System Can Pay for Itself in Single Blackout

International Paper (IP), one of the world's largest paper and forest products company, decided to implement a comprehensive power demand management system at its Riegelwood, N.C., paper mill. Plant-crippling power blackouts caused by fluctuations in power supply levels could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost production and equipment damage, according to company officials.

06/01/2001


International Paper (IP), one of the world's largest paper and forest products company, decided to implement a comprehensive power demand management system at its Riegelwood, N.C., paper mill. Plant-crippling power blackouts caused by fluctuations in power supply levels could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost production and equipment damage, according to company officials.

They believe that the new system will pay for itself with the prevention of a single power outage. "With each blackout costing us so much in repairs and/or lost revenues, one blackout a year was devastating," explains Dwight Collins, P.E., process control engineering team leader at IP. "We realized that the current antiquated load-shed system needed to be replaced with a system that would provide us with enhanced security against power-level fluctuations and blackout situations."

IP's new integrated solution will have power-monitoring and load-shedding capabilities that will help the plant avoid facility-wide shutdowns due to power failure. The system's load-shedding capability balances the power supply and draws additional power as needed from on-site power generators or the local utility. A similar solution was implemented in 1999 at IP's plant in Mansfield, La.

The new system uses power meters that can provide power monitoring, programmable controllers and specialized energy-management software. Facility engineers can monitor and collect energy usage information and help achieve proactive demand management. Voltage, power and other electrical data collected from the plant floor is communicated to a central controller, which monitors and controls energy consumption and provides operators with an overview of the power distribution status.

From Pure Power, Summer 2001.





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