Production Coordination System or level 3 automation system is responsible for coordination of all different parts of steel making and casting plants based on the daily orders schedules. This system follows to settle mathematical models and process models to achieve the following the objectives in a steel making or casting plant according to heuristic and metaheuristic programming models to coordinate different manufacturing parts:
- Increase in production rate:
- Reduction the waste time rate due to improper planning. There is consequently increase in the number of melts produced in one day
- Utmost use of the standby equipment of production line. There is consequently minimizing the effect of machinery down time on production reduction rate.
- Selection of closing distance production plants and reducing the melts ladle transfer time
- Precise planning for melts transferring path and keeping the casting interval sequence
- Precise planning and reducing the unnecessary melt residence time
- Decrease in the equipment malfunctions and increase of their lifetime
- By reducing unnecessary melt residence time in machinery, equipment malfunctions such as furnace and ladle will be decreased.
- Decrease in the energy consumption
- With accurate planning for production and reducing unnecessary melt residence time in machinery, thermal energy loss of melts will be reduced and considering reusing of ladles in the shortest time, the required energy for their primary heating will be reduced.
- Increase in the product quality through quality control and product specifications
- The risk of having low quality production can be minimized by checking of analytical qualitative data and on time warning for out of range analysis result, and also monitoring and displaying the cutting information in casting and temperatures of different parts.
- Realizing the Production data
- Operators’ errors can be prevented by automatic data acquisitioning of lower levels of automation systems in each production plant.
- By accurate measuring and recording the time and values received during the production, more precise and appropriate planning can be done and the future prediction will be closer to the reality.
Production coordination system in steel making and casting plants includes 8 subsystems and production coordination is done in each of these subsystems.
- Site Management:
This subsystem is the most important production coordinator subsystem and the main planning is done in that. Planning, re-planning, time scheduling and monitoring of on the production melting is done based on heuristic and meta-heuristic models in this subsystem.
- Power demand control:
The main task of this subsystem is the power demand and consumption control of electric furnaces and the prevention of excessive power usage which leads to some problems such as equipment damages and heavy demand penalties from side of the electrical distribution company.
- Ladle Management:
This subsystem controls and monitors all of the existing ladles in the steel making unit and by means of the existing algorithms and considering the required conditions allocates the proper ladle for furnace melt extraction and suggests it to user and then after user confirmation, ladle allocation operation to furnace will be done.
- Tundish Management
This subsystem controls and monitors the conditions of the existing tundishes in the casting plant and by presenting the complete and effective monitoring data and the required reporting generation, it will provide the more accurate control, troubleshooting, weakness points determining and fault detecting when using the tundishes.
By this sub system, status of the existing tundishes in plant is monitored and control for the casting section.
- Quality Control:
This subsystem facilitates the quality control in steel making plants by receiving the complete information of products of casting unit.
In this subsystem complete data of the analysis process of a melting sample will be clear and visible from the sampling stage until receiving its analysis response.
- Scrap Management:
In this subsystem the process of recommendation, selection and loading of scrap for different melts in electric arc furnaces will be surveyed and planned.
Scrap charge procedure will be optimized by this subsystem regarding the steel grade of the expected melts and by recommending the types of scrap charge layers in scrap baskets. The process will finally be improved.
- Crane Management:
This subsystem which is the most important and effective subsystem of the production coordination system, is responsible for planning the crane tasks in the steel making plants.
By predicting activities such as melts ladle transfer between the production plants, scrap baskets transfer, electrodes transfer in the furnace, empty ladle transfer to repair area, transfer of raw materials and required materials for producing electric arc furnace and ladle furnace and also by having the existing crane status and specified places for different tasks, this system simulates the situation with the use of simulator algorithms and provides users with an optimized program in which specifies the tasks orders priorities and time of tasks execution and also the proper carrying carne for doing the tasks.
Production Coordination system was initially born during the replacement of some parts of Level 2 automation systems of Mobarakeh Steel Company so called the Production Coordination Subsystem.
And this project was born by the use of the technological capabilities of this subsystem, and by adding other requirements of the steel making and casting plants operation which could be supplied in form of a level 3 automation system. Also considering over 15-year IRISA Company experiences in the steel making and casting plants, and also adding the technological and process cooperation with CORO, the Italian Company, it has been successfully exploited in MSC since 2008.
After this successful experience, steel making and casting plants of Hormozgan Steel Company and Khuzestan Steel Company respectively joined as the customers of this product.