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Metal Data' Smart Manufacturing
in Steel Industry

Technical consultation and development based on existing project cases and existing software

In producing high strength grades such as Linepipe steel X80 - X120, the rolling and cooling processes need to achieve process targets (temperature, draft, cooling rate etc.). The processes also involve strip/plate shapes under certain roll profiles, together with the equipment capacity limits and energy saving issues. Metal Data helps you in improving mill models and automation software, with also metallurgical knowhow integrated to the models. This will not only ensure that you can successfully produce the high strength grades, but also let you achieve a yearly return of millions of dollars (e.g. in a steckle plate mill). Many clients of Metal Data, though already possess technologies to produce high grades, still hire Metal Data to improve their draft schedule. After upgrading the level 2 model, a plant is usually expected to increase earning of about a million US dollars per month!

Smart Manufacturing of steel

Metal Data has technical strength on Smart Manufacturing in Steel Industry. This is particularly in Overview, Plate production, Wire and Bar production, and Steel Smelting, and so on. In steel industry, Level 2 system is the primary area for Smart Manufacturing, and the Level 2 System is also the primary Intelligent System to deal with process models and Logics. With Level 1 as the Basic Automation System, and Level 3 as management system with most functions overlapped with today's MES, the Level 2 System integrates with the Level 1 and the Level 3 to form the Smart Manufacturing System.

In general, Metal Data consulting covers a variety areas for steel mills on model improvement and software development, such as Level 2 model, mill software, Automation System, Mill Improvement, Roll Pass Design and FEM/FDM Analysis. In flat rolling, we improve yield and product quality (shape/property) by accurate prediction of force, temperature and roll deformation, etc. for Level 2 model. In rod, bar and section rolling, we have accurate models for spread, forward slip and tension effects, etc. to achieve high quality roll pass design. In either case, we improve existing mill software and/or develop new software system.

Level 2 Model Improvement

Steel mill Level 2 system is considered as the nerve system of a steel mill and is usually referred to as the Production Execution System, in which mill Level 2 model contains most of the mill system intelligences.

Most product defects, such as the poor geometry and low properties, are directly or indirectly related to a poor Level 2 model. The center buckle and edge wave, for example, are caused by unequal drafts in the middle and the sides of the plate/strip due to a draft schedule not fit to roll profile. The problem of low mechanical properties is often caused by inaccurate Level 2 model in which the preferred parameters (temperatures, etc.) missed metallurgical targets. See Level 2 Model Performance Issues such as Product Defects and Level 2 Model Error.

Even a slight improvement of a Level 2 model can add significant economic value to the steel mill. See Significance of the Level 2 Model Improvement. For example, 1% reduction in the Level 2 force error may have a value of 1 million US dollar per year! (See Significance of Accurate Level 2 Force Prediction).

Metal Data Level 2 Model Improvement can significantly increase your system accuracy, by making very few , often only several lines of, source code change, or by simple modification of the Level 2 input data without any source code modification. Improvement can be performed in the modules such as

For more significant improvement, usually by more modifications to the existing system, Metal Data can perform System Further Development for you. Metallurgical models and other thermal and mechanical models can be integrated into your system, as showed below:

Please see the consulting section Level 2 Model Improvement for details.

Mill Software Development and Improvement

Metal Data' expertise exists in the development of model-based steel mill software, especially those used in the rolling mills. We have consultants (e.g. Dr. Benjamin Li) who are both the mill model experts and the highly-skilled software engineers.

Metal Data' software consulting and developments are primarily in the following areas:

See details on Metal Data' Model-based Mill Software Development and Improvement.

Mill Automation System Development and Improvement

We develop new and improve existing Level 2 systems. We apply our accurate rolling process models and metallurgical models to develop new production scheduling system or to improve the existing ones. In addition, we develop various software applications to satisfy steel mill needs.

For details, see the consulting section Mill Automation System Development and Improvement.

Rolling Mill Plant

Metal Data provides steel wire rod rolling mill machinery and automation equipment. with the state-of-the-art development of mill technological parameters, process models and automation systems, the mill is, however, with very competitive price. For detailed information on the wire rod mill plant, see the Rolling Mill Plant section.

Roll Pass Design

Metal Data provides consulting services to improve both your roll pass schedule and roll pass software. There are dozens of influence factors on a roll pass schedule, together with issues of robustness and accuracy. Metal Data' strength exists in the unique combination of the theory (accurate process models) and field practice. Example of our consulting areas are:

  • Wire rod rolling: a list of roll pass design programs, with accurate process models

  • Bar rolling: models, advanced analytical tools and a good collection of existing pass schedules

  • Section rolling: good understanding of metal deformation, with the Ph.D. research on the subject and a book published.

  • Pipe/tube rolling: work on tension-reducing mill roll pass, good understanding of related metal deformation; many classes in the field and mill practices, etc.

  • Flat rolling: both online and offline models available, with sophisticated Level 2 models.

See detailed description of Metal Data Roll Pass Design consulting.

Mill Performance Improvement

This is to apply our mill models and mill knowledge in the daily operation of the steel plants, to improve productivity, yield and product quality, etc. It is under unique combination of the mill theory and mill practice. Examples of our consulting areas include:

  • Mechanical properties improvement: such as increasing reductions in certain temperature range and application of roll bending schedules.

  • Shape and yield improvement: change of mill operation to reduce all kinds of defects such as camber, hooking, edge wave, center buckle, missed slots, kinks, knuckles, etc.

  • Productivity improvement: improvement of mill operation, such as decreasing the number of passes, slab line up and firing, flow analysis, etc. to increase productivity.

  • Energy saving and cost reducing: such as improvement of reheating process, optimization of slab size and slab grade.

See details on Mill Operation Improvement with a list of work areas and solutions.

FEM/FDM Analysis

We are one of the earliest successful researchers in the industry applications of finite elements method (FEM) for the steel rolling. Our work area focuses on the application of FEM to solve real industry problems. We can use our expertise to help you. Besides FEM, we have also developed software with finite differential method (FDM), see an online demo.

FEM is an universal tool to provide information on local deformation such as roll deflection and roll flattening, and to do product defects analysis. The information is very useful in improving forming process and reducing defects. FDM is an efficient tool for temperature profile determination. See FEM/FDM Application Areas.

Metal Data consulting utilizes FEM and FDM to improve your rolling mill operation and forming processes, to achieve accurate roll pass schedule, improved Level 2 model, and to reduce defects, etc. Metal Data can guide you to improve your production process in a very wide range with application of FEM/FDM. See detailed Metal Data Work Areas in this aspect.

Please refer to the Metal Data Consulting in the section FEM/FDM Analysis for details.

Model Training

Based on the large number of web-based software programs, Metal Data provides hands-on training on mill model and mill design/development. The training schedule consists of 20 modules. Every module has technical discussion and lab excise, etc. Hands-on lab is an effective way for students to quickly gain experience on mill parameter calculation and mill design/development. The training schedule can be customized based on each company's practice. For more details, see "Model Training: Steel Rolling Process Modeling and Mill Design ".

Metal Data Resources Available for Consulting

As an industrial expert, Metal Data has rich resources for mill consulting, especially in the steel mill process modeling and computer application. Detailed listing for the resources is described in a separate file, which covers following topics:

See the profile for the primary consultant Dr. Benjamin Li. Please contact us via email BLi68@QQ.com (preferred) if you need any software system or mill machinery/equipment mentioned above. For details on the primary Consultant, you are welcome to review the Website www.Meta4-0.com/BLi. It covers his past experience with over 1GB of materials in text and photos.

Metal Data also has dozens of research reports and some software applications available at no charge for the Metal Data Consulting clients (under approval by Dr. Benjamin Li).

Planning & Consulting

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Contact us: Please contact Linkedin in www.Linkedin.com/in/intelli, OR scan the figure below to add Wechat (e.g. myQQfriend); Tel: (+1) 858 898 1288; E-mail BLiMetaverse@Gmail.com. See Profile of the key consultant.


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