Japanese Steelmaker Adopts Broner Production Planning System

Broner Metals Solutions, the world’s leading provider of supply chain planning, scheduling and manufacturing execution systems, specifically for Steel and Aluminium industries, has announced that Nippon Steel & Sumikin Stainless Steel Corporation (NSSC), Japan, is now using Broner’s Production Planner module to improve customer service and reduce inventory.

Broner Production Planner performs a “through scheduling” function, which optimizes and balances the flow of material through the supply chain, considering: actual and forecast orders; inventories; equipment capacity; production campaigns; order grouping and process restrictions. It creates a forecast of equipment utilisation, inventories and on-time delivery for the short to medium term horizon based on actual and planned demand.

The production process at NSSC starts with slabs from the slabyard, which pass to re-heat furnace and then to hot rolling mill where they are rolled into plates approx 5m wide and 20m long. After rough cutting the plates pass through shot blasting, roughing mill, laminating, ultrasound and many other finishing and cutting processes.

Before implementing the Broner solution, the NSSC production process required large stocks of inventory in front of each piece of equipment, in order to ensure that there was always sufficient material available for each production process when required. In addition to high inventory levels, there was lack of visibility of slabs and plates, which made it difficult to improve customer service. It was not easy to trace pieces to expedite an order, and the overall throughput of the plant was considered low.

The NSSC objective was to change the focus of the plant to a customer focussed ‘due-date-oriented’ operation, by implementing advanced decision support tools, which would allow the plant to be driven by a new core business KPI, which is to measure adherence to the plan, of actual production compared with the plan dates. This KPI is now providing improved control of production and material flow and is a key tool to improve on-time delivery.

The project was called ‘PLanning Adhered New System (PLANS) for Production Management’ and uses the Broner Production Planner to produce a production plan for all orders, which considers all the inventory, resources and constraints of the plant and provides planned dates for each slab or plate for each production process.

These data are used to provide visibility of the plan dates to operatives on the shop floor throughout the plant.

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