Steel melt shop's digital revolution

Digitalization has brought many interesting metals IoT use cases that I described in my previous blog. But one of them deserves particular attention as it shows the truly transformative power of digitalization in the melt shop area.

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By Tarun Mathur  LinkedIn
ABB Metals Digital Lead

About the author
Tarun Mathur graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai and holds a Master’s degree in mathematical modeling and process control.

He has held several positions in R&D focusing on the development of advanced model-based solutions for process industries.

Tarun is currently focused on projects applying new digital technologies to optimize metals plant performance, processes and quality.
When the fist melt shops started to recycle scrap steel in electric furnaces rather than cook up iron ore and coke in giant ovens, the old-line producers were shaken to their very foundations. The coming together of analytics and engines for tracking, scheduling and thermal control is now helping revolutionize the melt shop itself, turning it onto a smart melt shop.   Perfect synchronization of all components in the melt shop – a critical cog in the metals process – is a high priority task in digitalization solutions for the metals industry.

Addressing the challenges in optimizing melt shop operations

In my experience, melt shops are the source of a wide variety of challenges, and any digitalization solution for the metals industry should keep the following factors in mind:  

  • Maximum energy consumption, both thermal and electrical, happens at the melt shop 

  • The highest safety risk, with presence of gases and molten material, is at the melt shop 

  • Excellence at the melt shop stage defines end-product quality 

  • Most importantly, managing movement of equipment including transfer cars and cranes is an incredibly complex task 


Through the ABB Ability™ solution design, for instance, digitalization is helping transform operations in the melt shop – ensuring the highest levels of productivity and planning (therefore, rationalized energy consumption), safety and quality.  

How digitalization is transforming melt shop efficiency

ABB Ability™ Performance Optimization for steel melt shop enables digitalization of the entire melt shop operation

Sneak peek

For a digitalization solution to be most effective, integrating the last mile - the shop floor - is a critical step. My next blog helps explain the importance of this integration… 

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