Voith wins AI Champions Award 2021

Voith has won this year’s AI Champions Award in the ‘large enterprise’ category for its newly developed AI application OnView.DigitalEye. For the first time, this innovation allows the quality of recovered paper to be analysed at the stock preparation stage, one process step before paper production.

Every year, the Ministry for Economic Affairs, Employment and Tourism of the state of Baden- Württemberg awards the accolade to outstanding innovations that contribute to a successful AI ecosystem with the help of artificial intelligence. Voith’s digital solution impressed the committee with its sustainability, innovative strength, area of application, and added value for the customer.

“With the award-winning modular system OnView.DigitalEye it is possible for the first time in the paper industry to assess the quality of the recovered paper immediately before the first step in paper manufacturing,” says Dr Linus Friedrich, Senior Manager R&D Technology & Digitalization at Voith Paper. “We can use the newly generated signals for example to increase the yield from recovered paper preparation and improve operational reliability. The innovation is thus another important element of Papermaking 4.0 and autonomous paper production.”

More than 70 percent of the paper produced in Europe is recovered from recycled paper. Nowadays, assessing the quality of the recovered paper is generally limited to an incoming goods inspection that either takes the form of a visual inspection or a random sampling process involving costly or labor-intensive solutions. However, the quality of the recovered paper is not known immediately before it is pulped for paper manufacture, which can result in a high degree of uncertainty for the process. Voith has now developed a solution to deal with this. OnView.DigitalEye is based on artificial intelligence, although it uses images from conventional colour cameras, which keeps the investment costs comparatively low. The centrepiece of OnView.DigitalEyes is an artificial neural network that leverages expert knowledge to learn how to assign recovered paper with a high degree of accuracy to its respective commercial grade. In combination with conventional image analysis, additional valuable signals are generated for recovered paper properties that can be used for efficient process control. The AI application OnView.DigitalEye is currently undergoing final trials in pilot installations at customers in Germany and abroad, and will probably be available from the middle of next year.

Join our Newsletter

Sign up to our weekly newsletters for updates on articles, interviews and events

Sign up