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TRUMBULL, CT - Gardner Denver Nash recently completed a project for a pulp mill located in British Columbia. They were able to secure orders for two pulp machine vacuum systems coinciding with major modernizations of each pulp machine.
Later, an order was placed for two additional vacuum pumps to complete the projects. Close cooperation between Nash, their local agent, Ken Harman of Austin and Denholm Industrial, and Doug Sweet and Associates provided the winning formula.
In general, the pulp and paper business in British Columbia – as in most of North America - has been declining. Due to economic circumstances, the mill was in receivership for some time, but it was revitalized when new investors appeared, with a combination of lean manufacturing ideas and employee ownership.
Production plans for this mill to be profitable included modernization of two of the pulp machines to allow shutting down a third machine. Total pulp production was going to be unchanged from the previous level of the three machines. The #1 pulp machine had four very old Bingham liquid ring vacuum pumps, installed in the 1950’s, which were very inefficient. These needed to be replaced, with vacuum capacity being expanded by 200%.
The photo on the left shows the vintage Bingham pumps with a 600 hp motor and gear reducer driving two pumps. Note the side inlet (left) and discharge (right).The photo on the right shows the Nash 2BE4 pumps from the same angle.
The #3 pulp machine had six Bingham pumps, of 1960’s vintage. The system already had adequate vacuum capacity with the obsolete pumps, but there was a tremendous opportunity for energy and seal water savings if the system was replaced with new Nash pumps. In addition, the old pumps had footprints that included side inlets and discharges, which created upgrade problems. Nash met the challenge with the assistance of Doug Sweet Associates, who performed the vacuum system surveys. They received an order for six 2BE4 vacuum pumps and accessories.
Several key issues led to the success:
Once the pulp machine upgrade was completed, additional pumps were ordered to complete the project for the #3 pulp dryer - with similar energy savings.
Nash's ability to improve the mill’s efficiency, with major savings in utility costs, and to adapt their product to the job were the keys to our success.
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