Ternium chose Danieli to supply an inventory management system and fully automatic handling equipment that will feed 4.1 Mtpy of slabs to a greenfield hot-strip mill at Pesqueria, Mexico. The purpose is to optimize incoming slab flow by applying artificial intelligence for the Slab Yard Management System (SYMS), in direct connection and communication with the downstream process of the Hot-Strip Mill.
A complete handling system - including 10 EOT cranes, seven transfer cars and two destackers - will receive slabs from the mill and to distribute and transfer these products through the intermediate and final storage areas.
The Slab Yard Management System (SYMS) calculates the task for all operating equipment according to the forecast production mix submitted by the Plant MES; optimizing the movements and the relocation of each slab; and thus in real-time tuning the mission to the actual needs determined by the product mix and equipment status.
Slabs are moved by autonomous transfer cars from the arrival bays to the RHF charging bays.
Slabs in the charging bay are stored according to the RHF charging sequence, in order to optimize the crane cycles during the loading phase, to reduce the loading cycle time and increase the flexibility in case of any change in the production schedule.
Properly sequenced slabs are stacked below two destackers, which continuously load slabs on a 50-m long roller table, and feed them directly into the HSM furnace, according to the production mix and required schedule.
The SYMS is installed on a central server, and includes the main intelligent functions for yard management, such as:
- Yard Storage optimization
- Crane movement optimization
- Multi-crane bay coordination
- Crane downtime and maintenance management
- Other functions for cranes-to-transport-device handling also are hosted.
Worker safety in the slab yard is significantly improved, avoiding hazards related to human presence, and isolating machine operations within fenced units.
The fully automatic solution is leading to an estimated 20% utilization of the previously required Ternium workforce in the yards, maintaining human supervision only for the material arrival on trains and furnace charging.
Unmanned slab handling, integrated and coordinated with the main process line, leads to improved flexibility, continuous optimization and predictability of Ternium plant. This identifies this solution as the new benchmark for the latest industrial revolution in the material management of an integrated plant.