In the 1990s, Komax developed a revolutionary static mixer for injecting and mixing steam into pulp stock line. To this point, expensive motor driven, peg mixers were used. Unfortunately, those tended to break. This meant two things:
1. The mill needed to shut down or limit activity until maintenance was performed that could get it back up to speed.
2. A great deal of the paper being produced was lower-grade than intended and either couldn’t be sold or was sold at a drastically reduced price.
The Bottom Line
Both of these problems deeply impact the bottom lines of paper mills still utilizing motor driven mixers. The reason we were approached is because our specialty is static mixers. These are mixers without any moving parts. They don’t have motors. They don’t have seals. They don’t have gearboxes. Instead, the work that you rely on is produced in the engineering and design stages.
The final product achieved direct injection steam heating of white water by using six parallel mixing chambers. Here, pulp stock and steam contact and mix. The design of the static chambers is such that medium consistency stock can be handled by our steam pulp heater at only one-third the cost of the old, motor driven versions.
Savings & Advantages
When we replaced the heaters for International Paper in Augusta, Georgia, they estimated a savings across two paper machines of more than $3 million a year. Our steam pulp heater allows them to increase the temperature of white water flowing into the machine, which reduces the viscosity of adhesive chemicals and improves drainage.
Today, 250 mills have taken advantage of our steam pulp heater and have them operating in their paper machines.
We’ve covered some advantages – including massive cost savings and the ability to raise the temperature of the white water. One of the core advantages to a static mixer relies upon its nature. With no moving parts, maintenance needs and replacement costs are drastically reduced over its lifetime.
Both problems are thoroughly addressed. Maintenance time and costs were reduced, as was plant downtime. In addition, higher grade paper was more reliably produced.