Nov 5, 2020

Achieving sustainable bioindustry success

Ville Kähkönen
Ville Kähkönen
Director of Industry Management

How can better flow control drive the pulp, paper and bioproducts industry towards sustainable success? Neles is leaning on both its long-standing industry experience and the latest in digital technologies to help the industry make more with less.

As we anticipate the demand for pulp and paper to grow by approximately 100 M tons between 2020 and 2030, reaching somewhere around 500 M tons per year, we are faced with the challenge of achieving this growth efficiently, sustainably and profitably. At the same time, in the quest for a future independent of fossil-based fuels and unsustainable use of plastics, we are seeing a strong increase in the demand for alternative bioproducts and innovative solutions based on pulp and wood fibers.

To achieve levels of production that meet these growing needs while ensuring the environmental performance of the industry as a whole, we need to take a close look at the processes that are in place. Intelligent flow control solutions, such as the ones we provide, can go a long way in stabilizing the quality of processes and minimizing process variation. In essence, this allows the producers of modern bioproducts, from market pulp to new bioplastics and alternative biofuels, to reduce energy consumption, raw material waste and emissions.

Solutions based on pulp and paper industry experience

Neles made its first valve delivery to the pulp and paper industry already more than 60 years ago, and today, more than 75% of the world’s pulp flows through our valves during the production process. We are, and have always been, committed to delivering technologies that help improve performance. Selecting the right valve solutions means selecting reliability, availability, efficiency and sustainability.

When we think that a mill can easily have more than 5,000 control valves and up to 15,000 control loops in operation, even small improvements across the board can quickly add up to considerable improvements in overall performance. Studies have shown that anywhere between 20 and 40% of valve controllers at pulp mills typically suffer from oscillation. This suggests that by selecting reliable and accurate valve controllers such as the Neles NDXTM, the potential for improvements and subsequent savings is considerable.

 

 

For example, just an improvement of 1% in performance achieved through process optimization can be worth millions each year for a corporation with multiple mills.

Harnessing the power of digitalization

The right valve products paired with the smart utilization of ever-increasing digitalization and automation can deliver measurable results. Inaccuracies and deficiencies in data can quickly add up to considerable losses in potential revenue. For example, just an improvement of 1% in performance achieved through process optimization can be worth millions each year for a corporation with multiple mills. And during the planning phase of a new mill or production line, streamlining and digitalizing your valve asset data efficiently could help save up to 47 days of engineering time.

Also, data-driven predictive maintenance is one way can improve the economic performance of your mill. An accurate and well-thought-out installed base asset list with no duplicates, errors or inaccuracies serves as an effective tool for service planning and execution. The combination of reliable valve technologies and dedicated specialist services can carry your mill towards meeting the demands of near-perfect process availability and 24/7 mill operations.

 

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