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1st September 2023

Dillinger and SMS group sign cooperation agreement to accelerate digitalization of iron and steel making process

From left to right: Jens Löfhelm, Technical Logistics Dillinger, Dr. Dan Iulian Durneata, Engineer Technology Pig Iron Production Dillinger, Fabrice Hansen, Chief Technology Officer SMS digital GmbH, André Schneider, CEO SMS Region Europe and CEO Paul Wurth S.A:, Dr. Peter Maagh, Chief Technology and Production Officer Dillinger and Saarstahl and Managing Director of SHS – Stahl-Holding-Saar, Dr. Michael Bott, Production Director Dillinger, Dr. Christian Dengler, Product Manager Digitalization Paul Wurth GmbH, Dr. Franz Reufer, Sales Director and Key Account Manager SHS, Paul Wurth GmbH, Robert Spierling, Manager Business Development & Consulting, SMS digital GmbH.

Quote of original press release by SMS group

Düsseldorf, September 1, 2023

Aktien-Gesellschaft der Dillinger Hüttenwerke (Dillinger) and SMS group have announced a cooperation agreement to optimize blast furnace operation by modeling and digitalizing logistics processes. The Raw Material Tracker will be based on the proven BFXpert software and include three different digital models that accurately track the bulk materials along the burdening-to-blast furnace process chain. This enables the blast furnace process to be controlled more precisely.

Digital mapping of material conveyance through the material feed models enables predictive problem analysis and monitoring of digital values with the Advanced Raw Material Tracker, which highlights irregularities. As a result, Dillinger is able to manage the hoppers with low staffing levels and produce 10,000 tons of hot metal every day. Similarly, load peaks can also be reduced by utilizing load-optimized belt feeding, and the transport of spherical goods on conveyors is enhanced by preventing unwanted discharges from inclined conveyors.

SMS group’s process control and operator guidance system BFXpert serves as the platform for the development of the “Advanced Raw Material Tracker.” By implementing three models, disturbances in burden charging can be detected at an early stage, resulting in more efficient conveyor belt assignment. The conveyor model is responsible for monitoring bulk material that is charged onto the conveyor belt. The hopper model delivers a real-time calculation of the material distribution, which is based on the material properties, during filling and emptying of the material hopper. The burdening model provides information as well as the radial distribution of the individual material portions in the blast furnace, in order to achieve optimal conveyor belt occupancy. These models have already been successfully integrated into production operations on two blast furnaces at the site in Dillingen.

“We are proud to work with Dillinger to develop the Advanced Raw Material Tracker based on a proven application. This solution has already been successfully launched on the market and is now more precisely tailored to customer needs,” says Fabrice Hansen, Chief Technology Officer at SMS digital. 

“So far, the models have demonstrated the system’s ability to adapt quickly to changes in feedstock qualities. Their implementation has led to more efficient logistical planning with regard to the input and circulated material, as well as improved maintenance practices. The integration of these models into BFXpert has made it easier to monitor burdening processes,” explains Dr. Peter Maagh, Chief Operations and Technology Officer at Dillinger.


About Dillinger 
Aktien-Gesellschaft der Dillinger Hüttenwerke (Dillinger) was founded in 1685 and today is a world leader in the manufacture of high-grade heavy plate steel. The Dillinger Group employs a total of around 6,200 people. High-tech plate from Dillinger is used to realize extraordinary and technically advanced projects all over the globe in the steel construction, mechanical engineering, offshore, offshore wind power, line pipe and pressure vessel construction sectors, as well as many others. 
More information at: www.dillinger.en.

SMS group is renowned worldwide for its future-oriented technologies and outstanding service for the metals industry. The company applies its 150 years of experience and its digital know-how to provide the industry continuously with innovative products and processes – even beyond its core business – and generates worldwide sales of around 2.6 billion euros. SMS is the right partner for challenging projects, and supports its customers throughout the lifecycle of their plants, enabling profitable and resource-efficient value creation chains. Paving the way for a carbon-neutral and sustainable metals industry is the company’s stated goal. As a global player with German roots, SMS takes responsibility for its 14,500 employees.