Success story: well monitoring

Automation in a paper mill

Manufacturing paper requires a significant amount of water. As this water is taken from wells and rivers it affects the balance of water in the region. That is why both the quantity of water that is taken and the water levels in the wells have to be monitored accurately. Together with the JUMO Engineering team a paper mill in Fulda has devised an automated solution for monitoring groundwater wells.

Task

The paper mill in Fulda is a medium-sized family business which exclusively processes waste paper. It has two sites which process over one million tonnes of raw paper for corrugated boards every year. During the paper manufacturing process, water is used to dissolve and clean the waste paper. It is also used as a transport medium for the pulp that is recuperated.

The mill has four groundwater wells at the Fulda site, which serve as the water source. Three observation wells are used to measure the groundwater level. To verify that the amount of water that is taken does not harm the balance of water in the region a report of the hourly water level in the wells has to be provided to the district president in Hessen every month. The hourly, daily, and yearly flow rates of the pumps in each of the wells also have to be recorded and monitored as the total of these flow rates is not allowed to exceed a certain limit value either. Furthermore, other than recording, monitoring, and evaluating the values in the wells, bidirectional communication to the super ordinate control room was also to be integrated.

The JUMO mTRON T measurement, control and automation system with plant visualization

Solution approach

All these requirements were met with the JUMO mTRON T automation system, the JUMO dTRON 308H compact controller, and JUMO level and flow sensors. Each well was linked to its own interface in the JUMO mTRON T system. JUMO dTRON 308 controllers were built into the well systems themselves to measure the levels and flows as well as to determine the speed of the pumps. The captured measurement data is saved and processed in the JUMO mTRON T multifunction panel. Daily, weekly, or monthly quantities can be very easily determined from a flow rate through provided integrator functions. Monitoring the limit value can also be carried out with very little effort using predefined functions.

Furthermore, all of the measurement data is saved in the mTRON T system in a tamper-proof manner. This data can be extracted automatically using the JUMO PCC communication software and saved in an archive on the network. Furthermore, automatic reports can be created individually according to customer requirements. These can be stored in such formats as PDF, XLS, or text files in a predefined folder structure on the network. Sending the documents directly by email is also possible.

Project outcome

When implementing the project the paper mill not only put their trust in JUMO products but also in the experience of the JUMO Engineering team. It developed the application right from the PLC programming – including the visualization – through to the creation of the automatic report.