The consulting firm Bain & Company was engaged by Fedrigoni, a leading Italian fine paper manufacturer, to optimize the company’s entire value chain, in particular with the help of digitalization.
Voith impressed with its digital product portfolio and was commissioned to supply the digital process control system OnEfficiency.Strength to enable more efficient paper production. “This is a groundbreaking project that revolutionizes the dogmas of paper machine control and management,” emphasizes Libero Grandoni, Production Manager at the Fabriano mill. “We are excited about the digital solution – every day I’m happy to be able to produce more with optimized settings, while using fewer resources.” Fedrigoni plans to use OnEfficiency.Strength for other paper machines as well.
Fast implementation of OnEfficiency.Strength to optimize the papermaking process
Voith started at the pilot site Fabriano in Italy, supported by Bain & Company, with the orderly collection of data, the basis for any digital solution. First, Voith Paper analyzed all process, laboratory and quality data from the last 12 months to show the correlations of the most important process and paper parameters and to illustrate the process variations that occur. In addition, the experts installed OnCumulus, Voith’s IIoT platform, to enable faster data access.
Subsequently, the Fedrigoni and Voith integrated project team decided to focus on the quality parameter of paper thickness as a first step. With the help of virtual sensors, ash content and virgin fiber use are now automatically optimized in terms of cost and quality, as OnEfficiency.Strength reduces fluctuations in paper thickness as well as virgin fiber consumption. Although the installation was not on a Voith machine, the team was able to implement the digital control concept smoothly.
“The integration into the existing system was extremely simple,” reports Grandoni delightedly. “Due to the very successful cooperation, data transfers and synchronizations from different systems that fit in time could be implemented quickly. Helpful training sessions demonstrated the optimized use. Thus, OnEfficiency.Strength was ready for operation in a few days after installation.”
ROI under 12 months using new artificial intelligence technologies
Bain & Company accompanied the introduction of the digital process control and is impressed with the results achieved so far. “Voith made the cost effectiveness and feasibility of the digital solutions a priority and that was in line with Fedrigoni’s needs. In addition, we believe Voith, with its extensive technological knowledge, is at the cutting edge when it comes to digitization in paper manufacturing,” says Andrea Isabella, Partner and Director at Bain & Company, explaining the decision. “Digital transformation is a key enabler to support the improvement of all the performance areas of our operations: customer service, efficiency and flexibility. The OnEfficiency project developed in Fabriano with Voith represents a basic milestone in our digital transformation. With a payback time of less than one year, the economic benefits are significant,” adds Mario Naldini, COO BU Paper & Security, Fedrigoni.
Fedrigoni stands for excellence in specialty papers for packaging, quality prints, security, and fine arts and self-adhesives solutions. The strong organic growth of the company, which has been in existence since 1888, was recently reinforced by several acquisitions in Italy, US and Mexico. Accordingly, sales in 2020 were over € 1.3 billion. The Group is the third global player in self-adhesive materials and the European leader in specialty papers. Fedrigoni’s goal is to offer the best product range and service for high-quality papers, packaging and self-adhesive materials. In addition, there is a focus on sustainable paper production.