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Compact Product Suite for Elektrokoppar copper wire manufacturer

Just the right control solution size and price for keeping a better check on processes – both in Sweden and China

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Previous good experience with the S800 I/O system, made Elektrokoppar look at process control solutions from ABB’s Compact Product Suite

Upgrading control systems for wire profiles

Elektrokoppar is one of the classic companies in the south district of Helsingborg, Sweden. The story begins in 1799 when Count Eric Ruuth founded a sister company that would much later become Höganäs AB. The company’s structure would change orientation several times before Elektrokoppar came about in 1953, with 75 percent of the company owned by Asea/ABB and 25 percent by Ericsson. The company is now owned by the Liljedahl Group.

Elektrokoppar manufactures rolled and profiled wire for cables. The majority of the copper comes from Boliden. Six days a week, a copper train arrives in Helsingborg from Norrland. “It’s a train with about 500 tons of copper cathodes aboard,” says Thomas Roslund, who heads the company’s electrical department. The raw materials are extracted from the Aitik mine, among others, just outside Gällivare. They are refined at the Rönnskär mill in Skelleftehamn before being sent to us. The copper cathodes, which weigh about 50 kilos, arrive in Helsingborg in compartments with 10 tons in each.”

A few years ago, it became necessary to assess the control systems for profile production at Elektrokoppar.The oldest components were from the 1980s. At this point, Elektrokoppar went shopping for a new system. Because the company previously had good experience of the S800 I/O system, which is used in the rolling mill, they looked at ABB’s control system, Automation System 800xA. “But it was too large for us,” says Thomas Roslund They instead settled on ABB’s new compact system. “It was just the right size and more moderately priced.”

Main facts

Industry Metals
Customer Elektokoppar
Country Sweden
Solutions Compact Product Suite consisting of:
  • Compact HMI
  • AC 800M controllers
  • S800 I/O modules
  • Compact Control Builder
  • Operator workplaces
Thomas Roslund, head of the electrical department, Elektrokoppar
"System 800xA was too large for us, we instead settled on ABB’s new compact system. It was just the right size and more moderately priced"

More efficient production for smaller facilities

The Compact ​Product Suite consists of an operator workplace – Compact HMI, the AC 800M controller and S800 I/O modules. The Compact HMI and Compact Control Builder is designed for somewhat smaller facilities while the comprehensive System 800xA is more adapted to larger processing industries with many machines. “We are very pleased,” says Thomas Roslund. “The system entails improved communications. It’s easier for the operators to follow what’s happening in the processes. Because the system also gathers and documents, we quickly acquired a history that makes it easier to see the opportunities for development.”

The first six control systems was soon followed by more. Elektrokoppar now has two systems in operation in Helsingborg. “Furthermore, we’re building two more,” says Thomas Roslund. The company also has a plant outside Shanghai. “There is one Compact ​System there already, and another is on the way from Sweden. Elektrokoppar thus has six systems in all,” he says.
Thomas Roslund, head of electrical department, Elektrokoppar
“It makes production easier to follow. It’s like a continuing journey, where step by step, one gains even more insight into the processes so as to be able to increase productivity. “Insight and obtaining current values, such as for temperature and speed, also influence operating times and tool service life,”
Thomas Roslund, head of the electrical department, Elektrokoppar
“The system entails improved communications. It’s easier for the operators to follow what’s happening in the processes.”

Spectacular projects

But it is probably the most spectacular projects that stand out most.

Elektrokoppar was – as was ABB – engaged in the 250-kilometer long Baltic Cable project between Germany and Sweden during the 1990s, SwePol Link between Poland and Sweden that was completed in 2000, and not the least, NorNed – the world’s longest submarine cable for power transmission, which was put in service last year.

The company hopes to also be able to deliver conductors for Sydlänken. This is a planned electricity line between Hallsberg in Närke and Hörby in Skåne. “And later, work on E.ON Nord’s wind-power park in the North Sea may be getting underway,” says Thomas Roslund, who sees an intensive period ahead, both for himself and for Elektrokoppar
Thomas Roslund, head of electrical department, Elektrokoppar
“We’ve benefited quite a bit from geographical proximity. Both when it comes to support from ABB in Malmö and that certain components and spare parts are stocked there.”

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