Voith’s OnEfficiency.Strength to optimize the papermaking process

OnEfficiency.Strength produces significant savings

84
Voith map figure showing significant savings with the help of the innovative digital technology OnEfficiency.Strength
Voith map figure showing significant savings with the help of the innovative digital technology OnEfficiency.Strength

The consulting firm Bain & Company was engaged by Fedrigoni, a leading Italian fine paper manufacturer, to optimize the company’s entire value chain, in particular with the help of digitalization. Voith was impressed with its digital product portfolio and commissioned to supply the digital process control system OnEfficiency.Strength to enable more efficient paper production. 

“This is a groundbreaking project that revolutionizes the dogmas of paper machine control and management,” emphasizes Libero Grandoni, production manager at the Fabriano mill. “We are excited about the digital solution every day, and I’m happy to be able to produce more with optimized settings while using fewer resources.” Fedrigoni plans to use OnEfficiency.Strength for other paper machines.

Fast implementation of Voith OnEfficiency.Strength

Voith started at the pilot site Fabriano in Italy, supported by Bain & Company, with the orderly collection of data, the basis for any digital solution. Firstly, Voith Paper analyzed all process, laboratory, and quality data from the last 12 months to show the correlations of the most important process and paper parameters and illustrate the process variations. In addition, the experts installed OnCumulus, Voith’s IIoT platform, to enable faster data access. 

Subsequently, the Fedrigoni and Voith integrated project team decided to focus on the quality parameter of paper thickness as a first step. With the help of virtual sensors, ash content and virgin fiber use are now automatically optimized in terms of cost and quality, as OnEfficiency.Strength reduces fluctuations in paper thickness as well as virgin fiber consumption. 

Although the installation was not on a Voith machine, the team could implement the digital control concept smoothly. “The integration into the existing system was extremely simple,” reports Grandoni delightedly. “Due to the very successful cooperation, data transfers and synchronizations from different systems that fit in time could be implemented quickly. Helpful training sessions demonstrated optimized use. Thus, OnEfficiency.Strength was ready for operation in a few days after installation.”

ROI under 12 months using new artificial intelligence technologies

Bain & Company accompanied the introduction of the digital process control and is impressed with the results achieved so far. “Voith made the cost-effectiveness and feasibility of the digital solutions a priority, and that was in line with Fedrigoni’s needs. In addition, we believe Voith, with its extensive technological knowledge, is at the cutting edge when it comes to digitization in paper manufacturing,” says Andrea Isabella, partner, and director at Bain & Company, explaining the decision. 

“Digital transformation is a key enabler to support the improvement of all the performance areas of our operations: customer service, efficiency, and flexibility. The OnEfficiency project developed in Fabriano with Voith represents a basic milestone in our digital transformation. With a payback time of less than one year, the economic benefits are significant,” adds Mario Naldini, chief operating officer BU Paper & Security, Fedrigoni.

 

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here