ABB offers sustainable solution for fashion industry

ABB offers sustainable solution for fashion industry

The company wins large-scale order for automation, electrification, quality control systems, motors and drives at world’s first commercial-scale textile recycling plant



has won a large-scale order for automation, electrification, quality control
systems, motors and drives from Renewcell for its new industrial textile
recycling production line in Sundsvall, Sweden. Renewcell is a fast-growing
Swedish sustaintech company specialising in textile-to-textile recycling.


ABB technology, a former SCA paper mill will be transformed into the world’s
first commercial-scale recycling plant for cellulosic textiles – created by
dissolving natural materials such as cellulose which is then regenerated to
create a wide range of fabrics. Renewcell is already working with several
fashion manufacturers, and in 2020, the company and H&M Group entered a
multi-year partnership to replace virgin fibers with recycled textiles in


contract between ABB and Renewcell marks an important milestone for the fashion
industry, as it has a major impact on the environment due to the production of
raw materials that are made into clothing. According to Renewcell’s preliminary
calculations, textile fibers made from its recycled raw material use
approximately 50 liters of fresh water per kg in production, compared to around
1,600 liters for cotton and 90 liters for non-cotton cellulosic material
viscose. With a maximum production capacity of 60,000 tons per year Renewcell’s
innovative approach could help to preserve around 90 billion liters of fresh
water, the equivalent of 36,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The process also
lowers waste, plastic pollution and both CO2 and chemical emissions. The use of
recycled fabric can help brands deliver on their promises to reduce their
negative impact.


ABB team proved their unique ability to deliver a complete automation and
electrification solution based on their products and services. They have the
knowledge, presence and experience that we need to keep this project on track,
both in terms of budget and schedule. We also share a joint vision when it
comes to resource efficiency, circular economy and sustainability so are
pleased to be working closely with them on this exciting project,” said Patrik
Lundström, CEO at Renewcell.


Swedjemark, ABB’s Chief Communications and Sustainability Officer, added, “As a
technology company, we at ABB believe that electrification and automation
technologies can play a key role in transforming industries and reducing their
environmental footprint. We are honored to support Renewcell in their exciting
journey towards increased circularity of the fashion industry – an ambition
that is fully aligned with our own efforts to systematically improve
circularity across ABB’s supply chain as part of our 2030 sustainability


Braun, Division President, Process Industries, ABB, said, “This contract allows
us to apply our deep pulp and paper expertise and project experience to help
Renewcell reduce its emissions and preserve resources, and ultimately change
fashion for the better. Until now, less than one percent of textiles were recycled
because the technology to recycle and create new textiles did not exist. This
is a significant development for the industry and we’re proud to apply our
quality control processes to the sustainable fashion movement.”


process for clothing recycling is similar to pulp drying, breaking down
cellulose in cotton and viscose textiles to recycle into new raw materials.
This similarity enables Renewcell to use the existing infrastructure, including
buildings and the supply and processing of raw water, waste water, compressed
air and electricity at the SCA mill. This will be coupled with ABB’s paper and
automation expertise, to manufacture recycled textiles that might otherwise
have gone to landfill or incineration.


brings its domain expertise from the pulp and paper industry, for example with
specific technology to control the pulp dryer – a piece of equipment that was
previously in use to dry raw wood pulp for paper and packaging – and quality
control knowledge specific to the process. The customer requested weight and
moisture measurement based on testing on a pilot machine.


the ABB technology that will be installed in the new plant is the
market-leading process control system ABB Ability System 800xA that will
provide operators with wide visibility and precise control from a central
command center to ensure that production is as resource efficient as possible,
with less material consumption and reduced waste. In addition, ABB’s PMC800
drive systems will reduce the cost of ownership over the automation lifecycle
and improve energy efficiency during production. ABB will also supply ACS880
variable speed drives (VSDs) and IE4 super premium efficient motors, an
efficiency level above the IE3 standard mandated by EU Ecodesign regulations.
Combining high-efficiency motors with VSDs can typically reduce energy
consumption in flow-controlled pulp and paper applications by 30 percent or


is committed to helping its customers reduce their emissions and preserve
resources. Last year, ABB released its Sustainability Strategy 2030 which
focuses on the areas where the company can make the biggest impact – reducing
carbon emissions, preserving resources and promoting social progress.


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