KCF Technologies Blog

Value Innovation Series: Paper Machines Increased Safety and Downtime Avoidance

SmartDiagnostics Sensor on a Vacuum Pump
In the pulp and paper industry, condition-based monitoring is particularly challenging because of the large number of bearings on each machine, and the difficulty in safely accessing the machines to acquire predictive data. In general, paper manufacturing involves large, complex, fast-moving machinery that can be extremely costly in cases of unexpected downtime or bearing failures, creating a real need for cost-effective and accurate monitoring.

High risk and remote applications such as an enclosed converter make it nearly impossible to monitor with handheld devices in many locations. Some machines prone to failure such as a makeup liquor pump can cause serious problems for maintenance teams. With such small margins in the paper industry, even small failures can be costly if companies aren't prepared.

In our experience, wireless condition monitoring is the least-expensive and easiest way to achieve continuous monitoring on paper production machines. At one of the plants we work with, installing just 20 wireless sensors affordably enables continuous monitoring of the vibration and temperature trends. Each sensor wirelessly transmits high-value data safely and at low cost, enabling automatic alarms and integration into the existing software infrastructure.

Now that the system is in place, the paper mill is able to automatically track the vibration levels from each machine, leading to more productive time for the maintenance team, and rapid installation gives the company the option to expand across the plant without major disruption of operations.

Coming up in the following weeks, we'll be posting more stories from the pulp and paper industry, as well as the oil and gas industry, power generation industry, HVAC/R industry, and food and beverage industry.

Note: This is the second in a series of posts discussing value innovations using SmartDiagnostics®. If you missed our post last week, click here.

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