The key objectives of the project include achievement of the quality targets with cost-effective measures and the reduction of downtimes resulted due to breaks


The PM 11 of Laakirchen Papier. (Credit: Voith GmbH & Co. KGaA)

Paper manufacturer Laakirchen Papier has collaborated with technology company Voith Group on a large-scale project to digitise paper machines.

Voith Group has undertaken the new large-scale project to revamp the Laakirchen plant into a model digital site.

In 2017, Laakirchen Papier has converted its PM 10 machine from recovered magazine paper to corrugated medium to better meet its future requirements.

With the better use of the existing data, the production and value creation of PM 11 and PM 10 are expected to be increased and stabilised at a high level.

The project includes the deployment of latest papermaking 4.0 technologies at Laakirchen plant

The project involves the integration of the latest 4.0 technologies into the individual components for efficient production at the Laakirchen plant. The components will be tested in real operating conditions.

Laakirchen Papier CEO Dr Thomas Welt said: “Only by consistently making the most of the possibilities and opportunities of digitalisation will we be able to survive in the narrowing market in future too.”

The main objectives of the project include achievement of the quality targets cost-effectively and the reduction of downtimes resulted due to breaks.

The virtual sensors and model predictive controls will be incorporated with cloud-based innovations from the world of machine learning for online control of the target qualities of the different paper strengths.

The project is anticipated to create a digital flagship at the centre of Europe, which has the capacity to make digitalisation in the paper industry tangible and prepare the groundwork to integrate the value chain.

Voith Paper products and services president and digital business officer Dr Jürgen Abraham said: “Laakirchen Papier is not only impressed with our established digital product portfolio, but has also agreed to work on developing new digital products in collaboration with Voith to harness the enormous potential of the fourth industrial revolution.”

In February this year, Graphic Packaging International (GPI) selected Voith to supply a complete recycled stock preparation system for its new coated recycled board (CRB) machine being built in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Voith Group provides systems, products, services and digital applications for the customers in the markets of energy, oil and gas, paper, raw materials and transport and automotive.