MMK introduces digital innovations for product sertification
An automated system for checking and certifying metal products using IT devices was put into commercial operation at the Quality Control and Product Acceptance Department (QCD) located at sheet rolling shop No. 10 of Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK).
The project was the first in a series of planned innovations aimed at improving the process of certification of metal prepared for shipment. This area is being implemented in the interests of the QCD by the Production Systems Department of MMK-Informservice (part of MMK Group).
The developers had an ambitious goal: to make all QCD controllers "mobile" by removing the link to the stationary PCs on which the procedures for finding the necessary information and confirming the approval were carried out. It was necessary to enable the controllers to retrieve all coil and batch information quickly and directly at the coil location, as well as to enter the attestation marks without having to go back to the computer.
The team of developers from the production systems department of MMK-Informservice successfully delivered on this task: the optimal industrial tablets were selected as well as the specialised mobile software and the automated workplace "Mobile controller" was developed, with the help of which the employee of the QCD at sheet rolling shop No.10 can quickly and easily use all the necessary information systems optimised for use on the tablet. During the project’s implementation, a large number of existing parallel MMK services and systems were integrated, optimal tag and code formats were determined and the optimal methods for employees to use the new devices were identified.
Since the start of trial operation, which began on 1 November 2021, the developers have gathered comments and suggestions from the controllers and implemented interface improvements and the team will continue to consider further enhancements.
The commissioning of the automated system for checking and certifying metal products has laid the foundation for a future unified approach and further scaling of the solution to other areas of the QCD, and is another step in the MMK’s digital transformation as part of the Group’s wider Digitalisation Strategy, adopted in 2019. It is based on about two hundred digital transformation projects affecting almost two dozen key functional areas of the Company. In addition, the portfolio of digitalisation projects includes almost two dozen technological IT platforms required for effective implementation of the strategy. Priority areas include an integrated corporate information system, mobile access to key business applications, use of artificial intelligence technologies to solve tasks of modelling and forecasting technological and business processes, end-to-end customised production planning and operational order fulfilment management, and solving occupational healthy and safety tasks in the workplace.