Installing Belts in the Pulp and Paper Industry

Installing Belts in the Pulp and Paper Industry

According to British Columbia’s Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, B.C. currently operates 13 pulp facilities (nine in the interior, four on the coast) and five paper mills (one in the interior, four on the coast). B.C.’s pulp and paper industry remains a critical component of the B.C. forest sector and accounts for an average of 20% of the total GDP generated by the forest sector.

In 2017, manufacturing revenues for Pulp, Paper and Paperboard Mills reached $16.7 billion with a total revenue of $17.1 billion. Pulp and paper is big business in Canada, and Belterra has worked alongside pulp and paper for decades. Working mainly with the chip handling process of pulp and paper, Belterra supplies belting for some large scale operations within British Columbia.

Conveyor systems are used to safely and efficiently transport the chips from truck dumps into the mill for processing. Typical roller conveyors can have many transfer points.  Sealing technology is used to avoid spillage and maintain dust suppression. 

Belterra manages the entire conveying system from “tip to tail”—from head pulleys to tail pulleys and idlers, belt and skirting installations, impact zones, and chutes. We also supply air cannons, vibration and cleaners to keep the systems clean and clear of buildup. 

Improving Total Cost of Ownership with Product Selection

Belterra’s expertise allows us to troubleshoot and recommend cost-saving advice to system design in order to safely and cleanly increase throughput.  For instance, we often see conveyor systems with low inclines using multi-v conveyor belting. While Multi-V belts certainly are aggressive and can be used to combat roll back, they are more difficult to seal and clean.  These systems create a lot of carry back and dust, making them more costly to maintain.

A smooth cover belt with proper skirting, cleaners and transfers reduce carryback, which in turn reduces dust in the plant and minimizes cleanup costs. Icing belts during cold weather can be combated by chemical defrosting sytems to stop material from sliding back.

Selecting the right compounds can help fight curling caused by terpenes found in chips. Although there may be a higher upfront cost, curling causes sealing issues that create tramp material top side and carryback. Therefore, there are significant savings in being proactive in mitigating risks. 

The right belt selection, regular maintenance and proper care ensure the maximum life of your asset. Throughout the last few years, the trend in the pulp and paper industry has been to reduce the frequency of their scheduled maintenance shutdowns, with some facilities now only having major outages every 18 months. As facilities typically run 24/7, this increases the need for durability, as there is little to no opportunity to perform maintenance between shutdowns.

The upfront cost of purchase should be but one factor in making the right choices for your business. Belterra’s values and total cost of ownership approach ensure we advise our clients to look at the long term impacts on cost, safety and operational performance when decision making, so you can improve your operational performance and increase your ROI.