On May 11, 2012, Essar Steel's Hazira facility in Gujarat, inaugurated the Central Command Centre (CCC) on the first floor of Essar House, Hazira; Mr. Dilip Oommen, CEO & MD, Essar Steel India, and Mr. Rajiv Bhatnagar, Chief - Hazira Complex, did the honors.
It is the first time in India, that any steel company has integrated the varied
Level 1 and Level 2 technologies supplied by VAI, Siemens, GE, SMS-Siemag, Reliance,
Danielli, ABB, Honeywell, Yokogawa, Rockwell, Schneider, Allen Bradley and others,
in one platform.
A lot of supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems like iFIX, Wonderware, Intellusion, WinCC, Cimplicity, FactroyLink were also brought together for the first time, on a common platform. At certain places, inputs were taken directly from the various meters – ranging from serial links to TCP/IP links.
- ‘Level’ refers to a 5-level process maturity continuum of a Capability Maturity Model; Level 5 is the uppermost. Originally from the field of software development, it is also used as a general model to aid in improving organizational business processes in diverse areas, including in system engineering, business processes generally, and project management.
- SCADA generally refers to industrial control (computer) systems (ICS), that monitor and control industrial, infrastructure, or facility-based processes; industrial processes include those of manufacturing, production, power generation, fabrication, and refining.
The 10 MTPA facility at Hazira boasts varied technologies but also has logistical challenges. Some of these technologies were of 1995 and some were as late as 2011. The task of integrating the multiple technologies was undertaken by the Steel Hazira's Central Automation and Supply Chain Management (SCM) team, in early 2011. Using the latest technology, the team was able to capture critical data on multiple giant dashboards, all having TrueHD resolution. The entire project, including its infrastructure design and procurement was done in-house at almost one-third of the cost indicated by external agencies.
Some of the important parameters being controlled in real-time are:
- Consumption and generation of Corex gas, blast furnace gas, oxygen, nitrogen and argon
- Distribution of natural gas
- Power generation and consumption across each major line
- Per second live update of all plant status
- Per minute update of all plant production numbers
- Seamless integration with IMPS, SS, MES and most modules of SAP for getting actual FG
- Work in progress (WIP) status
- Monitoring of value-added products
- Production projections based on actual rate of production
- Tracking of ships, cargoes, ladles and trains
Critical alarms such as starting and stopping of a plant, Corex gas within and beyond permissible levels, Corex gas generation status, FG and WIP as of the updated time, were converted into audible alarms such that the computer would alert people “vocally” as soon as the event occurred.
“It gives me immense pleasure to see the Central Command Centre live. It is a testimony to the talent and capabilities that we have within our business. The fact that the team could complete this mammoth task within timeline and at a fraction of the cost proposed by outside agencies is laudable. We must now make full use of this asset and use the real-time information available for quick decision-making and for improving efficiencies across the plant," said Mr. Oommen.
On May 19, Chairman Shashi Ruia, and Group Chief Executive Prashant Ruia were in Hazira to participate in the Interact meeting with senior executives of Essar Steel. They took time out to visit the new CCC and gave valuable suggestions to extend the scope of the center and integrate it with all the facilities of Essar Steel India business ranging from pellet plant to steel retail outlets.