TECHNOLOGICAL FIT IS THE KEY
We launched Eucafluff to the market in 2016. Since then, we have experienced an intense learning process for the application of eucalyptus fluff in several categories of hygiene products. A journey of crucial hits and improvement rounds until we reached the maturity we have today. Where we can apply our product successfully and be able to say quite transparently to a new client: “With this technology, it won’t work, but if you use this other technology, which you already have in your plant, together we can achieve a final product of excellent quality.”
A defining moment for our application engineering team, and I dare say for the entire Eucafluff team as well, was in 2019. This year, right after testing Eucafluff at a client in North America, I picked up the phone and called the team to break the news: “We have had zero panel integrity issues! Zero panel breaking!”. Until then, panel integrity was a major challenge in the application of Eucafluff, creating uncertainty among clients regarding the potential of short fiber Fluff for the production of hygiene products. Let me explain, eucalyptus has fiber with shorter lengths and thinner cell walls than Pinus (long-fiber), and so the absorbent core made with Eucafluff has lower entanglement, favoring panel breaking during product use. Therefore, until that moment, we could not guarantee that the panel made with our short-fiber fluff pulp would remain intact when in direct contact with the moving body, as in the case of a baby diaper or a sanitary napkin.
So what made it work in 2019? If I could sum it up: the technological fit! Since the launch of Eucafluff, we evolved our product in a continuous process of testing, establishing assumptions, testing again, and from the partnership with clients and key suppliers in the supply chain, we realized that the technological fit of the machine is key to the success of the Eucafluff application. Based on this discovery, in 2020, we identified the ideal conditions for the manufacture of 100% Eucafluff panels in products such as baby diapers and sanitary napkins (until then this was only possible in pet pads and underpads). The first condition is the use of high technology machines. The most modern machines have features with more fit with Eucafluff, such as the defibration technology. And to obtain a good performance result with Eucalyptus Fluff, we need to guarantee a high level of defibration. For this, the mills in the machines need to be suitable for short fiber. In addition, the possibility of wrapping the cores (with tissue or spunbonded), forming channels in the pads, or building a core with two layers, and, when necessary, using integrity adhesives are among the features that have been proven to help solve the pad integrity challenge.
The discovery of these optimal machine conditions has enabled us to expand market partnerships, both with new clients and with adhesive producers and industrial machinery manufacturers, and to homologate Eucafluff with major players in the hygiene industry. Thanks to these partnerships, the new machines that are being delivered are already able to run on short-fiber Fluff. And this collective learning has generated a virtuous cycle that increases every day the market’s confidence in eucalyptus Fluff.
Thus, after six years of intense learning curve for the application of Eucafluff, we consolidated the application engineering know-how and reached a maturity that allows us to easily identify when the production engineering conditions offered by the client have or not fit for the use of our eucalyptus fluff. This maturity added to the experience of more than 20 years of our technical team in the hygiene industry allows us to act with precision in the application of Eucafluff and save time and money for us and the client. As a result, in addition to gains in quality, we have diversified the application of Eucafluff. In 2017, the application of 100% Eucafluff was possible only in Chinese machines for pet pads and underpads. Today, we have successfully expanded its use to sanitary napkins, diapers, and baby pants, and are in advanced testing on products for urinary incontinence.
We know that Eucafluff is still a new product to the market and that we have a lot of learning, applications and innovations to reveal in the coming years. But one thing is sure, Eucalyptus Fluff is an innovation with a promising future ahead. If you are curious and interested in learning more about our Eucafluff, send me a message @Joas Junior or contact directly our team by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.