capital investment and operating costs. Both the project and business relationship were kept entirely confidential for several years.

Buckman dedicated many research and development (R&D) resources, both in the Brazilian R&D center and at the international R&D headquarters in the US, to develop new chemistries to meet the objectives for use on the Atmos Yankee dryer. The project was then formally underway.

At Voith’s pilot plant, there were scores of trials, with each one progressing toward improved machinery, chemistry and processes. Through years of extensive work and close cooperation with Voith, Buckman created its trademarked Magnos chemistries and application technologies for Atmos machines.

Along with these developments, Voith agreed to support Buckman as the preferred supplier for all specialty process chemicals needed to operate Atmos machines. As the process developed, Buckman and Voith agreed that Voith would specify Magnos creping chemistry for all Atmos machines.

Technology partnership benefits customers

Voith has designed a groundbreaking tissue machine that produces TAD quality tissue with lower capital investment and operating costs. Atmos lets customers run virgin or secondary fiber, a capability not usually possible with a TAD machine.

Buckman offers process chemistries and personnel for the startup of any Atmos machine or machine conversion on which Magnos products are applied. Work with the customer begins early in the process so that the chemical supplier understands specific needs and can propose total system chemistry.

Using various types of products and fibers, the Buckman-Voith partnership required finding ideal coating chemistry combinations with four coating products. Magnos chemistries keep Atmos machines running at peak efficiency. There are three varieties of chemistries developed for use on the Atmos machines: Magnos A Series of adhesives; Magnos E Series of extenders; and Magnos M Series of modifiers.

These chemistries let tissue makers achieve optimum Atmos machine runnability. Other key benefits of the coating package are improved sheet transfer and uniform adhesion to the Yankee cylinder surface, as well as fine-tuned creping control.

The Magnos A Series of products provide stickiness to the wet coating and hardness to the dry coating. The Magnos E Series are rewettable, film-forming adhesive extenders that exhibit the synergistic, highly plastic, thick film-forming characteristics of Magnos chemistries. Magnos E20 forms a thick film with high tack strength at lower moisture levels, while Magnos E21 has a broad range of moisture robustness and provides adhesion, even with high or variable moisture at the pressure roll. Magnos E20 and E21 act synergistically, delivering a robust and receptive coating film at the pressure roll. The Magnos M Series of surfactant chemistries modify coating hardness at the doctor blade, preventing rapid coating buildup, harsh sound and blade wear. Working together, the Magnos chemistries bring the Atmos sheet around the Yankee dryer with ideal conditions for creping.

The Buckman-Voith partnership ensures that customers installing Atmos technology will gain from the joint expertise of both companies. Ultimately, the benefits of this partnership are simple: The papermaker will be able to spend less money to make a far better grade of tissue.

JOHN B. STITT is market manager, creped technologies, for Buckman Laboratories International Inc.

Copyright Paperloop, Inc. Aug 2007

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