China / Society

Global player to introduce smart technology to papermaking

By Ma Zhenhuan in Shanghai ( Updated: 2015-09-17 21:00

Voith Group, a global provider of technology and industrial services, unveiled "Papermaking 4.0", at the China International Paper Technology Exhibition which opened in Beijing on Wednesday.

"Papermaking 4.0" aims to digitize manufacturing by combining "Industrie 4.0" and the papermaking industry, an idea that is well aligned with China's efforts to upgrade and transform key manufacturing sectors, including paper, steel and nonferrous metal, as outlined by the "Made in China 2025" Plan.

In the era of the Internet of Things, with the development of technologies such as cloud computing, mobile technology and big data, integration of information technology and manufacturing is becoming an irreversible trend. The fourth industrial revolution is happening across the globe, underlined by Industrie 4.0.

For the first time, Voith introduced the concept of "Industrie 4.0" into the papermaking industry with the launch of "Papermaking 4.0" in the first half of this year. The goals include increased efficiency, productivity and quality to make the entire paper production process more intelligent, cost-effective and sustainable.

The concept of "Papermaking 4.0" covers control equipment and software, featuring "OnEfficiency," "OnCare," and "SmartServices," which will deliver connection, efficiency, predictability, intelligence, and sustainability. Voith has already achieved success around the world to show the benefit and added value of "Papermaking 4.0" to customers. The company has established a task force with professional knowledge and experience in sales that is dedicated to the promotion of this concept in China and the Asian market.

"With the Chinese economy entering the 'new normal', the country's papermaking industry is facing new requirements to bolster competitiveness and create new growth engines by achieving the transformation to smart manufacturing," said Thomas Holzer, president of Voith Paper Asia.

"'Papermaking 4.0' has provided a clear roadmap. By adapting to the requirements of the 'Made in China 2025' plan, Voith is providing customers in the country with customized 'Papermaking 4.0' solutions so as to help the whole industry achieve smart manufacturing and sustainable development".

According to the National Statistics Bureau, China's papermaking industry recorded sluggish growth of 2.14 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2015, compared to 6.18 percent a year earlier. Gross margin in the first and second quarters stood at 11.32 percent and 11.35 percent, respectively. By June this year the number of enterprises in the papermaking industry dropped to 2,406, 197 fewer than at the end of December 2014. With the slowdown of China's economic growth, the papermaking industry has continued to contract.

A growing number of paper manufacturers are under pressure to seek more efficient, more cost-effective, and smarter production to remain competitive. The "Papermaking 4.0" concept caters to the demands of these companies and is set to redefine the industry.

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