Italian-based plant design and manufacturing company Toscotec may be based in historic Lucca, Tuscany, but the privately-owned leader in machinery manufacturing has its sights set on North American expansion.
With its head office located in Marlia, west of Florence, the company is no stranger to branching out, and has operations that span from Wisconsin, to Shanghai, to Brazil. The company has a drive for growth, and sees an inextricable link between success, and physical proximity to its customers.
The company has already made significant strides in North America. Two years ago it began to invest more time and resources in the continent, with the objective of developing a paper and board division in the region, and now the company is focused on increasing its presence as a paper machinery supplier for paper and board machines. Toscotec has already begun to work with a number of major North American papermaking groups, and requests for quotations and information are starting to pour in. The company has realized several successes already, primarily rebuild projects for dryer sections. It’s an important market; paper machines installed in North American typically have long operational lives, and companies often devote considerable resources into rebuilding machines to optimize their production by retrofitting key areas like press and dryer sections. Toscotec hopes to further capitalize on these opportunities and has already established itself as a primary supplier in the North American tissue market. When it comes to continuous improvement of technology, Toscotec’s philosophy mirrors that of its customers; helping clients find solutions to realize maximum results through the minimum possible investment, is what drives the company forward.
Like any company whose business is technology, Toscotec stays ahead of the curve and prioritizes investment in its R&D department. Since its inception the company has been seized with the importance of improving machine performance, maximizing energy efficiency and achieving energy savings, and has embarked on a number of research projects focused specifically on paper machine design upgrades. The company has a complement of 10 engineers with backgrounds in mechanical and chemical education. Two internal laboratories equipped with mechanical and chemical testing tools support not only internal research projects, but customer service applications as well. The company also has its eye on the next generation of talent, partnering with universities, research centres, external organizations and customers alike, Toscotec’s internal roster of expertise benefits from collaboration with external stakeholders to ensure their learning remains current. Such partnerships also allow the company to test out its technological solutions on real market requirements and to benefit from continuous feedback from the papermaking world outside of Toscotec’s walls. A sample of projects the company is currently implementing includes:
- energy saving (paper machine configuration and auxiliary systems with special attention to hood systems and heat and energy recovery systems);
- paper quality benchmark creation;
- fibre and raw material quality and preparation analysis with evaluation of impact on machine production and final paper quality;
- fluid dynamic analysis of approach flow system for improved geometry of components and layout;
- pressing and drying performance optimization (special attention to Yankee dryers and press rolls design with proper and optimized selection of materials and dimensions); and,
- papermaking process control automation with the use of a dedicated algorithm (industry 4.0 project).
Toscotec is also focused on the circular economy, and helping its customers closes their environmental loops. Energy savings opportunities are of particular concern to its customers and so Toscotec strives to ensure its products respond directly to this objective.
When asked about its present goals, Toscotec is mindful of the past. The company pays heed to the impact a decline in global demand for graphic paper had on international markets, noting the drop-off was more profound than even the most foreboding forecasts. And yet, Toscotec takes the long-view by focusing on the industry’s remarkable resilience to transform and develop, recognizing that far from disappearing, the paper and forest products sector is reinventing itself – and growing. Toscotec intends to grow right alongside it, offering solutions, savings, and support. One rebuild, one papermachine, one customer at a time.
Toscotec designs and manufactures machines, systems and components for the production of Tissue and Paper & Board, offering proprietary solutions to the world’s leading paper industries: from complete tissue production lines to rebuilds, modernization projects and even single components. www.toscotec.com