Identifying the need – State of play:Papelera Don Bosco (Don Bosco Paper mill) is the mainstay of Onlus’s charitable initiative “Chimbote Project – Handmade paper in the Andes”, in Peru.Today, it boasts first-rate quality products, a degree of excellence borne out by its being awarded the ISO 9706 and ISO 11108 certificates. Its production ranges from graphic design to the visual arts domain. Paper produced for watercolour is attracting a good deal of interest in Peru, a land of painters.A group exhibition has been organized by the Italian Cultural Institute, Lima. Onlus has found a solution to some criticalities due to the maximum capacity of the installations. A drying machine has just been shipped over to deal with large-format sheets of paper, whereas two phases of the process, i.e. refining and boiling the local cotton, remain perilously close to saturation point. It is essential to tackle these problems effectively, to enable the artisans to continue their creative work.
Pulp refiner:The basic piece of equipment of every paper-making factory is the refiner. It is the type of machine used to draw out the vegetable fibre (cotton, in our case) to the necessary, correct length to be made into sheets. The paper mill is fitted out with a Dutch Refiner, capable of producing about 40kg a day, and this remains the maximum daily output for the entire factory. Every time it has to be switched off for a fault or maintenance repairs, production comes to a halt. This type of machine is not mass-produced, but it is made to order in Italy.
Cotton boiler:Papelera Don Bosco uses solely one type of raw material: local cotton. This comes from a deliberate choice to use only local resources, without resorting to imports of cellulose from Europe or the US. It is what you might call a zero-mile factory, a feature that is ecologically and educationally relevant, although it means that the cotton lintels (a by-product of the ginning) have to be washed by hand. Therefore an ad-hoc boiler was built with a maximum capacity of 40kg a day, to match the top limit of the refiner. The boiler is a simpler machine, which may be made to order in Peru. Because of a build-up of steam, the quality of the work on the shop floor may suffer; for this reason, a small room would need building, even on a provisional basis, outside the workshop.
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