Pulp & Paper

The Pulp & Paper category contains Case studies and blogs related to pulp & paper engineering services.

ITM connects with future engineers at UC Career Fair

UC Career Fair from Above

ITM connects with future engineers at UC Career Fair 

Mixed among the buzz of voices inside the massive six-court gymnasium at the University of Cincinnati Technical Career Fair this week, ITM connected with a ton of impressive engineering students. 

Potential full-time employees and co-op students heard for the first time about our engineering firm in Milford, Ohio. It is always a joy to watch their eyes light up as we share the projects our team has the opportunity to deploy across the country and around the world. 

The aerospace students hear that we work on rockets. The mechanical engineering students learn of the rugged measurements we collect on massive machinery. And the computer programmers discover that we’ve spun up our own software products. 

The reaction is almost always the same: “Wow! I had no idea.”  

For our team, the day is equally as fulfilling as we connect with the next generation of engineers eager to get to work and apply their knowledge. 

Our firm is interested in filling full-time roles for students graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering, mechanical engineering technology, electrical engineering, electrical engineering technology and aerospace engineering. 

Are you a current student or recent graduate who loves adventure, travel and has an entrepreneurial spirit? Discover a culture driven by innovation at ITM. Check out our job postings or fill out our co-op questionnaire (https://itestsystem.com/jobs/). 

Come Visit our Booth at the UC Career Fair

Looking for a new career?  Come visit us at the University of Cincinnati Career Fair!

Where: UC Rec Center, Booth G18
When: Sept. 15th, 2022  –  10AM – 2 PM

For more information about available jobs, contact Josh Fishback via email: josh.fishback@itestsystem.com or phone: (844) 837-8797.

ITM Recruiting Full-Time Engineers at UC’s Fall Career Fair

ITM Recruiting Full-Time Engineers at UC’s Fall Career Fair

University of Cincinnati students have an enormous opportunity to make a career-changing connection during the Professional and Technical Career Fair on Thursday, September 15.

Integrated Test & Measurement (ITM) will host a booth during Technical Day 2 of the event at UC’s Campus Recreation Center. Interested students can find ITM representatives from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Our firm is interested in filling full-time roles for students graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering, mechanical engineering technology, electrical engineering, electrical engineering technology and aerospace engineering.

In addition to seeking full-time hires, we are searching for talented students who are interested in experiencing a dynamic and fulfilling co-op opportunity where you will have a chance to learn through exciting, hands-on engineering projects around the country.

ITM is a structural test & measurement engineering service and software company in Milford, Ohio,  that focuses on three vertical spaces: Industrial Monitoring, Testing Services, and our configuration based test software, iTestSystem.

ITM offers competitive compensation and benefits and a career filled with travel and new learning opportunities. ITM was founded by Tim Carlier in 2001 to help companies around the world reduce costs and improve efficiencies in their product development, manufacturing and production activities.

Interested candidates should stop by our booth inside UC’s Campus Recreation Center from10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday Sept. 15 and/or email a resume and cover letter to: josh.fishback@itestsystem.com.

Our team will also be drawing for free hats and T-shirts, so be sure to find us during the event to learn more about ITM.

Rockets, road trips and paper mills 

Why an ITM team trekked across Alabama several times in the same week 

Our team should be intimately familiar with the three-hour stretch of I-65 between Prattville and Decatur, Alabama. They drove it four times in about as many days during a recent work trip.  

The team had been on a troubleshooting assignment to a rocket-building NASA partner that needed help with what appeared to be failing sensors. They had no idea that what seemed like a fairly straightforward trip would soon become far more interesting and logistically challenging. One phone call later though, and they were dispatched 166 miles south to a paper mill client. 

Upon arrival, they began commissioning new Acosense technology on the plant’s process lines. Integrated Test & Measurement is an exclusive U.S. installer of the Swedish technology that can constantly monitor and analyze liquids inside a pipe with non-invasive clamp-on sensors. 

The small crew proved themselves both flexible and adaptable by pulling double duty as they served both clients for the better part of a week. Rocket work one day. Back in the car. Paper mill the next. Back in the car. And so on until both jobs were complete. The week could serve as a microcosm of the variety of work ITM engineers balance regularly. 

“That was a challenging week for this crew for sure,” said ITM President Tim Carlier. “But it was all interesting technology and gave the team a chance to troubleshoot newer equipment. So it was a good learning challenge for us and an example of our dedication to meet the needs of our clients.” 

ITM engineers and technicians experience a wide variety of projects and travel opportunities. For some, the real joy is working with their hands on site, while others prefer the more technical activities such as computer assisted design or relying on their social skills during customer interactions. 

Ultimately, we do what it takes to deliver — even when that means burning up the roads in Alabama to get the job done.

For more information about our strain gauging and testing services contact Ryan Welker @ (844) 837-8797.

ITM Using Acosense Tech to Analyze Industrial Process Fluids

ITM Using Acosense Tech to Analyze and Measure Industrial Process Fluids

Listening skills.

Most of us have been working on being better listeners since elementary school. ITM has entered into the trial phase of an exciting partnership with a Swedish engineering firm that is taking listening to the next level.  

The firm is called Acosense, and their breakthrough technology relies on Acospector Acoustic Chemometer, a clamp-on instrument that can measure complex fluids in the process industry, delivering analysis previously thought difficult or impossible to obtain. The innovative technique measures a multitude of properties such as density, viscosity and solid content moving through industrial pipes. The method is non-invasive and can even return results on opaque, viscous or corrosive fluids. Ultimately, the idea is to help reduce production costs, increase product quality and reduce environmental impact. 

For ITM, which works extensively with clients in the pulp and paper industry to improve processes and efficiences through various forms of industrial monitoring, the tech holds a great deal of potential and aligns with our expertise in vibration technology. If all goes as early trials indicate, ITM could be headed toward an exclusive distribution agreement in the U.S., said Ryan Welker, Vice President of Integrated Test & Measurement.  

Acosense officials said they turned to ITM to target the U.S. market because of the team’s “high vibro-acoustic competence and market knowledge.” 

“ITM is really easy to work with given the level of personal skills and hands-on experience from several types of industries,” said Karl Nilsson, Acosense CEO. 

Welker said ITM is currently in the middle of a months-long trial using Acosense tech at a global paper company, gathering data on supply lines within the plant, then comparing that data to actual samples collected by the mill’s lab to look for correlations between the chemical makeup and the acoustics profile of various fluids.  

“The big thing would be being able to measure these properties without breaking into the process lines,” said Welker. “It could be a very easy and clean way to give our clients continuous feedback. And it is a quick and easy installation.” 

For more information on this work, our testing services or iTestSystem, contact: Ryan Welker – Integrated Test & Measurement (ITM), LLC – ryan.welker@itestsystem.com 

ITM Co-op Helps Engineering Student Set Sights Even Higher 

ITM Co-op Helps Engineering Student Set Sights Even Higher 

Tyler House’s dream career began to come into sharper focus during his spring co-op at Integrated Test & Measurement.

After four months at the Milford, Ohio, firm the University of Cincinnati electrical engineering student headed into his summer feeling both excited by his work experience and inspired to emulate ITM CEO Tim Carlier one day by starting his own company.

“I know I want to do something I love,” said Tyler, who had just returned from a trip to Disney with his girlfriend to celebrate the end of the semester. “I’d like to start my own company someday. I’ve been poking at that idea. Definitely a big dream of mine is having that freedom and doing something that means a lot to me.”

Perhaps the only thing that equals Tyler’s love of engineering is his love of music. He and a few fellow graduates from Clermont Northeastern (CNE) high school started a band called Wishbone, which has started lining up local gigs to cover rock and blues tunes stretching back a half century.

Tyler’s two worlds collided on the last day of his co-op when a couple of engineers from ITM dropped into his band’s “first bonafide show.”

“It was so much fun watching their reaction,” said Tyler, who employs his electrical engineering skills to repair the band’s gear when things inevitably break. “I love that they came.”

Coincidentally, like Wishbone, ITM’s entire leadership team — the CEO, VP of Operations, Lead Programmer and Administrative Director — are all CNE graduates. For Tyler, seeing that level of success from the same small high school as him was only more of a confidence lift.

He loves the entrepreneurial and inventive culture at ITM, where staff members are constantly tackling new challenges. “It’s really just a great place to figure out what you are into,” he said.

Tyler found himself learning a ton about Fusion 360, a cloud-based 3D modeling program, while researching mechanical properties and simulating failure modes on a bolted joint. He said he spent about half his co-op in the office doing things like assembling Data Acquisition (DAQ) boxes and the other half on the road working on-site. Experiences included everything from climbing inside massive paper mills to helping gather data on equipment operating in remote locations all over the country.

“In talking with my friends who have had co-ops, it’s hard to get to work in a place where you feel like you can make a difference and actually help fix problems,” said Tyler. “I definitely felt that. I learned really fast about how to deal with mistakes and just general problem solving.”

Besides the on-the-job learning, he loved exploring new places, national parks and more with the ITM crew after hours. He’s hoping to pick up some work helping ITM with any projects through the summer, and he’s interested in returning during his next co-op rotation in Spring of 2023.

Meanwhile, he’ll keep poking at his dream of someday owning his own company.

“You just have to go out there and get it,” Tyler said. “If you are aggressive about it, you will fail a bunch. But you’ve got to be able to get up off the ground and just keep rolling with it.”

For more information about Co-op or employment opportunities at ITM, contact Josh Fishback via email at josh.fishback@itestsystem.com or phone at (844) 837-8797 x705.

Endless Testing Options Through Finite Element Analysis (FEA) 

Design Validation Finite Element Analysis

Design Validation Finite Element Analysis (FEA) using strain gauge measurements.

Endless Testing Options Through Finite Element Analysis (FEA) 

Whether our customers need us to validate their Finite Element Analysis (FEA) models or perform both the physical testing and the FEA, our engineers are used to helping customers with complex testing and analysis of high-value equipment. 

As a recent example, our team is involved in a large-scale project to do engine testing for a client that requires ITM to do both the physical testing as well as the FEA simulations. This requires using a custom high-channel count telemetry system to transmit engine data to a receiver that is sampling at an extremely high rate. 

“Once you are able to bring in the test data and compare it to the simulated data, you are able to fine tune your FEA simulation to better reflect the real-world application,” said ITM engineer Ryan Matthews. “We can also simulate the test in software and predict how it is going to react to the test when we can actually measure such things as strain, stress and vibration.” 

Matthews points out that FEA technology also helps the team determine the precise best placement of strain gauge during physical testing. And depending on complexity, a single simulation can take a few seconds or months to run. 

For obvious reasons — mainly the cost of bringing high-value assets to failure — running repeated strain gauge tests on components simply isn’t feasible, but ITM’s in-house capabilities and close partnership with sister firm SixDOF opens up endless FEA simulation options to clients. 

“Sometimes you are only going to be able to test a structure or a part once before it fails,” says Matthews. “So it becomes crucial to do a limited number of physical tests then correlate that to your FEA. Then you can pretty much run unlimited simulations.” 

For more information about our testing, strain gauging, and FEA modeling services contact Ryan Welker via email at ryan.welker@itestsystem.com of phone @ (844) 837-8797.

Acosense & ITM Present @ TappiCon 2021

Come see us in the TappiCon 2021 Exhibit Hall at the Acosense Booth 769!

ITM’s Ryan Welker and Zach Strong will be there representing both Acosense AB and ITM  to showcase and answer questions about Acosense’s Acospector Acoustic Chemometer, a Clamp-on instrument measuring complex fluids in the process industry, and ITM’s boiler monitoring solutions.

When: October 3-6th

Where: TappiCon 2021

Cobb Galleria Centre
2 Galleria Pkwy SE
Atlanta, GA 30339

Going Old School to Deliver New Solutions

High-tech measurement systems? Not a problem.

Complex data acquisition or custom software solutions? Right in our wheelhouse.

At ITM, these kinds of challenges have become commonplace in our lab, but one recent project that hit our doorstep stretched our engineers, and not for the reasons you may be thinking.

Our customer wanted an old-school manual operator control station. Think classic-style red and green, push-button start and stop controls, which they wanted to energize various parts of a large test cell for a military marine application.

The ask was a bit out of ITM’s typical range of services simply because most systems they develop don’t require manual control stations to run their equipment. Instead, their customers usually opt for computer-controlled testing, which ITM crafts regularly. Still, the job required a complete CAD design, a custom cabinet enclosure and hundreds of electrical components to be designed and assembled, which our team successfully delivered to the satisfaction of the client.

Modern Integration

The same customer also wanted to be able to collect complex data from the tests, and ITM, of course, delivered on this challenge as well thanks to its proprietary iTestSystem software, which computer engineer Chase Petzinger deployed to build a custom DAQ. 

iTestSystem is an engineering measurement software platform that enables test engineers to organize, acquire, view and analyze data from machinery, processes, vehicles and other complex rugged measurement systems. iTestSystem was specifically designed for use with NI cDAQ or FieldDAQ hardware for data collection and data logging, so it was no stretch to equip it to pull down data from the military equipment test. 

In the end, the job required running new-school modern technology to handle the data collection and reporting simultaneously alongside the old-school analog operator control panel. From successfully assembling hundreds of electrical components to deploying custom software that can handle hundreds of channels of data from a wide variety of sensors at once, ITM truly showed its range on this project.

For more information about our iTestSystem or ITM’s testing services, contact Ryan Welker @ (844) 837-8797 x702.

Steaming ahead with SFD in Power and Recovery Boilers

Paper Mill Steam

ITM SFD technology helps energy producers generate power more efficiently by detecting energy sapping soot buildup in power and recovery boilers 

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the pulp and paper industry is the 3rd largest consumer of energy in U.S. manufacturing. A great deal of that energy is expended to generate massive amounts of steam inside about 200 black liquor recovery boilers spread around North America. That steam then powers generators that produce electricity to operate the mills. 

Imagine the energy savings if enhancements inside those recovery boilers could conserve 5% of all that steam. Not only would this advance in boiler efficiency carry an enormous environmental impact — potentially trillions of BTUs — the value of that steam savings would equal more than a million dollars a year at every plant where it is adopted.  

Figures like these help explain why Tim Carlier has spent years refining the novel idea he calls the Sootblower Fouling Detection System or SFD. SFD is his patented technology for measuring fouling/slagging as well as sootblower performance and reliability in recovery, biomass and utility boilers.  

In a typical boiler, fuel is burned inside the furnace, creating hot gas which heats water in the steam-generating tubes. In the case where the fuel is biomass, the flue gas often contains a significant amount of carry-over, which collects on the boiler tubes causing buildup. This buildup, also known as fouling, decreases the efficiency of the heat being transferred to generate steam while also increasing the risk of plugging the boiler and taking it offline altogether. 

For decades, these industries have relied on sootblowers — long rotating lances that are inserted through the superheater and other steam-generating tubes during combustion — to blow off soot and dislodge the masses of ash deposits that form around steam-generating tubes. Rather than running sootblowing systems “blind,” the SFD System removes guesswork by pinpointing exactly when and where sootblowing is required.

Sootblower

The system relies on a series of sensors on the sootblowers as well as at key locations on the boiler system that allow it to measure the energy transfer to indicate how much buildup is present so that sootblowing is only applied when needed. The feedback mechanisms can inform the plant operator not just where to run sootblowers, but also if sootblowers are leaking steam or malfunctioning in other ways. 

“This technology could have a huge environmental effect,” says Carlier, president and founder of Integrated Test and Measurement, the Milford, Ohio, engineering service and software company. “You are getting that much more efficiency out of your boiler, so not only are you saving money because you are not wasting steam, but you are not having to burn as much fuel to generate as much electricity.” 

He estimates that recovery boilers at most pulp and paper mills generate between $20 million and $40 million a year in steam depending on their Maximum Continuous Rating (MCR), and roughly 10% of the steam goes toward soot blowing operations. Carlier estimates that SFD could enable operators to decrease their sootblowing between 25% and 50% leading to a savings between $500,000 and $2 million dollars a year.

In addition to the significant steam savings, SFD will also greatly enhance the reliability of sootblowing operations by answering crucial questions for operatorsWhat’s the condition of the sootblower motor and gearbox? Is the poppet valve stuck open, stuck closed, and leaking, or is it operating correctly? Is the track damaged? Is the sootblower lance bent? Is the sootblower stuck in the boiler? What condition is the sootblower packing? Are there any steam leaks on or near the sootblower? Keeping informed on these important questions ultimately helps avoid costly downtime and even schedule crucial maintenance. 

On its own, the removal of sootblowing guesswork will generate a quick return on investment, Carlier says. When all is said and done, power generation facilities can expect to see a return on investment from the SFD System in approximately six months to a year. 

For more information about Sootblower Fouling Detection Systems or ITM’s other industrial boiler monitoring solutions, contact Ryan Welker via email: ryan.welker@itestsystem.com or phone: (844) 837-8797 x 702