The Materials Processing Institute is a research and innovation centre serving organisations that work in advanced materials, low carbon energy and the circular economy. The Institute provides technology and R&D based services and consultancy. Scientists and engineers apply their expertise to progress innovation, develop materials and improve products and processes.
The Institute is equipped with state of the art steel making and refining equipment together with ingot and continuous casting facilities. The Institute has continued to be at the centre of innovation and new product development for over 70 years with many modern high performance steels and their process routes being developed in the laboratories and the Normanton Plant before mass production at the larger steel manufacturing sites.
The Materials Processing Institute possesses a 7T pilot facility capable of producing plain carbon and alloy steel types by continuous casting and ingot casting. The plant is used primarily for development of new steel alloys, but also supplies highly specialist steels. This facility is being reconfigured as a ‘Future Steel’ plant, providing a test bed for industry 4.0 technologies to be developed.
At the Institute a four-stage model has been developed and successfully applied for full application of Industry 4.0 technologies. The four stages are: measurement, monitoring, expert system and closed loop control. At the conference the approach being taken at the Institute for development and integration of industry 4.0 will be outlined, with emphasis on the routes through the pilot and demonstration scale, for safe and reliable integration into steel plants.