04 July 2018
Zhuhai S.E.Z. Hongta Renheng Paper Co. Ltd. (HTRH) is a large paper manufacturer that produces coated paper, for example, for the food industry. The company is part of China Paper Group.
HTRH has been a user of Tieto’s Integrated Paper Solution (TIPS) system since 2015. Operations manager Forest Lin and IT manager Donald Tang are both extremely satisfied with TIPS, which is now been upgraded with the latest solution features, and is taken to more expanded and wider use at the mills. “Rather than just selling us solutions, Tieto solves our problems”, says Tang about our manufacturing execution system (MES).
TIPS is a comprehensive sales and production management solution for the pulp, paper, board and tissue industries, and is widely used in the pulp and paper industry worldwide.
Donald Tang and Forest Lin with Carsten Henke, Tieto, at Tieto Pulp & Paper conference in Lisbon in April 2018.
On the rise: raw material price and food packaging consumption
The trend is that demand of food packaging is increasing. Consumers want to buy their food in coated paper packages, and they buy it more often, but in smaller packs. At the same time, usage of wrapping paper is rising, and raw materials continue to get more expensive. The raw material currently comes from China, Brazil, South Africa, Russia and Canada. “We need to continuously improve our efficiency to maintain and further develop our current strong position in the paper and board market, which is changing all the time. Another important area we are always working on is environment protection, which is a high priority in our strategy”, Lin says. The Chinese government has high environmental protection standards for all mills.
Robots already in use, high hopes for AI
HTRH has been using robots for five years already in packaging, to replace part of the manual work. “Analysis of the existing data will be the first step for artificial use. It also seems that AI can be used in paper quality controlling, and the use of data-based technology for controlling should be more reliable than what is achievable by human eyes. There are certainly many other possibilities as well, we just don’t recognize them yet”, Tang explains. Both Lin and Tang see that the combination of AI and automation will improve efficiency and further reduce the need of manual work in the paper industry. All in all, big steps will be taken in this area in the next few years.
Tieto as the customer’s advisor
As our Chinese partner highlights, to succeed in the Chinese market an IT company needs to have local contacts and a local presence. One thing they expect from Tieto as a partner is the knowledge of how to use the data they already have for further improving efficiency. “We want Tieto to take the advisory role, also when it comes to benchmarking with other pulp and paper mills. Getting more visibility for the whole market and sharing information even more will help both of us”, Lin emphasizes in relation to long-lasting collaboration. He added that the Tieto PE Days 2018 event in April was a good example of that.