Microsoft, Tenova to aid metals industry with digital future

Microsoft and Tenova renewed their collaboration with the aim of guiding companies of the metals industry in their digital transformations. ORI Martin and Tenaris are among the companies that have already benefited from this partnership, thanks to technologies that enable better data management.

Microsoft and Tenova, a Techint Group company specialized in innovative solutions for the metals and mining industries, strengthened their partnership for Industry 4.0. Leveraging on the Microsoft Azure platform and Tenova’s innovative solutions for the steel industry, the two companies aim to lead the digital transformation of the sector, which plays a key role in the global economic growth, manufacturing products for a total value of $2.5 trillion each year and employing more than 6 million people worldwide. *

The goal of this renewed partnership is to provide Italian companies in the metals industry with industrial solutions based on artificial-intelligence technology, in order to give value to the large amount of data coming from industrial plants, with the goal to monitor their operations and performances, as well as guaranteeing the quality of the final product.

This collaboration is grounded on three main pillars: predictive monitoring and maintenance — which allow to establish the health status of plants, to modify production parameters to ensure high performance, and minimize downtime; optimization of operations and internal process management – to improve productivity and scalability in a safe and sustainable way; and collaboration and constant commitment to innovation between technology experts and plants operators (the so-called “human factor”) – capitalizing on the insights related to the use of the machinery thanks to sector-specific knowledge and expertise, so as to transform raw data into relevant information.

Several companies have already adopted Tenova’s solutions enhanced by Microsoft technology, including ORI Martin — steel company based in Brescia specialized in the production of high-quality steel, Tenova’s partner in the ambitious Lighthouse Plant “Acciaio_4.0.” The aim is to transform the production site of Brescia into a Smart Factory thanks to the application of the enabling technologies of Industry 4.0, thus becoming a model of innovation within the sector, not only at national level.

Tenaris, one of the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of steel pipes and services to the global energy industry, also established a team of data scientists whose mission is to overcome industrial challenges and exploit digital solutions. Since then, Tenaris has initiated a great variety of use cases related to industrial processes, some in collaboration with Tenova and Microsoft, aware that the ability to process and interpret large amounts of real-time data plays a crucial role in supporting business continuity globally.

“We are proud of the results achieved so far thanks to the collaboration with Microsoft, through which we have been able to integrate advanced features of the enabling technologies of Industry 4.0 into our systems, with the objective to support customers more effectively in achieving their business goals,” said Antonio Catalano, head of digital transformation at Tenova.

“The Italian steel industry has a long tradition, contributing significantly to the competitiveness and growth of the Italian economic fabric, characterized for the quality of its products. In order to continue to face new challenges from global markets with players of greater production capacity, it is increasingly necessary to focus on new technologies and production process innovation, aspects that will prove decisive for the success of our companies in the coming years. This is why we have chosen to further strengthen our collaboration with Tenova, a leading company which has distinguished itself in recent years by its ability to leverage our Cloud and its associated artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, offering highly innovative services to guide steel companies towards the future,” said Fabio Moioli, director of the enterprise services division at Microsoft Italia.

* “The Role of Steel Manufacturing in the Global Economy,” The World Steel Association, May 2019.