Sulzer focuses on development partnerships and pumps as smart data collectors

Sulzer has a long tradition as a supplier to the pulp, paper and board industry. The company, with head office in Winterthur, Switzerland, is a committed development partner to the industry, focusing on both new production processes for wood fiber-based products, and the use of digital technologies.

author: Sulzer Pumps Finland Oy

Industry Insight by:

Sulzer Pumps Finland Oy

Last year, some 15,550 employees generated sales of around 3.4 billion Swiss francs. The global network includes 180 sites for development, production, sales and service. The pulp, paper and board industry, along with energy, water, food, biofuels, metal and mining industries, is of key significance to the company. “The pulp and paperboard industry is one of our key markets as a supplier of a complete product range. The processes and applications in these industries, as well as the development of new wood-based raw materials have a high priority within our R&D department. We are also committed to form new partnerships. This strategic, dedicated and long-term cooperation at pilot and demo sites is crucial for capitalizing on the fascinating future potential of this industry”, explained Veli-Pekka Tiittanen, Head of Industry Business Unit at Sulzer.

Competence center in Kotka

The Sulzer competence center in Kotka, Finland, is the world’s largest test loop research facility for the pulp and paper industry, and for new process applications based on wood as a raw material. Pumping and mixing technologies can be tested on an industrial scale. The test cycles are suitable for different liquids and can handle fiber suspensions that have a consistency of up to 20 percent. The system is designed for the study of pumping, agitation and mixing processes and is available for demo runs and tests, conducted with absolute confidentiality.

In Sulzer’s view, even closer and more active collaboration between manufacturers, machine builders, engineering companies and scientific institutes is crucial to seizing the opportunities that the wood-based industry will open in the future. The increase in pulp demand continues strongly for board and tissue as well as for other hygienic products and will accelerate for textiles. Forest companies, research institutes and other industry partners are actively investigating and developing new processes for additional higher-value wood raw material-based products. Such developments are, for example, replacing cotton and oil-based synthetic fibers like polyester, or producing higher-value carbon products and modified cellulose materials for packaging barriers, coatings for medicines and nutrients.

Intelligent solutions

The innovation power of Sulzer is based on knowledge and expertise gained over decades. The AHLSTAR series of process pumps is particularly efficient, suitable for use with substances in large volumes, including various types of suspensions even with a high proportion of air or gas.

Many of Sulzer’s products are tailored to specific process applications. MC medium-consistency pumping systems combine high performance with energy-saving capabilities and are used in pulp mills with the world’s highest production rates. The SALOMIX horizontal agitators and Scaba vertical agitators offer optimum results in mixing applications with liquid and pulp tanks or towers, while the TMS tower management system prevents channel formation in pulp storage towers offering important process advantages. The double suction axially split pumps ZPP and Z22 are specially designed for use in paper and board machines’ head box feed, and the multi-stage MBN pumps cover a wide range of high pressure and shower water applications. Sulzer HST turbo compressors, aerators and submersible pumps and mixers are important products for industrial water treatment processes.

Innovation and Research & Development play a pivotal role in the sustained success of Sulzer


MCE™ medium consistency pumping systems for fiber suspensions up to 18% dry solid content.

Digital technologies

According to Sulzer, it is now possible – and affordable – to turn pumps into smart, interconnected devices. The company recently launched Sulzer Sense, a smart wireless condition monitoring solution that can be attached to all kind of rotating equipment. The system is designed to measure temperature and vibration.
The data is sent to the cloud and can be monitored in Sulzer’s online service on a mobile, tablet or laptop anywhere and anytime.
The solution supports predictive maintenance and helps to avoid sudden pump failure and eventual downtime. No manual measurement is required, and this saves time and improves safety at the site. Sulzer aims to deliver its new process pumps with the integrated sensor. The company continues to develop further predictive maintenance algorithms, machine learning and smart asset management functionalities to maximize the added value for the customers.


Boiler plate

Sulzer’s core strengths are flow control and applicators. The company is specialized in pumping solutions and services for rotating equipment, as well as separation, mixing and application technology. Sulzer provides cutting-edge maintenance and repair solutions for turbines, compressors, pumps, motors and generators dedicated to increasing customers’ life-cycle cost effectiveness.
Sulzer is a service specialist that is renowned for its technology-based solutions, fast execution and its expertise in complex maintenance projects. With a network of over 100 service sites around the world, it is at the customers’ doorstep. Sulzer has been headquartered in Winterthur, Switzerland, since 1834. In 2018, the company achieved sales of roughly CHF 3.4 billion with around 15,500 employees. The shares are traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SIX: SUN).



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