Coldwater Seals, Inc. now provides benchmarking data on suction roll operating intervals by position and paper grade.
Many of our customers run formal and sophisticated operational excellence systems using tools such as Kaizen, or Six Sigma. Others have less formal systems, but still strive for continuous improvement and benefit from measuring themselves against their peers and competitors.
Coldwater Seals is the world’s largest supplier of suction roll seals. With facilities in the US, UK and China, and distributors in many other countries, more than 2000 sets of Coldwater suction roll seals are installed around the world every year. As a result, we are uniquely positioned to observe the running intervals of suction rolls across all grades of paper and machine positions.
Benchmark This data summarizes our analysis of over 1500 selected orders from the last few years where Coldwater was believed to be the sole supplier through the time examined. This data should represent a statistically significant sampling of the actual operating intervals of our customers.
This data also provides our customers with new benchmarks to compare their operations to and targets for future improvements. We will update this data periodically, or as we see any material changes.
The average run times by position are fairly consistent ranging from 10 to 15 months with many just over one year. This result is expected as annual outages often cause roll changes without regard to roll condition. However, the beginning of the top quartile is almost twice as long, ranging from 17 to 27 months, so many rolls are now being run significantly longer. It surprised us that press rolls actually had longer running intervals on average than couch rolls, though the difference was not great. It also surprised us that operating interval did not seem to correlate with machine speed. Printing and Writing machines exhibited significantly longer operating intervals than any other grade in every position we tracked.
Among the best performers, there were a significant number of intervals exceeding 3 years with a few from each grade and position. The very longest intervals were in excess of 4 years.
Many of the rolls in this data were beneficiaries of Coldwater’s custom fitting service that adjusts the size of the seals based on dimensions taken from the roll shell and suction box. In addition to longer operating intervals, this service also allows the roll to operate at lower air tube pressures, which reduces drag load saving power.