ITC entrusts Voith with specialty paper machine rebuild

PM 1 in Chandrahati near Kolkata for premium décor paper

ITC Voith PM4 rebuild
ITC and Voith contract signing in PSPD Hyderabad for the rebuild of PM4 in Chandrahati Photo Voith

India’s largest paper manufacturer ITC PSPD has commissioned Voith to rebuild PM 1, including stock preparation, at its Chandrahati site, about 60 kilometers north of Kolkata. With the rebuilt décor paper machine, the company will increase its production capacity for high-quality décor paper with basis weights from 40 to 90 gsm and thus extend the company’s market leadership.

“In the Chandrahati PM 1 rebuild project, ITC is drawing on Voith’s unique expertise and reliability to further expand its market leadership in high-quality specialty papers,” affirms Vadiraj Kulkarni, Divisional chief executive at ITC. “With state-of-the-art technology and the latest equipment from Voith, we will produce world-class décor paper.”

ITC has more than 50 years of experience in producing a wide range of paper grades and Voith has completed several projects for the company. Among other projects, the full-line supplier delivered the PM 4 in 2017, with which the Indian company has been successfully producing décor paper. The decisive factor in awarding the contract was Voith’s many years of extensive experience in the areas of process technology, design, installation, and service. In addition, with its offices in Kolkata and Faridabad, Voith has proven experts on the ground in India and can thus work quickly and efficiently with ITC to develop optimal solutions.

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“We are proud of the opportunity to supply our efficient and sustainable papermaking solutions to ITC from a single source,” says R Krishna Kumar, president of Voith Paper, India Region. “With this order, the Indian paper industry has once again put its trust in Voith Paper to provide optimized technological solutions for its customers.”

Full feature rebuild for efficient production of high-quality décor papers

Production lines for décor paper have to meet special requirements. For example, excellent print quality and very high opacity must be ensured, which is why up to 40% high-quality filler is used in the production process. The PM 1 will be equipped with the Voith IntensaPulper concept in stock preparation and the advanced wet end process with Voith’s HydroMix, ComMix, and the latest BlueLine products such as IntegraGuard screens. In addition, the system is designed for efficient use of short fibers and minimization of filler losses.

Voith’s MasterJet Pro headbox, equipped with ModuleJet technology for cross-profile control, has been optimized for the production of décor paper and ensures the best formation results, excellent basis weight profile, and optimum fiber orientation. In addition, MasterJet Pro meets all requirements for frequent color and grade changes and provides optimum accessibility for cleaning purposes. The wire section is equipped with the reliable high-performance shaking unit DuoShake DG. Beneficial for high runability is the high dryness of the paper web at the first free draw thanks to the new state-of-the-art press section.

At the end of the dryer section, there is a high-temperature drying group for curing the wet strength agent, followed by two high-performance cooling cylinders for web cooling. ModulePro and ModuleCal system together EcoSoft calender will help achieve the desired smoothness and are designed to meet the requirements of décor paper.

ITC, formerly known as Imperial Tobacco Company is an Indian conglomerate listed on the stock exchange with 29.8% shareholding by British American Tobacco and large shareholdings by Indian government organizations and the public. Apart from tobacco and cigarettes, it is the promoter of a major hotel chain, a strong FMCG product division and the leading paper making company known as its PSPD division. The company is an exporter of both paper and stationary products and also has packaging division.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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