FlowScanner delivers big savings for North American pulp mill corporation
Wood and moisture content are key parameters in paper production, as they determine the amount of chemicals and energy the mill will use in its processing. Because it is not possible to determine the actual content levels of the input wood chips on a continuous basis, the processing is normally based on average values.
“To minimize the risk of substandard pulp, mills have tended to apply the ‘better too much than too little’ principle when it comes to the amount of chemicals used. Thanks to our FlowScanner, they can get much more accurate values, resulting in both significant financial benefits and environmental gains,” explains Max Gerger, CEO of Mantex. You quite simply get more cardboard and paper per consumed tree.
In January 2021, one of North America’s largest pulp mill corporations began an evaluation of the Mantex FlowScanner at one of its mills in the southern United States. The FlowScanner was installed in the production line to determine both the wood content and moisture content of the wood chips that are the raw material for the mill’s pulp production.
After just under two months of continuous use, the mill saw cost savings of at least USD 200,000 per month on the pulp cooking process alone. The evaluation ran for a total of 90 days and, according to the mill’s own calculations, the FlowScanner contributed to savings of USD 240,000 per month.
Increased production rate
At the end of the trial period, the mill acquired the tested FlowScanner and continued to use it in regular operations. Thanks to the FlowScanner’s contribution to a more stable production process, the mill was subsequently able to increase its production rate.
The mill estimated the value of this as at least USD 50,000 per month. Together with the previously noted savings of USD 240,000 per month, the total value of the efficiency gains at the mill now amounted to approximately USD 300,000 per month.
The environmental and efficiency gains with FlowScanner
The efficiency gains are related to the fact that the Mantex FlowScanner provides more reliable data on the raw material, which has several positive consequences, including a reduced need for chemicals and energy in the cooking process as well as pulp of more consistent quality, resulting in a higher quantity of material per quantity of wood raw material consumed.
The FlowScanner also generally contributes to a more stable production process in downstream production steps as well, which was the reason why the mill was able to increase its production rate.
“The overall benefits from using our FlowScanner were very large, and exceeded already high expectations. This reference will make other potential customers feel very confident that they themselves will see improvements and benefits if they install a FlowScanner,” says Max Gerger.
The FlowScanner, was initially part of a larger delivery project from ANDRITZ. In early 2022, the North American pulp mill corporation placed orders for six additional FlowScanners to be installed at mills during 2022.
The rights to the FlowScanner are owned by Mantex’s joint venture Andritz Technologies AB.