Friday, May 01, 2009

Steelplanner Optimises Duferco's Supply Chain

Duferco La Louviere has implemented two Steelplanner modules for the optimisation 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, a planning department must 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 has many drawbacks. This may result in assigned slab-populations that are not feasible to schedule or that result in poor schedule-quality. The implementation of Betamatcher at Duferco La Louviere has resolved these issues. It has solved the assignment problem and the HSM-scheduling critical constraints in one optimisation round.

Mr Tufaru, planning manager at Duferco, said: 'Betamatcher Midterm added value to the slab-utilisation process and allowed us to maximise the HSM schedules by assigning the critical sizes, which increased the schedule length up to 15 per cent.' The second module is MFC-CAP for capacity planning and due-date quoting. MFC, AIS's solution for profit optimisation, capacity planning and master scheduling, has been implemented and tuned for Duferco La Louviere's production environment.

The system contains accurately modelled constraints, including 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-order due dates, complex shipment-constraints and different priorities for different order categories. Improvements brought by Betamatcher have included: increases in the weight and the length of the sequences of rolled slabs by an average of 15 to 20 per cent. MFC has improved the customer service and cross-line synchronisation. It has also simulated different production scenarios to plan line maintenances and shutdowns.

No comments: