Paper Machine Vacuum System Optimization

Every paper machine has vacuum pumps and a vacuum system. The vacuum system usually has the same power requirement as what is needed to drive the entire paper machine. Inefficiencies within the vacuum system increase the electrical or steam requirements of water removal and therefore represent an important improvement opportunity. The situation of excess vacuum capacity sometimes exists because significant operational changes have occurred since the system was new, which can impact the performance and requirements of the vacuum system. Over time, changes in furnish, chemistry, headbox consistency, retention, and forming and press fabrics can have an effect on the needs and performance of the vacuum system. With careful assessments and taking necessary actions – such as system modifications, operational changes and even removing some of the vacuum pumps – considerable energy savings can be realized (Kramer et al., 2009. p.104).

Development Status Products

Paper Machine Vacuum System OptimizationCosts & Benefits

Parent Process: Papermaking
Energy Savings Potential

An audit of 14 paper machines at a Canadian paper producer revealed a potential for saving 3.5 MW of power by system modifications and operational changes. That involved even removing some of the vacuum pumps.

CO2 Emission Reduction Potential

Cost to achieve initial savings were negligible. Total annual costs savings were about $400,000 per year (2009 dollars).

Paper Machine Vacuum System Optimization Publications

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