PdM for Pulp & Paper

Includes pulp, paper and wood mills, saw mills, lumber operations, and converting plants.

Critical assets to monitor

The Pulp & Paper industry is complex, supporting a wide array of machines and mechanical processes running virtually around the clock. Being able to plan operations down to the hour is essential to profitable operation of the plant.

The primary assets to monitor in any facility are generally pumps and rotating equipment. This includes saws, paper machine rolls, roll drives, fans, pumps, circulating filters. Nearly every piece of equipment in this category is critical and requires careful monitoring or production could be interrupted and profits lost.

Many companies operate with multiple shifts and with around the clock production. Because of component, installation and implementation costs, many machines have no redundancy. A single component failure can stop production, leading to downtime, which in a current, large-scale paper mill can exceed $250 million per day.

Ensuring that systems remain online and operating at peak condition is paramount to profitability.

Best PdM technologies to apply

  • Vibration Analysis plays a key role in identifying problems in the numerous rotating machines pulp, paper and lumber mills rely on. Top-value assets should be connected directly to online monitoring systems that gather machine health data more often than would otherwise be collected manually or with portable equipment. For more common balance of plant machinery, each piece of equipment should receive routine monthly vibration monitoring as standard operating procedure. This ensures that operators have clear visibility into any potential issues before they can evolve into costly downtime or equipment damage.
  • Oil Analysis on more expensive machines with gearboxes or sleeve bearings should receive oil sample testing monthly. Testing with longer durations is adding to the risk of failure. Trouble spots and high-cost items should be backed up with Motor Current testing on a quarterly schedule along with IR.
  • Motor Testing keeps machinery running at optimal performance. Motor Current Testing supports early detection of poor insulation condition and rotor and stator integrity trouble.
  • Infrared Thermography surveys can detect loose wiring connections, connector integrity trouble and excessive current or heat dissipation.

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