NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Brussels, Belgium, 2009/04/29 - Duferco La Louvière, part of Duferco Group, has finished implementing two SteelPlanner modules for the optimization of its Supply Chain, complementing the existing SteelPlanner environment.
The first additional module is BetaMatcher MidTerm for the optimal Hot Strip mill coffin selection. To efficiently manage a HSM, the Planning Department always has to tackle two complex and consecutive problems: the assignment of slabs to orders and the scheduling of those assigned slabs. Traditionally, these two logistical problems are solved independently. However, this way of working is suboptimal and implies some drawbacks. This might result in assigned slab populations that are not feasible to schedule or that result in poor schedule quality... Shortcutting those issues, the implementation of BetaMatcher at Duferco La Louvière solves the assignment problem and the HSM Scheduling critical constraints in one optimization round.
Mr. Tufaru, Planning Manager at Duferco says: “BetaMatcher MidTerm added value to the slab utilization process and allowed us to maximize the HSM schedules by assigning the critical sizes which increased the schedule length up to 15%.“
The second module is MFC-CAP for Capacity Planning and Due Date Quoting. MFC, AIS' leading solution for Profit Optimization, Capacity Planning and Master Scheduling, has been implemented and tuned in order to face the challenging production environment of Duferco La Louvière. Constraints like casting transition rules, product mix at the Hot Strip Mill, different production routes with possible reparation operations, campaigns at the pickling lines, limited inventory storage capacity, customer orders due date, complex shipment constraints and different priorities for different order categories have been accurately modeled in the system.
Mr. Havelange, project manager at Duferco says: “That project allows us to control efficiently the flow and to forecast problems. It gives us clear and feasible production plan which is a base for strategic discussions and decisions.“
Since the go-live in July 2008, the improvements brought by BetaMatcher appeared very quickly: the weight and the length of the sequences of rolled slabs have increased by an average of 15% to 20%.
On the other hand, MFC has improved the customer service and cross line synchronization. Moreover, within the current economical situation, MFC has been extensively used in order to simulate different production scenarios in order to plan line maintenances and shutdowns.
AIS is a leading supplier of planning and scheduling solutions for the Metals Industry with many references of its SteelPlanner® family of products worldwide. AIS solutions increase the efficiency of expensive heavy equipment by optimizing capacity planning and production schedules. Numerous references all over the world confirm the effectiveness and reliability of the SteelPlanner® solutions.
The international SteelPlanner® (steelplanner.com) competence network of the AIS group has over 600 IT and process engineers.