Our biotechnology innovations enable wider use of bio-based raw materials and create new revenue streams

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Read the exclusive interview of Mr. Anil W. Purankar, VP, Pulp & Energy (Asia Pacific) Valmet conducted by The Pulp and Paper Times.

Valmet is the leading global developer and supplier of technologies, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries. Valmet’s vision is to become the global champion in serving its customers. Our 12,000 professionals around the world work close to our customers and are committed to moving our customers’ performance forward – every day. Valmet’s services cover everything from maintenance outsourcing to mill and plant improvements and spare parts. The strong technology offering includes pulp mills, tissue, board and paper production lines, as well as power plants for bio-energy production. Valmet’s  advanced automation solutions range from single measurements to mill wide turnkey automation projects. The company has over 200 years of industrial history and was reborn through the demerger of the pulp, paper and power businesses from Metso Group in December 2013. In Exclusively talking to The Pulp and Paper Times, Mr. Anil W. Purankar, VP, Pulp & Energy (Asia Pacific) Valmet shares his journey of Industrial Automation..

Extensive researches are expected to give optimized results which are the needs of modern competitive era. How best you define your research & development activities?

Valmet has identified mega trends  that are impacting our business:Resource efficient and clean world, Digitalization and new technologies, and Aware, urban and global customer. With our research and technology development work, we aim to ensure an advanced and competitive offering of process technologies, automation and services for our current and future customers, enhance raw material efficiency, and promote the use of renewable raw materials. Annually we invest about EUR 60- 70 million to R&D. We have over 400 R&D professionals in different parts of Valmet's global organization. We do intensive development work and piloting at our 16 own R&D centres.

“Our biotechnology innovations enable wider use of bio-based raw materials and create new revenue streams”

After the demerger of Metso Group in 2013, What are the significant advantage and disadvantages comes up for Valmet ?

Valmet has been able to develop a Customer-centric approach enabling to make a promise to our customers as a unique supplier offering solutions under a horizon of products & services to take their performance forward. It has also allowed us to walk through our strategy in terms of Must-Win initiatives that should help us achieve our vision to be global champion in serving our customers.

India is big buying market and there is always demand of innovative process technologies, What innovative process technologies you have given to India Pulp and Paper Industry?

To cater to our Indian customers we are providing an array of products & services in order to increase production efficiency & resources. On fiber sidewe have the largest installed base paper and board side we also have a healthy installed base. The trust entrusted could be validated from the fact that this year itself we were able to offer world class technologies to two of our customers. On Tissue paper side we have local reference as well. We have a strong market for MDF EVO Defibrators. The large installed based allows us to grow our service business organically.

Productivity & Profitability are two major business concerns of Indian Paper Industry, How much Valmet is capable of meeting these concerns?

Profitability is the core of business. Given that India is a fiber deficient market it becomes all the very more critical. As stated earlier, we do delivery on our promise to take customers performance forward every day and we are committed to it. Based on our new service approach – Shared Journey Forward concept we offer our products and service solutions under – Reliability, Performance and New Technology. This approach allows customer to look at their mills and select the right solution to address their business objective. Recently, we had cases with leading mils that accepted our suggested solutions that would transform their medium sized mills in technology curve towards world class mills. 

What major milestone you have set to achieve a position of global leader in delivering technology for bio-based raw materials.

We systematically develop our existing technologies to be more efficient especially from raw material, energy and water efficiency point of view. Our  biotechnology innovations enable wider use of bio-based raw materials and create new revenue streams. Recent examples include LignoBoostTM lignin separation technology and bio-oil production with pyrolysis technology. Additionally, we have several new and innovative solutions in the pilot and demonstration phase. Ongoing discussions within the potential ethanol G2 are exciting. 

Resource conversations (Such as water, coal ) and environment restoration (waste treatment) are two major environment concerns and counted most. What Zero emission technologies you have delivered which are capable of testing of these parameters.

Valmet mission is to convert renewable resources into sustainable products. Valmet has always stood along with the mills to upgrade their bleaching process. Valmet has supplied the ECF technology which has helped the mills produce consistent quality of high-bright and high strength pulp with improved cleanliness & lasting freshness with least pollution load. The high degree of bleaching has improved the optical properties of paper. During 2008, it has also delivered ozone technology in India which If you compare with other technologies, High Consistency Ozone bleaching results in lower effluent load and less OX in bleached pulp, lower water consumption and lower operating cost. This technology is technically, environmentally and commercially superior and that the runability of paper machines improves with Ozone bleached pulp.

What is the size of Pulp and Paper Machinery in India and What share you as Valmet hold? What are your plans to enhance your market share in Indian Market?

Indian Pulp and Paper industry is growing at a steady pace. Although India is dependent on imported fiber, in recent years efforts have been made to recycle paper and use it as a furnish in papermaking process. Valmet as a supplier is optimistic having had long successful delivery track record over the years. Being a capital intensive industry, trust between customer and supplier is key. We know trust needs to be earned and we work hard to reach that goal every day. We are listening to our customer's every day, paying special attention and prompt communication as Valmet way to serve. 

Expansion of company requires big finance and company's plans are put on hold if the company doesn't get sufficient business. In this condition outsourcing of jobs (such as area marketing, maintenance contract, machining works,service requirement and others) can minimize the risk of operation and impart major pace in company's growth. what are you view on outsourcing? Are you open for outsourcing?

Valmet has own operations e.g. strong engineering presence in India. Our operations are complemented by an extensive supplier network.

The market of Old paper machines is emerging in India very fast. Some Medium size paper mills are importing good quality 2nd hand paper machine from Italy, Germany and other European countries for their expansion. How do you see this situation? do you assume it as a threat for Machines manufacturers?

Eventually it depends on company's vision, strategy, etc. Valmet as a full scope supplier is here to cooperate with customers to understand their  specific challenges, offer our expertise from 12,000 working professionals work close to customers through our network of service centers and by being close to our customers. Our experts are also available remotely with the help of industrial internet and remote technologies. 

Will GST regime in India drop down the prices of Capital Machinery? According some experts there could be saving of 12-14% on Capital products after GST (Tax Rate slabs is yet to be decided). Will this situation be helping to Medium Paper machines mfg?

We would not like to speculate at this point. Once the GST rates are  finalized, we should be in a better position to comment, but of course it should benefit more our customers in terms of import tariffs etc. that indirectly should result in demand of machinery and services.

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