“Traffic Lights” in a New Way

A mobile control system named “Traffic lights” is being improved at the Mill.

How is it possible to make inspections quickly but at the same time at a high quality and efficiency level, decreasing number and duration of equipment downtime? The answers to these questions have been found at the Mill.

The “Traffic lights” system was implemented at the Mill in order to organize automatic data collection about technical condition of equipment to control the turnaround maintenance at ZAPORIZHSTAL. Its functionality allows to define facility’s technical status, plan and carry out overhauls on the basis of the obtained data and etc. However, previously workers first of all made inspection of equipment and after that input data into the system via PC.

Mobile Assistant

The Mill does not stand still but develops and improves already existing processes. Thus, a new pilot project was implemented, in the hot steel rolling shop which allowed to make the process equipment inspection automated. 26 mobile devices were purchased, Wi-Fi coverage was extended with the help of 10 Wi-Fi access points and specialized software was developed in order to implement the project in the hot rolling shop.

Now the hot rolling shop employees are making inspections with the help of mobile devices. The data is transmitted via this device immediately during inspection. A worker cannot input information into the system if he hasn’t previously scanned a corresponding RFID-tag on the inspected equipment. This excludes a possibility of unscrupulous data input into the system without prior inspection of units as well as increases responsiveness.

Downtime is decreased

The Project demonstrated excellent results. Owing to its implementation, downtime duration due to technical reasons was decreased by 12% during 2019. This is why a decision was taken to roll out the “Traffic lights” mobile control system to other structural subdivisions of the Mill: sinter shop, blast furnace shop, open-hearth furnace and slabbing shops, cold rolling shop, heat & power plant, grid and substation shop, basic oxygen furnace shop and water supply shop, for which reason it is planned to purchase 53 Zebra TC77HL mobile terminals. Except terminals, it is also planned to purchase charging stations for them and about 2,000 RFID-tags. The Mill invested more than 5 mln UAH in improvement of the “Traffic lights” program.

— This month we received 10 more of such mobile terminals for the water supply shop. “The shop employees are already being trained to work with them and soon they will start to apply mobile terminals in their everyday work,” commented Dmitriy Ksenita, the Head of the Reliability Department.