Metals Industry

Metals Industry

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IPACT was born out of the steel industry, as the principals of the company all came out of the process control departments of local steel mills.  Still today, about 40% of our staff have backgrounds in steel and aluminum.  This means that IPACT really understands automating metals processes.  If you are in the steel or aluminum industry, we speak your language.

Processes that IPACT has automated in the metals industry include:

Steel

  • Blast Furnaces
  • Basic Oxygen Furnaces and Ladle Treatment Stations
  • Electric Furnaces
  • Casters
  • Shape Mills
  • Tube Mills
  • Hot Strip Mills
  • Cold Strip Mills
  • Continuous Coating Lines

Speciality Steel

IPACT has provided MES systems to one of the oldest and most well-known suppliers of specialty and high-alloy steels in the U.S.   These systems have thus far been concentrated at a large and exciting new greenfield site – the most important new specialty steel plant in the U.S. in decades.  Facilities at this plant begin with remelting of ingots, and then proceed to forging and downstream processing.  The plant started up in early 2014, and has been on target in ramping up production.Forger

Applications of this product include aerospace, military, and high-end automotive, and the detailed genealogy and processing data provided by the MES systems installed by IPACT are just what these customers want and need.  Future plans include taking the design authored by IPACT for this new plant back to existing facilities for upgrading their legacy MES systems.

In fact, IPACT has already begun this process of upgrading existing systems for this manufacturer.  We have produced a detailed functional specification for replacement of the legacy supervisory / MES computer on the forge at a plant which began operations over a century ago.  The products from this plant, as well as serving the markets mentioned above, are also used in the gas exploration and production market and the power generation market.  The goal of this new supervisory / MES system is to replace and enhance the functionality of the existing outdated and unsupported system, while at the same time simplifying the interfaces to both the control systems below, and the business system above.  The functional specification, now complete, is the first major step in that process

Aluminum

  • Hot Strip Mills
  • Cold Strip Mills

A distinctive facet of the metals industries is that they still have a large installed base of OpenVMS software platforms.  IPACT has tremendous expertise in OpenVMS and can handle anything from FORTRAN to assembly code to device drivers on that platform.

We also have expertise in both the set-up and dynamic models that are used in metals, and particularly in hot and cold rolling.  This includes Automatic Gauge Control (AGC) and tension control.

In addition to applying our expertise to custom solutions, we have several pre-engineered solutions available to our customers including the blast furnace application, ladle tracking application, and billet tracking application.