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MCC Huatian's Digital Twin System empowers intelligent steel production operations
SOURCE: AUTHOR:Ding Feng DATE:06 September 2022
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At the beginning of July, the micro-testing platform of MCC Huatian Long Product Technology and Equipment located in the MCC Huatian Equipment Branch Company (Pilot Base) in Maanshan was completed, and the online linkage with the digital twin system of the micro-testing platform of the Long Product Smart Manufacturing Center located in the company's Nanjing Office Park was realized, representing the official commissioning of the digital twin system of the MCC Huatian micro-testing platform.

MCC Huatian Long Product Smart Manufacturing Center

In response to the construction requirements of "Digital Minmetals," MCC Huatian gave full play to the technical advantages of the "first echelon" of the national team of iron and steel metallurgy construction, integrated cutting-edge digital, networked, and intelligent technologies, and independently developed and built the "Digital Twin System for the Nanjing-Maanshan Integrated Pilot Base Platform," which is a cross-regional digital modelling and Internet remote operation and maintenance workshop that can monitor, operate, and manage the experimental equipment of the Maanshan pilot base workshop through the digital twin system in Nanjing, realizing digital modelling of workshops and production lines, remote intelligent monitoring and diagnosis of important equipment, and off-site Internet operation and maintenance. The completion and operation of the platform have taken a solid step towards providing whole-process digital services to steel and metallurgical enterprises and empowering them to improve quality and increase efficiency.

MCC Huatian Equipment Branch Company (Pilot Base)

Internet operation and maintenance: integrated cross-region data management

In the Long Product Smart Manufacturing Centre in the Nanjing office park area, the safety prompt "Ready to Start" sounded through the voice system in the workshop of the micro pilot platform for Maanshan equipment. The operator started the button in Nanjing, the equipment in Maanshan was in running instantly in an orderly manner, the operation data in the digital operation and maintenance screen in Nanjing jumped instantly, and the high-definition camera showed the whole picture of the micro pilot platform in Maanshan in real-time from all directions and angles. The whole picture of the micro pilot platform in Maanshan was displayed, and the intelligent row straightening machine, tandem mill, double module mill, and other physical equipment and the BIM model in the virtual workshop were combined with reality, reflecting the R&D design and manufacturing capability, digital simulation modelling, and remote operation and maintenance capability of MCC Huatian in metallurgical equipment.

The operation interface of MCC Huatian Nanjing-Maanshan Integrated Digital Twin System

"This system can integrate digital information such as equipment, products, personnel, and site conditions from off-site locations and share them remotely and in real-time with images in a visual form to the O&M centre." Zhang Zhongyi, the main developer of the system's intelligent development department, said that after these key data are transmitted to the O&M centre, the system carries out intelligent analysis and centralised management, and once abnormalities are detected by the system's process monitoring or video analysis, it immediately notifies the management staff and responds quickly to achieve unmanned production control cross regionally, which effectively improves O&M efficiency while saving management costs.

Monitoring screen of a tandem mill at the pilot plant

Technology to boost the digital transformation of iron & steel enterprises

The digital transformation and upgrading of metallurgical enterprises face complicated production and management elements, and also have to solve the problem of large management costs, and it is also difficult to achieve comprehensive and in-depth risk control, and digital technology is still a often-heard but unfamiliar concept to many enterprises.

The digital twin system of MCC Huatian's micro pilot platform takes the long product technology and equipment micro pilot platform as a demonstration application scenario, builds a three-dimensional visualisation model of the workshop and equipment at the long product smart manufacturing centre in Nanjing office park, and accesses in real time the massive data, i.e. production process data, equipment event records, personnel voice communication, workshop video monitoring and other multi-source heterogeneous data, of the equipment micro pilot platform in Maanshan. On the basis of these data, intelligent research and judgment of personnel, equipment safety situation and work status are conducted to improve the level of safety production management and equipment management, and achieve unmanned (less humanized) operation and maintenance. "We designed this system to create an open platform for digital factories, where many traditional processes in iron & steel plant, such as steel rolling, steelmaking, and ironmaking, can quickly convert to safe, efficient, and valuable digital factories by introducing our digital twin system." Zhang Zhongyi introduced.

Relying on the system, big data driven production and operations can be realized, enabling lean steel production management, monitoring and managing the health status of equipment throughout its life cycle through the intelligent diagnostic algorithm module. The intelligent video monitoring module of the system can automatically capture and record the attendance, flow, and non-compliant operations of site personnel; the intelligent prediction module can forecast possible risks in advance, which helps ensure production safety and helps the steel industry transform and upgrade digitally.

"The 14th Five-Year Plan proposes to drive the change of production methods with digital transformation. MCC Huatian will continue to promote the construction of a "digital enterprise brain", make full use of information technology, digitalization and networking technology, accelerate the R&D innovation and application promotion of intelligent manufacturing of steel, and promote the deep integration of the Internet, big data, artificial intelligence and the steel industry. According to the business needs and technical advantages of the four diversified businesses of "one body, two wings" of MCC Huatian, the planning and layout of digital businesses will be vigorously promoted to create a favorable environment for the implementation and execution of "Digital Minmetals" and "Innovative Minmetals" in MCC Huatian, and provide digital planning, design, delivery, and remote operation and maintenance services for our customers, and offer optimal solutions for the construction of smart factories.
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