Ed Gumina, President & CEO
There is no argument that improving production efficiency is crucial for companies in the paper and pulp industry to stay competitive. A key component or perhaps, the most critical one that can help manufacturers achieve production efficiency is the roundness of their rolls. Imperfections in the roundness can lead to serious production issues. It affects the performance and speed of the machine, quality of the product, and can even force manufacturing units to shut down for emergency repairs or frequent roll maintenance. Moreover, running defective rolls leads to wastage of raw materials and, eventually, low revenue margins. The costs associated with frequent regrinds and production downtime adds to these expenses. This is where precision grinding can perform its magic.
Ed Gumina, President, and CEO of Precision Roll Grinders (PRG), recalls the story of a modern paper mill in the country that chose a mediocre grinding service. When the job was complete, the rolls looked perfectly round to the naked eye; the documentation also gave the same result. However, when the production resumed, the machines experienced abnormal vibrations, and eventually, they had to stop the mill for maintenance. The manufacturer incurred huge costs in downtime and frequent servicing of their rolls. “The paper mill hadn’t given serious thought about precision grinding before partnering with PRG,” mentions Gumina. With PRG, the mill successfully extended the roll-life to 12 months without the need for any servicing in between. The cost saved through reduced downtime was an added benefit.
“In the pulp and paper industry, rounder rolls mean increased roll life, reduced downtime, and improved efficiency. Only precisely ground rolls can produce a high-quality product, and power more efficient operation with extended roll life,” says Gumina. As a roll and cylindrical shaft grinding and servicing company, PRG has built a niche in offering grinding services that ensure the utmost precision of rolls. PRG provides tighter grind tolerances than anyone else in the Americas and the Asia Pacific, at a competitive price. PRG’s services enable manufacturers to keep their run-time up, maintenance expenses low, and a seamless production line.
Precision Grinding is the Key to Production Efficiency
It is evident that imperfections in the rolls cut into the profitability and production efficiency of the paper manufacturing industry. Meanwhile, the cost associated with servicing a roll has become higher than ever, and manufacturers are looking for ways to bring it down. Gumina elaborates on the profitability and cost savings aspect of their services with an example.
A maintenance supervisor happened to choose a roll grinding service from a short stack of bids. The selected company offered the lowest price tag, but the client failed to recognize the hidden costs associated with the service. As the service cost seemed low, the management was also pleased. However, it was a short-lived satisfaction. Within six months, the roll caused chaos in the production line, producing chatter and barring, which resulted in profile variations and unplanned maintenance shutdowns. Frustrated with frequent disruption in production, the mill approached PRG instead of going for yet another subpar servicing. With precision grinding, PRG gave the client roll shapes that are rounder than any of their competitors. It took 12 months for PRG’s roll to reach a tolerance of 0.0008, which is surprisingly the same as the other roll grinder’s tolerance at the starting point. Gumina asks, “Stopping the production for regrinds every six months or regrinding every 15 months, which one would you prefer?” After a while, PRG’s roll grind outperformed the other one by an additional nine months for a total of 15 months of operation without any disruption in the production line.
Only precisely ground rolls can produce a high-quality product, and power more efficient operation with extended roll life
While different rolls and applications in other major industrial segments may experience slightly different run-times, clients report outstanding results with PRG’s services. PRG produces better results than original equipment manufacturers or other grinding services.
Innovation Backed by Technology
PRG can meet the grinding requirements on all types of rolls, shafts, and cylinders. Their technology enables them to hold 20 millionths of an inch on roundness and up to 50 feet long and seven feet in diameter. If the client desires an extensive overhaul, PRG leverages its extensive roll building capabilities, including suction roll builds and modifications variable crown roll builds with static and dynamic leak testing. The company guarantees to extend the life of rolls between consecutive grinds by 200 and 400 percent. In effect, PRG can extend the life of rolls two to four times compared to its competitors. In order to protect the rolls from wear and extend the production life of rolls, PRG uses ceramic and carbide coatings. “The quality of the product that comes out of these rolls makes our clients competitive in the global market,” says Gumina.
PRG understands the difference a round roll can make in the production line.
And for that reason, the company ensures quality by measuring the roundness accurately and maintaining it throughout the client’s production process. PRG makes use of the 24-Point SpecCheck™, which is essentially 24 quality checkpoints, to ensure that the rolls meet the required specifications.
PRG’s technology also allows them to execute a special type of grinding, which is done by only three companies in the world. The company can grind at 500 degrees Fahrenheit to simulate the temperature that a roll endures in the production. PRG is also the only company in the world that leverages 3D grinding technology. They perform this using a program that can grind at ambient temperature and simulate grinding at operating temperature. This gives them the additional benefit of not having to incur the cost of a hot grind every time they grind. In order to execute that, PRG uses a 3D map and write a correlation program to grind rolls that simulates the operating temperature.
Client Satisfaction is our Priority
PRG has a team of experienced professionals who work together to provide unmatched value and service to the customers. Unlike a traditional company, its workforce isn’t structured according to a hierarchy. Every member of the organization takes responsibility for the tasks they are committed to. When it comes to client servicing, they go the extra mile to bring transparency into processes. For example, in order to get rid of the frustrating invoicing process and serve clients better, the company maintains complete transparency in its pricing. From roll grinding to maintenance and repair, PRG keeps the client informed about the costs. There are instances when the estimate changes based on new requirements from the customer. In such cases, after discussing the changes with the client, PRG sends the updated pricing within 24 hours of approval. This helps clients immediately adjust their purchase orders. Apart from that, PRG makes sure they deliver the services without any delays to help clients continue with their manufacturing processes and offer seamless support throughout the lifecycle.
"The quality of the product that comes out of the rolls makes our clients competitive in the global market"
Established 50 years ago in Allentown, PA, PRG today has its operations across major cities, including Carrollton, GA, Lewisport, KY and Texarkana, AR. Alongside the geographical expansion, the company has also attained the technical capacity to grind the rolls that weigh up to 120 Tons. Having a diverse clientele—from rubber manufacturing, paper, and pulp, to chocolate and food processing industry—under its sleeves, PRG envisions becoming the customer’s trusted advisor when it comes to the increasingly complex challenges associated with grinding. “We strive to become the global leader in critical roll grinding solutions,” concludes Gumina.