Minimising Production Stoppages in the Paper Industry

The paper industry provides a complex environment for process development as factories produce many kinds of paper products with differing compositions.

This means there are constantly new kinds of requirements for the agents used to remove coating paste that gets stuck in the pipes, for example. When a new recipe enters production, the old cleaning agent might no longer work as desired.

When cleaning the pipes of the production machinery, the cleaning agent must be able to clean every bend and crevice – even the sieves the filler substances are run through to ensure the consistency of the pulp.

If the developed agent does not remove the coating paste from the equipment and piping as thoroughly as desired, the machinery has to be taken apart and cleaned manually.

- The most crucial goal of developing cleaning agents is to create a chemical combination that cleans the pipes of wildly differing kinds of dirt and residue components thoroughly enough so that the pipes don't have to be taken apart, says Tuija Salo, a Product Development Chemist from KiiltoClean.

Minimizing production stoppages with KiiltoClean's efficient cleaning simulations

Usually, cleaning the machinery requires a production stoppage or some other longer pause in production. These stoppages result in huge costs so the aim is to conduct the cleaning during maintenance. It is also possible to conduct the cleaning in stages.

- Our customers have recognised the need to find an operational model for the optimisation of cleaning agents. We have wanted to create a process where we get to modify the cleaning agents at such an early stage that there are no stoppages or disturbances in production, says Tuija Salo.

Simulated test cleanings are a crucial way of reducing stoppages in production in a facility that runs round-the-clock.

- The customer delivers us early versions of next-generation coating pastes and we conduct the cleaning tests in our own testing laboratory. We can use the testing conditions to develop a suitable solution that works on the new kind of paste like a dream, and we can do it to almost completion in our lab, Salo confirms.