tk Steel digitizes order scheduling in its rail operations
by Hans Diederichs
A rail network of some 300 kilometers covers the thyssenkrupp Steel site in the north of Duisburg. Rail is the key means of transport for raw materials and products around the site and beyond its boundaries. thyssenkrupp Steel recently introduced an app to facilitate communication between order schedulers and engine drivers.
Previous system had reached its limits
In the past communication was primarily via radio. The scheduler generated an order in the system, informed the engine driver, waited for confirmation and then confirmed the order in the system – a complicated and time-consuming process for everyone involved. “To change this we set up an interdisciplinary team,” says Michael Heise, Senior Engineer from Logistics at thyssenkrupp Steel. “Our goal was to create a digital means of recording work orders without the need for communication between scheduler and engine driver.”
Development work in record time
After just four weeks, the prototype was ready for field testing, including feedback received from engine drivers and schedulers. The team also developed the underlying cloud-based system architecture. The result: Exchanges between the scheduler and engine driver now take place almost exclusively via the newly developed app, making many conversations via radio unnecessary. Future apps can also use the new cloud environment – one of the reasons why the team headed by Michael Heise was among the winners of the internal “steeltomorrow” innovation contest in December 2019.
Further piece in the puzzle of thyssenkrupp Steel’s digitization roadmap
The new app is just one example of the many initiatives thyssenkrupp Steel is implementing to drive the digital transformation in a targeted and systematic way. The company is coordinating its digitization activities across all areas and constantly expanding its digital expertise. thyssenkrupp Steel is using such solutions to improve production performance, integrate value chains within the company and furthermore enhance security of the corporate digital landscape.
Source and photo: thyssenkrupp Steel