Berli Jucker Cellox (BJC Cellox), first established in 1990, is a dynamic, growing tissue manufacturer located some 150 kilometers southeast of Bangkok in Prachinburi, Thailand. Since its founding, the company has taken advantage of rapid growth in tissue demand in the region, and it now has five tissue machines dedicated to serving the Asian market.
“There is very healthy demand for tissue in Thailand as well as in the surrounding regions,” says Apinan Laocharoensuk, managing director of BJC Cellox. “It is our aim to be the No. 1 tissue supplier in Thailand, as well as grow beyond our borders into other countries, for instance Vietnam.”
The company makes a complete range of tissue products for bathroom, facial, kitchen towel and napkins under the brand names of Cellox, Zilk, Maxo, Belle, and Hygienist for AfH products. As well as the domestic market, the company also exports to neighboring countries, including Singapore, Cambodia and Burma.
BJC Cellox is in an excellent position in a region that is only set to grow when it comes to consumption. “In our region tissue consumption per capita is still low when compared to other countries such as Japan or South Korea. In fact, here per capita consumption is just one quarter of the amount of that consumed in those countries,” adds Laocharoensuk.
ANDRITZ TICKED ALL THE BOXES
To assist in its ambition to be No. 1 and to cope with burgeoning tissue demand, in 2018 the management at BJC Cellox began looking very closely at all suppliers to the tissue industry in search of the best solution for its expansion needs. Laocharoensuk says, “Ultimately, we chose Andritz to supply what is now PM 5 because we knew the company was one of the leading suppliers to the tissue industry globally. When commercial discussions began, straight away we had excellent collaboration.”
The company decided on a complete tissue production line supplied by Andritz. The delivery consisted of a PrimeLineCOMPACT tissue machine with steel Yankee and shoe press as well as a complete stock preparation system, forming fabrics, press felts, and shoepress belts. It also included automation with Metris digitization technology for remote support, which was to provide a vital lifeline during start-up.
The tissue machine has an annual capacity of 35,000 metric tpy a year, a design speed of 1,900 m/min and a working width of 2.80m. The Yankee diameter is 16 ft. The stock preparation system is split into a short and a long fiber line and is equipped with Andritz Papillon refiners with a cylindrical refining zone. Ji Haihong, Andritz project manager stock preparation, explains: “The special geometry of our Papillon refiners combines gentle and homogeneous fiber treatment. Thanks to the compact rotor design, the refiner concept offers significant improvements in energy consumption compared to other refiners on the market.”
“Andritz simply ticked all the boxes with its solution of the complete tissue line,” says Laocharoensuk. “In addition, they have a remarkable USP, namely their PrimeLineTIAC, the world’s most modern tissue pilot plant. This gives us the unique opportunity to deeply exchange know-how and to develop our products further and to achieve even better quality. This will bring us ahead of our competition.”
REMOTE ASSISTANCE DURING START-UP AND FOR ONGOING OPTIMIZATION
The complete tissue production line was successfully started up in early 2021, right in the middle of the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. A key part of the successful start-up was down to Metris Remote Assistance, which was utilized to the full, allowing Andritz specialists from all over Europe to fully take part in the technical procedures. Some Andritz experts were also on location during the start-up.
“Despite the COVID-19 situation, we had full support from Andritz,” says Laocharoensuk. “We had technicians on site, as well as remote assistance and I have to say that our mill team here together with Andritz did a great job and we achieved a remarkable result. We even started up on time.”
Tine Kocbek, Andritz project manager tissue, says, “Managing the start-up with remote assistance by experts from our European locations and colleagues on-site at Prachinburi was quite an experience, especially in the middle of a serious pandemic. This project to me was like my very own baby, and I must admit I had one or two sleepless nights. However, due to the open communication and absolute respect from both sides, we mastered the challenge.”
Remote assistance via Metris has continued as PM 5 now is up and running and adding another 20 tpd of high-quality tissue production to the mill’s total output of 90 tpd. Pisit Samatta, associate manufacturing director, BJC Cellox, says, “One of the features we are really pleased with on the new tissue line is the remote assistance we receive from Andritz when optimizing the efficiency of the machine. Specialists are able to see exactly how well the line is running, and offer assistance to optimize the line even further. “This was really helpful during the learning curve when we started up, and now to have remote assistance whenever we need it has come in really handy.”
HIGHER QUALITY, LESS ENERGY COSTS
The tissue line from Andritz is now running at 1,700 m/min, producing high-quality tissue at markedly reduced energy consumption. This is due to Andritz’s focus on the ever-growing importance of energy savings in tissue production, but it’s also down to one of the key components supplied to the tissue line at BJC Cellox: the PrimePress XT Evo shoe press.
When used in combination with the steel Yankee, the shoe press dewaters the paper web very gently, but very thoroughly. By doing so it achieves a higher dry content than conventional presses. Due to the special design of the press, and the reduced need for thermal drying, as much as 20 percent of energy can be saved under optimal operating conditions. In addition, the StrataPress T press felt ensures peak performance in the press section at high machine speeds.
Chusak Soysungvam, mill director, BJC Cellox, says, “We are very pleased with the speed of the machine and the quality of the tissue coming off the new line. The increased bulk of the tissue means we can possibly even enter new markets. “But what we are really impressed with is the amount of energy we are now saving due to the shoe press using so much less LPG. The shoe press removes a large amount of moisture before the Yankee cylinder, meaning we save a lot of money in the drying process.”
With the introduction of the new line from Andritz, BJC Cellox is now well on its way to achieving its ambition to be No.1 in tissue in Thailand. Laocharoensuk says, “We have an ambition to be the market leader in Thailand, which will happen very soon, as well as having our expansion plans into other markets. We clearly made the right decision to select Andritz for our PM 5 project. We received really professional and outstanding service and support covering all areas from commercial evaluation, technical clarification, machine installation, and start-up, as well as ongoing support.”