Developing Autonomous Smart Wood Processing Solutions with ANDRITZ

ANDRITZ is a globally leading supplier of plants, equipment, and services for hydropower stations, the pulp and paper industry, the metalworking and steel industries, and for solid/liquid separation in the municipal and industrial sectors as well as for animal feed and biomass pelleting. Other important business segments include automation and service business. The publicly listed technology Group is headquartered in Graz, Austria, and has a staff of approximately 29,100 employees. ANDRITZ operates more than 280 sites in over 40 countries.

With a strong history in delivering wood processing plants around the world and experience with the latest IoT technologies, ANDRITZ is developing the Autonomous Wood Processing solutions portfolio, which is set to revolutionize the world of wood processing. ANDRITZ has partnered up with Etteplan to increase scalability and quality of development. The partnership stems from years of cooperation between the two companies in the realm of Industrial Digitalization. Etteplan has been able to flexibly provide ANDRITZ with expertise in engineering, service design, technical documentation and many more areas with our continuous service model.

The economic benefits of an Autonomous Wood Processing Solutions portfolio can be huge for the end-customer according to Wayna Moncada, Director, SMART Pulp Line, Automation and Digitalization at ANDRITZ.

“There are multiple wins ie. from better yield, less stoppages, higher uptimes, increased safety, and of course better end-product quality. There will also be the opportunity to better predict maintenance issues and ultimately the woodyard is easier to operate, meaning you don’t need highly skilled operators constantly in place.”


Several levels of intelligence supported by Etteplan

The solutions covering a smart woodyard (woodyard in this case meaning process flow from receiving deck to chips dropping to digester) operate on several levels of intelligence: the floor level, which covers a wide range of individual smart products including machine and process diagnostic devices, the second level with optimization systems for sub-processes, and the third, autonomous systems level, which is built with lower-level optimization systems or with dedicated technology.

ANDRITZ Smart Woodyard: Three levels of intelligence

ANDRITZ Smart Woodyard: Three levels of intelligence

Etteplan is supporting ANDRITZ on multiple levels, including the development of the highest level which will ultimately control the whole woodyard. Meaning planning how the automation will control the woodyard and what the user experience will be like. This includes expertise areas of industrial digitalization, especially automation engineering, service design and technical documentation.

Industrial Digitalization that serves the needs of the user and the business

Planning the highest level of automation means creating descriptions of how the systems will control the woodyard. This has meant combining the existing expertise of Etteplan and ANDRITZ  experts to create documentation for future reference and acting as a link between different organizations.

 “Co-operation has been working well and it is always nice to see supplier commitment to product quality. Continuous improvement and communication is the key” states Wayna Moncada.

The goal of the service design has been to optimize Smart Wood Processing Solutions from the user’s point of view to create a seamless user experience throughout digital systems. The service is designed to support the daily decision making providing meaningful data for plant operators. One of the key elements of creating situational awareness is to select the right data based on business and user needs.

In the longer scope, Etteplan’s continuous service for ANDRITZ has also played a significant part in the cooperation. Over the years, Etteplan has flexibly delivered ANDRITZ with expertise in engineering, testing, technical communication and software development to name a few.  


Creating a shared vision of ANDRITZ Autonomous Wood Processing solutions

ANDRITZ has received a variety of expertise from a single point of contact, Etteplan. Effective problem-solving and necessary competencies can be provided by Etteplan’s large pool of experts at a short notice. ANDRITZ can trust that Etteplan is up to the job, whatever the job might be.

 “It is excellent to have one number in your phone to who you can call and iterate how new opportunities can be solved out promptly!” concludes Wayna Moncada.

Due to the challenging process of planning the automation, there will be less need for configuration and fewer errors in the implementation of the system. ANDRITZ has also valued the people-centric design approach from industrial digitalization point of view, which Etteplan has been able to provide. The customer value is ensured, when end customer needs are guiding the design decisions and are combined with business objectives.

Hence, the project moves faster and the quality of the work is guaranteed by Etteplan experts. By handing over the planning to Etteplan, ANDRITZ has been able to focus on its core business. Most importantly the product portfolio development is accelerated through a flexible and scalable RnD partnership with Etteplan.

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Jyrki Eschner
Jyrki Eschner
Senior Account Manager, Cloud and Applications