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Hannover Messe 2018 : Expert Talk on digitalization in the fiber industry

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As part of the press conference held prior to the Hannover Messe 2018, the practical implementation of the concept of Industrie 4.0 in digital enterprise was presented in six expert talks for selected industries. In our series of specialist topics, this article presents the subject of “Digitalization in the fiber industry – the changing world of fiber”. The relevant presentations are available to download.

What will the fiber industry look like in the future ? How will the issue of replacing fossil-based resources with renewable raw material be resolved ? What opportunities does digitalization offer, including the cloud, exploitation of data (converting big data to smart data) and comprehensive process documentation ?

Increased transparency and high plant availability through digitalization

The fiber industry is undergoing a fundamental change. On the one hand, increasing digitalization has led to a reduction in the demand for graphical paper products. On the other, the demand for sustainable packaging and sanitary products is growing due to the boom in e-commerce and a shift in international demographics. At the same time, more and more businesses are focusing on replacing petrochemicals with renewable energy sources and biomass-based materials in order to reduce their ecological footprint. In the future, all materials derived from fossil-based energy are expected to be replaced by renewable and sustainable raw materials. This requires more flexibility, new production processes and greater transparency within plants. This can be achieved through closer integration of digital systems with the processes, drive technology, energy distribution and automation.

Extensive analytical tools through connection to MindSphere

As part of the theme “Digital Enterprise – Implement now”, Siemens is offering the process industry an asset information management system in the form of Comos and Simit as well as a simulation platform ; these make available bidirectional process data and evaluations, and help the user to make corresponding use of the captured data (big data). The digital ecosystem for fiber is based on the open, cloud-based IoT (Internet of Things) ecosystem MindSphere which already has many partners connected to it. Data analytics tools such as Control Performance Analytics (CPA), the MindApp Sipaper Drive Performance Analytics and the information management system XHQ are also available to users.