Paper Production at Australian Newsprint Mills (Australia)

ProjectIn Albury, PROFIBUS is used in a paper production line at the Australian Newsprint mills (AMN). AMN is the largest newspaper quality paper manufacturer in Australia, producing more than 75% of the paper for Australia's newspapers. The factory in Albury comprises of a pulp plant and a paper mill. ANM produces rolls with various diameters, i.e. 700, 950, 1100 and 1250 mm with widths of 1800, 1400, 900and 700 mm. AMN has decided to use PROFIBUS in order to improve the flexibility of the production line. SolutionThe PROFIBUS-DP application is found after the actual milling and rolling process in the area of the plant that deals with final packaging of the paper rolls. The final rolled paper comes out of a rolling machine which can produce up to 8 rolls at a time in a parallel fashion. These rolls may be of varying width but all the same diameter. These rolls are then wrapped in a very tough cardboard in order to protect the paper during handling and delivery. To minimize the amount of different final wraps, ANM delivers only two sizes of rolls to the customers: 1800 and 1400mm. To achieve this, it is necessary to put two smaller rolls together and wrap them together as one big roll. This is done by a sorting process: The rolls are bar-coded after the production and then sent via chain conveyor to the wrapping machine. On the way to the wrapping machine, they go through a sorter that picks out a narrow roll and moves it to a holding position. Then the roll waits till another narrow comes along. When that happens, the sorter adds the small roll that is in the holding position next to the second small roll and so effectively one large roll is made up. From here, the conveyor takes the two rolls that are close together and sends them to the wrapper to be wrapped as one large roll. The roll is wrapped and customer details are bar-coded onto the roll. The final barcode scanner is for inventory and warehouse management. The code is issued by the plant production mainframe which is tied to the production schedule based on order requirements. The main chain is controlled by a PLC (Siemens S5) which contains the PROFIBUS-DP Master Interface and interconnects the Operator panels, barcode readers and I/O devices from different manufactures. The PLC also has a connection to the production mainframe, in order to read and write the customer details.ConclusionWith PROFIBUS, it was possible to produce and ship the rolls directly according to the customers order requirements. PROFIBUS is used in the warehouse management to control wrapping and shipping of the various paper rolls. PROFIBUS-DP connects various PLCs, Operator panels and barcode readers from different manufactures.According to Bob Scarvell, the plant manager in charge, AMN has made good experience with PROFIBUS. Bob explains " I certainly would consider using PROFIBUS wherever we could. It is very easy to use and very fast."