Breaking wood down into pulp used in the paper making process involves controlling and monitoring boilers, evaporators, lime kiln and screening systems. All is done with integrated control systems that are networked through machines, PCs, and human operators. At Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s Thilmany Mill in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, older systems are still the backbone of the plant and are in operation thanks to maintenance and attention from Trident Automation.
As legacy systems mature in manufacturing environments, having access to replacement parts and experience with the platforms becomes mission critical. For Joe Ball, process controls technician, three power and two recovery boilers used in the paper pulping process are on a Siemens APACS+ legacy system.
“Some of these systems are getting to be 25 to 30 years old,” Ball said. “It’s hard to get parts, but we also have to provide a path forward to upgrade from an older Windows platforms and Trident provides that service with APACS OS.”
“Regular maintenance is key for older DCS systems”, according to Trident CEO Jason Hurst.
“Our biggest challenge is convincing our customers of the value of preventive maintenance,” Hurst said. “It’s the heart of manufacturing because if there are no issues with the DCS, the plant can continue making product and increase productivity.”
Additionally, Ball has trusted Trident to provide expertise and training on the legacy system.
“Our workforce is young right now,” said Ball. “Any tech support needed on an older system that we can’t figure out in-house, we just call Trident. They always figure it out in a few hours either over the phone or in person.”
For more information on how Trident Automation can assist with your needs, contact [email protected].