ABB drive technology helps containerboard plant to save energy

ABB drive technology helps containerboard plant to save energy

Increasing production by 100 percent without expanding the plant is quite a challenge. Myszków containerboard plant in Poland intends to achieve this by upgrading its paper machine with state-of-the-art technology. The rebuilt machine will be powered by ABB ACS880 Multidrives.

The Myszków plant is located around 240 km southwest of Warsaw. It dates back to the late 19th century, and today forms part of Germany-based Schumacher Packaging Group.

“The main goal of our rebuild project is to increase production by more than 100 percent. Annual production will rise from about 140,000 tonnes to as much as 340,000 tonnes, depending on grades,” explains Maciej Skupiński, Project Manager at Myszków. “The speed of the machine will increase from 600 to 1200 meters per minute. In addition to the paper machine, the project will cover the entire energy system, including the machine's power supply, as well as the stock preparation unit and wastewater treatment plant.”

Good cooperation

When he talks about the vendor selection process for the new power supply, Skupiński makes no secret of the fact that all the candidates offered similar levels of technology. The decision to choose ABB was based on favorable opinions from the production and maintenance staff who will be using the machine in future. They had positive experiences of ABB equipment and systems, and of working with ABB’s service team.

“We’ve been working with the people at Myszków for many years,” explains Andrzej Olszenko, Key Account Manager, ABB. “They’re using our ACS580 and ACS880 drives, electric motors, transformers and medium voltage components. We provide technical support to ensure they benefit from straightforward, smooth commissioning, high process uptime and easy troubleshooting. This is important because Schumacher Packaging is looking for very advanced solutions. We believe that good cooperation is about more than just price and technical parameters.”

Significant energy savings

The ACS880 Multidrives at the plant will be the biggest of their type in Poland. Multidrives are an ideal solution for multi-motor applications like paper machines. They allow for a single power connection, and the configuration – with a common DC bus powering the inverter modules - reduces the energy drawn from the grid and the overall size of the drive system.

All ACS880 Multidrives incorporate direct torque control (DTC), which provides precise and reliable speed and torque control of various types of motor, including induction, permanent magnet (PM) and synchronous reluctance motors. Additionally, DTC does not require the use of safety encoders to achieve low crawling speed functionality.

Multidrives can reduce energy use in applications like paper machines, where some motors are running while others are in braking (generator) mode. The energy recovered by the generating motors is transferred to the common DC bus and consumed by the motors that are running. In this way, energy consumption is more consistent, the power system performs better, and significant energy savings can be realized. ACS880 Multidrives also enable implementation of overall safety and control functions, and allow close coordination of individual drive motors. This is especially important in paper machines and similar applications where control of paper web tension is crucial.

“Multidrives are modular and they can be perfectly tailored to the customer's needs,” says Olszenko. “The paper machine in Myszków requires an 8 MW solution in three sections. Each section has one rectifier and the same number of inverters as there are motors, which are powered directly. Two sections will serve six motors each, while the third will power 41. The uneven distribution of inverters and motors between the sections matches the requirements of the paper machine itself and the motors’ power ratings. The Multidrives’ cabinets will be 35 meters long, which is considerably smaller than the current solution. Multidrives will therefore help to boost productivity at the plant while occupying a smaller footprint.”

Preparatory work for the rebuild began in early 2021, and production will be halted while the project is implemented. The Multidrives will be delivered in February 2023 with commissioning scheduled for completion by mid-2023. When it restarts, the modernized, energy-efficient machine will have the capacity to produce at double its present rate.

About Schumacher Packaging

Based in the Bavarian town of Ebersdorf bei Coburg, the Schumacher Packaging Group is one of the largest manufacturers of tailor-made corrugated and solid board packaging distributing throughout Europe. As an integrated group of companies, Schumacher Packaging has two paper mills for recycled containerboard, two carton board mills, twelve processing plants and various service centres. The company is run by the third generation in the form of brothers Björn and Hendrik Schumacher and has 27 sites in Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Great Britain and the Netherlands.

For decades, the family-run company has been one of the innovation and technology leaders in the packaging industry and is at the forefront of high-performance digital printing for corrugated board packaging – which is the most environmentally-friendly printing process in the industry. Schumacher Packaging develops, manufactures and prints packaging for all industries. Within this, sustainability plays a key role – the company aims to reach carbon-neutral production by 2035. In the 2021 financial year, Schumacher Packaging had around 3700 employees and posted an annual turnover of around €857 million.


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