The Kadant Blog

All “Dry” Roads Lead to Kadant Johnson Research Center

Many travelers to the United States can claim visits to The Big Apple, The White House, The Golden Gate Bridge and Niagara Falls, but how about the Kadant Johnson Research Center in Three Rivers, Michigan? According to Matt Beach, director of research and product development for Kadant Johnson, “For nearly 50 years, we have hosted hundreds of papermakers from every continent of the world except Antarctica. Anyone seeking to improve or optimize paper drying can benefit from a dryer performance evaluation at the Research Center.”

Problems Welcome

Most papermakers come to the Kadant Johnson Research Center with a problem in hand. They may be seeking  to convert production from newsprint to a containerboard grade, have poor moisture profile, limited drying capacity, poor system stability, flooding dryers, long thermal response times, or a lack of energy efficiency. The Research Center can duplicate many of these problems on its full-size pilot dryers, and then work to develop the optimal solution. Cooperation with papermakers at the center has played a key role in advances in drying technology, including high-speed stationary syphons, Turbulator® bars, De-tuned™ bars, Vortec™ vacuum generators, high-efficiency thermocompressors, modern separator stations, sheet break recovery strategies, and the advanced dryer management system® technology and system controls.

The real proof of value of the Research Center ultimately comes down to specific issues on a particular machine.  Because of the nature of projects, the research center trial programs normally have an immediate payoff, and long-term benefits, as well.

Options for Optimization

Depending on the mill, the following considerations can be critical to long term efficiency and optimization:

  1. Heat transfer comparison, before and after installation of Kadant Johnson equipment, such as Turbulator bars, stationary syphons, and modern steam joints.
  2. Control and adjustment of dryer edge temperature profiles.
  3. Evaluation of blow-through characteristics for specific syphon and dryer configurations.
  4. Evaluations of dryer drive and torque requirements over a wide range of operating and non-production conditions.
  5. Evaluation of drying capacity using detailed dryer simulation programs.
  6. Demonstration of the potential for reducing energy consumption by installing new rotary joints, syphons, and bars (reduced venting, less vacuum condenser flow, lower steam pressures).
  7. Provide education on the behavior of condensate in the dryer under a wide range of machine conditions. The behavior is monitored live, with a closed-circuit TV, and indirectly with measurement of dryer surface temperatures, condensing loads, steam pressures, and drive power.
  8. Measure dryer surface temperature response to changes in pressure, heat load, or speed.
  9. Demonstrate advanced dryer system control strategies.

Learn more about the capabilities of the Kadant Johnson Research Center by watching the video below.

  • Written by:

    Martin Koepenick

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