Mönsterås woodyard: A digital leader
It looks like the vision to make the woodyard at Södra in Mönsterås the most digitally advanced in Europe by the end of 2020 is on track to becoming a reality.
Other mills have also installed parts of the system that we are investing in, but no one has addressed the whole flow in quite this way, from controlling the quality of the wood fed into the process to debarking and chipping, and the quality of the chips. The overall approach also includes close cooperation between operations and maintenance. And we are focusing on developing the expertise of process and maintenance engineers in this new technology. Digitisation has been applied in three specific areas: financial optimization, quality control and quality monitoring.
Focusing on the production and quality side, Johan Sjögren, head of wood chip and biofuel production at the mill says: “We have introduced a number of digital tools and they are giving us better control of the wood and chip quality, fewer production disruptions and a safer work environment.”
Digitisation reaches every corner of the operation, from inventory and recipe management to control and optimization of the process, including working conditions in the debarking facility. Within each shift, there is an appointed expert on digital processes.
The difference is in the detail. For example, the pressure of drive wheels on the bark drums is monitored digitally, and vibration from bearings in the chipper is analysed, ensuring consistent performance, reduced risk of damage and optimized maintenance.
HiVision virtual reality has been introduced to enable remote control of cranes from the control room, ensuring reduced noise exposure and a safer working environment – so managing a wedged log, for instance, is now a far safer, quicker and more convenient operation. Other investments include process monitoring and automatic sampling and analysis of chips.
The aim of the digital journey is to identify safer and more efficient solutions, and to achieve greater process precision.
Sjögren: “We have a few challenges ahead of us, but if everything continues according to plan, we will reach our goal next year.”
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