Every industry has a history, a story of change and progression which continues to unfold through time. The tissue paper industry is no exception and Habasit has been pleased to partner with the STAX network to manufacture packaging machines for tissue and related products.

“The future belongs to those who are willing to change themselves”, says the technical director of TCS (Tissue Conveying Systems), Dragan Mandić. “We see change as an opportunity and not a threat.”

But in order to recognize a change, one must know the history, and the ancient saga of toilet tissue is not to be missed.

The tale of your toilet paper
The earliest references to paper for hygiene purposes goes back to the 6th century in early medieval China. In 589 AD, the scholar, Yan Zhitui, reflected on the subject: “Paper on which there are quotations or commentaries from the Five Classics or the names of sages, I dare not use for toilet purposes.”

Fortunately, there were soon other options. By the 14th century, the modern day Zhejiang province was producing up to ten million packages of toilet paper per year. It wasn’t until 1857 that the product was officially introduced in the United States when it was advertised (quite accurately) as “The greatest necessity of the age!”.

Considering that approximately 83 million rolls of toilet paper are produced worldwide every day, this hardly seems like an exaggeration. Luxury tissue was soon to follow with the possibility of perfumed, patterned, or colored sheets with increased durability. While colored toilet paper has largely gone out of style in the States, it remains a bathroom extravagance in Europe, and Japan has taken the finesse a step further with their elaborate creations of toilegami – or toilet paper origami.

Swift and global adaptation
Although STAX does not concern itself with toilegami, remaining flexible to the industry’s growing needs is a priority.

Each year the manufacturing sector is presented with new challenges and changes that must be implemented quickly to ensure the continued success of the business,” says Mandić. “In order for manufacturers to stay relevant they need to keep up with the quickening speed of product development and innovation. Reaching the top is not as difficult as staying there, and that is what we are aiming for.

STAX Technologies was founded in 2002, and so far they have provided individual packaging solutions to customers on almost every continent. Their applications can fulfill packaging demands from log saw and folder machines to big packs, boxes and up to palletizers and are installed in Russia, the Middle East, North America, Canada, New Zealand, and even Tahiti and Reunion Island. The network makes automatization possible on several platforms proper to client and creates tailor-made machines to fit each end user’s packaging and handling needs individually.

According to individual regions, the trends and necessities of every market are unique. Away from home products have a growing popularity on all markets in general. In the Central Americas, South Africa and China, there is more and more use of single roll packs, but the major stake in the Middle East is facial tissue because of the increasing number of tourist visits. In less developed countries, the demand for jumbo packs has increased.

After the company was founded, they recognized the need for devices that could transport products and merge them in a production line for more efficient manufacturing methods. When they established that they had enough experience and knowledge to start a different production line of conveyors, TCS came to be. Together, STAX Technologies and TCS make STAX network, which provides full turnkey solutions to their clients by utilizing chains and modular belts from Habasit. The advantage of such a network reflects in the fact that the client gets a complete packaging solution from one supplier.

STAX network produces a variety of machines for packaging rolled and folded products, as well as palletizers and all related transporters necessary to a production line. The latest machine is a single roll wrapper for paper and foil – UNICA. It was designed to pack 180 rolls of paper per minute, but in TW New Orleans, a STAX team of engineers succeeded in raising that number to 220. They also claim that their roll bundler FORZA is the fastest in a real production.

“Swiftness in adapting to the quickly changing market trends and a high level of creativity and innovation are what differentiates STAX Technologies from any other manufacturer”, says Mandić. “Technology incessantly advances. In our case what matters is production speed and low cost of maintenance. With each machine that we produce, we are making improvements in quality, speed and reliability.”

For the hygiene and happiness of all
STAX chose Habasit because the company was highly recommended by other industry partners. They have appreciated Habasit for their reliability and quality of technical support and are optimistic about a variety of future joint ventures in the field.

After working on projects with colleagues from Italy and Austria starting from simple chain and modular belt transporters, the cooperation is now expanding to the implementation of twisters, spirals, special timing belts, and different kinds of upending, reorientation devices, lift gates, trap doors, walk thru gates and double-decker conveyors.

Toilet paper has been around a long time, and it doesn’t seem likely that the necessity will go away anytime soon. Although these little white sheets are far too easily taken for granted, the STAX network and Habasit remain committed to finding new and innovative ways to produce this treasured tissue (and other related products) for the hygiene and happiness of all. (ST)

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