Paper machine winder operation: 3 ways digitalization adds value

Looking to remove paper winding bottlenecks, increase machine speed and minimize quality losses when converting to different paper grades or bigger reels? Rather than investing in new winders, unlock the power of digital technologies, people insights and data science to improve your existing equipment performance and extend asset life.

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A noninvasive approach can elevate winder performance and increase production capacity by up to 8% while avoiding quality losses.

In paper mills, the winding process converts the large parent reels produced on the paper machine into customer-sized rolls ready to be shipped. Mundane as it is, paper winding doesn’t seem a natural space to find value, but it is. Being one of the most delicate processes in papermaking, winding can create non-uniform rolls and sheet breaks, turning good production into waste very quickly. With digitalization achieving great progress across all industries, what noticeable value can digital bring to paper winding applications?

1. Extend your winder lifetime

Using data for preventive maintenance

In an environment with limited capital, you can start with the basic approach of data collection (down to milliseconds) and historization to find malfunctions. Data archiving is critical to understand root causes and take preventative measures before it happens again. Problems that once required travel to site can be resolved remotely with digital connections to winder drive specialists who can help diagnose and make recommendations.
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2. Reduce losses

Applying analytics to uncover new performance improvement areas
There are thousands of paper and packaging varieties, all of which have very different properties based on their end use, the raw material used, etc. Therefore different paper grades must be treated accordingly. When starting to monitor and benchmark winder operational KPIs in terms of quality, availability, productivity and control performance, advanced data processing and analytical applications can uncover trends, data patterns and relationships to improve operations, lower service costs and avoid downtime. However, even with the best solutions for extracting and distilling data from plant assets, people who can interpret that data as actionable intelligence to improve operations are still needed. Especially when it comes to finding the best solution for the paper grade (or grades) that a mill is producing at a given time. Having 24/7 access to domain expertise can make a huge impact on productivity.
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3. Eliminate bottlenecks

Applying patented software to increase existing winder capacity
Because there is usually one two-drum winder per machine and a winder may only run 50 percent of the time (due to parent reel changes, slitter adjustments, maintenance, blade changes, and repairs), a winder must run at least twice as fast as the paper machine in order to keep up with production. To increase winder throughput and remove bottlenecks created by larger, faster paper machines, you need a solution that can adjust to the specific and changing demands of your mil. Only ABB can apply a patented solution for continuously adjusting acceleration optimization. This noninvasive approach can elevate winder performance and increase production capacity by up to 8% while avoiding quality losses.
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ABB Winder Performance Optimization - part of the ABB Ability ™ Performance Optimization solution suite - enables structured monitoring and analysis of KPIs to make sure the winder productivity is maximized. With several existing installations around the world, papermakers are already realizing the benefits of improved winder performance and productivity by utilizing patented solution’s unique ability to continuously adjust winder speed. The solution is cost-effective and easy to implement – requiring limited or no shutdown of the winder. The ability to monitor the equipment improves roll set quality and utilization of machine reel capacity. Local and remote dashboards enable instant, straightforward data visualization, with advanced analytics and daily analysis of control (speed, load share, tension) and roll set performance carried out by ABB experts. Customers also benefit from configurable alerts to highlight performance falling outside site-specific thresholds.

We can evaluate the optimization opportunity at your mill. Use the form below and we’ll identify your performance improvement potential.

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