New ABB Weight Virtual Measurement reduces sheet break recovery time and boosts mill profitability

13 November 2020

ABB today launches Weight Virtual Measurement, an ABB Ability™ Performance Service that allows paper, packaging and tissue manufacturers to recover quickly from sheet breaks. It works by reducing the amount of off-spec paper produced directly after sheet breaks and during the subsequent start-up period, potentially saving thousands of dollars each year.

The new digital solution uses inputs that affect product weight - such as stock flow, consistency, first pass retention and machine speed - to provide an online conditioned weight measurement during a sheet break event when the Quality Control System (QCS) weight sensor cannot provide a measurement since there is no paper to be measured.

By providing operators with a continuously optimized, machine-learning generated measurement model, or ‘soft sensor’, Weight Virtual Measurement helps reduce downtime, improve grade change times and decrease the time to achieve on-spec paper. Operator displays combine various inputs and highlight when the Virtual Measurement is available in the absence of the QCS measurement. Operators can view the current status and work with a choice of adjustments to get back on target.

“Our new Weight Virtual Measurement solution is unlike any other in that it combines deep industry expertise with advanced analytics, machine-learning technologies, proprietary modelling and auto-calibration techniques to create an accurate and robust virtual sensor,” said John Schroeder, Global Product Manager for ABB Ability™ applications for pulp and paper. “This will enable mills to make more strategic decisions such as balancing the cost options of getting their production up and running faster versus delaying putting the paper on the reel to avoid compromising their paper quality.”

Weight Virtual Measurement joins the ABB Ability™ Performance Service suite that includes other Virtual Measurement features for pulp and paper mills, all of which do not require an ABB DCS or QCS for implementation. It is delivered via ABB Ability™ Collaborative Operations, a service delivery model that connects production, headquarters and ABB personnel with remote access to ABB digital technologies, data analytics and domain expertise, and incorporates ongoing performance monitoring and analysis of the online calculated weight.

ABB is a trusted partner and leading supplier to the pulp and paper industry, offering deep expertise and a comprehensive portfolio of integrated digital solutions, automation and electrification systems, industry-focused products and comprehensive services to help our customers optimize all phases of the papermaking process. We are committed to serving packaging, paper, tissue and pulp producers to help drive availability, performance, cost and quality improvements. Active worldwide, ABB has over 1,000 pulp and paper professionals who serve customers in over 50 countries.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 110,000 talented employees in over 100 countries.