May 23, 2022
In March 2021, VPK Paper's Oudegem mill in Belgium successfully started up a new Valmet IQ quality control system on PM7. With this installation to replace an aging system that was at end-of-life, Valmet has now replaced the quality control systems (QCS) on all three machines in Oudegem.
“The old system on PM7 was problematic, with obsolete electronics making spare parts difficult to obtain and a lack of knowledge about the system. If we had a problem there was no longer anybody to help,” says Walter Wauman, Project Manager at VPK. “It was a black box with no possibility anymore to make changes or modifications,” states Eric Garçon, Reliability Engineer.
The first QCS replacement by Valmet at the mill was in 2015 on the PM6 linerboard machine, a year before Valmet rebuilt the forming, drying, and reeling sections to improve machine speed, safety, and efficiency. The new QCS enabled the mill to achieve high availability and remarkably increased production with automatic grade change, improved process monitoring, and faster paper specifications after a web break. The second replacement startup was in 2019 on PM1 producing greyboard and coreboard.
“The challenge for the latest replacement was to make sellable paper in the shortest possible time and in this we succeeded. The start was okay and the first reel was good with a good profile,” says Walter Wauman, Project Manager at VPK. “The control is better and more stable with an improvement in the machine direction 2 sigma profile,” agrees Eric Garçon, Reliability Engineer. “The operators have more automatic controls than before but operators on the other machines are always able to advise.”
The PM7 QCS features a reel scanner with basis weight and moisture sensors and like PM6, a single sided size press scanner with IR moisture measurement. The five-meter-wide PM7 produces linerboard at up to 1300 m/minute. Automatic grade change is included with the machine direction controls and CD basis weight control uses the existing headbox actuators. “The black box is gone! We now have a service agreement for maintenance and having the same system on all three machines means everything is much easier. We can carry just one spare part which fits all three,” concludes Garçon.