Honeywell to Modernize One of Europe’s Oldest Paper Mills
Matthew Greenwood posted on October 15, 2018 |

The owner of a mill that has been producing paper for over four centuries is partnering with Honeywell to bring the facility into the 21st century.

Gratkorn Mill, straddling the river Mur in Austria, produces 908,000 tons of high-quality double- and triple-coated papers annually, which are used for publications all over the world. The mill also produces 250,000 tons of chlorine-free chemical pulp and has an annual sheet finishing capacity of 875,000 tons. Gratkorn Mill has around 1,240 highly skilled employees.

The mill’s owner, Sappi Austria Produktions, is one of Europe’s leading producers and suppliers of coated fine paper, packaging and specialty papers. The company is investing close to $35 million to integrate the ancient mill with Industry 4.0 technologies. It has chosen Honeywell to implement those changes.

Honeywell will implement several upgrades, such as process visualization, server virtualization and cybersecurity solutions. The added virtualization capabilities will help in improving the mill’s operational efficiency apart from reducing maintenance costs.

This isn’t the first time Honeywell has been brought in to enhance productivity at the mill. In 2015, Honeywell upgraded the facility’s flagship paper machine to its Experion PMD automated system, creating one of the most advanced paper production lines in the world.

The new upgrades will also feature Honeywell’s Experion line of technologies. Honeywell will implement a virtual infrastructure platform that integrates advanced automation with state-of-the-art software to allow centralized, remote monitoring of the mill’s operations. Four automation systems will control processes, machinery and drives. Four quality control systems—designed specifically for papermaking operations—will maintain quality through the use of quality sensors.

Additionally, two actuator systems will help reduce the paper web’s cross-direction variation as it is being made. A scalable, secure and robust database will allow facility managers to make better and faster decisions with precise data.

Honeywell’s Experion PKS visualization solutions.

“We selected Honeywell because of the company’s track record of success on previous projects and familiarity with the site and our business,” said Karl Weiss, Sappi automation project manager. “This latest project will deliver quality and productivity improvements, cost savings measures and security enhancements that will future-proof operations at Gratkorn in line with Industry 4.0.”

Honeywell has been making a name for itself in the field of connected building technologies across industries—whether a modern factory needing an upgrade or a building hundreds of years old wanting to place itself at the forefront of today’s manufacturing technologies.

Read more about Honeywell’s work in creating state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities at Honeywell Implements a Connected Factory in Japan.

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