by Analytics Insight
January 29, 2022
With Noodle.ai’s solutions, deployments of Big River Steel are showing big results and attracting attention
Big River Steel is a technology company that makes steel. It had an issue that could be solved by BRS driving unprecedented levels of profit per mill hour while meeting the increasing demand for high-quality steel at predicated times. All this, while conserving the amount of energy consumed. The CEO of the company, Save Stickler, had a dream of building a FlexMill and becoming the world’s first Learning Mill. A Learning Mill is one that can continuously sense, learn, and improve its functions. Big steel companies, one that is the size of Big River Steel, need to run at maximum efficiency to compete. Big River Steel realized that most steel companies and mini-mills built in the 80s are run by static business rules from decades ago and there is no way of doing business. That is when Big River Steel decided to be different. It created facility operations that learn something from every ton of steel the mill melts and rolls. Combining massive data, software, and state-of-the-art equipment in a mill that can sense, predict, and recommend corrections to maximize production yields, enhance product quality, mitigate safety risks, and minimize costs became the ultimate goals.
Noodle.ai took up the challenge to help Big River Steel realize its dream. For that, it was crucial for every operation to be connected and optimized together. Checking the demand flow was the first step. Big River Steel’s planning starts with demand prediction. Noodle.ai created a Demand Flow application that was a perfect fit by combining historical demand patterns with auto production, commodity and security features, global news, and macroeconomic events that unlocked powerful breakthroughs in forecasting accuracy for maximum capacity increase.
The second task was to check the asset flow. The mill has tens and thousands of signals from several sensors embedded in the mill. This creates many opportunities for artificial intelligence to make improvements. This sensor data plus domain knowledge, existing internal and external data led to a dynamic prediction of wear rates and productive high-expense consumables, like refractory panels and furnaces.
With Noodle.ai’s solutions, Big River Steel’s deployments are showing big results and attracting attention, such as an invitation to the White House AI Summit and an article in the Wall Street Journal. Through this collaboration, Big River Steel and Noodle.ai are defining Industry 4.0 for metals and manufacturing.
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