Asian paper mill improves productivity, cuts costs with ABB advanced services and ServicePro

Long-standing service agreement with ABB has helped paper mill to maintain increased productivity, maximum uptime & highest levels of product quality


Company managers want to attain long-term optimization that would achieve early improvements and provide sustainable automation and process reliability

Customer challenge

A top-producing paper mill in Southeast Asia is known for its high-quality products. For more than a decade, the mill has had ABB paper machine optimization and control, as well as two resident ABB engineers. Through the years, the mill has continually sought improvements that would extend beyond short term goals. 

To achieve this, the company has augmented its services from ABB with advanced services that include Fingerprint audits for Paper Machines 1 and 2. These services, customized for the mill, have improved automation efficiency, lowered maintenance costs and reduced start-up times. The long-time relationship between the mill and ABB has given ABB a deep understanding of the mill’s people, processes and goals, and ABB has applied this knowledge to its services to provide the mill with solid, lasting gains in productivity, equipment availability and paper quality.

Customer challenge

  • Optimize paper machine performance and efficiency
  • Sustain performance improvements
  • Keep maintenance costs low
  • Maintain high product quality


In 1996, ABB and the mill began their relationship, with ABB providing Distributed Control Systems (DCS), Quality Control Systems (QCS), drives and electrification, as well as multivariable CD control and an optical caliper sensor.

In 2003, the mill’s chief executive officer asked ABB to help the mill further improve paper machine performance. ABB provided the mill with ABB OptimizeIT Control+Service, which helped the mill achieve significantly fewer sheet breaks, lower product costs and higher paper production. The first month that ABB implemented these services, Paper Machine 1 production increased by 8%, setting a record that exceeded production for any month since the machine’s start-up in 1996. ABB also provided training for plant personnel so they could obtain the best possible performance from the mill’s automation.

The mill wanted to ensure that paper machine performance improvements were sustained. They asked ABB to perform a site audit and create an automation maintenance schedule.

The mill is located in a harsh tropical climate where temperatures average 30 °C (86 °F) and humidity is intense, can reduce automation lifespans and make maintenance tasks more difficult. ABB took climate conditions into account as they developed an effective maintenance program tailored for the mill.

Months after ABB implemented the preventive maintenance program, ABB and the mill strengthened their relationship when two ABB engineers went to work on-site at the mill, one specializing in drives and the other in QCS/DCS. ABB engineers have continued in residence at the mill, helping the mill perform maintenance effectively, solve problems quickly and meet performance goals.

The mill has also asked ABB to provide additional advanced services to help sustain improvements. ABB recently performed Paper Machine Fingerprint audits for both the mill’s paper machines. The ABB Paper Machine Fingerprint is a cost-effective, non-invasive service that provides diagnostics, key findings and recommendations needed to protect and improve a mill’s automation investment.

The mill also uses the ABB ServicePro Service Management System, a software and web-based tool that significantly increases management visibility into service and maintenance. ServicePro, helps ensure that proactive service activities are scheduled for increased operational understanding and productivity.


The mill has maintained maximum efficiency and performance while meeting production and quality goals on Paper Machines 1 and 2. Although Paper Machine 1 was installed almost 20 years ago, it continues to operate effectively. Paper Machine 2 operates with high productivity, achieving peak output and fast start-ups.

Using ServicePro, upgrades and equipment maintenance have been implemented on-schedule. Because maintenance at the mill is structured and well-planned, maintenance costs are low and predictable. The customer has confidence that its automation is performing well and intends to continue having ABB provide advanced services.

Main facts

Industry Pulp and Paper
Customer Paper mill in Southeast Asia
  • ABB provided the mill with ABB Optimize Control Service, which helped the mill achieve significantly fewer sheet breaks, lower product costs and higher paper production. 
  • The plant uses ABB ServicePro Service Management System to help ensure that proactive service activities are scheduled for increased operational understanding and productivity.
  • ABB performed Paper Machine Fingerprint audits for both the mill's paper machines.
  • Continuing confidence in the mill’s ability to achieve optimum uptime and productivity
  • Customized plan for performing automation maintenance
  • Increased efficiency and time savings
  • Consistent high product quality

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