New system to drive metal manufacturer’s digital transformation

Posted on 21 Jun 2017 by Jonny Williamson

Microsoft and Tenova (Techint Group) have launched an integrated system based on advanced technologies in an effort to help iron and steel manufacturers boost performance, competitiveness and data-enabled insights.

Digital Transformation - IR4 technologies enable iron and steel manufacturers to boost performance and gather data for improving production - image in courtesy of Pixabay
Digital technologies enable iron and steel manufacturers to boost performance and gather data for improving production – image courtesy of Pixabay

Announced at industrial automation trade fair,  SPS Italy, the system is based on three core elements: sensors/actuators, decentralised intelligence, and supplier-customer interaction – with the objective of accelerating digital transformation and business productivity.

The combination of these three elements reportedly will allow plant machines to manage specific productive processes, as well as to provide the operators or AI algorithms with specific information on their own conditions – detected autonomously – through dedicated measurements and reporting with respect to specific events.

Decentralised intelligence, by evaluating the information derived from sensors, will explain in real-time the possible behavioural scenarios, providing functions of monitoring and predictive maintenance. The system may also make available the opportunity to reset specific configurations automatically or to modify functioning parameters to achieve the optimal configuration of the plant.

By making machines and plants more intelligent and connected, potential advantages of the system are described as: increased overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), reduced energy consumption, lower maintenance costs and downtime, increased flexibility in order management according to customers’ business plans and equipment conditions, and more effective overall plant control.

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