NLMK Verona Machine Loading

Machine Loading System

NLMK Verona Spa is part of the NLMK Group. The Group’s core business is to manufacture and market steel products. Specializing in the production of ingots for forging, very thick sheets and heavy plates, the Verona factory is addressed to produce high-quality material with a thickness range from 15 mm up to 1100 mm. Equipped with an innovative continuous casting line for thickness up to 400 mm, the only one of its kind in the world, the plant is now also a major manufacturer of forging ingots. With the aim of increasing the market share in the international scene, the objective is to meet customer demands through the technical competence of the staff and a production flexibility among different formats, unequaled among competitors.

In 2015 NLMK Verona has faced the problem of improving the entire production planning and scheduling system, in order to make it more consistent with its own needs and more responsive towards the rapid changes in demand for steel products.

With the collaboration of Iso Sistemi, already a Company supplier and provided with know-how and experience specific of the steelmaking industry, NLMK Verona started redesigning the system.

After realizing the operational planning system of the Finishing Area (BEFO), a critical area in terms of respect of the delivery date and of production efficiency, NKLM Verona decided to intervene upstream in the logic of confirmation of the orders delivery date and entrusted Iso Sistemi with the design and implementation of an application able to respond to these problems.

A long-term vision on the Company progress gives the opportunity to discuss about strategy and corrective actions. Only playing in advance it is possible to keep a firm grip on the helm of the production situation and of the respect of deliveries to customers

Martino Leone

Head of Production Planning and Scheduling, NLMK Verona S.p.A.

Project environment and aims

The confirmation to the customer of the correct delivery date must address issues of both commercial and production type..

From the point of view of production, one must be able to verify in advance that – on the basis of production plans, maintenance plans, the order book and plant constraints – it is possible to produce the order within the time, as promised to the client.

The answer to this requirement is given by an appropriate system of Machine Load Management, which operates through a logic so-called “by buckets“.

The project objectives were therefore to ensure:

  • the proper management of production capacities;
  • the correct assignment of such capacities to the orders, based on the technical dressing of each order.

The system implemented ensures a high flexibility of use, since the “buckets” (that is, the containers of production capacity that is gradually “consumed” according to the influx of orders) can be defined completely freely by the Commercial and Planning Departments, using any combination of both commercial and technical attributes. In addition, authorized users may manage parameters through which to drive the system.

The detailed characteristics of the system installed at NLMK Verona are best described in the product page Machine Loading di Iso Sistemi.

The main advantages for NLMK Verona are the following:

  • Confirmation of the delivery date (for customer orders, but also for internal orders) on the basis of objective parameters agreed between the Commercial and Operations Departments;
  • Immediate confirmation or denial of the delivery date, therefore with a chance for the company to take the necessary measures;
  • Possibility of production capacity reservation to serve orders of priority customers or to generate technical or commercial stocks;
  • Ability to obtain from the system a forecast of the delivery date for a planned order, thereby improving the deal with the customer;
  • Availability of an always updated situation of the plant loads, thus with a chance to intervene, e.g. on the shifts or on the maintenance plans.

The system is closely integrated with the production system of NLMK Verona (Technical Dressing and Order Progress), and through this with the Order Entry System (managed by the SAP ERP).

The solution

The system, realized with a Web architecture, presents its results to the users through an advanced graphical interface.

It is completely implemented in Java and uses a DB2 database, for consistency with the systems installed at NLMK Verona.

The users are profiled so as to allow access to data and functions according to permission levels granted by the administrator

Steel Solutions Suite

The system installed at the NLMK Verona steelworks is the customization of the component “Machine Load” of the Steel Solutions Suite, an Iso Sistemi product for the steel industry.

The use of this product has helped to reduce design and development time and to provide the customer a system that – after thorough tuning made in the commissioning phase – fully meets the needs of the plant management.