The first start-up at the Greiz mill was on deinked pulp for trim refining/deflaking. The Greiz mill produces colored recycled papers and board for office, school and graphics applications. The mill's target is to break fiber bundles, shives, and other impurities with minimum refining degree change. According to Ulrich Mallon, Technology and Quality Assurance Manager in Greiz, "The delivery, installation and start-up was very smooth and on schedule. Currently we are running the optimization phase, but compared to the old machine we have already observed significant energy savings."
The second OptiFiner Pro started in mid November at Sappi's Biberist mill, replacing four conventional conical refiners in a eucalyptus stock preparation line on a coated fine paper machine. The Biberist mill produces coated woodfree paper for the graphic arts and offset printing industry, as well as woodfree uncoated pre-printed paper for office, pre-printed and offset applications. Stefan Franke, Development Engineer at Sappi Biberist, says the mill's targets of energy savings and quality improvement have been met, "Energy savings are as expected with good strength development and strength improvement with same specific refining energy."
The OptiFiner Pro is a revolutionary new low consistency refiner with a very compact design. In conventional refiners, fibers travel the full length of the refining zone suffering excessive impacts that lead to increased fines and weakening of the refined fibers. Many fibers, as much as 70% of the total, may not be treated at all. To combat this, OptiFiner Pro feeds the stock evenly across the bars directly in the refining zone where fiber treatment occurs. All of the stock is treated equally, providing higher refiner loadability and better energy efficiency. Flexibility in operation is gained as well as easier installation owing to its smaller physical size.