Valmet's new hard nip sizing technology started-up at Propapier in Germany

Valmet Oyj's trade press release on May 7, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. EET

Valmet-delivered, a completely new type of a sizer, OptiSizer Hard, with related chemical systems were successfully started up at Propapier PM1 GmbH Burg mill in Germany a day ahead of schedule on April 19, 2018. The production line PM1 produces liner, fluting and kraft substitutes grades based on 100% waste paper. Thanks to a very good cooperation and a purposeful project work, all the produced containerboards have been saleable from the very start.

Good results from day one

A prototype product and a very tight shut-down schedule is a challenging combination. Despite the initial setup, most of the targets were achieved right after the start-up. The web passed through the nip smoothly and runnability was excellent. The new technology shows already a great potential to achieve the goals regarding strength properties and steam consumption.

"I was quite amazed to see the fast start-up of our new sizer. Earlier, high web tension levels were causing quite a bit of challenges to runnability. It looks like this obstacle no longer exists. We have achieved the targeted quality specification and now we can focus on the further benefits we are aiming at e.g. steam savings, higher strength levels or starch savings," says Phillipos Vrizas, Technology Manager at Propapier.

"The very first closing of the nip rolls is a moment telling a lot about any new sizer - especially a prototype sizer. It looked perfect. I couldn't see any web tension induced wrinkling in the web. The schedule was very tight with only a 11-day shutdown time. The fact that we were able to squeeze it into a 10-day break was quite amazing and a proof of an excellent cooperation and preplanning," says Jani Hakola, Development Manager at Valmet's Board and Paper Mills Business Unit.

Technical information about the delivery

Valmet's delivery included a new sizer called OptiSizer Hard. Compared to conventional sizer, OptiSizer Hard has a pair of hard cover nip rolls. Starch is sprayed on the rolls which transfer the starch into the nip where it is further transferred into paper web.

Strength is among the most important benefits with OptiSizer Hard. Starch is dosed in the roll nip with higher nip pressure, which increases the density of fibers. This leads into better strength properties. To mention a few other benefits of OptiSizer Hard, the life cycle costs are lower due spray application and runnability is better due to better nip profile control.

The existing and outdated starch preparation system was replaced with Valmet's starch preparation system specially designed for OptiSizer Hard and its spray application method. The properties of produced starch have substantially lower range of variation, which helps to produce liner boards within the targeted quality specifications. The delivered supply system is fully automated and equipped with pressure screens.

To further improve the properties of liner and fluting grades Propapier is producing, a cooperation agreement of 20 weeks was made. The target of the agreement is to find the best practices with the new sizer e.g. by reducing energy consumption, and by further improving liner and fluting properties, such as the lighter basis weight of containerboards without compromising other important properties.

Information about the customer Progroup

Progroup AG is questioning the existing, developing completely new approaches and bringing trend-setting concepts to market readiness. The successful development of the group is based on a consistent greenfield strategy, technological leadership, network management and an advanced supply chain strategy. With currently two paper factories (Propapier in Burg and Eisenhüttenstadt), a combined heat and power plant (Propower), ten corrugated board plants (Prowell) and several service companies (Prologistik, Proservice, Profund), Progroup's core business is the production of containerboard and corrugated board sheets. With 1100 employees, in 2017 the company generated sales of around 804 million euros and is one of the top 3 companies in the sector in Central Europe. The brands of the Next Generation Products are synonymous with the use of less raw material and less CO2 emissions coupled with an increase in performance, and have come to epitomise sustainable thinking and a sustainable way of doing business in the industry.

Under the Progroup umbrella, the production facilities of Propapier in Burg and Eisenhüttenstadt produce containerboard to become less dependent from the volatile paper market. At the Burg site in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt the heavier kraft liner substitutes and test liner products weighing from 110 to 230 g/m2 are made. The first-time installation of the OptiSizer Hard is again a great example for Progroup's "Power of Innovation" philosophy and is further strengthening Progroup's quality, reliability and cost leadership.  

Corporate Communications

For further information, please contact:

Martin Taxacher, Senior Paper Technology Manager, Board and Paper Mills, Valmet, tel. + 358 40 744 0574

Jani Hakola, Development Manager, Board and Paper Mills, Valmet, tel. + 358 40 755 2663

Valmet is the leading global developer and supplier of process technologies, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries. We aim to become the global champion in serving our customers.

Valmet's strong technology offering includes pulp mills, tissue, board and paper production lines, as well as power plants for bioenergy production. Our advanced services and automation solutions improve the reliability and performance of our customers' processes and enhance the effective utilization of raw materials and energy.

Valmet's net sales in 2017 were approximately EUR 3.1 billion. Our more than 12,000 professionals around the world work close to our customers and are committed to moving our customers' performance forward - every day. Valmet's head office is in Espoo, Finland and its shares are listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki.

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The result of joint effort: First roll after the start-up of OptiSizer Hard at the Propapier's Burg Mill