New digitalisation solutions – from transforming the blast furnace to using artificial intelligence to optimising production in the steel mill to the vision of autonomous steelworks, are currently very acute issues at METEC.
Steel producers and aluminium companies, producers of non-ferrous metals and metal workers have recognised the chances imminent in digitalisation: From the furnace to the hot rolling mill, from the forge to the steel mill and the sheet metal worker – across all parts of the world of metals. The metal companies are not putting disruptive new business models on their agenda, but are focusing on improving results and expanding their services. Sustainability issues, from saving energy to the efficient use of resources to decarbonisation are coming more and more into focus. With the help of sophisticated sensors and cloud computing supported by Artificial Intelligence (AI), waste in production can be reduced, output can be increased and energy costs lowered.
Metallurgic machines and systems use AI to make their own decisions based on sensor data and evaluations. For example, the digitalised forging operation of the future will recognise an impending crack and give an early warning of wear. For every forged part, the process data is saved to a data set, and the carbon footprint is measured using an exact CO2 value and documented.
The digital wave has caught both system operators and system engineers. Technologies like Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Digital Twin are supporting companies from developing new products to remote maintenance and set-up of new systems.