Pondercel Anahuac PM 1 - Capacity increase rebuild in Mexico

The Pondercel PM 1 was successfully started up after an extensive Valmet*-supplied rebuild in December 2011 in Mexico.

Pondercel’s PM 1 paper machine in Anahuac, Chihuahua in Mexico was successfully started up in December 2011 after an extensive Valmet-supplied rebuild. Valmet’s delivery comprised rebuilds of the forming, press and dryer sections, and modifications to the sizer, reel and winder. The scope of the rebuild was vast and also included paper machine ventilation equipment, a chemical system upgrade, a machine control system and process controls. Valmet also supplied clothing for the complete paper machine and took care of installation instructions of machinery and equipment, testing, start-up, production test runs and operator support after start-up. “One of the main reasons for selecting Valmet as the rebuild supplier was company’s experience and expertise as a big player in both machinery and technical support,” says Guillermo Mendoza, Project Manager of Pondercel.

Guillermo Mendoza   Carlos Najar
“One of the main reasons for selecting Valmet as a rebuild supplier was Valmet’s experience and expertise as a big player in both machinery and technical support,” says Guillermo Mendoza, Project Manager of Pondercel.         “Thanks to this project, we will definitely be able to stand up to the market, also in the future. We can reduce production costs and also serve our customers better" says Carlos Najar, Plant Manager of Pondercel Anahuac.

Targeting 22% increase in capacity

The 5.65-m-wide PM 1 produces printing and writing papers within a basis weight range of 40-180 g/m2 at the production speed of 972 m/min. The production capacity of the Pondercel mill has increased from 140,000 tonnes of uncoated woodfree papers to 170,000 tonnes annually at the reel. Pondercel is targeting a capacity increase level of 22% for the rebuilt PM 1. “This significant undertaking to rebuild the PM 1 at the Pondercel mill has once again proven the importance of teamwork and co-operation between a customer and a supplier. From the rebuild concept development, through the project design stage, equipment installation, start-up and production optimization, the Pondercel mill and Valmet have worked well together towards common goals. The rebuilt PM 1 production line, especially the new SymPressB press section, has raised the production capability of the PM 1 to new level. The paper machine’s speed has been significantly increased since the rebuild, and although further fine tuning continues, current operating parameters have demonstrated a potential for fulfillment of the project goals,” says Jarkko Marttinen, Valmet’s Sales Director of Mexico area.

Good results by working together

Smooth teamwork and intense cooperation are common factors behind every success story. The rebuild of Pondercel PM 1 is no exception. “We have had excellent cooperation with Valmet from the start of negotiations, to manufacturing and assembly of equipment. Technical support from the supervision of erection to the commissioning and ramp up has worked well, too. Of course there have been some setbacks during the project, but we have always been supported by Valmet. We have created great teamwork,” sums up Mendoza.

Modernized press section improves dryness

The press section rebuild of Pondercel PM 1 featured a new shoe press for improved dryness with good runnability. The 3rd press is a SymBelt extended nip press, which produces an up to 4-6 times longer pressing time than in conventional roll presses. An increase in the pressing time increases the dryness level and a long dwell time guarantees good dryness levels also for flow-restricted paper grades. SymBelt press enables stable and vibration-free operation. The patented shoe design of the SymBelt roll permits an optimum pressure curve in the press nip and also extends the belt lifetime.

Future prospects looking bright

People in Anahuac believe that in spite of the current tough market situation, the future of fine paper markets in Mexico looks bright. “We now have increased production, and the end product properties such as bulk and strength have remained at a good level. Thanks to this project, we will definitely be able to stand up to the market, also in the future. We can reduce production costs and also serve our customers better,” says Carlos Najar, Plant Manager of Pondercel Anahuac.

( *Metso (Paper) until Dec. 31, 2013).