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Digital test site to transform Swedish paper industry

As the digitalization process becomes more concrete, industries need to adapt to new conditions. In the SALLPI project, RISE is working together with partners to digitalize physical test beds and support a digital transformation of the industry. One example of this can be found in Stockholm, where digital demonstrators are being applied to ‘FENIX’, RISE’s pilot plant within papermaking.

Swedish pulp and paper industries is currently going through a major change, with an increased need for flexibility. A large demand within the packaging sector means new needs to make production more efficient while also being able to work more innovatively. The on-going project SALLPI (Smart Automation Living Lab for Process industry Implementation) is enabling the development of test environments for different digital solutions to be used by the process industry. RISE’s paper machine FEX, part of the FENIX pilot plant, is one of the facilities being used in the project, an opportunity that comes from a close cooperation within RISE where paper technical competences meet digital expertise.

- The digitalization within pulp and paper industries is a very hot topic and we can already think of several project opportunities with the use of our pilot plant as a digital testing environment. Traditionally, our paper machine has been used for processing and product development related to publication paper, but the market is clearly changing in a different direction. Today, more and more people are talking about packaging and the need to try new methods and verify larger investments. This calls for a modern paper pilot plant which is flexible enough to meet the demands of the industry, says Pia Wågberg, Research and business developer at RISE.

Digitalization in the industry is a growing need but despite many of the upsides, it can be a big step to take before actual implementation happens. The project SALLPI which is currently in its second phase and is funded by Vinnova and the strategic innovation program PiiA, gives RISE the opportunity to create practical projects regarding industrial digitalization. This way, the industry can try out the digital toolbox without having to make large investments in new equipment or competences.

Concrete digital examples

Within the framework of SALLPI, two demonstrators are being used for the pilot plant in Stockholm. The first one enables a more efficient maintenance work by making use of AR and VR technology, as instructions can be visualized digitally. The second demonstrator is a cloud service which enables remote surveillance of the process. A 3D model of the paper pilot facility is also being created, along with methods regarding simulation, education and visualization.  

- By using the FENIX pilot plant in SALLPI, we can give the industry a hands-on opportunity on how to use digital tools in order to increase their competitiveness.  The ambition within the project is to develop a business model where a network of ”digital labs” enable companies to develop their products here before reaching the stage of commercialization, says Mattias Drotz, Researcher at RISE.

About PiiA

PiiA (Process Industrial IT and Automation) is a strategic innovation program which supports the digital transformation of the Swedish process industry. It is funded by Vinnova, Formas and the Swedish Energy Agency.

Mattias Drotz
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