Laakirchen Papier and Voith launch joint flagship project to digitize paper machines

The German paper manufacturer Laakirchen Papier started adapting its production capacity last year by rebuilding its  PM 10 from recovered magazine paper to corrugated medium. The company is now entering the age of digitalization with a large-scale project. The partner for the project, which is expected to transform the Laakirchen plant into a model digital site, is the Voith Group, which has been actively driving digital transformation in the paper industry for years.

According to Dr. Thomas Welt, CEO at Laakirchen Papier:

“Only by consistently making the most of the possibilities and opportunities of digitalization will we be able to survive in the narrowing market in future too.”

Latest Papermaking 4.0 technologies at Laakirchen plant

The individual components of the project allow for production at the Laakirchen plant to be equipped with the latest technologies and to test them in real operating conditions. Meeting the quality targets as cost-effectively as possible and reducing downtimes due to breaks are the key objectives of the project.

Dr. Jürgen Abraham, President Products & Services and Digital Business Officer at Voith Paper, is enthusiastic about the cooperation with the Laakirchen Papier :

“Seldom do you meet a customer who is so open to new methods and technologies. Laakirchen Papier is not only impressed with our established digital product portfolio, but has also agreed to work on developing new digital products in collaboration with Voith to harness the enormous potential of the fourth industrial revolution.”

Increased production and greater value creation

Through the intelligent use of the existing data, it is anticipated that the production and value creation of the two production lines PM 11 and PM 10 will increase and become stabilized at a high level.

To do this, proven technologies such as online control of the target qualities of the different paper strengths using virtual sensors and model predictive controls will be combined with cloud-based innovations from the world of machine learning. “Our OnEfficiency.Strength application reliably ensures quick success for our customer. With completely new applications, such as the sheet break prevention, we may need to be a little bit more patient. In the end, it is important that each element contributes to the economic success of the project,” says Jürgen Käser, Project Manager at Voith.

This project is expected to create a digital flagship in the heart of Europe that makes the potential of digitalization in the paper industry tangible and lays the groundwork for the next step – integration of the value chain.