CBMM CBMM

Industrial innovation that brings tangible results

With i.Systems AI solutions, CBMM increases industrial furnace efficiency, reducing fines generation and increasing its productivity

14% reduction in fines generation
11% reduction in specific fuel consumption (LPG)
4% increase in production pace
4% increase in OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency)

CBMM

CBMM is the world leader in the production and marketing of niobium products, with more than 400 customers in 50 countries. The company is headquartered in Brazil and has offices in China, the Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States, providing cutting-edge products and technology to the infrastructure, mobility, aerospace and energy sectors.

CBMM has a technology program that expands niobium applications and contributes to the growth and diversification of this market. Internally, the company has been investing in the use of innovations to improve its processes. In 2019, a group was created to work on optimizing operations, which, on one of its fronts, adopted I.Systems technology to provide stability to one of its industrial furnaces, reducing fines and increasing its productivity.

Challenge
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Time to optimize processes

In 2019, the company formed a group to work on a process optimization portfolio. According to CBMM's technology and reliability supervisor, Elton Almeida, one of the internal demands listed in this work was related to the need to provide stability to the industrial desulfurization furnace, reducing the generation of niobium fines and increasing its productivity.

“At the time, we did a study of the advanced control tools available on the market that could serve us. This study resulted in the invitation to three suppliers to present their solutions”, he says.

The process was won by i.Systems. According to Elton Almeida, this happened because the other solutions presented and evaluated did not allow any level of intervention by the CBMM team.

“i.Systems won not only for the price, but mainly for its technical proposal, which was completely in line with the prerequisites we had defined. We wanted a more agile supplier, which would allow us to place or remove items as the project progresses”, he recalls.

The contract between the two companies was signed in September 2020, but by August the teams were gathered to present the demands and survey potential gains. “For this, we had the participation of specific groups of specialists from i.Systems, who helped us to create the control rules”, he says.

Solution
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Leaf ensuring efficiency

The solution defined to optimize the operation of CBMM's furnace was the Leaf, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform for advanced multivariable process control. The technology increases the efficiency of industrial processes, ensuring that equipment always operates at the best possible levels.

Elton Almeida recalls that the implementation of the technology was smooth, largely due to the partnership between the multidisciplinary teams of the two companies and their dedication in the project planning phase. In addition, CBMM was already preparing its infrastructure and operation to work with the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, which is Leaf's contracting model, and brings advantages such as low operating costs.

For the implementation to take place without any problems, the engagement of the CBMM team was very important. Not just from the technical teams, but from all areas that helped to identify the challenge and participated in the solution.

“That made all the difference, including on the part of i.Systems. We are talking about a solution that, with the right people, who have the know-how of process and control technologies, enables us to apply that knowledge within the tool. Having the right people, it is possible to put any know-how there. The tool (Leaf) allows for great flexibility”, says Evaldo Silva Junior, Automation Analyst at CBMM.

Result
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Results and recognition

After implementation and a period of assisted operation, in February 2021, CBMM began to measure the gains brought by Leaf. One of the main benefits measured was the 14% reduction in the generation of fines from the kiln, which allowed, in practice, to increase the plant's capacity without expanding the infrastructure.

The company also registered an 11% reduction in specific fuel consumption (LPG), a result that, in itself, not only paid for the project but also brought "profit" on the investment. In addition, among the benefits, the technology guaranteed a 4% increase in the production pace; and an equivalent 4% growth in OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency), one of the standardized metrics used in the steel and mining industry to measure the quality, availability and production of equipment.

“The agility of i.Systems and the ease of support have also caught our attention. It's all very fast. Even after the project was completed, there were points that emerged and were quickly resolved, which left us very satisfied”, emphasizes Evaldo Silva Junior.

The results were recognized by the company. In an internal award carried out by CBMM, the project was among the three best works of process improvement in the company in 2020.

The initiative's success has also led to the mapping of other opportunities to use Leaf within the company. The expectation is that the partnership between the companies will evolve even more in the future, bringing innovations that generate long-term value to the industrial operation.

Challenge
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Solution
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Result
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Time to optimize processes

In 2019, the company formed a group to work on a process optimization portfolio. According to CBMM's technology and reliability supervisor, Elton Almeida, one of the internal demands listed in this work was related to the need to provide stability to the industrial desulfurization furnace, reducing the generation of niobium fines and increasing its productivity.

“At the time, we did a study of the advanced control tools available on the market that could serve us. This study resulted in the invitation to three suppliers to present their solutions”, he says.

The process was won by i.Systems. According to Elton Almeida, this happened because the other solutions presented and evaluated did not allow any level of intervention by the CBMM team.

“i.Systems won not only for the price, but mainly for its technical proposal, which was completely in line with the prerequisites we had defined. We wanted a more agile supplier, which would allow us to place or remove items as the project progresses”, he recalls.

The contract between the two companies was signed in September 2020, but by August the teams were gathered to present the demands and survey potential gains. “For this, we had the participation of specific groups of specialists from i.Systems, who helped us to create the control rules”, he says.

Leaf ensuring efficiency

The solution defined to optimize the operation of CBMM's furnace was the Leaf, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform for advanced multivariable process control. The technology increases the efficiency of industrial processes, ensuring that equipment always operates at the best possible levels.

Elton Almeida recalls that the implementation of the technology was smooth, largely due to the partnership between the multidisciplinary teams of the two companies and their dedication in the project planning phase. In addition, CBMM was already preparing its infrastructure and operation to work with the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, which is Leaf's contracting model, and brings advantages such as low operating costs.

For the implementation to take place without any problems, the engagement of the CBMM team was very important. Not just from the technical teams, but from all areas that helped to identify the challenge and participated in the solution.

“That made all the difference, including on the part of i.Systems. We are talking about a solution that, with the right people, who have the know-how of process and control technologies, enables us to apply that knowledge within the tool. Having the right people, it is possible to put any know-how there. The tool (Leaf) allows for great flexibility”, says Evaldo Silva Junior, Automation Analyst at CBMM.

Results and recognition

After implementation and a period of assisted operation, in February 2021, CBMM began to measure the gains brought by Leaf. One of the main benefits measured was the 14% reduction in the generation of fines from the kiln, which allowed, in practice, to increase the plant's capacity without expanding the infrastructure.

The company also registered an 11% reduction in specific fuel consumption (LPG), a result that, in itself, not only paid for the project but also brought "profit" on the investment. In addition, among the benefits, the technology guaranteed a 4% increase in the production pace; and an equivalent 4% growth in OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency), one of the standardized metrics used in the steel and mining industry to measure the quality, availability and production of equipment.

“The agility of i.Systems and the ease of support have also caught our attention. It's all very fast. Even after the project was completed, there were points that emerged and were quickly resolved, which left us very satisfied”, emphasizes Evaldo Silva Junior.

The results were recognized by the company. In an internal award carried out by CBMM, the project was among the three best works of process improvement in the company in 2020.

The initiative's success has also led to the mapping of other opportunities to use Leaf within the company. The expectation is that the partnership between the companies will evolve even more in the future, bringing innovations that generate long-term value to the industrial operation.

Elton Gonçalves de Almeida
CBMM - Technology and Reliability Supervisor
The partnership between i.Systems and CBMM brought results above expectations, with great commitment and teamwork which generated a great engagement between those involved in the project. We are always looking for vendors that have an agile culture and focus on delivering results, and we find that at i.Systems the company's business model is very attractive and has worked well at CBMM. We hope that The fruits generated by this work leverage new opportunities in the near future.
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