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Manually cleaning the numerous tanks and other vessels of a pulp & paper plant is not only hard work, it is also time-consuming, inefficient and potentially dangerous. To bring this aspect of their operation up to modern standards and help pave the way to further improvements, JK Paper have recently moved to an automated tank cleaning system, with excellent results.

JK Paper factory

JK Paper, a leading Indian pulp and paper producer, manufactures a range of fine and specialty papers and packaging boards at their two large production sites in India, for sale not just into the domestic Indian market but also for exporting to dozens of countries around the world.

Their ‘CPM’ unit near Surat in the state of Gujarat has a substantial production capacity amounting to over 50,000 tonnes per annum of paper and nearly twice that of packaging board. Yet, despite the size of the operation, until recently tank cleaning CPM plant was done manually. Needless to say, this required a lot of hard, physical labour, and resulted in extensive down-time for the busy production plant. Sending teams of cleaning operatives into the tanks was also not without health and safety hazards. Therefore, to increase operational efficiency, improve worker safety, and guarantee consistently high standard of hygiene, an automated cleaning system was required.

JK Paper turned to Elof Hansson, the Indian sales partners of Scanjet Systems, known for their expertise in supplying equipment and machinery to the pulp & paper industry, who were more than happy to put together an automated tank cleaning solution that would bring about the required improvements in JK Paper’s tank cleaning operations.

An initial trial phase commenced employing two different models from the Scanjet line-up of rotary jet head (RJH) cleaning machines, the SC 15TW — a robust, reliable performer applicable to a wide range of cleaning needs, as well as being portable and therefore easily deployed across the production facility — and the Bio 10, an equally capable model with the additional advantage of hygienic design with self-cleaning features.

It became clear very early on that the new system was more than meeting its objectives, and the scope of the pilot implementation was soon widened to a total of dozen vessels of different types and in various locations.

Reviewing afterwards the performance of the new system, JK Paper found a number of major benefits:

  • Time-saving: manually cleaning tanks used to take typically 5-6 hours, whereas with the Scanjet rotary jet heads this was reduced to 2 hours, a time reduction of 60-70%;
  • Labour-saving: rather than needing to deploy a cleaning team for several hours, the automated system can be managed by a single operator, easily and without any specialist knowledge;
  • Water-saving: a significant reduction in water usage was achieved, resulting in obvious environmental and financial benefits;
  • Improved safety: with the new no-man-entry cleaning eliminating the need for cleaning staff to enter the vessels, a number of health and safety risks have been eliminated;
  • Increased efficiency: the cleaning outcome is not only substantially better than before, it is also more consistent between different vessels and over time, giving the plant management the confidence that every vessel is equally clean after each cleaning cycle.

…which all reads very much like a textbook case study of the typical reasons why manufacturers like JK Paper and countless others across the various process industries and tank storage sectors are moving to automatic tank cleaning methods.  Put simply, automated tank cleaning beats the manual alternatives hands-down, every single time.

And so satisfied were JK Paper with the performance of the SC 15TW and Bio 10 during this first phase of their tank cleaning automation project that they have already rolled out the same system into other parts of the plant, with no doubt more to follow.

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