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Forests don’t grow in cities
More and more people gravitate toward living in urban areas. For a sector relying on forest-based raw materials like the fiber industry, this creates specific challenges.
Paper and board mills are increasingly built in rural areas in the emerging markets they serve. At the same time, the highly-qualified and skilled people needed to operate them, like many others, often prefer an urban lifestyle – and move away to the city. As urbanization gains momentum, identifying qualified paper makers and specialists in the vicinity of mills becomes more time-consuming and challenging. The result are ever-larger bottlenecks in local recruiting.
At the same time, paper and board mills need to be highly responsive to fast-changing production and market situations. Responsiveness is not only a matter of digital assets on site. It takes people with crucial skill sets and expertise for a mill to be responsive. The solution? To give highly-qualified and skilled personnel – wherever they are at sites across the globe – instant access to the mills where their expertise is needed.
Empowering qualified people – wherever they’re based
Working closely with Siemens experts, Stora Enso leverages latest digital technology – from cloud ecosystems to digital twins to augmented reality – to assign work based on skill, not location. This way, paper makers who want to enjoy an urban lifestyle can thrive in a career in the fiber-based bio-economy, or, vice versa, those who want to live in the countryside can have a career as valuable as a city career.
High retirement rates, low birthrates
In mills, the average age of key knowledge holders, especially operators and paper specialists, is rising. With experienced experts retiring and birthrates too low to replenish the talent pool, the fiber industry is facing significant risks: the loss of capacity and the loss of knowledge.
Generational change touches on crucial areas of Stora Enso's digital transformation – innovation and customer focus – which rely heavily on people, their creative skills and cognitive abilities. At the same time, digital skills and the ability to do well in fast-changing work environments are becoming critical qualifications in the fiber industry.
Shaping up for the generational change
Artificial intelligence, analytics, assistive systems, and fully-integrated automation are emerging as human helpers. Tapping into Siemens expertise in building fully-digital workspaces, Stora Enso is empowering paper makers to skill up and get the most out of these digital helpers. This approach prepares for generational change in a way that ties in closely with Stora Enso's digital strategy.
Digital helpers to safeguard crucial paper-making knowledge
Storing and sharing knowledge from diverse locations in the cloud, MindSphere serves as a tool in mitigating the knowledge loss associated with the wave of retirements projected over the next years. Analytics and AI can alleviate pressure on knowledge retainment, while integrated automation and virtual-reality solutions free up capacities, allowing skilled people to concentrate on more cognitive and complex tasks.
As the fiber business becomes more diverse and complex, it’s no longer the ability to hold on to old patterns that ensures success in the fiber industry but the ability to ride the wave of digital change. Stora Enso and Siemens, as trusted collaborators, have teamed up and accepted the challenge.
Digital technologies solving challenges from urbanization and generational change
Siemens and VTT: Building on a new digital ecosystemDigitalization and innovation are our passion. We at Siemens are your forward-thinking partner for digitalizing the industry and developing new technologies. To help digitalization grow more and to revolutionize the fiber industry, Siemens has formed many collaborations with a variety of companies like VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland.
Starting the dialog: Siemens and VTT to develop digital forest industry for a green future
As the forest industry changes, new types of processes are required. New types of fiber, biomass processing, and recycling are bringing new challenges to conventional processes. With the recently formed collaboration between VTT and Siemens, the digital forest industry and the fiber processing industry can expect a huge boost in the future. VTT's expertise in the forest industry combined with the innovative technology solutions from Siemens help ecosystem development reach a new level. By creating Bioruukkii, a pilot testing environment for research, the development and commercialization of our innovations will be realized in an agile manner. By offering its COMOS lifecycle software and the MindSphere connection, Siemens is providing IoT standards and information technology for this high-tech development environment.
Siemens technologies: COMOS and MindSphere
Siemens will provide technology solutions to the collaboration project, including COMOS process lifecycle management software and the open MindSphere IoT solution. In addition, Siemens will act as an international sales channel for solutions developed in the project. The COMOS lifecycle management software makes it possible to speed up the design process and increase and optimize process efficiency throughout the lifecycle in order to improve competitiveness.
The MindSphere IoT operating system allows data to be transferred between the process model and the actual process. The process model is a virtual copy of the actual process, a digital twin that optimizes, simulates, and utilizes process design data throughout its lifecycle. Data are typically owned by the process owner – the end customer – who also decides on sharing the data with other operators. As a fully open IoT solution, MindSphere is an easy-to-use platform for ecosystems capable of developing digital services, applications, and new business models.
The digital economy is an outcome economy where results or value are sold instead of products and services, and this will inevitably change the prevailing business models.
In smart operations, we have to go beyond traditional automation. We cannot solve the issues we’re facing with digitalization alone; we need a cloud solution, too. With MindSphere, Siemens offers a unique approach.Heinz Felder, Senior VP Investments & Energy at Stora Enso
Comprehensive cyber protection – over the entire lifecycleSiemens helps its customers take advantage of technological advances while minimizing exposure to risk in areas like cybersecurity. An optimal security solution can only be implemented if it's continuously updated to recognize new threats. Siemens addresses security issues both for the company internally and for its customers.
Minimizing risk in the area of cybersecurity means using comprehensive security mechanisms and integrating security activities into the entire lifecycle. Security considerations need to be taken into account during development and engineering as well as service and operational activities. With the concept of “defense in depth,” Siemens provides comprehensive security mechanisms that unite physical security, network security, and system and software integrity.