TT: What are master roll winders, slitter rewinders, and axial unwinders? What are their uses?
They are fundamental components in the last phase of the complex production process: the so-called end line. Master roll winders have the purpose of creating the so-called Master Roll (or Jumbo Roll or Mother Roll), a roll with large size and diameter, starting from the continuous sheet coming off the production line.
As regards the unwinders, they are either the peripheral or axial ones. In the first case, the actual unwinding takes place through the use of motorised belts, while in the second case the master roll is unwound by means of a motor with axial coupling.
Finally, slitter rewinders are used to cut, in the width desired by the converter, through special cutting recipes, the sheet arriving from the unwinder. Subsequently, the resulting ‘strips’ of material will be wound into a defined number of rolls with a diameter and width smaller than that of the original master roll.
TT: How has the demand changed in this segment post the pandemic? How does it compare to the pre-pandemic market?
The nonwovens industry was, in some ways, uniquely suited to prosper during the pandemic. The hygiene, medical and wipes industries—all ran at high capacity because consumer demand surged together with that of meltblown nonwoven. Aside from ramping up production, there was an increasing focus on near-sourcing, which implies developing more localised supply chains.
Nowadays worldwide investment in the hygiene, medical and wipes markets are continuing. Manufacturers forecast growth in some areas where new consumer hygiene habits, like the use of masks and disinfectants, represent a permanent or nearly permanent factor in nonwovens production.
TT: What new opportunities have sprung up in the nonwovens segment post COVID-19?
The manufacture of nonwovens products is critical to many industries around the world. At a time like this, people still rely heavily on PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) that keep them and everyone around them safe. This has brought the spotlight on these products and on their quality.
As the need arose to produce high-quality nonwoven quickly, manufacturers adapted to new market demands. This is where A.Celli’s solutions play a crucial role in obtaining a first-rate nonwoven reel destined to be converted into protective devices.
TT: What is the story of A.Celli Nonwovens? Where are your headquarters?
A.Celli Nonwovens is an entrepreneurial reality, based in Porcari, Lucca, present for over 40 years in the nonwovens market with high-end and cutting-edge technological products and solutions. The birth of the A.Celli Nonwovens and A.Celli Paper dates back to 2003, when two cousins Mauro Celli and Alessandro Celli, today Presidents of the two companies, decided to remodel the family business founded by Alvaro Celli in 1944. This led to the creation of A.Celli Paper SpA and A.Celli Nonwovens SpA to respectively serve the tissue, paper and cardboard market and the nonwoven market.
TT: What various kinds of machinery and equipment A.Celli produces for the nonwovens industry?
A.Celli Nonwovens offers a comprehensive range of master roll winders and slitter-rewinders specifically designed and customised for spunbond, spunmelt, spunlace and air through bonded nonwovens roll goods production, with a special focus on lightweight fabrics and high-speed production.
In addition, we offer non-stop axial unwinders and multifunctional lines for high-speed lamination, treatment of medical products and management of soft and bulky nonwovens (spooling and festooning).
The objective of the A.Celli Group, which falls well within the definition of “Smart Factory”, involves the global integration of the machines, starting from those dedicated to the winding and rewinding processes up to the integrated solutions for automatic roll handling, packaging, moving and storing. A.Celli Group also offers digital solutions to optimise production and maintenance processes, and flexographic printing machines developed to offer the highest quality printing onto a wide range of substrates.
TT: Do you also offer after-sales service?
The customer care is one of the fundamental pillars on which the reputation of our Group is based. We know very well that to establish long-term relationships with our partners, simply providing a solution is not enough; it is of the utmost importance to be alongside our customers to solve any problem and satisfy any need.
With this in mind, among the numerous services offered, you can find the timely supply of original spare parts and critical components, always available in our warehouses, maintenance activities and plans, upgrades and retrofits of any existing machinery and tailor-made training programmes. All this is combined with an assistance service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, reachable by email, telephone or by opening a ticket in the dedicated area of our website.
TT: In addition to machinery, A.Celli also offers digital solutions to the nonwovens industry. How do these solutions benefit the industry?
Every single Omnia Dp product can be purchased separately and is adaptable to any industry. Thanks to the flexibility that distinguishes our IoT platform, every software solution can be integrated seamlessly in any other machinery, production line or plant. Interested parties can browse our carousel and explore the features.
TT: Can anyone start an entirely new nonwoven production unit with only A.Celli products?
Excluding nonwovens formation, A.Celli can take care of the product from the end of the production line, starting with the formation of master rolls, up to the shipping, including the automatic handling and warehousing of both finished products and raw materials. In addition, thanks to the automation and digital integration of business processes, A.Celli can offer a great value to its customers: data collection activities over the entire end line processes and the subsequent certification of the entire value chain.
TT: Where does your company stand in terms of sustainability?
In nonwovens production, environmental sustainability is certainly a critical aspect. We at A.Celli are very sensitive to this topical issue, and all our innovations and solutions are developed with an eye toward energy savings, to allow the use of sustainable products like water-based inks in our flexographic printers and to use natural or biodegradable fibres or their combinations with synthetic fibres. In 2021, our efforts towards a ‘green’ direction were rewarded by the financial magazine Il Sole 24 Ore and Statista, which recognised our Group as a member of the Sustainability Leaders, and by Forbes Italia (in collaboration with Kon Group and Credit Suisse), which included A.Celli among the 100 Italian excellences in the field of sustainability.