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London, June 05, 2024

Primetals Technologies Implements Central Operation Cockpit for Bird’s-Eye View of Entire Production Process

  • Central Operation Cockpit (COC) enables single-operator control of multiple plant sections
  • Reduces need for manual intervention in the production process, which results in increased productivity, more stable production, and reproducible and high end-product quality
  • First reference of COC to be implemented at thyssenkrupp Steel’s Duisburg plant

Primetals Technologies has developed a highly innovative operational system, the Central Operation Cockpit (COC), that allows for controlling a whole plant from one single point. The operator is supported by numerous intelligent and AI-backed assistants to get a full-fledged bird’s-eye view of the entire production process. 

thyssenkrupp Steel has recently taken an important step toward an autonomous plant, by tasking Primetals Technologies with the implementation of a COC concept at its hot-strip mill No. 1 in Duisburg. During the first project phase, which lasted until the end of March 2024, thyssenkrupp Steel and Primetals Technologies designed an operational concept for the COC system, tailored to thyssenkrupp Steel’s current and future needs. The project has now entered Phase 2, the implementation of the system, and this phase is scheduled to be completed by the beginning of 2025. 

Controlling Multiple Plant Sections

Steel producers currently look at solutions for reducing production-related manual interventions to become more productive and increase product quality. At the same time, an increased number of automation systems may result in a more demanding and complex monitoring process. To address and overcome this problem, Primetals Technologies has developed the COC.

With this new concept, a single operator can control multiple plant sections via a highly intuitive interface. A large display wall provides all the necessary information and can instantly switch between any of the numerous cameras deployed at the mill. This is especially helpful if any of the numerous assistant systems detects a potential issue that requires urgent attention, or if user-defined events take place. The COC is equipped with an intuitive configuration tool, and it is easy and convenient for steel producers to extend and modify the cockpit according to any changing needs. As a result, there is no risk of information overflow. 

Highly Customizable Display Wall

The intuitive and operator-friendly interface is backed by the intelligent video management system SynX Supervision developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in close collaboration with Primetals Technologies. The display wall is highly customizable: the operator can, for example, dedicate screens to specific assistant systems or areas of the plant.

The COC unites a wide variety of digital assistant systems. Together, they ensure that the operators have all the information they need to operate the plant efficiently. As an example, the Ski Assistant – developed by Primetals Technologies – is designed to alert operators of skis that emerge during production. Seamless integration into the COC enables the operator to act swiftly on insights delivered by the assistant systems. 

Climate-Neutral Steel by 2045

thyssenkrupp Steel employs 26,000 people and has a production capacity of about 11 million tons of crude steel annually. The leading German steel producer has set itself a goal to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 30 percent by 2030, and to produce climate-neutral steel by 2045. The strategy includes Scope 1 and 2 emissions, which means not just direct but also indirect emissions from purchased energy. 

The Central Operation Cockpit (COC) from Primetals Technologies is a ground-breaking concept that enables one single operator to run a whole plant.

Representatives from thyssenkrupp Steel and Primetals Technologies at the occasion of contract signing for the COC project. From left to right: Viktor Schlecht, Jens Setter, Niklas Petrasch, Jürgen Fischer, Martin Kerschensteiner, Alexandar Reljic, Pavel Adamyanets.

Primetals Technologies, Limited, headquartered in London, United Kingdom, is a pioneer and world leader in the fields of engineering, plant building, and the provision of lifecycle services for the metals industry. The company offers a complete technology, product, and services portfolio that includes integrated electrics and automation, digitalization, and environmental solutions. This covers every step of the iron and steel production chain—from the raw materials to the finished product—and includes the latest rolling solutions for the nonferrous metals sector. Primetals Technologies is a Group Company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, with around 7,000 employees worldwide. To learn more about Primetals Technologies, visit the company website