X-Pact® MES 4.0 production planning system

All of Big River Steel’s facilities are equipped with X-Pact® electrical and automation systems. The integrated systems solution comprises the flexible X-Pact® MES 4.0 production planning system, technological process models, highly dynamic control systems and sequence controls, the integrated user- friendly X-Pact® Vision HMI and visualization system, technological measuring and sensing equipment, the energy supply systems along the entire process chain as well as the main and auxiliary drives. Before shipping the automation equipment to the customer, SMS group installed and tested the complete X-Pact® automation system in their test centers according to their proven Plug & Work procedures. These included testing the automation systems under near-reality conditions and pre-optimizing the control systems. The set-up in the test center allowed the operators of Big River Steel to receive their first training in a very realistic plant environment, actually on the original equipment that was going to be installed at Big River Steel. This was a great help in achieving a steep ramp-up.

The X-Pact® MES 4.0 production planning system defines all production plans and controls the complete plant. The system architecture is designed to make for highly efficient planning and control of production, also in case of small batches of special steel grades. It also includes features for detailed quality reports of all plant areas and systems. All technological process models in the melt shop interact smoothly with X-Pact® MES 4.0, providing for an innovative, optimized and flexible production process.

Quality assurance integrated

SMS group’s comprehensive PQA® (Product Quality Analyzer) solution for quality inspection has been integrated into X-Pact® MES 4.0. It accompanies the complete process chain from production down to the various stages of further processing. The system analyzes process and production parameters from different data sources within the process automation system for their influence on product quality. This, in combination with thorough expert knowledge and comprehensive field experience, generates a quality guideline that serves as the centerpiece of the PQA® system. Operation managers, plant operators, metallurgists and engineers – they all use PQA® as a highly efficient tool in fault detection and the quality assessment of coils. Thus, the PQA® system has become a key instrument in everyday operations and business routines at Big River Steel.