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ABB modernizes Swiss paper machine as a model of energy efficiency

  • Model Group modernized key paper machine with ABBIE 4 electric motor and multi-drive
  • New equipment saves 900,000 kWh of electricity annually
  • Production rate increased by 12.5%, with a total potential of 25%

ABB has helped Swiss-based package maker Model Group modernize one of its leading paper machines with energy-efficient motors and state-of-the-art variable speed drives (VSDs). rice field. The result is increased productivity and reliability, and reduced energy consumption of up to 900,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. This is equivalent to 200 four-person households in Switzerland and is expected to be recovered within five years.

The Model Group develops, manufactures and supplies high quality packages made of solid cardboard, from simple shipping packages to highly sophisticated chocolate and perfume boxes. The model group operates two giant paper machines, approximately 80 meters long, at a facility in Weinfelden, Switzerland. Equipped with dozens of electric motors, the machine operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, producing paper for use throughout the Group, producing approximately 1.5 billion square meters of corrugated board annually.

Paper production is energy-intensive, so when Weinfelden’s second paper machine was nearing the end of its useful life, the model group was keen to seek energy-efficient upgrade options.

Philipp Lenhard, technical manager of the facility, said: “Recycling and energy efficient production are our top priorities from an ecological and economic point of view. This priority has been applied to the update of the paper machine 2 drive system. It was a legacy model that was plagued by a shortage of spare parts, but the motor was from 1991 and required a major overhaul.

“I was impressed with the upgrade route proposed by ABB experts to allow the installation of new motors and drives, which allows existing government grants to be used to improve energy efficiency while leveraging existing ones. We were able to avoid the costs associated with overhauling the motor. ”The modernization project was planned around a six-day summer shutdown of the 2019 and 2020 model groups. The new equipment was delivered to the site and ready for quick installation and commissioning.

In 2019, the VSD was replaced by the latest ABBACS880 multi-drive. Then, in 2020, a total of 36 electric motors were replaced by ABB IE4 motors. This is the most energy efficient classification of AC induction motors.

Philip Renhard continues: “The ABB IE4 motor gave us access to Swiss federal funding for projects that were not available with the IE3 motor. This grant covered approximately 32 percent of our total investment, effectively. , The efficiency rating upgrade was paid to the motor from the beginning. “

Delivery and test runs went according to plan, and paper machine 2 could be restarted in August 2020, making it quieter and more economical than before. Calculations by the model group show that energy-efficient motors and drives save up to 900,000 kWh per year, but with significant additional benefits.

Previously, a 2.5 meter wide paper web passed through a machine at about 800 meters per minute. Currently operating at 900 meters per minute, productivity is greatly improved. In addition, the new drive solution will eventually allow the machine to run at 1km / min when other upgrades are performed. Motor speeds have also been reduced from 1,500 rpm to 1,000 rpm, allowing gear optimization or elimination and significantly reducing friction.

The end result is increased production rates, significant energy savings and a return on investment (ROI) forecast within five years.

Stefan Floeck – ABB Motion, President of IEC Low Voltage Motors, said: “The success of this project for the model group is a perfect example of how energy efficiency is not an additional business cost. Instead, modernization with the latest energy efficient motors and drives is a carbon dioxide emission. Not only will it help reduce, but it will also directly improve profitability. “

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