Paper products powerhouse gets a better grip on its energy distribution and management with a space-saving enclosure solution
Founded in 1964, Quebec-based forest-products group Cascades Inc. is widely respected for providing sustainable, innovative and value-added solutions for many diverse packaging, hygiene and recovery needs.
The company employs approximately 10,000 employees who work in almost 80 facilities in North America.
With a well-defined mission to improve the well-being of people, communities and the planet by providing sustainable and innovative solutions that create value, Cascades specializes in producing, converting and marketing packaging and tissue products that are composed mainly of recycled fibres, including:
- Packaging Solutions. Eco-friendly packaging solutions from Cascades reflect the trends and challenges of the market.
- Hygiene and Tissue Solutions, designed for residential, commercial or professional needs, and made primarily with recycled papers.
- Fibre-based materials, comprising many effective, eco-friendly packaging solutions are made with liner board and corrugated medium (fluting paper), and specialty paper is made from recycled fibres.
In 2022, for the third consecutive year, Cascades has been recognized as one of the world’s 100 most sustainable corporations, according to the prestigious Global 100 index produced by leading global NGO (non-governmental organization) Corporate Knights.
At Cascades, they believe there is always a better way of doing things: a better way to package and protect products; a better way to manage residual materials; and a better way to create a cleaner world.
Hence, Cascades believes in working with tried and tested eco-friendly equipment of the highest quality that can conserve energy and resources in terms of materials, people, time and money.
Recently, Cascades was looking for an efficient solution to address motor-control, power-management and quality-control challenges at some of its plants.
The objective of this project was to succeed in maximizing the space in each of the panels with the use of a Motor Control Centre (MCC) solution.
Whereas previous projects used wall-mounted enclosures—with space at the bottom of the wall largely wasted—there was a constant need for more wall space in the existing electrical rooms.
In contrast, using the Motor Control Panel (MCP) solution maximizes the wall space that is often lacking in factories.
Cascades had a long-standing relationship with Jacmar, a leading industrial automation and controls distributor in Quebec, and one of Rittal’s oldest partners in Canada.
Having been using Rittal’s market-leading enclosures for the past 20 years, Cascades knows well that what sets Rittal apart from other industrial automation suppliers is their capacity to meet specific client needs reliably and quickly with scalable industrial automation solutions necessary to remain competitive and agile in a quickly changing marketplace.
Not only could Rittal provide market-leading enclosure solutions, but their team could also use the EPLAN power engineering and configuration to design the solution from start to finish. Cascades had worked on projects involving drives that are sometimes integrated into MCCs or wall-mounted enclosures.
For a recent major project, the panel and MCC solutions were not viable from a space availability point of view, so Cascades were ready to consider Rittal’s MCP solution, which saved more than 30 per cent of space in the electrical rooms.
Moreover, sourcing Rittal’s MCP solution from a local distributor like Jacmar provided Cascades with access to local stock, faster delivery, and convenient part replacement.
Jacmar carried out panel-mounting simulations with the most frequent drive in the project using EPLAN engineering software, which allowed them to confirm that two 25 HP drives could be assembled in an MCP solution, rather than just one drive that could be installed in the MCC Arcflash solution.
This made it possible to reduce the number of panels required for the project by half, thus obtaining savings in terms of space and costs.
Based on Rittal’s proven architecture of their freestanding TS 8 enclosure system, Rittal’s Motor Control Panel (MCP) with EPLAN’s design software, was the perfect solution to address Cascades’ motor control, power management and quality control challenges with multiple benefits including:
- speed of design and build,
- customization from standard parts,
- flexibility of design,
- cost-effective integrated solution,
- easy configuration with Rittal Power Engineering,
- CSA/UL-certified for use in Canada,
- Plug-and-play standard parts, and
- Configurable at all stages.
Designed, engineered and manufactured to meet the needs of Canadian specifiers and contractors, the modular design enables easy configuration and short delivery times.
Another factor that made it efficient for Cascades and Rittal to work together was the fact that they received direct support from the manufacturer at all stages of the build.
Rittal was able to build the enclosure, providing proof of concept along with CAD drawings, in their state-of-the-art Modification Centre in Ontario, so shipping to Quebec was not an issue at all, saving valuable transportation costs.
For large engineered industrial processes at Cascades, power distribution can be very complex.
Using a control panel is an efficient solution to include all the VFD and motor components required.
Each motor was connected separately to a VFD, with the starter individually mounted or contained in a larger control panel.
Rittal’s MCP offered Cascades the best of both worlds: the efficient component organization of a control panel, as well as for optimal distribution of current and decreased resistance.
Cascades was pleasantly surprised that it took just about a week for the power engineering, and about two months to build the solution from start to finish.
When translated into costs and ROI, the benefits were immediately apparent.
Cascades’ first project with Rittal has made it possible to optimize the space in the electrical rooms.
Another major project is in design and the use of the MCP solution would make it possible to add more new motors in the existing electrical room.
As Cascades technical advisor Marc Payeur recalls, “Rittal’s MCP solution checked off all the boxes for Cascades: the space and energy savings was in keeping with our search for greener, environmentally friendly solutions, and we also appreciated the overall efficiency of this modular, well-organized and integrated solution.”
André Bousette, president of Rittal Systems Ltd., adds: “The major advantage of Rittal’s MCP solution is the huge savings in engineering, lead, preparation and assembly time, as well as most importantly, the ability to configure the solution even after the order.
“We are pleased to have been able to deliver this solution to Cascades on time and within their budget,” Bousette concludes, “and we are confident that this will provide them with a more efficient way to produce their world-class packaging and recycling products and services.”