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Integrated drive systems

Nonstop production

Everyone is familiar with kitchen roll, toilet paper, and tissues – so-called tissue paper products are used on a daily basis. What hardly anyone knows, though, is that there is a great deal of technical expertise behind these everyday products. This expertise is critical for companies that wish to stay competitive in the energy-intensive paper industry, enabling them to increase output while reducing energy consumption and consequently saving costs. This is why the Albert Friedrich paper mill (Fripa, for short) decided to equip its factory in Lower Franconia with a new paper machine using drive and automation technology from Siemens.

The paper sector is one of the industries with the highest energy consumption worldwide. Long machine running times and time-intensive drying processes require considerable amounts of power and heat. With constantly rising energy prices, this quickly results in significant costs. In Miltenberg in Lower Franconia, Germany, the Albert Friedrich KG paper mill (Fripa, for short) produces tissue paper products for the German market. Practical items for everyday use are created there, from toilet paper to paper towels and tissues.

To produce these tissue paper products, a pulp bale is first dissolved, and the resulting paper suspension is then spread onto webs. At this stage, the solids content is below one percent. By draining, pressing, and drying the pulp, this proportion is increased to 95 percent – in less than one second. Energy consumption in production plays a crucial role in enabling manufacturers to remain competitive despite rising cost pressures. This is why Fripa relies on energy-efficient technology from Siemens for its new PM7 tissue paper line.

The new PM7 line from Fripa in Miltenberg with drive and automation technology from the Sipaper range © Siemens AG / C. Nielinger

Technology for the paper industry

The new PM7 line in Miltenberg uses the Sipaper line of drive and automation technology products. “Our Sipaper portfolio is a sector-specific solution for the paper industry. This has the added value that the products and services are exactly tailored to the needs of this sector, and we are thus able to optimally support our customers in all matters,” explains Jan Bass, the Fripa contact in end customer sales at Siemens.

From power distribution to drive and automation technology, Siemens supplies the right components – matched to the needs of the paper industry. “With Sipaper, we receive drive components that are already preconfigured for the paper industry. We also have the advantage of only having to contact one company to meet all our requirements for automation technology,” says Jochen Giegerich, head of purchasing for technology at Fripa. What he means is that Siemens is the company Fripa turns to when it needs electrical equipment, power distribution and supply solutions with Totally Integrated Power (TIP), Integrated  Drives Systems (IDS) for machine drives, and process control, including engineering, training, and service.

Sinamics converters, Simotics motors, and Flender gears and couplings are among the Siemens products that have been installed in Miltenberg. The perfect coordination between all the components results in an IDS that allows for high availability with minimized energy consumption. The Simatic PCS 7 process control system simplifies the operation of the entire plant and ensures safe production, thanks to industry-specific automation and control functions. Thanks to the high-quality control, risks such as web tearing or even loss of production are significantly reduced.

Greater productivity – lower costs

With the new line in Miltenberg, Fripa is able to significantly increase its output: more than one million kilometers of tissue are being produced in the new plant per year. That is enough to wind around the earth’s equator 27 times. At the same time, Fripa benefits from an increased throughput speed, excellent plant availability, and the certainty of having invested in future-proof technology. All three papermaking machines in Miltenberg are already running with Siemens technology; reliability and a close partnership are highly valued there. “I am especially pleased that everyone at Fripa, Siemens, and Voith who was involved in the project was very committed. We had direct communication channels, we were able to start building the machines within a very short time, and we were able to commission them within the agreed time. Especially when it comes to the collaboration with Siemens, we greatly appreciate receiving everything from one source: from the medium-voltage system to the control system and the drives to the visualization technology,” summarizes Giegerich. “As everyone knows, after seven comes eight. We can very well picture ourselves working with Siemens again to implement another tissue machine.”

Siemens at SPS IPC Drives 2015

You can experience first-hand the energy-efficient kitchen roll and see how it is produced at this year’s SPS IPC Drives. At the Siemens booth in Hall 11 (Frankenhalle) you will find a model that is based on the PM7 used at Fripa.

Picture credits: Fotolia Tthodonal, Siemens AG / C. Nielinger