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Manufacturing eco-friendly nonwovens efficiently

Albaad is banking on Trützschler Nonwovens and Voith, two leaders in the field of wet-laid nonwovens, with WLM1, its new nonwovens production line.

12th June 2018

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Egelsbach

Medical/Hygiene, Sustainable

Albaad, one of the three largest manufacturers of wet wipes and feminine hygiene products in the world, is banking on Trützschler Nonwovens and Voith, two well-established technology leaders in the field of wet-laid nonwovens, with WLM1, its new nonwovens production line.

With their WLS (wet-laid/spunlace) technology, Voith and Trützschler aim to ensure flexible and efficient production of wet-laid and hydro-entangled nonwovens from 100% cellulose at Albaad’s new WLM1 production line.

Gadi Choresh, Albaad Plant Manager in Dimona, Israel. © Trützschler

In the first phase after start-up, the WLM1 completely met Albaad’s expectations: the nonwovens manufactured at a speed of over 200 meters per minute exhibited an extremely high product quality. “The installation and start-up of the machine went very well. With their professionalism and high level of commitment, the team has ensured the success of the project. Albaad appreciates the long-term commitment and support to achieve the line properties even when things were not as expected,” commented Gadi Choresh, plant manager of Albaad in Dimona, Israel.

Optimum quality

For the wet-in-wet production of its nonwovens, Albaad uses exclusively fibres from cellulose. In the first step, web formation, a suspension highly diluted with water is produced and fed into the Voith HydroFormer. A homogeneous fibre mat forms on the inclined wire of the machine. In many respects, this process is similar to the manufacturing process of paper.

Voith WLM 1 Albaad, Dimona, Israel. © Trützschler

Voith and Trützschler Nonwovens collaborated once again to implement the project. Trützschler was largely responsible for the machines for web bonding and drying. The AquaJet technology is used in the bonding of nonwovens. Directed high-pressure water jets interweave the individual fibres together solely through the momentum of the water. The material thus obtains a high tensile strength and the desired textile feel without the use of any binding agents or bi-component fibres.

In Albaad’s WLS plant, Trützschler’s high-performance Streamliner dryer carries out the bulk of the drying of the nonwoven material. The spiral dryer section significantly increases the air speed and thereby achieves optimal drying performance. With the second drying step comes another component of the system by Voith, the contactless MCB drying system. Its uniform and stable web run ensures the efficient residual drying of the nonwoven material.

Trützschler’s AquaJet for web bonding. © Trützschler

In addition, Voith has equipped the WLM1 with a process and quality control system. It monitors all the relevant parameters of production and thus reliably ensures a high product quality.

Simple manufacturing

The renewable raw material cellulose is cost-effective and allows the manufacture of high-quality nonwovens with different characteristics. One special product segment is flushable wipes, which disintegrate very quickly in moving water but at the same time have a high strength when wet. Furthermore, these products are completely biodegradable.

The hygiene products produced on the WLM1 are therefore perfect as moist toilet paper and can simply be flushed down the toilet, the company says.

Voith HydroFormer WLM 1 Albaad, Dimona, Israel. © Trützschler

The second raw material needed for production, water, is also used in an environmentally-compatible manner through the wet-in-wet technology. In a circuit, a filter system treats the white water from the HydroFormer and AquaJet and returns it to the manufacturing process.

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