Everywhere in the world, steel producers are presented with similar challenges: First comes the customer, for whom everything possible has to be done to ensure that he receives his product in the specified quality at the agreed delivery date. At the same time, optimal use has to be made of the existing capacities, while minimizing maintenance activities and locked-up capital. With the number of small batches and special orders increasing and timeframes becoming ever tighter, future production planning will have to be more flexible, precise and – ideally – realtime- capable.
For all this, digitalization is an indispensible requirement. The “smart steelworks” relies on the assumption that data and KPIs derived from such data are recognized and accepted as a basis on which business and processrelevant decisions are taken. Digitalization primarily entails intelligent merging of knowledge and data and the systematic networking of the two. Today, knowledge and data are still very often unsystematically spread over the company organization or stored in data silos with strict rules of access. What needs to be done is to overcome exactly this way of thinking and make information available in real time - both internally, within the company, and partly also externally, across company boundaries – and use the data as a decision-making basis.