Primetals and ABF collaborate on storage automation
From left: Kurt Herzog (Primetals Technologies), Gustav Buchberger (ABF), Hermann Freiberger (ABF), Hans-Jürgen Zeiher (Primetals Technologies), Christian Hiebl (ABF) (Photo: Primetals Technologies)
In June 2023, Primetals Technologies and digitalisation expert ABF concluded a partnership agreement at the METEC trade fair in Düsseldorf. The partnership focuses on inventory management solutions for the metals industry. The aim of the partnership is the joint development and marketing of intelligent, networked solutions with comprehensive coverage for the automation of storage for semi-finished and finished products.
Primetals Technologies brings decades of experience in the automation and digitalisation of metallurgical processes, as well as in integrating all systems, to the collaboration. ABF has more than 30 years of experience in the development of automation solutions for storage logistics, such as tracking, identifying, and locating items. The first joint projects are already in preparation.
Gustav Buchberger, Managing Director and board member at ABF, currently sees great potential for storage automation in the steel industry: “There is huge potential for improving the quality, productivity, and flexibility of production by optimising and automating the intralogistics of semi-finished and finished products in a steel plant.”
There are several benefits to be had for steel producers who use solutions to deliver slabs or coils from storage on time and at the desired temperature. Transport distances and processing times are reduced, and, in addition, the energy required for reheating semi-finished products is lowered, which reduces the carbon footprint. Furthermore, a higher degree of storage automation improves safety for personnel. The reduced frequency of material transports lowers the risk of damaging the products, while process reliability is increased.
The key to success
The total integration of all automation solutions is relevant for automated storage solutions.
Kurt Herzog, Head of Industry 4.0 at Primetals Technologies, says: “In a steel plant, a good inventory management strategy lays a solid foundation for the execution of subsequent processes. The production planning system specifies which products should be manufactured. The required metallurgical properties are stored in knowledge databases, which are part of the process control software. Therefore, all these systems must be fully networked, i.e. connected to one another.”