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Pulp mill process integration to bring significant production gains for Sappi's Vulindlela project

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Automation, electrification and instrumentation come together to help futureproof operations for Sappi's Saiccor Mill in Umkomaas, South Africa.

Key facts

 Customer: 

Sappi

 Country:

South Africa

Customer need: 

Increase in mill production capacity by 14% while minimizing environmental impact

ABB solutions:

ABB Ability™ System 800xA distributed control system  with

Asset management

Energy Management

Safety System

Manufacturing Operations Management

132kV distribution infrastructure extension

Process electrification

 

Customer benefits:
  • - Significant reduction in commissioning time
  • - On-time, on-budget project execution
  • - Access to plant information from anywhere in the mill
  • - Total visibility, orchestration and control of entire operation

 

World’s largest producer of dissolving wood pulp

Sappi Limited is a global leader in paper, paper pulp and dissolving wood pulp solutions, headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa; and with over 12,000 employees. Sappi serves customers in over 150 countries worldwide with manufacturing operations on three continents across seven countries.

As the world’s largest producer of dissolving wood pulp, Sappi has chosen digital technology leader ABB to supply engineering, procurement and construction for the electrical, control and instrumentation portion of their project Vulindlela.

Project Vulindlela is an ambitious plan to increase mill production by approximately 14% while reducing the pulp mill’s environmental impact. Due for completion in the winter of 2020, the project includes the design, supply, installation and commissioning of all electrical and automation equipment at Sappi’s Saiccor Mill located in Umkomaas, South Africa.

Project Vulindlela is an ambitious plan to increase mill production by approximately 14% while reducing the pulp mill’s environmental impact.

On-time, on-budget delivery of automation solution

Based on the ABB Ability™ System 800xA distributed control system (DCS), the automation solution is the first pulp and paper project to use the single channel, Ethernet-based Select IO, which enables the decoupling of project tasks. This can lead to a significant reduction in commissioning time and helps ensure on-time, on-budget project execution.

Additionally, the solution is complemented with software tools including Field Information Manager to help manage smart field devices and mobile workplaces that will give operators and production staff access to plant information from anywhere in the mill.

“A history of working successfully with ABB gave us full confidence in their ability to provide a complete solution that will help futureproof our operations,” said Wayne Weston, Vulindlela Project Director, Sappi. “As world leaders in dissolving wood pulp, we welcome this pioneering, integrated solution that will help us achieve our Project Vulindlela goals.”

Wayne Weston, Vulindlela Project Director, Sappi
“A history of working successfully with ABB gave us full confidence in their ability to provide a complete solution that will help futureproof our operations. ”

Supporting optimization of the entire production process

“Our ability to deliver a complete, multi-faceted solution, centered around a collaborative automation platform that supports the optimization of the entire production process, was key to securing this flagship order,” said John Manuell, Local Business Line Manager for South Africa, ABB Process Industries. “We look forward to helping Sappi reduce its environmental impact with safe processes and equipment, as well as assisting in realizing significant production gains.”

ABB Ability™ digital solutions, such as Asset Management, Energy Management, Safety systems and Manufacturing Operations Management, will also be implemented as part of this project. Collectively, these will help provide total visibility into, orchestration and control of Sappi Saiccor’s entire operation. In addition to the automation platform, the scope includes the extension of the 132kV distribution infrastructure, the medium voltage reticulation and the process electrification.

John Manuell, Local Business Line Manager - South Africa, ABB Process Industries
“We look forward to helping Sappi reduce its environmental impact with safe processes and equipment, as well as assisting in realizing significant production gains.”

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