ABB Partners With ACA Systems to Offer New Online Porosity Sensor for Paper Mills

January 19, 2021

ABB has entered into a partnership with ACA Systems, the leading supplier of porosity sensors, to offer paper mill customers a proven technology that stabilizes the process to enable excellent roll quality when measuring online porosity. The single point ACA Permi sensor uses a continuous air flow method that is 50 to 100 times faster than other systems available on the market to reduce air permeance variations, enabling better product quality, optimized energy usage and reduced raw material costs.

The multiple advanced calibration features improve the accuracy of the measurements while also enabling faster grade changes, improving overall runnability. This accuracy means that the level of fines can be better controlled while monitoring the direct effect of refining, retention, broke addition and vacuum levels.

When stabilized air permeability is at the desired level, the roll is considered highest quality. In contrast to laboratory measurements that take 5 to 10 points from the produced roll, ACA Permi measures more than 10,000 points in real time and makes a sophisticated, statistical analysis on the quality of the roll.

Under the partnership, ABB will supply the user-friendly ACA Permi to customers as the porosity option within its own portfolio. It is designed to be used in paper mills with requirements for online porosity measurement as a standalone solution or as part of the quality control systems (QCS) package.

It serves ABB’s L&W installed base by providing a replacement for the soon-to-be obsolete Porolog, while augmenting the current QCS offering with the industry-leading porosity measurement that is easily integrated into the QCS for data, display and control. When combined with QCS, it can leverage the ABB Ability™ Quality Management System with its System 800xA backbone. It also has potential to be installed and used with ABB’s remote support.

“Our customers have reported faster grade change times of between 15 percent and 50 percent when controlling the roll quality with ACA Permi. This is a major benefit for operators focused on minimizing production loss and maximizing return on investment,” said Vesa Kukkamo, CEO of ACA Systems.

The sensor offers a wide measurement range that usually requires one single calibration, so there is typically no need to change parameters or physical parts for various grades. Plus, the automatic cleaning cycle and smart construction make for easy maintenance and installation. The measurement signal is also compatible with all mill-wide systems and cloud services.

“ACA was strategically chosen for its leadership position, attained through extensive expertise in this space, and abilities to provide continuous measurement and strong service capability. The ACA Permi delivers more accurate, faster measurement results and therefore a higher quality output, which we know is crucial for our customers,” said Ad de Brouwer, Product Manager at ABB.

ACA Permi’s unique measurement head design, tailored with special coatings for challenging applications such as decor paper, provides excellent contact with the web and eliminates the leakage of air, dust and other disturbances. Both vacuum and air blow methods are available, resulting in a very high correlation between the ACA Permi and any lab standard.

The sensor suits a wide range of paper grades, including sack paper, MG-kraft paper, cigarette paper, security paper, decor paper, photo base paper, thermal paper, carbonless paper, saturating paper and base paper before coating.

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