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GE Intelligent Platforms has been selected by Qatar Steel to provide a complete production management solution designed to improve operating efficiency through a reliable production process.

The overall contract, worth USD2m (GBP1.3m), features GE’s suite of Proficy software, including Plant Applications, Historian, Ifix and Portal, rolled out in a phased format led by a significant pilot project.

The Proficy software solution covers design and implementation for data collection from multiple systems, including material storage, handling and control, direct reduction furnaces, electric-arc furnaces, ladle furnaces, continuous casting machines, bar rolling mills, the plant’s quality-control centre and the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

Erik Udstuen, vice-president of software and services for GE Intelligent Platforms, said: ‘This new solution will enable Qatar Steel to better monitor and control material flow, production processes, equipment performance, operator activities and other key performance indicators at various levels of the organisation.

‘It will also be able to aggregate data for top management reporting and decision making,’ he added.

The extensive pilot project tackled the plant’s biggest problem area: tracking and optimising the raw material input to the plant.

The previous system was based on large quantities of handwritten material that was difficult to control and use, making information analysis slow and prone to error.

The planned implementation will include Proficy Ifix providing the tools for monitoring the process from the control room and Proficy Portal providing web access to the analysis tools.

The Pacsystems RX3i will be used to automatically collect and bring plant process data to the Proficy software where no such systems existed in the older sections of the plant.

‘The Proficy software enables us to deliver on work simplification and the elimination of errors and delays in providing real-time information with the context for better and faster decisions,’ said Yousef Al Emadi, production manager of Qatar Steel.

The pilot project took two months to develop and install.

The implementation of the Proficy software solution is expected to be complete in 14 months.

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