The Port Townsend Paper Corp. is working to resolve a noise issue that surfaced after an annual 10-day shutdown of the paper mill for repairs. Michael Craft, mill general manager, said Monday that a …
The Port Townsend Paper Corp. is working to resolve a noise issue that surfaced after an annual 10-day shutdown of the paper mill for repairs. Michael Craft, mill general manager, said Monday that a noise silencer is expected to be installed in the next two weeks on a piece of equipment on its No. 2 paper machine.
Craft said Monday that five capital projects were carried out at the mill during the Oct. 22-Oct. 31 shutdown in an effort to make mill improvements and specifically to enhance the quality of paper coming off the machines. Equipment to improve reliability for pulping machines and boilers also was added.
“During the annual outage, we installed a new piece of equipment on our No. 2 paper machine to enhance product quality,” Craft said. “This resulted in an unexpected noise frequency from a vent off the blower.”
Craft wrote in a Nov. 6 follow-up email that mill officials have been working since restarting mill operations to address the noise and made modifications suggested by the manufacturer. Mill officials developed an alternative plan to run without the blower if that modification didn’t work to “achieve the goal we sought.”
“Although the sound is not loud, it is still a high-pitch noise,” Craft wrote. “We are working with the manufacturer to install a noise silencer, which will be installed on the vent to address this frequency range,” he wrote, adding that he expected that to occur within two weeks.
Craft spoke to Jefferson County commissioners on Monday about the noise. The noise issue has surfaced as a concern, along with the smell coming from the mill.
More than 400 contractors working extended hours helped with the shutdown alongside regular millworkers, he said. Craft said 640 maintenance jobs were completed.
He did not want to elaborate on details of the improvements, including value of the work done, as he considers such information privileged business information that could be used by the mill’s competition.
“Most of the work was directed around routine maintenance, repairs and cleaning of the mill process systems and emissions control equipment,” Craft wrote. “In addition, work was also performed on five capital projects.”
“The outage went well, was on schedule, and we implemented some improvements we were targeting,” Craft wrote.
As for the noise issue on the one piece of new equipment, Craft wrote, “We apologize for this noise increase and expect resolution within two weeks.”