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SMS group to digitalise iron and steel making process

The agreement includes data-driven models to ensure optimal allocation of the burden on the conveyor belt. (Image source: SMS Group)

SMS group has signed an agreement with Dillinger to optimise blast furnace operation by modelling and digitalising logistics processes

Based on the tried-and-true BFXpert software, the Raw Material Tracker will include three separate digital models that will precisely follow the bulk materials throughout the burdening-to-blast furnace production chain. This makes it possible to accurately manage the blast furnace process.

The Advanced Raw Material Tracker, which exposes abnormalities, allows for digital mapping of material conveyance through the material feed models, predictive problem analysis, and monitoring of digital values. Dillinger is able to handle the hoppers with little manpower and generate 10,000 tonnes of hot metal every day as a consequence. Similar to how load peaks may be decreased by using load-optimised belt feeding, eliminating unnecessary discharges from inclined conveyors improves the movement of spherical items on conveyors.

Implementing three models enables the early detection of burden charge problems, leading to more effective conveyor belt assignment. The bulk material that is charged onto the conveyor belt must be monitored by the conveyor model. During the filling and emptying of the material hopper, the hopper model provides a real-time computation of the material distribution based on the material parameters. In order to ensure optimal conveyor belt occupancy, the burdening model gives information as well as the radial distribution of the various material sections in the blast furnace. At the Dillingen plant, these models have already been effectively incorporated into two blast furnaces' manufacturing processes.

"We are proud to work with Dillinger to develop the Advanced Raw Material Tracker based on a proven application. This solution has already been successfully launched on the market and is now more precisely tailored to customer needs," said Fabrice Hansen, chief technology officer at SMS digital

“So far, the models have demonstrated the system’s ability to adapt quickly to changes in feedstock qualities. Their implementation has led to more efficient logistical planning with regard to the input and circulated material, as well as improved maintenance practices. The integration of these models into BFXpert has made it easier to monitor burdening processes,” said Peter Maagh, chief operations and technology officer at Dillinger.