Chinese paper: Real-time cost control

Control Engineering International: Chinese paper enterprises are among the world's best real-time cost-control applications, according to a Control Engineering China (CEC) interview with Honeywell’s pulp, paper, and CWS unit.


Control Engineering ChinaChinese paper enterprises are among the world's best real-time cost-control applications, according to a Control Engineering China (CEC) interview with Brad Garnett, a director with Honeywell’s pulp, paper, and continuous web solutions (CWS) unit. Asia has become the hot spot for the pulp and paper industry.

CEC: Honeywell is very successful in the pulp and paper industry in China and Asia, and you were the Asian and North American director for pulp, paper, and CWS. As the global marketing director for this industry now, would you like comment on the development of the global pulp and paper industry?

Honeywell OptiVision manufacturing execution system helps optimize paper and board sheet production, such as at the JoutCon Oy facility in Finland. Courtesy: Honeywell Process SolutionsGarnett: Yes, Honeywell’s business in Asia, especially in China, is growing very quickly. This year, China surpassed Japan to become the second largest pulp-producing country. As the demand for paper in China grows, so does Honeywell’s paper manufacturing automation business. In each of the past two years, we achieved more than 20% revenue growth in China and Asia. Even during the recession in 2008 and 2009, our business continued to grow.

Also, we see the pulp and paper industry transferring from the U.S. and North America to Latin America, and from Northern Europe and Eastern Europe to China and Southeast Asia. This industry is transferring to the east and south with higher efficiencies. On one hand, the no-paper office is really a global trend, especially in the developed countries where the use of paper and newspaper declined. On the other hand, sales of paper products keep growing, and demand for toilet paper and packaging paper especially is growing rapidly. And in Asia, the use of paper has not been decreasing much, so the overall increase in paper demand is particularly rapid. In terms of production and sales, Asia is the center of the pulp and paper industry.

Manufacturing execution system

CEC: Is it true that Honeywell’s Optivision manufacturing execution system (MES) implemented in Zhanjiang Chenming facilities used the highest-profile technology? What benefit will it bring to paper mills?

Garnett: It is not news that paper mills implement the Optivision manufacturing execution system. These kinds of Honeywell solutions have been used worldwide for more than 20 years. There are hundreds of Optivision systems in service around the world, though they are less popular in China. However, previous solutions were not very successful in term of real-time cost. The Zhanjiang installation is the first to use the real-cost modules, which successfully combine a distributed control system (DCS) and quality control software (QCS) to provide real-time cost data. Real-time cost is very important for enterprise decisions. It allows the management team of a paper enterprise to clearly view costs. The Zhanjiang Optivision installation is the first time an MES has covered all the processes of pulp line and paper machines.

CEC: What’s the key benefit of Optivision for the pulp and paper industry?

Garnett: Optivision is the MES that Honeywell specifically developed for the pulp and paper industry to manage orders, optimize production, plan and schedule production, and optimize trimming. It includes a production planning and scheduling system, rolling tracking system, and inventory management system. The application underway in Zhanjiang Chenming is the biggest one in China.

Paper enterprises may have many small clients and small orders. Planning and scheduling clients and orders is related to optimization of the production plan and trimming. Cutting optimization provides paper enterprises with an optimal solution to reduce paper waste and improve recheck efficiency. For example, some paper mills, like Guangzhou Paper and Zhanjiang Chenming, use 10-meter paper machines. When cutting the paper into smaller sizes, they need to carefully calculate cutting to save money and time. This is cutting optimization.

All paper enterprises have key clients, and if these clients give temporary orders, it is usually hard for the paper enterprises to change the original schedule and plan. Optivision can help to solve this issue for them.

Benefits of Optivision for the pulp and paper industry are not limited to the development of traditional QCS and DCS. We are very glad to see that the paper enterprises in China are implementing more advanced MES to strengthen business management and improve efficiency.

- Brad Garnett is global marketing director for pulp, paper, and CWS [continuous web solutions], Honeywell, and has worked for Honeywell for over 30 years. He is an expert in pulp and paper industry and was the Asian and North American director for pulp and paper. CEC interviewed him during his recent visit to China. This article appeared in the November/December 2011 edition of Control Engineering China. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering.

See more about Optivision from Honeywell at

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