ABB Deploys Manufacturing Execution System (MES) for Mill Digitalization in Norway

December 19, 2020 by Alessandro Mascellino

Norway’s largest newsprint producer, Norske Skog Skogn, selected ABB to supply a comprehensive new digital platform for its newsprint mill.

Following the beginning of the partnership, ABB will deploy its Ability Manufacturing Execution System (MES) for pulp and paper at the Norske Skog Skogn facility by April 2021.


Norske Skog Skogn

The Norwegian company focuses on the industrial production of newsprint and magazine paper. The firm counts six paper mills across Europe Australasia. According to their site, they’re responsible for the global production of nine percent of newsprint and six percent of magazine paper, respectively.


The Norske Skog Skogn mill site. Image courtesy of Norske Skog.


The Norske Skog Skogn facility is the only newsprint producer in Norway. Founded in 1962, the facility became operating in 1966 and has since been one of Europe’s largest newsprint mills.

The mill counts 348 employees, features its port facilities, and operates a twice-a-week regular line to both the UK and Continental Europe. Norske Skog Skogn operates under the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by world leaders in September 2015.


The ABB Ability Manufacturing Execution System

Designed to improve manufacturing productivity, ABB’s Manufacturing Execution System (MES) is part of its Manufacturing Operations Management. MES may provide companies with orchestration and synchronization capabilities related to all the entities involved in the manufacturing process.

The ABB machines, developed for pulp and paper facilities, aim to improve mill operations while increasing production efficiency and product quality.As part of the new partnership, ABB will also provide Norske Skog with its Process Data Management, part of its Plant and Enterprise-level applications for pulp and paper. MES will then be integrated within customers’ automation and enterprise resource management systems.


A graphic of ABB’s MES. Image courtesy of ABB.


ABB’s additional tools to Norske Skog comprise of quality data management, production planning, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) modules, warehouse management, decision support, and diary production management.


Moving Closer to Mill Digitalization

The new digital platform will enable Norske Skog to have more visibility of the production process and overall quality and production improvement. The ABB’s Diary module will provide data collection, structuring, and analysis tools to help Norske Skog manage workflows and share information across shifts. 

The tool can also be paired up with the OEE module to identify ways to increase mill productivity.

All product modules can be operated via a web-based user interface that can be accessed remotely and enable data sharing across traditional operative silos.

“The new digital platform offered by ABB represents an important strategic step for our operation at Skogn, not least when considering the flexibility the new system represents in terms of our future strategic approach for the mill,” said Bjørn Einar Ugedal, Mill Manager at Norske Skog Skogn. 

The new collaboration will provide Norske Skog with end-to-end data management, enabling deploying other applications and creating an entirely digitized mill.

“We are confident that ABB will deliver according to our expectations, and we have so far only a positive experience from working with them in the ongoing execution phase,” Ugedal concluded. 

The full integration of ABB solutions within Norske Skog Skogn will see the former provide five years of support as the mill starts its journey towards digitalization.