Digital solutions facilitate the prediction of problems

​"Digitalisation is already playing a key role in the pulp industry. Innovations will take place as long as operators have the courage to invest in new technology," says Matti Toivonen, VP, Technology.


He heads the technology team in Metsä Fibre's business development.

"We can get better and better at anticipating the state of our equipment and avoiding breakdowns. Digitalisation increases internal efficiency, evens up quality and helps us serve our customers in increasingly better ways," says Matti Toivonen.

Currently, an average of 40,000 data points are gathered from pulp mills and analysed largely
by employees. A data point can be, say, a machine's temperature, pressure or the position of a valve.

"We aim to be able to analyse at least 80 per cent of this data automatically. We're also in the process of developing a digital twin for the causticizing department in Äänekoski."

According to Toivonen, the finished programme is a little like a computer game which aims to imitate the real world as closely as possible.

"The twin allows us to practice for both problem situations and normal running of the department. The programme gives tips on which parameter to put in which position, for example."

In terms of the digital services provided to customers, he mentions RFID, which allows for increasingly detailed tracking of pulp movement within the logistics chain.

Toivonen says that digitalisation should always be well-founded. 

 "There's no point in going digital for the sake of digitalisation alone."

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