5 Preventative Maintenance Tips for Pulp & Paper Mills

pulp and paper

With profit margins as they are, some kind of maintenance in pulp and paper is a must. The advances in the industry’s tech and machinery, while invaluable in meeting demand, does not afford foolproof production indefinitely. Equipment can, and does, stop working or even outright breakdown—which can crater productivity and cause downtime. This is especially true if upkeep measures aren’t regularly employed. Hence the need for preventative maintenance, a way to truly buffer your mill’s bottom line. 

#1: Stick to a Maintenance Schedule

It’s a no-brainer—but equipment that’s running hour after hour, day after day, will eventually need maintenance. It’s really not a question of if, but when. 

On the whole, pulp and paper machines are accompanied by an advised maintenance schedule. Following those recommendations can be the difference between saving and spending—both in time and money. Sticking to a recommended maintenance schedule keeps equipment tuned up and longer lasting in service life. 

As an aside, there are also state-of-the-art ways to track maintenance needs—take scanners or asset labels, for instance. But those aren’t exclusive answers. Trusted maintenance professionals, like those at ProcessBarron, can also help with regular service (and help with maintenance shutdowns) for your mill. 

#2: Routinely Inspect

Similar to our first tip, routine inspection also pays dividends for your overall ROI. And inspection needs to go across the board, for every machine, device, and piece of equipment used. These should be checked for wear, along with any possible means for future malfunction. Every year or two, a team of professional servicers should be called in to perform a more close-up health check. This will help indicate when and where downtime might strike. 

#3: Remove Excess Dust

A common culprit for mill issues, from employee health to equipment malfunction, can be chalked up to dust. And it’s risks don’t stop there. Dust can also create an environment well-primed for disaster, such as a mill or plant fire. 

Taking steps to ensure a dust-free facility naturally helps reduce these risks, and assuages employees from common fears. And we’re not talking just a light sweeping and dusting session. Full-on industrial vacuums have an impeccable knack for sucking up dust on, and lodged in, equipment—even in the nooks and crannies of mechanical underbellies. Another way to stop dust saturation is to install dust control and exhaust systems. 

#4: Train Operators Properly

It might surprise how important proper training is. But there’s no doubt that mistakes make for instances of equipment malfunction and breakdown. Operators need comprehensive training on how to handle all equipment, devices, and machinery they’ll be interacting with. Not doing so could be costly—financially and in possible injury. 

As a rule, online programs, e-learning, manuals, and tests shouldn’t be the sole source of training. There needs to be hands-on training as well, with supervising operators close by. Training should follow traditional onboarding of a new employee, and also at key intervals: new equipment installation, software updates, device upgrades, and the like. 

#5: Enlist Expert Service Technicians

Every mill wants to keep costs as low as possible. But skimping on maintenance, which includes professional technicians, may not benefit your margins. With the complexity involved in equipment and machinery, the right expertise is essential. Outsourcing servicing can prove cost-effective, especially if that company is well-versed in your specific machinery, and well-equipped to see the job through. Typically, going this route minimizes cost impacts, while maximizing machine uptime and mill production. 
As an industry-leading total systems solutions provider, ProcessBarron fits the bill for your maintenance and upkeep needs. We offer on-site technical services, as well as emergency repair, for when malfunction and breakdown happen. We also boast a fully staffed preventative maintenance team dedicated to extending your equipment life, with scheduled and on-demand maintenance options for a variety of industrial applications. Contact a representative near you to learn more, request a quote of our products and services, and keep up-to-date on the latest trends and tips for your industry.