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China’s first smart scrap plant - safer and super-efficient

Date:2022/4/29 Source: CISDI

China now has its first smart scrap plant.

Baowu’s Ouyeel Blockchain Finance and Metal Recycling Resources Co teamed up with CISDI on the project.

Ouyeel is China’s largest recycling centre for metal resources. Based by the Yangtze River at the Cihu Hi-tech Zone in Maanshan City, and close to Maanshan Steel, it is playing an invaluable role in boosting urban and regional green and smart credentials.

The Anhui Province scrap plant serves integrated businesses with a range of scrap services - from production, warehousing and transportation to its facility.

A demo for the intelligent manufacture of scrap, it features a compact and efficient workforce, transparent management and smart decision-making systems.

To achieve these advancements, CISDI has applied automation and information tech-based internet of things and artificial intelligence expertise and equipment - important methods for enhancing business processes and increasing operational efficiency.

Remarkable achievements have been recorded since the smart scrap plant launched since March:

     30 workers are no longer required at the plant’s warehouse, transportation, metering and inspection and judgement posts

     Over 20 per cent higher operational efficiency

      Each pre-inspection and metering operation is over 10 minutes faster

     20 per cent growth of maximum delivery quantity

     Greater management and decision-making efficiency

     Workplace safety levels improved.

 

Digital application to integrated, super-efficient management

Local and decentralised management has been transformed to centralised, smart control.

All production and operations data is displayed on an integrated screen at the plant’s centralised control centre. This enables all duties and posts to deeply fuse, horizontally and longitudinally. Data crossing multiple dimensions are utilised and controlled in a coordinated way.

Smart applications across planning, production and appraisal sectors converge at the centre, forming closed-loop management. As a result, operators receive more visible, real-time information of the process.

The scrap’s procurement, storage and transportation is well coordinated and is dynamically responsive to its manufacturing, enhancing manufacturing standards and efficiency.

 

Reducing manpower ensures greater workplace safety

China’s first unmanned scrap plant crane is running successfully at Ouyeel.

Industrial Al-based smart scheduling, machine vision and digital twin tech has been applied, enabling a safer and more efficient scrap warehouse.

The overhead crane has no driver while running on automaton and is unaffected by challenging weather, process and site conditions, achieving greater workplace safety. Savings in labour costs amount to USD125,800 per annum.

An intelligent warehousing system, developed specifically for this scrap plant, creates dynamic zoning and automated distribution, greatly enhancing warehouse availability. Laser scanners and deep-learning expertise create accurate, targeted inventories of stored goods.

The scrap plant has been made even safer and greener thanks to a safety and environmental protection module. It implements intelligent identification of onsite workers and equipment status and enables self-adaptive control of environmental protection facilities.

 

Intelligent control drives higher productivity

Scrap’s transportation relies on trucks. Reducing a truck’s idle time is crucial to improving transport efficiency.

A dedicated smart logistics system has been developed for the scrap plant.

Trucks are identified automatically and can be fully controlled right across the plant, thanks to smart tracking, labour-free metering, dynamic pre-inspection and smart scheduling. There are no blind spots.

As a result, truck waiting time has been greatly reduced, efficiency of the plant’s logistical operations has increased by 30 per cent and 12 workers have been removed from their posts.

Quality inspection is one of the most important factors in scrap recycling. An assisted inspection and judgement system, developed for Ouyeel, achieves quality traceability of all procedures by tracking and monitoring.

It ensures technical integrity and impartial quality judgement, has a 99.18 per cent accuracy rate and reduces quality inspection-incurred losses by USD 0.8 per tonne of scrap.

An equipment health management module executes full life-cycle status and performance control of the plant’s equipment and facility. Thanks to its planning and optimisation of equipment maintenance, the scrap plant is expected to save around USD 125,800 a year by reducing unplanned production stoppages and double this amount - USD 251,600 - on equipment maintenance costs.

 

 

A wide-angle shot of the centralised control centre at Ouyeel’s smart scrap plant