Pulp and Paper Industry
Today's pulp and paper industry is not what it was 40 years ago. In 1979, there were approximately 1200 pulp and paper mills in the united states. Today, in 2019, that number has dwindled to a mere 500 plants. Over that same period of time, the average age of TAPPI members grew from 43 years old to 53 years of age.
The pulp and paper mills still in operation today are not only facing pressures from a competitive international market, but also, the internal struggles of a retiring workforce. As decades of experience walks out the door, who will be left to oversee the maintenance of the hundreds of bearings that a paper mill employs? A slack leash is not felt until it is pulled taught. Unprepared organizations runs the risk of joining the ranks of their fallen brothers, while those who choose to streamline their maintenance efforts stand a much greater chance of continuing onward.
Thankfully, many pulp and paper mills across the United States realized the value of centralized lubrication systems early on in their career.
Automated lubrication has been around since the 1960's. Many P&P mills are still utilizing the same systems that have been installed for 20-30 years. It is truly impressive to conduct an audit of a thirty year old system and see that 95% of the system is still operating as intended.
While mechanically sound, earlier automated lubrication systems often lack the proactive innovations that have been developed over the past two decades. More and more organizations are demanding data. Trends, doser cyling, and system fault monitoring, etc. If there is a hair out of place companies want to know when and where the incident occurred so they can quickly resolve any issues.
SKF has been at the forefront of these advancements meeting customer's needs at every step of the way.
Often overlooked, however, are the lubrication requirements for bearings. Heavily dependent on the local speed of the rollers, any time a plant intends to increase the maximum output of their paper machine adequate attention needs to be paid to how much oil and grease are being supplied to the lubrication points.
SKF employs engineers and lubrication specialists, many with 30+ years experience, who's sole responsibility is to audit and review customers current lubrication practices. Throughout the course of the audit they work with the plant's reliability and operational leaders to discuss the future plans of the mill. From there, lubrication requirements for bearings are then calculated and detailed report is generated which reviews the plant's existing equipment's ability to satisfy the projected requirements. Click here for a sample audit specific to the pulp and paper industry.
The video shown below goes into greater detail about the latest technology available to the P&P Industry, all of which aims to remove the uncertainty from traditional lubrication programs whilst streamlining efforts to increase the use-able life of bearings and the like.
Four Square Industrial Constructors is greatly appreciative to have been able to help multiple P&P organizations across the state of Virginia. If we haven't had the chance to connect will your mill's maintenance team please feel free to reach out to our Lubrication Engineer -- Elliott Hill, 804-920-1732, Elliott.Hill@foursquareindustrial.com and he will gladly set up and opportunity to discuss your plants reliability goals and how SKF and FSIC can work with your team to realize them.