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Burgo Sarego renews film coating with improved profiles

New controls, Tasowheel CD actuators and diagnosis of the mechanical condition by Coater Services lead to profiles bettered by 50%, increased coating weight and reduced grade change times.

By Mark Williamson, Journalist Engineer

Today, more than ever, papermakers are looking to extend the lifetime and improve the performance of their papermaking assets and increase paper quality without spending too much money on a rebuild. One way is to add cross-direction actuators and associated control to existing equipment, like coaters. However, adding new actuators to an existing coater may not totally solve all problems as there may be hidden mechanical issues which may limit the expected improvements in quality or productivity. Good quality control needs equipment in top notch mechanical shape so a mechanical audit and corrections are often needed.

With this in mind, the Burgo Sarego mill placed an order with Tecnerga, a local Italian company, which recommended Tasowheel of Tampere, Finland to supply 38 automatic CD actuators (19 per side) for a nearly twenty-year-old Voith SpeedSizer, installed in 1997on the mill’s single production line. The 3.36 metre width machine produces 150.000 t/y of coated woodfree grades with grammages from 100 to 200 g/m2. The paper finishes range from gloss to satin to matte.

Previously, the coating CD control was done manually so the expectations for improvement were high. The mill expected to improve the top side and bottom side profiles and then increase the coating weight applied by the film coater. The cost optimization possibility was an important part of their return on investment projections. Burgo was familiar with Tasowheel from a project at Burgo’s Sora mill where they equipped a Valmet coater with new actuators. The company has been manufacturing OEM actuators for profiler suppliers for over thirty years. Now, they offer an independent solution for existing profilers or retrofit manual control applications like this. The Tasowheel scope of supply also included air-purged stainless steel shrouds that protect mechanical and electrical parts of the system during washdowns.  The positive air pressure in the enclosure keeps out airborne containments.

The project also comprised a mechanical audit by Finland’s Coater Services which provided the necessarily precise installation services and mechanical system evaluations and recommended corrections.   Coater Services checked out the existing film coater’s mechanical condition and evaluated the mechanical condition of the other two blade coating applicators on the machine.  Tecnerga subcontracted the mechanical and electrical work to MRP Automatisierungstechnik of Germany which handled the complete project management. The interfaces to the existing MRP quality control system and the implementation of the CD control in the existing Alcont DCS was handled by Tecnerga.

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Nineteen actuators were installed on the top sheet side and the same number on the bottom sheet side.

During a machine shutdown in August, 2015 Coater Services supervised the actuator installation. In addition, their load cell-based diagnostic equipment and PC analysis were used to measure nip loading. There was a difference in nip loading from front to drive side perhaps due to unequal bearing friction that is sometimes caused by the penetration of coating color.  A nip closing time difference between the front and back side was more troubling since it could cause web breaks.

At the same time Coater Services audited the condition of coating applicators one and two and made online measurements of backing blade straightness. In addition to recommending good practices for general cleaning the major problem uncovered was broken control bellows for the applicator roll pan cylinders.  The customer reports that final technical report on the maintenance performed was much appreciated.

Better than guarantee         

The project guarantee for coating profile improvement was 30%, but that goal was surpassed substantially by a 50% improvement in 2-sigma CD variation. This quality improvement allowed a substantial increase in coating weight thereby giving leverage for a return on investment. The mill staff report that, after several months, “We find always a better appreciation of our paper product from customers.” The improved control over coating profiles and quality has also added to machine productivity in the form of faster changes between grades and reduction of processing waste.

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Coating (patina) profiles have been improved by 50%

A Burgo representative judges that the project has a good value. There might be further need for improvement by replacing the existing pneumatic actuators of the other two coating heads of the paper machine with Tasowheel actuators, thereby increasing the reliability of the system.

Process industry

Tasowheel supplies CD profiling systems and related components needed in the optimization of the pulp and paper process . More than 200,000 actuators and dilution valves supplied by Tasowheel are operating in the processes of the world’s leading pulp, paper and board producers.
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