SANDVIK STEEL BELT STILL DELIVERS AFTER MORE THAN 17 YEARS

Steel belt commissioning: 1997

Dimensions: 3030 x 2,7 x 106923 mm

Material: 1650 SM

System: Dieffenbacher

Production output to date: 500 Mio m² Spanplatten


For over 25 years, Sandvik and Pfleiderer have enjoyed a close business relationship, their partnership supporting the production of everything from chipboard to coated furniture board. At its factory in Neumarkt in the Upper Palatinate, Germany, the company produces a variety of thicknesses of chipboard on two double-belt presses. More than 17 years ago in 1997, a Dieffenbacher double-belt press with Sandvik steel belts was put into operation. Since then, Pfleiderer has been using the same lower belt in its production processes. The upper belt has been in continuous use for 13 years. According to Pfleiderer, an average lifespan of eight to 10 years is the market standard.
 

From left: Horst Pelz (Sandvik Sales), Jürgen Seidel (Sandvik Market Manager), Maren Neuhaus (Sandvik Global Marketing), Dirk Beyer (Production Manager, Pfleiderer), Lothar Sennebogen (Plant Manager, Pfleiderer)

 
HOW CAN THE LONG SERVICE LIFE OF THIS SANDVIK STEEL BELT BE EXPLAINED?

Here in Neumarkt, the Sandvik 1650SM grade of steel belt, which has a martensitic structure, has proven its worth. It is characterised by its very high wear resistance and good reparability. The selected Sandvik steel belts, measuring 3030 x 2.7 x 106,923 mm, have proven to be reliable and robust over their 17 years of use. Lothar Sennebogen, plant manager at the Neumarkt site, reports a production volume of approximately 82,000m² per day of chipboard between 2.07m and 2.80mwide. This adds up to 500 million square metres of chipboard since 1997.
 
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE SANDVIK SERVICE TEAM?

Dirk Beyer is the productionmanager for all Pfleiderer sites and stresses that a 90%-and-above plant-up time is a must for Pfleiderer. A dedicated on-site maintenance team and the service work carried out by Sandvik are both vital for ensuring that this demand is met. When a steel belt is purchased, Sandvik agrees to provide a service training course as well as annual service visits. For repairs and service deployments at short notice, an average response time of one to two days is usual. In addition, four years ago, Pfleiderer put together an inter-plant team of specialists specifically for maintenance. This team received belt repair training from Sandvik and is able to perform regular maintenance tasks independently, including welding belt tears and maintaining belt edges. The plant is shut down once a year for the annual major inspection. In addition, there are short downtimes of approximately eight hours every six to eight weeks. During production, regular visual inspections are carried out, including inspection of the belt, so that any damage found can be dealt with directly.

Sandvik has developed its own tools for service and repair work. The Quick range includes the QuickDisc, which has been specially developed for belts in the woodworking industry. The QuickDisc cuts out the damaged area in a circle shape with a Sandvik Coromant tool. Neat cutting edges and small tolerances eliminate the need for reworking, such as sanding the edges. The QuickDisc can also be used to produce the circular blank, which is welded back into the cut out damaged area. In order to create a homogeneous structure again after machining, Sandvik has developed the Quick Annealer.
 
The tool is placed on the circular repair site and applies a concentrated heat of up to 600 °C to the weld area. The effect of this annealing action – or tempering – is to improve the hardness of the weld by as much as 30%. The surface is measured precisely after welding with the Sandvik Quick Profiler so that the development of the structure can be documented.
 
MAINTENANCE

The in-house maintenance team at Pfleiderer performs regular mechanical cleaning using Scotch-Brite brushes. This ensures that the belt surface is kept as free from dirt and product residues as possible. The plant management and maintenance management teams have confirmed that this cooperation between Pfleiderer and Sandvik is highly successful.

Mr Sennebogen said, “Sandvik’s advice has always been comprehensive and good. The service reports have contained not only observations but
also the corresponding recommended actions or possible options. In my opinion, the selected report format and style was very successful.” 
 
As a result, time-consuming repairs and unscheduled machine downtimes have been avoided. In this regard, Sandvik has proven to be a reliable
partner. It is excellently positioned in the field of Service & Support with its team of nine.
 

REQUIREMENTS OF A SANDVIK STEEL BELT

For future requirements, Sandvik intends to expand the Engineering and Technical Support area and adapt to customers’ requirements. The focus here will be on amore accuratemeasuring procedure as well as on further development of the service tools. This is because increasingly high demands are being placed on the steel belt surface of the press belts. Customers like Pfleiderer are optimising their production in terms of profitability and product quality. After production, for instance, they want to move the chipboard directly into the finishing process, such as painting or CPL coating. It is therefore hoped that in future the need to grind the board surfaces will be minimised.


Issues such as surface coating and non-stick coatings have therefore become very important from the customer’s perspective. To meet these market requirements, Sandvik is investing in research and development and therefore remains a trusted partner for new challenges and joint solutions.


This article was first published in Panels & Furniture Asia (May/June issue)