Assessment of Best Scheduling Practice in Continuous Casting and Hot Rolling of Stainless Steel Strip by System Dynamics Simulation
A rapid flow of materials with little intermediate buffering between steel mill and hot strip mill has many benefits. One is energy savings due to raised charging temperature in the reheat furnaces of the hot strip mill. Another is that tied capital is freed up, thereby improving mill economy. Still, it is not unusual that average lead-time is in the order of days, or even weeks. The aim of the present work was to show how lead-times from casting to rolling could be improved by changes in the scheduling function. A System Dynamics model of a stainless steel strip production facility with continuous caster and hot rolling mill was created. The model was used to study the dynamics of the system in response to changes in parameters that defined the scheduling configuration. More frequent schedule updating generally resulted in less work in process (WIP) and shorter lead times from casting to rolling, with resulting higher charging temperatures. The amount of oscillation in the system was also reduced. More frequent work roll changes were required when scheduling frequency increased, resulting in an increased fraction of setup time in relation to total processing time. Therefore, a development towards increased scheduling frequency may have to be complemented by efforts to reduce changeover times. The conclusion was that dynamic scheduling routines with frequent schedule updating result in better overall performance of the system due to lower WIP and better heat utilization. Dynamic scheduling routines with frequent updates make the system respond better to changes in the system and give better overall performance. The result is lower WIP, increased energy efficiency and less oscillation in the system.
F. Micari, M. Geiger, J. Duflou, B. Shirvani, R. Clarke, R. Di Lorenzo and L. Fratini
J. Storck and B. Lindberg, "Assessment of Best Scheduling Practice in Continuous Casting and Hot Rolling of Stainless Steel Strip by System Dynamics Simulation", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 344, pp. 897-904, 2007