From iron ore to the finished product, steel manufacturing involves a chain of more than ten complex and highly automated industrial processes. Temperature, chemistry, mechanics, and timing issues interact dynamically. Thousands of sensors generate time series data, image data, and audio data 24/7. The challenge is to correctly transform this mass data, and to build live models that take into account data from many steps in order to improve CO₂ efficiency, energy efficiency, and quality.
Smart Steel Technologies supplies a ready-to-use data platform plus AI software products for process optimization in steel mills. Resulting optimizations lead to permanently improved quality, reduction of energy costs and improved of CO₂ efficiency - without the investment overhead of new physical equipment.
The platform automatically merges Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 data as well as quality inspection data from all stages of steel manufacturing. All data is mapped back precisely onto exact product positions. The software handles all transformations of the product from iron ore to galvanized strip / finished long product. All charging and treatment operations and all manipulations like uncoiling, down coiling, head / tail, top / down flips, cropping, cutting, welding are taken into account.
The platform stores data in accessible and scalable storage systems with minimized dependencies on external suppliers. Real-time ingestion of thousands of high-resolution Level 1 process signals can be established. Live replication of Level 2, Level 3 databases is performed. Ready-to-use data conversion modules for connecting to relational databases, time series data streams, quality inspection systems and surface inspection systems are included.
Smart Steel Technologies’ team of experienced computer scientists and data experts has proven in numerous successful steel industry projects how existing data sources can feed the platform to derive actionable information quickly. This can be achieved with only limited efforts on the side of the steelmaker.
The SST Platform can be installed on premises. It serves consistent live input data to all SST AI modules. Proprietary models of the steelmaker can use the SST Platform with full shielding in place to protect specific know how and internal data.
Currently, the steel industry accounts for approximately 8 % of anthropogenic CO2 emissions most of which originate from coking, the sinter process and the blast furnace process. In order to reduce CO2 emissions, the steel industry is undergoing a deep transition. At the blast furnace, PCI is replaced by natural gas and, if available, hydrogen produced using renewable energy. New direct reduction plants and electric arc furnace plants are under construction, which will replace blast furnaces in order to cut emissions. Smart Steel Technologies supports this transition and minimizes all inefficiencies across all production routes.