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voestalpine Stahl Donawitz to expand integrated quality control system from Primetals Technologies across the entire production chain

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Author: Sarah Gottschalk

voestalpine Stahl Donawitz to expand integrated quality control system from Primetals Technologies across the entire production chain
At the voestalpine Stahl Donawitz steelworks, the Through-Process Quality Control (TPQC) solution will enable seamless long-term data archiving and automatic quality assessments. (source: voestalpine)

Primetals Technologies recently received a new order from voestalpine for implementing the knowledge-based quality control system Through-Process Quality Control (TPQC) at the steel plant in Donawitz, Austria. Implementation is scheduled for the 2nd quarter of 2023.

The new solution enables automatic and seamless long-term data evaluation in the meltshop. After each production step, product and process quality is automatically evaluated, so that the products can be linked to customer requirements. Plant operators and process engineers will get access to functionality allowing for extensive process evaluation. The system’s findings can then be used as a basis for further optimization measures. This will result in improved quality of both production processes and end products.

Automatic evaluation across the meltshop

For more than 1.5 years, voestalpine has used the TPQC system for the CC4 continuous caster at its site in Donawitz. Marco Vauti, Project Manager for plant expansion, shares his experience:

“The TPQC system’s capability to evaluate data sets acquired over the long term is particularly helpful in our efforts to continuously optimize our production processes and product quality.”

Thanks to the new order, product quality will be automatically evaluated across the complete production chain: at the ladle furnace, the converter, the secondary metallurgy stage, and the vacuum degassing plant. The installation of this extension will be carried out together with additions to the existing system at the CC4 continuous caster. In addition, the TPQC system is currently being implemented at continuous caster CC3.

Data-backed decisions made easy

Digital assistance functions and statistical process control, among other things, are used to establish which measures will lead to the most significant improvements. The system interfaces with business intelligence platforms and allows for simple and fast visualization of data. This helps operators to make quick data-backed decisions, even during production. Thanks to TPQC’s integration into data analytics platforms, it can identify patterns in the recoded production data and provide new insights into the production process.

TPQC is part of Primetals Technologies’ Through-Process Optimization (TPO) solution used by steel producers all over the world to achieve operational excellence along the entire production chain.

Long-standing collaboration

For more than 25 years, Primetals Technologies has collaborated with voestalpine at the Donawitz site. A subsidiary of the leading steel and technology group voestalpine, voestalpine Stahl Donawitz produces premium steel based on specific customer requirements. Located in the city Leoben, voestalpine Stahl Donawitz uses the well-proven LD converter production line (sinter plant – blast furnace – hot metal desulfurization plant – LD converter – secondary metallurgy – continuous casting). About 1.6 million tons of high-quality crude steel is produced annually at the Donawitz site.