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Report - Fettykill Paper Mill, Fife - Oct. 2009

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by BenCooper, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. BenCooper

    BenCooper Mr Boombastic
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    Ho hum - another Sunday morning, another Fife paper mill :)

    Smith Anderson & Co had been making paper at it's Fettykill (or perhaps Fettykil) mill since 1859. From the start, the company specialised in paper bags and packaging - Charles Anderson himself invented an automated paper bag making machine.

    In 2006, the papermaking business went into receivership - the parent company still makes packaging, but they don't make thier own paper any more, so the Fettykill mill stands empty. It had been the only Scottish mill which used purely recycled paper - no virgin pulp.

    To start with, I was a bit worried that things had been all stripped out.

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    There were some lovely old stone buildings, but all in a state of decay.

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    Going further into the maze of interconnected buildings, there's some more signs of modern machinery.

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    Then, turning a corner, bingo :)

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    Two absolutely gigantic yankee dryer Fourndrinier paper machines. A yankee dryer machine uses one giant steam-heated roller to dry the paper instead of a series of small rollers.

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    A closer look at a yankee dryer. This roller weighs 80-100 tons, and must be 20 feet in diameter. Apparently if they ever stop moving the bearings are destroyed, so these ones will need new bearings.

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    Climbing right up to the top of one machine, you can look down onto the two Fourndrinier tables - the mesh has been removed.

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    Looking the other way at the yankee dryer, you can see the big steam box that encloses it.

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    Back down to the floor, for a look at the whole machine. I really liked this mill because the machines were in a big shed - you could see all of them at once. Other mills I've visited have the machines in very cramped sheds so it's hard to get an overall view like this.

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    Along a bit to look at the table where mesh would have carried the pulp in the first stage.

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    Onwards, and a wee stop-off in a samples store:

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    A packaging section.

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    And an external view.

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    Next, and a rather convoluted way of getting into the old power plant. This is the top of the boilers, with the end of the conveyor that carried coal to the furnaces.

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    A little bit further down, and a live control panel - though the power plant is no longer used, the substations are still live, running lighting and pumps.

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    Down to the bottom floor, and some lovely old boilers.

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    And a brilliant old control panel - with a Hopkinson gauge.

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    Finally, a view along all three boilers.

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    Loads more pictures, as usual, are in my FLickr set...
     

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  2. BenCooper

    BenCooper Mr Boombastic
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    Cheers :)

    I did have an idea that there might still be machines there, but I thought they'd be little ones, not these monsters. I forgot to mention that there had been a third machine, but it's been sold already - they weren't tidy about ripping it out:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. jimc

    jimc Guest
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    i came across this by accident, thought i would tell you that i worked on these machines and in this mill for 25years,
    if there is anything you want to know about them, ask away.
    jim
     
  4. jimc

    jimc Guest
    Guest

    the "steam box" round the yankee (mg cylinder) is actually a gas fired drying hood, was intalled in 1983, retracts from the cylinder in 2 halfs, both sides are controllable and run up to 300dc. it was made and installed by brunchweiler.
     
    #4 jimc, Dec 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 28, 2009
  5. BenCooper

    BenCooper Mr Boombastic
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    Hi Jim, I suppose one thing that interests me is the massive Yankee rollers (is that what they're called?) - I've read stories that they can never stop rotating or the bearings are crushed, and I've also heard of them exploding - are they really that bad?

    Any idea how much they weigh?
     
  6. jimc

    jimc Guest
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    if i remember correctly, pm2 mg cylinder weight was approx 140t, pm4s was slightly bigger and i think it was nearer 160t.
    yankee is one of the names but the correct name is machine glazing cylinder or MG cylinder, the purpose being the long contact time along with a press roll gave the paper a glazed finish on one side for printing etc without the need for further conversion.
    i have never known an actual cylinder explode but have seen the steam kempsters(rotary inlet/outlets) explode on a few occasions.
    i believe there is only 1 mill in britain now with mg's, croppers in kendal.
    and not many more in europe.
    worth mentioning that this site is being re opened in the new year, should be producing paper again by the summer.
     
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