ABB delivers first-of-its-kind winder safety system for New Zealand paper mill

Oji Fibre Solutions selects ABB to install automation and winder systems to improve operator safety at Penrose Mill in Auckland.

ABB delivers first-of-its-kind winder safety system for New Zealand paper mill

Oji Fibre Solutions, a leading producer of market pulp, paperboard and fiber-based packaging, has appointed ABB to supply a specially-designed winder safety system – the first of its kind in New Zealand – as well as a winder drive control system and DCS880 drives. With the mill’s existing winder equipment installed more than 30 years ago, the upgrade will help Oji Fibre ensure safe and efficient future operations, in line with recently updated safety requirements.

The new system features a range of winder safety improvement steps and devices including mechanical guarding (perimeter personnel access control via a retractable fence that keeps operators away from the danger zone), electrical controls (power interlocks), hydraulic controls (with redundancy), optical (safety light curtains) and safe speed monitoring. The creation of safety zones allows operation in one zone to continue when another zone is infringed, improving uptime at the mill.

The automation of manual tasks – such as hands-free threading, set change with automatic sheet cut off, automatic gluing or auto-measuring slitters – also reduces the risk of injury and failure by eliminating hands-on tasks. All of these automatic upgrades both increase winder throughput and remove the operator from exposure to potential hazards. The improved features are all supported by a new operator control panel with safety programmable logic controller (PLC) and new human-machine interface (HMI).

Penrose Mill, which has an annual output of more than 85,000 tons of containerboard liner uses recycled sources collected by Oji Fibre’s Fullcircle recycling service. Finished products are supplied mainly to the New Zealand, Australian and Asian markets.

“Our focus was to supply the equipment while simultaneously designing a safety system that would allow Oji Fibre to operate effectively to safely meet its customer requirements,” said Shane Archer, Local Division Manager, Process Industries, ABB New Zealand. “These measures also had to be benchmarked against national and international standards. We are proud to have redesigned and rebuilt Oji Fibre’s safety system in line with New Zealand’s latest requirements, making operations safer, more intelligent and more productive.”

The investment with ABB will further future-proof the Oji Fibre site, which has taken steps to diversify its packaging portfolio in recent years. ABB will also complete all factory acceptance tests and commissioning remotely.

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