Capitalizing on digital opportunity in the steel industry
Embracing digital can help improve productivity through three key areas, visibility, cost per ton, and “hidden mill” capacity to right size their capital footprint relative to demand. In short, technology adoption can help companies become more agile at production efficiency and productivity, so they can get more out of their existing infrastructure.
For example, a major producer of large diameter pipes and railroad wheels was suffering with yearly increase in stock due to a lack of work planning. The plant maintenance (PM) solution they had in place was used for cost tracking only, which meant that their PM planning and budgeting was based on previous year’s cost history and the personal expertise of individuals. To unlock production efficiency and productivity, the mill partnered with GE Digital to combine their PM work history with new downtime tracking data captured in APM to reduce production bottlenecks, identify bad actors, and remedy them quickly. As a result, they achieved target availability of 91.25% and $1.1 million in maintenance cost reduction year over year.
And this is only one example. When it comes to enterprise visibility, steel manufactures have lagged behind other sectors. They’ve turned to employing point solutions, leaving them with disconnected data, people and processes . By integrating data from a variety of systems, operators gain situational awareness that can reduce operational error and help troubleshoot processes to get to root causes more rapidly.