New cleaning concept and digital contamination determination for suction rolls

The suction roll is a central and complex subsystem in the paper manufacturing process. Often, it is not the first point of focus when runability and profiling problems arise. Nevertheless, a large number of influencing factors can have a considerable effect on production. In particular, there is a tendency to underestimate the influence of suction hole contamination on production. Here again, a number of factors play a role. On the one hand, the clogging of the suction holes is a gradual process whose negative influence builds up over time. Secondly, there is no reliable and reproducible method for determining clogging and, above all, its intensity.

Many paper manufacturers use cleaning systems to counteract the problem of contamination. Conventional systems available today, such as the Voith InsiderJet or similar, are designed to clean the suction holes from the inside to the outside. However, these systems are very expensive to purchase and unfortunately prone to failure due to their complex design and many moving parts. Furthermore, such a system is available to a limited number of customers, as the installation space required in the suction rolls is often not sufficient for these conventional systems.

Voith has taken on the challenge to develop a cost-effective, robust and reliable solution. This could only be achieved by breaking new ground and thinking in a fundamentally new way. This involved not only the development of a new type of cleaning system that eliminates the weak points described but also the development of an objective measuring method that can clearly, reproducibly and reliably determine the degree of contamination of a suction roll. These two complementary products are now being used for the first time at Sappi Maastricht, helping the professional production and maintenance teams to develop new approaches to optimizing runability and downtime planning.