Sector:Steel and Metal Industry
Optimization type:Process, Resource Allocation
Ternium MX uses electric arc furnaces (EAF) for steel production, supplied in part by sponge iron produced in the direct reduction reactors (HYL technology). It has three production plants at Apodaca (Nuevo Léon), San Nicolás de los Garza (Nuevo Léon) and Puebla (Puebla).
Ternium sought to replicate in Mexico the success of the project developed in its plant in Argentina. The objective of the consultancy was to optimize the consumption of raw materials that the three units compete for (pellets and scraps) as well as intermediate products (DRI and semi-finished products). Process decisions and level of production, previously made with simulators that considered different assumptions regarding quality and yields, needed to be optimized to achieve a lower production cost.
The historical consumptions and productions of each process (EAF and direct reduction) were analyzed. A unified optimization model was developed on a set of theoretical foundations. This model is able to centralize the decision-making process of supplies allocation and transfer of intermediate products. The model is considering the specificities of each industrial unit and the steel demand per region.
The centralization of mass and thermal balances in a tool pointed out new strategies for the redistribution of inputs, ensuring quality, and reducing production costs. In addition, process specialists different areas have found a beacon capable of better coordinating inter-departmental decisions.