Home PAPTAC 2018 PWC/BIOFOR Coverage PulpEx: Advancements in Process

PulpEx: Advancements in Process

The PulpEx Conference is a dedicated segment of PaperWeek where participants discuss technology, market and process advancements in pulp. Mill representatives, market analysts, suppliers and experts gather at this event to hear from their industry peers, and this year were welcomed by Mark Frith of FPInnovations who chaired the day's first session with Suzanne Hohmann from Irving Paper. " The latest advancements in pulp operations and mill technology will be presented from different angles," Frith welcomed participants. "Our panellists come from one coast of Canada to the other and include Shannon Huntley of FPInnovations, Yu Sun of Catalyst Paper, Mike Bujold of Irving Paper and Yonghao Ni from the University of New Brunswick."

Mark Frith, FPInnovations. © Paper Advance

In her presentation, Shannon Huntley of FPInnovations discussed wood quality impacts on mechanical pulping. She described the variety of natural and processing factors that affect fibre quality such as pests, fires, inherent wood properties and log breakdown and provided an overview of the fibre variability between species from jack pines to Sitka Spruce. "There are many sources of wood quality variability that are outside of your control so you must be knowledgeable about your fibre supply so as to better anticipate impacts," she informed attendees.

Yu Sun, Catalyst Paper. © Paper Advance

Yu Sun of Catalyst Paper discussed wood quality at her company's Crofton Mill. Located on southern Vancouver Island near Duncan, Crofton is an integrated paper and pulp manufacturing division with three paper and two pulp machines. Based on sound scientific data she asserts that wood qualities have a huge impact on pulp quality itself. Yet, despite all the data gathered by her team's research work, an in-depth assessment needs to be done to evaluate the best ways to improve chip management, including communications, training operators on understanding the importance of having a uniform chip feed, etc. She also identified the need for an improved understanding of the optimal operation mode to allow the use of a higher percentage of whole log chips.

Mike Bujold, Irving Paper. © Paper Advance

Mike Bujold of Irving Paper presented his company's Chip Management Program and operational strategy. On chip quality, he reported that "high quality paper requires high quality chips," meaning that facility needs to use 100% fresh sawmill, mature, bright, spruce as well as the right chip size and, importantly, no foreign material. A study on contamination was presented as well as a graphic representation describing Irving Paper's journey to integrated chip management from 2013 -2018 and beyond. Bujold distinguished the old management philosophy where the loader operator loads chips, to the new philosophy where chip yard process operators are recognized for adding value to business. Increasing the mills' knowledge of chip supply and human factors was a key lesson learned for Bujold's team.

Yonghao Ni, Limerick Pulp and Paper Centre. © Paper Advance

Yonghao Ni of the Limerick Pulp and Paper Centre at the University of New Brunswick described the Pulp and Paper Centre as an interdisciplinary, cross-faculty research centre with specialized laboratories. It brings together faculty and student researchers to work collaboratively with the manufacturing industry, utilities, supplier industry, consultants and government agencies. The Centre has expertise in wood pulping, pulp bleaching, secondary fiber processing and paper making. On the effect of chip size distribution, Ni explained how oversized chips reduces desired properties while 'over thick chips' reduce strength properties and brightness and require more energy refining to reach a target freeness. Undersized chips consume less energy, decrease fibre length and long fibre fractions and decrease pulp quality.

Mathieu Régnier, Journalist,
Paper Advance


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