Metso Paper and VTT Energy inaugurate world-class facilities for paper machine wet end R&D

Published Jan 25, 2001 00.00.00 +2 GMT

Metso Paper, Inc. and VTT Energy, working in collaboration with Tekes (the National Technology Agency) and the Jyväskylä, Finland, Science Park, have built a new research platform for paper machine wet end process research. The facility is located at VTT Energy and will be brought into use in January 2001. Combined studies of short circulation unit operations, headbox technology and control systems can now be performed in a perfectly controlled, research-oriented environment.

To guarantee the profitability of print paper production, both in the investment and the operating phases, new cost-effective solutions are needed. These demands, linked with demands for sustainable values and improving paper quality, create a major challenge for R&D work. Big improvements can be achieved in these areas through intensive research and development. The new facility has been established to help in wet end development work, in particular.

Metso Paper, VTT Energy and the University of Jyväskylä have co-operated in fluid dynamics research since the 1990’s. The co-operation has made a valuable contribution to the launch of Metso Paper's new wet-end products and processes, such as the Valmet OptiFeed approach system concept and the Valmet OptiFlo headbox.

Due to the rapid development of theories, research methods and analyzing tools, a lot has happened in applied science in the past 5 to 10 years. This has also been true of fluid dynamics. Thanks to the decision-makers, this development trend was anticipated in Finland. Long-term strategies were made to increase skills in fluid dynamics and its industrial applications. They have resulted in research programs, investments in research facilities and an increased number of researchers in universities, institutes and industry.

The papermaking process is one of the most challenging applications in fluid mechanics and multiphase flows. The variety of solid particles and their diverse properties make research in this area very demanding. However, fundamental research combined with the continuous improvement of research methods and application-oriented targets have ensured that optimum solutions are attained in a sufficiently short time. The ability not only to create, but also to rapidly utilize, state-of-the-art knowledge is the key to success.

The continuous development of research facilities is also a must. The new facility at Jyväskylä completes the knowledge creation chain that starts from laboratory research and ends with full-scale production. It also raises the region's expertise in experimental fluid dynamics for papermaking to a new, international level.

For more information: Mr. Reima Kerttula, Senior Vice President, Technology, Metso Paper, Inc., tel. +358 400 648 458 Mr. Mikko Kara, Research Director, VTT Energy, tel. +358 40 500 9893 Mr. Seppo Viinikainen, Research Manager, VTT Energy, tel. +358 40 500 6179