Monday, 13 June 2016 10:15

The Switch direct-drive, high-speed turbo technology becomes industry standard

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Finland-based Runtech Systems has placed its largest multi-million-euro order for high-speed turbo motors from The Switch for use in its turbo vacuum blower systems for paper machines. Using direct-drive technology developed jointly by both companies since the early 2000s, these turbos have now become widely accepted in the paper industry thanks to their superior advantages. Along with being a reliable, long-lasting solution, they bring customers unmatched simplicity and energy efficiency.

Years of product development and unrelenting sales work are now paying back for Runtech Systems with their unique turbo vacuum pump systems specifically designed to replace the poorly performing water ring pumps in paper mills. Runtech has superior competence in analyzing and designing efficient paper manufacturing processes. Together with The Switch, the company harnessed the built-in power of direct-drive, high-speed turbo technology to create a radical solution that has recently become the new industrial standard. The turbo vacuum blower is now a key component in the optimum solution when retrofitting existing paper machines or designing new ones.

TheSwitch Runtech Low res

Runtech Systems placed its largest multi-million-euro order with The Switch for turbo motors to be used in their vacuum pump systems that have now become the papermaking industry standard. 

Breaking through to standard

“We’ve finally made an industrial breakthrough with our turbo vacuum blower systems, which are fully and widely accepted as a viable, long-lasting solution in the papermaking industry. Today, our customers see us a trusted and preferred supplier when it comes to providing energy efficiency,” says Jukka Lehto, President and CEO of Runtech Systems.

“Another major step for us in attaining this position has been in strengthening our global sales network. We can now be in closer touch with local paper mills through our sales representatives. Although Europe still represents the largest market for us in total, China and Asia in general are growing the fastest for these products,” he says.

Exceptional savings

The undisputable main benefit of Runtech’s vacuum blower system is its power savings. Results show that mills can save between 30–60% in energy while increasing vacuum speed. Additionally, the solution is water-free, giving mills a 100% savings in water costs, which are exceptionally high in papermaking. Payback time is normally one to three years.

“Environmental savings are also important benefits as regulations are becoming more stringent,” Jukka adds. “A recent study proves that electrical machines can increase system efficiency as well as reduce CO2 emissions in both energy production and energy consumption.”

Simplicity facilitates uptake

“Now we have an optimum and proven solution that works at the natural speed of the blowers of up to 10,000 rpm to achieve the optimum vacuum for the process,” says Jukka-Pekka Mäkinen, President and CEO of The Switch. “The simplicity of the solution means that extra parts like the gearbox can be avoided, along with any associated cooling and lubrication. The motor offers a much smaller and lighter footprint. And it is all self-contained; only minimum on-site installation is required.”

“With Runtech, we have had a dedicated partner that truly understands the applications and complete paper mill process. Now it is exciting to see them break through with great results,” he continues. “In the future, we see that that our turbo technology can bring advantages to a wider range of industrial applications, such as oil and gas, where we already have experience with high-speed solutions.”

Latest high-performance turbo models

Deliveries of the newest motors will start in September 2016 and include higher power motors that match Runtech’s new models.

“In certain cases, there has been a clear need for greater capacity. Instead of delivering five vacuum pumps for a paper machine, these new higher-performing units allow us to deliver only four. What’s more, we do not need to dimension the capacity too tightly for the prevailing conditions with these new units,” Jukka states.

The new turbo models are exactly the same physical size as the current ones, which enables Runtech to offer a more powerful turbo solution rebuilt for some of their existing units.

About Runtech

Runtech Systems provides energy-efficient and innovative solutions for the global paper industry. The majority of business comes from vacuum systems for the paper industry, where Runtech is globally one of the leading suppliers with its very energy-efficient Ecopump technology. The other main businesses are in doctoring products and tail threading products for paper, board, tissue and pulp machines. Since being founded in 1989, Runtech has provided the best and most innovative solutions for its customers with many cutting-edge technologies. For more information, visit

About The Switch

The Switch, a Yaskawa company, is a pioneer in advanced drive train technology. The company has an installed base of over 11 GW of megawatt-class permanent magnet machine and converter packages. The main focus areas are wind, marine and special industrial solutions. The company’s innovative drive trains make an impact on profitable power generation and energy use, with the ultimate goal of lowering the cost of energy and operations. Starting in 2006, The Switch reported net sales of EUR 37.1 million in 2014. The company employs approximately 175 persons. The Switch is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland. For more information, visit:

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