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Top 5 reasons to modernize lab pulp and paper testing instruments

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Laboratory Pulp and Paper testing instruments and devices play a very crucial role in both the quality control and process optimization efforts in any pulp or paper mill. Therefore there are many good reasons to keep this equipment up-to-date.

In pulp and paper mills, ABB’s L&W product line of lab testing instruments provide accurate and reliable data about the most important pulp and paper properties. This data is essential for quality control because it can indicate quality or process problems which, if they are not caught in time, can of course lead to very expensive off-quality tonnage and even costly reject claims from customers.

Also, of growing importance is the fact that testing data is increasingly being used to highlight opportunities for process optimization, which can help mills produce more volume of high-quality, consistent and on-spec products at a lower cost.

 

Obsolescence happens, unfortunately

With time, like almost all equipment and devices running the modern world, pulp and paper testing instruments sometimes become obsolete, as new technology constantly replaces the older ones. This can lead to component sourcing and software compatibility issues.

Outdated electronic components, such as circuit boards, become unavailable and previous generation software faces compatibility issues when interfacing with the newer ones. This creates the need to replace old instruments at the end of their natural technical lifecycle with new modern instruments that run with the latest electronics and software, thus ensuring both availability of spare parts as well as software compatibility with the latest operating system versions.

 

 

Improvements in components lead to higher accuracy and precision in modern instruments

Advances in technology not only affect electronics and software, but also have impact on the mechanical and optical components. New manufacturing techniques and higher precision manufacturing tools allow for tighter tolerances on mechanical components, leading to better accuracy and precision of the instrument. As an example, the latest generation of L&W Compressive Strength Tester STFI now has an ‘Ultra-Precision’ clamping unit, in both the L&W stand-alone and L&W Autoline versions, which is machined with tighter tolerances, to give more accurate and repeatable results.

Similarly, increased resolution of optical components gives more quality information for better process optimization. For instance, the new L&W Fiber Tester Plus uses a higher resolution camera than earlier generations, thus providing more information about fibers and allowing better fiber optimization. Specifically, the tester is better at detecting fibrillation and at classifying fines in terms of size, smaller or larger.

 

Enhanced features and benefits in the latest generation instruments

The latest generation of L&W lab testing instruments also have many other new and enhanced features with valuable benefits in terms of user friendliness, ease of operation, speed of testing, automation, digitalization, and cyber security of the data.

The instruments have a large touchscreen with intuitive interface to control all settings, programs, checks and calibrations easily and quickly. The measurement results are displayed in graphical or tabular form, which provides a good overview.

The testing sequences themselves have also been fully or semi-automated for faster, more reliable, operator independent results. With non-destructive testing instruments, features such as auto-start, adaptive lifting of the measuring head, and auto-cycling allow faster profile measurements with minimal operator interface.

Digitalization and data analysis is much easier

With the latest generation of L&W lab instruments, lab digitalization is now much simpler to achieve with ethernet connectivity to the mill-wide system, as well as connectivity with the L&W Lab Management System (LMS), a web-based lab quality data management system that automatically captures and stores measurement data from lab equipment. The results can be displayed in customizable dashboards, further analyzed, and reported. Thus, L&W LMS simplifies and expedites lab processes and cuts operator time in half by eliminating tedious, sometimes erroneous, manual data entry.

Increased focus on safety

Safety is, understandably, an extremely high priority for all pulp and paper companies. L&W’s newest generations of lab testing instruments have greater focus on safety features that are designed to protect the operator from bodily harm when interacting with testing devices that involve sharp blades, pressure pulses or momentum swings that can potentially cause injuries
 
 

For all of the above reasons, it may be a good idea for you to consider the latest generation of lab testing instruments. For a limited time, ABB is offering a wide range of trade-in discounts for several of our previous generation L&W stand-alone instruments. Learn more about upgrading to a new generation of instrument and contact us today.

 
 

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