The environmental impact of the textile industry is a global problem, and means to solve it are being sought all the time. With the current methods, large quantities of energy, water, oil and chemicals are consumed during the different clothes manufacturing stages. There are plans to make textiles of the future both from entirely new types of material and by recycling textile fibres.
Research and development work is carried out in Finland as well. Since forests are an important natural resource for Finland, it makes a lot of sense to investigate the possibilities of wood fibres in particular. For example, MI Demo Oy, a joint venture of Metsä Group and Itochu, is building a pilot plant in Äänekoski, Finland, to produce textile fibres from pulp.
The pilot plant uses a new type of technology, and Insta Automation has been selected as the supplier of its control room system and PLC/SCADA process control system. Full understanding of automation and its technologies and comprehensive process knowledge are our core competences.
“It is important for us to participate in the construction of a next-generation environmentally friendly textile fibre pilot plant. We want to be a key operator in automation projects related to the bioeconomy and other fields of the process industry”, says unit manager Harri Häyhä from Insta.
A partner in decreasing environmental impact
Insta is a leading operator in several fields, and we are a trusted partner of many notable plant suppliers and end customers. We have worked with Metsä Group before, as we also implemented the instrumentation installations of the bioproduct mill that came into operation in 2017.
Metsä Group’s new pilot plant is located at the bioproduct mill, and production is scheduled to start at the end of 2019. The company has already been researching the manufacturing of wood-based textile fibres with a method using ionic fluids for around a decade. The intention is to prove the technical feasibility of the manufacturing method with the help of the unique plant. Pulp can be used to make ecological, durable and comfortable clothes.
“It is great to be able to participate in developing a new plant environment. We have a lot of experience with automation systems of different sizes”, Häyhä says.
“We want to help our customers enhance their processes and decrease the carbon footprint of their operations, as well as using renewable energy solutions.”