Valmet in Hagfors specializes in metallurgy and manufactures refiner plates for the pulp and paper industry. Business is good and the company’s order volume is stable. Valmet now has more than 30 percent of the global market for refiner plates and exports to paper mills in 80 countries.
At Valmet in Hagfors the refiner plates are made from scratch, with smelting of the steel, casting, heat treatment and final machine processing and balancing. Approximately 120,000 of these plates are produced each year in hundreds of different configurations. There are about 2,000 part numbers in all.
Assignment: System delivery
Mechanically produced pulp, fiber and grist are presently among the most important ingredients in most paper and fiberboard products. To produce exactly the right type of fiber, the material is ground in a refiner. The heart of the refiner is the refiner plate, which releases and refines the fiber to achieve the desired properties for a specific end-product. The heat-treatment process is important in obtaining the correct material properties for the refiner plate. When Valmet needed to automate its heat treatment line, they turned to Prevas in Karlstad.
Jan-Erik Örtgård, site manager at Valmet in Hagfors, describes the collaboration:
– Prevas has joined with us at Hagfors in providing project management resources for a workgroup in developing an improved and automated heat-treatment line. Besides project management, Prevas has also been responsible for programming and integrating both the newly built machines (designed by the engineering firm of Camatec Industriteknik in Karlstad) as well as the machines from our existing heat-treatment line. The heat-treatment line has been in operation since March and has helped us to achieve higher capacity and improved productivity, as well as better ergonomics, with the robot in the system eliminating heavy lifts for our employees, for example.
Everything passes through this line and heat treatment was previously a bottleneck in production at the plant in Hagfors. We can now operate in three shifts all week long and ensure on-time deliveries thanks to our increased capacity. This entails that Valmet is strengthening its position and competitiveness in the global market. Approximately 70 percent of our production here at Hagfors is exported, so delivery precision and productivity are key factors for us.
– The new robot-based heat-treatment line, which has been in service since March of this year, is the first of three planned projects. Projects two and three will focues on the foundry.
Prevas has managed the entire project, which entails conducting the preliminary study and specifying how everything would be constructed, and has also provided recommendations for types of robots and located the right machine manufacturer.
Erik Widing, chief consultant at Prevas in Karlstad, has this to say about the assignment:
– It’s always rewarding to participate in a project such as this one with Valmet, in which the benefits in the form of improved productivity and competitiveness can be so clearly seen.
Do you want to know more about this project or find out what Prevas can do for you, please contact us.
Philip Holst, e-mail