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19. December 2016

Ready to roll: laydown belt for the nonwovens industry

The development of nonwovens for hygiene and medical products is an increasingly demanding business. The call is for lower grammages, more functions and comfort, and all that without compromises in terms of maximum cost-efficiency and sustainability issues. Mondi Ascania, headquartered in Aschersleben, Germany, meets these challenges with made-to-measure nonwoven composites and innovative production processes. The company maintains its high standard of quality through continuous investment in state-of-the-art technology. One major contributing factor to this is the company's choice of a novel CONDUCTIVE® laydown belt made by GKD – Gebr. Kufferath AG for its SPC line.

As a leading producer of special nonwovens for hygiene, medical, cleaning and cosmetic products as well as special applications in the industrial sector, Mondi Ascania regularly sets standards with new product concepts. In particular for baby care, feminine hygiene, incontinence and a range of hospital applications, its high-performance nonwoven products are in high demand. A major factor in this commercial success is the vertically integrated production of PP staple fibres, thanks to which Mondi Ascania can generate fibres with the specifically required characteristics and process them with a range of other fibres. On the SPC (Spunlaid-Pulp-Carded) line, a combination of procedures produces the sophisticated composite nonwovens from polymers, pulp and fibres. In contrast to conventional spunlaid products, Mondi Ascania uses pulp directly instead of viscose. The materials, prepared in several stages, are firmly bonded together by means of hydro-entanglement. This stage is followed by packaging according to order in rolls or in reels. With the SPC line, the sheer complexity of the factors – type and interaction of the materials used, diversity of technologies and versatility of the options – is the key to success. No wonder, then, that process reliability and line availability are the absolute prerequisites for achievement of the necessary production efficiency and product quality. For this reason, one of Mondi Ascania’s prime requirements from GKD was for them to develop a laydown belt that, after a belt change, would be able to run immediately at full production speed. Another problem to be solved was that, with the smooth surfaces of conventional belts, imperfections in the nonwovens regularly occurred during initial laydown of the filaments. This meant that, after installation but before being put into operation, the contact surfaces of these belts had to be mechanically roughened in time-consuming manual work. Now, with GKD’s CONDUCTIVE® 7690 laydown belt, such problems are a thing of the past. The 30.5 metre long and 4.5 metre wide endless belt excels in terms of its high traction effect in the laydown zone and, at the same time, optimal web doffing, meaning that production can be reassumed at full speed directly after a belt change. Thanks also to its improved ease of cleaning, this GKD laydown belt significantly increases the efficiency of the overall production process

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