Why preventive maintenance is critical for embossing rolls

Embossing systems are necessary and expensive equipment options tissue manufacturers use to differentiate their toilet roll and towel products or enhance product attributes. The use of exclusive embossing patterns introduces signature designs. Embossing also can influence certain tissue characteristics such as bulk, softness, and appearance to enable rolled tissue products to compete for market share alongside higher-value options.

The keys to preventive maintenance

Because of the important role embossing plays and the considerable investment tissue manufacturers make in it, routinely maintaining both rolls of the embossing system — steel and rubber — is essential, using preventive measures such as:

  • Checking the rubber roll(s) for uneven surface wear, proper durometer, circumference, accurate loading pressures or nip widths, and proper bearing lubrication.

  • Checking the steel roll(s) for a clean engraved surface and visible element damage, while verifying the rotating brush roll is functional and the lubrication system is applying adequate white oil to the rolls.
  • Verifying proper embossing roll setup for maintaining optimal surface contact between the steel and rubber rolls, thereby maximizing rubber roll life, pattern definition, and proper embossing depth (bulk) without loss of tensile strength. Nip impressions or validating the correct loading pressure (PLI) are common checks for proper setup.

Downtime is money

While it generally staves off larger issues, even an established preventive maintenance schedule takes time to execute.

There’s also catastrophic failure to consider — if unanticipated damage occurs to the steel embossing roll, unplanned downtime can easily run 3 to 5 months waiting for a replacement. Or, in the case of rubber rolls, there could be a 4 to 6 week period needed for roll recovery.

Factor in the hours-long outages required to replace damaged rolls once replacements are on-site, and it all adds up to significant time tissue manufacturers can’t afford to spend on downtime.

Added value and embossing expertise

Finding solutions that keep tissue embossing equipment running at peak operational efficiency largely depends on the relationship the toilet roll or towel roll manufacturer has with its equipment provider. More specifically, it revolves around the equipment provider’s depth of expertise and supply chain.

As a leading tissue industry innovator, Valmet is a true value-add for our tissue converter partners that experience embossing delays or need assistance keeping preventive maintenance on-track to manage TCO. We are uniquely positioned to cut costly downtime through:

  • Clear communication regarding lead times tissue manufacturers can anticipate with regard to failure, and guidance on purchasing spare rolls as backup.
  • A network of approved vendors that can accelerate lead times by expediting orders for roll covers, steel bodies, spare parts, and engraving.
  • Availability of drop-in bearing assemblies and related parts that dramatically reduce repair time since technicians don’t have to attempt complicated installations.
  • Advanced engraving technologies, capabilities, and custom embossing pattern development offered by Engraving Solutions, a Valmet company.

Embossing systems are fundamental to the integrity, marketability, and consumer success of rolled tissue products. Maintaining the rubber and steel embossing rolls saves time and money, especially when aided by an expert equipment manufacturer that believes in the power of partnerships. Reach out  to learn more about how we can help you manage and enhance your embossing capabilities.