The number one choice for board makers - Valmet Forming Fabric OP

Apr 26, 2024

Valmet Forming Fabric OP is optimized for machines producing packaging paper such as liner and fluting. Over the years, it has proven its high performance by improving machine efficiency and paper quality, also contributing to numerous production records at Valmet’s customer mills around the world.

Valmet Forming Fabric OP

For those new to the product, Valmet Forming Fabric OP is a thin, fine, strong, and stable 2/10-shed sheet support binder (SSB) fabric with high fiber support and good wear resistance. The technical data comparison tells it all: 

“Valmet Forming Fabric OP provides 25% better fiber support and 15% higher CMD stiffness compared to traditional SSB fabrics. Although the fabric is thinner and has an almost 10% lower void volume, its wear resistance is almost 20% better than that of an SSB fabric. The seam is also 50% stronger,” says Pekka Kortelainen, Product Technology Manager at Valmet.

Polarized structure still invincible

Valmet’s forming fabrics are developed hand in hand with the constantly advancing technology and customer demands. One of the spearhead designs has been the polarized structure. It was introduced almost ten years ago but continues to be the number one application for board makers. Since its first appearance, Valmet has sold over 2000 forming fabrics with polarized structure for over 350 positions. 

“At the time our polarized forming fabrics entered the market, they revolutionized water drainage in the wire section. Our customers noticed it too, as they reported that machines immediately ran cleaner with less breaks and improved retention. It was the unique polarized structure that made the difference in the fabric performance compared to what we had seen before," Kortelainen recalls.

“I’m proud to say, but what was new and innovative back then, is still invincible today,” he continues.

Success breeds success

As board makers know, every production line is an individual with its unique characteristics – leading also to special demands on paper machine clothing. At Valmet, the challenge of finding the best-fitting machine clothing for each position is tackled through focused R&D, technical and application expertise, an overall innovative approach and continuous cooperation with the customers.

In North America, Valmet has had the opportunity to deliver forming fabrics to more than ten start-ups over the past 14 years. The figure includes both greenfield mills and rebuilds, where typically a printing and writing machine is converted into a packaging paper machine.

“I must say we’ve been successful in the start-ups, which I’m of course extremely happy about. All the customers we’ve delivered a start-up package to still have our forming fabrics in their inventory, and at 85% of the mills we’ve remained the sole supplier with 100% share,” says Greg Frasch, Product Manager at Valmet. 

“In start-up deliveries, it is especially important to know the customer and their production targets very well. This is where Valmet’s expertise and long experience come in – in addition to Valmet’s extensive global reference list our specialists have a huge databank in their head. The optimal design for the customer’s process is found in no time, usually with the first trial. In my playbook, success breeds success, and I can’t wait to support even more customers in reaching their production targets,” Frasch continues.


Text: Marianne Valta

Case examples

Folding boxboard quality improved with fine polarized Valmet Forming Fabric OP

The customer in Europe wanted to trial this forming fabric style on his machine’s middle position to see the effect on the board quality. 


  • Improved formation
  • Higher Z-strength values.

After the first trial the fine polarized Forming Fabric OP became the standard style for the position.

Speed and production record with polarized Valmet Forming Fabrics OP

The European customer installed their first OP fabric to the bottom position of their liquid packaging board machine.


  • Machine runnability was excellent. The machine ran clean and made both a speed and production record during the first month with OP
  • Dry content after the forming section was 1-1.2% higher compared to standard forming fabric.
  • Deliveries continue.

Good solids, clean run and long lives with polarized Valmet Forming Fabric OP

This liner machine in North America has been running 100% OP fabrics since 2017.


  • Fabric lifetime 240 days on top position
  • Thinner fabric higher support, extremely clean wire loops
  • Better control of drainage with CDF swings in freeness
  • Machine transitioned to polarized fabrics for more control of wet line.

Excellent life, capacity, cleanliness and sheet pick-up with Valmet Forming Fabric OP

Also, this liner machine in North America is running 100% with Valmet’s forming fabrics.


  • 8 tons per hour more capacity than with the competitors fabrics
  • Record fabric lifetime 210 days
  • Easy sheet pick-up
  • Clean inner wire loop.