Swedish sawmill takes first steps to digitally optimized operations
ABB has signed up to help Scandinavian industrial group Moelven, which uses exclusively sustainable timber to produce a range of wood products and construction systems, to optimize sawmill operations as part of a digital transformation project in Valåsen, Karlskoga, Sweden.
The ABB Ability System 800xA distributed control system (DCS), which has helped the company to remain the No. 1 DCS market leader for 22 years as ranked by the ARC Advisory Group, will be installed for the new mill to provide operators with wide visibility and precise control from a central command centre to ensure that production is as resource efficient as possible, with reduced energy consumption and limited waste.
Demand for wood products is increasing as environmentally conscious consumers consider the impacts of the products they buy. Sawmills are moving towards advanced automation and digitalization to increase productivity, ensure safe working environments, digitalize operations and become more sustainable in their operations. The first step is to ensure two steam boilers are integrated into the ABB Ability System 800xA for improved load sharing and optimized energy use. The entire saw line will be consolidated under a single control and information system, enabling better decisions by ensuring the right process information reaches operators at the right time.
The application area in a sawmill is new to both ABB and Moelven as the site is currently running with islands of automation, where each machine operates in its own space. The aim of the collaboration is to not only increase digitalization and result in higher levels of automation, but also realize a new standard in the industry’s operations for the long-term with interfaces between machines and modelling of the entire process flow.
Moelven already sources its materials from sustainable spruce and pine forests in Norway and Sweden, and has a vision of a connected, digital sawmill to create greater efficiencies in processing. It manufactures wood products for the home, lumbar for industry, glulam, building modules, flexible office solutions and wood chips for bioenergy.
“System 800xA will give us the opportunity to strengthen control over our process, and in the long run increase our efficiency,” said Peter Rockedahl, CTO, Moelven division Timber. “Our vision is to be able to optimize the operations based on everything from energy consumption, input material flows, current machine operations and product stores.”
“We know from working across many process industries that automation continues to make a true difference, but combining automation with digital solutions could offer never-ending possibilities for operations and management in terms of productivity and efficiency,” said Björn Jonsson, hub manager, process industries, ABB. “We aim to work together with Moelven to realize the vision and plan exactly how to get there through modern, fit-for-purpose solutions, and training on how to use them, for optimum performance.”
Through the collaboration with Moelven there will be the potential for ABB to work with a number of Europe-based original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and technology innovators, ensuring the vision for the sawmill of the future is achieved successfully. ABB is committed to helping its customers reduce their emissions and preserve resources as part of its Sustainability Strategy 2030.
Learn more at www.global.abb/group/en.