In this fourth of six articles in our dedicated series, we're continuing our discussion on the significance of moisture content (MC) controls in various industries and how they prevent unnecessary damage and loss. In the paper industry, Delmhorst moisture meters have always provided the highest level of MC control service. With two new Delmhorst devices soon entering the market, paper commodity producers will have even better tools to use to protect the quality of their stock.
Unlimited Opportunities For Paper and Paper Products
Regardless of digitization, paper remains a stalwart foundation of today's industrial complex. Worldwide, more than 417 million tons of paper are produced each year, and that global market value now sits at ~USD 351B. On average, Americans consume approximately 31.5 million tons of printed and written paper stock each year, and that volume continues to rise.
The uses for paper continue to expand, as well.
Basic print paper is ubiquitous, as is newsprint, tissue, packaging paper, book paper, etc.
The COVID-19 pandemic generated an explosion in the use of cardboard for packaging deliverable goods.
Paper cores are integral to the success of the paper commodity industry. These sturdy cardboard tubes provide the rigidity and infrastructure necessary to transport billions of linear feet of paper products around the world.
Further, the number of paper types is expanding. Acid-free paper, for example, is a staple for many media publication entities. Blotting paper, archival paper, business cards and form stock, and calculator and cash register roles are other examples of how people and industries use paper.
In all these instances, the quality of the paper is vital to the success of the product or service into which it is incorporated.
Moisture Levels Matter in Paper Production and Storage
Many paper producers who want to maintain or grow their market share already use Delmhorst moisture meters to verify that the MC of their product is optimal for its purpose. Their goal is to confirm that the moisture content of the foundational pulp material is appropriate for production. Note, too, that optimal moisture levels in pulp are different from optimal levels in paper. Consequently, paper commodity manufacturers must maintain exacting MC measurements throughout the entire span of the production line.
Moisture in Process
Managing the MC in the wood pulp that becomes paper is critical to that paper's ultimate quality. Too much water in the wood chip slurry affects the chemical and physical properties that facilitate paper production. Both excess and insufficient moisture levels can cause the subsequent paper product to disintegrate or fall apart.
Additionally, international specifications mandated for the pulp industry control the relative volume of moisture in pulp depending on how it's dried. Air-dried pulp contains about 10% moisture, which minimizes fiber bonding and facilitates easier water dispersal. Conversely, the roll pulp is dried to a 5 to 6% MC, enabling easier processing from that status.
Wood pulp moisture meters track the relative moisture levels within the pulp mixture to certify that after it is pressed, the resulting paper contains the accurate and specific MC needed.
Moisture in Product
All paper products contain certain physical properties that ensure they perform appropriately for their producers and ultimate consumers. Attributes such as porosity, permeability, smoothness, opacity, and roughness affect how print will appear on the paper's surface. Other qualities, including stiffness, breaking strength, and tear resistance impact the handling and usage management of the commodity.
The many varieties of paper products provide an almost unlimited variety of service opportunities, and the physical components of each batch of pulp must be matched to achieve the exact specifications required for each individual purpose. Delmhorst designed its new moisture meters to assure its customers that they will fulfill those particular pulp and paper MC requirements in every batch.
Delmhorst's PX-20 and PX-30 Moisture Meters for Paper
These new devices include three calibrations made specifically for paper MC testing — one for kraft stock, one for baled or recycled stock, and one for paper materials that don't have identified material calibrations. Both devices enhance the service qualities found in earlier moisture meters for paper devices.
Their large dashboard-like displays clearly illuminate moisture level measurements as they are taken, even in the darkest environments. They also offer adjustable lighting to suit the users' preferences. The devices display accurate, up-to-the-minute MC levels in complete dark, full light, and even unevenly lit industrial environments.
They were also designed to make it as easy to use as possible, with intuitive programming that eliminates the need for special training before using the tool.
The PX-30 is distinct from the PX-20, in that it includes Bluetooth® functionality for use with Delmhorst's EDGE™ application. The EDGE™ application gives users more control over their moisture-measuring activities and enables critical data streaming to corporate databases. The PX-30 also sends statistical data to users' databases and spreadsheets for analysis and future use. Long-term tracking of production data provides additional business intelligence to inform the decisions of paper and pulp commodity manufacturers.
Delmhorst is also mindful of its customer's current moisture meter appliance and accessory inventories. Accordingly, both the PX-20 and the PX-30 use the same electrodes and probes already acquired for use with other Delmhorst tools designed for the paper and pulp industry. The opportunity for valued customers to retain already-acquired assets reduces their cost of adoption and maximizes their existing investments.
There appears to be no end to the global growth of the paper and pulp industry. Manufacturers looking to retain or grow their market share can contact Delmhorst anytime to discuss how these two new devices can help them achieve those industrial goals. Our next article in this series will detail the benefits and offer use cases for Delmhorst's CX-20 and CX-30 moisture meters for the cotton industry.