Does digitalization help make our production more efficient?

Does digitalization help make our production more efficient?

CHALLENGE

Customers and industries want a smooth start-up for their plants and trouble-free operation after that. However, as they are continuously looking for cost-saving potentials to maintain competitiveness and thus increasingly outsource certain operations and operational responsibilities, there is a growing need for support from their equipment suppliers.

SOLUTION

Plant start-ups, inspections and service work can be outsourced systematically and automation can be increased with the aid of digital solutions. That’s why companies in different segments are using the know-how of ANDRITZ’s Metris Performance Centers.

Experts on demand

The elongated Metris Performance Center room at the ANDRITZ headquarters in Graz looks a little like a space mission control center: The wall is lined with large flat screens displaying diagrams, charts and figures.

Five process engineers, mechanics experts and technicians are sitting at a wide desk and concentrating on what the monitors are displaying. There is the sound of computer keyboards, the air-conditioning system, and someone speaking quietly into a microphone. One of the screens shows an ANDRITZ employee standing in front of a machine in a factory hall and pointing to a component.

The Metris Performance Centers help to start up paper production lines, wastewater treatment plants or filter presses from a huge distance and to control them if necessary. The Industrial Internet of Things makes this possible.

Metris performance center locations

ANDRITZ operates several Metris Performance Centers all over the world to provide the best possible support to its customers in different industries and time zones.

© ANDRITZ

Product offerings at the Metris Performance Centers

  • Optimization of process performance with Metris – ANDRITZ Digital Solutions: the perfect combination of the latest digitalization technologies with comprehensive process experience for customer support
  • Process knowledge and specialists in start-up support as well as implementation of new, innovative equipment control options
  • Direct customer contact and faster response by online real-time data sharing using the latest communication and augmented reality (AR) tools
  • Worldwide remote support for stable and economically efficient process conditions and prevention of equipment problems
Gerhard Schiefer, Chief Automation Officer at ANDRITZ

Gerhard Schiefer, Chief Automation Officer at ANDRITZ

© ANDRITZ

Worldwide presence

ANDRITZ’s Metris Performance Centers have proved to be a strong partner in large industrial projects all over the world: In China, for example, they helped start up a new wastewater treatment plant and several paper machines remotely. Remote support was provided in starting up two biomass boilers in Japan, in ramping up a fiberline in Spain, and in starting up filter presses in the USA.

“In the start-up phase in particular, networking the digital with the physical world of industry has enormous advantages,” says Gerhard Schiefer, Chief Automation Officer at ANDRITZ. “We have process engineers, automation experts and mechanics working together in a multidisciplinary team – to the greatest possible benefit of the customer.”

The experts provide active assistance during start-up of the plant and contribute their specific knowledge. In collaboration with small teams on site, this enables a quick start-up, and other tasks can also be performed with the aid of digitalization.

From several thousand data points in an industrial complex, information is transmitted to the Performance Center constantly via a stable and highly secure, private Internet connection: What is the pressure in the pipework and machines? What are the flow rates? Are vibrations within the normal range? Is the product quality right? How is the energy consumption and can we reduce it any further?

Staff on site and at the Center compare notes, run checks, make adjustments, and seek out the optimum operating status together as well as potentials for improving ongoing production.

The ANDRITZ tissue production plant at Vajda Papír in Hungary was started up with the help of the Metris Performance Center and is an example of how resource-saving components can be combined with advanced automation solutions.

© ANDRITZ

Extensive digital networking

“The Performance Centers help our customers to avoid problems before they arise,” says Gerhard Schiefer. “This generally shortens the start-up period of a tissue plant from several weeks to just a few days.”

At the same time, the plant is ready for further optimization during production operations. The Metris Performance Center also helps out here remotely – and very flexibly too, according to the customer's needs. “Flexibility is a huge benefit for both parties,” says Gerhard Schiefer.

The Center can be used during a start-up, in case of urgent problems, or continuously under a corresponding service agreement. “The customer sets the pace.” Security is right at the top of the agenda here.

The customer alone has sovereignty over his data – it is stored on his servers in his mill. And only the customer can say what happens to the data, how it is used and shared and which ANDRITZ staff can access information and processes inside the mill.

With its advanced technology, Vajda Papír produces high-quality hygiene products.

© ANDRITZ
Attila Vajda, founder and Managing Director of Vajda Papír

Attila Vajda, founder and Managing Director of Vajda Papír

© ANDRITZ

“A big step forward”

Let’s take a look at Hungary, to the mill operated by tissue producer Vajda Papír, which went into operation at the end of 2018. Around 30,000 tons of napkins, toilet paper and paper tissues are produced here every year. ANDRITZ designed and supplied the complete production line, performed the start-up and, thanks to digital solutions, is always available for troubleshooting during operations.

“We deliberately sought out a lean overall package with state-of-the-art technology for our mill in Dunaföldvár,” says Attila Vajda, founder and Managing Director of Vajda Papír. “The ANDRITZ line provides the right response to our needs and those of our customers. We are very pleased with its efficiency, paper quality and comparatively low energy consumption.”

And the connection to the Metris Performance Center is also groundbreaking. “It is a big help to our technicians. Digitalization and artificial intelligence are meanwhile essential in paper production. There is no longer any alternative to comprehensive sensor technology, big data and intelligent algorithms if you want to guarantee efficient operations.”

The project enabled Vajda Papír to take a big step forward in establishing the company as an expanding paper producer, according to Attila Vajda. Vajda Papír’s own products are sold under the brand name “Ooops!” in large drugstore and supermarket chains in Hungary and in over 20 other countries, mainly in Scandinavia, the Baltic states and Eastern Europe.

And there is every sign of continuing growth. “We have been working for a long time towards being able to produce tissue ourselves and gaining access to customers in the catering trade instead of just purchasing, converting and selling paper in Hungary. And now we have succeeded.”

Thanks to digital networking and local expertise, ANDRITZ can offer comprehensive service to its customers worldwide.

Thanks to digital networking and local expertise, ANDRITZ can offer comprehensive service to its customers worldwide.

© ANDRITZ
Vajda Papír is the market leader in Hungary, producing 140,000 tons of sanitary paper a year.

Vajda Papír is the market leader in Hungary, producing 140,000 tons of sanitary paper a year.

© ANDRITZ

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