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CherMK improves efficiency of steel production using digital technologies

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PAO Severstal, one of the world's largest vertically integrated steel and mining companies, is introducing digital tools of its own development in the steelmaking process of the Cherepovets Steel Plant (CherMK, part of the Severstal Russian Steel Division).

" In the steelmaking industry, a large system of tools has been created that allow you to track the development of the situation and conduct production processes with minimal human involvement. In recent years, we have made serious progress in the development of digital tools. We introduce digital models, machine vision, calculators. We can analyze a large amount of data, make decisions, excluding the human factor. Digital assistants work to reduce costs and improve product quality. Already now we can see a tangible economic effect from their use, "commented Evgeny Vinogradov, General Director of the Severstal Russian Steel Division and the company's resource assets.

One of the most effective tools is automatic melting. A special program analyzes the condition of the working lining and the parameters of the metal, and then generates for each melt a unique converter inclination schedule, which must be followed during tapping. This prevents slag from entering the ladle. The automatic melt discharge system tilts the converter at the required angle and in strict accordance with the rotation schedule, which allows for a more complete discharge of metal into the ladle. The operator monitors the operation of the system on the monitor on the control panel. The digital assistant helps to increase the yield of suitable liquid steel, thus reducing its cost. In 2020, the tool brought in over 100 million rubles.

At each stage of the steelmaking process, calculators have been introduced - a kind of moderators of the technological process. For example, calculators for ferroalloys supply, temperature, and charge. This makes it possible to reduce production costs and obtain the required chemical composition of steel with maximum precision. Thus, the alloy scrap calculator allows you to calculate the optimal amount of alloying materials that must be added to the melt for the production of a particular steel grade. This calculator was improved in 2020, which additionally brought the company about 70 million rubles.

Machine vision is widely used at the steelmaking site. Most often this tool is used to ensure safety, but in 2020 the machine vision model was introduced to improve the efficiency of steelmaking. A model for controlling the height of cast iron was developed. In case of fixing the filling from a great height, the system automatically informs the responsible employee about it. Steelmakers can also monitor the current height online and, if necessary, correct the crane operator's actions. The degree of influence of steel on the converter lining depends on the height and inclination of the cast iron ladle. The economic effect of the project over the past year is nine million rubles.

An end-to-end system of dashboards is successfully operating in the steelmaking industry. These are dashboards that collect data from different sources, transform it, and then visualize key metrics in tables, graphs and charts. The tool allows you to monitor production progress, results and possible deviations in real time.

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