Operators at steel producer SSAB

Costs and environmental impact reduced for steel makers

Ore-based steel production is a complicated process with several interconnected production steps. Thanks to various models, operators obtain a comprehensive overview of production, and steel mills can reduce both costs and environmental impact.

Together with SSAB in Luleå and Oxelösund, Swerim has developed three process models. The models are used by the operators at the steel mill to help optimise energy, costs and material yield. Using the models, the operators can find the most effective way of running the various process steps for steel production.

Efficient integrated steel production

Integrated steel production (steel production that covers the entire production chain from ore to finished steel) entails several different process steps. A change to one process can create a domino effect in other processes. Finding the most effective production method is complicated and it can be difficult to see the big picture.

The produced models enable, among other benefits, prediction of how the fuel supply should be adjusted based on changed production rates, visualisation of planning for continuous casting and optimisation of fuel consumption.

Minimised production costs

The models provide a comprehensive picture and a uniform approach for how production can be optimised. Steel mills gain better control of their processes and can thus minimise production costs through efficient use of raw materials and fuel.

“By using the model for the coke-oven plant, the operators can directly optimise the energy supply for bottom firing [heating of the coke ovens],” says Johannes Larsson at SSAB. “With this approach we can save both energy and materials as a result of more consistent and better
product quality.”