13. of January 2020 // Back to overview

More efficiency, less energy: PKV modernizes paper machine 4

As part of its strategic programme, PKV is modernising and renewing an important part of its paper machine 4 in February, for which, among other things, up to 500 external fitters will be employed.

Varel. This rebuild is the largest project of Papier- und Kartonfabrik Varel (PKV) in 2020: engineers have been planning for more than two and a half years. The wire and press section of paper machine 4, and thus about one third of the entire plant, will be replaced in February. For the rebuild, the machine will be shut down for more than a month.

The wire and press section is the part of the machine in which a mixture of recovered paper fibers and water is combined to form a firm web and dewatered by high pressure. The better this dewatering works, the less energy (in the form of steam) the machine needs in the subsequent drying section to further dry the paper. An essential goal of the rebuild is therefore a more efficient drying in the press section, for which PKV uses completely new machine parts. In the end, less energy is consumed.

Another essential goal of the rebuild is to extend the width of the machine. This additional width will make it possible to cut the web completely and loss-free to standard dimensions later on, which have meanwhile become established in the finishing process. With the additional width, the machine can therefore produce slightly more paper in total, but most importantly there is significantly less waste. All in all, the PM4 rebuild will increase the production capacity of the established Jade White Classic and Jade Kraft grades by 20 percent to 360,000 tonnes as part of the overall PKV approval. PKV customers produce high-quality corrugated board from these grades.

During the conversion, a total of around 500 external fitters will be working at the plant. PKV has set up a temporary parking lot for these fitters on the opposite side of Helmuth-Barthel-Straße. In order to ensure occupational safety as much as possible during this temporary construction phase, PKV, in agreement with the town of Varel, will have a traffic light installed at the crossing point to the plant entrance from January 13 to about mid-March.

Particularly during peak hours (06:00 to 08:00 and 18:00 to 20:00), fitters can use this traffic light to cross the road safely. The PKV itself has already partially equalised these peak times by means of differently agreed work start dates. Nevertheless, waiting times for motorists on Hellmut-Barthel-Straße can occur due to the demand traffic light, and PKV asks for your understanding in this regard with regard to the safety of employees.

The crossing point is generally not suitable for a traffic light, which the PKV has also pointed out in connection with the planned sports park. However, during the rebuild time of paper machine 4, the number of truck traffic at this point will decrease significantly due to the corresponding drop in production during this period. This relieves this traffic area for the time of the rebuild.

In addition, the rebuild may temporarily lead to increased noise levels during the dismantling of existing machine parts, especially in the first two weeks of February. The PKV asks its neighbours in particular for their understanding and has taken a variety of organisational steps to avoid increased noise levels as far as possible.

In the coming years, Papier- und Kartonfabrik Varel (PKV) will further develop its plant to a production capacity of one million tons of corrugated board paper and board. The raw material is and remains recycled waste paper. At the same time, PKV is investing massively in energy efficiency. To strengthen and modernize the site, the company is currently implementing a seven-year strategic program with a total volume of around 280 million euros.

PKV's paper machine 4
PKV's paper machine 4

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