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WEG motors are providing up to 30 per cent energy savings in the operation of a large and sophisticated paper-making machine installed by Portucel-Soporcel at its industrial complex in Portugal.

The machine is part of a EUR550m (GBP470M) investment undertaken by Portucel-Soporcel at its industrial complex in Setubal, Portugal, which is the largest paper-making complex in the world.

In addition to being the leading company in Portugal in the pulp and paper sector, Portucel-Soporcel is also a major force in the global paper pulp market, with more than 92 per cent of its total sales exported to more than 50 countries worldwide.

With its most recent investments in a new factory and paper making machine, the company is looking to increase its international business further, to more than EUR1.2bn in 2010.

Central to Portucel-Soporcel’s plan for international growth, the paper-making machine has a width of 11.1 metres and produces approximately 500,000 tonnes per year of top quality non-coated paper (UWF).

This figure equates to 1,900 tonnes of paper per day, or 80 tonnes per hour.

In terms of speed, the machine has the capacity to process 1,800 metres per minute, the equivalent of 30 metres of paper per second.

The challenges of building the new factory and of building and installing the new machine were met by a host of engineering companies.

Among them, WEG was selected to supply the electric motors that are incorporated into the new paper-producing machine.

The fact that WEG operates the only manufacturing plant for electric motors in Portugal and has an extensive industrial support platform for Europe were major factors in the choice of the company as motor supplier for the project.

The scope of WEG’s supply was 650 low-voltage W21 motors and 16 medium-voltage 6kV motors, with capacities of between 0.37 and 2,800kW.

According to the company, the main factor in selecting WEG for the project was its proven record in manufacturing efficient, reliable and robust electrical motors that deliver low whole-life costs and high OEE.

WEGeuro also had available testing facilities that made it possible to carry out final tests and testing during manufacture.

The processing functions in the new Setubal factory are controlled by a dedicated Distributed Control System (DCS).

The system uses the most modern communication methods, including control of motors and instrumentation using the widely employed Profibus fieldbus network.

Control of the electrical system within the factory is achieved via a SCADA system.

The high levels of control and monitoring attained in the new Setubal ‘About the Future’ factory are achieved with much-improved levels of energy efficiency compared to the company’s previous projects.

According to the company, this is due to the large number (650) of WEG W21 high-efficiency motors used on the new paper-making machine.

In addition to energy saving, the WEG motors are also playing a major role in achieving maximum up-time at the paper-making facility.

One of the most critical aspects in paper production is continuity of operation; this can be achieved only with a reliable and robust information system that is fully integrated and capable of monitoring factory operations and interacting in real time with the various items of manufacturing equipment.

In this area, the WEG W21 range of motors offers a high degree of reliability and low maintenance, contributing to reducing maintenance costs.

The motors were delivered on time and met Portucel-Soporcel’s special requirements in terms of special paint finish and oversized bearings.

WEG Electric Motors

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