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Technology Provider of the Year

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Russula

Russula, which designs water treatment solutions for the global steel industry, recently completed a project at Big River Steel, Osceola, Ark., where it installed a system to treat water from various facilities through to the finishing end of the plant.

Russula’s main design objective was to build a water treatment plant that was both efficient and ecological. The company focused on three design objectives: lower energy consumption, minimize chemical dosing and provide an easy-to-operate and maintain water treatment plant. To minimize the environmental impact, the water treatment plant was designed to comply with strict local legislation and reuse as much of the water as possible before discharging it permanently into the Mississippi River.

Russula’s water treatment solution provided substantial capital and operating benefits to Big River Steel. Streamlined work processes during the engineering, supply, delivery and installation period enabled Russula to deliver the complete water treatment solution in just 14 months.

Engineering developed in 3D for the civil works and piping, together with the supply of prefabricated piping helped expedite construction and lower costs. Operating benefits are realized through low-voltage motors, variable frequency drives and energy-saving equipment.

Water is an essential element of steelmaking and finishing for cooling, descaling, dust scrubbing and other operations. The water treatment plant is essential for Big River Steel to achieve sustainable production and comply with environmental regulations.

The most effective way to reduce water intake is to reuse it. Although Big River Steel’s water treatment plant has a high volumetric flow rate, very little water is actually consumed.

Primetals Technologies - Arvedi:ESP

Primetals Technologies’ Arvedi endless strip production (ESP) process produces hot-rolled coils directly from liquid steel in a continuous and uninterrupted manufacturing process.

The line begins with casting a thin strand that is subsequently rolled to an intermediate thickness of 10- to 20-mm in a three-stand-high reduction mill positioned at the end of the caster. After reheating in an induction heater, rolling of the transfer bar to the targeted end thickness of 0.8- to 12.7-mm is performed in a five-stand finishing mill followed by laminar strip cooling.

Strip cutting is then carried out by a high-speed shear immediately prior to coiling to coil weights of up to 32 tons. Arvedi ESP was jointly developed by Acciaieria Arvedi and Primetals Technologies’ predecessor Siemens VAI Metals Technologies.

With ESP, the possibility of an uninterrupted casting-rolling process is available for the first time, offering several advantages. Included among these are: lower investment due to the compact layout (180-m plant length vs. more than 450-m for other plants); lower operating/conversation costs through less alloying, increased yield, lower energy consumption and emissions and more stable operating conditions, and the realization of greater profit through ultra-thin, hot-rolled strip at full width and full productivity with uniform strip quality from head to tail.

Although it was nearly impossible to produce hot-rolled coils with thicknesses down to 0.8-mm, ESP allows production of such ultrathin, high-quality strip at full productivity and at the lowest operational costs, leading to higher market prices.

With Arvedi ESP, almost the same grade mix as those rolled on conventional hot strip mills can be produced but in thinner gauges at lower costs and with no extra cold rolling required for many applications.

Primetals Technologies - Metallurgical Services

With a focus on lowering ownership costs across a plant’s lifecycle, Primetals Technologies has prioritized investing in its service centers since its founding in 2015, two years after its predecessor Siemans VAI purchased two neighboring locations in Cortland and Warren, Ohio, (known as PT Cortland/Warren).

Today, these facilities, located six miles apart, provide rolling mill services for hot strip and cold rolling mills, aluminum plants and long rolling mills throughout the United States. Committed to maximizing mill utilization, the centers provide maintenance, spare parts, repair or reconditioning services and have in the recent past added capabilities for on-site manufacturing of long rolling guides and mandrels for coils in cold and hot strip mills, other OEM-specific parts and complex assemblies for both long and flat rolling mills. These and other additional services have contributed to the site’s overall growth of 54 percent from 2013 to 2016.

Mill managers turn to Primetals Technologies service centers because repairs are typically far less expensive than the outright replacement of a critical part. For example, the PT Cortland/Warren complex was able to rebuild seized chocks servicing an aluminum hot mill, thus avoiding scrapping the chocks. The rebuild shortened the downtime to six weeks rather than the anticipated 22- to 24-week lead time required for the purchase and installation of new chocks.

Another long-standing customer was able to work with PT Cortland/Warren and Primetals Technologies personnel from Linz, Austria, to resolve functional issues involving a hot mill mandrel and roll polishers.

In addition to standard services such as heavy machining, weld repair and roller-bearing reconditioning, the center’s business has grown by expanding services. The installation of a hydraulic HAGC testing area has enabled PT Cortland/Warren to add that service.

New complex machining equipment enables the staff to work on parts of any size and complexity. Investments in new measuring equipment replaced previously manual measurements on incoming materials for service.

Quintiq

Quintiq was developed based on the understanding that most of the functionality required for providing best-of‐breed planning and scheduling software is generic across different customers and industries, but that each customer also has unique capabilities, strengths and opportunities that must be accommodated.

Quintiq’s core software provides all the benefits of a standard, commercial off‐the-shelf software package, such as upgradeability, stability and performance. The company’s technology is unique, however, in that it also delivers unparalleled configurability, allowing Quintiq to provide a custom solution for every customer.

In pursuit of becoming the market leader in planning and optimization technology, Quintiq invests between 15 to 20 percent of its’ annual revenue into the core software and supporting industry solutions. It holds records in optimization for multiple puzzles, including production scheduling.

Quintiq’s approach to work order planning has been refined over the past 15 years and features telescoping periods (daily periods in the near future, weekly periods later), support of detailed input for the short term and rougher input for the long term, operation lead times, which may be configured for higher or lower accuracy, and increased focus on resources that are important for a particular supply chain.

This input is entered into a linear programming optimizer that plans all orders simultaneously. The optimizer will generate an executable plan quickly and will keep improving that plan toward optimality for as long as it is allowed to run.

The Quintiq approach has been tried and tested with some of the largest aluminum and steel producers in the world. As a result, the standard CP IS optimizer is warranted to plan up to 500,000 operations. For these cases, the optimizer can reach the point where the plan is indistinguishable from the optimal and is able to ensure exceptionally high performance.

ArcelorMittal/Quintiq

Canada's largest steel producer, ArcelorMittal provides North American customers with high‐quality, flat-rolled and tubular steels, and laser‐welded blanks from facilities in Canada, the United States and Mexico.

The big steelmaker, a Quintiq client, required flexibility and transparency in planning various production flows such as slitting, rolling, cutting, and finishing. ArcelorMittal also needed to capture business rules, constraints, and specific knowledge concerning each planning action.

Quintiq's solution allows planners to make decisions in real time, enables them to better anticipate demand, and handle schedule disruptions more effectively. With Quintiq, ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s maintenance teams can be proactive in their workforce planning and better manage work order backlogs. The Quintiq solution provided the ability to combine orders to improve the coil- slitting process, and thereby reduce the steel purchase volume to satisfy orders.

To optimize maintenance, ArcelorMittal Dofasco required an integrated scheduling solution to make decisions in real time, while anticipating demand and being able to react to schedule disruptions. The system is designed to allow maintenance teams to be proactive in their workforce planning, manage work order backlogs and minimize the amount of time a machine is out of service.

Quintiq helps streamline the maintenance scheduling process and decrease the time it takes to schedule work. With the Quintiq solution, delivery compliance and due date determination, based on customer demand and forecast orders, can be enhanced, and products can be allocated across multiple production routes.


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