Pulp and Paper Canada

Daishowa paper unwinds with LEADING-EDGE CONTROL SYSTEM

January 1, 2001  By Pulp & Paper Canada

In the high-volume, low-margin papermaking industry, deciding how and when to upgrade equipment can be a daunting task. Faced with old and obsolete components on its number one paper machine winder, D…

In the high-volume, low-margin papermaking industry, deciding how and when to upgrade equipment can be a daunting task. Faced with old and obsolete components on its number one paper machine winder, Daishowa Forest Products Ltd. needed to modernize its Quebec City, QC, mill to increase productivity and quality to remain a top competitor in the Canadian paper industry.

Headquartered in Japan, Daishowa operates paper mills throughout the US, Australia and Canada. Its Quebec mill produces about 1500 tonnes per day (t/d) of newsprint, paperboard and paper for telephone directories. Daishowa worked with Rockwell Automation to modernize the control system on its PM 1 winder and re-reeler in the Quebec mill. With the new system, Daishowa has increased its re-reeler capacity by 3 t/d, thereby increasing potential revenue and improving overall product quality.


“The first objective of this project was to replace obsolete equipment,” said Maurice Cyr, Daishowa electrical superintendent. “To keep our present market position, we had to make that change.”

Taking advantage of new technology in its pulping process — the mill now has a TMP plant — Daishowa then looked to improve PM 1’s winder efficiency. Upgrading the winder and the re-reeler would improve production and quality at a lower price than it would cost to upgrade the winder alone.

In August 1998, Daishowa solicited digital drive upgrade proposals from various automation suppliers including Rockwell Automation, for PM 1’s winder and the re-reeler that serviced all four paper machines. After meeting with each company, Daishowa selected Rockwell Automation and its new ControlLogix architecture to help implement a new integrated drive and control system on these machines.

Despite the unfamiliarity with ControlLogix, which Rockwell Automation had only recently launched, Daishowa selected this new technology because of its ability to give Daishowa the competitive productivity advantages it was seeking to achieve. ControlLogix is Rockwell Automation’s new generation of control architecture that provides flexibility for sequential, process and motion control, communications, and I/O in a single small, cost-competitive system. In addition to providing leading edge technology, Rockwell Automation drive engineers also provided extensive paper industry application experience and knowledge.

“We didn’t want Daishowa to remain using older technology, especially if the mill was going to make significant investments in upgrading its paper machines,” said Frederick Paquin, a Rockwell Automation drive systems specialist. “That’s why we suggested they consider ControlLogix. We took them to our manufacturing facility and demonstrated the benefits of the new ControlLogix platform. We made it as easy as possible for them to make a confident decision.”

In September 1999, the new system was installed. “We wanted the new system integrated on-site within 48 hours; that is a complete replacement of the old drive with the new drive and the start-up,” Cyr said. Rockwell Automation worked closely with Daishowa on fine tuning the machines the week after installation.

As part of the upgrade, Rockwell Automation drive system engineers installed ControlLogix, Allen-Bradley PanelView HMI hardware, Allen-Bradley 1395 DC drives, FLEX I/O, ControlNet, DeviceNet and Rockwell Software RSView HMI software.

As a result of the new system, Daishowa now gets fewer breaks, improved tension control and increased acceleration rates, resulting in a higher-quality product. The most significant benefit of the new system has been its ability to increase production. With fewer breaks and increased acceleration rates on the rewinder, Daishowa is now able to produce rolls that it was not able to wind with the old drive system. Prior to the upgrade, the maximum diameter of paper the winder could wind was 42 inches. “We’re now able to get the roll up to 50 inches, which is really important because not every mill can produce such a roll,” Cyr said.

The result: Daishowa has increased its re-reeler capacity by 3 t/d, resulting in a potential increase of nearly 1100 t/y, with potential annual revenue increase of almost $1 million.

With this electrical upgrade, Rockwell Automation helped Daishowa improve quality and increase production, as well as improve the work environment for many people on the factory floor working with updated equipment. When asked if there were any other results of the upgrade, Cyr responded, “We also see smiles on some faces that we didn’t see before.”

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