Vai al contenuto

Articolo pubblicato nel fascicolo di Ottobre 2023 di Carta & Cartiere SYSTEMS AND EQUIPMENT


When AFT set out to design a new refiner, the goal was to deliver better quality at lower power consumption, simplified maintenance and operator safety. From a capital investment standpoint, the target was set high: better efficiency at lower capital cost. The MaxEdge™ disc refiner breakthrough was the result, the latest addition to AFT’s family of high-performance refining products.

di: AFT

Rapid success happened because of a dedication to innovative product development and decades of refining experience that includes Finebar® MiniSegment™ refiner plates. Even better, opportunities for performance improvements are ongoing through AFTLinx™ technology, an IoT gateway that collects equipment-specific operating data for diagnostic and predictive services.

Success from the inside out

“Finebar MiniSegments improve performance for old refiners so the idea of building a new refiner around this capability made sense – says Olli-Pekka Riippa, AFT Product Manager – Refiners and Deflakers. Refining fiber more efficiently, saving energy and improving quality are always core elements of our focus”.

The MaxEdge refiner’s compact size delivers results with less energy and low maintenance requirements. Because MaxEdge refiners have IoT capability for remote diagnostics, continuous gains in productivity can be made with ongoing AFT support, using measured values collected in realtime from the refiner. The MaxEdge refiner and Finebar plates are a good fit with paper, board and tissue makers looking to push their refining to a higher level.

The streamlined MaxEdge refiner

Now well established, the new refiner design began with a comprehensive review of AFT refiners and competitors’ models. This included a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of chosen models.

“From the start, our goal for the MaxEdge refiner was not to simply create a logical update of what we already offered. Instead, we focused on what matters to operator success and measurable gains in quality and productivity” – says Riippa.

Intelligence built-in

Drawing on years of stock prep experience, the introduction of AFTLinx™ technology to collect equipment-specific operational data helps address customer needs for remote product support and service. The data access allows AFT specialists to assist with remote start-ups, conduct real-time machine diagnostics and make recommendations to improve equipment operation.

Notes Riippa: “Using information from the field, we optimize each refiner’s performance and anticipate when plate changes need to be made. If there is an issue, we can better determine the problem and how to fix it”.

As a result, customers enjoy less unwanted equipment downtime and mill resources can be managed better. With proper analyses, the service span between maintenance activities can be extended and maintenance activities can be scheduled well ahead.

AFT transformed the paper industry with Finebar MiniSegments which are smaller and lighter than traditional segments, making them easier and safer to install. This patented manufacturing technology offers the greatest design flexibility to achieve mill-specific refining goals for all fiber types.

MaxEdge performance means having the correct refiner segments for the lowest energy consumption to achieve desired product properties. Hardwood, softwood and recycled fibers all require very different treatment. Because refining is about developing fibers to achieve final product properties, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Printing & writing paper, packaging and tissue are worlds apart. Yet, they all have refining in common. The challenge is finding refining solutions for these diverse end-uses. This is where custom-designed Finebar plates play a vital role.

Sustainability’s many dimensions

AFT has high standards for environmental performance and worker safety, striving to integrate that expectation in all technological solutions.

“Mill management inquiries for refiners often ask: How can we use less energy? What’s the best way to minimize water usage? What more can be done about noise? We have addressed these issues and more with the MaxEdge refiner” – concludes Riippa.

MaxEdge Double Disc Refiner Highlights

  • Finebar MiniSegment technology.
  • Energy efficiency.
  • IoT integration for higher performance, ease of operation and safety.
  • Fast payback for capital investment.

Key Technical Advantages

Custom-designed plate patterns available for a variety of furnishes and refining goals.

  • Simplicity: Single inlet and outlet for simplified piping. Open access design and Finebar MiniSegments are standard for crane-free replacement.
  • Reliability: refiner components with high-quality standards guarantees the refiner performance for an extended period.
  • Maintenance: easy and quick access when refiner key components need service