How can digital help balance cost and productivity improvements with consistent quality?
An Indian steel company wanted to unlock efficiencies through business transformation under mounting debt pressures.
An Indian steel and power major was facing financial pressures and operational challenges. Frequent changes in raw material source resulted in variations in quality along with additional impacts on operating parameters. The company was looking to leverage AI/ML to address these challenges and transform its operations to enhance output at lower cost while maintaining consistent quality.
In addition to financial and operational challenges, the company was also looking to address other internal challenges through digitally led transformation. The company was reliant on relatively older operational technology (OT) and the disconnected nature of its various OT and Information Technology (IT) platforms prevented a 360-degree visibility into existing processes and with desired granularity. Operational decision-making was largely driven by empirical rules and was not data driven. These empirical rules were not revised regularly. Inadequate exposure to global standards and inconsistency in operating philosophies contributed further to the inefficiencies.
The company managed multi-plant operations comprising of different operating philosophies, non-standard production process and technology, skill variability and limited visibility on the performance drivers which resulted in sub-optimal costs, throughput and quality.
Apart from internal challenges, there were sectoral and structural challenges as well. The Indian steel industry was facing both demand and supply side challenges. While consumption was muted, producers were experiencing frequent fluctuations in the availability and prices of raw materials. These challenges were further accentuated by sub-optimal logistics infrastructure and ballooning debt servicing costs, resulting in significant balance sheet stress for all companies in the industry.
The client was looking to address these internal and external challenges and leverage digital to turnaround its business operations through:
- Effective sourcing of input raw materials
- Optimizing consumption through right material blends
- Maximizing throughput and capacity utilization
- Maintaining consistent quality