- Fastest MG paper machine in the world with consistent speed of more than 1,400 m/min
- Flexible production of packaging paper covering a wide range of grades from 22 gsm to 95 gsm
- Trailblazing paper products developed to market readiness
Kehl/Heidenheim, Designed as one of the most efficient specialty paper machines in the world, Koehler aper commissioned Voith’s production line 8 at its Kehl mill at the end of October 2019 – after a previous project time of only around two and a half years.
Thanks to ongoing optimization, the company recently achieved a groundbreaking level of performance for the production of around 40 gsm base paper at a continuous speed of more than 1,400 m/min. Thanks to intensive cooperation, permanent project support and continuous optimization from Koehler and Voith, the line achieved an average speed of 1,410 m/min over a period of 24 hours as well as a maximum value of 1,432 m/min – a world record for the MG paper machine.
On the occasion of this event, Voith presented Koehler Paper with an engraved glass plate that records this historic speed record. At the award ceremony at the Kehl mill last week, Dr. Michael Trefz, President Projects at Voith, was pleased to present the recognition: “An outstanding value, which was made possible by the cooperation between Koehler and Voith, the combination of extensive technical knowledge and a long-standing and trusting partnership. Koehler and Voith are thus once again demonstrating their pioneering spirit in paper production.” Dr. Stefan Karrer, COO at Koehler, and Joachim Uhl, Mill Director in Kehl, also appreciate the cooperation and are proud of the team’s performance on production line 8:”The optimizations have enabled us to raise our machine to a new level.” Joint development of trailblazing packaging paper products
Another outcome of the collaboration between Koehler and Voith is the development of cutting-edge products. As part of the development partnership for new paper grades, Voith carried out several test series on the R&D pilot coater at the Voith Paper Technology Center in Heidenheim. The technological requirements of the new paper grades were investigated in depth and then implemented in the new production line. This has resulted in the innovative products of the NexFlex® product line, Koehler’s flexible packaging paper.
State-of-the-art technologies for effective production
With a volume of 300 million euros, the entire production line 8 is one of the largest investments in Koehler’s history. As well as the XcelLine paper machine and a offline coating machine, the project includes a BlueLine stock preparation system including wet end process and a VariPlus winder. The facility is designed to produce around 100,000 tons per year of various paper grades. An offline coating machine enables variable coating orders and combinations, resulting in an enormous range of grades. This extensive range of different paper grades and basis weights from 22 gsm to 95 gsm is another unique selling point of the production line. PM 8 paper machine thus supplies already finished paper and raw paper for the further finishing process.
A special technical highlight is the MG cylinder, which has a diameter of 7,315 mm, the largest of its kind worldwide at the time of installation. The cylinder gives the paper its unique smoothness, which is essential for optimum downstream processing. Thanks to the MCB air dryers, the coated paper is dried extremely gently and without contact, while at the same time maintaining high thermal efficiency. A special calender design ensures final calendering of the specialty papers.
About the Koehler Group
The Koehler Group was founded in 1807 and has been family-run to this day. The Group’s core area of business is the development and production of high-quality, specialty paper, including thermal paper, playing card board, drink coasters, fine paper, carbonless paper, recycled paper, decor paper, wood pulp board, sublimation paper, and, since 2019, innovative specialty paper for the packaging industry, too. In Germany, the Koehler Group, with its more than 2,000 employees, has five production sites, as well as three more in the USA. The Group operates on an international level, with an export ratio of 70% in 2020 and annual revenue of €770 million.
As an energy-intensive enterprise, Koehler invests in renewable energy projects such as wind energy, hydroelectric power, photovoltaics and biomass. The Koehler Group has committed itself to producing more power from renewable sources than is needed for paper production by 2030.