The Movement of a Paper Mill
As a full-time student for 18 years, which I then followed up with trying my hand at writing fiction, paper has always factored hugely in my existence. My favorite smell in the world is that of a library, where pages upon pages of paper are ageing with that delightful “worn and read” scent, impacted by the many fingers that have flipped through them. Even with the coming of the Kindle, I have held onto my allegiance with paper products, which has also ignited an interest in paper mills and how they work and fare during this technological age. Ends up that paper mills are just as active as they have always been, and the industrial parts that allow them to work properly are all centered around driveshafts.
Because paper mills need to mix wood or plant pulp with water before the mix can be stretched and pressed into the final paper form, a lot of motion is required. Driveshafts are the parts that connect the motor to the mixing arms, translating the torque (which is what the raw power created by the motor is called) into an amount of power the mixing arms can handle properly without mixing too much and damaging the whole system. Paper mills, like many other industrial manufacturing facilities, require specific speeds to produce the right consistency for the paper making process. Other benefits to utilizing driveshafts, and sometimes other shaft couplings like universal joints when more then one driveshaft is installed in a system, include stability and protection for the system as a whole. Universal joints are able to connect numerous driveshafts to a single motor or power source, while each driveshaft is connected to a part that is moving. This enables paper mills to make more efficient use of energy and space. It is funny how the things we love most, like my love for paper, are often do to mechanisms as industrial and simple but vital too, as a driveshaft.