It was in September 2014 that the Tunisian group SOTIPAPIER placed an order with the company ALLIMAND for the rebuild of the paper machine No. 2 at their mill in Belli.

This order came from the close contact established between the two companies. ALLIMAND had the opportunity to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the operation of the machine 2 in order to offer SOTIPAPIER a coherent investment project focusing on rebuilding the press section and the dryer part.

For the SOTIPAPIER Group, this investment involved the production capacity expansion for kraft paper, increasing the gross output of the paper machine no 2 and improving its efficiency and overall performance. The good prospects of the kraft paper market in Tunisia and neighboring countries, coupled with the excellent position of SOTIPAPIER in this sector made this investment a major issue for the group. The trust put in ALLIMAND to carry out this project enhanced the expertise of the French Company in the field of wrapping paper and reinforced its cultural and linguistic proximity with its Tunisian production site environment.

To overcome the main bottlenecks of the paper machine and improve its energy efficiency, ALLIMAND undertook a complete rebuild of the press section by streamlining the sheet path, refurbishing some of the existing equipment and by mounting an ALLIMAND NAOS shoe press with a linear pressure of 1200kN/m.

This equipment, ideal for wrapping paper, increases the dryness of the sheet before it is transferred to the dryer section. This reduces sheet breaks and widely optimizes the steam consumption in the dryer part.

With certain existing elements of the dryer part being obsolete and inefficient, ALLIMAND replaced all doctor, siphon and steam box assemblies.

Based on the principle of a turnkey project, this order included, in addition to the reconstruction equipment of the press section and the dryer part, all the necessary auxiliary equipment for the correct running of the machine: hydraulic system, control system, piping, wiring.

The project also included the complete installation of all equipment provided, supervision and start-up as well as comprehensive training to familiarize operators with this totally new equipment.

Another important part of this order involved a large gantry crane which was designed and installed by ALLIMAND to enable the assembly and maintenance of the shoe press. The mass of which, far exceeded the capacity of the existing lifting equipment. A problem such as this is classic in shoe press installation projects on average sized machines situated in old buildings. However the pitfall was entirely solved by ALLIMAND who implemented a comprehensive and reliable solution for the maintenance team, enabling them to operate this new equipment in the best possible conditions.

In June 2015, as scheduled, the machine was stopped 14 days for the installation and commissioning of the equipment supplied, the gantry crane having previously been installed.

The sheet was engaged in the new press section quicker than initially planned. This result reflects the excellent day-to-day cooperation between the SOTIPAPIER and ALLIMAND teams.

After the start up, the optimisation of production conditions was quickly palpable. The average daily speed increased largely due to the higher dry content of the sheet at the outlet of the press section, the increased drying efficiency in the dryer part, but mainly due to the reduced number of paper breaks.

At the same time, the specific steam consumption decreased, this being a direct consequence of the change of siphons and steam boxes and higher dry content.

Following the machine start-up, the SOTIPAPIER operators will now become familiar with the new production requirements, while having the security of being assisted remotely by ALLIMAND specialists if needed. Indeed, a link allows an ALLIMAND control specialist to control all parameters of the new equipment from a distance and perform troubleshooting in the case of anomalies undetected by the mill personnel.

On this basis, the SOTIPAPIER group will strengthen its position on its market and has the target of an identical project for the second paper machine at the Belli mill, the paper machine n° 3.