Valmet-supplied key technology for Kotkamills started up

Kotkamills personnel at start-up on July 22, 2016. Kotkamill's CEO Markku Hämäläinen the third from left and Project Director Stefan Fors in the front row kneeling (the second from right). Photo by Johanna Mäkelä.

The start-up of Kotkamills' rebuilt board machine 2 (BM2) in Finland took place on July 22, 2016. Valmet supplied key technology and automation package for the extensive paper machine grade conversion project. The printing paper (MFC) production line was converted to produce a range of folding boxboards and food service boards.

"Our BM2 is the first machine in the world to have the capability to produce dispersion barrier coatings directly on the machine, producing barrier boards that can be recycled with normal paper waste due to having zero plastic content. The interest in our new sustainable products has been massive. The new machine offers a wide range of interesting possibilities for converters, brand owners and designers alike," says Markku Hämäläinen, Chief Executive Officer of Kotkamills.

"The project schedule was really tight; from the change of the ownership of Kotkamills to start-up in less than sixteen months. That is extremely fast. I am very pleased with cooperation with Valmet and how well-prepared Valmet's project organization was for such an extensive project," says Stefan Fors, Project Director of Kotkamills.

Valmet's delivery included equipment for stock preparation, a new coating section with two layering curtain coating stations, a blade coating station with roll application, a sizing section with film application and all related coating air dryers. A wide scope of equipment for coating color kitchen and machine circulation for sizing and coating was included. The delivery also included a center driven reel, a two-drum compact winder, modernization of dryer section and calender.

An extensive automation package for BM2 included Valmet DNA machine and drive controls with integrated condition monitoring, and Valmet IQ quality management solution including QCS, several profilers and web runnability monitoring and inspection system. Automation deliveries for the pulp mill and the Chemithermomechanical pulp (CTMP) plant include a number of analyzers and measurements including optimizing process controls for various process stages. CTMP plant and the coating kitchen are also equipped with Valmet DNA automation system.

A performance agreement between Kotkamills and Valmet was made to continuously develop BM2 coating process to qualify as high class coated board. The agreement involves both on-site support and troubleshooting support via remote connection to speed up problem solving.

"The Valmet-delivered equipment has worked well without any major setbacks. We have also made the first barrier coating run with success," says Petri Aspholm Senior Project Manager from Valmet.

Kotkamills Oy is a Finnish forest industry company with a long tradition of over 140 years in the business. Kotkamills is part of Kotkamills Group Oyj which was established in early 2015.

Kotkamills produces folding boxboard and food service board, saturating base kraft papers for laminate production, impregnated products and sawn timber. It has two production facilities in Finland and one in Malaysia. The company has approximately 500 employees, with a majority located in Finland. The turnover of Kotkamills Oy was 266 million euros in 2015.