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Environmental news and technical  innovation in the nonwovens sector
Pictured at the company’s demonstration centre at its headquarters in Italy is the Fameccanica marketing and innovation team, (left to right): Alessandro D’Andrea, Piera Giansante and Giammarco Cioce.

In highly automated processing, small advances can have a significant impact, says diaper machinery leader Fameccanica.

With modern baby diaper machines capable of producing over 1,000 pieces each minute, every step-wise improvement in production can make a significant contribution.

With its latest Innovision diaper machine based on the market-proven FA-X P10 system, market leader Fameccanica, headquartered in Chieti, Italy, has introduced no less than seven such improved features and is also now equipping its lines with the very latest in digital automation.

Cost savings

The seven new features of the machine provide opportunities for raw materials reduction and draw on the latest ultrasonic and thermobonding technologies to further reduce environmental impacts, leading to significant cost savings – estimated at an annual €1.5 million per FA-X P10 baby diaper machine operating at 1,000 pieces per minute.

A number of these features focus on reducing the amount of adhesives required in the diaper construction process. The inline creation of the frontal tape on the nonwoven backsheet, for example, is now achieved via ultrasonic bonding, resulting in enhanced softness and also the ability to impart customised patterns onto the surface.

Similarly, the inline Fameccanica Laminating System (FLS) is employed to achieve a stronger bonding of the tape inside the back ear by combining three different materials through ultrasonic bonding, resulting in an increase in breathability, in addition to improved resilience, with the same elasticity performance for different cycles of use and no danger of contamination by adhesives.

Improved topsheet

An ultrasonic system is also applied for the ADL (acquisition and distribution layer) lamination to the topsheet to provide a better appearance to the top sheet, which becomes softer and with an improved hand. The solution offers the same or even improved performance in terms of acquisition time and wetback when compared with the standard version.

A new thermo-mechanical process is employed to fix the cuff elastics between the two layers of nonwoven, eliminating the need for adhesives while achieving the equivalent tension and elongation.

Thermosealing is also employed for the leg elastics, fixing them between the two layers of nonwoven in intermittent mode. This allows for a reduction in the width of the poly backsheet employed, resulting in further material savings and no compromise in terms of  tension and elongation.

SAP core

A thin, fluffless core replaces the standard combination of SAP and fluff pulp. The new Fameccanica core entraps the SAP inside the air-through bonded ADL to achieve complete SAP immobilisation with excellent results in terms of acquisition time and break through integrity.

The targeted application of SAP onto the absorbent core is achieved with the new X-Thru control concept, combining the Optisap filling and dosing unit and the intermittent SAP applicator. This represents a significant advance on the standard homogenous distribution of SAP, controlling its positioning in the core and allowing for both on-line monitoring of pad quality and easy integration with standard industrial logic components.

Easylife

Fameccanica is also ahead of the market with its Easylife digital control system, developed in collaboration with Microsoft.

This digital network oversees the complete management of factories and manufacturing plants through the collection, exchange, distribution and use of ordered information guaranteeing significant advantages, both in performance optimisation and in economics.

All operating data from factories and individual plants is collected, historicised, processed and shared among all involved within an organisation, with total safety guaranteed by the Azure Cloud developed by Microsoft and integrated with Office.

Azure is already used in mission critical sectors such as banking, power plant management and insurance. Each customer has proprietary access to the data, allowing them to define specific dynamics, hierarchies and data display modes.

The data is always accessible via the web from any device including mobile devices. Management can, for example, monitor production plant performance while travelling by using their ID to log in to the dedicated interface. Similarly, production managers can monitor the performance of each machine and Fameccanica experts can perform remote diagnostics and provide support based on data collected directly from the production plant.

Interventions

Maintenance is also simplified. Interventions can be planned in advance using precise and detailed information collected over each machine’s life cycle. The suite also contributes to the creation of a company learning base which evolves over time and facilitates the safe and confidential reuse and sharing of knowledge. Easylife is designed to make life easier for Fameccanica customers while avoiding the need to develop proprietary solutions that can prove difficult to maintain. It’s a full and efficient suite developed by Fameccanica to radically improve the way manufacturing facilities are managed.

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