Comprehensive Software for a Foundry

Software | Digitalization of the Melting and Casting Area

Our software solution for this customer follows a holistic, modular and expandable concept. Communication with Level 1 (machine data acquisition) takes place at the lowest level. Based on this process data, the metallurgical models calculate the current status and setpoints for optimal control of the respective processes for the melting units (EAF and IF) and refining (AOD). Predefined treatment recipes (instructions) are displayed to the operating personnel in order to ensure standardization of the production. Graphical user interfaces (software cockpits) in the control rooms and robust operator terminals located directly on the shop floor enable interactions with the operator.
Based on customer orders, the production dispatching module enables the generation of production orders and the manual creation of a production sequence within a defined planning period. In addition, the raw material optimization application is seamlessly integrated into the software to calculate the cost-optimized charge mix based on the current material availability at the plant’s storage yards.
All necessary definition data about the product and all information required to manufacture the products (e.g., recipes and production workflows) are created and managed in the master data management module. The creation and management of all information about the required resources (raw materials and operating resources) is made possible by the special resource management modules. In addition, all basic functions of material and warehouse management, including inventory management, are provided.
The reporting module provides a heat-specific overview of all relevant process data, sample analyses, consumption data and key figures for all treatment steps carried out. The product report provides an overview of the products produced, including all product-relevant key figures.

qoncept is the turn-key supplier in this project, delivering the complete software solution, including commissioning and the necessary hardware (qonsole operator terminals).

Transparency and Workflow Optimization

Requirements Engineering | Software for a Finishing Line

The motivation for this project was defined as follows: With the help of a customer-specific software solution, know-how is to be standardized and optimized, product tracking ensured and efficient production achieved.
Together with the customer, we developed the requirements for a software solution that tracks, monitors and controls the entire production. In addition, functionalities were defined that enable production to be optimized. The software solution, which is optimally coordinated for general conditions, should provide answers to the following operationally relevant questions:

  • How can the production be increased while maintaining the required quality at lower costs?
  • How can the availability of the plants be increased and the life cycle optimized?
  • How can plant performance be improved?
  • How can maintenance and operating costs be reduced?
  • How can operational agility be improved?
  • How can adherence to delivery dates be improved?

Another goal of the requirements engineering phase was to define a holistic overview of all processes, whereby all relevant data from different sources must be integrated.

Improving the Meltshop’s Productivity

Consulting | Diagnostic Fact-Finding Mission

This customer’s steel plant is located in a historic area for steel production in Europe. The aim of the diagnostic fact-finding mission, which included a one-week onsite visit from 4 of our experts, was to analyze the present performance of the melt shop and give recommendations for improvement measures to substantially improve the melt shop’s productivity with equal or better quality while keeping the number of annual gross production hours constant. The following four areas were covered within this project:

  • Metallurgical production technology melt shop
  • Production technology CC
  • Melt shop state and design
  • Melt shop logistics

Stabilization and Improvement of Equipment & Technology

Consulting | Technological Analysis and Service

Located in the north of Italy, this customer produces plates, forged and rolled plates, forged ingots of a maximum annual capacity of 500,000 t. qoncept provided consulting services for this customer’s steel shop with respect to the following:

  • Stabilization and improvement of their present production
  • Required improvements concerning equipment and technology.

Our technological consulting services covered the existing equipment in the melt shop to examine the present situation and give first recommendations regarding future production improvements. The topics addressed during the consulting phase were as follows:

  • Study of the production facilities to discover bottlenecks/deficiencies
  • Analysis of the present technology
  • Recommendation for products and steel grades

Digitalization of the Melting and Casting Area

Consulting | Future-Oriented Digital Solution

This Austrian customer is a globally active and reliable supplier of high-quality castings for demanding requirements. Together with the customer we created a technical specification for a software solution that closes the gap between plant automation (Level 1) and the ERP system (Level 4) in order to track, control and optimize the metallurgical processes and all processes regarding data and material flow. The following required features and modules were described in detail:

  • Administration and management of grades, raw materials, operational equipment, treatment instructions and production workflows
  • Order management and sequencing
  • Production preparation including raw material optimization and bucket set-up
  • Operator guidance, process control and optimization of the melting units

In addition to the document with the technical specifications, we provided a tender document in which the content and structure of the offers to be submitted by potential suppliers were described in detail.

Software for Product Life Cycle Tracking

Software Engineering | Conceptual Software Design

Based on several workshops, we designed an innovative software platform that supports process transparency and quality optimization of products along their entire lifecycle. Using smart devices, the software platform was designed with the goal of documenting the journey of a product from the manufacturer’s warehouse through shipping and, eventually, to the processing at the end customer. The following advantages and benefits were part of the requirement engineering and solution design:

  • Optimization of product quality through close cooperation with the end customer
  • Transparent and improved complaint management
  • Demand management for just in time deliveries
  • Complete (digital) tracking of the product life cycle

The delivery of this project included the documented results of the requirement engineering as well as interactive mock-ups of a possible software solution.

Process Optimization through Intelligent Software Solutions

Software Engineering | Conceptual Software Design for Steelmaking

Together with our customer from the stainless steel industry, we set new standards for the digital transformation of steel production. Our step-by-step procedure included an assessment of the current automation status, the elaboration of a vision and the development of solutions.

The developed solution is a data-centered manufacturing information system that manages the metallurgical processes while also providing real-time information that enables continuous improvement of the processes along the value chain (from the scrap yard to the release of the produced products).

Process Optimization for the Cement and Minerals Industry

Consulting | Project Management and Consulting Services

We provide specific consulting services for production and process optimization for a global player in the cement and minerals industry. In addition, we work together to develop concepts that enable new business opportunities in this very conventional industry in times of digital transformation.