The lack of maintenance at key points in the pulp and paper process and machinery is responsible for the majority of unplanned downtime. When a consistency transmitter stops working or is improperly calibrated, it has significant impact on the control loop performance, availability and ultimately the cost of goods produced.
Preventive maintenance can be performed in many ways, such as simple cleaning of the equipment, changing mechanical seals and rubber gaskets, and more. It’s important to replace parts that are more exposed to wear every 1-3 years to increase the longevity of the overall instrument as well as having a well-trained team to perform preventative checks frequently. This ensures that production and quality is unlikely to be hampered by potential failures.
“The customer invests in preventive maintenance because of a future return, such as not shutting down the equipment and production line. In a pulp mill, one of the most important variables is consistency, which the KC5 analyzes,” Nardini explained. “And this is important because maintenance avoids other costs and keeps its process operational. Bracell is a customer who thinks about yesterday, today and tomorrow, which is excellent.”
Preventive maintenance is also important for business revenue. “Instead of having to change many pieces of equipment and machinery, the customer keeps everything running with only occasional repairs. This significantly reduces costs,” said Nardini. “A piece of equipment that is more than ten years old is usually considered scrapped. But as we always carry out these preventive maintenances at Bracell, we ensure that they are able to operate as if they were new.”
In addition to preventive maintenance, the service agreement also covers other areas to help extend the useful life of the equipment including: availability of spare parts for prompt delivery, training so that the customer has autonomy to solve potential problems, and assistance from the local team for additional support and repairs as needed.
“Our analytics team was trained by the experts in Brazil. Given the large number of analyzers we have in the plant (14), this brought us a lot of confidence in continuing to acquire ABB’s KPM sensors. Today we are fully autonomous to carry out these periodic reviews, while receiving constant support from ABB technical support, especially with our annual shutdowns,” highlighted Santana and Santos.