The process performance area includes solutions around advanced process control (APC), optimization and related services. This lets the industry achieve sintering and pelletizing process stability, improve quality and output, reduce costs by employing Model Predictive Control that acts as an 'autopilot' and sustains benefits over time.
At an Indian steel plant, the task was to maintain the outlet temperature at a desired setpoint. APC was implemented with dryer outlet temperature as the controlled variable and fuel flow as the manipulated variable. A model of dryer outlet temperature was developed based on plant data to include the fuel flow control valve and disturbance variables, such as feed rate. The model was used to predict the upcoming control performance, calculating setpoint corrections, which were then downloaded to Level-1 proportional–integral–derivative (PID) controllers.
APC maintained the dryer temperature even with changes in feed rate and process delays, achieving a 10 percent reduction in the standard deviation of the temperature. The implementation of APC stabilized temperature conditions within the dryer, improving overall performance and productivity.
Across any of the digital solution areas, there is always the opportunity to make enhancements with industrial analytics, AI and machine learning (ML).
Cold rolling mills have opportunities to optimize their performance and profitability through continuous performance monitoring and real-time expert insights. ABB’s data analytics solution for cold rolling mills helps carry out benchmark analysis comparing productivity, quality and yield for golden coil and actual coil. It lets you find out which process steps (threading, reversing, unthreading, acceleration, deceleration, minimal speed, operation speed and slowdown) are having a negative impact on your productivity. You can investigate your thickness deviations including related sensors, actuators and control loops or find the root causes of your exit flatness quality issues. If you want to know the state of your mechanics, motors, drives, and automation platform or if you are simply unsure about which issues to prioritize in terms of potential performance improvement, our analytics engine specific to cold rolling will help you focus on the right goal, attain optimum rolling setpoints and achieve world class strip quality and uniformity at the highest rolling speeds.
For bar mill or wire rod mills with large amounts of plant and process data it is also not realistic to manually monitor all the important KPIs - due to a large number of data sources and process variables. Operators need more advanced tools to help them better understand the trends and inter-relations between the process parameters that cause faults and failures. ABB’s data analytics solution for long product mills is increasingly used for this purpose, but success in digital depends on the availability of process expertise in both implementation, operation and maintenance of such tools. Combining data analytics, process-specific algorithms, real-time continuous monitoring and remote support from ABB experts allows our customers to access a much higher level of process insight, preventing cobbles and continuously improving yield, quality, productivity and margin.