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Voith ComCore paves the way

Step by step to the digital future

2015-10-26 - Everybody is talking about Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things is the focus for engineers and the media. With its Papermaking 4.0 concept, Voith has ushered in the future for the paper industry and has developed products for the digital factory that allow every papermaker to customize their approach to the digital future. The concept is based on Voith's ComCore automation platform.

Consistently high quality, improved efficiency of resources and higher productivity are the goals that every paper manufacturer is constantly striving for. In this context, the intelligent collection and processing of data are increasingly important. Based on its longstanding experience in this area, Voith has developed an extensive range of automation, software and consultancy services. As well as conventional quality control system (QCS) products like CD controllers or scanners, these solutions also include efficiency-enhancing modules from the OnEfficiency product range as well as specially developed applications like felt optimization using FeltView based on the new Voith ComCore platform.

Improvement in performance thanks to paper-grade-specific libraries. For paper manufacturers who do not want to be tied long-term to a specific vendor due to investing in hardware or software, the ComCore platform offers distinct advantages, as it can be used with standard hardware and integrated into virtually any automation infrastructure. Voith ComCore has a three-tier architecture, i.e. the control and logic level, the communication level and the visualization and data processing level are clearly separated from one another. The advantages are obvious: the system is easily scalable, functionalities can be clustered and virtualization solutions readily implemented. At the control level, ComCore supports IEC 61131-based languages that have been enhanced with object-oriented functions and therefore allow efficient maintenance and expansion.

In the case of client installations, a distinct improvement in performance was achieved thanks to paper-grade-specific libraries developed by Voith engineers with a sound knowledge of the paper manufacturing process. A special feature of ComCore is that it supports numerous protocols and interfaces with which components from other manufacturers can be controlled directly. This allows the performance of these components to be improved or their service life extended. This is of particular benefit if the papermaker wants to renew a system step by step.
Happy after rebuild (f. l.): Maurizio Piemonte, Product and Service Engineer Voith, Stefano Andreotti, Technical and Technology Manager at DS Smith, and Rainer Lay, Product Manager Voith
Paper mill DS Smith uses modules to upgrade its system. That the paper production process can be improved or optimized by integrating a single module from the ComCore platform was recently successfully demonstrated in Italy. At DS Smith, one of the leading manufacturers of packaging board, the PM 2 in Lucca was exhibiting uneven CD profiles and crease formation. This was put down to an unreliable actuator system in the quality control system. Engineering and Technology Manager Stefano Andreotti describes the situation before the upgrade: “Our existing system was obsolete and we were spending too much on maintenance.” Voith’s engineers advised DS Smith to install the OnQ Profilmatic CD profile controller, which is part of the modular ComCore platform. The result following the rebuild met the expectations of the customer in Lucca, as Stefano Andreotti confirms: “The new system automates a process that was previously controlled manually. The creases were reduced and we are now very happy with the CD profile.”

As well as the paper-grade-specific interfaces, Voith ComCore relies on the new standard for Industry 4.0, OPC-UA, which is the standard communication interface within the platform. New developments and technologies can be easily and flexibly connected to existing platforms via the open communication interface OPC-UA. Since it is a purely web-based visualization, no elaborate client/operator station installation is necessary and expensive special hardware can also be dispensed with. Any PC with Internet Explorer is suitable for Voith ComCore. One of the platform’s modules is the OnView system with historical database to store, display and analyze data. The OnView data elements are embedded into the native environment of ComCore’s web interface. This means that all data can be accessed from a company’s intranet. The OnView environment with its powerful reporting engine enables individual reports to be compiled and distributed automatically to mobile devices at the end of a shift or a day, so that those responsible have access to the latest production parameters at all times.

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