SCA Group embraces ABB digital solutions to increase energy efficiency

When it comes to energy, the more you know about your usage, the more you can save. At SCA’s kraftliner mill in Munksund, Sweden, the move to a fossil-free future is facilitated with the help of ABB digital solutions.

Sustainability is at the core of the Swedish SCA Group’s operations, with a long-term goal of establishing a fossil-free value chain. Their own industrial processes are already 95% fossil-free thanks to bioenergy production.

At Munksund, one of SCA’s two kraftliner mills, 400,000 tonnes of packaging material are produced annually. Kraftliner is paper or paperboard produced using the Kraft process. Its production requires a lot of energy, and most of the energy used is consumed by its installed base of more than 2,400 electric motors. Through improving the efficiency of those motors, impressive energy savings can be realised.

“SCA’s objective is to improve energy efficiency through efficiency enhancements of at least 50 GWh per year based on the company’s energy consumption in 2020,” explains Anders Kyösti, Technical Manager at SCA Munksund.

“Electrical motors account for a large part of our electricity consumption at the factory,” he continues. “Given higher energy prices and the trend towards electrification, optimizing energy use will become even more important in the future.”

Improved energy efficiency with data awareness and service expertise

One way to improve efficiency is to ensure that installed motors are running as efficiently as possible. This is where digital solutions come in. Digitalization enables new smart and secure ways to improve uptime while simultaneously optimizing process operations.

To achieve their energy efficiency goals, SCA Munksund has contracted ABB Ability™ Condition Monitoring to harvest, analyse and report on data from their motor installed base, which is used to provide expert energy efficiency recommendations.

ABB Ability™ Condition Monitoring allows the secure collection of data within different parameters over time, tailored to a specific operation, including indicators like temperature, operational patterns, and stress levels.

Because of this it can be used to identify long-term trends in performance, thus improving equipment energy efficiency, reliability, and uptime, and facilitating predictive maintenance.

ABB Ability™ Condition Monitoring enables a more intelligent data analysis, providing insights into energy efficiency improvements which can help reduce carbon emissions and bring down overall energy costs.

“The information gained through the monitoring and its analysis is extremely helpful in increasing our energy efficiency.” says Kyösti.

However, the information on its own holds little value without the ability to interpret it. The collected data is analysed, providing intelligent insights into possible improvements in energy efficiency, and thereby helping to reduce emissions and overall energy consumption and cost.

ABB’s domain expertise is key to providing this information, enabling SCA to take the right decisions on which motors to exchange to gain improved energy efficiency.

Reducing waste

Motors that do not meet energy efficiency requirements will be recycled and upgraded with new, more efficient models, lowering the carbon emissions and energy consumption.

“Through data and analysis, the true use of the electrical motors is evaluated. The real utilisation in time and power output is revealed, and thereby also the total power consumption. It enables us to very precisely suggest a replacement motor and quantify the annual energy savings as well as the reduction of reactive energy consumption” said Peter J. Isberg, ABB Motion Services Digital Lead, Sweden.

In addition to energy savings, the motor recycling process adds significant environmental benefits. Securing the return of metals into the market saves a considerable amount of CO₂ emissions, energy, and water.

“ABB together with a partner, Stena Recycling, enables sustainable recycling of the obsolete motors, where the recycling process and logistics is optimised to enable a low environmental impact. All metal fractions are separated for use in new products, which results in significant CO₂, energy and water savings compared to the use of virgin metals. ABB also provides an annual report on the net savings to the customers.” added Isberg.

By embracing digital solutions, SCA have taken a step towards reaching the company’s goal of reducing their energy consumption. The deeper insights into production processes that are realized through analysis of the collected data provide economic benefits, but more importantly they contribute to sustainability goals through increased energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions.

Pedro Mier

Pedro Mier holds a degree in Telecommunications Engineer ing from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, MBA from ESADE and PADE from IESE. He is currently President of AMETIC (Association of Electronics, Information Technology and Telecommunications Companies of Spain), Shareholder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of TRYO Aerospace & Electronics, Board Member of the Premo Group and Committee of CTTC. member of Space Angels Network and Member of the Sc ientific Advisory