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Kruger builds for the future at Wayagamack; with its advanced new paper machine, Kruger is poised to become a major producer of ultra LWC in 2003.

Bucking the trend of machine shutdowns and mill closures in North America, Kruger Inc. is building a new ultra lightweight coated (ULWC) paper machine at its Wayagamack mill on the beautiful Ile de la Potherie in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada. When the construction is finished, PM4 will be the most technically advanced paper machine in North America, with some of the most sophisticated process control systems in North America, according to the company.

Kruger manufactures and sells newsprint, groundwood specialty grades, lightweight coated paper; directory paper, tissue, recycled linerboard, corrugated containers, lumber, and wood products. Kruger recently acquired Scott Paper Ltd., the leading tissue manufacturer in Canada. Kruger has operations in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, British Colombia, and Newfoundland, and in the United States and the United Kingdom, employing more than 10,500 people.

PM4 is an important installation for several reasons.

* It will be the first new lightweight coated (LWC) paper machine to be built in North America in the last 15 years. (The last new machine was Repap's W2 in Newcastle, New Brunswick, in 1989.)

* This new machine, designed by Metso, will make ULWC paper (281b, to 30lb.) representing the next generation of LWC publication grades. North American publishers are looking for lower weight magazine grade coated papers to stay competitive as postal rates increase.

* PM4 will employ the latest in-line film-coating technology. This process is said to be a superior method for producing high quality, ULWC paper at high speeds. PM4's coating technology--coupled with in-line super-calendering--will give Kruger capacity to manufacture a ULWC sheet with superior printing properties.

* Film coating technology provides a more consistent coating surface on the web. Other high-speed coating techniques can scrape coating from portions of the base-sheet, producing an uneven printing surface. Film coating technology on PM4 will provide a better, more consistent and evenly coated surface, according to Kruger. For printers and publishers, this means superior printability and runnability.

* PM4 is big, fast, and will efficiently deliver consistent quality coated paper to the North American publishing industry. The winder trim is 286 in (7265 m), the paper machine is 528 feet (161 m) long, and it will run at about 5000 ft/min (1500 m/min).

Kruger is providing extensive training for the 110 people who will operate and manage PM4. Many of the operators are transferring to the new machine from PM 2 and PM3 at Wayagamack. A 7-person crew will operate the new machine on each shift, having received between 4 and 10 weeks of training after leaving their old assignments.

THE BEGINNING

Kruger has been manufacturing a wide range of coated papers for line last 37 years. When PM4 is completed and the dust has settled (and been carefully cleaned-up) after its start-up stage, Kruger will emerge as the second largest ULWC manufacturer in North America.

The decision to install a new paper machine was based on Kruger's market studies evaluating future demand for publishing papers. The studies showed that the North American market for specialized magazines, catalogues, and advertising supplements--which has driven demand for LWC paper in the past--is expected to continue growing and surpass other paper categories.

ULWC grades are added-value coated groundwood grades that provide publishers with a way to minimize the impact of continuous postal rate increases while delivering a published product with outstanding printability, ink holdout, and opacity.

PM4 will initially make 38lb. and 40lb. LWC. As the papermakers at Wayagamack quickly work their way up the learning curve, they expect to make more of the 30lb. and 28lb. ULWC grades.

PM4 will produce 200,000 metric tons (220,000 short tons) of LWC and ULWC paper annually in addition to Wayagamack PM2 and PM3, which annually produce 134,000 metric tons of uncoated groundwood specialty grades. The mill has existing groundwood and kraft pulp mills. These pulp facilities, as well as chip handling utilities, will be upgraded to produce pulps with the consistency and brightness essential for the production of LWC grades. When PM4 starts up, the mill's total production of paper will reach 334,000 metric tons/year.

A NEW BEGINNING

Kruger, based in Montreal, Quebec, purchased the Wayagamack mill from Abitibi-Consolidated in May 2001. "We were pleased to welcome the 475 employees to the Kruger organization and to work with them on what will be a major modernization project," stated Louis Sabourin, senior vice president--manufacturing of the publication papers division at Kruger Inc.

The 475 new employees will benefit from Kruger's extensive expertise in the manufacture of LWC and Kruger will take its first major step into the production of kraft pulp, drawing on the experience of its new employees. On January 29, 2002, Kruger announced an additional CADS 100 million investment for the purchase and installation of a new, ultramodern and high-production coated paper machine. In addition to the installation of a new coated paper machine, the project includes the modernization of existing machines, improvement of the groundwood and kraft pulp processes, and an upgrade for the mill's auxiliary systems. Kruger Wayagamack will continue to provide kraft pulp to Kruger's Trois-Rivieres mill.

Kruger Wayagamack Inc. invested CAD$ 7.5 million in 2002 to upgrade the quality of its directory paper manufactured on PM3. These new installations will allow the use of thermomechanical pulp and 40% recycled pulp to produce directory paper. The additional automation of PM3 and PM4, and various other projects, will also improve sheet profiles and build higher quality, more consistent paper rolls.

RELANCE: RENEWAL AND REVIVAL

The theme of the "new beginning" at Wayagamack is Relance, French for revival and renewal. Relance will be a force as Kruger continues to grow and become a larger competitor in the North American paper industry. And as Kruger grows, its success will be founded on what has helped the company do well for many years. The people of Kruger have main-mined the company's growth by providing their customers with outstanding customer service, responsive technical service, consistent manufacturing quality, and good value.

PM4: THE PAPER MACHINE

The new paper machine will include some of the most advanced machine and process control technology available today. According to Daniel Archambault, general manager of Kruger Wayagamack Inc., "Our new paper will be made to meet customers' specifications. We see these as being coated publication grades that exhibit good opacity, dependable reproductive qualities at lower basis weights at a good value."

Neil Falco, vice president--specialty and coated paper sales, added, "The manufacturing of ultra lightweight coated grades shows that we are anticipating the needs of our customers. Kruger is expecting to become much more involved with LWC grades designed to help our customers' solve competitive issues. As postal rates increase, more publishers, and others who send their products through the mail, will be looking for grades that deliver high impact images on coated paper with lighter basis weights."

HEADBOX AND FORMER

The OptiFlo hydraulic headbox is designed to work in tandem with the OptiFormer forming section. They will be electronically coordinated by IQHeadbox, IQDilution, and IQWeightMD process control software packages. Together they will allow Kruger to manufacture a wide variety of basis weight profiles and meet paper quality specifications, all while managing the challenges of high production speeds and achieving high efficiencies.

Overall, the paper machine is controlled via the MetsoDNA machine control system either from the control room PC workstation or local control stations on the paper machine.

The Quality Control System (QCS) control system will be A da Vinci Precision Measurement, supplied by Honeywell. The completed paper machine will be equipped with ABB ACS 600 ACD drives.

PRESS SECTION

The PM4 press section will have a high speed, three nip SymPress II press with a SymBelt extended nip press in the third nip. The section also incorporates the IQ MoistureCD process control system.

Web flutter is eliminated before the first nip by support given to the web by the double-felted first press nip, comprised of a grooved bottom roll and a hydraulically loaded suction roll.

On the second press, the web adheres to the center roll and travels along to the surface to the third press where it is received via a felt wrap before the nip. This configuration eliminates any air blow problems at very high production speeds.

The third press is a SymBelt extended nip press, featuring a third nip comprised of a smooth SymZLC and a grooved SymBelt self-loading roll, which lengthens pressing time to 4-6 times compared to traditional roll presses. The extra time in this stage also improves the dryness level. All of the press nips and pickup rolls are equipped with ventilated savealls to collect the water flowing from the grooves.

DRYER SECTION

The PM4 dryer section is a SymRun dryer line concept developed by Metso for various high speed paper making applications. It allows for good runnability with lower overall investment cost by providing more drying capacity in less space. The system is designed to permit vibration-free operation and provide lower stress on the web.

The entire pre-dryer section has single-fabric design to ensure runnability and easy cleaning. The SymRun dryer unit is comprised of a single-tier group with 25 cast iron vacuum rolls on the bottom that provide good web runnability and 26 cast iron dryer cylinders on the top that provide outstanding drying capacity.

COATING SECTION

OptiCoater is Metso Paper's new coater concept designed for the highest production speeds. Compared to conventional concepts, the OptiCoater gives paper makers significant advantages, including 30% additional coating capacity, a 30% reduction in coating machine space requirements, excellent runnability, high production efficiency, and superb coating quality.

Metso's IQCoatweightCD, controls the coating weight profile of the film weight transport station, and has been selected as the coating rod control system, it is part of the Metso DNA machine control system.

Film coating: The coating, with temperature and coating solids kept constant, is fed evenly to the applicator beam from the machine circulation. The applicator beams consist of an application module, a support frame, and a pan where the coating is led through the end of the beam to the application module. The beam is a box-like structure constructed from acid-proof steel whose surface is electro-polished to a surface quality of radius < 0.8 [micro]m. It is turned to the operating and cleaning positions with the help of hydraulic cylinders. The beams are equipped with catch pans and edge showers have their own separate machine circulations.

CALENDER SECTION

The on-line calendering system of PM4 provides a high level of consistency to the web, increased capacity through high calendering speed, and increased production efficiency. The system also provides tools for simultaneous improvement of surface properties and bulk while providing good runnability at the calender and in downstream processes.

OPTIREEL SECTION

The PM4 OptiReel is designed for a maximum parent roll width up to 3300 mm (130 in) diameter and weight of 82,600 kg (91 short tons). The OptiReel Plus reeling sequence is fully automated, delivering precise control of reeling, linear load, peripheral force, and web tension measurement and control. It is designed to provide improved advanced nip load control, reliable turn-up, efficient parent roll buildup, and unprecedented line efficiency.

WINDER SECTION

A subfloor Winbelt L winder incorporates efficient and accurate winding tools and is designed to meet the challenges of increased production of value-added grades and higher quality requirements. Optimal roll quality is consistently maintained through a winding force, computer-based, roll build-up technology designed to precisely read the surface tension of each layer of a roll. The multi-purpose belted bed rolls transmit winding force while reducing the stress on the cores. The winder performs automatically as long as there are new parent reels ready at the unwind stand. Therefore, only one operator is needed to supervise the entire winding process.

The unwind section is designed for large and heavy parent rolls. As the process begins, the reel spool is locked in the reel stand with hydraulically operated locking levers that also soften the impact caused when parent rolls are received at the unwind stands. Here, machine direction adjustments can be made to the tending side of the parent reel with a hydraulic cylinder.

Slitting is accomplished by using cross machine adjustments to find the web. The automatic reel spool handling consists of a lifting arm and overhead rails for empty reels. The lifting arms are operated by hydraulic cylinders.

PULPING UPGRADES

With the addition of PM4, the pulp mill required modifications to its process to produce pulp with brightness, consistency, and volume to manufacture LWC and ULWC grades. The furnish currently used to manufacture directory grades on PM3 was judged not optimum for use in making coated grades. Therefore, the PM4 project includes upgrading the existing groundwood and kraft pulping facilities to process the pulp that will meet the new requirements.

To create the space needed for PM4 pulping equipment, Kruger will dismantle PM6. The floor space will be used for the installation of two repulpers and storage areas for pulp bales, a conveyor system to feed pulp to PM3, an upgrade of existing chests for slush pulp and white water storage, installation of a stock proportioning system for the re-pulped stocks, and installation of a post-refiner for the TMP stock. Kruger will also add two unloading docks, the necessary. process tie-ins, and required electrical and instrumentation equipment for the re-pulping systems.

IN THIS ARTICLE, YOU WILL LEARN:

* Why Kruger decided to install the first new lightweight coated paper machine in North America in 15 years.

* Why the market for ultra lightweight coated paper is expected to grow, and how the new PM4 will be able to produce this grade.

* The new film coating technology to be used on the new machine.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

* A full "tour" of the new PM4 with detailed descriptions of machine sections: Go to www.tappi.org, click on Solutions!, and then on "May Online Exclusives."

* Kruger website: www.kruger.com

* Metso Paper website: www.metso.com

THE KRUGER ORGANIZATION

Kruger, based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, was founded in 1904 and is one of the few privately-owned companies in the Canadian pulp and paper industry. Kruger Inc. and the Kruger family interests employ some 10,500 people in Canada and abroad. Kruger produces a variety of products made from virgin and recycled fibers: newsprint, coated and supercalendered paper, linerboard, recovered paper, packaging, lumber, wood panels, and tissue. The company's annual paper production currently exceeds 2.2 million metric tons, Kruger acquired Scott Paper Limited in 1997. Scott Paper serves the Canadian consumer market with well-known brands including Cottonelle, Purex, White Swan, Capri, Viva, Scot-Towels, and Scotties, as well as away-from-home products for industrial and commercial use across Canada.

Editor's Note: A full "tour" of the new PM4 with detailed descriptions of machine sections: Go to www.tappi.org, click on Solutions!, and then on "May online Exclusives." S!

About the author: Charles Donnelly is president of Watermark Communications Inc., a marketing communications firm based in New Canaan, Connecticut USA. Contact him by phone at +1 203 972-1057, by email at charleyd@ix.netcom.com, or on the web at www.wmk.com.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Paper Industry Management Association
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Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Mill Profile
Author:Donnelly, Charles
Publication:Solutions - for People, Processes and Paper
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 1, 2003
Words:2507
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