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Knowledge-based process measurement makes the difference for pulp and paper mills globally

Advanced process measurement solutions improve consistency controls, sheet break detection and pulp sampling to boost efficiency and productivity

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ABB has deployed knowledge-based process measurement (KPM) products to manage consistency, detect sheet breaks and perform regular sampling, resulting in higher uptime and quality for pulp and paper mills globally. 

Precise consistency measurement using transmitter technologies ensures knowledge-led process control to enhance product quality. ABB’s KPM product team uses its deep domain expertise to choose the correct measurement method, achieving accurate results based on application data.  

The KC7 Microwave Consistency Transmitter, KC5 Rotating Consistency Transmitter, KC3 Blade Consistency Transmitter and KC9 Optical Consistency Transmitter are some of the KPM range used and the technology continues to develop.   

“ABB customers know our KPM solutions provide accurate, reliable measurement, which is the foundation needed to create process efficiencies. We combine this with a package of quick delivery times, excellent customer service and innovation,” said Tero Kuosmanen, Head of ABB’s Process Measurement team in Kajaani, Finland.

“ABB continuously works on improvements across our product range, aiming to deliver the newest, best-in-class solutions. We proactively ask our customers for their process requirements to research and develop the pulp and paper solutions of the future.” 

KPM products from ABB are utilized in more than 60 countries, where the team relies on its wide product range and its years of expertise to solve some of the industry’s most challenging applications. 

ABB’s KPM product team uses its deep domain expertise to choose the correct measurement method, achieving accurate results based on application data. The KC7 Microwave Consistency Transmitter is one of the KPM range used and the technology continues to develop.  

A view of transmitters 

The KPM KC7, with microwave true-phase measurement technology, measures total consistency of mixed pulps, different quality pulps and pulps with fillers. “This is ABB’s most successful microwave transmitter; it is number one in terms of sales and reliability,” said Manu Kettunen, Product Manager for KPM portfolio, ABB.  

“Optical transmitter technology has a longer history than microwave, but the KC9 transmitter was recently upgraded as part of an ongoing project. This has extended the lifecycle of the product.” 

“A KC9 sensor is also used as part of the KRA Retention Measurement System, which enables control of the paper machine retention. The KRA system provides additional benefits by measuring ash content in the machine’s wet end when scanner measurements are unavailable. KRA is a vital part of ABB’s wet end advanced process controls solution,”  added Manu Kettunen.

For example, specialty paper manufacturer Domtar’s integrated pulp and paper mill in Hawesville, Kentucky, USA, had the goal of optimizing their process and chose ABB’s KRA Retention Measurement System. This has since helped reduce costs and decrease downtime. 

     

    “We have developed some of the most advanced solutions for pulp and paper mills, and wastewater treatment plants, which have helped customers to improve quality, availability and sustainability,” said Manu Kettunen, Product Manager for KPM portfolio, ABB.




The KPM KS2 Pulp Sampler works on low consistency screened applications, while the KS4 and KS6 models use a cutting piston for unscreened extractions. 

Critical pulp sampling 


Pulp samplers safely carry out representative sampling of the pulp from the process lines for screened and unscreened applications, minimizing operator errors. The sampler breaks through the water layer inside the pipe, eliminating dewatering from the sampling process. The KPM KS2 Pulp Sampler works on low consistency screened applications, while the KS4 and KS6 models use a cutting piston for unscreened extractions. 

“ABB’s durable and versatile sample valves can be utilized for both screened and unscreened applications in the pulp mill. The KPM Pulp Sampler technologies help pulp mills to lower maintenance and operation costs,” said Manu Kettunen. 

Representative and repeatable sampling is important to calibrate consistency sensors. Safety is a benefit of KPM samplers, compared with traditional and cheap ball valves. They have a strong structure and a reputation for virtually zero maintenance requirements. 

“Pulp mills using ABB’s samplers have consistently been able to achieve higher safety levels than with regular valves,” added Manu Kettunen. 
 

Looking for new ways to optimize pulp and paper process and production costs?

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The KB2 Fiber-Optic Sheet Break Detector, with the latest RGB technology, is the recognized leading sheet break detector, providing 50 percent more light for visibility with an effective power LED. 

Proven sheet break detection 


With hundreds of installations worldwide, the KB2 Fiber-Optic Sheet Break Detector, with the latest RGB technology, is the recognized leading sheet break detector, providing 50 percent more light for visibility with an effective power LED. 

This new generation sheet break detector is capable of measurement over longer distances and can also operate in high ambient light. It works well in high temperatures, as well as in cramped, steamy and unclean environments.  

A quick break signal is sent to the machine control system to run paper sheet to the pulper, minimizing cleaning time. “Using the KB2 solution, customers can lower downtime that is caused by unexpected breaks in the sheet,” noted Manu Kettunen.  

With even one or two sheet break detections, ABB’s KB2 system can lead to increased cost savings and faster paper machines, depending on the grade produced.  

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