Optimization of an Automatic Blast Furnace through Integrated Simulation Modeling
Ali Azadeh and S. F. Ghaderi
DOI : 10.3844/jcssp.2006.382.387
Journal of Computer Science
Volume 2, Issue 4
The objective of this study was to develop an integrated simulation model of an automatic blast furnace in a full-scale steelmaking factory. The integrated simulation model introduces a set of optimizing alternatives through sensitivity analysis. The simulation model is built by considering all major and detailed operations and interacting systems of the blast furnace workshop. The workshop is composed two parallel blast furnace each containing of a joint raw material storage and furnace and cast-iron stations. Furthermore, there are 54 operations for each blast furnace workshop. The results and the structure of the integrated simulation model were verified and validated by comparative analysis and t-test. Moreover, the monthly production rate of cast-iron station is chosen as the performance measure for the actual system and simulation model in a twelve months trial. The results of t-test shows the average monthly production of cast-iron for the two system is statistically equal (at α=0.05). Also, the industrial engineering unit and the production managers accredited the integrated model. After this stage, the simulation was run for a period of six months to evaluate major bottlenecks in the system. Finally, two optimizing alternatives, which can save the company millions of Dollars, are introduced and their economic advantages are discussed. The integrated simulation model has several unique features. First, it is integrated and considers all operations, maintenance, repairs, quality control activities, systems' limitations and interaction with other systems. Second, it is coded in parametric fashion so any alternative may be easily retrieved. Third, it is a practical tool due to its verification, validation and accreditation. Finally, a standard procedure for development of integrated simulation model for similar blast furnace or workshops is introduced.
© 2006 Ali Azadeh and S. F. Ghaderi. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.