Mönchengladbach, September 18, 2018

Digital twins for aluminum rolling mills

The Plug & Work concept developed by SMS group automation experts is a long-established concept in the field of aluminum rolling and is being continuously enhanced to meet the demands of the new industrial era.

For each project, the automation system with AluControl® is set up, tested, and pre-optimized as a complex unit in our SMS group test fields long before the plant is erected on site.

This is all thanks to a realistic, real-time 3D plant simulation, in which the customer-specific plant is reconstructed as a digital counterpart in terms of both function and technology. As part of the Plug & Work test, this simulation is connected to the automation system of the aluminum rolling mill to be tested and serves as a substitute for the real plant during the test.

What’s more, it also allows the designated operating personnel to be trained by SMS group staff on the original control desks. The customer’s personnel learn the plant functions and how to handle them under realistic operating conditions in a virtual production scenario.

The huge time savings during the commissioning and start-up phase are just one of the many advantages of the Plug & Work concept. Preliminary testing guarantees that the equipment is preset for optimal performance. The customized and optimized electrical and automation systems ensure not only a reliable plant run-up but also high product quality right from the start. Here, customers are actively supported by their operating crews trained in advance.

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Over 100 new plant and revamp reference projects completed by SMS group, among others in the field of aluminum rolling, are proof that the Plug & Work concept offers a much faster return on investment than the conventional approach. This collaborative partnership with the customer in Plug & Work tests shows once again how SMS group is the “Leading Partner in the World of Metals”.