Freeness Matters

What are you missing?


It's a lot like driving down the freeway without a speedometer. Would you try that?

− Brian Diamant  Director of Engineering, Gusmer Enterprises

What If?

You Could Increase Saleable Paper

Sheet breaks are a common consequence of poorly-managed stock freeness. The degree of refining which your stock undergoes is directly related to sheet strength. Too little or too much refining will result in a loss of sheet strength with a consequential sheet break. Though your “gut” often gets it right, it?s far from perfect science.

How much does that cost you? A lot more than you might realize – the cost of lost production alone can be staggering and can easily reach millions of dollars per year.

Online freeness monitoring allows you to recover those lost millions, and save yourself a lot of trouble at the same time. By tracking your freeness with Drainac®, you can predict when a break becomes likely and correct it easily before the break ever occurs. It?s amazing how much difference taking this one key measurement can make.

You Could Improve Machine
Efficiency & Performance.

A loss in sheet strength can create a variety of problems. Weaker sheets mean machines must be slowed and resulting drainage problems can also necessitate increased stream to the dryers. Just one weakness leads to more and more expenses. All of this means that you make less paper per hour and your cost per ton goes way up.

By measuring and controlling the freeness of your stock with Drainac®, you will eliminate the variability in the stock, stabilize the strength of the sheet and optimize the performance of your machine accordingly. Almost immediately, you will improve your efficiency ratios, drive your costs of production down and your profitability up.

You Could Optimize Refiner Control.

The ultimate goal of effective freeness measurement is to utilize your refiners in the most efficient way possible. Refiner energy consumption is significant; managing the freeness of your stock will enable you to optimize the energy utilization of your refiners. By monitoring online freeness with Drainac®, you?ll eliminate the guesswork and the energy wasted through over or under refining.

You Could Maximize Your Output of On-Spec, Saleable Paper?

Poor quality and off-spec product are some of the biggest wastes in your process. If your final product doesn’t generate the maximum price per ton, you’ve missed the mark. Pulp variability plays a leading role in your challenge to produce on-spec, saleable product that generates the highest profit margin. You need to combat frequent swings in pulp conditions with appropriate refiner control to ensure the outcome you desire. If you can’t see those swings quickly enough, the paper is already on the roll!

You need fast, reliable insight into the variability you’re experiencing. With Drainac®, you get just that: the fastest measurements on the market. With the ability to sample multiple times per minute, you can see the swings in stock variability. With a better knowledge of what’s happening in your process, you can make changes before it’s too late. You have better control over the outcome of the process and can eliminate the cost of poor quality.

Measure it. Manage it. The Business Case for Measuring Freeness

No one makes a process measurement of any kind unless thereis a compelling business reason to do so. Those who truly want the most out of their business know that paper quality and line reliability are simply too important to leave up to guesswork. Drainac® is the answer, allowing you to visualize the variability in your process, understand how to make proactive decisions at the refiner, and execute on measures that increase machine runability and salable product while you reduce energy consumption and wear on your refiner.

Measuring online freeness impacts the business in a number of ways:

Adjusting to Stock Variability

For a variety of reasons, your stock freeness is variable. It may be something going on in the pulp mill, or maybe in the hydrapulper. It could be a refining issue. It could be blending. Whatever the reason(s) for the variability, Drainac® creates the visibility you need to understand the problem and quickly make the adjustments needed to ensure the quality of your finished product.

Managing Energy Consumption

Refiners are operated with BIG motors that use incredible amounts of energy. Measuring online freeness lets you see exactly what your refining effort is doing to the stock. You can?t eliminate all refiner energy consumption, but with Drainac®, you can increase efficiency by only refining stock as much as needed to get the strength and network characteristics your customers expect.

Improved Machine Efficiency

The inevitable bumps and jumps of stock variability cause your machines to run more slowly than you?d like. Maybe you have to dry the sheet longer. Or perhaps you?re getting mystery sheet breaks. Or you?re dumping paper into the broke pit because it simply doesn?t meet spec. Maybe grade changes and startups take too long. Drainac® gives you visibility to manage all of these inefficiencies and streamline your entire process.

Blend Control

If you blend multiple furnishes, you are always in the position of juggling blend recipes to meet a spec. It gets even more complicated if the freeness of the blend is variable – and it?s always variable. Drainac® gives you the visibility to blend furnishes to achieve a desired endpoint before the stock hits the machine. Plus, with Drainac®, you can make small adjustments to the blend – perhaps use a little more of stock A, which is cheaper than stock B. It doesn?t take long for a 1% shift in furnish consumption to add up to big savings.

Let us help you identify and fix your business problems with Drainac®.

If you're making something out of spec, you're inherently wasting energy.

− E&I EngineerDrainac® Customer for 27 years

What impact would measuring freeness have on your operation?

Set up a conversation with your TECO Rep today and we'll sit down and do the math with you!

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