Paper production and converting

Sofidel produces and markets tissue paper, namely paper for hygienic or domestic use: toilet paper, kitchen towels, napkins, handkerchiefs and tissues.

Principles of sustainability at the basis of the production system

The companies within the Group oversee the entire production process, from tissue production to converting, all the way to the finished product. The entire production chain is required to comply with the principles of sustainability that are the basis of the Sofidel shared value creation system. An objective carried out through numerous channels, which include policies for responsible procurement of raw materials from forest resources, contained use of water, reduction in climate-altering gas emissions and waste, and the promotion of responsible consumption also through the design and development of innovative products.

Sofidel and National Geographic: tissue paper production in Sofidel UK

An excerpt from the documentary film “Chasing Paper”, produced by National Geographic to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Sofidel Group. The video shows the Sofidel Group’s plants and paper production process, and highlights the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability, which it pursues by limiting CO2 emissions, respecting forestry resources, and using water resources more rationally.

The production process

From the virgin pulp warehouse to our loading belts

The virgin pulp bales are picked up from the warehouse and placed on loading belts and sent to the “pulpers” where the fibres are processed to create different types of paper.

Pulp preparation in pulpers

Long-fibre pulp to produce strong kitchen towels and short-fibre to produce soft toilet paper… the ideal pulp is made in the hot water of the pulpers and is then homogenised and transferred to the Paper Machine.

Parent reel formation

The mixture is blown onto a screen, and then placed on felt, which carries it to an enormous cast iron or steel (Yankee) cylinder that is heated to 100° centigrade. Here, hoods blow hot air (450°) to dry the sheet, which is then rolled up to form the parent reel.

Product specificaion control

The parent reels are checked to ensure that they comply with the main physical and technical parameters required for each type of use. Sample-based checks are carried out for other special requirements.

Rewinder: multiple ply bonding

The parent reels start out as single ply paper. This machine bonds two, three or four plies depending on the specific needs of the product being made.

Parent reel warehouse

The reels arriving from the rewinder are wrapped with a plastic film and labelled, then carried to the warehouse where they are stored until they are used to manufacture the products they are intended for.

Converting from parent reel to finished products

Each type of finished product comes from a specific converting line, also known as converting plants. Here, the paper is printed, glued, embossed, punched and wound onto cardboard cores to obtain the log, which will then be cut to the required length.

Packaging and palletisation

In the packaging area the products are wrapped in single packages and then placed in multiple packaging for wholesale. A robot places the packages on pallets for shipping, while wrapping and labelling conclude the production process.

Finished products warehouse

Personnel retrieve the labelled pallets using fork-lift trucks and store them in the warehouse ready for delivery to the end customer.