Mohawk paper plant has complex data monitoring

July 14, 2008

A paper machine is roughly the size of a football field and houses a “microcosm of hundreds of different machines and controls working in unison,” says Paul Stamas, vice president of information technology at Mohawk Fine Paper, Cohoes, N.Y. Across five plants and additional converting facilities, the company tracks as many as 20,000 data points.

A mix of discrete, batch and continuous process operations call upon real-time controls and software from ABB, Rockwell Automation and GE Fanuc. An OSIsoft Pi process historian serves as a “giant octopus” that connects once-disparate data, and now trends and correlates time and events such as paper machine speed, ambient temperature and energy usage.

“Our plan is to feed condition-based data from the factory floor into Pi, and then into the Infor EAM system,” Stamas says, going live in June. He says that Mohawk, with revenues under $400 million, is the second-largest producer of wind power in U.S. manufacturing (behind much-larger Johnson & Johnson). “For both economic and socioeconomic reasons,” he says, the company is considering adding Infor’s new Asset Sustainability Edition.