Valmet won this year's prestigious 'Palme d'Or' Innovation Award with its OptiFlo headbox with Aqua layering technology. The award was given by the French Paper Industry Technical Association (ATIP). The innovation contest was arranged in connection with the ATIP Conference and Exhibition in Grenoble, France on November 24-26, 2015.
The ATIP Innovation Award rewards innovative equipment and solutions for pulp and paper industry. The award is highly regarded among the European pulp and paper industry and it is divided into three categories: Gold - Palme d'Or, Silver - Palme d'Argent and Bronze - Palme de Bronze. The ATIP Innovation Award winners are selected by a committee consisting of Paper Mill Managers, R&D Directors, Technology Directors and Production Managers from the French paper industry. The ATIP Innovation Award was established already in 1995.
Raw material savings with Aqua layering technology
Valmet's OptiFlo headbox with new innovative Aqua layering technology makes it possible to produce a two-layer sheet with very good layer coverage using only one headbox and one forming unit. A thin layer of water is used as a headbox wedge to separate different stocks fed into the headbox. Previously this separation has been done with mechanical elements like vanes and solid wedges.
The layer separation with water delivers excellent layer coverage without mixing of the layers. It enables lower grammages on top ply of the paper and significant raw material savings. Besides delivering excellent layer purity, the separating water layer can also act as a carrier for different additives enabling a totally new dosage point for chemicals. This delivers the same end product strength with less raw materials or with raw materials of poorer quality. Cost efficiency of papermaking can be further improved by for example feeding reject stock through the water layer together with additives. This reject stock would normally be used as landfill.
Innovation is a result of seamless team work.
Valmet's technology development aims at ensuring advanced and competitive technologies and services, enhancing raw material and energy efficiency and promoting renewable materials.
"We would not have been able to present this innovation without the hard work and contribution of several teams in Valmet. We have a long history of bringing new innovations to the market and we focus on solutions that improve energy and raw material efficiency. The pilot facilities that Valmet has play a crucial role in both testing and demonstrating the value of new technology for our customers in realistic process conditions," says Sami Anttilainen, Vice President, Technology at Valmet.