Italian plant builder Tenova and steelmaker ORI Martin attended the MECSPE exhibition last month and presented their Lighthouse Plant ‘Acciaio 4.0’, a project which aims to create a cyber physical factory by integrating the enabling technologies of Industry 4.0 in the steelmaking process.

ORI Martin is one of the main European integrated steel groups specialising in high quality steel for the automotive, fastener, mechanical and building sectors. Tenova, part of the Techint Group, is a leading Italian plant builder engaged in the development of innovation solutions for the metals and mining industries.

The two companies presented Acciaio 4.0 in the ‘Innovation Tunnel’ at MECSPE, a special area close to the entrance of the event and dedicated to four innovation projects, known as Lighthouse Plants, selected by the Italian Smart Factory Cluster on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Development.

According to Tenova, Acciaio 4.0 aims to develop a cyber physical factory that, thanks to the enabling technologies of Industry 4.0, will allow the vertical, horizontal and tranversal integration of the entire steelmaking process – and make it more efficient, flexible and sustainable.

“The project entails a total investment of EUR14 million – of which EUR8.5 million is from public funds – in an R&D plan with the goal of creating the first model of massive application of the fourth industrial revolution’s most innovative technologies at ORI Martin,” explained Tenova.

In the project, ORI Martin is system integrator of Industry 4.0 technologies, transforming its steel plant in Brescia into a smart factory that has the ambition of becoming an innovation model in the sector, not only at the Italian level.

Tenova, as industrial technological partner, works to design innovative models of integrated process control, using smart sensors (IoT) and gathering data in cloud systems to develop applications of machine learning, remote support and predictive maintenance, taking into consideration environmental sustainability, people’s safety and data security.

A major objective of the project is to establish a network with academic and research institutes of excellence, as well as with highly specialised SMEs, giving them the opportunity to grow and gain a foothold in the national and international market, increasing their competitiveness.

Andrea Lovato, Tenova’s CEO, commented: “In a sector like the metals one, characterised by a high level of volatility and cyclicity, it is fundamental to adopt a flexible production process, able to promptly respond to market demand, both in terms of quality and quantity. This is the model we want to introduce with our project, through enabling technologies of Industry 4.0.”

Uggero de Miranda, ORI Martin’s president of the board of directors said that his company joined the initiative with determination, absolutely sure of the positive advantages that this new factory model will bring to the business. “In addition, we are proud that this partnership has been selected among the first four Lighthouse Plants by the Smart Factory Cluster, giving a concrete example of digital transformation to the metals industry.