Volume 4 Issue 11 November 2022

In this Issue

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


By Judith Magyar


This Paper Producer Is Turning A Profit And Maintaining Biodiversity

Preserving wide swathes of habitat for endangered birds and native plants is not normally associated with eucalyptus plantations for paper pulp production, but that’s exactly what one company is doing in Brazil.

“Having a wide range of animals, plants, and microorganisms within a forest contributes to its resistance and adaptability to change,” said Ronaldo Neves Ribeiro, CIO, CENIBRA Brazil, one of the largest pulp producers in the world, at the International Conference on Forest Products, Paper and Packaging, in Madrid. “When a forest lacks diversity in the types of trees planted, it becomes more vulnerable to damage caused by pests or a changing climate. That’s why we invest so much in preserving biodiversity alongside our plantations.”

The eucalyptus tree significantly contributes to the lives of rural producers. It provides material for construction, fences, and firewood and helps generate income for farmers who supply it as a raw material to industrial production chains. However, as a non-native tree cultivated on a large scale in some regions, eucalyptus has been the subject of much debate, especially by environmental and social groups. Today, eucalyptus is perceived as a renewable raw material for the paper industry, especially in certified production chains.

“Many of the socio-environmental issues on eucalyptus have been addressed thanks to continuous efforts by universities and research centers in Brazil,” said Neves Ribeiro. “Changing negative perception is an important part of our relationship with the community. We have a very balanced approach to our pulp production, ensuring that our cultivated forests are surrounded by natural forests to avoid the loss of biodiversity.”

Protecting people and planet

CENIBRA manages 254,000 hectares of forest land in the heart of Brazil, of which 52% is used for commercial purposes and an astonishing 41% is reserved for natural forests.

Neves Ribeiro is particularly proud of the company’s Mutum project, which seeks to protect native species of birds that are close to extinction. “Preserving biodiversity is a critical element in maintaining long-term business value to our stockholders and local stakeholders,” he said. “Our mission is to generate and distribute wealth in a sustainable manner by processing planted trees, and that’s not possible without biodiversity. That’s why protecting flora and fauna is a key element of our strategic forest stewardship plan.”

Protecting the interests of people is equally important. The company acts as a catalyst of socioeconomic development for the communities within its areas of operation. It provides employment to the local workforce and sources 17% of its wood from local suppliers, all of which meet stringent qualifications regarding quality and regulatory compliance.

Achieving efficiency

CENIBRA produces 1,200,000 tons of bleached eucalyptus pulp per year without the presence of elemental chlorine in the bleaching stages and without the use of additives such as strength aids, talc or optical bleaches. About 91% of the company’s energy matrix is generated by renewable fuels, and the company is fully compliant with the main eco-labels required in all markets around the world. These impressive achievements are only possible with the help of technology and highly trained people.

CENIBRA is the first pulp company to migrate to SAP S/4HANA 100% remotely. “We are dealing with a faster pace of innovation and shorter product life cycles, so we need to increase process automation,” he said during his presentation at the conference. The way CENIBRA is developing intelligent automation in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud solution for internal processes is a good example of how the company has evolved from digital to intelligent until reaching the autonomous stage.

“By 2025, we will increase process automation following a structured plan using process robotization (RPA). Artificial Intelligence (AI) will do operational tasks and offer data analysis to improve decision making, and strategic decisions will be supported by intelligent assistants using data science,” he said, adding that conversational chatbots will facilitate internal and external communications. The implementation of the new S/4HANA tool was an essential step on this journey, and has already reduced accounting time by 24%, invoicing by 77% and payroll processing by 60%, among other positive results.

These impressive results help put CENIBRA at a competitive advantage. Eliminating repetitive tasks gives employees more time to focus on other, more important aspects of the paper pulp business. For example, CENIBRA has one of the world’s most modern nurseries, where cloning techniques are employed in the production of eucalyptus seedlings. The company’s nursery complex incorporates the most innovative and sophisticated facilities currently available in terms of technology.

As a result, the nursery allows CENIBRA to produce high quality seedlings at differentiated costs. Started in 1985, the nursery is part of the company's Forestry Development Program. In addition to its own forests, the nursery also supplies seedlings to small rural producers, who are CENIBRA's partners in the forestry promotion program.

Over the years it has provided an alternative source of work and income in the rural sector. The program creates commercial forests in areas unsuitable for agriculture or livestock. In addition to being a profitable agribusiness, forestry development benefits both the environment and the community, increasing farmers' income and quality of life while preserving native forests.

“We are keen to integrate local communities into our business while making sure our forests reflect the enormous biodiversity of our region,” said Ribeiro. It’s this entrepreneurial and environmentally focused mindset that sets CENIBRA apart from other producers – along with its strategic use of technology to achieve efficiency.

Learn how industrial materials companies are creating a more sustainable future by becoming adaptable and resilient.

First published November 8, 2022 here.

When to Cloud

By Pat Dixon, PE, PMP

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

It seems like nearly every technology solution being discussed today has a cloud deployment. Before we go further, we should define the cloud.

There are some very big technology firms with huge server farms. These are massive facilities that have server racks as far as the eye can see, residing in climate controlled rooms. These servers are installed with the intent of allowing any of us to “rent” their processing and data storage. Instead of buying a piece of hardware, we buy a service that allows us to use a portion of server capability and use it remotely through Internet connectivity.

This makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons. Among them are:

•If we don’t have to buy hardware, we don’t have it occupying space in our facilities. We can better use the space we have.

•We don’t have to figure out what hardware we need to buy. That means we don’t need to worry about compatibility and specifications.

•If you buy hardware, you are locked into the limitations of that box until you buy a new one. With the cloud, you can scale according to need.

•The biggest benefit is that your IT workload can be dramatically lower. Instead of having to maintain every box with patches, upgrades, and other work, the service provider does this on the servers they have in their farm. They take care of redundancy so that a failover continues to provide you with the service you need. You never have to worry about a box becoming obsolete because it is not your box.

Given all these advantages, why wouldn’t we put everything in the cloud?  

I often hear this question from people in industry who do not consider determinism. There are some very good reasons not to.  

In an industrial operation, we have Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT). IT resides at the corporate level for financial systems, email, and other uses that are not time critical. While we would like a web page to load quickly, it will not be fatal if you need to wait for it.

In OT, delays can be fatal, literally. Functions like interlocks, alarms, PID loops, and other time critical function cannot depend on undependable Internet latency and connectivity are important. 

This is what we mean by determinism. At the OT level, every component in the system must be designed from the roots to guarantee that processing will happen in a predictable way at a predictable time.  

In the Industry 4.0 era, those not familiar with the concept of determinism can propose very bad ideas. Suggesting that everything can be done in the cloud is a sure sign that this is someone that doesn’t know OT. Maybe someday an Internet connection, cloud servers, and network protocols could get closer to determinism, but we are nowhere near that now.  

Therefore, the title of this article probably should have been “When NOT to Cloud”. The answer is when its deterministic OT. Otherwise, the cloud is the place to be.

Internal ESG

ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) is an important acronym these days. It has been around for about two decades. Its age is such that some are starting to tinker with exactly what it means. There are suggestions afloat as I write this concerning changing it.

But we will leave the above for others smarter than me.

What I want to talk about is internal (to your facility) ESG. If we can measure how gently we treat the earth outside our fence, we can certainly do this inside as well.

In particular, I am thinking of the bad habit of leaving abandoned equipment in place. This is costly and dangerous. I think the insurance companies can become involved in this, for it will save them money to make sure permanently idled assets are removed and properly disposed. That should lower insurance premiums.

However, there is an easier way to identify these obsolete assets. It is through your Industry 4.0 protocol. It would be quite simple to set up a protocol in your system to detect what assets are used and those that are idle. This would give management a list with which to make a determination of long term asset disposal. Elevating this to the corporate level will bring attention to this issue with senior managers.

It is the right thing to do.

Reasons to track – eight percent of goods, 3.6 percent of profits vanish in supply chain

By James Blackman

Francisco Melo, senior vice president and general manager at Avery Dennison Smartrac, commented: “The current supply chain disruption is leading to a waste crisis making the case for sustainable practices even more urgent. There is a huge opportunity for organisations to accelerate digital transformation that will help to create longer-term systemic change. The moral and economic case is clear.

Read the full article here

Enterprise IoT Solutions for Digital Transformation

By Julia Mitchell

Digital transformation hasn’t stopped with desktop computers. The level of a company’s digitalization now is usually determined by the level of digitalization of its assets, usage, and labor. For product companies, it can also be crucial to improve their products through digitalization, for instance, by customizing thermometers or expanding an agricultural product range with a digital irrigation system. 

Read the full article here

Disadvantages of industrial IoT

By Tech Republic

The industrial internet of things is growing in popularity as it is implemented in businesses around the world. IIoT, however, is not right for every emerging company, and includes some noteworthy drawbacks that can affect operations. These can negatively impact productivity and lead to issues when attempting to conduct business digitally.

Read the full article here

How the new Matter standard could unleash innovation in IoT

By Johnny Evans

In what may turn out to be an industry-defining step to unleash fresh innovation that inevitably extends beyond the consumer market, the Connectivity Standards Alliance today officially launched the Matter standard, following the introduction of final specifications in October.

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