On September 18, 2018, a diverse team of CIVS researchers and engineers were treated to a comprehensive tour of U.S. Steel’s Gary Works facilities and discussed—with an equally diverse team of U.S. Steel professionals—plans for development of a virtual roughing mill for operator training and process efficiency.
CIVS Director Dr. Chenn Zhou, Senior Research Engineer Dr. Armin Silaen, and Senior Research Scientist John Moreland gave presentations on previous CIVS projects of related interest, such as a vertical edger simulation and the AMTEC virtual trainer. U.S. Steel personnel, including Operational Excellence Manager Michael Schwentor, in turn presented on the roughing mill layout, operations, current training, and plans/expectations for the future; and joint discussions ensued on the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA) for analyzing, modeling, and helping improve roughing mill operations, training, and safety.
Accompanying the CIVS senior personnel and assisting with presentation details and mill process analysis and information-gathering were research engineers Nick Walla and Kyle Toth and graduate research assistants John Estrada and Sam Nielson.
“The tour was both sweepingly extensive and thoughtfully analytical,” Toth said, “so we didn’t leave with a ‘single take-away.’ We left with a lot of take-aways, starting with U.S. Steel’s attention to security and safety, and including their Smart Conference Room with whiteboard and top-down projector and stylus, their internal analysis of needs and visions prepared well before our tour there, and their overall commitment to training and process improvement. We spent a good deal longer than originally scheduled, discussing plans, capabilities, and options, and we could cheerfully have spent even longer. It was a great information exchange and presents a great opportunity for collaboration and growth.”