Used throughout the entire production process, compressed air plays a vital role in the manufacture of paper and paperboard products. We’ve outlined the entire process to pinpoint exactly where compressed air is needed.
The paper industry typically consists of three basic input raw materials streams. The raw materials can be long logs, chips, or recycled wastepaper.
Outside of the paper process involving the paper machine, compressed air is utilized in the power and utilities area for boiler instrumentation, soot blowing, valve actuation, and again TV cameras.
As part of the paper-making process, the areas of the mill are chemical preparation and supply. These differ between a Kraft mill, a bleach paper mill, and a cellulose fiber mill.
The commonality of the use of compressed air is primarily instrumentation and valve actuation. There are also usually several double diaphragm air-actuated pumps used for chemicals that are not suitable for conventional centrifugal pumps.
Many paper mills have a kiln area as part of the input stream to the chemical area. In the kiln area compressed air is used for cylinder actuation, TV cameras, instrumentation, valve actuation, and double diaphragm air pumps.
Paper mills that use chips as a raw manufacturing materials stream do so without the need for debarking and chipping, but the balance of the process remains the same.
Those mills utilizing wastepaper do so without the debarking and chipping process. They do have material handling conveyors and hydro pulpers which use compressed air for cylinder actuation, TV cameras, instrumentation, and valves.
Throughout the industry, compressed air is utilized when there is a sheet break to blow scrap paper out of the rolls across the floor into a pit where is recovered for recycling.
With the numerous uses of compressed air throughout a pulp and paper mill, a traditional twin-tower desiccant air dryer is the top choice with the ability to withstand harsh mill conditions and produce the vast amount of clean, dry compressed air required.