ABB to automate steel making

By Niamh Marriott30 November 2021

ABB has launched a smart factory digital application for the metals industry called ABB Ability Smart Melt Shop.

ABB said the new solution has been designed to increase melt shop productivity and improve employee safety

It digitally connects all steel melt shop processes and moving equipment, to synchronise operations, which the company said will improve production efficiency.

It offers real-time ladle tracking and crane scheduling, as well as a predictive thermal modelling engine.

The tracking engine follows ladle movement via the cranes and transfer cars in real time. It also uses thermal history to predict thermal loss and predict the correct lift temperature at the ladle furnace.

Radar and laser positioning technologies provide an accurate picture of operations, and are cheaper and longer-lasting than RFID solutions, ABB said. The automated crane scheduling includes job forecasting, route planning and automatic acknowledgement of jobs.

These features, the company said, will enable steelmakers to move towards autonomous operations by eliminating manual co-ordinations.

“ABB Ability Smart Melt Shop enables steelmakers to digitally connect all processes and remove bottlenecks in production capacity. The digitalisation of core processes will drive new levels of productivity, safety and sustainability outcomes for the metals sector,” said Tarun Mathur, global product manager of metals digital at ABB.

This application is compatible with ABB and third-party systems.

The company said it hopes this latest product will encourage steelmakers towards autonomous operations and that the solution has already been installed by JSW Steel Ltd, one of India’s leading steel companies, where it has been integrated into a wider expansion at Dolvi Works plant in Maharashtra State.

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