Metsä Group’s bioproduct mill chooses ABB AbilityTM Collaborative Operations Center

16 October 2017

Leading producer of bioproducts and bioenergy Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, and ABB have signed an agreement to connect ABB electrical systems installed at the Äänekoski bioproduct mill to the ABB Ability Collaborative Operations solution portfolio. The solutions include the remote monitoring of electrical systems using cloud services, and remote access to ABB experts 24/7 aimed at raising the performance and reliability of electrical systems to a new level.

ABB supplied the Metsä Group’s bioproduct mill in Äänekoski in Central Finland in 2016 with a comprehensive electrification solution including the mill’s entire electrical power distribution system and process electrification. Metsä Fibre and ABB have now signed an agreement to connect a considerable number of the supplied devices to ABB Ability Collaborative Operations. This will enable remote monitoring of functionality and availability of the electrical devices and electrical systems through Metsä Fibre as well as ABB experts and allow real-time collaborating to achieve the highest possible availability and performance.

“This gives us an at-a-glance overview of the status of all of ABB electrical devices connected to the system. We can see what level of stress the frequency converters are under, and can monitor their condition and react to deviations proactively,” says Botnia Mill Service’s Ossi Puromäki, who is in charge of the bioproduct mill’s lifecycle contracts.

ABB Collaborative Operations is a true Internet-of-Things application and is part of the company's portfolio of ABB Ability with industry-leading digital solutions. Collaborative Operations provides performance management, remote monitoring and preventive analysis technologies to ensure security, and improve efficiency and productivity in various industries. ABB Collaborative Operations Centers connects people in enterprise-wide production facilities and headquarters to ABB’s technology and expertise.

The electrical power distribution system at the mill includes 650 frequency converters alone. Condition monitoring is also facilitated by extensive device-specific alarms and as ABB Ability presents its data in the cloud, ABB experts can provide instant support in tackling problems. Furthermore, analyzing the data collected from electrical systems and devices for its predictive value also enhances reliability over the long-term.

“Monitoring helps us to do maintenance on the right device at the right time, instead of simply servicing all devices at predefined intervals. This will optimize both costs and quality of upkeep,” says Puromäki.

“Our mill’s most important performance indicator is its availability rate, which we target to maintain at 98 per cent and above on an annual rate. Maintenance plays a critical role in ensuring this high level of performance,” said Timo Merikallio, Project Director of bioproduct mill project. ”At the same time, we simply don’t have all expertise at the mill. Therefore, maintenance based on cooperation with trusted partners is key for us.” Merikallio continued.

“ABB has been remotely monitoring paper mill drives and electrical distribution systems for many years. Applying this knowledge in the context of ABB Ability Collaborative Operations takes it to a whole new level and demonstrates our leadership in delivering real benefits to our customers through big data. It allows us to turn data into insights and immediate actions that significantly improve our customers’ operations in terms of availability, performance and quality,” says Jim Fisher, Global Product Group Manager for Pulp and Paper.

The Metsä Fibre site will primarily be monitored from the Helsinki ABB Ability Collaborative Operations Center, which ABB opened in October this year. Along with the existing centers in Westerville, Ohio, USA and a planned center in Singapore, scheduled to be opened beginning of next year, this center will focus on the pulp and paper industry, giving access to ABB industry experts “follow the sun” principle and supporting customers anywhere in the world.