Striving for the best possible cost-efficiency, FiberLean plants are built on-site at customers´ mills. It is a nice concept, but there is one catch: to reach a commercial agreement for building a plant, the performance of the MFC, with all impact on paper quality as well as PM operational efficiency, needs to be proven in trials using product brought in from the outside.
One of the key roles of FiberLean Technologies is to support Imerys and Omya in running FiberLean trials. We have a FiberLean plant of commercial size built for trial supply and process development, in Trebal, UK. This plant is equipped with a facility to allow dewatering the MFC-mineral composite to a granulate form that can be packed in big bags. These bags are shipped to paper mills for trials, sometimes in the hundreds. The FiberLean product needs to be re-dispersed before use and for this purpose we have a number of MDUs. MDU stands for Make Down Unit and is the equipment we send to the papermill to facilitate trials. With this in place we are also capable of running long trials on really big paper machines, and we do…
Our trial teams have a busy schedule. From August until now they have supported 8 major trials, for a combined running time of 240 hours, at different mills around the world. A further 10 trials are planned to end of Q1 -19. This team also performs in-mill pre-studies so that trials can start up with everyone being well prepared. Adding on-going support for new customers during commissioning and start-up phase, it is not surprising that our trial teams, led by Danny Ingle, are the frequent fliers of our organisation. In addition to air-miles they also collect significant experience and know-how around the effects of MFC on paper machines and how to turn this into value.