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On Tuesday 6th November, 2017 the biggest machine upgrade in the history of Aylesford Newsprint began on Paper Machine 14 (PM14). Aylesford employees and contractors alike were ready and prepared to start work on the removal of the old head box and the installation of the new Opti Flow D head box; a mammoth project and a culmination of a year’s methodical planning.

At the same time as this work it was considered judicious to upgrade the Opti Former LB, the ventilation system; replacement of most of the rolls together with the reel and at the dry end of PM14 an upgrade of the tail feeding system.

An opportunity was also created during this work for the deep cleaning of parts of the machine not readily accessible during normal maintenance shuts.

1,000 employees and contractors attended the necessary safety induction course (CDM) allowing them to work on the upgrade. Necessary work permits were issued, if required.

People working on the project came from Finland, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Sweden to participate in this upgrade. Facilities such as a 24 hour restaurant, welding areas, parking bays, toilets and washrooms were provided for all workers.

In total 68,000 engineering hours were worked on a 24 hour basis.

On Sunday 18th November, in the afternoon with the upgrade completed PM14 started to produce paper to the delight of all concerned and by the second reel produced we had a sheet available to supply to our customers.

The project was a great success and all the man hours, planning and hard work contributed to the shut was a fantastic reward to all those involved.

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