NLMK Verona Steelmaking Area Supervisor

Level 2 System for the Electric Steelmaking Area

NLMK Verona Spa is part of the NLMK Group. The Group’s core business is to manufacture and market steel products.

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 2014 the company NLMK Verona decided to install a monitoring system (Level 2) to service the plant Electric Steelmaking Area, thereby making available a modern system, characterized by advanced functionalities at the state-of-the-art of this sector.

Iso Sistemi was selected as the supplier for its specific expertise and experience in the steel industry and its modern approach to the problems of production planning and control.

The solution proposed by Iso Sistemi planned to integrate with the Level 2 System an optimized management model of the Steelmaking Area charging and of the additions of ferroalloys (a particularly important issue linked to the production of quality steels), with the objective of improving quality levels of the produced steel and to achieve economic savings.

The Iso Sistemi steel making plant tracking is now an established tool at NLMK Verona, from which operators receive valuable information and manage the flow of data. To the point where we are, it would be difficult to do without it.

Francesco Venturi

Steel Making Quality Manager, NLMK Verona S.p.A.

Project environment and aims

The main objective of the system was to ensure:

  • the quality of the slabs and ingots produced;
  • the optimal use of the equipment and materials, energy and resources involved..

The system covers the entire process of the Steel Making Area, performing the following functions:

  • Scrap Yard (2 cranes, 2 platforms with loading cells and baskets up to a maximum of 40 tons):
    • Automatic acquisition of the loaded weight
    • Automatic updating of scrap recipes based on the optimized calculation of the Optimet model
    • Tracking of materials loading and of the relative weights.
  • 80-ton Electric Oven:
    • Scheduling of castings and management deviations for out-of-standard analysis
    • Preparation and tracking of charge orders
    • Control of the melting process (Temperatures, Analyses, Additions, etc.)
    • Calculation of ferroalloy additions optimized through the Optimet model
    • Tracking and management of Ladles
  • Metallurgy (two areas of refining):
    • Control of Temperature, Weight, O2, Al (automatic acquisition of the measures)
    • Calculation of ferroalloy additions optimized through the Optimet model
    • Quality Control (analyses and quality changes)
    • Management of casting returns and deviations for non-compliance with scheduling
    • Control of ferroalloys
  • Quality:
    • Steel quality management (Target Analyses, Ranges)
    • Recipes management (Scrap Charge, Additions, Refining)
    • Materials management (Scrap, Ferroalloys, Powders, Additives)
  • Equipment management:
    • Master data management and history of ladles technical life
    • Tracking and management of the ladles maintenance cycle.

The system is closely integrated with the existing Level 1 (PLC and instrumentation, including the touch screen systems for managing the cranes of the scrap yard) and Level 3 (management of orders, materials and production programs, realized on AS400); it interacts with these systems using the factory data network and the Steelmaking Area dedicated network.

The system receives the casting programs from Level 3, along with all the quality data and the instructions for retrieval of stock material (scrap and ferroalloys), and returns the balances of the castings produced and of the materials used by production.

It exchanges with Level 1 the raw data from / to the plant, to track the progress of the casting plant and to monitor plant information and consumptions.

It automatically receives from the Laboratory system the analysis data of the submitted samples.

The solution

The system is realized with a client / server Web architecture.
The servers are managed by Windows Server; the database is Microsoft SQL Server.
For the bidirectional data exchange with Level 1 it uses the access to shared tables from the production database.

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.