A single paperboard manufacturing machine operates by gluing together two or three layers of paper using a solvent-based adhesive to produce a sheet of paperboard. A layer of paper is supplied from a paper station. Each machine has a maximum of three paper stations. The glued layers are pressed together between a pair of rollers. The paperboard can then pass through either, a slitter and stacker or a roll-up facility.
A machine utilises four standard thicknesses of paper and the finished thickness of the paperboard is a function of the number of layers (two or three) and the paper type used for each layer. Maintenance of paperboard thickness is paramount as cardboard is rated in terms of g/m2.
Paper is supplied on 2000m rolls. The company limits its paperboard manufacture to rolls of paperboard between 200m and 6000m. A machine requires a minimum of 50m of paper to be present on any roller and in addition the first 100m of product is scrapped Only rolls of 350m upwards are economical to use.
A machine has an automatic paper splice facility that can be used to change rolls of paper. Paper rolls can be changed at any time. Although splicing occurs on-line, the machine must slow down from its normal operating speed of 200m/min to 60m/min. Each of the three available paper stations has a position for two rolls of paper, one generally in use and the other waiting to be used or waiting to be removed after use. An operator changes the rolls of paper manually using a forklift truck.
If a customer requires the board to be laminated this is done by coating it with a UV curable acrylic based clear varnish at a single coating station. The company has three paperboard machines and the output of any of these can be diverted through the coating station. This station also has a slitter stacker and roll-up facility. Laminated paperboard is rated as g/m2 of cardboard and laminate thickness in microns.
Process operators must be able to monitor the health of each sub-system in the production process and view current production status.
A sales team based at a remote site receives the orders for the paperboard by phone or e-mail. It is intended that a computer system will be used to schedule production to maximise profitability and at the same time ensure that order deadlines are met. The resultant data from paperboard orders must be made available to the paperboard machines for scheduling of work and to other departments such as paper ordering, paper handling and staffing. The sales team must be able to offer their customers delivery dates based on the current production capacity.