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Effective Preventative Maintenance Methods for Pulp & Paper Mills

pulp and paper

Technological advancements and marvels in machinery now crowd pulp and paper producers, improving efficiency industry-wide. However, even state-of-the-art equipment can suffer breakdown, malfunctions, or failure. Methods aimed at preventive maintenance are key in ensuring that productivity and profits remain healthy. Putting these measures to good use can pay dividends in both camps: production and profitability. 

Perform Routine Inspection

The pulp and paper process hinges on equipment well-being. When problems or malfunctions arise, production downtime is usually quick to follow suit, based on the severity. 

While preventative maintenance measures cannot cure all production hiccups, they can lessen their aftereffects. And preventative maintenance owes much to regular inspection. To this end, staff should check-up periodically on all machinery and equipment, as well as devices. Enlisting expert help for extensive annual and bi-annual inspections also keeps systems in check, which can scale back downtime significantly down the line. 

Follow a Maintenance Schedule

Costly repairs and replacements don’t have to be the rule for pulp and paper producers. When following the outlined maintenance schedule for machinery, you can reap the benefits, rather than foot an excessive bill. 

Many producers opt to take a reactive approach to maintenance, when they should adopt more proactive practices. It’s better to comply with the recommended maintenance schedule than wait until equipment breakdown or failure. Even with a comfortable buffer, breakdown can bite into a bottom line. Plus, there’s new technology in the pulp and paper toolkit: modern scanners and asset software track service history, maintenance schedules, and more. 

Minimize Dust and Particulates

Dust is in no short supply at pulp and paper mills. While a byproduct of processes, it’s best to weaken its presence, to the benefit of workers and your plant. Dust and particulates cause respiratory issues—and can pose risks of fire. Industrial vacuums, dust control, and dust exhaust systems should all be in your dust clean-up arsenal. A regular, comprehensive cleaning regimen also keeps pesky particles and particulates at bay. 

Train Operators Properly

Proper operator training parallels equipment maintenance in importance. Workers should be instructed on how to manage equipment and machinery appropriately and safely. Plus, proper training encompasses hands-on work, as well as manuals, tests, guides, and virtual learning, if applicable. 

Skipping out on training does not do any favors, and can show itself as a liability later on. Training should follow in the event of a new hire or when software, device, or equipment changes are introduced into the workplace. Outsourcing training to the respective manufacturers may offer more in-depth resources and expertise. 

Lean On the Experts

An inexperienced technician can prove disastrous for process upkeep and downtime prevention. That’s not to mention the costs that could result from a maintenance screw-up. Many times, contracting out advanced maintenance work is more financially fruitful. 
Southern Field-EEC specializes in multiple aspects of maintenance management for the pulp and paper sector, along with a range of other industries. Put our proven expertise in preventative maintenance to work for you. You can request a quote or speak to an experienced contact to partner with us. For more tips and trends pulp and paper, put our blog on your to-read list!