"The pressure conveyor system we have developed has many advantages compared to traditional conveyors based on mechanical solutions. The initial expenses of the conveyor are smaller, it is more energy efficient, safer and easier to maintain," states Mikko Rantanen, Chairman of the Board of Sovellusmestarit Oy.
Paper rolls move on top of the pressure conveyor element by rolling forward. The conveyor has no moving parts that could cause injuries or scrape the paper rolls. The system is suited for both new installations and replacement investments in paper mills.
"The technology is unique. It has been very well received on the market, and we have supplied several systems in Finland. We began international deliveries last autumn and are currently implementing projects in China, India, Canada, the United States and Sweden."
Stora Enso’s Anjala Paper Mill has been using a pressure conveyor system supplied by Sovellusmestarit since autumn 2009.
"We were looking for a new solution for a section where paper rolls are transferred from one conveyor to another. There were several options, but the main decisive factor in favour of the pressure conveyor was its easy installation. The system could be installed on top of the old equipment with no need to disassemble it. The usability and capacity of the conveyor have met our every requirement. Savings in compressed air have also been significant," explains Harri Mörsäri, Planning Manager from Stora Enso’s Anjala Paper Mill.
"From the beginning, the conveyor system seemed incredibly simple and has also proved to deliver this promise. The technology was different from what everyone was used to. The system attracted a lot of attention at the mill, and there has been a great deal of wonderment about it," Harri Mörsäri continues.
The company Sovellusmestarit was established in 2008, and the paper roll handling system has had a great significance for the growth of the company.
"Last year, we quadrupled our turnover to EUR 1.2 million, and the steep rise has continued in 2012: the increase in turnover in the first part of the year was three times the figure from 2011. We have great expectations for the future, as potential demand for the product is strong", says Mikko Rantanen.
With Tekes funding, the company was able to further develop the technology of the prototype for the conveyor and productise and commercialise the innovation.
"Discussions with Tekes experts have been fruitful – they have contributed to the human capital of the company. Thanks to Tekes funding, one or two people are able to concentrate on product development full time, and the results obtained have supported this arrangement. Funding has great significance for a small company, where development has mainly been carried out by internal financing. We would not be here without Tekes."
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Text by Teonsana Oy