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Articolo pubblicato nel fascicolo di Ottobre 2023 di Carta & Cartiere EMBOSSING


One of the greatest benefits pilot plants have to offer certainly is that they allow specialists from the tissue industry to evaluate the performance of their tissue products and designs under realistic operating conditions. As such, innovation centers are for a hub for development, for further optimizing the processing of tissue products and for opening new market opportunities with low investment risk.


In the cooperation established between SAUERESSIG Surfaces, Gambini and WEKO, the specific competencies of the three companies merge to form the innovative process in the tissue segment that is known as wet embossing.

First presented to a broader audience during a the three-day Open House Event, this procedure can actually be seen in action at the SAUERESSIG Surfaces Mönchengladbach site, where the pilot plant is located, upon individual appointment. The experienced team on site assists customers to put into effect all the individual demands they place on their tissue product.

Now expanded: the capabilities of the pilot plant allow for wet embossing

With a production speed of up to 650m/min and equipped with three unwinders, the system impresses with a high degree of efficiency. Embossing technologies, including nested and top-to-top as well as pre-embossing are possible. Gluing of the front and back sheet can be easily implemented thanks to two gluing units.

Recently, the patented technology AirMill© developed by Gambini has been added to the pilot plant. AirMill© is a wet embossing technology that allows for an effective, resources-saving process, in which the paper is moistened, so that the pulp fibers are plasticized with hydrogen bond and then treated with heated embossing rollers provided by SAUERESSIG, resulting in textured tissue paper with a well-defined pattern, more bulk and absorbency, while keeping the same tensile strength – to name one of the benefits linked to this technology.

In-house pilot plant now with expanded testing possibilities.

It is also worth noting that in several test runs performed at the pilot lane, the direct comparison has shown: the samples that had been produced with the application of AirMill© technology in combination with heated embossing rollers showed a +11.4% increased roll diameter (127 mm) as compared to the reference rolls (114 mm) that resulted from the conventional process without making use of the wet embossing technology and using non-heated embossing rollers, with otherwise exactly same parameters such as set-up of the machine, same number of sheets and therefore same paper length to start from (2 plies of 26 gsm each, a core diameter of 45 mm, 62 sheets of 260 mm each, a paper length of 16 m, a cut length/roll height of 280 mm).

As it is not only heat but also fluid that comes into play to give the tissue enhanced properties and having the effect of less strength degradation than in a conventional embossing process, water has to be introduced into the converting system. Therefore, a specialized WEKO unit in form of a non-contact fluid application system has been installed as well. Based on rotating spray discs, an even stream of finest micro-droplets is generated at high speed to give the fabric its individual properties with pinpoint accuracy.

In combination with SAUERESSIG Surfaces’ expertise in the field of surface finishings, the heated embossing rollers allow for a wide variety of patterns in an ideal combination of creative designs and optimum product features.

Résumé: Open House Event has been a successful kick-off

During the three-day Open House Event, customers had the opportunity to see the SAUERESSIG pilot plant with the newly integrated Gambini AirMill© technology and the WEKO spray application system live and on site, to personally get an impression of the latest technology and to discover new possibilities for their market segment.

Samples were produced, so that the actual look and feel of the output became tangible. Asked about the potential of the testing options, it was widely appreciated that the pilot lane runs under realistic operating conditions, whereas the production speed of up to 650 m/min is to be mentioned foremost. This way, test results can be transferred one-to-one to the production machine.

At the same time, the smaller dimensions in width and diameter of the rollers used in the pilot runs result in a costeffective approach – which in turn makes the testing options even more attractive.

“We are highly pleased that with our newly expanded pilot plant we can provide a very useful appliance to the tissue industry – states Andreas Greving, Sales Manager Tissue at SAUERESSIG Surfaces – and, thanks to the successful cooperation with our partners, can offer even more interesting testing options to customers from now on”.

He and his team at SAUERESSIG Surfaces encourage everyone interested in the testing facilities to get in touch, to book an individual appointment and to make use of the extended capabilities the pilot plant has to offer: to develop new prototypes with various technical properties and to test unique designs in the tissue segment – thus refining the production process and ultimately putting into effect all the demands that are placed on the final tissue product.

SAUERESSIG provides embossing rollers for all demands of the tissue industry. Expertise includes laser-etching, tool-engraving and direct-lasing, as well as design development.
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