Damaged press belt on a particleboard line restored to health
Steel belt manufacturer Sandvik recently used its new QuickDisc Plus tool to complete its biggest ever patch repair project: removing and replacing a 480mm diameter area of a damaged press belt for a particleboard plant and restoring it to perfect working order.
The work was carried out for Arauco at its particleboard plant in Bennettsville, South Carolina, USA. It was done with such expertise that no trace of the repair can be detected.
This is the first time the Sandvik QuickDisc Plus 500 was employed for a ‘live’ repair since it was launched at LIGNA 2017. Arauco’s maintenance team is delighted with the result.
“We are highly impressed with the outcome of the QuickDisc patch repair,” Will Altman, maintenance supervisor, said at the Bennettsville facility. “Our concern was that the amount of welding required would cause a deflection in that area or an ‘oil can’ effect and possibly affect heat transfer.
“However, since starting up, there’s no indication of a repair. There are absolutely no marks or halos or anything visible on the board.”
The repair was carried out by Sandvik service partner Conny Neumayr. It involved the replacement of an area that had previously undergone several repairs.
“Multiple repairs concentrated around a single point creates tensions and unevenness,” explained Neumayr. “These distortions make the area more susceptible to cracking after each repair.”
Professional service and repair
Sandvik’s QuickDisc Plus 500 is a self-contained cutting, welding and grinding system based on a single jig that attaches itself to the belt. The press belt at Arauco is 2.7mm thick and made from a high strength Sandvik 1650SM grade steel ideal for harsh conditions.
The first stage in the process was to remove the damaged area using the automatic carbide cutter. This is replaced using a disc cut from the extra length of belt supplied together with all Sandvik press belts for the purpose of repairs.
The cutter is then replaced in the jig by a track-welding unit that ensures accurate, semi-automatic replacement of the disc. Once welding is finished, the weld area is ground down and the repair, complete.
The work at Arauco took about two hours once the equipment had been set up, a major saving compared to the over 10 hours it can take to cut and replace an entire belt width with an inserted section.
The development of the QuickDisc Plus 500 has extended Sandvik’s service and repair capabilities, an area the company recognises as being of prime importance.
Anders Köijer, Sandvik’s Global Product & Service manager, said, “Arauco is the second largest panel producer in the world and has invested heavily in the North American and European markets in recent years. Our role as a belt supplier is only part of the story. We are also there to help them maximise the quality of their end-product and the longevity of their belts.”
He added, “Service is now a key differentiator and we’re committed to taking the lead in wood-based panels. Today, with the market moving towards ever thinner boards – produced at speeds up to 2000 mm/sec – the need for near perfection in belt quality is increasing. We will continue to invest in the technologies necessary to deliver the high standards.”