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ABB ingenuity helps filter paper maker maintain uptime and save money


 The latest upgrade is intended to deal with downtime risk due to aging parts while delivering better health diagnostics with improved process management and control. However, planning for this upgrade was not as straightforward as the previous ones.

Ahlstrom was aware of ABB’s lifecycle management model, which tracks a product throughout its useful life in four phases from “active” to “classic”, through “limited” and then, finally to the “obsolete” lifecycle stage. As such, Ahlstrom knew that, within a short time, one of the two installed measurement scanners would move into the obsolete phase. In this final lifecycle stage the scanners and sensors would no longer be feasible to support, potentially resulting in extended machine downtime.

The existing, newer scanner and older U-Frame scanner were considered for upgrading to the latest Network Platform generation electronics. While upgrading the newer of the two scanners is relatively easy, this is not so with the early generation U-Frame.

Ahlstrom greatly valued the U-Frame design due to its mechanical integration into their machine and its easy access. Changing to a modern O-Frame structure, by replacing the scanner, would not have provided the final result Ahlstrom needed: newer measurement technology packaged in a similar form factor to the existing U-Frame. Additionally, it would have cost the manufacturer four times as much to upgrade the system since doing so would have required significant machinery modifications and expensive machine downtime – not to mention delays caused with the associated bidding process.