TPT May 2022



ABB launches smar t factory solution for steel operations INDUSTRIAL technology company ABB has

launched a smart factory solution, which has been designed for safer, more autonomous and efficient steel melt shop operations. The ABB Ability™ Smart Melt Shop digitally connects all steel melt shop processes and

moving equipment to synchronise operations and improve production efficiencies, moving steelmakers towards autonomous operations. Tarun Mathur, global product manager, ABB, said: “We’re proud to launch ABB Ability™ Smart Melt Shop – the first of its kind in the metals industry, enabling steelmakers to digitally connect all processes and moving equipment in the melt shop, achieving synchronised operations and removing bottlenecks in production capacity. The digitalisation of core processes will drive new levels of productivity, safety and sustainability outcomes for the metals sector.” The solution, which has already been installed by JSW Steel Ltd in India is designed to increase melt shop productivity, save energy and improve employee safety, with payback within six months. It has been integrated into a wider expansion at Dolvi Works plant in Maharashtra state and is expected to increase the company’s EBITDA profit by around $2mn per annum through four per cent higher casting speeds, time savings of one working day per month and additional output equating to 24,000 tons a year. Based on advanced digital algorithms, the Smart Melt Shop offers real-time ladle tracking, automated crane scheduling and a predictive thermal modelling engine. The tracking engine follows ladle movement via cranes and transfer cars in real time. Radar and laser positioning technologies provide accurate visualisation while reducing hardware footprint and maintenance needs compared to radio-frequency identification (RFID) solutions. The automated crane scheduling includes job forecasting, route planning and automatic acknowledgement of jobs. The ABB Ability Smart Melt Shop will help increase superheat compliance to enable four to five per cent higher casting speeds to improve productivity and reduce arcing by five degrees Celsius per heat in ladle furnaces for increased energy and cost efficiency. The application uses all standard communications protocols, employs ABB’s multi-layered defence-in-depth approach to cyber security and is compatible with both ABB and third-party systems.

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