ABB Upgrades Felt Moisture and Permeability Meters for Paper Mills

December 02, 2020 by Alessandro Mascellino

ABB has released a new software upgrade to its L&W Felt Moisture and Felt Permeability Meters.

The updates will add dedicated functionality for online scanners and aims to maximize measurement frequency. According to ABB, the upgrades will also improve the devices’ value for paper mill customers, optimizing press section performance.


ABB’s L&W Felt Permeability and Felt Moisture Meters

According to the manufacturer, measuring felt status is paramount to building a cost-effective and efficient felt conditioning program and maximizing machine operations.

ABB’s L&W Felt Permeability Meter is designed to provide felt permeability measurement for paper mills, felt and chemical suppliers. Measuring the water permeability of the felts allows them to detect clogging and wear, enabling paper manufacturers to improve conditioning and dewatering, improving paper quality.


L&W Felt Permeability Meter package. Image courtesy of ABB.


As a result, suppliers can suggest more precise recommendations, and paper mills can improve and extend performance.

Press felt must also be kept clean and conditioned to enable the devices to take water and be de-watered uniformly throughout its lifetime. ABB’s L&W Felt Moisture Meters are built to this end and are capable of detecting press felt compacting, crowning, clogging, wear as well as the overall effectiveness of felt conditioning procedures.


Optimize Press Section Performance

Most felt permeability and felt moisture meters from ABB have previously operated manually.

The new updates add an online scanner functionality, enabling mills to maximize their scanner investment while also extending the life cycle of their felts. To facilitate both in-person and online operations, ABB also released a PressView 3D software application for PC to set up the device and enable more detailed review and analysis.


A close up of the L&W Felt Moisture Meter. Image courtesy of ABB.


PressView 3D features a dedicated function for online scanner usage, allowing operators to access unique zone-related 3D mapping and Graphical Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) analysis. According to ABB, these functions would enable engineers to visualize problems appearing at certain frequencies and link them to machine problem areas to localize specific coordinates on the felt.

“With more stringent safety requirements and the increased development in online scanners for felt measurement, these new features help papermakers to maximize their investment in online scanners and make more frequent measurements,” explained Ad de Brouwer, Product Manager for process measurements at ABB Pulp and Paper. 


Measuring Felt Moisture and Permeability 

In many industrial applications involving pulp and paper, moisture is a contaminant. Whether in gas or liquid form, moisture can potentially reduce product quality, damage equipment, and increase operational costs.

To prevent these hindrances, companies analyze humidity levels as the unit of measurement of moisture in gases.


L&W Felt Moisture Meter can be paired up with a PC for enhanced monitoring capabilities. Image courtesy of ABB.


These measurements are conducted with machines using either capacitive sensor technology or optical (chilled mirror) sensor technology. Permeability refers to the porous characteristics of organic/inorganic material that incorporates a sample’s susceptibility to both liquid and vapor.

When it comes to paper mills applications, it is necessary to let water flow easily into the press felt, thus removing it from the sheet in the press section. However, at the exit of the press nip, water must be kept from flowing back into the sheet, making felt permeability a necessity.

ABB’s new software updates will now improve and automate this process.

“The upgrades demonstrate our commitment to continuous product development that helps customers reduce energy and raw material usage, enhance felt life and performance and achieve maximum speed and runnability for their paper machines,” de Brouwer concluded.


What do you think about ABB’s L&W Felt Permeability and Felt Moisture Meters?