Intelligent manufacturing is not only the need for the transformation and upgrading of the steel industry but also the guarantee for the high-quality development of the steel industry. Establishing a complete intelligent manufacturing standard system for the steel industry, strengthening the infrastructure of intelligent manufacturing, promoting the development and application of the industrial Internet, building an intelligent manufacturing platform that integrates into the entire process of steel, building a public service platform for intelligent manufacturing in the steel industry, and promoting industrial collaborative applications The improvement of the level of modernization, digitalization and realization is the key to promoting the intelligent transformation and upgrading of the iron and steel industry.
Smart manufacturing is based on the deep integration of the new generation of information and communication technology and advanced manufacturing technology, and applies information technology such as big data, Internet, cloud computing, and 5G mobile technology throughout the entire manufacturing life cycle (product design, production, sales, warehousing, materials, Management, etc.), is a new production mode with functions of self-perception, self-learning, self-decision-making, self-execution, and self-adaptation.
The iron and steel industry is currently facing huge pressures such as overcapacity, structural imbalance, and energy environment, and urgently needs transformation and upgrading. The steel industry is facing a transformation and upgrading from high pollution and high energy consumption to low emissions and high quality, and the application of intelligent manufacturing models plays an important role. Intelligent manufacturing is a practical need for the transformation and upgrading of the steel industry, and it is also a strong guarantee for the high-quality development of the industry. The rapid development of the iron and steel industry in terms of basic equipment automation, production process automation, and management system provides a good foundation for intelligent manufacturing in the iron and steel industry.
1. Status quo of intelligent manufacturing in the steel industry
So far, the level of intelligent manufacturing equipment in the iron and steel industry has improved significantly, and various enterprises are gradually promoting the process of intelligent manufacturing from point to surface, and the results of intelligent manufacturing have initially appeared.
1.1 A certain number of intelligent manufacturing pilot projects have been formed
The iron and steel industry actively deploys smart manufacturing projects and participates in the special action of smart manufacturing pilot demonstrations implemented by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
1.2 Industrial robots are widely used
Feeding robot, furnace building and dismantling robot, welding robot, cutting robot, image automatic recognition robot, continuous casting slag adding robot, temperature measurement and sampling robot, slag removal robot, special shearing industrial robot, automatic deburring robot, automatic dismantling robot Special robots such as bundling robots, automatic number spraying and labeling robots, ladle receiving side robots, tundish operation robots, tensile testing robots, and maintenance robots have developed rapidly.
In order to reduce manpower and work positions, it has become a trend to use industrial robots to replace standardized and heavy-duty manual work in positions with harsh working conditions, high occupational hazards, and high safety risks (high temperature, dust, noise, toxic and harmful gases) and high labor intensity. The application of industrial robots can effectively overcome the hazards of high pollution, high temperature, high dust, and other harsh environments to people, and at the same time, it can also realize the precision, stability, and intelligence of the production process, and the labor productivity has been improved.
1.3 Breakthroughs in the Application of unmanned intelligent production workshops and storage workshops
Unmanned warehousing, smart workshops, and other unmanned applications and remote control applications have achieved breakthroughs. Baosteel’s cold-rolling workshop has basically formed an information system with relatively complete functions from basic level automation, process control system, manufacturing execution system, and enterprise resource planning to decision support. The whole-process intelligent manufacturing production line and unmanned intelligent workshop have been put into operation.
Unmanned intelligent driving integrates advanced sensing technology, PLC processing technology, Internet, “Internet +” and other technologies, adopts 5G network, precise positioning, automatic route optimization, laser 3D scanning imaging, electronic anti-shake, multiple driving Coordinate operations and other technologies to meet the needs of various tasks such as coil off-line, packaging, inventory, warehouse transfer, and delivery. Workers only need to monitor in real-time through the electronic display in the central control room, and the product storage workshop is unmanned.
1.4 Application of intelligent material management system
Intelligent material management, raw material sampling, and spare parts inventory management systems have been implemented. Pansteel’s centralized on-duty system for material measurement uses advanced technologies such as QR code scanning, infrared positioning, remote intercom, and video to achieve on-site unmanned measurement, remote centralized on-duty, and intelligent sampling goals. The system can complete tasks such as an automatic collection of incoming material information, intelligent sampling, automatic code scanning for sample storage, etc., and realizes paperless measurements.
HBIS Chenggang’s intelligent spare parts inventory management system includes material management, contract management, outbound management, inventory management, report management, system management, etc., to realize accurate data management and control of spare parts.
The intelligent material management system provides reliable data support for enterprise raw material management, improves material management efficiency, and reduces post-professional moral risks and production cost management expenses.
1.5 Smart Logistics Cloud Platform
Liugang’s smart logistics cloud platform uses smart logistics cloud to provide one-stop smart logistics (supply chain) services such as transportation location supervision, logistics management services, automated settlement, smart warehousing, smart finance, and trade services. The operating vehicles are equipped with a Beidou navigation and positioning system, which can realize real-time management of goods and tracking of logistics data, comprehensive internal logistics management and control, and optimization of customer service experience.
1.6 The production intelligent control system based on big data and various monitoring facilities is put into the application
The ironmaking process is based on the blast furnace and sintering intelligent main control room supported by big data, realizing integrated intelligent centralized control, big data intelligent analysis and decision-making, and intelligent functional model application. For the dynamic control of the blast furnace and sintering operation process, it is easier and more comprehensive to retrieve, summarize and analyze data, and the operation is more targeted and accurate, laying the foundation for high production, stability, and low consumption of blast furnaces. The intelligent tapping control system of the steelmaking process integrates a variety of automatic control modules to realize one-key tapping, real-time monitoring, intelligent judgment, and dynamic control of the entire tapping process, realizing intelligent tapping in the true sense, which is beneficial to the quality of molten steel in the converter Stability and continuity of control.
1.7 Intelligent Management System
A number of iron and steel enterprises have built real-time data collection and visualized intelligent quality, energy, management, and production control systems covering the entire manufacturing process based on big data, forming a set of quality and energy control platforms for the entire process, process, and product. The intelligent management system adopts a new generation of Internet of Things technology, which can realize the integrated control of planning, material feeding, energy consumption, process, product quality, warehousing, logistics, etc., so as to achieve controllable production, early warning of abnormalities, traceable process and diagnosable defects, Capability can be evaluated, quality can be predicted, and research and development can be reasoned, which greatly improves the refinement of production management and the efficiency of collaboration.
2. Existing problems in intelligent manufacturing in the steel industry
2.1 The level of intelligent manufacturing is unbalanced
Intelligent steel manufacturing is in its infancy. According to the analysis of the maturity of intelligent manufacturing capabilities, the level of intelligent manufacturing of various iron and steel enterprises is quite different. Some advanced iron and steel enterprises have relatively high levels of intelligent manufacturing. High, intelligent application is in its infancy.
2.2 The foundation of intelligent manufacturing needs to be improved
After years of development, the automation of basic equipment, automation of production processes, and enterprise management systems in the iron and steel industry have been greatly improved, providing a good foundation for intelligent manufacturing in the iron and steel industry. However, the adaptability of the smelting intelligent control system model to changes in external factors needs to be improved, and closed-loop control cannot be formed. The planning and scheduling level of the whole process needs to be strengthened. Most of the production control needs manual intervention, and it has not been expanded from the branch factory to the whole process. The dynamic collaborative scheduling of upstream and downstream, production-energy-logistics, etc. needs to be strengthened. Dynamic and closed-loop life cycle quality control has yet to be formed, and there is a big gap in supply chain collaboration that can realize information, resources, business, and market collaboration. Enterprise information systems lack information fusion and functional integration, and the level of management and control integration needs to be improved.
2.3 The innovative power of intelligent manufacturing needs to be improved
The innovation capability of the iron and steel industry in the development, management, and integration of information systems and physical systems is still weak. The comprehensive integration of product production process design and intelligent decision support systems, and the extension of business systems to the front end of the industrial chain lack mature industry solutions. The core technology innovation ability is weak, and there is a lack of multi-disciplinary technical and technical talents who understand the steel process, advanced information technology, and enterprise management.
2.4 The level of intelligent manufacturing service institutions needs to be improved
At present, there are many institutions that provide special services for intelligent manufacturing for the steel industry, but the service capabilities of the institutions vary greatly. There are few leading service organizations with strong professional service capabilities and able to effectively support and serve the development of intelligent manufacturing in the steel industry.