Asaleo Care is a leading personal care and hygiene company that manufactures, markets, distributes and sells essential everyday consumer products across the Feminine Care, Incontinence Care, Baby Care, Consumer Tissue and Professional Hygiene product categories.
The company’s products include Purex, Sorbent, Handee and Tork and are used daily in households and businesses across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and a number of countries in the Pacific. Asaleo Care has eleven manufacturing and distribution facilities throughout Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.
Asaleo Care is committed to introducing the latest technologies to their manufacturing plants to continue to produce quality products and meet evolving safety standards.
The manufacturing plant in Kawerau, New Zealand was established in 1955 and to this day is still the only tissue base paper manufacturer in New Zealand.
To address obsolescence issues, Asaleo Care called on Rockwell Automation to design, manufacture and commission a control and drive upgrade to their tissue machine that would also incorporate the latest safety technologies.
Tissue Making Perfection
Asaleo Care has been manufacturing tissue related products since 1952 and is committed to meeting customers’ needs. The manufacturing plant in New Zealand produces 50,000 tonnes of tissue related products annually.
To maintain their niche in the midst of intense competitive pressure from imported products, the company decided to upgrade the control and drive system of their tissue machine to incorporate the latest technologies while continuing to meet current safety standards.
According to Paul Stevenson, electrical engineer at Asaleo Care, “We must stay competitive in order to remain in business over the long term and that’s a key reason for the upgrade.”
The tissue paper making process at Asaleo Care starts with responsibly sourced pulp. The pulp entering the Kawerau site carries a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. This pulp is blended to slurry, formed pressed, creped and dried. The company is the only known tissue manufacturer that uses geothermal steam, a renewable energy source at Kawerau, for drying the tissue.
Drive technology has advanced in leaps and bounds providing greater flexibility, productivity and ease of use. The existing drive system at the Kawerau plant was an analogue, direct current system, requiring periodic maintenance and being 30 years old, was also facing obsolescence.
“Over the years we became familiar with the processes required to maintain the system but we had to replace the brushes quite a lot. One of the things to bear in mind is the risk profile, if it gets to the point that its breaking down every week we couldn’t afford the risk of the machine being down for weeks while we are waiting on parts,” said Stevenson.
By moving to an AC drive system, maintenance requirements were reduced. The system was designed to take into account various factors relating to AC drives system such as excessive electrical noise and motor circulating current. The new system was also designed for integrated safety control using Allen-Bradley® GuardLogix® programmable controllers with safe speed monitoring and safety gates.