Valmet reported Aug. 21 that it will implement its Mill-Wide Optimization software at Mercer Rosenthal GmbH’s kraft pulp mill in Germany. This production planning application and change management service will automate decision-making and optimize production across the mill’s fiber line, recovery line and pulp dryer. This solution includes a two-year performance agreement for remote support via the Valmet Performance Center to ensure sustainable, long-term results.
As part of North America-based Mercer International Group, Mercer Rosenthal GmbH is one of the most modern pulp producers in Europe, even though it also has a 130-year history. It has an annual production of more than 360,000 tons, and produces two main grades of pulp: elemental, chlorine-free, bleached kraft pulp (ECF) and totally chlorine-free, bleached kraft pulp.
“With Valmet Mill-Wide Optimization, our goal is to produce pulp and energy more efficiently by further equalizing and optimizing plant operations,” says Christian Sörgel, managing director at Mercer Rosenthal.
In general, Mill-Wide Optimization enables centralized, real-time decision-making. The software observes the entire mill’s production and inventory balance in real-time and considers both the current and future states of the mill. As a result, suboptimization of individual processes that don’t align with mill goals can be avoided. This optimization process also let users balance environmental sustainability with production, quality, and cost. Operating decisions are based on total mill production, inventory balance and forecast, while process decisions are coordinated to maximize profit and stabilize the process.
“We have a positive, long-term relationship with Mercer, and I’m sure Mill-Wide Optimization will support their operators’ work and production targets,” says Markus Foigtmannsberger, service manager of the Automation Systems business line at Valmet. “Their present automation system, analyzers and measurements also provide a solid foundation for this kind of optimization.
In addition, Valmet Mill-Wide Optimization Audit helps reveal the true production potential and the corresponding return on investment. Based on historical data, the audit helps evaluate production increase potential, identify limitations, and highlight use cases of Mill-Wide Optimization.
“The mill audit and a detailed ‘reoptimize the past’ analysis was performed before the investment decision to minimize risks and evaluate benefits,” says Greg Fralic, product manager for Valmet’s Automation Systems division. “The analysis demonstrated how the production planning solution can be utilized to help balance the mill and achieve desired pulp production.”