ABB officially opened a global research and development (R&D) center for the pulp and paper industry in Dundalk, Ireland.
The new multi-million-dollar ABB Dundalk R&D Centre is at the heart of ABB's automation and digital offering for the sector and will be home to the ongoing evolution of the ABB Quality Control System (QCS). New ideas and products will be piloted and managed into the suite of applications for improved quality in the complex world of papermaking, where manufacturers often struggle to balance ever-changing variables to produce paper to customers' particular specifications. This will include solutions for measuring, adjusting, optimizing and controlling quality as the paper web makes its way through the paper machine to form the end-products, including paper and board.
ABB's vision for the center is to develop solutions that respond to global trends and can meet the sustainability goals of the rapidly evolving industry. A new QCS, for example, has the potential to reduce annual waste (production losses) by two percent or more per paper machine. This can impact a mill's sustainability goals by also reducing annual emissions for each machine by the same two percent, or 1.1 kt CO2, using the assumption of 57 kt CO2 emissions for a typical paper/board/tissue machine.
This project is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland.
The center will take advantage of modern technologies such as additive manufacturing (3D printing), collaborative robots and Augmented/Virtual Reality for training and field service delivery to better meet the needs of ABB's pulp and paper development team. The site will also include a new training hub that will provide skills development support for ABB and customers alike, enabling more cross-industry partnerships and collaboration.
Dundalk is one of ABB's four main Pulp and Paper R&D centers globally, along with Bangalore, Singapore, and Stockholm. It will also serve as a sales and service office for ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation, who have had a presence in Ireland for 25 years. In Ireland, ABB has around 180 employees spread across five locations.
ABB is a technology leader in electrification and automation.