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Automation Solution

Accelerating Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 applications are enabling many possibilities to continue the growth in automating industrial settings. Measurement devices are expanding our understanding of phenomena. Sensors are being developed with greater reliability that endure harsher environments better. The connectivity of IIoT devices coupled with modern analytic engines are empowering personnel to work together in new ways, and with automation, so that we all can work smarter and not harder.

Industrial settings need these types of new applications to tie things together with all the data commonly generated to support day-to-day operations. With the evolving industry landscape, personnel needs to be able to drown out the noise; otherwise without proper support, unwanted turnover occurs. Pulmac understands the value of empowering employees to succeed as well as identifying good linkages to make automation efforts successful.

Pulmac Systems Automation from Pulmac
AdobeStock 344108853 scaled from Pulmac
Transitioning to Industry 4.0

Refining Automation

With all the alarms and dashboards operators need to review daily, attention needs to be prioritized to address the major issues at hand, leaving lesser disturbances to be attended to by the current process control strategy. One process, oftentimes overlooked until it is a “big” problem, is refining.

The challenge with refining is a minor pulp quality fluctuation can cause a lot of changes to the fiber development decisions. Compounding this are traditional laboratory methods reveal answers long after the pulp has passed through.

Because of the lack of visibility, refining to specific energy is often employed, but it is a poor proxy to know what refining is achieving towards process goals. This naturally leads to erring on the side of caution to ensure strength requirements are met and over-refining when swings in furnish characteristics happen. Now new problems begin to develop: inefficient energy usage, damage to the good fiber, drainage changes with possibly other instabilities on the machine.

Pulmac views a large potential exists to automate the refining operation and capture savings from the small fluctuations and prevent it from becoming a “big” issue.

How to advance the industry

How We See It

The large datasets facilities have been collecting from their process, quality control, and laboratory systems can be coupled with current measurement/sensor devices and data analytics to automate the response to fluctuations refiners “see” and garner incremental fiber and energy savings while also heading off potentially more significant quality issues.

These devices allow capturing data that was previously hidden or not tracked and provide a basis for correlation to quality / near real-time predictions. This new information transforms into powerful predictive insight for automated responses to furnish swings and promotes production stability / advanced quality control initiatives.

AdobeStock 283739999 scaled from Pulmac