Industry Watch

Danfoss Drives Technology Leading Energy Efficiency in the Paper Industry

Author: Mr. Sujeeth Pai, Director of Sales and Service,
Danfoss Drives India

Today, paper is manufactured largely by automated processes, right from the procurement of raw material to packaging. The main steps in the manufacturing of pulp and paper are raw material preparation and handling, pulp manufacturing, pulp washing and screening, chemical recovery, bleaching, stock preparation, and papermaking. It is a well-known fact that such processes expend large amounts of energy and water to attain the finished product. As the industry is poised to grow by 1.2 percent by 2030, the energy needs would only increase. It is therefore imperative for this energy-intensive industry with high water consumption levels to effectively reduce waste in a bid to reduce operational expenses and remain competitive as well as create a positive impact on the environment. The industry must also look at sustainable forms of energy to power its factories of the future.

Given that, the paper and pulp industry is highly automated, consuming large amounts of energy, every ounce of energy conserved is a step towards a greener future. Efficient ways of converting raw material to the finished product help in the reduction of carbon footprint. To repeatedly achieve high precision paper quality and finish, the paper mill demands high-tech control solutions to optimise the total cost of operations (TCO). By controlling the speed of pumps and fans to exactly meet and not exceed requirements, significant energy savings can be achieved in the paper machinery. Sophisticated machine control enables improving process control by facilitating the collection of measurement and supervision information. Danfoss solutions deliver a precise and rapid control response, flexible integration to control the system, and robust and accurate motor control. It enhances efficiency, reduces water consumption and operating costs, for controlling pumps, fans, and conveyors at the various mill sections, ranging from the pulp station with pulp dryer to stock preparation, and from pulp digestion and water treatment plants to paper finishing.

Continuous web control and winders are some of the most demanding applications in the pulp and paper industry. Accurate torque control prevents the paper and wrapping material from crinkling. The AC drives must be capable of extremely accurate torque and speed control over a wide range, so torque resolution must be sufficiently high for these heavy industry applications. Manufacturers can achieve more rigorous winder control and that essential neat finish with the label in the correct place, with Danfoss solutions that reliably match the torque range and resolution required. Our solutions enable more precise operation of the unwind wrapping stations as well as positioning of the rolls used for centering and moving the paper rolls, which play an essential role.

A key part of the efficiency nexus is the reuse of resources and energy. The paper industry can tap into this process by embracing circular thinking pioneered by Danfoss. Circular thinking in the paper and pulp industry context involves the use of production waste for heating purposes and trying to achieve zero liquid discharge (ZLD). While production waste is not something that can be controlled to a great extent, the reuse of freshwater is something that can be beneficial to both, the industry, and the environment. Waste heat from the HVAC systems can also be used to heat water in the creation of steam, which is an essential part of the paper-making process. These factors underscore the reasons for the effective reuse of resources……

Another method currently being evaluated is the recycling of old paper since the recycling process would conserve more energy than producing new paper from scratch. This is a welcome step given that this industry consumes a lot of raw material in its production process.

The Indian paper industry is in the beginning stages of a major transformation, with key players investing in upgrading facilities and capturing market share. To ensure the success of machine design or retrofit in the pulp or paper plant, Danfoss expertise in system control and control system override, dimensioning of drives, commissioning, switchgear know-how, and overall project management, can play an integral role.