Papermaking of the future

Paper machines are among the mechanical engineering highlights simply because of their enormous dimensions and the complex production process. Only a few companies worldwide manufacture these machines, which are several hundred meters long; Voith in Heidenheim is the technology leader. The defortec design team, for example, has already developed a new, integrated system for catwalks and stairs that provide access to the plants for the paper division of the conglomerate. While this capital goods design always followed concrete specifications for feasibility, the "Papermaking Vision" project expressly demanded - as the name suggests - a conceptual approach with a visionary character. The "Voith Vision" design concept is intended to visualize what a paper production line of the future could look like, i.e. somewhere between a media-effective "show car" and an innovation concept for Industry 4.0.

Complex design vision

Using the existing "XcelLine" as a reference plant, the defortec team set about the work, which was both exciting and challenging. Exciting, because they were largely free of restrictive specifications - challenging, because the design naturally had to take into account the complex processes of the plant. In other words, the design concept had to offer visionary impulses on the one hand, but not be completely detached from the real requirements. And yet: Although this is a classic technical design, the concept offers emotional points of contact, especially on the User Experience level of the system operation.

In fact, the design concept is based on the definition of a novel interface design as well as the visual calming of the entire plant through integration and reduction. A line consisting of three linearly arranged subsystems: the wet end, the pre-dryer, and the dryer/night dryer with the tail group that reels and splits the web.


Futuristic interface

Simple, safe, intuitive - new concepts make controlling and monitoring paper production easier and more efficient than ever before. On a uniformly designed user interface, you have all the information you need from stock preparation to reel-up processes in view. The human-machine interface adapts to the user's individual task through a role-based operating concept. Each user can design his or her own workspace optimally for his or her requirements or fall back on a tried-and-tested layout. The preparation and presentation of relevant data and KPIs will play an increasingly important role. Self-configured dashboards and reports make this possible. No matter if in the control room, on office PCs or on mobile devices. All information is available to users wherever they need it. Distinctive SmartLights on individual components of the plant also ensure greater efficiency. They show at a glance the status of the respective machine - and, if necessary, whether operator intervention is required. Optimized illumination of important work areas reduces the potential for errors, facilitates maintenance work and is also part of the user-friendly operating concept.

The design study shows that even large-scale plants, whose appearance has so far been determined more by function, can gain noticeable added value through intelligent industrial design.

Die defortec-Leistungen im √úberblick

  • design with visionary claim
  • completely new interface concept
  • branding-optimized design
  • principles according to Industry 4.0