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  • 1.
    Storck, Joakim
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Material Science.
    Exploring improvement trajectories with dynamic process cost modelling: a case from the steel industry2010In: International Journal of Production Research, ISSN 0020-7543, E-ISSN 1366-588X, Vol. 48, no 12, p. 3493-3511Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Improvement trajectories are sequential managed chains of improvement initiatives required to handle changes in competition and market. This paper presents a five-step framework, based on dynamic process cost modelling, which was developed during a four-year research project at a major stainless steel producer, to support the selection of an improvement trajectory based on strategic requirements to combine high product diversity with cost reduction. The framework aims to develop insight into what manufacturing capabilities are required to reach the strategic goals by combining system dynamics simulation with process cost modelling and visual exploratory data analysis in an iterative modelling procedure. The applicability of the five-step framework is demonstrated through a case study from the steel industry, in which a goal driven analysis is used to assess process requirements based on performance and market considerations.

  • 2.
    Storck, Joakim
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Material Science.
    Product variety and upstream versus downstream flexibility2009In: Proceedings of the International 3'rd Swedish Production Symposium / [ed] Rosén, B.G., Göteborg, 2009, p. 304-309Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Niche market steel producers tend to manufacture a wide range of products that are sold in low quantities. Current steelmaking—continuous casting (SCC) technology forces producers to operate according to combined make–to–stock/make–to–order order policies and keep in–process inventory. This leads to intermediate cooling of workpieces, high energy consumption, and high inventory and reheating costs. This paper evaluates links between product range and process flexibility upstream and downstream form the customer order decoupling point. The operational capabilities that result from improved process flexibility make diversified low cost steel production possible. At the same time the environmental sustainability of production can be improved. The strategic importance of process flexibility improvements are discussed with reference to the concept of competitive frontiers.

  • 3.
    Storck, Joakim
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Material Science.
    Product variety, flexibility and energy use in hot rolling mills2012In: Enabling Manufacturing Competitiveness and Economic Sustainability: Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Changeable,Agile, Reconfigurable and Virtual production (CARV2011),Montreal, Canada, 2-5 October 2011 / [ed] ElMaraghy, Hoda, Montreal: Springer, 2012, Vol. 2, p. 80-85Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Hot rolling consumes one third of the energy in a steel plant. Increasing product variety slows down production flow, causing heat losses and increased reheating energy consumption. A system dynamics model was developed to evaluate how flexibility influences energy use. Results indicate that world best practice requires high flexibility and low to intermediate product variety. Up to 28% less reheating was needed for low product variety, but no improvement was obtained for high product variety; a flexible steelmaking process for efficient production of small batches of steel would be required. The strategic nature of process flexibility investments is discussed.

  • 4.
    Storck, Joakim
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Material Science. KTH, Industriell produktion.
    Strategic and operational capabilities in steel production: Product variety and performance2009Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Steel producers that employ niche market strategies are continuously seeking to reduce production cost while maintaining adiverse product mix. The business model is typically based onmarketing of high–strength special or stainless steels. However,the desire to avoid direct cost competition is over time gradually leading towards increased product variety and smaller ordervolumes (tonnes per order) for each product.

    This thesis analyses how production cost is linked to productvariety in steel strip production. Results are based on new modelsfor assessment of opportunities for performance improvement inhigh product–variety steel production.

    The need for flexible production processes increases with increasing product variety. Operational capabilities linked to processflexibility determine the extent to which steel producers caneliminate in–process inventory and accomplish close coupling between process steps. Niche market producers that invest inprocess flexibility improvements can lower production costs bothdue to reduced work–in–process and lower energy consumption.An additional benefit is reduced environmental impact.

    The following problems are addressed:

    • Development of a method to assess the influence of productvariety on performance in steel production.

    • Development of models of continuous casting and hotrolling that account for product variety and cost effectswith consideration of varying degrees of process flexibility.

    • Development of a strategy process model that focus on thestrategic value of operational capabilities related to processflexibility.

    Investments in operational capabilities regarding process flexibility have a strategic impact. An appreciation for the effectsof process flexibility should permeate the organisation’s daily work since the accumulated contribution of many, seemingly unimportant, incremental changes significantly influences thestrategic opportunities of the company.

    Download full text (pdf)
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  • 5.
    Storck, Joakim
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Material Science.
    Stålforskningsdagar 2011: Materialteknik vid Högskolan Dalarna2011Book (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Storck, Joakim
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Material Science.
    Lindberg, Bengt
    KTH, Industriell produktion.
    A cost model for the effect of setup time reduction in stainless steel strip production2007In: 1st Swedish Production Symposium, 2007, p. 1-8Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Setup time reductions facilitate the flexibility needed for just-in-time production. An integrated steel mill with meltshop, continuous caster and hot rolling mill is often operated as decoupled processes. Setup time reduction provides the flexibility needed to reduce buffering, shorten lead times and create an integrated process flow. The interdependency of setup times, process flexibility and integration were analysed through system dynamics simulation. The results showed significant reductions of energy consumption and tied capital. It was concluded that setup time reduction in the hot strip mill can aid process integration and hence improve production economy while reducing environmental impact

    Download full text (pdf)
    fulltext
  • 7.
    Storck, Joakim
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Material Science.
    Lindberg, Bengt
    KTH.
    A Dynamic Cost Model for the Effect of Improved Process Flexibility in Steel Plants2008In: Proceedings of the 41st CIRP Conference on Manufacturing Systems, Tokyo, Japan, 2008Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Reduced setup times in the rolling mill generate flexibility which allows shorter leadtimes through continuous casting and hot rolling. Traditionally known as schedule-free rolling, this flexibility allows the rolling mill to handle variations without the need for buffering. Cost models based on system dynamics methodology are used to assess the economic potential. Effects on inventory, energy and work roll consumptions are analysed. The simulation results show that investments in flexible processes can be evaluated with dynamic cost models. There is an opportunity for significant cost reduction, but also lowered environmental impact due to reduced energy consumption.

  • 8.
    Storck, Joakim
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Material Science.
    Lindberg, Bengt
    A lean production strategy for hot charge operation of a steel mill2007In: IET Conference publications, Issue 528, 2007, 2007, Vol. 528, p. 158-167Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper aims to show how a strategy based on lean production can aid the implementation of hot-charge operation in steel strip production. Key parameters in a lean strategy for steel manufacturing are identified, and it is shown that lean production targets the difficulties that are traditionally associated with hot charging. Hot charging amounts to a closer level of integration of the continuous casting and hot rolling processes. The conclusions are that implementation of hot charging can be seen as a waste-reduction process within a lean production strategy, and that there are substantial cost savings to be made once the full benefits of a lean production strategy are considered.

  • 9.
    Storck, Joakim
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Material Science.
    Lindberg, Bengt
    Assessment of best scheduling practice in continuous casting and hot rolling of stainless steel strip by system dynamics simulation2007In: Key Engineering Materials, ISSN 1013-9826, E-ISSN 1662-9795, Vol. 344, p. 897-904Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A rapid flow of materials with little intermediate buffering between steel mill and hot strip mill has many benefits. One is energy savings due to raised charging temperature in the reheat furnaces of the hot strip mill. Another is that tied capital is freed up, thereby improving mill economy. Still, it is not unusual that average lead-time is in the order of days, or even weeks. The aim of the present work was to show how lead-times from casting to rolling could be improved by changes in the scheduling function. A System Dynamics model of a stainless steel strip production facility with continuous caster and hot rolling mill was created. The model was used to study the dynamics of the system in response to changes in parameters that defined the scheduling configuration. More frequent schedule updating generally resulted in less work in process (WIP) and shorter lead times from casting to rolling, with resulting higher charging temperatures. The amount of oscillation in the system was also reduced. More frequent work roll changes were required when scheduling frequency increased, resulting in an increased fraction of setup time in relation to total processing time. Therefore, a development towards increased scheduling frequency may have to be complemented by efforts to reduce changeover times. The conclusion was that dynamic scheduling routines with frequent schedule updating result in better overall performance of the system due to lower WIP and better heat utilization. Dynamic scheduling routines with frequent updates make the system respond better to changes in the system and give better overall performance. The result is lower WIP, increased energy efficiency and less oscillation in the system.

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