Where Do You Start in Optimizing a Dryer Section?
The dryer section consumes large amounts of energy and it can have a dramatic impact on both sheet quality and profitability. The drying process, like other papermaking unit operations, is a complex matrix of interacting systems: Pocket ventilation, steam system, drive system, tail threading, sheet handling, energy recovery, and fabric conditioning, guiding, and tensioning.
A good way to start an evaluation of the dryer section is to contact a drying systems supplier, consultant, or engineering firm for a dryer audit. A professional dryer audit should include a complete set of dryer section measurements, an analysis of equipment sizing, recommendations for operational improvements, recommendations for equipment upgrades, lists of short-term and long-term improvement projects, and an analysis of the expected return for each project.
Typical returns come from energy savings, increased drying capacity, reliable dryer drainage, reliable dryer drainage equipment, improved dryer section runnability, and enhanced drying uniformity. A comprehensive report identifies improvement opportunities and quantifies the associated benefits.