The buzzword these days in almost all industries is digitalization or digital transformation. Technologies like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence or Cloud Computing promise a bright future for production. However, while even the pioneers in the steel industry know that Industry 4.0 is not falling from the sky, others are still waiting for instructions to introduce Industry 4.0 tomorrow like any other product in their own factory. The problem here is: a man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.
PSI does not stay ashore and has been striving for continuous further development for many years. Like a compass, we navigate our customers toward high performance and competitiveness in the ocean of competitors in the metals market. With our best-in-class product and its high configurability, we are setting the course for digitalization in order not to get lost in the dark sea - because we are the captains of digital transformation in our industry.
The experience of our experts and their industry-specific know-how flow into the product development – ending up in the new PSImetals Release. PSImetals 5.18 thus offers innovations which are geared to the needs of our customers in order to guide them on their journey to the new shores. Three major innovations and several smaller but valuable further developments are intended to improve the transparency, configurability and graphical presentation of PSImetals.
The Quality Indicators (QI) introduced in PSImetals Release 5.17 and extended in 5.18 open the door for our customers to advanced quality evaluation.
A QI is a formula that generates a single value from a large number of parameters, therefore enabling a quality decision to be made. The input parameters that are used to “feed” it are material-specific and process-related measured values from current and previous production steps (historical data), or even values from other QIs.
Thanks to these Quality Indicators, the system is now able to make a quality decision based on complex data situation immediately after a production process, far richer than a simple comparison of material data to target order requirements, and without the need for lengthy sampling processes.
Additionally, 5.18 introduces the Quality Process Snapshots (QPS) functionality. A QPS is basically a set of quality-related data of one single production step and material, hence a quality data snapshot related to a given material geneology node, including a reference to the production time. Such data includes input and output material unit data, process data – which can be related to time as well as to material coordinates, and the derived Quality Indicators data. Process data includes Primary Data Input (PDI) and Primary Data Output (PDO) data as well as any other available data such as measurement curves, data coming from surface inspection systems or even raw data from level 2 systems.
The QPS are fully versioned and have their own data structure in PSImetals Factory Model, providing a complete source of quality data which can be used not only for material usage decisions but also for statistical process control analysis and set the path towards advanced quality predictions based on machine learning or deep learning techniques.
While a scheduler in the long and tube business typically looks at the inventory volume-wise, an operator in production and logistics needs to see the production progress piece by piece. A quality engineer, on the other hand, needs a genealogy view focusing in the quality-relevant or influencing production steps.
Now different granularities of production data are reflected within the Factory Model. Production lines generally consist of several machines or “inlines”. Especially during production execution all those inlines must be tracked for the material going through. At the planning level, on the other hand, it is sufficient to consider a higher aggregation, so-called “proxy” lines. The proxy line concept allows realizing both aggregation levels within one Factory Model.
Additionally, the PSImetals 5.18 Release introduces volume scheduling: it is now possible to schedule and track production orders not only at piece level but also on volume or production quantity base.
As a result, the 5.18 Release enables you to display the full range of volume granularities needed within the different production processes and integrates on the same physical inventory in the Factory Model the perspectives of all different users:
In long and tube businesses, orders sharing similar dimensions, characteristics, and quality are often manufactured within production batches called “campaigns.” Campaign Scheduling allows efficient production of huge volumes by using one machine setting (minimizing setup times).
PSImetals 5.18 provides decision support for the assignment of campaign types in the Planning Repository Manager as well as major updates of the campaign management screens within PSImetals Order Scheduler:
Especially in the Long & Tube business, customers need to have flexibility regarding the time and physical choice of sample pieces:
With 5.18 it is now possible to define test lots at a very early production stage, considering individual requirements (based on order, standard, production internal restrictions etc.), while taking the decision for a sample piece as late as possible, close to production finishing. Test lots definition and the physical sample piece-decision can be performed either manually or automatically supported by a configured algorithm. The selected test piece results are then reported in the certificate as a representative of the whole test lot. The full inspection test plan can be integrated within PSImetals Order Dressing.
PSImetals 5.18 offers a 24/7 Due Date Quoting (DDQ) service that computes for each inquiry received if the product is technically feasible and what are all its possible production routes with their corresponding costs or priorities.
The user is then informed directly whether or not the product can be delivered in time taking into account the current order book and the target quotas for order acceptance on final and intermediate lines coming from Sales & Operation Planning (S&OP) calculation.
Cheapest routes will be selected to meet the desired due date given by the inquiry.
If PSImetals is integrated into an ERP system, the results are reported back to the ERP system and the order confirmation including the updating of the quotas is followed up.
Demand Monitoring in PSImetals 5.18 enables the user to permanently monitor volumes by product and time (weekly, monthly, quarterly) of
Furthermore, quotas per product and week can be edited and reservations be made in real-time. New inputs will be considered automatically in the DDQ process. Selected inquiries can be quoted again after having updated quotas. In addition new forecasts can be uploaded that will be used in future Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) calculation.
This workflow combines both technical and capacity checks while taking into account current workload of the plant during accepting an order and providing online monitoring of how orders are accepted.
In the area of warehouse and transport management, the existing 3D view has now been significantly improved. In PSImetals 5.18, the web-based 3D Yard Graphic provides the user with a detailed overview of the yard at all times.
The new PSImetals 3D Yard Graphic can be easily integrated into the project’s office and web screens and is available on every browser and mobile device.
Every customer has different requirements for the software he or she uses. With Click Design and Flow Configurator, two concepts have been successfully introduced in the past that allow configuration in core areas of a solution. With PSImetals 5.18 the interaction between these two concepts has been simplified.
The Configurable Actions concept within Click Design allows customers and project teams to easily add new user actions, such as buttons and dialogs to the PSImetals User Interface. With the 5.18 Release, empty flows are automatically created within Flow Configurator following the configuration of new actions. This simplifies and accelerates earlier development and testing phases. At the same time, the PSImetals Flow Configurator allows users to add new functions for these actions.
Both features are now fully integrated in PSImetals.
With the enhanced PSImetals KPI Mobile Screens the user is now able to access real-time information and the current status of production on his or her mobile device.
The PSImetals Plant Monitor enables customers to create and edit their own graphical visualizations and indicators linked dynamically to data gathered from the Factory Model. Plant Monitor’s visual displays and indicators help technical managers and control departments to efficiently monitor production, forecast bottlenecks and to take quick decisions on the shop floor.
In the PSImetals Release 5.18 the Plant Monitor has been further integrated with PSI Click Design and equipped with extensive functionalities such as an extended function library in the logic editor, a widget selection and support for right-click actions.
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