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SA Instrumentation & Control Buyers' Guide

Technews Industry Guide - IIoT 2018

Technews Industry Guide - Maintenance, Reliability & Asset Optimisation


How drives help in papermaking
October 2018, Motion Control & Drives

Papermaking machinery, from tissue winders through to suction rolls, embossers, print units and conveyors, must utilise the latest drive technologies to meet modern paper mill production schedules and avoid costly downtime and maintenance issues. The performance levels required of drives in papermaking machines is now way in advance of straightforward functionality. Today’s paper mills are a far cry from the traditional image of yesteryear, where animals or water provided the power. Instead, 21st century mills feature a complex yet efficient series of processes controlled by the latest motors, drives and software. Modern papermaking machines measure up to 150 metres in length and operate at speeds in excess of 100 km/h.

Ethernet for integration

Ethernet is another notable trend, whereby paper mills enjoy the benefits of employing a single network technology from the boardroom to the shop floor. Vertically integrating everything from sensors to accounting software presents possibilities for greater operational control. Simultaneously, the latest Ethernet-based networks permit more flexibility when installing and expanding control systems within the manufacturing process chain in comparison with conventional field buses.

A typical turnkey solution for papermaking machinery would comprise integrated drives, automation, safety and networking. Take a two-ply tissue winder, for example. Forming part of an Active Front End (AFE), advanced drives are able to facilitate class leading motor performance with real-time Ethernet, while offering a fully integrated safety system in accordance with EN ISO 13849-1.

The drives work and communicate with controller technology, with Ethernet capability offering real-time drive-to-drive synchronisation. Here, the latest drive innovations differentiate themselves with extremely fast current-control algorithms and high switching frequencies. Co-processor modules can also be deployed to perform cascade speed control. More and more manufacturers of tissue and paper-based products are upgrading the drives systems in their production machines to leverage benefits such as on-board advanced motion control, multi-protocol encoder connectivity and savings in cabling.

When looking to upgrade, engineers should take care to not only specify the optimum drive in terms of capability, but one that is completely compatible with the drive being replaced. For instance, the new drive should offer full mechanical compatibility in terms of dimensions and weight. Also, check to see that existing mounting holes can be reused. Engineers will also benefit from ensuring the drive offers the same power and control wiring philosophy, and the same menu and parameter structure with easy transfer of parameters. Typical upgrade projects might include deploying the latest drives for the control of motors in conveyors. Embossers are a further common application, where paper veils are matched together to make final tissue products thicker and softer. Modern drives can also control print units, as well as winders and unwinders, which deliver materials to further stages of the process.

The effective and efficient driving of induction and permanent magnet servo motors in combination with real-time Ethernet delivery are clearly facilitators of maximising machine throughput. This is supported by high speed I/O for position capture and greater control with single and multi-axis network synchronisation. It has never been easier for machine builders to create more sophisticated and flexible papermaking machinery. All stages of the process can benefit, from suction rolls and paper guide rolls, through to integral dryers.

In support of drives are a multitude of additional module/software configurations that can provide a programming environment befitting of the high-performance motion and functionality necessary in papermaking machinery operations.

Among the many additional benefits of such modules is real-time access to all of the drive’s parameters, plus access to data from I/O and other drives. Tasks are synchronised to the drive’s own control loops to give the best possible performance for drive control and motion.

Papermaking in the Industry 4.0 era

Looking to the near future, in particular the ramp-up to Industry 4.0, the papermaking industry is preparing for the transition using intelligent drive and motor solutions that are able to play a key role in collecting information and providing the first line of processing. This data can then be converted into useful information for a diverse range of applications, such as predictive diagnostics, process optimisation and machine-to-machine integration.

So, what capability currently exists in this respect? A number of modern drives and motors enable smarter energy use by measuring and optimising consumption. Furthermore, drives are frequently connected to process-critical external sensors such as flow, temperature and position. Drives can also generate critical process information such as speed, torque and current, while digital encoders can provide data to enable automatic drive configuration and measure factors that include vibration. The boundaries to what paper mills can achieve using the latest drive technology are almost without limit.

For more information contact Erisha Munnhar, Nidec Industrial Automation Southern Africa, +27 11 462 1740,,

Supplied By: Nidec
Tel: +27 11 462 1740
Fax: +27 11 462 1941
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Further reading:

  • Case History 164: More on valves that do not control properly.
    January 2019, Michael Brown Control Engineering, Motion Control & Drives
    I often publish articles showing valve problems. One of the reasons is that I do not think many people understand that valves are generally responsible for 75-80% of all control loop problems. When it ...
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    January 2019, Parker Hannifin Sales Company South, Motion Control & Drives
    Parker Hannifin is a global leader in motion control components and system solutions serving industrial, mobile and automotive markets. Specialising in hydraulics, pneumatics, electromechanics, fluid ...
  • Matching linear measurement performance to application needs
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    Almost all modern automated machines and systems require precise, reliable and cost-effective linear measurement. And although this need increases in line with demands for greater efficiency, speed and ...
  • Case History 163: Control limitations on mineral processing plants
    November 2018, Michael Brown Control Engineering, Motion Control & Drives
    I was recently asked to conduct a control loop audit on a mineral extraction processing plant which was fairly old and had been acquired by new owners. A new and very modern control system had been installed ...
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    November 2018, Beckhoff Automation, Motion Control & Drives
    Automated post-print processing puts the finishing touches on 3D printed parts.
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    Rockwell Automation has released an updated version of the Allen-Bradley Motion Analyser software tool, which offers an optimised user experience with intuitive navigation and in-workflow product selection. ...
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    November 2018, Siemens Digital Factory & Process Indust. & Drives, Motion Control & Drives
    As part of Siemens Industrial Edge, the company is launching applications for Sinumerik Edge, the machine-level platform specially designed for the machine tool industry, at AMB 2018 in Stuttgart. This ...
  • Nord drives for wash-down ­applications
    November 2018, Bearing Man Group t/a BMG, Motion Control & Drives
    BMG’s range of Nord aluminium drives is available with the nsd tupH (sealed surface conversion system) anti-corrosion treatment, which has been developed for improved process reliability in extreme environmental ...
  • Eaton motor control for easy installation
    November 2018, Magnet , Motion Control & Drives
    Magnet’s portfolio of space saving Eaton motor control and protection devices offer motor starting and protection solutions in diverse industries, including mining, oil and gas, pulp and paper, the automotive ...
  • Linear modules with one-point lubrication simplify assembly
    November 2018, Tectra Automation, Motion Control & Drives
    The third generation of MKK and MKR linear modules from Tectra Automation expands the range of equipment options for the company’s linear module series. In the corrosion resistant versions, hard chrome ...
  • SKF offers new Lincoln lubrication pinion
    October 2018, SKF South Africa, Motion Control & Drives
    SKF has announced the introduction of its Lincoln lubrication pinion LP2 for open gear wheels and gear racks. Complementing SKF’s existing lubrication pinion line, the reliable LP2 features a modular ...

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