Overcoming unnoticed failures in paper industry with wireless solutions

Industry: Paper & pulp industry
Location: United States of America

Executive Summary

A prominent US-based paper mill initially engaged a contractor for route-based data collection. However, results fell short of expectations as assets continued to fail between reports, prompting a strategy reassessment. To address this challenge, the paper mill proactively implemented precision shaft alignment to mitigate one of the main root causes of failures. Additionally, they enhanced their responsiveness by implementing a wireless monitoring program. Seeking a reliable partner to support their journey, they turned to Acoem for assistance. Acoem provided specialised expertise and solutions to optimise the paper mill’s reliability efforts, ultimately improving asset performance and reducing downtime.


The challenge

The paper mill is deeply committed to enhancing the safety and performance of its facility. Recognising the critical need for reliable monitoring of auxiliary assets, the company started its search for a comprehensive reliability solution. Limited by the absence of internal experts to manage reliability, they sought a practical and immediate turnkey solution that could address their challenges holistically.

Their primary goal was to ensure continuous and real-time monitoring of their auxiliary assets. Moreover, they prioritised the importance of flexibility in the solution, allowing for seamless adaptation to evolving needs.

The paper mill desired not only access to advanced technology but also sought expertise from reliability professionals to guide them through the implementation process. Ultimately, their vision was to consolidate management of auxiliary assets within a single, user-friendly platform, streamlining operations, and fostering a culture of proactive maintenance.

The solution

A customised solution was tailored to address the concerns and specific needs of the paper mill. The Acoem AT-200, a smart app-based shaft alignment solution, was selected to equip the team for fast and guided precision alignment, vastly improving measurement and reporting capabilities. Additionally, the paper mill initiated its wireless monitoring program with the deployment of 76 Sparrow wireless sensors. These sparrows were installed across their auxiliary assets, including pumps, electric motors, and fans, enabling real-time reporting to facilitate their transition to condition-based maintenance.

This strategic shift allowed the company to focus entirely on maximizing its business potential by addressing the challenge of unforeseen equipment failures and reducing preventive maintenance tasks.

Additionally, with Acoem’s Advisor remote diagnostic service, they were able to access reliability professionals as needed, who guided and prioritized actions, providing actionable insights around the clock. Acoem’s NEST Vision platform enabled them to monitor every asset efficiently together with their alignment reports. With auxiliary asset health status centralized within this all-in-one platform, the company seamlessly monitored machines, reviewed expert recommendations, and scheduled maintenance tasks confidently at optimal times.

Furthermore, NEST Vision seamlessly integrates with Acoem’s monitoring solutions, facilitating the company’s evolution in its reliability journey by implementing additional solutions tailored to critical machinery. With this comprehensive solution package, the paper mill has taken the initial step in its reliability journey, poised to transcend barriers and achieve sustained operational excellence.

The Outcome

Implementing a strategy of condition-based maintenance with wireless sensors like Sparrow proved transformative for the company, effectively eliminating unforeseen failures and subsequently reducing corrective maintenance and PMs. This decisive shift not only saved valuable time but also led to a remarkable tenfold increase in performance, optimised operational workflows, and improved overall reliability capabilities.

As this initiative marks the inception of their reliability journey, it sets the stage for a new era of customised solutions and treatments meticulously crafted for their highly critical paper machines. Looking ahead, the paper mill is well-positioned to continue advancing its reliability efforts, ensuring sustained excellence in operations and performance.

To find out more about the Acoem Solutions, please get in touch with our experts.
Contact us

Would you like to…?