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Optimization and performance improving in metal industry by digital technologies


Dear all,

In October, the INEVITABLE project reached its one-year milestone and we are glad to share our first newsletter with you. We have prepared some highlights and information from this first year’s experience.

In case your peers and colleagues might be interested in the INEVITABLE project, please invite them to subscribe to our newsletter and share their contacts with us. You are also invited to check out some of our recent deliverables on the INEVITABLE webpage.

Key facts about the project

Improving key performance indicators in the steel and nonferrous metals sectors by retrofitting existing production sites by digitalization and innovative control technologies, thereby elevating the overall digitalization level.

Technological approach

- Data collection & sensor technologies

- Tools for data analysis, control and optimization

- Digitalisation infrastructure

- Validation on selected Use cases

Use cases

SIJ Acroni
Electric Arc Furnace steelmaking, Cold rolling steel processing

Sidenor, voestalpine Stahl
Secondary steelmaking via Ladle Furnace & Vacuum Degassing, and Continuous Casting

Eibar Precision Casting
Nonferrous alloy casting process

Expected results

- Electric Arc Furnace models and optimization framework

- System for supervision, optimisation, diagnosis and condition monitoring of cold rolling mills

- Online advisory system for process control and optimization in clean steel intelligent manufacturing

- Predictive process models for refining and continuous casting of liquid steel

- Smart cognitive applications to support decisions in controlling the nonferrous casting process

- Recommendations for digitalization of the industrial processes

Consortium members

Industrial end users
SIJ Acroni, voestalpine Stahl, Sidenor Aceros Especiales and EIBAR Precision Casting

Institutions specialized in metallurgy and related control technologies
BFI, KTH, K1-MET, Fundación Azterlan

Process control and automation providers and research institutions

SIEMENS, COMPUREG, University of Ljubljana - Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Jožef Stefan Institute

    Project meetings

    In the beginning periodic project meetings were mostly centred on the project management and organisational issues. When the rules were established, we were able to focus on technical aspects of the project.

    8.-9. October 2019
    First project meeting ("kick-off")

    After many emails and proposal preparation meetings, the INEVITABLE project team met for the first time in person. A very productive "kick-off" meeting was help at Jožef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana, where all partners were able to share their view on the project. The face-to-face meeting enabled the members to get to know each other and finally discuss issues in person. After a thorough project overview, the project management was established, and project partners were able to conduct use-case related meetings.

    24.-25. March 2020
    Second project meeting

    The meeting was supposed to be hosted by BFI in Düsseldorf. Due to unexpected travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, the planed in-person meeting was cancelled, and it was organized via teleconference. We reviewed the work performed until then and discussed open questions. We concluded that up to that point, all activities and deliverables had been carried out as planned. Initial use case requirements were prepared and initial technical activities were progressing.

    23.-24. September 2020
    Third project meeting

    Despite optimistic hope that further advances will be discussed in person, we were forced to meet via teleconference again. On the first day of the meeting, we overviewed the technical work-packages. Also first data-analysis results were shown. On the second day of our project meeting, we reviewed the activities related to the preparation of digital infrastructure and the progress of our three use cases. Special attention was given to the evaluation of the issues related to the COVID-19 crisis and consequent delays and problems. The EC project officer joined the meeting and offered some insights regarding the project extension possibilities.

    Deliverable 7.1

    ZRM basic control system upgrade

    According to the SIJ Acroni use-case action plan, the upgrade of automation and control equipment of the Sendzimir rolling mill (ZRM) and related control software were successfully finalized.

    The ZRM modernization activities included complete retrofitting of the automation and control equipment. New state of the art high-end controllers replaced the obsolete I2S AGC system, GE Silcomatic plus drives were replaced with ABB drives, and the ibaPDA system for measurement value acquisition and analysis was installed. The ZRM digitalization upgrade now allows ACRONI to follow and store more than 700 process variables, which generate daily more than 3GB of equipment monitoring data. This task was a prerequisite for the complete digital transformation of the ZRM process.

    More info
    9.-10. September 2020
    INEVITABLE workshop on digitalization infrastructure

    Project partner Siemens organized a two-day workshop for the INEVITABLE project partners, where the best practices related to the principles of communication and data infrastructure design were presented. The hands-on workshop was focused on overview, evaluation and testing of the MindSphere cloud platform and the Edge Streaming Analytics solution. Such a solution is needed to build an end-to-end data platform, providing data acquisition, processing, data analysis and visualisation capabilities. As travelling and group meetings were still restricted due to COVID-19, this workshop was organized for the Slovenian project partners only.

    October 2020
    Detected problems due to COVID-19 crisis

    Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis has affected activities of the INEVITABLE project. Our consortium partners are facing:

    - decreased production activities,
    - restricted access to laboratories and production facilities,
    - decreased diversity and quantity of data,
    - hardware procurement and implementation delays,
    - delays in technical WPs propagating over to use-case WPs,
    - limited communication and dissemination activities.

    Collaboration opportunity

    INEVITABLE is looking for new collaboration opportunities with complementary projects as well as industrial or research partners. We are interested in sharing our vision and best practices. Together we can expand the applicability of the developed solutions, share different views or foster mutual exploitation and dissemination opportunities. Please contact us and together we can identify our common interests.

    Use cases
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    H2020 Call DT-SPIRE-06-2019
    Start date
    36 Months
    Innovative Action
    6,1 M€
    Jožef Stefan Institute

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