TAI Facilitates Electrical Installation of Valmet Smelt Spout Robot, the First in North America

CLIENT: CONFIDENTIAL
MARKET: Consumer Goods
LOCATION: Pennsylvania, USA
SERVICES:Multidiscipline Services
COMPLETED: 2023
VALUE CLASS: $1.4 MM Project Cost

ABOUT: The Client is one of the largest specialty paper companies in North America, with pulp and paper operations in five locations, offering a wide range of specialty papers for various markets, such as carbonless, security, envelope, label, inkjet, opaque, book and more. The Client also offers barrier coating technologies for sustainable packaging and brand appeal.

Project Details:

TAI provided preliminary engineering, design, documentation, and coordination services that focused on Electrical Power, Instrumentation, Automation & Controls for a new Valmet Smelt Spout Robot for a recovery boiler, the first of its kind in North America. Part of a product line that has been continuously refined since its launch in 2008, the Valmet Robot was the centerpiece in a challenging retrofit installation that required creative thinking to avoid existing piping and steam lines. TAI functioned as the integrator for the supporting power and control systems and provided the outside-the-boundary-limits preliminary engineering for the electrical and controls required to integrate the new robot system into the existing facility’s power and controls systems. TAI coordinated with facility and vendor personnel, and provided close contractor supervision, to enable the Valmet Smelt Spout Robot and all required auxiliary system components to be installed and commissioned with a during a brief boiler outage.

Traditionally, the removal of smelt deposits from recovery boiler spouts has been a crucial but hazardous task that’s manually carried out by operators. This process exposed them to various dangers, including molten smelt, black liquor, hot gases, and ash. However, the introduction of the robot eliminates the need for these hands-on tasks, allowing operator to redirect their attention to other important responsibilities while increasing the overall safety of the mill. The robot’s primary function is to efficiently remove smelt deposits, which is essential for maintaining open boiler spouts and enhancing the overall efficiency of the liquor recovery cycle. By regularly cleaning the recovery boiler smelt spouts, the robot ensures stable smelt flow, optimal cleaning, and a safer operation of the boiler, thus minimizing safety risks and enabling operators to focus on other tasks.

Operators retain control and visibility remotely, monitoring the robot and all three smelt spouts from the Control Room using six CCTV cameras. They can program cleaning sequences and use the robot’s camera for troubleshooting and evaluation. Integrating the use of the robot improved safety for operators and productivity for the Client.

TAI performed the following services:

  • Electrical Project Management
  • Electrical Construction Document Preparation
  • Scope Development & Vendor Coordination
  • Power System Design
  • Field Control Device Design
  • CCTV System Design
  • Contractor Bid Evaluations & Award
  • Testing & Commissioning

See how the Valmet robot improved worker safety and efficiency!

Services Provided:

  • Automation, Instrumentation & Controls Engineering
  • Project Management
  • Commissioning
  • Engineering Detailed Design
  • Construction Management Support Services