Volume 4 Issue 8 August 2022

In this Issue

Welcome to Industree 4.0 for August, 2022, exclusively sponsored by SAP.


Meet Industry Peers in Madrid at the SAP Paper & Packaging Conference 

A hot topic for the paper and packaging industry continues to be how digital technology and digital modernization can assist companies to move past selling products to providing sustainable and profitable products and an improved customer experience.

Paper and packaging are commodity businesses, BUT customers have individual needs regarding dimensions, grade, grammage (weight), and other characteristics of “their” products. To reduce cost and increase efficiency, in the past, companies used a mantra of larger lot sizes, process integration, and automation. Now - customer expectations have changed, sustainable and recyclable products are required, which were made on custom request but still at lowest possible cost. As if this was not challenging enough, companies are facing new challenges:

• Automation has already achieved a level of production that makes it difficult to increase further.

• Customers are still demanding higher value-add, higher service levels, and quicker delivery.

• Supply chain disruptions, exploding energy prices, and increasingly difficult access to raw materials will not end soon.

• Scarcity of skilled workers continues to hang around.

But relief can be seen on the horizon from digital technology:

• With labor frequently too expensive compared to low-margin products, the Intelligent Enterprise (using digital modernization) can help companies achieve more-efficient processes and higher customer value. For example, it is already common practice to use Industry 4.0 approaches such as AI or machine learning to analyze manufacturing data across machines and business systems to optimize product quality and avoid scrap. 

• The application of intelligent technologies will spread from core value-creating processes, such as manufacturing and transportation, to all over the company to allow process improvement along the entire value chain.

• Services can comprise a substantial part of paper and packaging companies’ value and differentiation. Services can be delivered around individually customized products and enriched by digital information. For example, production process parameters, once correlated, can provide additional value such as use recommendations or offer a choice for minimizing the environmental footprint. 

If you are interested to discuss these topics and more with colleagues from around the globe – consider coming to the 2022 International SAP Conference for Forest Products, Paper and Packaging in Madrid, Spain (27-29 September). Head over to the event website today to view our international speaker line-up in more detail.

Co-Located Events

The International Conference for Forest Products, Paper and Packaging will once again be co-located onsite with the International Conferences for Building Materials - Chemicals - and Mining & Metals. This means that joining one conference gets you access to all speakers and sessions at these other conferences.

 Find out more:

International SAP Conference for Building Materials 

International SAP Conference for Mining and Metals 

International SAP Conference for Chemicals 

Featured speakers for the Forest Products, Paper and Packaging event include:

Mondi, Rainer Steffl, CIO

• Mondi’s Digital Journey – Where are we now, where have we come from, and what lies ahead?

Cenibra S.A, Ronaldo Neves Ribeiro, Telecommunications and IT Manager

• The First Pulp Company to Migrate to SAP S/4HANA 100% Remotely

Mayr-Melnhof Group, Jacqueline Wild, Head of Group Information Management

• Case Study: Mayr-Melnhof Group’s Multi-Year Business and IT Transformation – Building a Standardized, Efficient, Global and Scalable IT Service for the Future 

CPH Chemie und Papier Holding A, Hans-Peter Aregge, CIO

• Handling an Enterprise Wide Cyber-Attack - How the CPH Group Mitigated the Impact of the Incident through a Resilient SAP Landscape 

Koehler Paper, Jörg Padberg, Digital Coordinator

• Seizing New Opportunities in the Paper Industry Based on Integrated SAP Systems


Metsä Group ICT, Jyri Lankinen, Solution Owner, Mill Systems

• A Payback After the Very First Shift – Understand the Benefits of an Integrated Operations Management System at Metsä Group

Steinbeis Paper GmbH, Ulrich Middelberg, Head of IT

• Putting your Data into Use – Combining Production, MES and Commercial Data

Prinzhorn Holding, Juraj Vukic, Technical Project Lead

• Implementing SAP SuccessFactors: Prinzhorn’s Successful Approach

Come join us and network with your global peers in Madrid this September. Find out more here > or Register now>

AI Recycling

By Pat Dixon, PE, PMP

Vice President of Automation, Pulmac Systems International (pulmac.com)

I often reference IEEE Spectrum magazine in these articles because they are very well written and topical. In the July issue, an article “AI Takes a Dumpster Dive” caught my eye.

Our industry is deeply invested in recycling. Therefore, the fact that only 16% of the annual 2.1 billion tons of solid waste is recycled is a problem that we need to help solve. While our waste is organic and it does decompose in a landfill, a failure to recover and reuse our fiber is a waste of raw materials and an impact on landfills. 

That is one of the reasons this article caught my eye. Current techniques sort 80% to 95% of the waste stream into usable material for recycling, but in order to be profitable the purity needs to be higher than 95%. By applying AI techniques to detect what is in the waste stream, the author of the article states that they expect to achieve 100% purity.  

This helps address one of our challenges with recycled fiber. We want recycling to be profitable to encourage it. We also want to know if the pizza box is contaminated with food waste or clean. Having more profitable and consistent recycled fiber helps us all.

However, the other challenge has to do with the inherent variability and degradation of recycled fiber. While AI can segregate carboard from envelope from tissue, it will not segregate fiber species, fiber length, freeness, or crill. We have much more control of the properties of virgin furnish than recycled. We also know that there is a lifetime to a fiber. After too many trips through a refiner, press and dryers, that fiber is going to lose its bonding and strength.

That is where new measurement technologies can help. The ability to measure crill, freeness, fiber length, and other properties in real time enable automated solutions. Variance in recycled furnish can be detected before it introduces a swing in the process.

Our industry has prided itself as sustainable, with good reason. The combination of better recovery of waste with measurement enabled automation can further establish us as leaders in sustainable manufacturing.

Project Startup--2022 Style

I am just back from a unit operations startup on the US West Coast which I witnessed the week of 8 August 2022.  The operation is a very large recycled pulper system.  Due to the layout of the existing mill, this spans a distance of over 1,500 feet.  The facility started training planning 16 months ago, at my insistence. The software was assembled, the hardware installed and the new staff was trained.  

The way the system behaved when started would make you think it was a seasoned operation that had only been down for routine maintenance. Sure, there are some minor things to adjust, but all in all, when the mill "pushed the button" the system took off.

The system started up at half its daily rate but within twenty-four hours the paper machines were saying, "Speed it up!"  They were very happy with the fiber.

I think back to the ancient days in the 1980's when we could not have dreamed of these kinds of startups.  It is the power of today's software, hardware and I/O systems that largely make the difference--and the management that has the fortitude to embrace them.

How to strategize your digital transformation at scale

The Manufacturer

Across the manufacturing industries, things are moving at lightning speed. Now more than ever, enterprises must keep pace with an ever-expanding portfolio of strategic choices. Manufacturers face multiple and complex challenges that need to be tackled to achieve a successful digital transformation. There is tremendous pressure in the plants for continuous margin improvement and customer-centricity

Read the full article here

What is the industrial metaverse?

By Peter Cohen

Like metaverse itself, “industrial metaverse” has become a catch-all phrase to describe similar technology deployed for industrial applications. The Industrial metaverse sits at the crossroads of industrial Internet of Things (IoT), AR, MR, and Virtual Reality (VR) for industrial use, the creation of “digital twins,” and the rich, blending of real-world elements with contextualized and meaningful data to help decision makers stay better informed and to keep business processes operating at peak efficiency.

Read the full article here

How industry 4.0 technologies support sustainability in business

IT Wire

Sustainable businesses are those that have minimized their negative impact on the environment and society while also maximizing their positive contribution. Industry 4.0 technologies can help businesses achieve sustainability in several ways. 

Read the full article here

Simplifying IoT for asset management

By Marc Pégulu

The Industrial Internet of Things is turning our planet into a data-generator. From mines and energy platforms, forests and fields, construction sites and equipment in motion, IoT assets are capturing data that lets us be more productive, efficient, frugal, safe and environmentally aware. 

Read the full article here
Industree 4.0 is exclusively sponsored by SAP