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Q&A: Enrico Fazio head of sales of Toscotec’s paper and board division

April 16, 2019 – In this Q&A, Enrico Fazio, head of sales of Toscotec's paper and board division, chats about Toscotec's creation of steel dryer cans in the 1960s, and how the Italian paper equipment supplier is eyeing North America in its growth plan.

April 16, 2019  By Toscotec/P&PC Staff

What are the advantages of steel vs. cast iron?

Back in the 1960s at Toscotec, it all started from the idea that just like other pressure vessels it was manufacturing, such as water boilers, the dryer cans used in the paper industry could be fabricated in steel as well. To a company that was using steel for other heat transfer applications, it came naturally to apply this experience to paper machine dryer cans. The market did not welcome this innovation at first – the market being very conservative and because most people at the time believed that cast iron was the best material for papermaking applications. This myth was definitely debunked, especially recently.

In term of advantages, first and foremost, steel dries paper more efficiently than cast iron. Its mechanical characteristics are superior to those of cast iron and the construction codes of steel pressure vessels allow the reduction of the shell thickness, thereby achieving higher efficiency on the heat transfer to the surface of TT SteelDryers and to the paper sheet. The heat transfer coefficient of a steel dryer can be five to 10 per cent higher than cast iron.


Secondly, for the same dimension, steel cylinders offer a higher drying width than cast iron. This is because the heads of TT SteelDryers are welded to the shell instead of being bolted into the shell as with cast iron dryers. This design allows the paper to get closer to the heads. As a result, given two cylinders of the same width, one in cast iron and the other in steel, the steel cylinder dries a wider paper sheet than cast iron.

Thirdly, there is no construction restriction on the diameter of TT SteelDryers. We can engineer and manufacture any diameter, based on the specific requirement of the project.

Finally, the fact that we do not use bolts and gaskets between the shell and the heads of the cylinder eliminates any risk of steam leakage, which is quite typical of cast iron dryers.

How did the concept of TT SteelDryers developed over the years?

Toscotec has been innovating its technology incredibly over the years. Much R&D work has also been devoted to single equipment, such as TT SteelDryers, and thanks to this, we have made great progress in optimizing our manufacturing process, quality control and engineering design. For instance, we introduced a new design, where the dryer’s journals are bolted into the heads. This goes into the direction of cutting maintenance cost, because if you have a problem on one of the journals, you can easily replace it without changing anything else.

How has Toscotec P&B division been evolving in the last few years?

Toscotec’s P&B division registered a significant growth in the last five years. We significantly increased our sales revenues over this period. We also provide dryer section rebuilds on a turnkey basis, the last order we received from Smurfit Kappa Cellulose du Pin in France for a 6m wide machine is one such example.

These developments led to the addition of new resources in our technical and sales departments. Looking ahead, it is in our DNA to always embrace new challenges and raise the technological bar. We are currently developing the project of a larger and faster paper machine of nine-metre width. Looking into the future, we are working to further optimize the manufacturing process of TT SteelDryers. Toscotec made the strategic decision of manufacturing all its dryers cans internally, in order to control the entire construction process, from the supply of 100 per cent certified materials, down to the final quality check of the cylinders. We can certify TT SteelDryers for any country in the world, in compliance with the National Board Inspection codes for pressure vessels, such as ASME, PED, TÜV, CSEI and JIS.

Which key markets are you targeting for P&B at present?

Definitely Europe and Latin America, our traditional markets. North America, where we are already developing a number of projects with top paper groups. We are also working to grow in markets where we see high potential for our technology.

You mentioned the experience you have with turnkey projects, what is Toscotec’s definition of turnkey?

Toscotec aims to be a solution provider and not only a machine supplier. If a customer requires a turnkey supply, we have the capability to design, manufacture and install complex technical solutions. So besides the TT SteelDryer, we also make hoods, steam plant, sheet stabilizing systems, and automatic tail treading systems, just to name a few. We also provide services, like erection or/and erection supervision, commissioning and start-up assistance.

The engineering design is completed by our technical department, both for complete paper lines and for rebuilds. Rebuild projects always require the highest level of customization, because they are truly tailor-made to the customer’s needs.

Apart from the dryer section, what other technological solutions are you developing?

In order to become the leading supplier of highly technological rebuilding projects, Toscotec has also developed a series of advanced technological components installed in other sections of the paper machine, including the shoe press TT Xpress. Presently, we are installing TT Xpress with high linear nip load, up to 1,300 kN/m, and mini shoe presses with lower load capacity, up to 600 kN/m. We also provide the TT Transfer, i.e. cutting-edge solutions for tail threading systems using transfer belts.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

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