New DC Drive Technology Debuts in Retrofit of Leading Southeast U.S. Paper Mill’s Slitter-Rewinder

2006-11-02 - ABB DCS800 and ACS800 drives increase production and improve roll quality and uptime; eliminate mill shutdowns

NEW BERLIN, WI, November 2, 2006. . . The United States uses approximately four million tons of office paper annually. That’s enough to build a wall 10 feet high and 6,815 miles long. To keep up with demand, paper mills constantly are looking for ways to improve efficiency and quality. While there are many different machines and processes involved with papermaking, a vital part of any paper mill is the slitter-rewinder.

A slitter-rewinder machine is responsible for unwinding huge, newly made rolls from the main papermaking machine, cutting them into smaller sections, and rewinding them as more manageable rolls for distribution. As one of the final production points in a paper mill, any problem with the slitter-rewinder can halt production for the entire mill.

Consisting of multiple motors and controls, the slitter-rewinder is one of the most advanced pieces of equipment in a mill. At the heart of this machine’s process is tension, which determines the quality of the paper rolls. Accurate and consistent forces need to be applied throughout the process to ensure perfect web tracking, precise slitting and proper roll density profiles.

Except for nip control, the quality of the roll is governed, largely, by the performance of the drives. The winder must run as a coordinated system and provide tight control of speed and torque through the continual cycles -- from stop-to-full-speed, and back-down-to-zero-speed. Even small inaccuracies in performance can cause problems, such as sheet breaks, rough edges, telescoping, offsets and tie-ups, resulting in downtime, rejected rolls and, ultimately, lost profit.

Objective? -- Continuous High-speed Production

To increase productivity and efficiency, one leading paper mill facility in the Southeastern United States decided to rebuild its slitter-rewinder, and incorporate the latest technology. The goal of the upgrade was to improve roll quality, increase machine speed to the highest possible level and eliminate costly shutdowns.

The mill turned to SDS, Inc, a U.S.-based systems integrator that specializes in control designs for paper and web handling industries. SDS analyzed the existing system and provided a cost-effective solution that utilized existing motors and components, integrated ABB's state-of-the-art ACS800 AC Drives and new DCS800 DC Drives -- the most advanced DC drive of its kind. The drive hardware was rounded out with SDS’s Intelli-Wind, a popular two-drum winder HMI that provides TNT control, recipes, numeric and graphical set points, permissives and diagnostics.

System Integrator personnel paid several visits to the facility in the spring of 2005, to survey the situation. They learned there were a variety of issues with the existing slitter-rewinder.

"It’s imperative to get the perspective of everyone who is affected by that rewinder," says John Parker, senior sales engineer for SDS. "The maintenance crew had concerns regarding component failure and a drive room that required precise temperature control to keep analog components from drifting. The production department wanted to increase up-time, improve roll quality and provide their customers with a cost-effective product, and they wanted to use technologically advanced equipment. Our partnership with ABB allowed us to address and achieve these advantages."

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    Multiple-motor control on slitter-rewinder
    Schematic of DC and AC drive retrofit of slitter-rewinder at large southeastern paper mill’s facility

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    • Ken Graber
      ABB LV Products Media Relations
      +1 262-780-3873
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