Digitalisation Automation

Data science in the paper and Print 4.0 industry

By Igor Karlovits, Pulp and Paper Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The EU has established a rather high goal of 20%, for the ratio of the value-added value of production. The paper and graphic arts companies as a service-based industry and in some applications as printed electronics services are also prone to adapt to the changing business landscape which is emerging. The paper and printing industry is under pressure due to decreasing consumption of all paper grades, packaging papers excluded [CEPI16], which demands a change of technology to short-run production, production optimisation or innovation into new products. Also, the profit margins are minimal, and the cost reduction of just 1% in paper production can bring several million Euros. On the other hand, implementing new technology and innovation is quite expensive for small and middle-sized printers and package converters. One of the viable solutions is to try to optimise production like the mass production of paper mills. Based on a PWC [PWC16] industry survey, the forest, paper and similar industries are currently automated around 38% with a predicted rise to 72% in the next five years. Besides automatization and other management tools available for decades (SixSigma, Lean), now it is possible to use «redressed» problem solving and analytical tools from the universe of data (Fig. 1). These tools are suitable for all optimisation, decision making and problem-solving challenges which can improve productivity and reduce costs.