With the help of sharp laser illuminated imaging, new real-time information inunprecedented detail can be acquired from high temperature metal and steel processes. Advanced algorithmic image processing and other machine vision technologies are introduced to provide automated analysis and assessment of the processes. An industrial internet platform, Sapotech Reveal, enables a totally new kind of global service-based business model. All video, image and measurement data is stored in a cloud service platform and presented to users in real time, with unprecedented usability. This platform enables the users to take full use of collected video and measurement data through advanced analytics, reports and internet based information sharing.
The full service-based business model, a new phenomenon in metal and steel industry, offers the solution to customers without heavy investments in hardware and software. In addition, the service-based business model is extremely flexible to extend. The customer only pays for the use of the solution. Thus, the investment begins to generate value as soon as the service starts. The new business model brings the benefits of the use, maintenance and remote operation model to high temperature manufacturing processes, where cloud services have not previously been adapted in this scale.
“The ELEMET program brought together industry and academic partners offering a great platform for technological breakthrough. During the SIMP program we have further developed the solution. SIMP program has offered industrial applications which play an important role when applying the technological innovation into industrial applications and solutions,” tells Saku Kaukonen CEO of Sapotech.
Advanced technological solution initiated in the FIMECC ELEMET program and further developed in FIMECC SIMP program offers unique and powerful online tools to monitor and control high temperature metallurgical processes, at the earliest possible stages.
“When quality problems can be addressed as early as possible, it results in significant capacity and energy savings. In practice the energy savings induced by the solution can be up to tens of megawatt hours per year in an integrated steel plant. These savings are comparable to an annual production of several wind power plants. As another example, removing a single defective steel slab from the process at such an early stage results in savings of tens of thousands of dollars per unit.”, Saku Kaukonen emphasizes about benefits of Reveal online measurement and analysis systems.
Annual cost savings are estimated to be 5 - 10 million euros for a typical integrated steel plant. The solution enables immediate, real time decisions at the production process and therefore improves the production efficiency of the steel plant. Because it offers accurate visualization and documentation of a surface quality and dimension features at the earliest possible stage of production, it can prevent further processing of defected products. This results in tremendous cost savings through decreased energy and resource consumption. Sapotech Reveal enhances process control and generates totally new information and tools to the further development of these processes.
Saku Kaukonen, Sapotech
University Of Oulu, Outokumpu, SSAB, Sapotech