ManufacturingApril 23, 2020

How Steel Manufacturers Can Thrive in a Changing Environment

The metals industry has always been competitive and difficult, but the recent crisis has made the business climate even more challenging.
Avatar Anna Burschik
steel manufacturing

The steel and metals manufacturing industry has always been competitive and difficult, but the recent COVID-19 crisis has made the business climate even more challenging. The industry is looking at current developments with great concern as important customer sectors have already begun to stop or significantly reduce production. During this time, it’s even more crucial to improve internal planning to make better decisions more quickly. But here more challenges become obvious.

Planners face challenges

Steelmaking, casting and hot rolling are complex processes, with different exceptions and disruptions in each process. It is not enough to create a single schedule that optimizes the hot charging rate because something is bound to happen in production that will require a change in the schedule. This creates a need for frequent rescheduling, but many steel manufacturing companies do not have the scheduling support to cope with those changes while also maximizing the hot charging rate.

Very often, legacy systems or spreadsheets are the go-to solutions for locally planning every resource in the steel plant — inventory, machine allocation and workforce. This narrow view makes you miss opportunities present only when you look at the full picture, making it almost impossible for planners to balance delivery performance, cost efficiency and customer satisfaction. You can achieve your top goal without compromising on other considerations — but it involves moving away from manual planning.

Mathematical optimization is the key

The right solution for steel manufacturing planners implements mathematical optimization to manage multivariable elements like resource capacity, current order restrictions, specific delivery times and constraints of different business processes.

This is where DELMIA Quintiq excels. We empower metals manufacturers with a solution that can generate the best plan for the future, by:

  • Incorporating all constraints, business rules, regulations and preferences
  • Generating what-if scenarios to imagine possible futures that are aligned with your goals
  • Allowing multiple what-if scenarios to be compared, giving a clear view of the consequences on specific operational KPIs
  • Countering the disadvantages of manual and siloed planning, allowing even the most complex supply chains to be streamlined
  • Optimizing the business in real time to achieve fast and efficient results

The DELMIA Quintiq solution can quickly perform calculations based on all available data to generate feasible and optimal plans. That’s how we’ve helped some of the biggest players in the metals industry reduce their planning efforts by 75% and achieve 40% less inventory.

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