AI optimises scrap flow at Hamburg mill

Employment of artificial intelligence (AI) has reduced the proportion of scrap in total production and improved product quality at ArcelorMittal Hamburg.

The mill started using an AI solution by Smart Steel Technologies (SST) last year to optimise the trimming process in wire rod production (see Kallanish passim). The AI-driven software combines real-time process parameters with historical production data to calculate, down to a fraction of a second, the perfect moment at which to cut the wire.

Due to the nature of the process, the quality and geometry of each wire rod is lower at the beginning and end than in the middle section, the filet, SST explains. Therefore, the head and tail of the wire are cut off with the help of shears. Trim scrap is produced as yield loss. The use of AI reduces this trim scrap by 20%. This results in savings in specific CO2 emissions as well as electricity and gas consumption, and in an overall improvement of quality, SST states.

“Previously, we cut the wire after 50 metres, for instance. The AI now determines the optimum cut length, which in this example is 35m,” says project manager Michel Wurlitzer of ArcelorMittal Hamburg.

Christian Koehl Germany