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CASE STUDY: Mondi’s kiln with brains

When one piece of production equipment becomes a major bottleneck, the mill discussion centres around rebuild or replace. Mondi SCP’s mill in Slovakia chose a third option: automate. They now have a lime kiln with brains – and the white liquor plant is no longer a bottleneck.

From the top of a recovery boiler, you can usually get a sweeping view of a mill’s operations. At Mondi SCP’s mill in Ružomberok, Slovakia you get something more: a view of the Váh River and snow-capped mountains nearby. This mill is truly embedded in the Ružomberok community – which is a major tourist area – and in harmony with the surrounding natural beauty.

Surprisingly, what you don’t see from the recovery boiler is the lime kiln. You would think it would be easy to spot a 100 m long rotating cylinder …. where did it go?

“It’s right down there,” says Vladimir Krajči, Recovery Line Manager, pointing to a roof-covered structure below. It is just very unique.” Krajči explains that the old kiln is “part Russian style, part Western style” and that he has never seen another kiln like this one. One part of the “Russian” contribution was the full-length roof which shields the kiln from view. The Western contribution is the firing end and flue gas recirculation system.

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