GE Intelligent Platforms has announced that it has been selected by Qatar Steel to provide a complete production management solution designed to improve operating efficiency through a reliable and optimum production process. The overall contract, worth $2 million, features GE’s award-winning suite of Proficy software including Plant Applications, Historian, iFIX and Portal rolled out in a phased format led by a significant pilot project.
The Proficy software solution covers design and implementation for data collection from multiple systems including material storage, handling and control, direct reduction furnaces, electric arc furnaces, ladle furnaces, continuous casting machines, bar rolling mills, the plant’s Quality Control Centre and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
“This new solution will enable Qatar Steel to better monitor and control material flow, production processes, equipment performance, operator activities, and other Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) at various levels of the organization,” said Erik Udstuen, Vice President of Software & Services for GE Intelligent Platforms, “It will also be able to aggregate data for top management reporting and decision-making.”
The Middle East is expected to produce more than 60 million tons of raw steel by 2010 and Qatar Steel will be a forerunner in this production. The company is regarded as an innovator and has been instrumental in the development of the region since 1978 when production began.
The extensive pilot project tackled the plant’s biggest problem area –- tracking and optimizing the raw material input to the plant. The previous system was based on large quantities of hand written material that was difficult to control and use making information analysis slow and prone to error.
The planned implementation will include Proficy iFIX providing the tools for monitoring the process from the control room, and Proficy Portal providing web access to the analysis tools. The PACSystems RX3i will be used to automatically collect and bring plant process data to the Proficy software where no such systems existed in the older sections of the plant.
“The Proficy Software enables us to deliver on work simplification, elimination of errors and delays in providing real time information with the context for better and faster decisions,” said Yousef Al Emadi, Qatar Steel Production Manager.
The pilot project took two months to develop and install. The implementation of the Proficy Software solution is expected to be complete in 14 months.