Faced with increasingly tough competition, papermakers are actively seeking maximum profitability and optimum production efficiency in their operations. One success factor is a reliable and effective predictive maintenance culture. Whatever the maintenance need or strategy at a mill is, Valmet provides optimal maintenance solutions and services for it. Cooperation brings out and combines the best expertise of both parties.
With efficient maintenance solutions, a paper mill can reach its goals and deliver the value needed when facing challenges related to machine or operational performance. “It is about focusing on each mill’s business goals. Together we can find solutions that are cost-effective, reduce downtime and improve runnability,” says Ari Saari, global product manager at Valmet. “Our extensive benchmarking data and broad know-how and experience play a key role in improving the efficiency of machine lines.”
Maintenance services help papermakers plan and optimize maintenance operations. These services include rolls and spare parts, automation and field services, studies, upgrades, process development cooperation, maintenance management and outsourcing support.
“As a maintenance partner, Valmet can act as an advisor in a support role or handle specific areas such as the maintenance of one machine section, like a winder,” explains Saari. “Or, we can take charge of maintenance management and development, or be responsible for all maintenance.” Professional resources and know-how are available to deliver a solution to meet the needs of the customer, from emergency repairs, OEM replacement parts or consumables all the way to a full-scope machine section performance boost.
“Unexpected breaks or failures in particular require prompt action as they are costly for a mill. With our wide range of solutions and proven expertise, problems can be solved with minimal downtime,” Saari adds.
More efficient maintenance services are based on tailored maintenance agreements. Each agreement is designed to match the specific mill and its culture with the target of maximizing mill maintenance and production efficiency. Saari explains how the process typically gets started: “In these cases, Valmet works like a doctor. Through careful examination we diagnose the main challenges and prescribe a cure for the problem.”
The studies can be divided into two levels: machine condition and operational. At the machine condition level, the measures include audits, troubleshooting and condition testing. Data from the studies gives direct solutions to a particular mill’s challenges. At a more operational level, typical procedures include audits, analyses and surveys. “Based on Valmet’s large installed base and long experience, results can be compared with similar machines and production lines around the globe. This gives clear guidelines on how to improve procedures,” Saari points out.
The optimal solution for machine maintenance is to plan almost everything in advance. Proactive solutions that reduce unplanned shutdowns and breaks improve availability. Maintenance planning is most effective as part of a maintenance management program. Valmet has developed a preventive maintenance plan that can be incorporated into a mill’s computerized mill maintenance system (CMMS). This preventive maintenance plan gives all the relevant information needed regarding the necessary maintenance elements, such as routed preventive maintenance plans, spare part information, drawings, bills of materials, documents and machine cards.
New upkeep programs have been developed to control all operations on a production line or in a selected area of the machine line. They include tasks and observations ranging from normal preventive maintenance checks to process support and service packages. The main benefits of the upkeep program typically come from the detailed instructions and training for maintenance and production personnel. “Who, what, when and how? The upkeep program answers these questions in a very detailed way. This makes maintenance work clear and reliable, which then extends to the whole papermaking line,” Saari explains.
In maintenance cooperation, the most comprehensive service solution covers complete maintenance outsourcing at the mill site. In means that Valmet takes full responsibility for a pulp or paper mill’s maintenance operations, including hiring the required maintenance personnel.
Maintenance outsourcing enables a mill to decrease the number of unplanned maintenance-related shutdowns and to lower maintenance costs compared with the industry average, resulting in significant savings. The annual value of reducing unplanned shutdowns by one per cent can amount to one million euros. “In addition, a mill has access to the machinery supplier’s know-how and resources, and only one contact for all maintenance operations."