Paper winding

The transformation of paper waste into new raw material is not the end of the recycling process. Within the factories recycling the paper, the new paper paste must also undergo a number of steps before its subsequent sale to its future retailers, in the form of paper reels. Here are the different steps for making a finalised product, the paper reels, from the raw material, the paper paste.


After having soaked in various vats, then transported on high-precision sifting conveyor belts to be decontaminated, bleached, treated, or separated into different quality materials, the waterlogged paper is brought to the dryers. These machines compress the pulp between steel rollers.
Depending on their temperature (fuel heated) and spacing (which can be set to a micron’s width), these rollers also define the future basis weight of the paper (also called grammage), in other words the paper’s mass per unit of area and its stiffness (which rises with the basis weight). It is important to note that making new paper uses six times more water than recycling it. 


To improve the paper’s surface and printability, coating and laminating process are sometimes used, coating the paper with a mineral melange (such as kaolin). Once coated, a calender is used to smooth out the paper one last time using heated rolls.
Coated paper can have different degrees of smoothness and brightness. This type of paper accounts for 40% of printing/writing paper, 50% of cardboard, which are in turn classified into several categories (matt coated, glossy coated, satin coated, etc). as a matter of fact, this type of paper (only half composed of celluloid fibres) can be entirely recycled.


For large scale recycling of paper, to facilitate the process of industrial production, the paper sheets, usually several hundred meters long, automatically leave the machines in reel form (they used to be shaped at the pressing step). Though it is an essential part of the process for anyone looking to mass-produce and mass-recycle, paper winding is one of the most delicate process of the paper making industry.


This first spool (or bobbin) holds the newly made paper. It consists of a centre roll (a metal rod or cardboard mandrel) and a strip of adhesive material to stick the paper to the roll.
A parent reel for conditioning, for example, newspaper can hold up to 10 tons of material (i.e. kilometres of paper), and can be up to 10 meters wide.


Although the parent reels are necessary for the paper recycling machines to function at full capacity, the amount of paper that they aggregate are very hard to work with. To large to store, they are transport by conveyor belt to a winder. This machine automatically unwinds, splits (the width depending on the intended use of the paper), and rewinds the paper into smaller coils called roll sets.
To maximise the amount of available paper and limit loss from the parent reel trimmings, all these operations are computer assisted. In large scale operations, the entire paper making process undergoes multiple controls for quality and/or production process. These controls are done by computers as well as qualified technician and lab analysis.


Having been split into different sizes, and certified that it conforms to the clients demands, the finished product is packaged in waterproof material, with multiple layers to insure that the reel is not damaged by humidity or, of course, transport.
It is labelled for easier identification, then sent either to a storage site or straight to a distributor. To encourage profitability and limit storage space, despite the fact that most distributors keep some standard-size reserve stock, produced tonnage rarely exceeds the clients demands.
These processes are essential to the recycling of paper, and industries are thereby making material for printing that will return to them under a different form. But it is only through technical progress of all steps of the paper and cardboard recycling process that recovery rates can reach ideal heights. 
The paper and cardboard recycling cycle is a step-by-step process. Discover the different steps:

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