Pulp and paper mills face many challenges that are unique to the industry and impact manufacturers around the globe. The pulp and paper industry is a competitive environment, and try as you might, there are many things that cannot be controlled. Increasing global competition has driven down pricing and squeezed profit margins while the cost of raw materials continues to rise. The number of skilled workers has decreased with mass retirements causing a shortage. Lastly, there is the impending move to Industry 4.0 or 4IR, which is challenging to pulp and paper companies because it requires investment and represents significant change.
Whether it be the energy-intensive preparation of raw materials or the production of various paper goods, it is vital to be both efficient and cost effective while still yielding a high-quality product. How can this be achieved? The simple answer is optimizing your operations as soon as possible. Industrial energy management is urgently needed to navigate the many challenges pulp and paper mills face.
Leading pulp and paper manufacturers are turning to next-generation Distributed Control Systems (DCS) and Safety Systems to improve control reliability and performance as well as meet safety integrity level (SIL) standards. These intelligent systems are used in environments where multiple processes are involved, such as in the pulp and paper industry. They are automated systems that can overcome complicated processes or dangerous thresholds being reached at times of production.
Distributed Control Systems contain multiple controllers that can communicate and manage operations under a common Human Machine Interface (HMI) management platform. There are many benefits to using a DCS. The following are some of the biggest benefits of DCS and Safety Systems:
- Eliminates redundant processes and automates production units
- Helps in controlling complicated, large, and geographically distributed manufacturing applications
- Minimizes production cost and processes
- Provides flexibility and extends plant equipment and assets useful life
- Provides automatic shutdowns in case certain dangerous thresholds are reached
- Allows for flexibility on how certain systems are controlled
- Brings real-time control as close to the process as possible while still being monitored from a central location
As a result, the following are the key benefits of our next-generation Distributed Control Systems and Safety Systems:
- Smarter uptime
- Improved production efficiency and emissions reduction
- Additional cost reductions (from operational optimization)
- Minimized downtime
- Enhanced safety and cybersecurity
- Ability to be used by less experienced staff
From turbines to boilers and all that is in between, Nexus Controls covers all your steam equipment. We balance everything you need to stay running efficiently, allowing you to generate significant savings and reliability. You will see measurable outcomes with strong payback analysis with our steam optimization solutions.
Minimize the time it takes to maintain your facility while preserving the integrity of the rotor with Nexus Controls steam turbine startup and loadup optimization solutions. We work with you to optimize steam turbine assets that support your plant life requirements ensuring end of life alignment. Our solution increases uptime shortening the time it takes to get up to full production.
Associated power versus purchasing power from the grid can be done in a more efficient way with Nexus Controls energy optimization. Our energy management solutions offer the most economic steam distribution for the plant—even more than buy/sell. We help you generate steam demand without anything extra.
Nexus Controls is standing by to analyze why a problem occurs when and if it does. We keep production as insulated as possible without power disruptions. Our solutions ensure you have the power in place to generate steam and improve emissions reduction.
Nexus Controls has deep expertise in integrating systems, interfacing with machines, and centralizing islands of information unique to our customers' sites while we help them to protect their data, controls and automated machine assets with defense in depth cyber security solutions.
A paper mill producing liner board for the shipping industry was struggling to achieve its daily production target due to inconsistent digester operation. An aging DCS system was increasingly unreliable, adversely impacting the digester cooking process. This resulted in a domino effect of runtime issues cascading from stock preparation through to the paper machines. A new, upgraded DCS system was installed, facilitating increased throughput via previously "maxed out" washer lines, resulting in fewer breakdowns. Project payback happened in less than three months at a 300% rate of return and the modern DCS is continuing to generate medium and long term positive benefits.
Another recent pulp and paper example required modernizing a DCS system, as the existing one was failing to effectively prevent downtime occurrences. The existing DCS for this plant ran the recovery boiler, evaporators, mill air and water systems, turbine generator interface, Deionized Water plant, boiler feedwater pumps, the common steam headers, and condensate systems. After 7 months of planning and design, a new replacement DCS was installed within 72 hours. As a result, downtime has been reduced from a regular problem to a rare occurrence, improving efficiency and overall plant productivity.