Aquila benefits from full-scale corrugator audits by Mondi ContainerboardPublication Date:
13 July 2017
By placing its faith in Mondi Containerboard’s Technical Sales Service over many years, leading Polish corrugated board producer Aquila has acquired profound knowledge and optimised its converting processes.
Vienna, 13. July 2017 – In recent years Mondi Containerboard has developed a technical sales service to close the gap between papermakers’ and corrugated board makers’ understanding of each other’s challenges, and to share knowledge and best practice.
One containerboard customer that values Mondi’s technical sales service expertise and unique approach is Aquila, which ranks among Poland’s leading corrugated board producers. Mondi Containerboard and Aquila have been business partners for almost a decade now and share an ambition to achieve the highest quality and production parameters for their customers’ success and satisfaction.
The three-level approach: Coaching for customers success
Using sophisticated tools and their expertise in papermaking and corrugators, Mondi’s technical sales service specialists have constructed three service packages spanning knowledge exchange and on-site consultancies. The three level approach encompasses on a first level a seminar concept addressing large customer audiences – like the well-established seminar “From fibre to corrugated board”. The international seminar focuses on training sessions along the entire value chain, starting with the forest and ending with the corrugated box performance. On a second level, Mondi addresses country specific issues on local seminar sessions to equip customers for their marketplace. The third level aims to share technical expertise within “coaching-for-performance sessions” which are tailor-made consultations on customers` sites culminating in the “full-scale corrugator audit” advice on customers’ premises. “It is our technical sales service team’s ambition and responsibility to bring added value to our customers by sharing our knowledge about paper and corrugated board, and improving their corrugated board production processes. The outcomes for our customers are better products, higher efficiency, and fewer quality problems,” explains Marek Motylewski, head of technical sales service at Mondi Containerboard.
Full-scale corrugator audits reduce converting costs and increase customer satisfaction
“Generally speaking, the job of a corrugated board producer is simple,” claims Aquila Radomsko plant manager Łukasz Nęcki. “You have to glue three pieces of paper together and cut them.” But this process is much more complicated than it sounds. High-tech production demands maximum running speeds, minimum raw material losses and the highest quality output for further conversion. This can be achieved only with the best possible raw materials and profound technical and converting know-how within both the corrugated and paper industries. “Constant learning and knowledge sharing is therefore essential – a goal which we achieve together with the Mondi Containerboard Technical Sales Service team,” adds Nęcki.
A full-scale corrugator audit does not focus on specific parts of the corrugator, but examines the whole picture in order to achieve the best possible corrugator settings and thus improve productivity, quality consistency and overall efficiency.
Full-scale corrugator audits encompass paper recommendations, temperature and moisture control along the corrugator, analyses of glue application, and corrugated board quality inspection. “Mondi’s full-scale corrugator audits add a lot of value to our production and the further development of our corrugators. Selecting the right paper and corrugator settings allows us and our customers to achieve maximum board performance at an ideal cost. It is an approach that also avoids possible board converting problems right at the beginning of the process,” explains Nęcki. In addition, temperature control by means of thermovision cameras reveals not only the paper and board temperature, but also the heating profiles and board drying curves. Marek Motylewski describes the most important steps and benefits of full-scale corrugator audits from the customer’s perspective, “Achieving the correct temperature setting is crucial within paper and corrugated board production because it reduces energy costs and avoids corrugated quality problems related to board flatness, gluing, and cracking. Moisture measurements enable machine operators to obtain a good moisture balance between different corrugated board facings, which improves board flatness.” Temperature and moisture measurements are complemented by glue application analysis, which ensures that the glue is applied properly and in the appropriate quantity. “At the end of the process corrugated board quality is determined by board flatness, washboarding, moisture content and other factors. Our corrugator audit findings are shared with customers in a comprehensive report that highlights possible process improvements,” says Motylewski.
Seminars and tailor-made customer workshops – Mondi shares expertise to meet customers’ everyday challenges
Mondi Containerboard hosts numerous workshops and seminars for its customers. One especially notable and popular example is the seminar entitled “From fibre to corrugated board”, which takes place in Poland. This year’s three-day event, which ran from 16 to 18 May, was the eighth in the series and attracted around 250 participants from 28 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, the USA and the United Arab Emirates. The seminar, which was held in Toruń this year, focused on performance packaging, the influence of moisture on paper and corrugated board, corrugator efficiency, and corrugated board converting. Among the highlights of the event were live laboratory demonstrations of various paper and board tests, including digital printing carried out by Mondi specialists as well as guest speakers from the corrugated machine sector.
Łukasz Nęcki attended the seminar for the second time and is a strong advocate of technical knowledge sharing within Aquila as well. He comments, “The Mondi seminar provides a rare opportunity to get together with the whole of the industry within Poland. It also gives me the chance to establish business contacts and friendships, which definitely help to overcome challenges on all levels. The seminar is a forum for discussing topical issues and gaining fresh insights into trends facing our industries. It is also a platform for deliberating on technical problems that we encounter on a daily basis. The presentations are always interesting, and this year the most interesting subject for me was digital printing. The programme focused not only on the machines themselves, but also on information about the papers and inks that are used in the digital process.”
Customer Satisfaction Survey 2017 underlines technical sales service value
Mondi Containerboard’s most recent customer satisfaction survey, conducted this year, further illustrates the extent to which Mondi customers appreciate the technical sales service set-up and initiatives. The results show that it is associated with fantastic “technical competence” and high “dedication and friendliness” towards customers – respondents gave a top rating of 100% in both categories.
“Together with Mondi Containerboard’s technical sales service team we have engaged in a lot of fruitful discussion, further developed our processes, and implemented best manufacturing practices on our corrugators. Within the framework of a consultancy agreement we also launched a ROTI (return on team involvement) initiative to enhance efficiency and improve our knowledge base by training employees to a high standard in performing state-of-the-art audit procedures,” concludes Nęcki.
Picture 1: Technical Sales Service Team Mondi Containerboard: Jarosław Kurznik / Stefan Rossler / Serhiy Luzan / Monika Kasperek / Kamilla Bartniak / Piotr Szefler / Pavel Kolegov and Marek Motylewski (head of technical sales service Mondi Containerboard)
Picture 2: Live lab workshops during the seminar; Marek Motylewski, head of technical sales service Mondi Containerboard
Picture 3: 250 customers from all over the world attended the Mondi Containerboard seminar From fibre to corrugated board
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