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New Ways of Continuous Process Improvement in a Blooming Mill

Authors
  • Stimpfl, Martin1
  • Zinner, Silvia2
  • Markiewicz, Peter2
  • 1 GAMED Gesellschaft für Angewandte Mathematik und EDV mbH, Product & Project Management, Harter Straße 48, Graz, 8053, Austria , Graz (Austria)
  • 2 BÖHLER, Kapfenberg, Austria , Kapfenberg (Austria)
Type
Published Article
Journal
BHM Berg- und Hüttenmännische Monatshefte
Publisher
Springer Vienna
Publication Date
Sep 05, 2016
Volume
161
Issue
9
Pages
440–452
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00501-016-0522-2
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

As the first manufacturer, the blooming mill of Böhler Edelstahl GmbH & CoKG could achieve the highest process maturity level 5 according to the ISO 15504 standard. The consistent implementation of methods and optimisation tools for an integrated process and quality management resulted in that success. The blooming mill provides a huge product range for ambitious customers in the automobile, aircraft, and oil industries complying with the highest quality standards. The application of TPM already started 15 years ago and was expanded to an integrated optimisation programme in recent years. That programme now enables the blooming mill to meet the strictest quality requirements efficiently. On the other hand, the productivity of the plant could be improved significantly despite a permanent trend to individual products and smaller lot sizes. The success factors are a new improvement culture and the commitment of the entire production team. Apart from continuous training and qualification activities, the staff is supported by powerful operational IT systems. SLS is a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) providing a simple but flexible grammar for defining process and control plans, validating expected process and product attributes, and defining reactions to events and outcomes. Delivering and visualizing necessary information just in time gives the team high flexibility and insight. Applying statistical methods from the field of Data Mining, Knowledge Discovery, and Machine Learning, the blooming mill sees one key factor for meeting the future demands of Industry 4.0 in handling and gaining insights from the ever-growing amount of data collected along the value chain.

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