Increased use of simulation and visualization technologies by steel manufacturers, along with increased recognition of the economic and operational benefits derived from those technologies, has helped increase interest and membership in PNW’s Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium (SMSVC) yet again, as Charter Steel officially joined the Consortium in July 2019.
Also yet again, the AIST’s March 2019 Digital Transformation Forum played a significant role in serendipitous assembly. Charter Steel had sent four representatives (two of whom were dedicated Smart Manufacturing engineers) to the forum, at which SMSVC and CIVS Director Chenn Zhou delivered a presentation about applications of visualization technologies for steel industry advancement, and discussed the many ways in which simulation technologies were continuing to help optimize energy use and improve product quality in steel manufacturing.
“There is both a steel-industry-wide interest in digital transformation, and a palpable momentum to find the best possible uses for advanced simulation and visualization technologies, and the Digital Transformation Forum seems to have come along at just the right time,” Zhou said. “Charter Steel is known to be a forerunner in its own efforts to advance energy management systems. We anticipate that their integration into the Consortium will result in mutually beneficial synergies.”
Tim Lorge, President of Charter Steel, remarked, “Charter Steel is committed to improving energy efficiency and driving continued innovation through smart manufacturing programs. Joining the Steel Consortium provides the tools and resources needed to take our efforts to the next level.”
Charter Steel, headquartered in Saukville, Wisconsin, is a leading supplier of carbon and alloy steel bar, as well as rod and wire products, in North America, and has manufacturing and distribution centers in Wisconsin and Ohio. Capabilities from their integrated steelmaking operations include steel melting, bar and rod rolling, coil processing, and wire drawing. A division of the privately held Charter Manufacturing Company, Charter Steel is also the recipient of the international ISO 50001 certification for its energy management and energy efficiency systems.
The Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium (SMSVC) is an industry-led, self-sustained consortium that was launched in 2016 through a US Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) initiative aimed at establishing new or strengthening existing industry-driven consortia to promote advanced manufacturing. The SMSVC is housed at Purdue University Northwest’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) and encompasses steel producers, raw materials and energy/utility suppliers, and steel users.