Boosting cost efficiency and sustainability in paper production – all in the mix

Apr 30, 2024

In an industry where efficiency and cost savings are paramount, the Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper (IKPP) Perawang Mill in Indonesia took a significant step forward by investing in a Valmet SMF Mixer. This purchase has effectively lowered the mill’s chemical and power consumption, addressing the core challenge faced by paper and board manufacturers today – cost reduction.

IKPP, a subsidiary of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), has been an industry leader since its establishment in 1976 and is recognized for its contributions to the pulp and paper industry. Their Perawang Mill, strategically located on the island of Sumatra, is one of the largest mills in the region, producing approximately 800,000 tons of pulp and around 1.2 million tons of paper and board annually.

The partnership between Valmet and IKPP’s Perawang Mill began back in 2012. Since then, Valmet has been actively involved in various projects dedicated to boosting the mill’s operational efficiency with its solutions.

Tackling the efficiency dilemma

One of the latest challenges faced by the mill was the high chemical and power consumption of its Fiberline 9 (FL9). The issue was caused by the persistently low temperature of the pulp as it entered the oxygen reactor, and the ingredients weren’t mixed well. This affected the production process, making it use more chemicals and power than needed.

To address these issues, IKPP’s Perawang Mill decided to replace their old mixer with Valmet’s latest-generation SMF Mixer, known for its exceptional mixing result.

An effective mixer is crucial in the papermaking process to ensure consistent paper quality. A well-designed mixer helps achieve a uniform distribution of chemicals, pulp and other components, preventing variations in the final product.

Mills equipped with Valmet SMF Mixers have the potential to achieve up to 70% energy savings compared to conventional mixers, making the SMF Mixer a significant asset for paper and board manufacturers.

Remarkable impact of the new mixer

After only five days of installation and commissioning, the new mixer was launched on July 30, 2020.

For IKPP’s Perawang Mill, the results were astounding. The new Valmet SMF Mixer allowed the FL9 to reduce its chemical consumption by 1% – a significant achievement considering the higher production rate of about 9,000 ADT/day. In addition, the pulp temperature increased by approximately 10 °C. This not only improved production efficiency but also translated into an annual cost savings of approximately EUR 300,000.

“It has been really nice to have the Valmet SMF Mixer,” says Setio Kurniawan, Project Coordinator at IKPP Perawang Mill. 

With the new mixer, we can save around EUR 300,000 per year. 

Modern mixing technology 

The Valmet SMF Mixer is a testament to innovation and excellence. It is the result of Valmet’s nearly 50 years of development and manufacturing experience in the pulp and paper industry. The mixer offers an unparalleled all-in-one technical solution that can be applied throughout the entire fiberline. It is engineered specifically to ensure low chemical and energy consumption without compromising fiber quality. Moreover, its advanced design guarantees high operational reliability and minimal installation and maintenance costs.

A distinguishing feature of the easy-to-operate SMF Mixer is its ability to mix steam and chemicals directly within the mixer, eliminating the need for pre-mixing.

Importantly, the nozzle of the SMF Mixer is arranged vertically in relation to the mixing impeller, and the inlet is also oriented vertically in connection to the outlet of the mixer. This configuration optimizes the mixing process and flows within the mixer, further contributing to its overall efficiency and performance.

Feedback from the mill further highlights the mixer’s advantages. According to the mill’s workers, the Valmet SMF Mixer requires very little maintenance and exhibits very low vibration. In fact, the operators describe it as “zero maintenance” as long as the installation is performed following the manual.

A hidden gem for sustainable production

In the quest for cost-efficient and more sustainable pulp and paper production, mixer technology is a vital – though often neglected – tool for performance improvement. IKPP’s experience with the Valmet SMF Mixer at their Perawang Mill demonstrates this well.

When crafted with precision, mixing technology doesn’t just simplify operations but holds the potential to unlock remarkable cost savings, improve efficiency – and shows a paper mill’s commitment to sustainable processes.  

Text: Lisa Kettman-Kervinen