Paper and Pulp

As one of the largest industrial sectors in the world, the pulp and paper industry has an enormous influence on global forests. This sector, which includes products such as office and catalog paper, glossy paper, tissue and paper-based packaging, uses over 40 percent of all industrial wood traded globally.

Responsible pulp and paper operations can bring many benefits to forests, local economies and people, particularly in rural areas. Many pulp and paper companies are demonstrating leadership in responsible forestry and plantation management as well as in clean manufacturing processes and recycled content.

A Paper and Pulp Industry's Unplanned Downtime Is Costly

When an equipment in the manufacturing line fails, production is down. It may take days or even weeks for repair and replacement to be completed. Workflows are interrupted, there is a loss in output capacity and revenue.

The International Society of Automation estimates that almost every plant loses at least 5% of production due to downtime. Many may lose as much as 20%. The cost to the global processing industry alone is estimated at USD $20 billion.

International Journal of Strategic Engineering Asset Management

The average cost of an unplanned downtime is USD $220,000 a day for a paper or pulp plant.

Preventive Maintenance Is Important

Systems breakdown due to a number or combination of factors, rarely just one. This results in devestating loss of equipment the Paper and Pulp  Industry. 

Lacking or irregular maintenance procedures also increase the likelihood of equipment failure or human error. Combine this with inconsistent processing situations, the result can be costly with unplanned downtime.

Unplanned downtime negatively affect production capacity and increase operating expenses. The damaged equipment must be inspected properly and repaired fast before beginning operation again.

Preventive maintenance increases the reliability of equipment which is critical to achieve long-term profitable operations and tackle rising materials costs. This entails having detailed site-specific maintenance schedules, procedures, and training.

Maintenance procedures should include five phases:

  1. Initial Survey of Process

  2. On-Site Study

  3. Development of Schedule and Training

  4. Implementation of the Maintenance Plan, and

  5. Follow-Up to Determine Success Rate. 

Heat Exchangers in the Paper and Pulp Industry

The pulp and paper industry uses a large amount of energy in its various drying processes. Drying is an essential step in the transformation process and as such, heat exchangers for air heating must be reliable, but also highly efficient in order to minimize the factory’s energy bills.

Steam heat exchangers (also known as steam coils) are often used to heat air, which in turn will be used to dry wood pulp in pulp and paper mills or even wood in kiln dryers. The most common heat transfer fluids used to heat the air are water or a water-glycol mixture or steam Sometimes, the use of steam in the coils brings some problems, which lead to the premature failure of the coils.

One of the main reasons for the breakdown of a steam coil is the freezing of the condensate when air intake temperatures are below the freezing point.

Minimise Tube Failures

Three main areas for improvement to minimise future in-service tube failures are: 

  • Tube Testing 

  • Re-Tubing Strategy During Turnarounds

  • Design Improvements in Heat Exchangers

For the first point of tube inspection, we recommend using a suitable tube inspection device. This device needs to have the ability and accuracy to detect the common flaws found in the Heat Exchangers. 

Common Problems

  • ​​Process Corrosion

  • Steam or Condensate Corrosion

  • Process Fouling

Heat Exchangers to Inspect with APRIS

  • Condenser

  • Cooler

  • Fire Tube Boiler

  • Reheater

  • Reboiler

  • Water Tube Boiler

Tube Inspection with APRIS

Technologies for inspecting Heat Exchanger tubes are constantly changing and improving rapidly. With increased sophistication and complexity of today’s Non-Destructive Examination (NDE) techniques, the operator’s skill level is becoming more vital. 

To correctly identify the flaws and tube failures, a reliable technology and technician is needed.

APRIS is a smart tube inspection device that doesn’t compromise the ease-of-use with higher complexity and sophistication. 

A typical tube inspection tool would require a user to have years of experience. But with APRIS, any technician can accurately find flaws with little training.  

Case Study

apris tube inspection equipment

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