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Wedge identifies factors that speed up production

Trimble’s Wedge helped to improve the productivity of Propapier’s ultra-modern corrugated board base paper mill PM2 in Eisenhüttenstadt, Germany.

Propapier, a subsidiary of the German Progroup AG, produces high-quality corrugated board base paper exclusively on the basis of waste paper. The company has two mills, PM1 in Burg and PM2 in Eisenhüttenstadt. With its annual production capacity of 700 000 tons, PM2 is the biggest corrugated board mill in the world.

Most modern automation technology in the world

For the first time, Propapier was introduced to Wedge Process Analytics System in 2009 when the PM2 mill in Eisenhüttenstadt was still under construction.

After the mill was completed and equipped with the most modern automation technology in the world, Propapier expressed its interest in further process optimization with Wedge.

“For Trimble, the most remarkable element in this project was the fact that the PM2 mill represents the most modern and best automation technology in the world. Still, Wedge was able to add technology to improve the profitability and productivity of PM2. Both for Propapier as a leading edge board maker and for Trimble as a unique software provider, this is truly a great joint achievement,” says Stefan Seidenath.

Finetuning during the trial period

During the trial period, Wedge applications were developed to suit Propapier’s needs. According to the customer service principles of Trimble, everything was done in a very close cooperation with Propapier.

“PM2 had a certain process area the company wanted to improve. During the trial period, Trimble team worked relentlessly to create Wedge applications addressing this particular area, describes Seidenath

The trial period was successful and Trimble managed to find the solutions needed to improve PM2 manufacturing process efficiency. Propapier placed the order for a perpetual Wedge license at the beginning of 2014.

Major benefits: Increased reliability and process improvement

“Wedge brought two major benefits for Propapier PM2. The first and the biggest benefit is the increased process transparency and reliability: the system ensures that the unknown factors can be detected rapidly. Through this, Propapier achieved the second benefit – process improvement which resulted in two new world production records,” says Götz Herold, Head of Paper Division, Progroup.

Goetz Herold, Head of Paper Division, Progroup, Germany
Trimble’s Wedge improves productivity in an ultra-modern corrugated board mill, Goetz Herold, Head of Paper Division, Progroup

Used by process specialists and operators

In Propapier PM2, Wedge is used by two user groups: process specialists and operators. The process specialists are highly skilled in the use of the system and they perform the majority of the process analysis. The operators, on the other hand, use Wedge as a helpful tool in finding the right settings for the machines they operate.

Propapier’s Process Side Engineer Uwe Müller says that Wedge is a powerful tool, which requires highly skilled users to maximize its benefits.

No process operator would perform their daily tasks without Wedge.”

“It took some time to become acquainted with the system, but after a while the key users and the operators got familiar with it. Now everyone knows how to utilize it, and today no process specialist or operator would perform their daily tasks without Wedge.”

Fluent co-operation and excellent customer service

Propapier’s representatives are highly satisfied with Trimble’s dedicated customer service.

“The co-operation with Trimble was fluent and every task was performed on a quick schedule. This is a good example of the way how a fruitful cooperation between two companies can work. We are very pleased with Trimble’s dedication in improving the processes of PM2 and solving the early stage problems detected at the beginning of the project. Due to this, in addition to the results of the project as a whole, we will continue the co-operation with Trimble also in the future,” summarize Herold and Müller.

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