Manchip3Media helps to keep plastics out of the sea

Secure waste destruction specialist Manchip3Media (M3Media) has geared up for further growth by installing a new shredding system.

The DIN66399 certified UNTHA RS30 shredder will make light work of the old-format media that M3Media is processing on behalf of key customers including Sky, the BBC and Channel 4. Capable of tackling thousands of tapes per day, the machine promises to recoup both environmental and financial benefits for the operator.

M3Media’s over-arching mission is to help combat the estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic that end up in the world’s oceans every year. The firm offers a confidential waste handling service for all media ranging from physical tapes to modern data storage devices.

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The decommissioning of these products provides clients with peace of mind that secure or protected footage will never end up in the public domain, whilst also ensuring the ethical processing of the ‘waste’ materials. Following destruction, even the media cases are granulated by M3Media for recycling into products such as Lego.

Commenting on his purchasing decision, M3Media’s managing director Toby Manchip said: “I knew we needed a robust solution with proven media and data destruction capabilities. As soon as I found the RS30 and spoke to the team’s confidential waste experts, I made my choice. This technology ticks all the boxes – operational simplicity, high throughputs, precision particle sizing, customer support services, justifiable capital outlay and minimal wear costs”

Interestingly, the new RS30 is not the only UNTHA machine in operation at M3Media’s HQ. Some time ago Toby procured a used S20 shredder which he recently discovered was the oldest working example of UNTHA kit in the country.

He continues: “If we wanted any proof that our new UNTHA shredder will stand the test of time, the continuing functionality of this classic asset gives us all the evidence we need. We love the fact that we’re now running both the oldest UNTHA machine in the UK, and one of the newest. Between them they’re handling new and old media too, so there’s something symbiotic about this story.”


Stora Enso and Aalto University to build special stage for public debate forum SuomiAreena

Aalto University and Stora Enso have joined hands in building Finland. The outcome of the co-operation is the Aika (Time) stage for the public debate forum SuomiAreena, in Finland, in honour of Finland’s centenary year of independence. The base of the stage is made up of 50 laminated veneer lumber frames with 100 legs symbolising Finland’s era of independence.

Students at Aalto University’s Department of Architecture were given the challenge of designing a stage using Stora Enso’s LVL material in just 100 hours. The design had to be of high architectural quality and innovative, and meet the technical requirements of SuomiAreena. Antti Hannula and Antti Rantamäki, students of landscape architecture were selected winners of the competition.

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“Stora Enso wants to promote the use of renewable materials and show what a tree can do. We have been involved in planning and organising several events that celebrate Finland 100 years. Through our participation in SuomiAreena, we can communicate the opportunities of building with wood as well as our other renewable solutions. The Aika stage will be implemented in the spirit of the centenary together with Aalto University, using high-quality Finnish wood material and design and processing expertise,” says Seppo Parvi, Stora Enso’s CFO and Country Manager Finland.

“At Aalto University, we are educating game changers who are able to see and combine science, arts and business in a new way. Aalto was recently ranked as one of world’s 55 technology challenger universities, and it maintains close contact with business and society at large. The Aika stage to be built for SuomiAreena is an outstanding piece of work, reflecting our values and ways of operating,” says Eero Eloranta, Aalto University’s Vice President of Education.

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“The Aika stage will be one of the highlights of the week-long SuomiAreena event. Visitors can see anything but traditional panel debates on the stage. During the week, there will be cooking, innovations, business pitches, hackathons and a cavalcade of the most interesting projects of the Finland 100 programme,” says Mari Haavisto, Executive Producer of SuomiAreena.

The surface area of the Aika stage is 285 square metres, and the spectator area contains 150 seats. The stage will be built of Stora Enso’s structurally strong LVL, which is manufactured in Varkaus, Finland. The stage is covered with translucent Vitrea profiled glass.

The Aika stage will be built in front of the Sokos Hotel Vaakuna, at Gallen-Kallelankatu 7, Pori, for the duration of the SuomiAreena forum (10‒14 July 2017). Once the event is over, the stage will be moved to Aalto University’s campus in Otaniemi, Espoo, to enrich the lives of students and the public.

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Stora Enso is a leading provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions and paper on global markets. Our aim is to replace fossil-based materials by innovating and developing new products and services based on wood and other renewable materials. We employ some 25 000 people in more than 35 countries, and our sales in 2016 were EUR 9.8 billion. Stora Enso shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki (STEAV, STERV) and Nasdaq Stockholm (STE A, STE R). In addition, the shares are traded in the USA as ADRs (SEOAY).

Aalto University: Shaping the future. Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art are together with technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future. Aalto University has 11 000 students and more than 400 professors. Our campuses are located in Espoo and Helsinki, Finland.

disclamer: The illustrations are based on sketches and do not necessarily conform to the final appearance and structure


Who’s the world’s best forwarder operator?

For anyone who wants to experience steel nerves, quick decisions and powerful machines, one hot tip is the stand of the Swedish Association of Forestry Contractors at Elmia Wood.

“During the fair we’re holding the Swedish School Forwarder Championships, the Swedish Forwarder Championships and the Forwarder World Cup. There’s going to be a lot of action!” promises Karl-Magnus Hembjer of the association.

Entrants from eleven countries are currently registered for the world championship, the Forwarder World Cup.

2017 05 18 095149During the fair you can see the Swedish School Forwarder Championships, the Swedish Forwarder Championships and the Forwarder World Cup. Photo: Skogsentreprenörerna

“It’s a high-speed competition with the entrants competing against each other simultaneously on two parallel courses,” Hembjer explains. “First they have to load logs – some fairly easy and others placed under various types of obstacles. If they miss any, they have to load extra penalty logs.”

The competitors then have to build a freestanding tower out of blocks of wood.

“The blocks have to be stacked as quickly and sturdily as possible,” Hembjer says. “This element usually involves great action when the operator who is lagging behind must try to catch up by taking extra risks.”

Prestige plus 1,500 Euro

Before reaching the finish line, operators face yet another challenge, when the first person to pick up a specially marked log wins.

“The competitions demonstrate speed, precision and safety thinking and are a good way to create interest in the job of a forwarder operator,” Hembjer says. “We want to present the forest as an attractive workplace. The broad range of visitors who come to Elmia Wood means that we come into contact with the forwarder operators of the future.”

Is there a favourite to become world champion?

“One name to watch is Sweden’s Martin Svensson, who’s won the World Cup before, but it’s always very close-run and exciting so there should be many possible winners,” Hembjer says.

As well as the honour of being the world’s number one, the winner of the Forwarder World Cup also receives 1,500 Euro.

The Swedish Forwarder Championships and the Swedish School Forwarder Championships

As well as the Forwarder World Cup, the Swedish Forwarder Championships and the Swedish School Forwarder Championships will also be held during Elmia Wood. The competitions are run on two parallel courses and two different types of machine are used. The qualifying heats are held first, followed by the semi-finals and then the decisive final heat.

See the list of participants in all forwarder competitions here

Forwarder World Cup 2017
Thursday 8 June:
Qualifying heats 10.30-16.00

Friday 9 June:
Quarter-finals  10.15
Semi-finals 12.45 and 13.15
Final (followed by award ceremony) 14.30

Swedish Forwarder Championships
Saturday 10 June:
Qualifying heats 10.00
Semi-finals 12.30 and 13.00
Final (followed by award ceremony) 14.00

Swedish School Forwarder Championships
Wednesday 7 June:
Qualifying heats 10.00-12.00
Semi-finals 13.00 and 13.30
Final (followed by award ceremony) 14.30

Elmia Wood 7-10 June

Elmia Wood is the world’s leading forestry fair and is held every four years outdoors in the forest south of Jönköping, Sweden. The last Elmia Wood (2013) had over 500 exhibitors and 50,000 visitors from around the world and was monitored by the international trade press. On 7–10 June 2017 the global forest industry will gather once more.


Valve World Expo 2018: Terrifically strong lightweights

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Even though they appear quite twinkle-toed, they in fact are heavyweights due to their increasing role in plant engineering. Valves made from plastic meanwhile are part of the product range. The reason is simple enough: they are light and don’t take up too much space. As one can imagine, plastic valves face a bright future.

Valves don’t necessarily need to be made from, for example, stainless steel, or grey cast iron. Plastic valves are used in numerous areas to convey fluids through pipes, and they need not shy away from uncomfortable environments. “Plastic valves have a lot of advantages, especially in areas where aggressive media are used,“ emphasises Uwe Schmezer, head of product and application management, Gemue. An important advantage is the material’s low weight.

Wetted parts made from plastic

Diaphragm valves are used quite often. They are appreciated for their ability to accurately regulate volume flows, and at the same time they are easy to automate. Even better, they can be used with neutral and aggressive media in a liquid or gaseous state. They are therefore attractive for makers of plastic valves. “All wetted parts of these valves are made from high quality plastics and thus have high chemical resistance,“ reports Schmezer about Gemue’s valves.

The membranes of the company are made from chemically modified, second-generation PTFE. Chemical resistance is very high, according to Gemue the material PTFE wears out significantly slower than a soft elastomer under steam conditions.

Suited for extreme requirements

Plastic and ball valves can also be a winning match. Here, the wetted parts, as well as the actuator housing, are made from plastic. This makes them suitable for clean media, which can be aggressive or neutral, fluid or gaseous, without negatively impacting the physical and chemical properties of the respective housing and sealing material. A ball valve from Gemue has a maximum permissible operating temperature of 120 degrees Celsius, depending on operating pressure and body and diaphragm material.

Plastic valves thus certainly are usable in extreme environments, such as the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. Water treatment, environmental engineering, automobile industry and galvanisation are further areas of use. Sectors which have a great demand for components, especially in so-called emerging markets.

Water and chemical industries are attractive markets

As far as water supply is concerned, the situation is dramatic for the world’s population. 1.2 billion people don’t have access to clean drinking water. A further matter of concern also is that there aren’t enough sanitary installations of adequate quality available for 2.6 billion people on the planet. On top of it all, global water consumption has tripled since 1950. The market volume for construction works, machines, plants and services in the water and wastewater treatment sector adds up to between 460 and 480 billion US dollars each year. Valves make up a certain portion of the investments.

In addition, last year investments in the chemical industry grew in nearly all EU 28 states. Expenditures which are worthwhile for the sector. Take Germany, for instance: the German chemical industry association (VCI) expects growing demand for chemicals produced by the German chemical industry. Especially Asia and Latin America are boosting demand. According to the study “The German Chemical Industry 2030“ published by research institute Prognos in cooperation with the VCI, exports of chemical products could grow by 40 percent until 2030. A development valve manufacturers in general stand to benefit from, as well as makers of plastic valves.

Application determines choice

The pharmaceutical industry also offers good prospects. According to „Pharmafakten“, an initiative of pharmaceutical companies in Germany, the sector is experiencing continuous growth. “Since 1992 global turnover of pharmaceutical products has increased by more than quadrupled. The main reason are more and more new innovations, which make the treatment of previously untreatable possible, or improves therapy.“ Once again, this is good news for the valve sector.

SchuF, for instance, has created special solutions for the pharmaceutical and fine chemicals industries. Valves manufactured by the company are indeed made from metal, but lined with PTFE or PFA on the inside. Mainly bottom outlet disc valves are used. “Valves need to resist higher pressures – therefore metal bodies are necessary – and have to be easy to clean on the inside, making plastic lining suitable,“ explains sales director David Donne, SchuF.

As such, manufacturing valves lined with PTFE or PFA is costlier than a standard valve made from metal. “Lining valves is an additional manufacturing step when making valve bodies,“ adds David Donne.

Even though the pharmaceutical and fine chemicals industries traditionally tend to use enamelled valves, especially as the reactors have an enamel coating, “we have experienced a moderate increase for plastic lined valves.“

A trend is the demand for additional functions, “for instance the integration of process analytical technology (PAT), which can be integrated into valves with either plastic or enamel coating,“ reports the sales director of SchuF.

The layout of a piping system and which plastic valves are selected is determined by the application. “Based on the knowledge of the chemical, thermal and physical requirements a matching plastic valve is determined,“ explains Uwe Schmezer, Gemue. When determining which plastic valves to use, further parameters such as media, flow rates, pressure ranges, solids content and temperature ranges need to be considered.

Acceptance is increasing

PVC (polyvinyl chloride), PP (polypropylene) and PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride) are amongst the most commonly used plastics for valves. PVC, one of the oldest and most frequently used plastics, is resistant against chemicals and does not react to humidity. Its thermal resistance, however, is not the best, and its impact strength is low. In turn, the thermal resistance of PP is good, as well as its chemical and mechanical properties. PVDF is very tough and highly resistant against especially corrosive chemicals – the plastic is also convincing thanks to its very smooth surface.

The advantageous properties have seen the acceptance of plastics as a material for valves rise over the years. A widespread preconception has thus also been proven wrong, namely that this material wouldn’t find any general application in valves, for instance in ball and diaphragm valves. As a matter of fact, plastic valves are being used in various sectors.

Plastic multiport valve blocks are a trend

As plastic valves also have to cope with critical media and environments, „Atmosphères Explosibles”, they have to be made in line with the ATEX directives, which harmonise various requirements within the EU. Since April 2016 a new ATEX directive is in effect: 2014/34/EU. Since 20. April 2016, only products that fulfil it can be sold and distributed with the EC declaration of conformity. Using plastic valves with highly flammable mixed media, must fulfil strict requirements.

Trends arise from the numerous possibilities offered by plastic valves. One such trend is the rise of multiport valve blocks made from plastic. They are light, don’t require much space, are quick to assemble and are multifunctional. „These requirements play an ever increasing role for plant components,“ explains Schmezer. Complicated dosing of fluids “usually takes place today over lots of single valves.“ These are connected over as much fittings and pipes with each other. A lot of space, however, is required, and assembly is laborious due to the high number of single parts. “At the same time each installation site and pipe connection is a potential leakage point, increasing the security risk. Compact multiport valve blocks made from plastic offer themselves as ideal components.“ They are space-saving and can assume various functions. Multiport valve blocks made from plastic – a product offering opportunity.

A promising and exciting future

Experts see great potential for plastic valves, also thanks to the material being developed further. As this progresses, one can expect a lot from the material. Needless to say, this makes plastic valves an exciting and promising topic for the future.


How RocktTenn (WestRock) Doubled their Speed, OEE and Reliability

All manufacturing leaders know what’s expected of them. They face financial statements, customers, stakeholders, etc. on an ongoing basis. There’s no denying the what. Truly world-class leaders continually search for the best how, and they ask, how are we going to do this? What is the best way to achieve our expectations? Even the best companies struggle with asking and implementing these questions, and they’ll struggle with it at the top of the organization. Once Leadership has consensus on the how, then it’s just a matter of maintaining that commitment and continually communicating that vision to the organization.

2017 04 19 090254Beau Groover, Director of Performance Excellence with RockTenn (WestRock), says “RockTenn was not much different from most companies in how it previously established goals. We would look at where we are performing currently in a measure and then say, ‘How do we improve that by 5 percent, how do we improve that by 3 percent?’ And that would set about how they frame up their resources and their capital and their people.”

RockTenn (WestRock) is a leading producer of corrugated and consumer packaging and recycling solutions; and is one of several companies that reached out to Performance Solutions by Milliken to helped adopt their own, unique version of the Milliken Performance System (MPS). An award-winning system geared to compliment, revamp, and accelerate current performance systems towards new levels of success.

At RockTenn, Groover serves as a conduit interacting with teams working in plants, managing the relationship with Performance Solutions, and bringing information to RockTenn’s steering committee. He says, “at the end of the day, there are thousands of books written on lean, six sigma, and TPS. If the leadership isn’t capable or willing to go through what it takes to build a high-performing team, it doesn’t matter how many tools and how many super-duper black belts you hire, you’ll never get there. And the Milliken system, in my opinion, focuses directly on the culture. And that’s what has enabled them to reach the performance levels they have.”

Groover notes that the Performance Solutions approach is heavily weighted on the front end to how an organization puts in the Performance System, and, on the back end, weighted to the actual performance it gets from the system. “We get so wrapped up in the results that we fail to look at the process.” He uses a baseball analogy of how well a team conducts batting and fielding practice will usually parallel with how well the team performs in a game. In manufacturing, it means focusing on the processes that yield an output target, such as OEE, rather than how to move the metric.

“Through the Milliken process, we’re trying to get our plants thinking about OEE as an output mechanism,” says Groover. “How well we run the equipment, how well we train our associates, how well we take care of our equipment, how well we prepare our inventory — all of that leads to the result. And the result is a high OEE number, which is what we want.” In approximately one year, the process work at RockTenn began to move the organization across never before seen thresholds of performance, adds Groover, yielding double-digit improvements in speed, OEE, and reliability. “We’ve uncovered/created the equivalent of 3 full sites worth of capacity that we didn’t even know was achievable. The financial impact of that goes far beyond the P/L and starts impacting decisions such as capital investment and footprint rationalizations.”

“It’s a different way of thinking about where your problems are and where your opportunities lie. We become very accepting of our reality that we see. We start just accepting things instead of challenging them to say, ‘Why does it work like that, or why do we have that failure, or why do we have that downtime?’ The Performance System takes all that emotion and acceptance out of it, and it makes it a data question. Here’s where you’re performing. Here’s where you’re losing dollars. What are you going to do about it?”

Performance Solutions by Milliken brings a unique, Practitioner-based value proposition to its clients and has built an enviable record of helping companies achieve substantial and sustainable improvements in their operations and safety excellence efforts. This approach, built on the foundation of lessons learned while Milliken & Company created and implemented its own world-class performance system, helps client organizations engage and empower their associates by working side-by-side to establish a culture of continuous improvement and drive breakthrough operations impact. Performance Solutions currently serve companies in more than 100 operating locations in 28 countries across a wide range of industry sectors.