In addition to being a renowned fish box supplier in the Norwegian market, Ranheim Paper & Board also specializes in producing saturating base paper which is used for laminating in the building industry. To remove production bottlenecks while improving product quality, Ranheim invested in an OCC line rebuild which was delivered by Valmet.
For more than 20 years, Ranheim has worked on developing its signature product, Ecosat. It is the first 100% recycled brown saturating base paper used for laminating products such as interior and exterior panels, kitchens, worktops and flooring. In 2016, the product development accelerated after Ranheim started its journey with the Austrian company FunderMax.
“Up until now, we have produced saturating base paper mainly for FunderMax’s own use. A few years ago, we made a strategic decision to expand our business and reach other customers as well but learned there are a few challenges related to our production and end-product quality that prevented us from succeeding”, Øistein Vedahl, Managing Director, Ranheim Paper & Board, says.
Ranheim had challenges in removing stickies and other contaminants from the OCC (old corrugated container) line due to a lack of inadequate screening. This resulted in a significant amount of downtime on the mill’s PM6 where operators spent up to 30 hours per month cleaning the line.
“Valmet’s solution, high consistency screening, was different from any other supplier’s proposal – it was however well argued and showed their true technology and process expertise, making it actually a simple choice for us”, Øistein says.
The delivery included an extensive OCC line rebuild including a high consistency cleaner after the existing pulping station, a secondary-stage screen for coarse screening, and a reject drum. In addition, the line is now equipped with a fractionation screen and a 4-stage fine screening as well as a reject press for final fine screening reject.
“It was quite a challenge trying to fit the new process parts into the existing equipment and the line’s control system. The start-up wasn’t as smooth as one would have expected, but thanks to the excellent commitment and open communication within the project team, we were able to overcome the challenges in good spirit”, Minna Puro, Technology Aftermarket Manager, Valmet, says.
Going into the project, Øistein Vedahl had set clear goals for the upgrade.
“We thought it would be possible to decrease the downtime from 30 to 10 hours per month and as a long-term goal we were expecting to increase the sales of saturating base paper to new customers by 16,000 tons a year. The capacity increase combined with the quality improvement would enable us to broaden our customer base”, he says.
The results were outstanding.
When it comes to sales increase of Ecosat, we are far ahead of plan as we’ve already seen a 9,000-ton increase in eight months during 2022. The biggest reason is without doubt the improved cleanliness: we used to put 30 hours a month into cleaning the fabrics, and now the figure is plain zero leading to improved reliability and runnability of the paper machine. The reduced downtime gave a 5% production increase on PM 6. Product quality is excellent, too. One of our potential new customers says our improved 100% recycled saturating base paper Ecosat is as good as the ones made of virgin fibers. It’s pure gold for us and also for the environment. ” Øistein says.