Green Bay Innovation Group

Quad Plus: Pulp & Paper Line Optimization

Quad Plus: Pulp & Paper Line Optimization

Pulp & Paper Line Optimization

Inefficient actions throughout the papermaking process can result in a shorter life for your equipment, increase changeover times, and decrease speed, capacity, and productivity.

Addressing these inefficiencies by optimizing your line can help lower operating costs, reduce waste, shorten lead times, and improve your operation’s safety and working conditions.

Common Challenges in Pulp & Paper

Web handling and paper defects can lead to emergency stops and off-spec product rolls. Web tension and speed differentials in the winder and the paper machine can help identify flaws, while live measurements ensure moisture, basis weight, and thickness are within range.

Bottlenecks can limit the paper machine’s and winder’s overall production capacity. Slowdowns and limitations must be identified through analyzing machine data and managed with automation technology, innovative design, and replacement of legacy equipment where necessary.

Mitigating hazards by implementing changes that meet industry standards, automating hazardous functions, and adding safety features like guarding, fencing, and safety controls can minimize personnel risks and reduce exposure to liability issues while improving production capacity.

Paper Mill – Pulping department

Automated Controls for Better Efficiency

A paper manufacturer wanted to upgrade its process to include automation technology. Their machine required maintenance personnel to adjust the valves manually, and the customer wanted to reduce worker interaction and improve the consistency of their production lines.

The first step was to audit the existing controls. Then, we designed an automated control system and acquired the instrumentation and control devices. Lastly, we developed the control software and provided a SCADA system. The customer can now have a single operator control the paper machine through the visualization system and reduce their raw material consumption by ensuring a more consistent paper grade.

75-Year-Old Equipment Gets an Upgrade

A paper mill in the midwest specializes in limited runs that require frequent grade changes. The original paper machine is more than 75 years old, and market demands meant searching for more viable methods for controlling the speed of the machine and its various sections.

Quad Plus engineers started by thoroughly analyzing existing equipment and carefully considering the paper mill’s customers. Our solution included sectionalizing the drives and installing an AC-coordinated drive lineup. We then provided a system to regulate the speed of the entire machine and its various sections. For additional safety, we added safety-rated VFDs, safety processors, and an additional I/O.

Automating the line allows the current crew to focus on value-added areas rather than operations. The younger, less experienced workforce can come on board as automation helps with the overall burden of training. Lastly, the new line shaft and DC motor will need less maintenance so the mill can enjoy less downtime.

Meeting Market Demands

For most manufacturers, the market determines how to manage operations. When the customer demands outpace the capabilities of your equipment, it’s time for a change. Automation technology is the answer to a more efficient production process, no matter your industry.

To learn more about using automation technology for safer, more efficient operations, please get in touch with Jim Woulf at (920) 515-4155 or via email at

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