Quad Infotech Inc. has completed implementation and commissioning of the QMOS Manufacturing Execution System at Gerdau’s Whitby plant in Ontario, Canada. This installation is a part of Gerdau’s initiative to use QMOS as its corporate manufacturing system. QMOS will soon communicate with Gerdau Corporate-wide SAP system.
The new system covers the plant Scheduling and Quality Control as well as operation of Melt Shop, Billet Inventory, two Rolling Mills (Bar and Structural mills), and Roll Shop.
Among the unique challenges faced with this implementation was enabling QMOS to coordinate scheduling and production operations from the single Melt Shop to feed into both the Bar and Structural Rolling Mills. Work Orders for both mills are combined into casting and melting orders for the Melt Shop, but yet remain distinct in order to separate the billets required for each of the mills and maintain Billet Inventory integrity. Extra functionality was added to control billet movements within the billet yard to assist with this process.
In the Melt Shop, transfer of scrap charge recipe and actual charge consumption along with dynamic predicted melt down energy calculation are now sent and received by QMOS. The process helps the mill in optimizing energy costs. Furthermore, QMOS incorporates its latest version of newly developed mold tracking system that tracks the life of mold housings and mold tubes by the number of heats and/or hot metal contact time.
Further enhancements to QMOS were made with respect to bundle weight verification. As new bundles are weighed, the weights are automatically sent to QMOS. Piece counts are verified based on Unit Weight using an algorithm unique to the Whitby plant, and bundle tags are printed automatically as the data is confirmed.
The QMOS implementation now integrates all facets of the production process at Whitby Facility. From receiving and scheduling orders, through the production of billets by the Melt Shop, to Finished Bundles by the Rolling Mill and including the strict Quality Control demands, users are fully aware of the current up-to-the-minute status of all aspects of the process, as well as the complete genealogy of all activities.
Gerdau is the second-largest minimill steel producer in North America with annual manufacturing capacity of over 9.0 million tons of mill finished steel products. Through its vertically integrated network of 17 minimills (including one 50%-owned minimill), 17 scrap recycling facilities and 46 downstream operations, Gerdau primarily serves customers in the eastern two-thirds of North America.
Quad Infotech is a software engineering and design company that specializes in the development of industrial computer software for the steel industry. Quad’s unique combination of steelmaking and rolling process knowledge, combined with computer software design expertise, renders Quad’s Level-2 and Level-3 software products unique in the global steel minimill market. [QMOS] has been operating in numerous steel plants throughout North America and Europe since 1994.