Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration

Preventive maintenance in pulp and paper mills

October 2020 Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration

Volatile global economic conditions and ever tougher regulation is making it increasingly difficult for pulp and paper producers to protect their operating margins. The situation is aggravated by rising energy and raw material costs, as well as the challenges of meeting health, safety and environmental legislation. As a result, mills are looking for methods of reducing operating costs, one of which is to minimise maintenance activities, while optimising plant availability and uptime.

Equipment malfunctions in pulp and paper mills can, in most instances, be traced back to poor maintenance. As with any other industry sector, preventing a problem is much more cost effective than fixing it afterwards.

Historically, processes were shut down on a routine basis for visual inspection of the machinery, whether or not an inspection was required. Shutdowns, even scheduled shutdowns, have become more and more expensive in today’s continuous processes. By installing vibration monitoring equipment, the running time between shutdowns can be extended.

Condition monitoring

The thinking around machine condition monitoring has changed over the years and it is now stated that vibration is the better measurement over temperature, since it gives an earlier warning and more information as the vibration signal contains many frequencies and many amplitudes, each pertaining to some moving part of the machine.

RC Sensors supplies a full range of vibration sensors to help meet the challenges of monitoring and maintaining a wide range of production machinery, including forming, pressing, drying and finishing systems.

The RC range of accelerometers or vibration transmitters are designed to suit the many different and challenging conditions found on pulp and paper production machines, with solutions for both online and offline monitoring and industrial accelerometers designed for use in the toughest environments, including hazardous areas.

In wet areas, the standard AC sensors (RC-100 series) fitted with integrated silicon cables that are sealed to IP68 provide a reliable and highly effective method of data monitoring. These sensors can be supplied in top or side entry and are fully submersible.

For the press and dryer sections the AC sensors are available with integrated 2-pin MS connectors, also with top or side entry options depending on the headroom. These accelerometers require a separate mating cable assembly, which can be supplied in different versions, including silicon that is flexible, easy to install in a conduit and, when fitted to the accelerometer, provides IP66 sealing.

Junction, switch and connection boxes are available in a range of different materials including stainless steel, painted mild steel and polycarbonate housings. These boxes are available with a number of different channels to suit different paper machine applications.

R&C; Instrumentation supplies and supports the RC range of vibration measurement products. These instruments are manufactured in Europe and conform to European standards as far as manufacture, quality and reliability are concerned. Apart from the standard range of RC vibration sensors, ATEX certified intrinsically safe units are also available, as well as a sensor with 4-20 mA vibration and 10 mV/°C temperature output. Portable instruments, raw data converters, and programmable vibration switches complete the range of RC products.

For more information contact R&C; Instrumentation, +27 11 608 1551,,


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