Success Story

High-end Research Moves Production

A Model Example of the Transfer of Science into Application

A typical graphical user interface of the galvaSMART software, © MCL

View of the control station of the hot-dip galvanizing line. In theforeground you can see the steel belt with deflection roller. © voestalpine

Easy access to information is the key to driving
innovation in the knowledge society. But
unfortunately, breakthrough results often get stuck in
research departments because the interfaces and
tools to distribute them broadly to the production
base are lacking. To change this, galvaSMART, a
software designed as a dynamic knowledge database,
has been developed at MCL to bring insights from
fundamental numerical simulations of the process to
the control room of the production floor with just a
few clicks.

The physical models of the process sequences, some
of which have been developed over many years,
provide a deep insight into the physical and chemical
processes that determine both product quality, raw
material consumption and productivity in the form of
computer-aided simulations. This can improve day-
to-day production and provide a tool for ongoing
major innovation steps. However, the special basic
know-how required to carry out and evaluate the
simulations, as well as the associated computing
times, which can sometimes take weeks, often make
it difficult to make these solutions directly applicable
to production on a broad basis. But it is precisely at
the interface between science and practice that most
synergies arise.

In cooperation with voestalpine Stahl Linz, the
transfer of knowledge from high-end research to the
production facilities was realized in a pilot project.
Based on the digital representation of the hot-dip
galvanizing process, dozens of different process
parameters were analyzed and calculated at basic
level in months of work. From the results, the relevant
information could be extracted and stored in a visual

knowledge database. Operators of hot-dip
galvanizing plants now have the possibility to display,
analyze and compare different process conditions
with just a few clicks. In this way, the scientific
perspective is added to the practical knowledge
already available, and new ideas for different process
designs can be virtually compared with each other.
But this should by no means be a one-way street. The
ideas from production can be tested and evaluated by
means of the digital model and the results obtained
flow back into the knowledge database, resulting in a
dynamically expandable system.

Impact and effects

The new knowledge database enables uncomplicated
transfer of scientific findings to production and gives
process-experienced engineers the opportunity to
compare their experience with simulation results and
develop new ideas. The intuitive and simple handling
of the knowledge database contributes significantly
to the democratization of knowledge and enables the

acceleration of innvative ideas.


Project coordination (Story)
Dr. Georg Reiss
Key Scientist Digital Manufacturing Processes
Materials Center Leoben Forschung GmbH
T +43 (0) 3842 45922-44

Materials Center Leoben Forschung GmbH
Roseggerstrasse 12
8700 Leoben
T +43 (0) 3842 45922-0

Project partners
• Voestalpine Stahl Linz GmbH, Austria
• International Zinc Association, USA
• Montanuniversität Leoben, Inst. f. Thermoprozesstechnik, Austria
• Montanuniversität Leoben, Modellierung und Simulation Metallurgischer Prozesse, Austria


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