Domtar’s PARCview tool and wood-chip flow among recent improvements

June 9, 2019 |

In Kentucky, five years after the introduction of a transformative barge unloading system, Domtar’s Hawesville Mill continues to embark on projects that help increase reliability and performance in producing pulp and paper. One of their continuous improvement projects is a plant analysis and visualization tool called PARCview to monitor up-to-the-minute manufacturing data across their network of 13 pulp and paper mills.

“In the same spirit, the Hawesville Mill is testing a state-of-the-art wood chip moisture analyzer to provide operators real-time data that keeps the mill’s chip digesters running smoothly,” according to their press release. “Digesters are similar to large pressure cookers, where wood chips mix with chemicals and steam. Over a period of several hours, the digester separates the lignin from the wood fibers we use to make pulp. Strong process control is essential, particularly at this stage.”

Wood-chip flow through the wood digester is another area that is ripe for improvement. Over the past three years, the mill has lost an average of 3,500 air-dried metric tons of production due to chips flowing unevenly through the bin, creating plugs. So the team contacted the bin manufacturer to discuss the issue.

“In working with the equipment manufacturer, we discovered they made a design change after installing our bin that improved chip bin flow,” Forrest says. “We incorporated the design change and reoriented the bin during our fall 2018 outage, and the results have been much improved.”

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Category: Fuels

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