Tissue360 - Fall/Winter 2016 - 16
Tissue mill startup crew and first installation of the NTT plain belt.
was working for Nalco. That organization provided materials and technical resources every
time we went over there. This allowed us to work
through yankee coating and release chemistry
issues before it came time to start up."
The von Drehle team was able to "play
around" with both belts (smooth and textured)
in Karlstad, using wet lap shipped from its mill
in Natchez. With the NTT, when running either
a smooth or textured belt, no air drying is necessary. "You come to the yankee with lower
moisture than our Advantage DCT machines,
Pankratz notes. "And this is where you save
energy. Other things we learned at Karlstad
early on that helped when making the decision
on this machine were the additional benefits
we saw, such as more tensile strength, stretch,
and caliper build capability with our recycled
fiber than on our DCT 100s. This press does a
lot for us besides just taking out the moisture.
"The additional benefits with the NTT we
saw using our own recycled fiber at Karlstad
definitely helped seal the deal," Pankratz says.
Also, there's such a demand for what the mill
is currently producing, that it hasn't yet gotten
ahead of that production track. Possibly later
this year, Pankratz and James believe, the mill
may have a chance to run the textured belt,
depending on market developments.
"If we were to put in a new machine at either
of our plants, whether we need to produce textured or not, I would strongly support another
NTT-a press section, a couple of extra motors,
and some horsepower, but it's amazing how well
it works. It's like when crescent formers became
available for everybody, how that changed the
complexion of things. I think that's where NTT
Tissue360º FALL/ WINTER 2016
is today. It's simple enough compared with all
of the other technologies, but it's going to be the
one to beat," Pankratz emphasizes.
GETTING STARTED, TRAINING
Once the decision was made to go with the
Valmet Advantage NTT tissue machine, a lot
of things happened quickly. After buying the
MRP operations in January 2013, the order was
placed with Valmet for the NTT machine the
following spring, along with some go-ahead
dollars to get engineering underway (before
actual machine purchase).
"We had been talking with Valmet for some
time." Pankratz says. "Baisch Engineering out
of Kaukauna, Wis., got involved very quickly
as did our construction company, and Valmet
did their job. We put a lot of things in place
during that first crummy, rainy, yucky winter,
when we were trying to literally dig a big hole
in the ground. It was a somewhat slow time,
and everybody had room on their schedules.
But about six months after that, everybody's
business took off, and resources tightened up.
"One thing that helped get us to startup and
pushed this thing uphill was Gary's development of a crew, almost overnight. In addition to
Gary, we had only two papermakers, one from
our Cordova operation, the other from a plant
near there. We fortunately were able to hire a
bunch of operations people from the energy
sector," Pankratz explains.
James says that when he first came to
Natchez, he sat down with Pankratz and talked
with him about N.C. State University's operator
training. "We brought N.C. State down here for
three days of operator training, and our whole
mill went through that training together. We
went through our entire deinking process and
then got into NTT training. N.C. State had some
experience with NTT-the basic concept, how
it works, etc. Then we started planning of the
machine, how to build it, etc.
"We put our operators in site specific process
training for six weeks. All were given a set of
P&IDs (piping and instrumentation diagrams).
We sat them down every day and went through
the P&ID process in detail. We taught them
how to read the P&IDs, what a control valve
is, etc.-everything we thought they needed
to know. We also used some of TAPPI's tissue
training course materials.
"As the mill was being built, crew members
put labels on every pipe, every 15 ft., establishing where everything was. We printed out all of
the Valmet manuals and had onsite classroom
First roll produced at von Drehle's new tissue mill in Natchez, Miss., March 31, 2016.