ABB wins project for Smurfit Kappa mill in Mexico

ABB has secured a contract to modernise Smurfit Kappa’s PM5 at its Cerro Gordo containerboard mill near Mexico City.

ABB will provide Smurfit Kappa with its ABB Ability™ System 800xA® distributed control system (DCS), accompanied by a comprehensive paper machine drives system, encompassing some of the market’s most advanced drives and motors meticulously designed to optimise PM5’s performance.

The project marks the first collaboration between the two parties in this region and signals a new era of operational efficiency for one of the packaging producer’s busiest machines in Mexico. The modernisation is expected to transform PM5 into a highly efficient and productive machine, capable of meeting the demands placed on it. Upon completion of the project, Smurfit Kappa is expected to realise a significant increase in production efficiency and output.

The ABB technology embedded in the drives, complemented by the control system, will help secure optimum speed and torque control of the paper machine’s sectional drives for years to come. This is achieved through a combination of factors such as a Direct Torque Control algorithm, which ensures precise control and allows for consistent quality and minimized waste over a long period of time. ABB guarantees a system uptime of 98.5% during a three-month period following the machine’s startup in 2025. This translates to a maximum downtime of only 33 hours within that timeframe.

“We are impressed by ABB’s deep understanding of the industry and their commitment to exceeding expectations,” said Mario Olvera, Engineering and Project Director, Smurfit Kappa Mexico. “We are confident that their expertise will be instrumental in maximising the performance and efficiency of PM5. This project represents a significant step forward for Smurfit Kappa in Mexico, and we look forward to a successful collaboration with ABB.”

“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, 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.”

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