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ABB: Implementing a Holistic and Robust Cybersecurity Approach

“ABB’s approach has been to create a common, modular, and scalable infrastructure and then develop Industry 4.0 solutions within this architecture.”

ABB is a leading global technology company that energises the transformation of industries to achieve more productivity. The solutions provided by ABB enable customers to reap the benefits of Industry 4.0 including cutting-edge robotics and digitalisation technologies, helping the country become a resilient high-tech manufacturing economy in the world. As a pioneer of quality control systems’ scanning technology, ABB provides data analytics to papermakers, showing detailed product quality in real-time.

In an interaction with Paper Mart, Mr. Pravin K Singh, Associate Sales Director, Pulp & Paper (Process Industries Division), ABB India Ltd. talks about the implementation of Industry 4.0 by the pulp & paper industry and the contribution of ABB in this regard.

Paper Mart: How according to you, has the implementation of Industry 4.0 has grown over the years? Do you think that the pulp & paper industry is ready to adapt to this evolving industrial revolution?

Pravin K Singh: The global pandemic has been an influential catalyst in forcing a traditionally hands-on industry to embrace digital faster than anticipated, creating a swing in the way mills operate and opening more opportunities for remote support and services and most notably commissioning.

This shift could become the silver lining of the pandemic. According to a recent McKinsey & Co study, digitalisation, automation, and AI have the potential to deliver additional global economic activity of around USD 13 trillion by 2030, which we believe will be fuelled by data that forms the foundation of sustainable results.

However, data is only as good as the strategy behind it, including the collection and validation methods used. The mills should look for digital providers whose solutions are grounded in the real world of shop floor operations, who know the industry as well as digital to provide real, long-lasting value. This will help make the data-driven applications more accurate and useful in optimising the pulp and paper process.

PM: What would be the impact on production efficiency and ROI with the implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies in the manufacturing process?

PKS: Digital solutions that leverage not just technologies, but also data, automation and process expertise have the biggest potential to make an impact. Also, ROI can quickly be achieved. For example, we have found with our recently released Paper Quality Performance, the improvements in reduced rejects alone would cover the cost of the subscription 1-5x over. In terms of efficiency, a lot of our solutions focus on making on-spec paper at less cost, such as Strength Virtual Measurements which give insight into the strength during the papermaking process to proactively make adjustments to keep targets cost-effectively in spec.

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PM: How does ‘ABB Ability’ enable paper mills to optimize their operations and increase profitability?

PKS: For organisations operating in the pulp and paper industry, collaborative efforts will accelerate digitalisation within their internal vertical value chain, as well as with their horizontal partners along the supply chain. This in turn will fuel innovation, improve customer interaction, and increase operational efficiency. All our Performance Services are built on the ABB Ability™ platform: our unified, cross-industry digital platform — extending from device to edge to cloud.

The examples of performance services include Paper Machine Drives Performance that provides online performance monitoring and predictive alerts; Sheet Break Performance that provides advanced warnings, fast root cause analysis and ideal operating parameters; and a suite of Virtual Measurements.

These services include a broad range of pulp and paper-specific solutions focused on equipment availability, production output, product quality, and cost to produce. The examples of performance services include Paper Machine Drives Performance that provides online performance monitoring and predictive alerts; Sheet Break Performance that provides advanced warnings, fast root cause analysis and ideal operating parameters; and a suite of Virtual Measurements that use machine and process inputs to provide continuous online calculations more frequently than lab measurements. These are only a few examples of ABB Ability Performance Services, which have been developed for both paper and pulp mills based on customer needs.

PM: Cybersecurity is an increasingly important requirement for Industry 4.0. In what ways does ABB address it?

PKS: A cyber security breach in pulp, paper, packaging, or tissue mill can bring production to a halt, leading to serious financial losses. It can also cause harm to workers, equipment, and the environment, destruction of data, and much more. And with the increase in Ransomware attacks, which have underscored that any industry that is sensitive to downtime is an appealing target to criminal organisations, increasing focus on cybersecurity should be a bigger priority. ABB recommends a defense-in-depth approach. We have addressed cybersecurity at multiple levels. ABB has designed security into its solutions as well as created a security team to test and verify the security design of the solutions. ABB experts work together with customer teams to create a secure IT/OT infrastructure including leveraging outbound communication utilising a minimal number of firewall ports. Data is encrypted both in transit and at rest. Single sign-on user authentication along with limiting access to only what is needed based on authorization level. Overall, ABB implements a holistic and robust cybersecurity approach.

PM: Due to COVID resultant lockdowns, the pulp and paper industry recently shifted its focus on automation & remote commissioning — how does your solution simplify their operations?

PKS: Even prior to the pandemic, ABB has offered solutions that expedite remedy such as our previously mentioned ABB Ability™ Performance Services suite. These remote-enabled, software-assisted services use the Collaborative Operations service delivery model to connect mills to technology, analytics and expertise. Together customers and ABB can troubleshoot and enable predictive maintenance actions to improve runnability and the reliability of drives performance.

(BGPPL), in Ballarpur, India saw successful remote commissioning of the Induction XP Plus Profiler system on PM3… We’ve also completed large-scale remote commissioning of winder drives, upgrading and commissioning PM5 installations at ITC’s Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division.

From a project delivery side, we have also been agile at meeting needs in these pandemic conditions. Take for example two critical projects that were recently completed through remote commissioning. Bilt Graphic Paper Products Limited (BGPPL), in Ballarpur, India saw the One is the successful remote commissioning of the Induction XP Plus Profiler system on PM3, marking the first time that an ABB CD control engineer has provided remote commissioning support for an upgrade of this kind. The modernization project was successfully and seamlessly delivered due to the world-class domain expertise of the team. We’ve also completed large-scale remote commissioning of winder drives, upgrading and commissioning PM5 installations at ITC’s Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division mill in south-central India.

Also Read: BILT Graphic Paper Products Completes Remote Commissioning of ABB’s Induction xP Plus

PM: What are your short-term and long-term plans — specific to the pulp & paper industry? What is the future of Industry 4.0 – smart manufacturing, and automation in the Indian pulp & paper industry?

PKS: ABB’s approach has been to create a common, modular, and scalable infrastructure and then develop Industry 4.0 solutions within this architecture. The result has been the creation of a wide range of impactful solutions that are both scalable and cost-effective ranging from a single solution to an enterprise-wide approach. Going forward, ABB will be heavily engaged in smart factory concepts and autonomous operation.