Industry 4.0″ and China’s steel industry

Problems existing in the integration of informatization and automation in China’s iron and steel industry

Overall, according to the application of informatization and automation, China’s iron and steel enterprises are mainly divided into three categories:

① Iron and steel enterprises with low levels of equipment automation, long service life, and weak capital. These enterprises basically do not have the conditions to implement large-scale information systems, which are in line with the characteristics of Industry 2.0;

② Iron and steel enterprises with advanced equipment and a high level of equipment automation, including several large-scale steel mills and some medium-sized steel mills with rapid development. Some features of 3.0;

③ Iron and steel enterprises with a complete set of automated production lines and a relatively high level of production management, represented by Baosteel. These enterprises have a high level of management and production automation and have established relatively complete basic control and management information systems, which can achieve enterprise-level integrated management of production, supply and marketing information, automatic control of the entire production process, and data collection and processing. , basically reached the stage of Industry 3.0.

The transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing industry has become an urgent problem to be solved in our country. Industry 4.0 allows us to see the strategic thinking to solve this problem. The biggest feature of Industry 2.0 is the use of automation to reduce costs, improve labour productivity and ensure product quality; the biggest feature of Industry 3.0 is the wide application of computers. Our country is still in the stage of exploration, imitation and dependence on core computer technology, and there are no independent intellectual property rights for key components and software.


Industry 4.0, China's steel industry


“Industry 4.0” will boost the transformation and upgrading of China’s steel industry

“Industry 4.0” can increase the overall production efficiency of China’s iron and steel industry by more than 30%, reduce more than 60% of unplanned shutdowns, and eliminate more than 25% of non-productive energy consumption by virtue of its efficient and real-time intelligent information processing and optimization decision-making capabilities, the total carbon emissions will be reduced by more than 20%, and the inventory cost will be reduced by more than 70%, which will eventually play a strong role in promoting the transformation and upgrading of China’s steel industry.

1 Focusing on personalized market demand, provide personalized products and all-round services

In addition to platforms such as e-commerce and customer relationship management (CRM), with the support of cyber-physical networks, iron and steel enterprises can update product specifications, quality specifications, and process specifications in real-time by tracking market demand information and product use information around the clock, and continuously Expand personalized product catalogue content.

Guided by customer needs, continuously improve product life cycle information integration and tracking services such as research and development, design, manufacturing, marketing, and after-sales service, gradually establish service-centric product design and overall solutions, and expand online real-time monitoring, remote Comprehensive value-added services such as fault diagnosis, industrial control system security monitoring, online payment settlement, etc. Promote the transformation of the business model of the entire steel industry, and transform from a material manufacturer to a material service provider as soon as possible.

2 Based on the intelligence of manufacturing equipment, enhance the flexibility of production organization

Due to the lack of sufficient flexibility, traditional steel manufacturing equipment can no longer meet the requirements of “Industry 4.0”. The new manufacturing equipment can have higher flexibility in production organization because of its real-time object perception, data collection, data analysis and optimization decision-making capabilities.

For example: during the smelting process of steelmaking equipment, after collecting the chemical composition information through perception, it is compared with the metallurgical specification data. If the quality requirements are not met, the countermeasures are retrieved through the steelmaking expert system, and instructions are automatically issued to related equipment. Or system to dynamically adjust the production plan.

3 Based on real-time data analysis, improve enterprise operating efficiency

The allocation of production factors in traditional industries depends on the production resources mastered by producers. Producers allocate production factors according to the production materials they have mastered, so as to realize the qualitative adaptation and quantitative proportionality of production materials and labour force.

In the “Industry 4.0” environment, the allocation of production factors depends on information resources. Due to the highly developed cyber-physical network, iron and steel enterprises can fully grasp information resources such as product market demand, raw material market, and labour market, and can dynamically configure purchase, and dispatch corresponding production materials and labour according to market demand, and can realize production data. optimal configuration.

For example, enterprises can dynamically adjust various production and operation plans by continuously obtaining information such as customer contact information, plan execution status, equipment operation status, raw material supply status, logistics delivery status, and contract settlement status, thereby greatly improving market response speed, Customer satisfaction, contract fulfilment rate, quality qualification rate, equipment utilization rate, energy utilization rate, comprehensive finished product rate, inventory turnover rate, etc.

4 Use the supply chain system integration as the driving force to promote the integration of related industries

“Industry 4.0” is an industrial form of industrial chain socialization and great collaboration. The production process collaboration of traditional iron and steel enterprises can only achieve small-scale collaboration between various departments and different workshops within the enterprise. After the supply chain management system, customer relationship management system, manufacturing execution system, enterprise resource planning and other systems are fully integrated into the cyber-physical system, the iron and steel industry can realize the sharing of customer, design, production and operation information by enterprises and partners in the entire supply chain, to extend the collaboration of the production process to the entire supply chain or even across the supply chain, realize the network configuration of advantageous resources and advantageous enterprises in the entire production process, promote the integration of related industries, and truly realize socialized large-scale collaborative production.

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