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PACE Zenith Awards 2006

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THE following three companies are the finalists in the PACE Zenith Awards 2006 Metal Products Manufacturing Category, sponsored by Pilz Safe Automation :

BlueScope Steel

PROJECT NAME: Wastewater Discharge Control System.

PROJECT LOCATION: Port Kembla Steelworks, Port Kembla, New South Wales.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: BlueScope Steel needed to install a new wastewater pH control system at its Port Kembla Steelworks. The plant is capable of producing five million tonnes per year of finished and semi-finished flat steel products.

PROJECT OUTCOME: As with any large-scale industrial facility, waste products need to be treated correctly to meet regulatory and ecological commitments. The new control system, developed using Matlab and Simulink software, ensures that discharged wastewater stays constantly within the desired environmental pH range. A wastewater treatment facility at the site collects waste from four separate plant line streams. The waste is stored in a mixing tank, where it is analysed and treated to ensure it can be safely pumped to the environment. Because the stream of wastewater is continuous, treatment is a highly automated process. The new system was developed using Matlab mathematical software from The MathWorks, distributed by Ceanet. Now the desired pH level is reached by neutralising plant waste through a series of valves that open and close, delivering neutralising agents such as lime, acid or ferric sulphate into the tank. The process was modelled in Matlab, a control system was created using the control system toolbox, and an optimisation routine was used to find the best parameter settings.

I S Systems

PROJECT NAME: Automation System, BlueScope Steel Coating.

PROJECT LOCATION: Ba Ria Provence, Vietnam.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The BlueScope Steel coating facility is located south-east of Ho Chi Minh City, Ba Ria Provence. Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) from Japan was engaged to design, supply and manufacture three steel strip process lines: a metal coating line, coil paint line and coil slitting line. KHI chose I S Systems from a number of international competitors and awarded ISS the contract as the principal electrical engineering supplier. The contract was for the supply, design, manufacture and commission of the strip transport systems for all three process lines.

PROJECT OUTCOME: I S Systems’ scope of supply included: design of automation and strip transport systems; development of all automation and strip transport software; design of SCADA systems, supply of networks and hardware; development of associated electrical schematics to allow manufacture and installation; supply of over 180 variable speed drives (4 kw to 400 kw) in cubicles; supply of over 300 strip transport and process AC motors, some with gearheads, encoders, brakes and separate cooling; all control desks and control stations and associated controls; supply of PLC systems in cubicles with a capacity of handling over 5000 I/O (points mostly distributed in the field); design and supply of a line access system; supply of high speed data acquisition systems for line performance and diagnostic monitoring; and supply of PA and control power distribution systems.

Smorgon Steel

PROJECT NAME: Manufacturing Execution System Deployment.

PROJECT LOCATION: Rod and Bar Mill, Laverton North, Melbourne.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The Laverton North steel mill is able to produce around 700,000 tonnes of billet a year. Smorgon Steel needed to deploy manufacturing execution system (MES) software technology designed to rationalise disparate manual reporting systems, automatically log production delays, make performance data more widely available to the operations management team, and present it in a way that made analysis quick, easy and flexible.

PROJECT OUTCOME: This first phase MES utilised the Rockwell Software RSSql industrial transaction manager software, in combination with Rockwell Software RSLinx communications interface software, to retrieve real-time information from the plant-floor PLCs using the “hot metal detector” as a trigger for mill downtime. The RSBizWare screen was embedded within the existing SCADA system for each mill. To refine the reporting and data analysis capability, Rockwell delivered a web-based portal solution founded on Microsoft ASP.net web access technology and utilising existing Crystal Reports software integrated with RSBizWare. The automatic logging of events alone saves each supervisor up to an hour per shift in manually entering production data. Once the next phase of the MES development is achieved - the automatic transferral of ERP data into the MES - manpower efficiency is likely to increase further. Smorgon Steel is now able to track what it produces during operation, and whether that tallies with the expected rate of throughput.

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