Local, fast, competent and personal
How the Voith OnCall Mobile service reduces downtime and ensures a smoother production in Jacksonville, Georgia, US.
Tim Nevius is headed out to Jacksonville this morning for Voith’s OnCall Mobile service. As a Field Service Engineer, he performs inspections, maintenance and repairs on machines at mills within a 250-mile radius. Two main factors are crucial for his work: his experience and a high-tech van stocked with specialized state-of-the-art equipment and critical items.
On arrival, Nevius inspects the DuoCleaner that uses highly pressurized water to clean the fabric mesh that carries the paper as it forms. Much of Voith’s machinery is calibrated to precise specs. The nozzles, for example, contain sapphire inserts with diameter openings of 0.1–1.7 mm. Nevius has developed a feel for those minute tolerances. “Because of my years of experience, I’ve got a good eye for this,” he says.
Moving underneath the hood of a stopped machine, Nevius stands on a steel catwalk inspecting the DuoCleaner heads. He then turns to repairing a leaking pump that regulates the pressure. Hydraulic pressure can reach several thousand pounds per square inch, so leaks present a safety hazard, to both equipment and personnel. “A leak in a pump cabinet producing up to 5,000 psi can produce a hole the size of a thread and act like a water knife,” Nevius explains. Mill contractors had used hoses during their maintenance made of a material that caused corrosion, which in turn caused the leaks. Nevius has the fix.
At paper mills like this one, machines run all day, every day, with the exception of a scheduled annual maintenance period. The superintendent at the mill is confident this service from Voith will save on stoppages. Partly because acquiring a working knowledge of the machines would require downtime, but also because the Voith technicians work much faster. “We need to have the guys with the right knowledge and expertise on that particular equipment to come in and service it for us,” he says. As Nevius moves through the mill, he explains how to check and set up the equipment, so the employees learn from him, too.
Typically, machines accumulate problems during the year between annual maintenance shutdowns.
“You’ve got a whole year. Things start breaking down, we start working on it, we don’t get it quite right, we use the wrong parts, and it was just a downhill spiral until we started using this service,” the superintendent admits. “Now we’re getting everything back up to par and keeping it there.”
A seamless service
In the afternoon, as the 30-foot-wide (9 m) sheet of paper spools through machines at 2,200 feet (670 m) per minute, Nevius paces the length of one of the paper machines, peering under the hood with a light. “I’m looking for opportunities,” he shouts. Part of his job is to identify any gaps in manufacturing technology that can be upgraded. By using the 3-D scanner stored in the van to capture large-scale and hyper-detailed imaging of machines and equipment, Nevius will also be able to reverseengineer solutions to problems with other manufacturers’ equipment.
Nevius speaks with deep admiration about the mill machinery, engineering and the process of papermaking. His job spans several areas of expertise – engineering, sales, personal relationships, instruction and maintenance – all of which are seamlessly integrated into what he does each day. And it is client-focused, as Nevius stresses: “We provide the premium service customers consistently seek.”