Many customers are committed to in-mill expert maintenance services, and for good reasons. They feel that the operation of the paper machine and product quality is so dependent on online measurement – and CD controls in particular – that it is worthwhile to have the extra assurance and quick response time needed to maintain high uptime. But that is only part of the picture.
Physical maintenance aside, it’s important that the papermaking results achieved from a QCS continue over its lifetime. In addition to a good initial commissioning project, that depends a lot on the talents and initiatives of the in-mill expert. Indeed, many mills have found that good expert service technicians are worth their weight in gold since they become part of the mill fabric, a team member with E&I staff and papermakers, and can help to solve papermaking problems by adapting and tuning controls.
As an example of this value-added service, a mill in Europe with a Valmet*) IQ system opted for on-site expert service for 20 hours per week with on-call response in emergencies. The fast response is needed in case there is an issue with the important online quality measurements. The system uptime guarantee is supported by an all-inclusive spare parts inventory. Bonuses are paid if the uptime exceeds the target.
The optimization of the system controls has taken on a new importance since the mill staff wanted to optimize its operation to the very last percentage point, according to the paper mill production manager. In fact, the results can be improved over time. This is exactly what has happened on the mill’s paper machine with the cooperation and diligence of the Valmet QCS expert.
Since the QCS startup in 2007, the mill has focused on grade change performance as a key metric of continuing system performance. In 2007/2008 1.7% of the production was lost as rejects during grade changes; now it’s 1.0% (a 40% improvement) and it was 0.9% during October 2013. According to the production manager much credit goes to the expert service representative by connecting with the mill process and process operators. The production manager says that he creates his own solutions proactively, even before the mill people have seen the problem. “Our service is very much about personal communications. We rate the service as A+,” he adds.
*) Company and product name Metso until March 31, 2015. Contact usValmet locations Contact form Related Links Maintenance services