SMS group installs its first AI-based Integrated Operating Center

by David Fleschen

SMS group has completed its first X-Pact® IOC (Integrated Operating Center), a central monitoring room for the entire 460-millimeter tube plant, at Daye Special Steel in Hubei Province, China. With the Daye 460 project, which also includes the enhancement of the tube plant’s existing automation systems, SMS group has achieved a breakthrough in its Integrated Operating Center (IOC) application, an important milestone on the path to X-Pact® Lights-out.

Cameras installed along the production line provide the basis for centralized operator monitoring, thus eliminating the need for operating activities in the harsh environmental conditions commonly found in the metallurgical industry. The automation system utilizes AI video analytics to respond to abnormal situations during production. The line’s level of automation has been improved and a breakthrough in intelligent manufacturing with centralized remote control has been achieved with the help of AI technology. Consequently, Daye is able to optimize its tube mill production processes from one control station.

With the demand for smart factories increasing worldwide, the Integrated Operating Center has taken on a key role. An entire plant, from ironmaking to finished product, can be integrated into a central operating center, not only for greenfield factories, but for existing complexes too. The IOC represents the pinnacle of excellence of the production complex, facilitating plant and logistics management by concentrating information and thereby significantly reducing the required manpower.

Following implementation of the Integrated Operating Center, the 460-millimeter tube plant at Daye Special Steel can be operated with the highest possible degree of automation. The number of discrete control elements across the entire rolling line has been reduced from 550 to only 50. Today, only six operators manage the entire rolling line, instead of 15 previously.

The new IOC and the introduction of autonomous operation play an important part in improving both product yield and quality.

SMS group is renowned worldwide for its future-oriented technologies and outstanding service for the metals industry. The company applies its 150 years of experience and its digital know-how to provide the industry continuously with innovative products and processes – even beyond its core business – and generates worldwide sales of around 2.6 billion euros. SMS is the right partner for challenging projects, and supports its customers throughout the lifecycle of their plants, enabling profitable and resource-efficient value creation chains. Paving the way for a carbon-neutral and sustainable metals industry is the company’s stated goal. As a global player with German roots, SMS takes responsibility for its 14,500 employees.

Source and Photo: SMS Group

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