ITC PSPD’s Shailendra Singh focuses on virgin paperboards and specialty paper products

With four world class manufacturing facilities at Bhadrachalam, Bollaram, Kovai and Tribeni the numbers are staggering with one million TPA production capacity. This was the take away for the thousand delegates at the Tata Theatre, NCPA during BMPA’s Print Summit.

16 Feb 2023 | By Aditya Ghosalkar

The highlight of Singh's presentation during the Print Summit was how the Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division (PSPD) has been leveraging its manufacturing excellence program since 2002 and institutionalised a continuous improvement culture.

The group’s integrated approach focuses on assets, people, processes, product and place concurrently. As a result it targets elimination opportunities (losses/ wastes) that hinder value creation to customers. The focus is on defects, overproduction, waiting time, transportation, inventory, motion, extra processing and under-utilised talent. Digitalisation was able to automate several repetitive tasks.

Singh said, in terms of process, PSPD saw the adoption of business excellence/TPM to streamline several processes over the last two decades; as well as robust project identification methodology. He added how in technology, PSPD had ensured best in-class factory automation as well as limited instances in downstream conversion operations. New age technologies like IoT and Big Data and robotics plus AR and VR plus simulation could be explored

In terms of data it existed in DCS/PLCs/MES/ERP systems; in silos and process data from DCS was not available after 30 days. Here, he said, "Disparate data sources to be integrated and used effectively.

Workforce was trained in statistics and six sigma; also an attempt to ensure moderate to high change management capability. Singh said, "The key was a need to get external support on new age technologies and develop internal capability over the years."

He pointed out the challenges to adopt Industry 4.0 and digital technology adoption in our industry. He said, other than cost, there were limitations in data infrastructure. Also there was non-availability of historical data plus disparate and multiple data sources; and not having right data at the right time.

Singh highlighted the challenges for an organisation with seven paper machines, 16 product families, 30 grades, 50 sub grades and thousand specs. And how technology utilisation holds the key.