Smurfit Kappa Mexico has awarded a significant contract to ABB for the modernisation of its Paper Machine 5 (PM5) board machine at its Cerro Gordo mill, located north of Mexico City.

The project marks the first collaboration between the two companies in this region and signifies a major upgrade for Smurfit Kappa’s operations.

The modernisation project aims to transform PM5 into a highly efficient and productive machine.

ABB said it will deliver its ABB Ability System 800xA distributed control system, along with a comprehensive system featuring advanced motors and drives.

This combination is expected to significantly increase production efficiency and output for Smurfit Kappa.

A key factor in Smurfit Kappa’s decision to select ABB was the company’s proven expertise in speed and tension control for paper machines.

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ABB said its solution will minimise downtime while ensuring optimal performance.

The new technology embedded in the drives, coupled with the control system, guarantees precise control and consistent paper quality.

ABB emphasised it guarantees a system uptime of 98.5% during the first three months following the machine’s 2025 startup, translating to a maximum downtime of just 33 hours.

Additionally, ABB’s Ability System 800xA and Remote Access Platform enable global, 24/7 customer support for Smurfit Kappa.

“Partnering with Smurfit Kappa on this momentous project will help ensure optimal equipment design, control performance, and seamless commissioning,” said Diego Navas, regional sales manager for ABB Pulp and Paper North America.

“A dedicated team of ABB specialists will work alongside our customer on the machine to deliver significant benefits, including increased production, improved efficiency, and reduced operational costs.”

The project goes beyond equipment supply, with ABB offering comprehensive engineering and commissioning services for a smooth transition.

This collaboration positions Smurfit Kappa to achieve its production goals and solidify its place in the competitive Mexican packaging market.