Process Control & Automation
Today’s steel production is driven by process optimization and efficient productivity. For a reliable and sustainable solution, the answer is digitalization. This includes an overall view of plant and process know-how from bottom to top and all along the value chain by structural connectivity and modular modernization design. Digital twins are the new standard for optimizations and simulations before going to operation. Data-based approaches, through-process optimizations and business intelligence will contribute to the overall goal. New dimensions in predictive condition monitoring, including intelligent sensors, will gain more production time. The vision will be a fully automated plant.
SSAB has implemented an internet-based radar system to acquire feedback on their furnace optimization and control system (FOCS). FOCS estimates the steel bars’ temperature, which is transformed to expansion speed. The radar system measures expansion speed with high accuracy (±0.1 mm/minute). Differences between measured and estimated speeds are used to adjust the FOCS. This leads to optimized heating of steel slabs in the senses of quality, productivity, energy savings and cost cuts. The radar system can increase accuracy by adapting to different steel sorts. The radar system can achieve new features, such as width measurement, centering and positioning.
A growing array of systems is enabling frontline workers to independently create and use augmented reality content. This paper will explain augmented reality technology for the metallurgical industry, focused on deployable systems, and how these systems can transform workforce capability in relation to knowledge, management, training, safety, etc.
It is vital to the success of any business to be aware of the technological disruptions that directly impact the industry in which it serves. In the ever-changing landscape of manufacturing, one of the current points of emphasis revolve around converging information technology and operational technology using the Industrial Internet of Things in order to achieve Industry 4.0.
AM/NS operates three walking beam reheat furnaces, originally installed by Tenova in 2010, to heat slabs for rolling into strip at its Calvert, Ala., USA, facility. AM/NS sought improvements in handling product transitions while still maintaining high production of quality product. In 2016, the level 2 system was upgraded to leverage improvements inherent in Tenova’s newest control algorithms and process model. This included the automation of special heating strategies to handle several new specialty products. Increased productivity, reduced variability in slab discharge temperatures, and reduced furnace energy consumption were realized. This paper discusses the upgrade project and resultant performance improvements.
As the metals industry prepares to meet the projected increase in local steel demand, many plants are upgrading the existing motor-generator (M-G) set electrical drive infrastructure to DC drive–based and AC drive–based solutions for main stand and coiler installations. This paper discusses the basics of M-G set, DC drive and AC drive technology from a general power distribution and power quality perspective. Discussion is presented for the evaluation of system capacity and limits along with solutions to comply with standards when replacing M-G sets with DC drive– and AC drive–based solutions. A technical discussion is presented for plant managers to develop a deeper understanding of the scope, optimization and risk of such an infrastructure upgrade on the electrical system of the plant.