ABB Upgrades Dormant Nordic Kraft Pulp Mill in Quebec With Quality Management System

June 21, 2020 by Alessandro Mascellino

Forest product company, Chantiers Chibougamau, partnered with ABB to upgrade its Nordic Kraft pulp mill in Lebel-Sur-Quevillon in northern Quebec.

The collaboration will see ABB provide Chantiers Chibougamau with the delivery and integration of a new drives system as well as the proprietary ABB Ability Quality Management System (QMS). The contract will also give Chantiers Chibougamau remote connection support for diagnostic and service activity from the ABB team.


Industrial Products for Lumber Production

Chantiers Chibougamau is a family business founded in the 1960s. Now employing nearly 600 people, the company produces lumber products, I-beams, beams, and columns of Nordic Lam glued laminated wood and Nordic X cross-laminated wood panels.

Some of these products are distributed by Chantiers Chibougamau’s sister company Nordic Structures, which expertise focuses on wood design and engineering. 

The products handled by Nordic Structures are then distributed in North America for residential construction and in Quebec for non-residential construction. Now, Chantiers Chibougamau has partnered up with ABB to enhance its automation efforts at the Nordic Kraft mill.


The ABB Ability Quality Management System

Following the new partnership, both ABB’s Web Imaging System (WIS) and Web Monitoring System (WMS) will be integrated into the company’s Ability System 800xA distributed control system (DCS), which will be installed at the Nordic Kraft facility.


An NP1200 scanner. Image used courtesy of ABB.


ABB will also provide the mill with a new NP1200 scanner, a device featuring online sensors for moisture, brightness, and ABB’s Basis Weight Sensor, which offers high levels of accuracy and reliability in basis weight measurements. The scanner also provides the detailed information needed for the optimal functioning of devices utilizing machine direction (MD) and cross direction (CD) weight control.

As part of the QMS package, a WIS installation with Web Imaging Dirt Count and a WMS with eight cameras will also be installed at Nordic Kraft. Both machines aim to provide operators with full visibility of the production line via remote software able to offer integrated online measurement, process and quality controls, and defect detection.


Upgrading Mills with Industrial Automation Products

Before the ABB upgrades, the Nordic Kraft structure had been dormant for 12 years. The facility was acquired by Chantiers Chibougamau in 2018, and the company decided to transform the old mill into a fully integrated digital site.

Because of this, Chantiers Chibougamau turned to ABB, who took on the task almost immediately. “The high value and quality of ABB solutions together with our stepwise approach and ability to complete a tight turnaround were the key to this order win,” explained John Roberts, ABB Market Segment Manager for Pulp and Paper. 

According to Roberts, the companies worked together to make sure Nordic Kraft would be optimized both in terms of quality control and ease of operability.

“Our suite of leading technology coupled with remote monitoring, diagnostic and issue resolution means Nordic Kraft can head off problems before they arise and optimize production to make more on spec kraft pulp,” Roberts added.


To find out more about the Nordic Kraft mill and its reopening process, you can head to the Chantiers Chibougamau website here.