MSA supplies a full range of automation products to help steel producers, or scrap processors, get the most out of their charge material handling operation. MSA offers turnkey solutions and consulting services at all levels of control including the Instrument (Level 0), Process Control (Level 1), Human Machine Interface (Level 1.5), Supervisory Control (Level 2), and Shop Control (Level 3). Our Charge Material Handling products are divided into three main areas that are of the most concern to producers. These areas are Purchase Optimization, Charge Optimization, and Charge Loading.
The Charge Material Purchase Planning Model helps decide how to purchase charge materials at the least cost that are best suited to meet the steel-making requirements. The model uses a Mixed Integer Linear Program (MILP) to calculate the least cost charge based on the existing inventory, market pricing blocks, desired yield, furnace size, and intended chemistry. The model determines a set of least-cost material mixes to cover a certain planning horizon. The time horizon could be several hours, days or weeks. The model determines the amount of each block that is available on the market to purchase. The model also generates material mixes that are referred to as Standard Charges or Recipes. The Standard charge is the type and amount of material to charge into the furnace to meet all of the requirements laid out by the planner. Each Standard Charge includes the total weight of the charge, the material mix, it's cost, total yield, theoretical chemistry, and the weight of each charge materials to use.
The Charge Optimization model works in the same way as the Purchase Planning Model. It uses the same special mathematical approach as the planning model and generates the same result. The Charge Optimization model uses only the existing material inventory and the results apply to a specific heat or set of heats. The model is usually used to handle upset conditions where a grade must be changed unexpectedly or a material is no longer available. When multiple heats are considered, the total cost and yield of the entire campaign is included.
MSA's Charge Loading System allows the Crane Operator to load charge buckets according to a given recipe. At the same time, the system records the actual weight of the charge material being loaded into the bucket.