ArcelorMittal boosts digitisation in France

The launch of the 5G network for industrial uses in France is helping ArcelorMittal carry out digitisation and robotisation at its French production sites.

The company started its 5G Steel project in 2021 in France in partnership with Orange Business Services and Ericsson, and supported by the French government. 5G Steel has now become fully operational at the Dunkirk and Mardyck sites, northern France, and it is scheduled to be extended to Florange this year.

The presence of a wide coverage and high throughput network, which now extends to the entire industrial complexes, both indoors and outdoors, is making the workload more agile in all departments from recycling to production, the producer says. It is also enhancing the mobility of workers. Production processes are better monitored and simplified; a reduced latency is also improving rolling lines remote pilot control.

“Steel arriving on site for recycling is weighed and scanned to assess its density and composition. This data is then automatically transmitted by the operators in charge of quality control from the field via 5G Steel. Machinery operators (crane and stackers) directly receive information from the production programme and can inform about the actions carried out through 5G Steel,” the steelmaker explains. Other operations are also made easier, such as the hot rolling mill processes, data recording, and inspections during maintenance and safety audits, it adds.

The project is one of the first steps in ArcelorMittal’s roadmap to boost automation and digitisation. The company envisages driverless trains and vehicles in Florange and Dunkirk together with mobile maintenance, virtual reality and safety devices.

5G Steel will be extended to the port of Dunkirk, ArcelorMittal’s digital labs in Dunkirk and the site of Florange, Kallanish notes.

Natalia Capra France