Industry 4.0 has been a hot topic among nonwovens machinery and equipment suppliers over the last several years. Large-scale M2M (machine-to-machine) technologies and IoT (Internet of Things) operations are helping manufacturers offer increased automation, as well as improved monitoring and communication. With Industry 4.0, machines in factories the world over are able to quickly analyze and communicate with each other and with employees and customers.
Italian machinery specialist A.Celli’s attitude has always been to look ahead, beyond the state of the art, on the horizon of an approach devoted to innovation, evolution and automation in the most extreme sense of the term, according to Francesco Vergentini, chief operations officer, A.Celli Nonwovens. In 2016, the company decided to organize a division dedicated to the development of systems oriented towards Industry 4.0 by setting up Extreme Automation. Based on a “think out of the box” vision, A.Celli was able to create a “rich” environment that allows it to freely develop innovative solutions according to a new perspective that goes beyond the patterns of everyday business.
The work of A.Celli and Extreme Automation, focused mainly on smart management of the data acquired during the production phase, seeks to be a contribution towards improving the quality of the final product.
nonwovens machinery expert Andritz completed its first OPP (Optimization of Process Control) contract, which was its first IIoT solution for industrial applications—a system to optimize equipment and plants in the pulp and paper industry—in 2007, and has continued to improve its OPP technology further ever since then on the basis of customer experience.
The OPP system detects any anomalies and deviations in pulp and paper production by analyzing production data. Sheet breaks or other adverse effects on production can thus be predicted at an early stage. As a result, countermeasures can be implemented in good time, guaranteeing reliable production and also optimizing operations, including the use of resources. Now Andritz has developed OPP further for use in other business areas, like the nonwovens sector, and is offering solutions for different branches of industry. The technologies used are adapted to the requirements and needs of each individual customer.
For Valmet, a global developer and supplier of technologies, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries, the implementation of Industry 4.0 concepts has been evolutionary. “We can say that Valmet has been involved with this evolution since the digitalization of analog devices began in the 60s and into the 70s,” says Seyhan Nuyan, director – Automation Applications & Sales, Valmet. Valmet advanced digitalization of its technology very quickly, so that by the mid 1970s it had most of its products digitized. At the same time, new designs were also taking advantage of the digital world during that decade.