Aiming for a cleaning agent that works like a dream

A joint project between Kiilto and a paper manufacturer has set out to develop an operational model of constant optimisation.

Product development at a paper mill manufacturing demanding fine-grade paper products sets ever-changing demands on cleaning agents. A joint project between Kiilto and a customer has set out to develop an operational model of constant optimisation.

Kiilto is the developer of the cleaning agent currently used by the paper manufacturer, which was developed specifically for the needs of their production facility. The need for the optimisation and constant development of cleaning agents was already recognised back when that project was underway.

– Even back then, we and the customer realised that it would be beneficial to be able to have a deeper dialogue about the development of cleaning chemicals. Quickly changing conditions require closer co-operation and more flexible ways of responding to changes. We already familiarised ourselves with their testing methods when designing the cleaning agent, and now we have launched a joint development venture, says Timo Esko, a Business Development Manager from Kiilto.

A couple of years ago, Kiilto and the customer began to shape a joint venture based on this idea, and this new project was launched in early 2017. Over the first few months, both companies’ goals for the project have been reviewed, safety questions have been charted and timetables have been prepared.

The purpose of the project is to discover a suitable operational model that serves the customer’s production process, especially when the quality of the product and uninterrupted production are paramount.

– Our goal is to create a model of co-operation that enables Kiilto as a developer and supplier of cleaning chemicals to optimise cleaning solutions with better accuracy and at a faster cycle than before. With the co-operation model the development work will progress quicker and testing the changes will not disturb normal production, Esko explains.

The customer’s product is the starting point of product development

Naturally, the starting point of the joint venture is the customer company’s own product line. The facility manufactures extremely demanding and high-grade paper materials. The production unit uses a lot of filler materials in addition cellulose to produce its paper products and these materials pose challenges to the maintenance and cleanliness of production machinery.

Many different materials are used in the production of the factory’s demanding paper types. The special characteristics of these materials pose more than the usual challenges to cleaning agents and cleaning processes.

The filler materials are used to create a high degree of gloss for fine papers and to give them different printing and handling properties. They can increase the strength of the paper, for example. The specialty paper products are used for such purposes as magazines and marketing material when the desired end result is a luxurious or groomed impression.

Customer’s product development creates a constant need for cleaning agent optimisation

The customer’s product development unit is constantly creating something new, and this work brings new kinds of raw materials into production, sometimes at a fast pace. New kinds of approaches and changes to recipes alter the filler compositions. Because processing these materials during production is challenging, the production process itself is in a constant state of change to keep production as smooth and fluent as possible.

A functional co-operation model for the development of cleaning chemicals ensures that the chemicals are fully compatible with the manufacturing process and also gives more leeway for customer’s own product development.