ABB has built on a long-term relationship with JSW Steel Ltd, India’s leading steel company, by integrating its digital solution ABB Ability Smart Melt Shop into a wider expansion at Dolvi Works plant in Maharashtra state. With the project, completed on schedule in March 2021, ABB has improved productivity and energy efficiency for the steel melt shop by developing an operations optimization solution, including ladle and crane tracking system, crane scheduling system and thermal loss models, to predict target temperature for ladle furnaces and ensure the correct superheat at the caster. This is expected to increase the company’s EBITDA profit by around USD two million per annum through four percent higher casting speeds, time savings of one working day per month and additional output equating to 24,000 tonnes a year.
The plant now has real time tracking of steel ladles for process synchronization and better maintenance planning. In wider benefits, the lower energy consumption means fewer consumables used per batch and therefore a lower carbon footprint with less CO₂ per tonne of steel produced. Automatic tracking and scheduling increases personnel safety as they are removed from the production area during crane and ladle movements. The scheduling solution also results in reducing tapping delays by ensuring these movements are synchronized with process requirements.
It is an example of overcoming one of the major challenges facing steelmakers today, which is to maintain the optimal temperatures required to make molten steel while balancing high electrical energy costs. Ensuring the right temperature at the right time, together with other parameters in the molten steel, directly determines steel quality and productivity. ABB’s Industry 4.0 led solution minimizes temperature superheat deviation and thermal losses resulting in higher caster speeds by around four percent, improved productivity, energy efficiency and steel quality.