ABB to Automate DS Smith’s Largest Mill

By Joel Davies -

ABB has been awarded a new contract by sustainable packaging company DS Smith to fulfil a vision of highly automated, connected, and secure operations at their Kemsley Mill in the UK.

ABB is working across more than 50 countries to provide its portfolio of integrated digital solutions, automation and electrification systems, industry-focused products and services to help customers optimize all phases of the papermaking process. The company works across packaging, paper, tissue and pulp disciplines to help drive availability, performance, cost and quality improvements.

DS Smith’s Kent mill is the second-largest recovered fibre-based paper operation in Europe, boasting an annual production capacity of over 840,000 tons. Aligning with the company’s focus on recycling and sustainable paper and packaging production, the mill produces the first recycled, lightweight paper manufactured in the UK. This includes White Liner A, White Liner B, Dual Use, Dual Use HP Plus, Light Medium Plus, Liner 3 and Plasterboard Liners.

“DS Smith is a leading European and US paper manufacturer with a clear vision for their future operations. The Kemsley Mill is a great example of a facility with the foresight to plan for the bigger digitalization rapidly emerging in the pulp and paper industry”, said Jan-Willem Bos, Regional Industry Lead, ABB Pulp and Paper. “We’re pleased to build on our long-standing relationship and work closely with DS Smith to drive their strategic evolution”.

ABB is supporting the mill’s evolution with the ABB Ability™ System 800xA distributed control system (DCS) and paper machine drives upgrade across PM3, PM4 and PM6. The upgraded DCS will be integrated across the mill, working as the backbone that connects everything securely into one system for automated functionality and easier maintenance.

ABB will also deliver a one-year support contract, the latest cyber security set up and two new Virtual Measurements for PM4, which will provide online calculations for strength and weight. System delivery is expected in Q3 2022 and progressive implementation of the system will align with the planned maintenance program in successive months.

“ABB’s consultation, involving numerous remote workshops and ongoing discussions, helped us define the best approach for our modernization project. The team showed real expertise and understanding of our future ambitions and will act as a partner to us in our digital transformation journey”, concluded Ben Jennings, Kemsley Mill Manager at DS Smith.

Find more information about ABB and its automation of the DS Smith paper mill on its website.

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