Primarily, collaboratively-managed pulp and paper mills are able to predict failures before they occur, preventing costly downtime and identifying previously-inaccessible savings potential. When issues do occur, the available data enables onsite personnel to take more informed and rapid corrective action, contributing to performance and productivity targets being met.
However, collaborative operations involves more than simply preventing problems before they occur; what is key is the ‘actionable insights’ based on process data analyzed over time. This helps with the effective maintenance of equipment based on its criticality and can also be used to optimize production processes to reduce costs while meeting specifications.
With continuous monitoring comes the ability to establish alerts based on targets and KPIs. As such, when disturbances occur, or are nearing a crucial threshold, operators and remote experts can be made aware to take proactive steps and keep quality where it needs to be, to meet specifications.
Services delivered via ABB’s Collaborative Operations are proven to deliver significant improvements and savings across a number of industries, such as extending machine life by using immediate data analysis to better manage assets, processes and risks, and reducing maintenance costs by using predictive rather than preventive and reactive maintenance practices.
Cost savings for pulp and paper companies using the remote collaborative approach are significant. ABB customers for example, have seen an approximate cut of 25 percent in maintenance costs for equipment.
Cost efficiencies are derived from many sources, including adhering to target product quality levels and boosting efficiency in the use of electricity, fuel and raw materials. They are also found in increased production speed, reduced number of sheet breaks, increased output and proactive problem-solving and maintenance that avoids failures and unplanned shutdowns. The extensive data analytics and expert support enables onsite managers to streamline preventive maintenance and enables maintenance organizations to focus on other important tasks.
There is still the perception among mill managers that the collaborative approach requires a huge investment. On the contrary, a remote-delivered service is easily scalable and can start with a small initial investment; a supplier can start monitoring just a few critical motors and gradually expand to monitoring all assets within the mill. Once customers proceed with implementing the collaborative approach to manage one problem or area of plant operation, they gain confidence in the framework and have the evidence needed to expand.
Improved maintenance efficiency
With ongoing data and analytics, mills can be efficient beyond problem solving. The reality is that they now have a deep understanding of asset health and a prioritized preventive maintenance plan. Instead of wasting time on routine maintenance that is not critical, mills can better serve the needs of operations by focusing maintenance where it matters most.