Willamette, Johnsonburg, starts up latest Valmet Press Concept

Published Nov 22, 2000 00.00.00 +2 GMT

Willamette Industries has started up the latest Valmet press concept at its mill in Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania, as part of a major rebuild of PM5. The new OptiPress, the first of its kind in the world, features a single SymBelt shoe nip press with two felts and no open draw before the 6th dryer section.

PM5 was originally installed by Valmet in 1994 and has been one of the most productive and efficient free-sheet machines in the world. The recently-completed rebuild was designed to improve sheet properties as well as production by speeding up the machine, eliminating roughness two-sidedness, and allowing for production of high bulk grades with a single shoe nip.

In addition to the "'one-of-a kind" OptiPress that replaced a conventional three-nip SymPress roll press, the rebuild also included the addition of a SymFormer MB former to improve dewatering capacity, and runnability improvements to the dryer section including Vac roll conversions and new HS Blow Boxes.

Valmet and Willamette Industries have worked closely together for years to pioneer the OptiPress concept. In 1998, PM2 at Willamette's Hawesville, Kentucky mill, was installed with two shoe presses and was the first printing grade paper machine with a closed draw press section. The new generation of OptiPress at Johnsonburg, is an extension of the Hawesville design and features a single SymBelt press and closed draws all the way to the SymSizer size press. To develop belts for this press, Valmet and Willamette also worked closely with Albany International, with whom Valmet recently announced an extended cooperative agreement.

According to reports from the Johnsonburg mill, the new press is running well and producing paper with no roughness two-sidedness and with the same surface properties, top and bottom. Says Jeff Rake, mill manager, "In the short time since the restart of the paper machine, we have achieved solids and profile uniformity that make us extremely confident that the new OptiPress will exceed our expectations. We have no doubt that we will ultimately achieve all our sheet improvement and production objectives."

Valmet is the world's leading supplier of systems and services for the pulp and paper industry including wood handling; pulping; stock prep; paper, board and tissuemaking; finishing; air systems; and automation