Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Shared responsibility for paper machine hygiene.

Current situation of process hygiene control in paper industry is relatively complicated.

No matter very effective control methods are already available (epifluorescence microscopy, ATP Assay, PCR, PMEU incubations) the roles of paper mills, biocide suppliers and raw material producers are not very clear.

Based on the experiences by Industrial Microbiologist since beginning of 80', it seems that paper mills prefer external services and this tendency is evergrowing today. Biocide suppliers have developed novel analyse methods which can be applied even at the mills, and many raw material suppliers know their response to deliver minerals, starches etc. with good hygienic quality for paper and board mills.

What should still be developed is the active role of paper mills themselves to control their machines. There is no more any need for expensive microbiological laboratories - in opposite, many methods could either be applied by wet end laboratories of the mills or be bought from external companies (ref. BIOTOUCH Service).

Wet end chemistry has already been controlled with ON LINE analyse units by certain institutes in Finland over years. ON LINE microbiological control is also coming soon, referring several current project proposals.

A combination of all parties - paper mills, biocide suppliers and raw material producers - would spare remarkable amount of money by optimizing biocide programs, by planning washing programs, by responsing immediately to hazardous situations and avoiding costs of returned products.