Successful experiences in the Brazilian metal-and-mining industry that resulted in gains in competitiveness through process optimization, improved product quality, increased productivity and reduced costs were presented at the 14th Seminar on Process Automation, sponsored by the Brazilian Association of Metallurgy, Materials and Mining (ABM, for Associação Brasileira de Metalurgia, Materiais e Mineração, www.abmbrasil.com.br).
“Industrial automation has an important role in improving productivity, quality and reducing costs of Brazilian mills. We can optimize our production processes through the deployment of automation systems, which allow better control and inputs use, manpower rationalization and reduced maintenance costs, among other benefits,” said Francisco Andrade, Industrial Automation Plant 2 manager from Usiminas, one of the major Brazilian steel producers, and seminar organizing committee coordinator.
The event featured the presentation of 40 technical papers on the topics: Automation and Control; Automation Management; Process Simulation and Optimization; MES/LIMS/PIMS/RTPMS (manufacturing execution systems/laboratory information management systems/process information management systems/real-time performance management systems); Information Technology applied to Industrial Processes; and Information Security.
“We had the opportunity to experience papers in the computational intelligence area—for example, the use of artificial neural networks and fuzzy logic, and computer vision, image processing. I believe that these technologies can be widely used both in the metal and mining industry, expanding the use of automation beyond traditional process control,” observed Andrade.
Included as part of the schedule was a technical visit to Gerdau-Açominas (another important Brazilian steel producer) and Information Security in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems training. “The information security in automation issue is critical, due to the high risk of virus attacks and even sabotage to industrial processes,” concluded the seminar coordinator.
About the author
Sílvia Pereira, firstname.lastname@example.org, is a freelance journalist based in Brazil.
Brazilian Association of Metallurgy, Materials and Mining