Paper plant ups productivity, cuts errors

12 January 2009

St. Regis Paper boosted production 17 per cent and cut errors by 63 per cent at a UK mill after implementing a new process control solution, according to the solution provider, ABB. The production increase at the Wansbrough site was achieved without increasing machine speed.

St Regis Paper is the largest manufacturer of coreboard, used to make kitchen towel, in the UK
St Regis Paper is the largest manufacturer of coreboard, used to make kitchen towel, in the UK

The ABB solution used System 800xA as its integration platform and also reduced paper losses by 10 per cent and sheet breaks by 5 per cent.

Production capacity at the mill is 150,000 metric tons of paper a year and it is the largest manufacturer of coreboard in the country (coreboard is used to make kitchen and bathroom towels).

The complete process control solution includes advanced quality control and scanning measurement systems, an air-water re-moisturising system and the integration of existing motor control centres, variable speed drives and instrumentation. ABB is also providing onsite and remote support services.

By integrating the mill’s process control, quality management and automation systems with System 800xA, operators are able to control the entire plant through one user interface, using the same process stations, a common system architecture for optimal functionality.

‘Mill personnel now have the visibility to get the process running efficiently, while the system monitors, co-ordinates and controls all machine functions,’ says Chris Kellaway, mill operations manager at Wansbrough.

‘Speed of response to potential problems has been improved. Now we’re able to make the right decision the first time,’ says Mark Hughes, PM 5 production manager.

A recent posting at St. Regis announced that the week’s production record of almost 3,000 tons exceeded the previous record by more than 100 tons. Record uptime and a record low level of broke (trimmings etc) were also achieved in the same week.

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