Broner Metals Solutions, worldwide specialist provider of integrated MES, supply chain and scheduling solutions for metals, has announced the start of a major business improvement project, at the Tata Steel Long Products Scunthorpe plant in UK. Broner has completed the Design Study for this project, and has now been selected to implement the integrated scheduling solution for steelmaking and casting, slab yard and plate mill together with comprehensive MES facilities for tracking, quality and inventory management.
The Chronos Project, as the project is called, will be implemented in close partnership with Tata Steel business, operational and IT specialists to provide the following functions:
Steel plant scheduling with real-time plant co-ordination, crane and ladle management and 'what-if' analysis capabilities, together with automated Caster scheduling for five casters
Integrated / through scheduling, to generate an automated piece-level schedule from the slab yard to plate rolling and finishing lines; with detailed line scheduling for the plate mill.
Auto allocation of skelp, slab, plate inventories and cutting plans for finished plates & slabs
MES for slab yards and plate mill, comprising: production recording and management; quality conformance, recovery & tracking; inventory movements, tracking, & reporting.
Full integration with Tata Steel IBM mainframe, Level 2 process control systems and other operational and MES systems.
The new integrated scheduling solution will provide more realistic schedules that will facilitate an increase in schedule adherence and will increase the visibility and control of plant material & processes, to deliver substantial business benefits:
Reduce lead times and increase on-time delivery
Increase flexibility and agility to react to turbulent market conditions
Increase plant productivity and yield
Substantial cost benefits achieved throughout the plant. For example, by avoiding bottlenecks, load balancing, improved ladle use, fewer sequences, reduced inventories, better scheduling decisions etc.
The Tata Steel Plant in Scunthorpe is one of the most complex facilities in the world containing 5 continuous casters, complex routes, wide variety of steel grades and qualities. Tata face daily challenges to manage hot metal flow considering ladle fleet constraints, teeming crane constraints, temperature control while dealing with unpredictable treatment times and manufacturing high quality steels. Broner's Melt Shop Control Centre real-time scheduling solutions will be implemented to improve the synchronisation of all these different factors and will improve reliability of casting, reduce energy cost and increase productivity.
The Tata slab yard is also a complex facility which includes 6 slab processing facilities and has limited space. Broner's MES solutions will be implemented here to provide real-time tracking of skelp and slab location, improve visibility of forward routing of each slab through the various treatments and provide more reliable delivery of slabs to the plate mill.
The Broner MES will also be implemented in the Tata Scunthorpe Plate mill to provide real-time the tracking of individual plates and integrated scheduling of all plate facilities to improve on-time delivery.
The MES solutions will be deployed using wireless technology, hand-held terminals for shop floor and stock yard operators and wireless terminals for all the crane cabs.
The complete solution will be implemented in phases and will use standard Broner modules with built-in steel functionality: Melt Shop Control Centre; Caster Scheduler; Production Planner; Plate Combination; Production Scheduler; Production Management; Quality Management and Inventory Management. Broner is providing product enhancements to support the special requirements of this highly complex plant.
Jan Steenberg, Supply Chain Director for Tata Steel Long Products UK, said "Broner will provide the Scunthorpe plant with a mature business solution to match the best in the industry and allow us to become more competitive; through increased and more efficient production, greater flexibility, and impeccable customer service."