ABB was honored with the 2018 Solution Excellence Award by media outlet Modern Manufacturing for the integrated automation solution at a 400,000-ton chemical pulp project in Laos. Modern Manufacturing selected projects that demonstrated digital transformation driven by intelligent innovation practices in the automation and drives industry in China.
This project was started in Laos in response to the Belt and Road initiative promoted by the Chinese government, which encourages development along a former trade route that links China with other economies across Asia, Europe and Africa. The project incorporated a fully integrated control system based on ABB Ability™ System 800xA, which also included a quality management system and drive systems. The solution provided the stability and reliability needed for the mechanical equipment and systems on site.
The project had a massive undertaking and covers the complete process of pulp production, alkaline recovery, pulp board machines, biomass furnaces, and chemicals. For just the new pulp mill, the integrated control system encompasses more than 5 times the typical I/O set up including nearly 33 percent more operator and engineering stations and 1,000 smart motor control centers.
This large concentration of online information and data in a control system sets extremely rigorous requirements for internet security and reliability. To address these requirements, ABB’s new generation of integration technologies for automation and drive systems includes rich built-in communications protocols for a safe and stable operating system that works with multiple integrated systems.
During project execution, the ABB engineering team was in active collaboration with its client. The team faced a number of challenges, including high temperatures and excessive humidity, as well as local infrastructure capacity and other local resource issues. They overcame these issues and completed configuration and commissioning of this project two months earlier than comparable projects, and then commenced production successfully.
Following the start of production, ABB’s integrated automation solution provided a number of advantages. The ABB system's client-server architecture supports 120,000 sets of equipment and can access data simultaneously from more than 30 sets to support and make use of the massive concentration of available online information and data. Over the course of chemical pulp production, the safety system is closely integrated with System 800xA to provide online configuration of parameters, and visualization using dashboards. This has enhanced the digitization of the automation equipment, which achieves the real-time safety control of the entire production process, minimizes maintenance and downtime, and improves production efficiency and return on investment.
With more than 100 years of experience, ABB has a proven success record for papermakers looking for the complete design of an integrated offering. ABB's accumulated experience also served as a solid foundation for the successful implementation of the project in Laos.
ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader with a comprehensive offering for digital industries. With a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB is today a leader in digital industries with four customer-focused, globally leading businesses: Electrification, Industrial Automation, Motion, and Robotics & Discrete Automation, supported by its common ABB Ability™ digital platform. ABB’s market leading Power Grids business will be divested to Hitachi in 2020. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees.