Negative ramifications of papermaking process variability
Many approaches papermakers choose to combat trends such as rising contamination in recycled OCC and decreased water usage can have unintended consequences. For example, lower-quality fiber leads to more microorganisms and conductivity. Less water usage means you need more chemicals to manage pH and other critical variables. All this creates significant process variability. And the cost of the additional chemistries can quickly add up.
There is also the risk of downtime from unscheduled shutdowns and prolonged outages, which affects the runnability and reliability of your equipment and drags down productivity. And you’re plagued with product quality issues, which hurt your competitiveness.
These are challenging dynamics, and we are seeing papermakers start to think differently about them. Specifically, they are shifting their focus from treating independent variables with high cost solutions and are instead introducing stability across the entire process.