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Home > News  > Sidenor: rolling towards innovation, part 2: rolling 4.0

Since its launch only a few months ago, the new rolling mill has complied with Sidenor’s high expectations, both at productivity and product quality level.

What is the key to success, how could an important investment comply with the expected results in such a short time?

Sidenor has had a clear idea from the beginning: the company intended to bet on the latest technology in the market, focus on Industry 4.0 and rely on its team of professionals for making it come true.

This inclusion of innovative technologies in the plant aims at bringing value to the product and identifying in real time any irregularity in the process, so that our products, when they are delivered to the customer, have complied with strict quality controls which ensure that the required conditions of each order are respected. In order to include these best technologies, the furnace as well as its loading system have been renovated. The proper loading of the furnace is ensured by  a machine vision system which reads the identification of our billets and compares the reading against the loading order established by the planning team. This anti-blending control system is highly reliable.

The furnace has been provided with control cameras as well as sensors for determining the temperature in the billets in real time. The data registered in the furnace allow to determine the optimal heating according to the loaded material, so as to ensure that the mechanical properties as well as the outlet temperature comply with the required quality specifications and guarantees. The optimisation system includes a simulation module which can foresee the behaviour of the material and obtain, by simulation, the adequate curve and temperatures for heating. This preparatory work entails a better management of the energy consumed in each load.

Apart from the visual follow-up of the cameras, cutting-edge sensors have been installed in the various parts of the mill in order to establish a parameterized set of data collection for keeping track of each production order in real time. The route of the billet in each part of the mill can thus be followed while consulting at the same time its production data. In the coming months, the next step will be to store these data in a big data platform developed by Sidenor within the framework of its project “Smart Factory” included as a singular strategic project in the HAZITEK 2017 tender. This project aims at including the paradigm of intelligent manufacturing in the steelmaking process and managing it integrally, with a view to possibly obtaining “premium steels”, thanks to artificial intelligence and big data analysis in production means and systems.

In a close future, a bar traceability system will be implemented, so that the product might be traced back to its origin, in the steel mill, up to its arrival to our finishing facilities. The big data system and massive data analysis will enable the installation of alarms which will help stabilize and secure the processes.