How is recycled paper produced?
Posted in Graphic Specialities
Do you know how recycled paper is produced?
The “Factory Records” visual book explains it by making a journey with images and illustrations to discover the production process of Favini’s 100% recycled high quality paper Shiro Echo.
We asked two artists to capture the essence of Shiro Echo‘s production processes.
Lyndon Hayes captured the sheer scale and the noise of the production of Shiro Echo in his drawings of our paper mill at Rossano Veneto – Italy. The new colours of the 100% recycled paper Shiro Echo – Raw Black, Raw Grey and Raw Sand – are perfect for an artist who likes to sketch using white as well as dark tones on to muted coloured backgrounds for his artworks.
Seeing as we are talking about recycled paper we have included some collages by Melinda Tidwell who excels in making new images from scrap paper: an example of how waste can turn into a resource.
Let’s start the journey to discover the production process of Shiro Echo recycled paper.
The raw materials used to produce the recycled ecological paper Shiro Echo
The main raw materials for the production of paper are water and cellulose. In the case of recycled papers, the cellulose fibres come from the recycling of pre and post-consumer paper.
To produce the ecological recycled paper Shiro Echo, Favini uses 100% recycled cellulose fibres. These fibres come from a “selected pulp” quality, such as office pulp. It is a high quality pulp that undergoes a de-inking process and is from where we obtain the de-inked cellulose.
To obtain the de-inked cellulose for the production of 100% recycled paper Shiro Echo, Favini relies on specialized suppliers to select the pulp that has a low presence of foreign residues, allowing the production of a recycled paper with a high degree of whiteness and containing few impurities.
This blend of recycled fibres is mixed with water inside the hydro pulper.
From hydro pulper to the continuous machine: The production phases of 100% recycled paper
The hydro pulper mixes various ingredients to produce the Shiro Echo recycled paper: water, post-consumer recycled fibre and pre-consumer waste such as cutting trimmings.
In the hydro pulper, where the initial suspension is 95% water to fibre, the paper slurry is formed combining water with 100% recycled fibres and will then progress into the colouring tank.
During this phase, the recycled paper Shiro Echo is tinted with the three shades of the new Raw version: Black, Grey and Sand. It is here that the inorganic fillers (calcium carbonate), starch, glue and dyes are added to the colouring tank to give the desired shade to the paper.
For each type of paper produced and also based on its end use, a specific recipe is used, that is studied and tested in Favini’s laboratory. In the case of Shiro Echo recycled paper, the mixture is characterized by the presence of 100% recycled fibres.
From here, the coloured paper slurry flows to the head box and onto the flat table and the wire of the continuous machine, where it is evenly distributed across the flat table of the continuous machine, which acts like a sieve to drain away excess water.
The web of paper passes from the flat table through the wet presses. These are pairs of metal cylinders with special felts, which, by mechanical pressure of the presses, removes more water. It is at this point, that the percentage of water is reduced to 50%.
From the wet presses, the web of recycled paper enters into the dryer. In this phase, the paper, makes an S-path through heated drying cylinders where it is ironed and dried by evaporation of the water. In the middle of this drying process, the size press sprays a finishing treatment to improve the appearance and printability of the paper.
At this point that the Shiro Echo 100% recycled paper is almost ready.
After drying, the sheet is calendered with steel cylinders to give the product the required degree of smoothness, such as the natural rough finish that gives the characteristic surface and the tactile sensation to Shiro Echo.
At the final station, the paper produced with 100% recycled fibres is wound on to a steel core forming a jumbo roll, which can weigh up to 6 tonnes.
Quality control guarantees consistent quality and high printing performance on Shiro Echo recycled paper
In the last phase of this continuous machine process and when the recycled paper produced has been wound to form the jumbo roll, a paper sample is taken for testing in the quality control laboratory to ensure consistent quality.
The Shiro Echo paper produced with 100% recycled fibres is in fact a paper with characteristics suitable for the demands of high performance print and conversion processes. For this reason, the production process and the quality of the finished product are constantly measured and monitored.
The jumbo paper rolls of 100% recycled paper Shiro Echo are cut, packaged and used for sustainable printing and packaging
The Shiro Echo recycled paper jumbo roll passes into finishing, where it is cut into sheets and packaged in reams protected by a special protective wrapping to protect the product from moisture and dirt, and lastly for storage.
From the Favini warehouse, the ecological paper Shiro Echo produced with recycled fibres is ready to be shipped and used to create eco-sustainable packaging, shoppers, communication materials and creative projects.