New Service Concept for Pumps in Pulp and Paper Mills

New Service Concept for Pumps in Pulp and Paper Mills

The large amount of pumps and agitators which are required in pulp and paper plants often originate from Sulzer Pumps. With a new service concept, Sulzer Pumps Finland has improved the pumping reliability and saved costs to the customers. According to the maintenance manager of Stora Enso in Kotka (Finland), this is also the case for this big paper mill.

Stora Enso, one of the world's leading pulp and paper companies (see box below), operates in its Kotka (FI) plant two paper machines (with an annual production of 150,000 tons each), a pulp mill and a sawmill (Fig. 1). One of the paper machines produces laminating papers, the other one publication papers.

Stora Enso Kotka and Sulzer Pumps Finland have a long history of close service cooperation. More than 600 Sulzer pumps are running in the production processes of laminating and publication papers at the Stora Enso Kotka mill. The good cooperation has developed over the years from spare parts service to cover other pump services through a service agreement.

The Maintenance Manager of Stora Enso Kotka, Petri Lehtinen, has been very satisfied with the service cooperation from with Sulzer Pumps. A significant part of his maintenance strategy is the close cooperation with important partners with the aim of improving the equipment and process availability. The service personnel of both Stora Enso Kotka mill and Sulzer Pumps Finland have committed to this task (Fig. 2).

New Service Concept at Stora Enso Kotka

To further improve the pumping and mixing performance at Stora Enso Kotka and in other pulp and paper mills, as well as in food, metals,  and fertilizer plants, Sulzer Pumps Finland has developed a new service concept that comprises three new service modules within a traditional service agreement:

  • InvO – optimized inventory management
  • Exchange unit service
  • PumpsOnline – an e-business solution

Maintenance Manager Petri Lehtinen says that the part storaging concept – InvO – has brought Stora Enso Kotka remarkable capital savings through reduced spare parts inventories, ensuring at the same time a high spare part service level. Additionally, the exchange unit server has enabled quick pump service during shutdowns. It provides also an opportunity to upgrade the pump should it be necessary.

Sulzer Pumps' e-buiness and information exchange tool – PumpsOnline – is fully used in maintaining and updating the information of the pumps and agitators installed at Stora Enso Kotka. The responsibility for keeping the installed-base information up-to-date lies with Sulzer Pumps' service centers in Karhula (FI).

Petri Lehtinen says that Sulzer Pumps' service concept, scope, and performance have proven to be very good and have both improved the availability of the pumps at the mill and at the same time created savings. Cooperation, training, and development meetings are also held as part of the agreement.

Optimized Inventory Management
In the InvO concept,  Sulzer Pumps takes the responsibility to stock spare parts for a group of customer mills (Fig. 3). The close proximity to the mills, the knowledge of the installed base combined with good inventory management, and effective logistics solutions ensure quick spare parts deliveries. Thanks to the high standardization and large installed base of the process pumps, the participating mills can generate remarkable capital savings through reduction or partial elimination of their spare parts inventories.

As a normal procedure in the concept, all pumps and agitators in the mills are categorized based on how critical they are in the production process. The spare part service levels are agreed and fine-tuned with the customers accordingly. The spare part delivery times for the mills in the InvO agreement are 2-24 hours from order.

The main benefits of the InvO concept are:

  • Reduction of capital and inventory costs
  • Secure delivery of the agreed items within the agreed time frame
  • Smooth cooperation through close relations
  • 24-hour service

Exchange Unit Service Makes Maintenance Easier
In the exchange unit service, a pump is serviced by changing the complete exchange unit during a shutdown. The used exchange unit is brought back to the Sulzer Pumps service center for complete inspection and reconditioning. The reconditioned unit is recycled by delivering it on request to a mill with an exchang unit service agreement. Before launching the exchange unit service, all pumps at the mill are reviewed and their current configuration checked. This forms the basis for a recommendation for the number of exchange units and exchange bearing units for the mill.

The reconditioned units are stored at the Sulzer Pumps service center. The service includes also the continuous maintaining and updating of the installed-base information to ensure correct exchange unit deliveries.

The main benefits of the exchange unit service are:

  • Mechanical guarantee 
  • Optimized capital and storage costs
  • Guaranteed availability of the agreed units
  • Elimination of non-current spare parts.

Electronic Cooperation
PumpsOnline is a Sulzer Pumps' extranet application that provides e-business and electronic information exchange services to its users. Through PumpsOnline, the customers may review updated technical information on their pumps and agitators, search for the latest product documentation, place spare parts orders, and follow their spare parts order history.

The main benefits of PumpsOnline are:

  •  Improved efficiency and reduced operating costs
  • Automatic data transfer and elimination of double work
  • Almost paperless business transactions
  • Possibility to integrate a large amount of users

Further Deepening of the Cooperation
Regarding the future, Stora Enso Kotka Maintenance Manager Petri Lehtinen sees good opportunities to deepen and expand the service cooperation with Sulzer Pumps to further improve the equipment availability and reduce the maintenance and capital costs.

Salmi, Pekka and Anttonen, Kari, "New Service Concept for Pumps in Pulp and Paper Mills." Sulzer Technical Review, 4/2003: 12-14.

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