Recently, a pilot project on continuous slab casters was completed by Primetals Technologies in cooperation with the Brazilian steel producer Gerdau. The project was carried out at Gerdau's plant in Ouro Branco, Brazil. The pilot project focused on Gerdau's continuous slab caster and enabled the steelmaker to access technical information about its spare parts as well as create service requests online via m.space.
m.space is a comprehensive digital platform that provides steelmakers with an easy and fast way to get in touch with the right Primetals Technologies experts when they have a service request or question. The requests can enable solutions to on spare parts issues, plant documentation and remote live support for mechanical, electrical and automation issues.
Requests via m.space platform
"The m.space platform provides a new interface between the customer and Primetals Technologies. It is a unique solution, and this portal could be used by Gerdau units throughout the Americas," said Euder Melo, casting maintenance specialist at Gerdau's Ouro Branco facility.
Requests focused on remote inspection of continuous casting rolls and analysis of data generated by the ladle turret condition monitoring system, among others. Automation support for Primetals Technologies' technology packages such as Dynawidth, Dynaflex, the ASTC system, and the Strand Checker were also components of the requests.
The requests were technology specific and required a high level of expertise. Primetals Technologies not only resolved the requests, but also provided Gerdau with additional insight thanks to its expertise in maintenance and by using historical troubleshooting data from m.space.
Digital solution finding
In the past, maintenance problems often had to be solved by a field engineer on site. However, these new technological developments enable Primetals Technologies' experts to support steel producers digitally without the need for their on-site presence. As a result, maintenance issues can be resolved more quickly and cost-effectively, as there are no additional travel costs.
The steel producer's internal service technicians can thus be supported by Primetals Technologies experts from the initial troubleshooting to the successful implementation of a solution. With the help of smart glasses and a cell phone or tablet, the Primetals Technologies team always stays in dialog with the technicians on site.
With a 121-year history, Gerdau is Brazil's largest steel producer, one of the leading manufacturers of long steel in North and South America, and one of the world's most important producers of special steels. Gerdau operates in nine countries and supplies the agricultural, automotive, construction, distribution, energy, industrial and mining markets.