Coincident with the big speedup and conversion operation on Number 7 paper machine, and with the installation of a third winder to permit greater efficiency on Number 7 and 8 machines, a further significant advance in plant modernization has been completed at Powell River.
This is the new automatic roll handling system, one of the most modern in the pulp and paper industry.
Embodying the main features of similar installations recently introduced in Alaska and United States, Powell River has carried the automation process considerably beyond any presently known equipment. Two principal new features are:
1) Automatic shaft handling.
2) Almost automatic core feeding.
It is not the intention here to go into technical details of the new equipment. But a brief description of the old methods of roll handling coupled with the accompanying pictures of the modern installation may help the reader to understand something of the changes that have been made-made without interrupting newsprint production.
In the old method the paper machine crews had to handle a set of rolls every 20 minutes by air hoist, from winder to wrapping drums, manually extracting a 400-pound shaft 22 feet long, juggle the shaft back to the winder on a small dolly and manually reload it with cores before putting it back on the machine. After wrapping, the rolls were again manhandled on dollies, whirled across the floor and pushed off the dollies onto the lowerator to the finishing room.
This entire operation, as the photographs show, is now almost entirely automatic. In the finishing room where the rolls are wrapped for final shipment, the same conversion has taken place. Rolls are moved, turned or tipped by pressing buttons. A press of the foot starts the wrapping process, and a "flying wire" cuts the wrapper.
Weighing, upending and transportation to trucks are all in the same airy atmosphere-and the whole process is an imaginative and fascinating one for which local engineers and technical men have been highly praised by visiting experts.
Powell River Digester,
Vol. 32, No. 3
16 October 1956
Powell River, British Columbia, Canada