Device and application platform services, data analytics, and IOT security among the necessary technologies to avoid unplanned downtime and improve overall equipment effectiveness
Pulp and paper producers face twin challenges. First, the gigantic machines converting wood pulp into paper-based products are a single point of failure. Second, the industry is embracing sustainability by the difficult task of incorporating recycled paper into production while retaining the required quality levels. These challenges are fuelling investment in process control software and data analytics to avoid unplanned downtime. Global technology intelligence firm, ABI Research finds that this adoption will grow by a 7% CAGR between 2021 and 2030 and result in a USD3.6 billion spend at the end of the decade.
“Paper usage is changing with demand for newsprint and printed paper on the decline while sales of tissues and paper-based medical products are rising rapidly. Technology suppliers can help mills plan for adjustments and retain overall equipment effectiveness.” explains Michael Larner, Industrial and Manufacturing Principal Analyst at ABI Research.
Overall research forecasts that pulp and paper mills will be spending USD3.6 billion on digital technologies in 2030. Spending on IoT devices and the supporting platforms that, for example, support efforts to prevent unplanned downtime will be worth USD1 billion in 2030 with spend on data analytics to evaluate and optimize the production processes forecasted to be worth USD370 million. The foundations for the upswing in the flow of data will be investments in connectivity (forecasted to reach USD450 million in 2030) and network services (USD30 million in 2030). While all the technology investments need to be underpinned by robust cyber security, which is forecasted to be the highest growing spending area (CAGR 8.7%), being worth USD120 million at the end of the decade.
Technology providers helping mills extract and make sense of data from their machines include AspenTech, dataPARC, Eigen Innovations, Seeq, and Senseye, while Emerson, Honeywell, and MRPeasy look to help mills design their operations.
“The size of the machinery and speed of production provide important test cases for technology suppliers. To meet these challenges, production facilities will increasingly look to predictive maintenance and quality automation.” Larner concludes.