Nov 6, 2018
Valmet Performance Center is the channel to your process support, and represents a major part of Valmet's recent innovations. There are several names out there, Internet of Things and so forth. The name that Valmet uses which describes our services best, is Industrial Internet. Our services within Industrial Internet are in three main categories.
We also use the phrase "dialogue with data" and this is what we mean - we use data as part of the dialogue with our customers.
During recent years there has been a lot of discussion about "big data" and what can be and has been done it. To put things in perspective, let's review what Valmet has done in this area. The backbone is the DCS or QCS where we gather the data. There are 740 Valmet-supplied machine lines with a Valmet DCS. Our achievements to date can be seen in the box below showing the umbrella of our capabilities in Industrial Internet. Valmet has been doing this for quite some time.
Moving forward to the Valmet Performance Center as it is today, what does this concept mean? We start with the most important component - customer tissue lines, wherever they are in the world. They are connected to the Valmet Performance Center. In between we have our local Valmet experts and customer experts. At the Valmet Performance Center we gather and analyze data to support our customers. This is where the real work happens. Behind the scenes we have an internal expert network which provides special help from, for example, a Yankee specialist or a ViscoNip specialist.
There are several of these Performance Centers and the photos above show how one actually looks like in Karlstad, Sweden. In these rooms we connect to your DCS, collect the data, conduct videoconferences and during that time do analysis together and support you.
Here is an example of using the Performance Center for performance services. This is a real case of a Performance Service Agreement. We installed a tissue line on an existing site. The mill wanted to try out our Performance Services to optimize their process. The Performance Service Agreement was important to them as a method of structuring the service Valmet would provide. In the agreement we have various KPIs that are measured and evaluated continuously, and we get feedback from them. The machine and its specifications are shown below.
Of course, the backbone is the data from the machine - collecting and processing. The data is continuously transferred to Valmet experts. From that point, we do analysis and online reporting; our systems are doing that, so you can call it system analysis and system reporting. This occurs 24x7x365, and updates the online reports on the mill's iPads, iPhones, etc. We then use those reports and analyses each month to make a deeper analysis based on what we have agreed with the customer as the KPI targets to focus on. We involve our process engineers, automation engineers and whatever internal resources we need. On a quarterly basis we visit the mill and review those reports and recommendations. We develop an action plan with the mill including how to implement and followup the recommendations.
The image below represents the starting point with the customer in this case study. We start with KPIs, which can include several elements such as energy consumption, fresh water consumption, production and so forth. To make things easier, we developed an executive report (as shown in the graphic) to instantly show how the mill is doing according to Valmet experts.
In this particular case, you can see that the KPIs defined together were a combination of housekeeping, runnability, safety, average basis weight, etc. - a combination of onsite and online observations. All of them were in the expected range; they were OK, but the desire was to find a way to notch them a little bit up on the scale, from 7 to 8 on basis weight, for instance, or average speed from 8 to 9. We had three main targets to further optimize: energy consumption, quality, and availability/production. So those were the targets for the next four months.
Let's look at how the Valmet Performance Center helped with the specific KPI targets of optimization of availability and production. Our process engineers and Valmet personnel decided to make an analysis of periods of stability and instability (such as sheet breaks). We analyzed all the data for four months, comparing how the machine was doing, the settings and so forth, between the periods with more sheet breaks and the periods with few sheet breaks. This data is shown in the graphic below.
Based on that data we worked to make an analysis and came up with a number of recommendations - all of them either optimization of centerlines or operational procedures. These included headbox settings (slice opening, jet/wire ration, profiling), coating settings, Yankee doctor blades, onsite fabric management (operator maintenance, SCWW quality, shower nozzles) and strategy on production planning. We could see clear patterns on changing production to improve availability and production. We presented the action plan with recommendations to the mill and the action plan was followed. Now it was time to evaluate the change over the next quarter...
All the KPIs are shown in the graphic below, from the start of the four month evaluation period to the end of the period, to show what the KPI development was after the recommendations were followed. This was monitored and sent to the customer to show the results achieved.
All the KPIs improved by one or two points, except for one which dropped by one point and needed to be addressed separately. Looking specifically at availability and production, our targets for the quarter, you can see in the graphic below that there was an availability increase of 4.8% and production increase of 5.1%.
There are other results that can be shared from this case example, such as troubleshooting which supported the customer and helped save them a lot of money, energy optimization where we saved steam and quality improvements focusing on basis weights. These are summarized in the following graphics.
This has described the Valmet Performance Center, how it works, and actual results achieved with a customer. For more information on how the Valmet Performance Center can improve your mill processes, contact your Valmet representative.