| ||Kimberly-Clark Philippines Inc.’ upgrade improves tissue machine production efficiency by 8%|
| ||Industry:||Forest Products|
| ||Services:||Drive Systems Solutions|
| ||Products:||Drives and Drive Systems, Operator Interface, Programmable Logic Controllers|
Kimberly-Clark Philippines Inc.’ upgrade improves tissue machine production efficiency by 8%
Rockwell Automation drive systems reduce tissue machine setup time by more than 6%.Background
Kimberly-Clark Corporation is a leading manufacturer and marketer of global consumer brands with annual sales of US$13.6 billion. It is home to some of the world’s most recognized and trusted brands, including Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend. The company’s tissue, personal care and health care products are manufactured in 43 countries and sold in more than 150. Nearly one-quarter of the world’s population, or 1.3 billion people, use Kimberly-Clark products each year. For more information about Kimberly-Clark’s well known brands, visit the Kimberly-Clark Web site at www.kimberly-clark.com.
Kimberly-Clark’s tissue-making plant in San Pedro, Laguna, Philippines, is the number one producer of its kind in its market. With a focus on speed-to-market, high-quality product, on-time delivery and worker safety, production efficiency is critical. These key drivers are important throughout the facility’s operations, which include: processing raw materials (pulping, de-inking and refining recycled paper); making tissue from the clean pulp; and converting (cutting and layering).
Recently, the facility experienced problems with the drive controls on one of its tissue machines, which makes tissue from virgin pulp. More than 20 years old, the DC controllers operating the 220kw, 110kw and 55kw DC motors analog systems were difficult to troubleshoot, and parts had become obsolete — creating maintenance issues that resulted in long downtimes.
The operation had suffered successive main drive, fan pump and rewinder failures due to defects in the DC controller's main circuit boards. Due to the nature and age of the system, there were no reliable tools for detecting premature failure or predicting circuit board shutdown. The maintenance system devised to deal with these problems was to maintain a ready spare, simulated at a test rack. But the electronic boards were failing often a few days after replacement.
In addition, the crepe ratio (CR) — a proportion necessary for proper sheet formation and flexible capability — was suffering. CR was being maintained at the pope reel, using cone pulleys to adjust reel speed. But the solution was not adequate to reach the required CR during towel and facial tissue production runs. Therefore, a makeshift belt stopper at the end of the pulley was installed and is being used to achieve a CR as close to the desired proportion as possible.
Kimberly-Clark Phils. Inc. sought a supplier to address these issues by taking over a complete turnkey project — one that would completely upgrade the drive system, eliminating obsolete parts, and manage start-up and installation.
Edwin Q. Pacia, Kimberly-Clark Phils. Inc. Electrical Instrumentation and Process Control Supervisor, explained that Rockwell Automation products and services were selected to meet this need because “Rockwell Automation personnel are commercially and technically knowledgeable. And this was the best possible solution because it included the latest products and easy maintenance.
Rockwell Automation’s Drive Systems team provided the drive system, while its Global Manufacturing Solutions personnel provided start-up and project management services. The Rockwell Automation team also engaged a local electrical supplier to perform installation.
Based on Rockwell Automation’s leading edge ControlLogix, the chosen solution is specifically designed for industrial drive and control systems platform, including upgrades and, in particular, modernization of existing control systems. In conjunction with FlexPak-3000 digital DC drives and 1336 IMPACT digital AC drives, the system provides fully digital, fully programmable drive control. The ControlLogix 5000 system provides both drive and sequence control of the tissue machine, and communicates with the drives over the network. Remote I/O interfaces with the necessary field devices and operator controls, and emergency circuits remain hardwired for safety.
And in order to achieve the desired crepe-ratio (CR), a new AC motor and 22KW AC drive were installed to replace the cone pulley, at the pope reel. The new AC system provides a more accurate control for proper sheet formation and better flexibility. These choices helped Kimberly-Clark meet its need for a tissue machine control solution that would provide a new system within the budget. The ControlLogix package reduced engineering time due to ease of programming. Using the standard DC drive, and Flex I/O with ControlNet allowed simple configuration, reducing hardware cost. The use of remote I/O also saved installation costs, by reducing cabling and labor needs. And, since local Rockwell Automation engineers performed start-up, accommodation and travel expenses were reduced. Finally, the team purchased external cable locally to reduce material and shipment costs.
Limited downtime to complete the upgrade was also important. This goal was achieved by installing the new system next to the existing one, wiring and testing the partial new system prior to shutdown, wiring a junction box for the new and old system interface, and marking the old cables to be removed and reused during machine operation. After shutdown, the team transferred the necessary old cable to the junction box, and had little need to check cables, as they were already marked. Cable installation was also hastened by mounting the Flex I/O next to the input/output devices to minimize cable run. In addition, by retaining and reusing the motors, including the existing DC tacho-generators, project managers were able to achieve a short changeover time along with reduced capital spending.
Although all field devices, limit switches and operator controls were retained and reused, a new PanelView1000 display was installed for setting parameters and displaying faults and alarms. This has provided several advantages. For example, it allows operators to set up the machine line speed and draw speed accurately, helping control product quality. It also allows easy start-up and operation, supporting speed-to-market and on-time delivery goals.
Worker safety is very critical to Kimberly-Clark. Therefore, the solution includes an emergency-stop in the control system, and a safely designed cabinet that is well covered and protected. For example, in a situation involving high voltage, a transparent plastic panel covers the area, so that even when the door is open, it is safe for the technician.
The new control system has enabled the plant to improve production efficiency — by enhancing reliability, regulation and control, and diagnostics. The facility has also been able to reduce setup time as a result of the upgrade, because the hardware is now easier to operate and more user-friendly. And downtime has been reduced by the improved ease of troubleshooting.
Specifically, the tissue machine’s production efficiency can now reach a level of 91%. Before the upgrade, average production efficiency was 80.2%. Now it is at 88.2% efficiency — an improvement of 8%. In addition, tissue machine setup time delay was 11.2% before the upgrade. Now it is 4.9% — a downtime reduction of 6.3%.
According to Virgilio Pagayonan, Family Care & Industrial Products Operations Manager, "Since the upgrade, the tissue machine has become easy for the operator to set up, and machine startup delay has been reduced. In the past, operators had to monitor the machine physically to determine whether the motor was running, but now with the PanelView, interface also makes it easy to control the speed of the motor, which helps reduce waste. And it makes maintenance easy, as the monitor will tell the operator the fault.”