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Automated Steel Qualification System

Developing Middleware for Automated
Steel Qualification System

Overview

The customer is a global steel and steel-related mining company, producing a wide range of steel products for mining, automotive, construction, mechanical engineering, fuel and energy industry sectors. The customer’s automated steel qualification system interacts with the industrial control systems of several steel shops and the enterprise resource planning system (ERP).

Challenge

Manufacturing Execution System (MES) is a vital system used in manufacturing to facilitate the control over multiple elements of the production process. The proper functioning of MES depends on the inputs from a variety of business management systems. The customer commissioned MERA engineers to develop a middleware that would allow for the integration of a recently introduced automated steel qualification system into a large-scale steel plant.

Solution

To perform the integration, the MERA team developed several quality assessment algorithms and implemented them on the qualification system side. The middleware solution enabled the data transfer from the systems in the shop to the automated steel qualification system.

It is important to note that the automated steel qualification system interacts with the industrial control systems at the shop floor and MES in parallel. That said, the qualification system collects data from both levels separately. The system analyzes the obtained data in real time by certification groups such as chemical composition, geometry, etc. Intermediate, final or corrected certification results are recorded and stored in MES.

Results

The middleware solution developed by MERA closes the gap between the shop floor and MES subsystems and provides the seamless data procession between operations and production levels. In-depth analysis of the product quality before shipment allows reducing the reject rate and increasing customer satisfaction.

Technologies

  • Databases: Oracle, MySQL
  • Enterprise resource planning system: SAP
  • JAVA web-services, JDBC
  • XML

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