MG Engineering provided detailed structural and mechanical design and construction supervision for an automated core cutting system in the Alberta Newsprint Mill in Whitecourt Alberta.
The decision was made to produce newsprint cores in-house in order to reduce costs, improve quality and have a faster reaction to customer requirements. To reduce construction costs, ANC requested that the core cutting system be contained within the original mill building next to the paper machine. This required the engineering and design of an elevated structural steel platform for storing the loaded core carts with a monorail system leading from the storage platform to parent core hoppers feeding the core cutting equipment.
The project involved compatibility of all the components required to move the core carts from flat bed truck to a storage platform to the core cutting hopper feed system, with design and layout to avoid conflict with existing finishing line equipment and allow unobstructed access to ANC operators.
Parent Core Carts
Core cart design balanced the weight and dimensions of the cart for maximum core capacity, cart capacity on the core storage platform and monorails, and movement of the carts to the core cutting area. The design required consultation with the core manufacturing company, who would be loading and arranging transportation of the 26 carts to the mill site, and with the supplier of the core cutting equipment to ensure compatibility with the machinery.
Core Storage Platform
The core cutting setup required the on-site storage of parent cores. MG developed a number of options for method and location of both the core cutting equipment and the core storage area. The chosen option was a raised structural steel platform at the dry end of the paper machine, with a drop gate and 2 curved monorails leading from the platform to the new core cutting area. The raised platform clears the existing roll conveyor and allows the area beneath to continue being used for roll storage during wrap line slowdowns. Placement of the platform in this location allows the utilization of the existing paper machine crane to hoist the loaded core carts from the basement below onto the platform. The loaded core carts are transferred to the cutting area, as required, using motorized hoists and trolleys along the two new 5 tonne monorails.
The automated core cutting machinery consists of a dual hopper and feed system, feed conveyor to a core saw, a scrap core reject conveyor to a junk chute, bevelling, routing and notcher stations, a hydraulic end capper, a measuring and glue station and finally a cut core scissor table which pushes the finished cores into a cart that is wheeled over to the winder. Placement and layout of the core cutting machinery was planned for close proximity to the winder and to ensure access around and about the dry end of the paper machine. The parent core hoppers and feed system were essentially custom built for this application. Considerable coordination and consultation with the manufacturer was required to optimize the installation of the entire system. MG was also involved in observing the factory acceptance test of the Berlin Foundry core cutting equipment to ensure proper run ability prior to delivery.
Dust Collection system
A dust collection system was installed which consisted of a cyclone with a rotary airlock valve, associated ductwork, concrete bunker, blower fan with filters and numerous pick up points at the cutting equipment.
The system is automated to start and run when the core cutting equipment was being used.
MG was responsible for the structural design and production of detailed engineering drawings for the project, authored the contract documents and evaluated the returned tenders. Mechanical design included the equipment layout and design assistance and coordination with the supplier. Electrical engineering consisted of design and production of detailed cable schedule, PLC drawings, terminal block drawings and a electrical services schedule. MG provided qualified personnel for on-site construction supervision and management for all disciplines.