Paper and pulp millPumps are critical to pulp mill operations and paper manufacturing.Their systems are vital for a comprehensive range of operational functions.They help process raw materials to ensure natural elements are suitable for paper production and they aid in the forming and conversion processes.
For any pulp and paper mill, its pumps are the heart of its operations.They need to be kept serviced and running perfectly all the time. Here’s why.
1. Reduced Costs
By servicing their pulp and paper pumps more regularly, mill operators can reduce costs, maximize system performance and minimize downtime periods.
The Best Efficiency Point (BEP) is the point at which the pump produces its maximum level of output relative to the amount of energy used. Maintaining a flow level at 80-110% of BEP empowers organizations to achieve maximum efficiency within their systems while minimizing the risk of pump failure and excessive wear. However, many industry studies have confirmed the average pump operates only to about 40% efficiency. When pumps operate too far below their BEP, parts begin to wear down more quickly as the forces inside the pump become imbalanced. Furthermore, below the minimum output range, thermal and mechanical instability can cause excessive damage as well as create operational nightmares. In such low flow condition, it is highly probable that the flow control valve and the pump are at odds. The pump may operate in a “zero flow shut-off” condition.
If machines are down regularly for replacing worn out parts, a company is effectively pouring money down the drain. So much of this wasted money can be saved by practicing Reliability Centered Maintenance. The planned strategic downtime for servicing is much less costly than downtime caused by failure. If the pump breaks down, the whole operation grinds to a halt.
2. Improved Machine Lifetime
Continually servicing pulp and paper mill pumps can help enhance machine lifetime. Enhanced lifetime provides multiple advantages. First, it saves a company from spending resources on new pumps and systems that require new installation and maintenance procedures. Second, it ensures companies don’t have to spend time training their employees on a new system. Servicing can help streamline pump operations and help maximize productivity.
3. Re-machined Components Instead of a New Pump System
When working with the pump industry’s true service professionals, who analyze and repair worn or damaged components, companies can even have their pump parts re-engineered from scratch, using the original specifications for the components. This process results in a massive saving compared with purchasing and installing new pumps and creates a like-new part that allows for the pump to achieve optimal functionality over the long term.
4. Identifying Improvement Opportunities
We’ve all heard the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Sometimes a company might be fortunate enough to have the same pump perform well for years with minimal maintenance. However, they might not notice potential for improvement within their processing systems. In this day and age of cutting costs and improving bottom lines, it is often tempting to skip out on some important regular pump maintenance, using the reason that everything is working OK and it can be done next time to save money.
But… having pumps serviced on a regular basis provides mills with comprehensive data about their systems. Decision-makers can analyze the potential for productivity growth and determine when equipment is no longer performing at peak performance levels, despite outward appearances to the contrary.
A common challenge is that most pumps do not have suction and discharge ports for mounting pressure gauges. It is imperative that the Reliability Engineer have the fundamental pressure readings in order to identify areas for improvement.
Professional maintenance of pulp and paper mill pumps is nothing short of essential. It is essential for achieving operational objectives, essential for productivity, essential for profits, essential for a competitive edge, essential for achieving production and sales targets, and essential for a company’s growth.
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