There is no stopping it, the Holidays are upon us. No matter what you celebrate this Holiday season, chances are you will be wrapping a gift and that wrapping paper was made using oil-free air compressors.
Compressed air is used throughout the entire wrapping paper making process, all the way from separating and cleaning the raw pulp fiber to the final decorative product.
According to Hallmark, each year Americans spend approximately $2.9 billion on gift wrap. While gift wrap has been recorded being used as far back as 100BC when it was used to protect items from damage. In the early 1900s plain red, white, or green tissue paper was commonly used to wrap presents.
In 1917, rollie and J.C. Hall founders of Hallmark, sold out of this red, white and green tissue paper in their retail store so they supplied customers with fancy colored envelope linings as an alternative which ended up being extremely popular and eventually led to the development of what we know as modern-day wrapping paper.
So, let’s take a quick look at how wrapping paper is made.
Logs are ground to wood chips
Wood chips are cooked in a chemical process until only wood pulp remains
Cooked pulp is washed to remove contaminants
Wood pulp is bleached
The pulp is laid on a moving belt of mesh to remove water
Pressers and steam-heated rollers remove any remaining water
Ink is made from natural and synthetic dyes
Patterns are designed and scanned into computers to be printed onto large rolls of paper
To create shiny elements of design, foil is pressed into the paper during printing
Making wrapping paper requires oil-free compressed air throughout the entire process. Here are just a few of the uses of compressed air while making paper:
Pneumatic transport - Compressed air is used in the pneumatic transport (think conveyor belts) of pulp and wastepaper.
Air bearings or air castors enable heavy products to be easily handled by literally floating heavy loads on a virtually frictionless film of air.
Paper pressing - Compressed Air is also used to cool down the paper after it is pressed. If this air is contaminated it would pollute the product, hence the need for oil-free air.
Printing - Compressed air is used for operating printing pumps and equipment, printing beautiful holiday designs on the paper.
Roller adjustment - Compressed air is used to precisely control the roller thickness which determines the paper thickness, essential for an efficient process.
Water purification - The pulp and paper manufacturing process needs a lot of water. That is why paper plants are situated next to a water way. The water that is extracted requires an air compressor to clean the water of minerals, bacteria and more before it can be used in the manufacturing process.
Air knives - deliver a continuous flow of high velocity air to strip away moisture and debris. A reliable supply of low-pressure air to work successfully.
Wrapping paper by way of compressed air is a part of all the most sentimental moments of our lives, from the holidays, birthdays, showers, weddings, and retirement parties, etc. Oh yeah, all those picture-perfect moments we capture - compressed air helps to make photo paper as well.