ABB Wins Manufacturing Services Deal at Paper Mill

posted on 1/26/2012 3:58:02 PM

The five-year agreement with Africa’s Nampak Corrugated uses ABB’s applications and expertise to improve productivity and equipment reliability through industry-specific predictive maintenance and management practices.

Manufacturers running complex equipment on the plant floor often require supplemental services for their maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) applications to boost operational performance and avoid costly downtime. For that reason, Nampak Corrugated, Africa’s largest manufacturer of packaging products, has signed a five-year agreement with ABB, a Swiss-based automation and engineering firm.

Under terms of the contract, which took effect in December, ABB’s service group will manage all manufacturing maintenance operations at the company’s Rosslyn paper mill in Pretoria, South Africa. ABB’s mandate is to improve productivity and equipment reliability at the mill, and to retain and develop all existing maintenance staff. To that end, 62 Nampak maintenance employees have been hired by ABB, the companies said, and will be trained in pulp and paper industry-specific predictive maintenance and management practices.

Nampak manufactures a diverse range of paper, plastic, metal, and glass packaging products. The Rosslyn mill produces recycled paper for a variety of corrugated packaging products, supplied by Nampak Corrugated’s operations.

According to ABB, papermaking is by its nature a dynamic process. The harsh conditions in the mill environment contribute to both the rapid deterioration of pulp and paper manufacturing machines, and the decline in instrumentation and control of machine variations. As a result, profitability can suffer severely due to variability in pulp and paper properties, low machine performance, and high costs.

ABB has developed tools and expertise to analyze and identify bottlenecks, and support performance improvements by using advanced techniques. To that end, ABB’s service team will provide Nampak with process optimization, energy consulting, and equipment lifecycle services at the site, as well as manage all third-party subcontractors and suppliers, ABB said.

“ABB Full Service agreements make business sense in terms of increasing efficiency in operations, and help to further develop skilled maintenance personnel in world-class practices,” said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB’s Process Automation division, in a statement. “These agreements provide an exceptional win-win situation for all involved, and allow the customer to focus on their core business while getting the best performance out of their process.”

The agreement formalizes a joint vision in which ABB manages maintenance at the Rosslyn facility, while Nampak Corrugated strengthens its focus on growing its core operations.

“We are not only looking forward to improved maintenance processes and practices,” said Christiaan Burmeister, managing director of Nampak Corrugated, “but the performance guarantees will ensure the relationship is a true partnership with the parties working closely together to improve operations, and value is added in a much wider context than pure maintenance services.”