Reflex is manufactured at the Maryvale Paper Mill which is Australia’s largest integrated pulp and paper making operation. Located in Victoria’s LaTrobe Valley, Maryvale was established in 1937. A cycle of continuous capital investment since that time ensures that it remains a state of the art paper making facility.
The main Reflex paper machine at Maryvale manufactures a continuous length of Reflex 7 metres wide and 45 kilometres long every hour.
The Importance of Consistency
Using state of the art papermaking technology, Reflex is manufactured to exacting standards to deliver optimum results in all office equipment. The main quality control goals for premium Reflex office papers are carefully monitored to ensure consistency throughout the manufacturing process. From the moment the pulp enters the machine, a complex series of processes and treatments are used to ensure that every sheet is perfect.
In the first stage of this process, high quality pulps (cellulose fibres) are blended with essential additives to form a liquefied stock. This is laid onto a constantly moving twin-wire forming section, which promotes minimal two-sidedness in an endless uniform web of Reflex.
This continuous paper web is carried to the pressing section, where large diameter rollers de-water and compress to facilitate maximum fibre-to-fibre contact. It then enters the drying section, where it is pressed between stacks of rotating steam-heated drying rolls. This helps to form "hydrogen bonds," which makes the paper stronger. An even amount of heat is applied to both sides of the paper, to increase stability and to minimise curl.
The paper web is then coated on both sides with liquid starch and calendered between highly polished steel cylinders to enhance the surface for printing and to ensure uniform thickness and smoothness profiles.
Online process control computers constantly measure and control grammage (gsm), moisture content and thickness to ensure consistent paper quality. Our systems are computer-controlled, with constant feedback and automatic correction to ensure consistent quality.
Quality Controls During Manufacturing
A micro scanner on the paper making machine which is located immediately before the ‘reeling’ stage provides a tool to monitor and control grammage, thickness, moisture and the colour or whiteness of the sheet. The full width of the sheet is continually measured and this information is fed back to the state-of-the-art control room to monitor the pulp flow and recipe.
During manufacture curl is controlled when forming the sheet and each subsequent part of the process is managed to minimise curl development in the sheet. Paper curl may be caused by many factors in the paper making process or through the absorption of moisture after despatch to the market. After manufacture absorption of moisture into the sheet may be due to a number of factors such as insufficient wrapping, poor storage or insufficient climate control in the store or at the copier location.
Smooth Paper Surface
During manufacture, the surface of the sheet has surface sizing added. This is essentially a starch based solution applied to both sides of the sheet before it enters the final drying stage.
This solution is added in exact quantities to improve printability, enhance surface strength and improve toner adhesion. Inkjet print quality is also improved in terms of the quality of the image and reducing wicking and ink bleed.
Consistent Whiteness and Brightness
During the paper making process, whiteness and brightness is computer controlled and constantly monitored for consistency. One sheet of A4 paper may be tested at 20 points across its surface during production. In the event of a colour or whiteness variation, there is a process that scans the sheet as it is running on machine and adjustments are made automatically to pre-set specifications as the system is alerted. This tight colour control is necessary due the natural variations in shade of pulp and ensures we deliver the same level of brilliant whiteness every time.
Tested in Real Office Equipment
Finished Reflex rolls off the paper machine are large 30 tonne reels which are sampled for quality and, if passed, cut into A4-sized sheets.
Sample sheets from each batch are then tested in a wide range of office equipment, including high-speed photocopiers and a bank of inkjet printers. This ensures that Reflex delivers great results, every time. Reflex testing is completed to exacting, internationally recognised standards for paper testing and production.
The process helps to ensure that our long-term goals for consistency and quality are met – so that you can always Rely on Reflex!
Read more about how Reflex is Performance Tested here.