Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the ability for a machine to take in information, analyze it and come to conclusions based on that analysis, and it is taking the world by storm. The idea behind AI is that we can program a machine to mimic the learning and decision-making capability of humans, therefore allowing us to automate processes.
AI has many applications nowadays, such as:
- speech recognition;
- facial recognition;
- medical diagnosis;
- automated customer support;
- machine learning and deep learning
The AI global market share is expected to reach nearly $170 billion by 2025 and this technology is being adopted by numerous industries, including:
- healthcare and medicine;
- human resources;
- retail and eCommerce;
- public relations;
According to a McKinsey survey, 47% of respondents say they have incorporated at least one AI capability into their business operations. Within the manufacturing sector, AI, specifically machine learning, is being used on the factory floor. In particular, it has specific and impressive application when it comes to machine operations and maintenance.
Deep learning: how it works
Deep learning is a subset of machine learning. The latter uses an algorithm to analyze data, detect patterns in those data, learn from them and adjust processes and operations accordingly, without the need for human intervention. Usually, machine learning requires a structured and labelled data set to use as a reference for the analysis, and this is referred to as supervised machine learning. However, this poses limitations, which include the tediousness of labelling data, data bias, and difficulty in transferring what is learned in one situation to another.
When it comes to Deep Learning, these limitations are minimized because this is a form of unsupervised machine learning that does not require a structured and labelled reference data set.
While both types of machine learning are useful in an industrial setting, Deep Learning is particularly useful when it comes to exploring raw data and making inferences that will reveal hidden structures within those data, and this is highly relevant when it comes to machine operations on the tissue and nonwovens production line.
How deep learning is used to identify machine defects
On the production line, machines operates around the clock and under extreme pressure, and obviously they experience wear over time that can easily result in unexpected breakdowns and idle times that negatively impact production.
This loss of productivity can, in turn, seriously impact profits. However, until now, workers on the production line had no way of monitoring machinery at a detailed level during operations. Getting close to machinery when it is working poses a safety risk and many critical machine parts are not within the line of sight of workers.
Thanks to Industry 4.0, smart machines outfitted with sensors that transmit real-time operational data over the cloud are becoming increasingly common. Hundreds, even thousands of data points flow in every minute and these data are received by a machine-and-software-independent platform, where the data will be integrated and analyzed thanks to machine learning.
It is important to understand that the data that flows in are chaotic and raw. Deep Learning can take these data and separate them into layers that forms the structure of the neural network, such as the input layer, hidden layer, and output layer. Deep Learning neural networks can analyze the data over time to map the degradation of machine parts and machine function and determine when any machine part is coming close to the end of its lifecycle.
Subsequently, predictive maintenance can be scheduled such that a particular machine can be taken offline at the most advantageous time. This will ensure that operations will continue to run smoothly and at optimal levels without abrupt interruptions.
Deep learning for better tissue and nonwovens machine productivity
Minimizing machine downtime is one of the most important factors to ensure that tissue and nonwovens production lines remain at optimal levels of operation. Deep learning is an AI tool that is leading the way in the detection of machine defects that are not visible to workers on the production line. These defects can be caught in time to schedule predictive maintenance in order to avoid unplanned machine idle times and loss of profit.
For more information about how AI, deep learning, and automation can improve productivity on your tissue and nowovens production line, download our eBook “5 Industry 4.0 Tools that Boost Productivity in the Tissue Paper and Nonwovens Industry”!
The British Contract Manufacturers and Packers Association (BCMPA) will be turning 20 in 2020 – and will mark its anniversary at the Contract Pack & Fulfilment show in February.
Formed in 2000, the BCMPA will be hosting a 20th anniversary celebration dinner for its 150-plus members during the exhibition at the Birmingham NEC on Wednesday, February 26.
The Contract Pack & Fulfilment show, which takes place on February 26 and 27, forms part of Packaging Innovations, the UK’s largest packaging exhibition.
Fittingly, 20 BCMPA members will also be exhibiting, showcasing the full spectrum of services represented by the BCMPA, and reflecting its updated identity as the Association for Contract Manufacturing, Packing, Fulfilment & Logistics. A number of them will also be presenting at the show’s fulfilment and e-commerce industry forum seminars, sharing knowledge and best practice with those attending.
Rodney Steel, chief executive of the BCMPA since 2003, said: “We are very proud to be celebrating our 20th anniversary during such an exciting time for both the Association and the industry.
“We can’t wait to share this milestone celebration with our accredited members and reflect on the success and growth of the BCMPA over the past 20 years.”
The BCMPA, which will have its own Hospitality Lounge at the NEC show, is internationally recognised for providing a valued resource for brand owners, retailers, manufacturers and e-commerce companies looking for professional outsourcing partners.
Its membership numbers have grown significantly over the years and it now attracts members from a wide range of industry sectors, including food, drink, beauty, household goods, automotive, chemical, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical markets.
“Outsourcing is of increasing importance to UK business across multiple sectors,” said Rodney. “As a result, our industry now embraces a huge range of services right across the supply chain, as more and more companies look for extended support in their manufacturing, packing, fulfilment and logistics requirements.”
He said that growing demand from e-commerce businesses and companies requiring greater manufacturing flexibility meant that the role of outsourcing specialists was now much more pivotal.
The BCMPA and its members have seen a shift in behaviour as brands and companies are appreciating the benefits of a full end-to-end service as well as the traditional support with a particular part of the supply chain.
“From providing additional packing capacity during peak periods, to assisting in a complete new product development project, to a total solution from manufacture to final delivery, accredited members of the BCMPA are able to provide tailored support in line with customer requirements,” Rodney continued.
“The valuable conversations we will have with visitors to the show will create the perfect opportunity both to celebrate our 20 years as an Association and provide practical advice regarding the wide range of facilities and services our members offer.”
With Niklakett Medium PURE the label paper specialist offers now a high wet strength recycled label paper made from 100% recovered fibres. The paper is designed to sustain highest industry standards without any compromise towards production efficiency in converting and environment. The grade is currently available in 70 gsm, also as Niklakett Medium Pure Fashion, with a linen embossed surface.
To complete the new PURE product line the company will also launch with NiklaSelect PURE, a non-wet strength label paper, also purely based on 100% waste paper fibres.
„With our new PURE line we are setting a new standard for the labelling industry. Our PURE grades are developed and designed to have the same performance through the value chain as our well known standard products. Surface and opacity are at highest values, the performance in converting and labelling has proven excellent results ...“Markus Bammer, Technical MD at B&B, stated.
Jürgen Schulz, MD Sales & Marketing added: „Sustainability is one of the key drivers along our entire company policy. Our standard Niklakett Medium is already cradle to cradle certified and by introducing our new “PURE”-line we continue to offer innovative and environmental friendly products which meet highest international standards”.
When it comes to making and selling pulp, our relationship with our customers doesn’t end when our products leave our shipping docks. Our Pulp Technical Services team ensures we help our customers before, after and between shipments.
Being a successful pulp producer means developing and maintaining long-term relationships with customers across the globe. We want to serve as partners invested in their success by understanding their needs and responding with products and services that help them succeed.
Our Pulp Technical Services team oversees customer relationships and serves as one of their main points of contact. We’re always there to answer questions, provide recommendations and identify opportunities for improvement.
Meet Our Pulp Technical Services Team
“We represent our customers’ interests from a product’s introduction to its qualification and beyond,” says David Lloyd, a pulp technical director who works on the team. “We are one of their main contacts and the main interface between them, our sales teams and our mill staff.”
The three members of our Pulp Technical Services team serve customers based on location and pulp grade.
- Pulp Technical Director Rick Hardee leads the group and provides technical support for fluff pulp customers who order from the Ashdown and Plymouth mills for Europe, North America, Central/South America, the Middle East and Africa.
- Lloyd is based in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. He serves specialty pulp, tissue/towel and reinforced fiber customers in North American and Asia.
- Jack Hsieh (pronounced “Shay”) is pulp technical director for China and Southeast Asia. He works with hygiene producers in the region. His background in hygiene production uniquely qualifies him to help customers set up their equipment to best process our pulp.
Our Goal Is Better Customer Outcomes
One of the team’s most important roles is helping to develop and market key pulp grades, like fiber cement.
“Twenty years ago, there wasn’t really a market for fiber cement products,” says Lloyd. “Today, it’s a substantial part of the Kamloops Mill’s business.”
Our fiber cement customers receive pulp from the Kamloops Mill in bales. They process and refine the pulp fibers to ensure they bond together when converted into the liquid solution used to form the fiber cement boards.
During a recent visit, one customer noted opportunities to improve the way the pulp fiber is refined to enhance board quality. Lloyd and the team took samples back to the mill, where they worked with engineers to replicate the procedure in our labs and make a recommendation on how the customer could modify their process.
Hardee says that example is representative of the value the Pulp Technical Services team adds not just for our customers, but also for our mill employees. “We try to be the voice of the mill with our customers and the voice of the customer with our mills,” he says. “We connect the mill and customer.”
The Pulp Technical Services team is always available to help customers run trials, fine-tune their machines and maximize production efficiency. We work hard to provide customers peace of mind and to let them know they’re not on their own after they take delivery of our pulp.
“The Pulp Technical Services team is an asset to Domtar,” says Lewis Fix, vice president of pulp sales and marketing. “It is allowing customers to see us as a proactive market leader that can provide real value as a long-term partner and strategic advisor.”
Blending technological solutions with a growing eco-conscious consumer mind-set, COLOURFORM™ is the latest packaging innovation from the James Cropper group, which is making waves in the packaging industry.
COLOURFORM™ is thermoformed, plastic-free, natural fibre packaging. Easily recyclable and biodegradable, it is available in customised shapes, colours and textures. It has been developed in response to the needs of premium brands who want to offer a quality, unique and sustainable customer experience.
To help brands realise the capabilities of COLOURFORM™, the team, including the most experienced craftsmen, colour scientists, engineers and sustainable innovators in the industry, developed Poise to inspire sustainable innovation in packaging.
Craig Marshall, COLOURFORM™ managing director, says: “As Poise demonstrates, the technology behind COLOURFORM™ allows us to challenge conventional packaging shapes and integrate a wide range of sophisticated functionality and features, including hinges and clasps for inner and outer packaging. With precision embossing and meshing capabilities, we can also build in patterns, imagery and typography which contribute to the brand narrative. You can even protect your signature colour with our colour matching expertise - we can match anything a customer brings to us. Every project we deliver is unique, making the possibilities endless.”
COLOURFORM™ uses 100% natural renewable wood fibres from sustainably managed forests and high-quality recycled fibres from its own world-class reclaimed fibre plant, giving new life to waste from a variety of sources including used coffee cups.
Craig Marshall continues: “There’s a new dawn of opportunity afoot for brands and we want to show them what it looks like. Packaging now needs to be both environmentally friendly and beautiful; the challenge for brands is to deliver against future thinking in order to meet consumer expectations.
“Our goal is to innovate. COLOURFORM™ exists as a direct response to the needs of the market – it reconciles the need for sustainable packaging with the desire for premium and bespoke aesthetics.
“We recently worked with a futurologist who predicted that as consumers mount pressure on brands to deliver sustainable alternatives, we will see a very rapid change in consumer behaviour. Consumers will actively avoid products packaged in materials which cannot be easily recycled, or end their life in landfill. COLOURFORM™ is a great example of a step change that we should start to expect as standard.”
The Chinese group Shan Don Sun Honghe Paper Industry Co., Ltd. has purchased three more A.Celli E-WIND® P-100 Rewinders, this time for the subsidiary Sun Paper Savannakhet Co., Ltd., for a project in Laos located in Xepon, province of Savannakhet.
The almost twenty-years partnership between this important Chinese group and A.Celli Paper is further strengthened.
The three E-WIND® P-100 Rewinders will handle Medium Liner Board rolls, 6730mm wide.
Two Rewinders will be positioned downstream of a first Paper Machine that produces paper (basis weight 140-250 gsm), while the third Rewinder will be placed at the service of a second line that produces paper, whose basis weight is 100-160 gsm.
All these three Rewinders have a design speed of 2500 mpm and are equipped with unwinders in-line to the Paper Machines, Automatic Spool Storage and new Slittomatic® Web-in cutting systems.
This order follows the one of the Rewinder sold at the beginning of the current year for the Shandon plant, already started-up and producing for several months.
The customer has also involved A.Celli Paper in some upgrades on the slitting groups of Rewinders supplied in the past: this type of activity will allow the Chinese group to obtain a higher efficiency with the relative modernization of its machinery.
Valmet will supply an Advantage DCT100HS tissue production line, including a de-inking plant and an extensive automation package, to Alas Doradas in El Salvador. The order also includes a Valmet Performance Center agreement to support efficient production with Industrial Internet. The new tissue line will fulfill Alas Doradas’ demand for new capacity of high-quality tissue products in the region. The start-up is planned for the first half of 2021.
The order is included in Valmet's orders received of the fourth quarter 2019. The value of the order is not disclosed.
“Our cooperation with Valmet started with the rebuild of our existing machine where the press section was upgraded with an Advantage ViscoNip press combined with Advantage ReDry technology. With the results achieved, we are convinced that Valmet’s technology is what we need to differentiate from competition and become the frontrunner in the Central American tissue market. Even more important is the collaboration with a reliable partner as Valmet. We see this as the first step in a long-term partnership. Valmet has met and exceeded all expectations as a reliable partner during our cooperation,” says Paul Ekman, CEO, Alas Doradas.
“To be chosen as preferred partner to Alas Doradas is an important statement for us. We appreciate our relationship greatly. The new Advantage DCT tissue machine will be equipped with all the latest technologies which shows that our role as technology leader and advisor fulfills customer’s needs in the important South American market”, says Kent Nika, Sales Director for South America, Tissue, Valmet.
Both companies are looking forward to the future with a shared aim – to realize Alas Doradas’ expansion plan and provide high-quality tissue products to their customers.
Technical information about the delivery
The new tissue machine will have a width of 2,8 meters and a design speed of 2,000 meters/minute. It will add 35,000 tons tissue paper per year to Alas Doradas’ current production of high-quality toilet tissue, napkins and kitchen towels.
Valmet's scope of delivery will comprise a tissue production line featuring complete Deinking plant and an Advantage DCT 100HS tissue machine. The machine is equipped with OptiFlo headbox and Valmet cast iron Yankee cylinder as well as the Advantage technology including ViscoNip press, AirCap hood, WetDust dust system and SoftReel reel. The delivery also includes an extensive automation package with Valmet DNA, Valmet IQ quality controls, Industrial Internet applications, Valmet Performance Center agreement and tissue line training simulator. Engineering, supervision, training, start-up and commissioning are also included in the delivery.
There are many tools in the modern digital age capable of increasing the efficiency of businesses operations, personalizing the communication with workers and customers and ensuring an advanced and streamlined interaction between humans and machines. Two of the most recent tools to be adopted by the manufacturing industry are chatbots and augmented reality (AR).
How Chatbots and Augmented Reality work
Chatbots are communication softwares that allow the interaction between man and machine by using natural language thanks to a so-called conversational interface, eliminating the need of interaction through programming languages. These softwares are therefore able to understand users’ questions and respond accordingly.
Augmented reality is a technology that allows workers, thanks to the so-called overlay, to “enhance” the real world field of view by superimposing data, information, and diagrams onto it by using smartphone and tablet displays or wearable devices such as head-mounted displays (HMD).
The role of Chatbots and Augmented Reality
The chatbot market is expected to reach a staggering $1.25 billion worldwide by 2025. Chatbots have been used until now usually for customer support, allowing companies to connect more easily with clients 24/7, but they can also be used by the manufacturing sector to:
- manage supplies and inventory;
- aid with order fulfilment and delivery;
- simplify supply chain communications;
- enable maintenance crews to check the conditions of machinery and equipment in the workplace;
- facilitate maintenance crews operations.
The augmented reality market is also booming and is expected to grow to nearly $19 billion worldwide by 2024. This technology is being used to:
- train plant workers;
- improve worker productivity during machine installation, monitoring, and troubleshooting by providing them with real-time information so they can make adjustments/changes as they work;
- improve the product design process by providing a visualization of the product in context and collaboration between parties that are separated geographically;
- facilitate inspection and maintenance.
As we can see the many uses of chatbots and augmented reality can help a company significantly improve overall operations, product quality and, ultimately, profits.
Chatbots and AR in Industrial Maintenance: the main benefits
These two technologies allow workers to gather information quickly and test maintenance scenarios, all while working directly with the machine. The benefits of using chatbots and augmented reality in industrial maintenance are many, including:
- fewer human errors;
- faster execution of maintenance and repairs;
- fewer machine breakdowns;
- less machine downtime;
- reduced maintenance costs;
- improved operational speed and productivity;
- better regulatory compliance;
- higher profits.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how chatbots and augmented reality can achieve these goals.
Chatbots and AR for Tissue and Nonwovens Production Line Maintenance
Like we said in previous articles, thanks to Industry 4.0 the machines on the tissue and nonwovens production lines can be outfitted with dozens, even hundreds of sensors that are constantly transmitting operational data in real-time.
When wearing or using augmented reality devices, maintenance workers can have the data coming in from the machinery overlaid on their field of view. These can be environmental data, such as temperature and pressure, and machine-specific data, such as speed. Thanks to this interactive information, workers can identify operational errors and faulty parts and plan a predictive maintenance schedule that will help minimize machine breakdown while keeping them operating at optimal efficiency. They can also spot problems on the production line that need to be dealt with immediately, before they cause a disruption to production.
Chatbots support augmented reality by allowing workers to ask for information for a specific machine, such as the availability of a required spare part or access to the operating manual to determine the best course of action for repair. The information requested will be displayed via augmented reality.
Integration is the Key
The integration of data is a key element to ensure a fully operational system of industrial maintenance is in place. To achieve this, the company needs a machine-and software-independent solution capable of gathering the data from every machine on the production line. These data will be integrated, analyzed and then displayed on a computer, mobile device, or augmented reality device, allowing the remote operation of a production line and an efficient maintenance process.
Chatbots and AR are here to help you boost productivity
Companies within the manufacturing sector need to bring their technological presence to the next level to survive in today’s competitive climate. Ultimately, Industry 4.0 technology, combined with chatbots and augmented reality, will help tissue and nonwovens companies remain competitive by obtaining high quality products while reducing costs.
For more information about the various tools capable of boosting productivity on your tissue and nonwovens production line, please take a look at our eBook “5 Industry 4.0 Tools that Boost Productivity in the Tissue Paper and Nonwovens Industry”!
A Chemical leak at a Artic Paper in Munkedal Sweden in the morning of Wednesday 8th Jan 2020
"We are looking into what happened with the correct equipment, to see what form of chemicals have leaked from a machine says Peter Gustafsson from the Fire Department."
The papermill has now been evacuated and two people have been treated for chemical effects by ambulance personnel also on scene.
Göran Lindqvist site manager at the paper mill:
- Right now, a cleanup is underway. Preliminary is was a mix of two different chemicals that were labeled incorrectly. Then it became a chemical reaction. An estimated 50 liters has been leaked, he says.
MORE to follow....
New sustainable paper line uses wheat straw pulp, a first in the U.S. coated paper industry
Willamette Falls Paper Company Inc. announces the launch of reHARVEST coated, envelope and offset, a paper product family made with 10% wheat straw fiber. The reHARVEST papers are domestically made, readily available and offered at a competitive price.
Recent process technology developments have enabled the production of high-quality papermaking fibers from wheat straw agricultural waste. What was previously removed from the field as waste or even burned is now collected, pulped into high-quality papermaking fiber and available for use in paper products. The pulping is done at a recently commissioned wheat straw pulping plant that generates zero effluent and zero solid waste. The use of this agricultural fiber reduces field burning and takes the pressure off forests. Finally, the wheat straw fiber has a lower carbon footprint and uses less energy than conventional wood pulping processes. The reHARVEST product family incorporates this agricultural waste fiber into 24# envelope, 60# and 70# offset and 80# and 100# gloss and matte coated paper grades while maintaining the key quality and performance specifications for which Willamette Falls Paper Company is known. The paper grades are available in web rolls and priced competitively for truckload orders in Q1.
“We are thrilled to be the first coated paper mill to offer non-wood grades made in the U.S. and sourced with local agricultural fiber, in this case, straw,” says Phil Harding, Director of Technology and Sustainability at Willamette Falls Paper Company. “Our long-term focus is sustainable papermaking and releasing reHARVEST is a huge step toward this goal. The use of agricultural fiber sources is a key part of our strategy.”
“Willamette Falls Paper Company facility, staff and external consultants are actively collaborating in their research and development, bringing this paper mill into the 21st century. Collectively, they are breaking down barriers for customers who have long hoped for these types of solutions to pulp availability in the manufacturing of commercial and industrial papers,” said Kris Grimshaw, Print Production Manager at Scentsy, Inc.