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Rizhao, March 26, 2019

Cross-process quality management with PQA®

A new flat steel complex consisting of a high performance hot strip mill, a combined pickling line-tandem cold mill, two annealing lines and a hot-dip galvanizing line has started production. SMS group’s scope of supply is rounded off by a complex comprising a continuous caster and a steckel/plate mill, the order for which was placed in spring 2017.

Shandong Iron & Steel Group Rizhao uses the new equipment to focus production on strip grades for the automotive industry. To reliably meet the particularly high requirements of this trade, SMS group implemented its innovative Product Quality Analyzer (PQA®), a quality management system covering all production processes from steelmaking up to the final galvanized strip (documentation, monitoring and ensuring).

For this purpose, all relevant production data are recorded and analyzed continuously. By means of instructions based on a set of stored rules, the quality of the coils is assessed semi-automatically, and they are released or blocked accordingly. In addition, operators get specific instructions by the system during the production process, early indicating any process irregularities and showing effective countermeasures. As a result, operators are able to intervene before the actual problem comes into existence. Troubles in the production process as well as resulting massive quality losses and downtimes can be reduced significantly. In the long run, this means an increase in output accompanied by a reduction of quality costs. To sum up, PQA® brings SDIS essential benefits like the immediate identification and elimination of quality issues, high process stability combined with increased output as well as higher acceptance by end customers, as the whole process is fully documented.
This makes the new complex at SDIS rank among the most advanced flat steel production facilities worldwide.

Xiangrui Meng, Director Hot Strip Rolling Department, Shandong Iron & Steel Group, Rizhao, about his expectations from PQA®:
PQA® should be very helpful to our production line in the future. Currently, we are collecting data to prepare a more accurate analysis of product performance. In the years to come, PQA® will have significant influence on our production.

Lijun He, Deputy Director Cold Rolling Department, Shandong Iron & Steel Group Rizhao, about his expectations from PQA®:
The PQA® system helps us produce high-quality products and supports us in further optimizing the product quality. It can collect all kinds of quality parameters in the whole production process from steelmaking down to the final cold rolled products. These quality parameters may be measured values, data from specific production situations and even complex standards. All these data can be used as an important basis for our quality evaluation and optimization.