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Clariant’s New Paper Service Centre opens in India

Clariant Chemicals (India) Ltd. launched its New Paper Service Centre at Kolshet, Thane. Mr. Andy Johnson-Head Paper Business for Special Markets, Clariant International inaugurated the new Service Centre in the presence of Mr. Heiner Meier – VC & MD, Mr. A.K. Prasad – Head TLP Division and Mr. R. Prasad – Head Paper Business.

Paper Lab Inaugration
Paper Lab Inaugration

The newly set-up Paper Service Centre reflects Clariant’s increasing commitment to pr ovide tailor-made solutions to cater its customers’ diverse needs. Currently, activities of the Paper Service Centre include all application and development work for OBA and Dyes. Exclusively trained technicians work to develop the most cost-effective dyes (or combinations of various dyes) to match the customers’ specifications. The Paper Service Centre is a one-stop service point — be it bright shades for colored papers, tissues or sack kraft, or tinting shades for writing and printing, maplitho, copier or newsprint.
New products launches, especially in OBA’s are first evaluated using real furnish combinations from various paper mills. Project work to develop high white grades, using a combination of tinting dyes or pigments along with OBA is one of the key activities under taken at the Paper Service Centre.
Some of the key equipments include:
• The ZETA POTENTIAL METER (MUTEK SZP) is used to accurately determine the addition effect of each compound to the component during the papermaking furnish. The Zeta study helps develop a better understanding of colloidal chemistry and effect of surface charges. Used in combination with the regular particle detector (Mutek PCD-to be added shortly), the study provides a complete picture of what is the best combination, not only in the choice of products but also in the sequence of addition. It also provides valuable inputs in trouble shooting problems in papermaking – such as poor retention, drainage, sheet breaks, press picking, poor performance of wet end additives etc.
• A SEMI AUTOMATIC HAND SHEET FORMER is being added to the existing manual equipment with view to improve reproducibility. Handsheets can be made to evaluate a whole range of process chemicals added at the wet end. The procedure closely simulates the actual sequence of operations in the mill, thus providing a close prediction of performance before the product is actually put to application. Performance of retention aids, drainage aids, fixatives, etc. can all be assessed at the Centre.
The Paper Service Centre is also equipped with a size press, a coater and wet surface strength tester (Taber) for evaluation of surface application products. Typically, improvements gained through the addition of cross-linkers and other coating additives such as rheology modifiers etc. can be evaluated and optimized for best performance. Other standard lab equipment such as Schopper Reigler tester, Valley beater, distintegrator, etc. are available for conducting a variety of tests and other studies. More equipment such a stiffness tester, a tensile tester, porosity tester and a Britt Dynamic Drainage Jar are in line to be added to the Paper Service Centre. A dedicated spectrophotometer will shortly enhance this support and speed up response time.
Paper Mart: In the current scenario, how do you see the paper industry panning out in the coming time? Do you see shakeouts?
Andy Johnson: A global recession is with us and this will undoubtedly affect all parts of the Pulp & Paper sector. The phenomenal growth that the Industry has experienced in India should slow down, but unlike some other countries we should still see an overall positive outlook for the coming period. Demand growth should continue to force players in the mature markets to look more and more into the growth areas. As we start seeing a slow down the new business models should become visible, focusing on stronger co-operations within the Industry. This may lead to some players exiting whilst some others will begin consolidating. The move to differentiating products and services is almost certain in the current environment, all along the value chain.
Paper Mart: What is your long-term outlook on the Indian paper industry?
Rajnikanth Prasad: We continue to believe that the market shift will play an important role in the future development of the Industry. The focus on higher quality products and the continuing squeeze that the ‘Super Brand Owners’ exert on all of us will be a major challenge and an excellent opportunity for the Indian Paper Industry. Increased legislation and environmental awareness will ensure the Industry embraces new technologies, innovative approaches and philosophies, and key issues like re-cyclability and sustainability coming to the forefront in India. Working closely with all members of the value chain (up-stream and down- stream) will be a key factor in the success of the Industry. This will lead to an increased innovation rate and reduced commodity trap. Investments should continue as more and more established global players will focus on India.
Paper Mart: What are the key factors behind your decision to make this investment?
Andy Johnson: The key factors behind the investment decision are:
• India’s per capita consumption of paper is among the lowest in the world – this has nearly doubled in the last decade and is likely to grow at the rate of 8% p.a. The projected production of paper and board for the year 2015 is 15 million MT and for 2020 it is 20 Mio Mt from the current 8 Million Metric Ton.
• We aim to put ourselves in a position to comfortably service this kind of growth – keeping in line with our mission of being the leading service provider and becoming the preferred partner with our customers.
Our long term aim is to develop the Clariant’s Paper Safety Centre in India into a centre of excellence within India through more strategic investment and capability enhancement.