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Pilot Plant: Paprican’s TMP pilot plant now open for business


August 1, 2002
By Pulp & Paper Canada

To take a step further in pulp and paper research, Paprican has launched its new thermo-mechanical pulping (TMP) pilot plant last June.Thanks to a team of Andritz engineers and Paprican scientists, th…

To take a step further in pulp and paper research, Paprican has launched its new thermo-mechanical pulping (TMP) pilot plant last June.

Thanks to a team of Andritz engineers and Paprican scientists, the most modern and sophisticated pilot scale refining system of its kind came into being. Combined with Paprican’s other pilot plant equipment and ISO-certified pulp and paper testing lab, the new equipment allows Paprican to offer complete pulping services from logs to finished pulp for both member company work and contracts.

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“This project clearly shows what we can do as a team — we learned a great deal together,” said Paprican president Joe Wright. “We at Paprican knew about the machine but we didn’t know how to use it in terms of pulp because it’s too small for that. With Andritz, the technical questions have been answered that neither of us could have solved on our own.”

In 1997, Paprican’s member companies provided a special one-time assessment for capital spending, which was used in part for the new TMP plant. The machine is big enough to draw definitive conclusions, such as refining energy requirements, yet still small enough to only require manageable amounts of raw material. It is the ideal system to investigate the influence of different chip species for a mill’s final pulp furnish.

But it wasn’t easy at the beginning, said Paprican’s Dave McDonald, vice-president Research and Education, as they ran out of money in the middle of completing the project. “In order to have good research, you need good people, and good machine as well,” he said. There is no question about the good scientists at Paprican, but the good machine — that was when Andritz entered the picture.

“You at Paprican have the mind,” said Andritz president Sergio Torza. “And also the money now,” he joked. It was an honour for Andritz to be the supplier of the equipment, said Torza, but it was more of a challenge as well. “We didn’t know how to operate it very well, but we learned a lot and we hope to learn more.”


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