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FLEX – Flexible and Adaptive Operations in Metal Production

Metal production is facing major economic and environmental challenges globally. The main requirements for competitiveness in the future are the capability to response flexibly to changing demands and the ability to produce metal at high cost-efficiency with a reduced environmental load. These demands cannot be met with the existing operational paradigm, but require the implementation of a flexible, new approach.

FLEX in DIMECC´s FLEX program stands for Flexible and Adaptive Operations in Metal Production. The program has been carried out by a consortium consisting of Outokumpu, Outotec, SSAB, Casim Consulting, Luxmet, Sapotech, and SFtec, together with Aalto University and the University of Oulu.
The ambition of the consortium has been to foster new innovations and business, and to strengthen the ecosystem of metal producers, universities, research institutes, and SMEs. The vision of the consortium is a paradigm shift from stiff and reactive production to a flexible and proactive operating mode, while moving the Finnish metal industry toward ze-ro-waste plant and CO2-lean metal production. The shift necessitates digitalized and interlinked information flows at various levels of the production chain.
The research themes of the FLEX program have been resource efficiency, cost efficiency, and flexibility in metals processing. The activities have been organized in three work packages to achieve the objectives outlined by the research themes. The work packages are:
– Proactive metal production, consisting of iron, ferrochrome, and other ferrometals production
– Cost efficiency, focusing mainly on the processes in the steel mill
– Intelligent rolling, optimizing the processes in both the hot- and cold-rolling mills

Find the FLEX report here.

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