ArcelorMittal is further investing in digitalization initiatives and programs across the business fully encompassing all functional capabilities of emerging technologies paving in a sustainable way the ambitious vision to lead the path through an entire digital enterprise where everything is connected.
With the recent launch of the Digital Committee coordinated by the Group CTO Head of Digitalization, bringing together Global R&D, Global CIO and segments CDO, the group aims to expedite the digitalization of its whole supply chain, enhancing the performance and sustainability of the manufacturing and business processes.
The Digital Committee key role is driving directions and priorities on top of the DTWG – Digital Technology Working Group – launched in 2018 with a key tenet to bring together and integrate IT and Process Automation personnel – promoting an effective governance model focus on digital value creation to the business, risk mitigation and improve the outcomes through: sharing of the best practices; effective technology watch; digital global approach; common frameworks and templates and digital ecosystem integration.
The Digital Activity Tracking monitoring, handled by DTWG team, shows that the group is moving digitalization fully aligned with the business strategy across the segments. The digital initiatives already implemented exploring the capabilities of the emerging technologies are generating positive outcomes for the business.
Pinakin Chaubal, Chief Technology Officer at ArcelorMittal, says: “Digitalization is an important pillar for the company and is playing an even bigger role than ever before, such is the speed of innovation and new technologies being developed. We have already implemented some of the most innovative solutions available in our different markets and in different parts of the business but by coming together and organizing ourselves in this way, we are accelerating our work in this area.”
He also says: “Digital technologies will not only drive radical changes in the steel plant, but will also empower us to be the steel company of the future, an industry leader in every aspect, and a company with whom customers and talent from all over the world want to work.”
Below a few examples of current digitalization initiatives across the group:
- Recognizing the benefits of collaboration on such projects, ArcelorMittal Europe has created centers of digital excellence in Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Poland and Spain and also ArcelorMittal Brazil, launched two digital innovations labs where new technologies are developed from prototype to maturity. In December 2019, ArcelorMittal launched two new digital labs in France, acting as training and innovation centers for employees, students and local start-ups.
- A telemetry project in a scrapyard in Brazil, which uses highly automated communications processes by which measurements are made and collecting and integrating some other data at remote areas of the sites, helping to manage suppliers and maintenance costs, manage the supply of forklifts, optimize driving routes and most importantly, improves safety performance.
- Automated stockyards, linked to line scheduling and transport devices such as autonomous cranes mean less stock is needed, and lead times are cut: two major supply chain benefits.
- An AI image recognition project in the hot mill in Canada, and an AI model that decides a weld release instantaneously and automatically. Both AI projects will save time and lead to increased productivity. Also, AI image recognition projects were launched in Brazil, one for Cold Coil Width Measurement and another for automatically grading environmental emissions.
- Predictive maintenance across several sites to ensure longer working lives for our machinery, totally aligned with Maintenance Reliability Programs.
- Digital twinning whereby virtual models of physical assets or manufacturing processes are built to provide a digital fingerprint of a coil that's scheduled for delivery. Quality defects are marked with a barcode on the coil and linked to a digital twin of the coil in the cloud. Customers can then automatically scan the bar codes when the coil arrives, access the quality data from the cloud. and optimize their operations with the knowledge downloaded from the bar code.
- 'Virtual mills' connecting all Flat Products mills, systems, and order books, to removes all boundaries, whether geographical or technical, ensuring that customer’ product needs can be met straight away.
- Additionally, Global R&D has been providing all the necessary support for the establishment of platforms that allow the development of advanced models related to our processes, as well as the development of disruptive solutions associated with the metal part manufacturing processes.
Chaubal says: “This is not an exhaustive list of initiatives, there is so much innovative work going on in our different sites globally. And with our reorganization, I'm excited about what more we can achieve together.”