Before quadcopters appeared, unloading control was carried out in “manual” mode. To find out what exactly and in what quantity the suppliers sent, how much non-metallic inclusions are present in the scrap, the specialists of the external acceptance section, together with representatives of the hammering shop, were directly at the unloading site and made the fixation from cameras.
In order to simplify this process, last year, within the framework of the digitalization program, MMK purchased quadrocopters (eight units are currently in use). These devices are easy to operate, however, they are equipped with various intelligent systems. They can detect and fly around obstacles, work in the mode of video and photography. The drone's task is to "hover" over the carriage and fix its contents. In the future, all information is uploaded to the automatic workstation of the operator-controller, which determines whether this type of scrap corresponds to the one specified by the supplier. In the presence of garbage, various unacceptable inclusions, this information, documented by means of photo or video recording, goes to the counterparty's personal account. In the future, PJSC MMK does not pay for the waste to the supplier.
The substandard scrap is either returned to the supplier or, by agreement with the supplier, the price of a given batch of scrap metal is reduced to bring it into line with a lower price group. This also translates into significant cost savings. Since May of this year, when the project entered its active phase, MMK, through rejecting waste, returning scrap or transferring it to another price group, has not paid for the scrap declared by the supplier in the amount of over one hundred million rubles. In May, the savings amounted to 34.56 million rubles, in June - 22.3 million rubles, in July - 47.7 million rubles. Aspects related to industrial safety are also of great importance. Due to the fact that the controller controlling the copter is outside the dangerous unloading area, the use of drones ensures safe work.
In the near future, the plant should receive two more quadrocopters, after which the project can be considered finally completed. It should be noted that these drones are used not only for scrap acceptance, but also for other purposes, in particular for monitoring the facilities under construction at PJSC MMK.
Digital transformation projects, like the use of quadrocopters for the acceptance of metal raw materials, invariably demonstrate their high efficiency. Digital projects implemented as part of the strategic initiative of PJSC MMK Industry 4.0 significantly increase the operational and functional efficiency of the enterprise, ensure the growth of labor productivity, and also contribute to greater safety of employees and increase the efficiency of their activities.
Information and Public Relations Department of PJSC MMK