How Has IoT Affected the Pulp and Paper Industry?

How Has IoT Affected the Pulp and Paper Industry?

Laura Davis, Manufacturing Technology Insights | Friday, January 07, 2022

Internet of Things (IoT) has changed the way that organizations do business, and in manufacturing, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a way to digital transformation.

FREMONT, CA: The role of IoT in the pulp and paper industry is critical, to secure the best possible performance, continuous technology improvement is going on in the industry. There are various essential applications in the pulp and paper industry to measure severe process conditions, like aggressive pulp slurry with extremely high pressure and temperature conditions and corrosive chemicals. Digital technology is being incorporated by the pulp, paper, fiber, and packaging industry. The introduction of this technology is the driving factor behind cost reduction, increase throughput, and gaining a competitive edge with the customers.

The pulp and paper industry is revolutionizing globally, presenting technology suppliers and the industry participants with challenges and opportunities both. 

Paper Industry 4.0

top pulp and paper manufacturing companies

With the digitalization of production processes, new roles and responsibilities will be created, potentially requiring various skill sets. When thinking about the future possibilities of Industry 4.0 in the paper industry's value chain, many opportunities do exist from raw materials to the consumption of the product by consumers. As equipment and production sites can interact without human interaction and make their own decisions, the operational purchasing functions and replenishment might be reduced. 

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Industry 4.0 in Pulp and Paper Industry

Today's paper industry stands ready to engage in its fourth industrial phase, which is Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 represents the next industrial revolution. It will very soon link product customization with large production series, linking machines to machines and products to services. The European pulp and paper industry, today, is in full transformation. With an increase in global competition and policy pressure, both market and consumer needs have evolved. Hence, to remain competitive, the industry has to innovate. Apart from addressing not only services and products, processes, innovation can also address business models, education, and workforce training. As a result, the industry experiences massive potential in "digital" instead of treating it as a trend people are forced to struggle with.

Digital Transformation in the Paper Industry

Beginning with raw materials, the real-time information could be gathered about the condition, amount, and maturity of the tree stock. The optimal signal information or harvesting time could be transmitted, and this information would then be passed through the whole value chain. As a result, wherever necessary, the processes could be adapted by the parties involved. In the same way, a real-time connection could be established for the suppliers to consumers, paper producers, and hence they would be able to react without delays to their customer's requirements. The supplier could immediately identify the need for quality issues or material replenishment by monitoring the production process, sales forecasts, and a customer's finished goods inventories.

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