NLMK introduces digital service to boost HSM performance
NLMK Lipetsk, NLMK Group’s flagship facility, has introduced a digital service to optimize the slab rolling rate at its hot strip mill.
The mill rolls slabs into 1.5–16 mm thick hot-rolled strips. Slabs are preheated in five furnaces before being delivered to the rolling mill one after the other, as directed by the operator. When selecting the rolling rate, the operator is guided by a number of factors, aiming to prevent slab collisions, to ensure the required temperature level in certain areas depending on the steel grade, and to maximize mill performance.
Previously, the operator would calculate the slab discharge rate manually, having to rely on their intuition and experience. The new digital system determines the rate automatically. A machine learning-based model analyses slab dimensions, composition, and heating level, as well as the required finished product parameters and the condition of the mill. The model processes this data to determine how long it should take a slab to travel from the furnace to the rolling mill, and prompts the operator to discharge the next slab from the furnace.
The project was launched at the end of last year. The digital system has already enabled a 5% reduction in the the slab discharge interval, thus boosting hot strip mill productivity. Company experts continue to train the model to further increase its efficiency.
Sergey Kazantsev, NLMK Group Director for Digital Transformation, said: “Our joint teams made up of production and digital solutions specialists are currently integrating over 50 systems at different transformation stages across NLMK Group sites. These efforts set a solid foundation for further operational efficiency growth using digital tools.”
About NLMK Group
NLMK Group is the largest steelmaker in Russia and one of the most efficient in the world.
NLMK Group’s steel products are used in various industries, from construction and machine building to the manufacturing of power-generation equipment and offshore wind turbines.
NLMK operates production facilities in Russia, Europe and the United States. The Company’s steel production capacity exceeds 17 million tonnes per year.
NLMK has the most competitive cash cost among global manufacturers and one of the highest profitability levels in the industry. In 12M 2019, the Company generated $10.6 bn in revenue and $2.6 bn in EBITDA. Net debt/EBITDA stood at 0.7х. The Company has investment grade credit ratings from S&P, Moody’s, Fitch, and RAEX (Expert RA).
NLMK’s ordinary shares with a 18.6% free-float are traded on the Moscow Stock Exchange (ticker "NLMK") and its global depositary shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange (ticker "NLMK:LI"). The share capital of the Company is divided into 5,993,227,240 shares with a par value of RUB1. For more details on NLMK shareholder capital, please follow the link.
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