This is a Joint IET presentation with South East.

Speaker

IET logo

Kevin White

Synopsis

With so many people working and learning remotely this presentation will give you the opportunity to experience a visit to a working steelworks to uncover the technology used to optimise the business in this competitive industry.

Using video, 3D images and 3D models you can experience a huge and exciting business usually only seen by insiders.

Once you have experienced the Blast Furnaces, Steel Making Plants and Rolling Mills, we will share some of the exciting technology from IoT to Cloud Analytics that drives our continuous improvement.

Questions/comments from the event:

Q: What is the size of BOFs?
KW >>> That’s not a question I’m able to respond to.

Q: Why don't the torpedos melt?
KW >>> The Steel shell of the torpedo is protected by multiple layers of specially designed refactory material with specific thermal properties.

Q: How many BFs?
KW >>> We have two Blast Furnaces at the Port Talbot Site.

Q: My father use to work as a tippler on the blast furnace, I take it that this is all automated now?
KW >>> There are no longer tipplers at the Blast Furnaces, the weighing systems, raw material transport conveyors and furnace skip cars that feed the required material to the furnaces are fully automated.

Q: How do you control the cut/slice to minimise waste?
KW >>> The speeds, distances and dimensions of the cast steel are accurately tracked and the cutting torches are speed matched by PLCs to the moving slab.

Q: What is the minimum order size?
KW >>> That’s not a question I’m able to respond to.

Q: Are the coke ovens part of the steel plant?
KW >>> They are a separate plant that turns Coal into Coke.

Q: Is LD Gas Recovery envisaged? If so the recovery rate.
KW >>> We do have BOS gas recovery. That’s not a question I’m able to respond to.

Q: Is LPG or Acetyelene used for cutting the slab?
KW >>> The slabs are cut with Oxygen torches.

Q: Has there been any crop optimization implemented on the hot mill crop shears?
KW >>> Yes the slab cropping is optimised using a number of differing technologies.

Q: Where does Port Talbot get its power from?
KW >>> A combination of internally generated and external power.

Q: What is the captive power generation?
KW >>> That's not a question I'm able to respond to.

Q: Oxygen plant capacity please?
KW >>> That’s not a question I’m able to respond to.

When I worked at Port Talbot (1990-1991) we were just starting to look at "cooperative processing" downloading the manufacturing schedules from the mainframe to the new IBM PCs.
KW >>> All scheduling and production reporting is fully automated.

Q: Do you use blast furnace gas and coke oven gas to generate electricity?
KW >>> We use it for electricity generation and for heating in other parts of the process.

Q: Do you have gas holders for CO Gas and BF Gas?
KW >>> Yes we do.

Q: If the Swansea Bay lagoon concept ever gets implemented would the works be able to use tidal power for electricity to power part/all of the plant?
KW >>> Tata Steel has been working with a number of parents including Swansea University to develop a world class energy systems research capability in Wales to consider a wide range of energy solutions.

Q: Can you see coke ovens being pushed from a public road or path? I used to love to see that at night on an NCB site because it was like the gates of hell.
KW >>> There are no public paths in the area but on a foggy night it is sometimes possible to see the glow from the nearby hills.

Q: Can you give the reference for that "Megabytes for metals" paper?
KW >>> Megabytes for metals: Development of computer applications in the iron and steel industry

Q: How many tons does your L. D. converter hold per charge?
KW >>> That’s not a question I’m able to respond to.

Q: With your level of automation, how confident are you that you are resilient against a ransomware attack similar to the one that shutdown the pipeline in the USA recently?
KW >>> While it is a technical question I did start out by saying I wouldn’t comment on anything relating to cyber security.

Q: How resilient is the Port Talbot plant to outages in electricity supply or cyber attack?
KW >>> While it is a technical question I did start out by saying I wouldn’t comment on anything relating to cyber security.

I did my computer studies report for my 'o' levels in 1979 on No5 Blast Furnace as it was one of the first to be computerised.
KW >>> That’s great to hear and each time we reline a furnace additional sensors, automation and data analytics capability is added so the system will have grown may times since then.

Q: What system/apps do you use for asset management?
KW >>> SAP.

Q: What is the specific energy consumption?
KW >>> That’s not a question I’m able to respond to.

Great example of multi-sensor data fusion (LoRaWAN)!

Q: When you mentioned the LoRoWAN system and the connectivity to the internet,... does this not leave you vulnerable to cyber attack?
KW >>> While I won't discuss cyber threats directly, our LoRaWAN is in no way connected with the public systems people may be familiar with.

Q: What's the current running cost / week for the Port Talbot plant?
KW >>> That’s not a question I’m able to respond to.

Q: What kind of MI system is there to dashboard orders introduction etc?
KW >>> There are a number of systems but it would not be appropriate to list them.

Q: Have you any HV oil switchgear on site?
KW >>> It’s not my area of expertise but I believe we do.

Q: How long does the refractory last across the various components?
KW >>> It varies depending on the process and duty cycle but it can be from months to years.

Q: Do you use the furnace exhaust gases in any other processes or energy generation?
KW >>> They are used in heating and electricity generation.

Q: What's the maximum length and width of slabs/strips you can make?
KW >>> That’s not a question I’m able to respond to.

This event is brought to you by: BCS South Wales branch and the IET 

Webinar: Virtual tour of the Port Talbot Tata Steel site and systems
Date and time
Wednesday 12 May, 7:00pm - 9:30pm
Location
Webinar
Price
This event is sold out