We primarily focus on the “D” in R&D, developing fundamental research into real life solutions. To accomplish this we work closely with a network of pulp and paper research centers. We sponsor fundamental studies in fluid mechanics, screening, refining and associated fiber preparation methods. This keeps AFT current in science as we look for new development opportunities for performance wear components. We prioritize based on the bottom line in mill processing and sustainability - especially in terms of energy reduction and fiber life.
Full scale testing to assess improvements is most often conducted by partnering with a customer and testing within their production environment. For more complex changes, or new equipment, our pilot plant in Japan is usually the first step. Here we put to work the smallest model we will sell. After successful pilot testing, we move to partnering with a customer for further testing and scale-up. Mill results and experience reduce customer risks and allow us to develop our process simulation tools, such as SimAudit™, for a new product or component replacement.