ABB tool to improve meltshop productivity

ABB has launched what it claims is the first smart factory digital application of its kind for the metals industry, Kallanish hears from the technology supplier. This is set to help improve efficiency in crude steelmaking.

Based on advanced digital algorithms, ABB Ability Smart Melt Shop offers real-time ladle tracking, automated crane scheduling and a predictive thermal modelling engine, the firm observes. 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.

According to ABB, this will enable steelmakers to move towards autonomous operations by eliminating manual co-ordinations, with increased safety in hot zones due to lower footfall. Mills can expect 4-5% higher casting speeds to improve productivity and reduce arcing by 5% degrees Celsius per heat in ladle furnaces, ABB claims.

The application has already been installed by JSW Steel in India at the Dolvi works in Maharashtra. ABB says it expects to increase the mill’s profit by around $2 million/year through 4% higher casting speeds, time savings of one working day per month and additional output of 24,000 tonnes/year.

Christian Koehl Germany