Ternium has a Continuous Improvement Department to identify opportunities for improvement in operations and services.
The Continuous Improvement team of Reduction of Charge to Thousand (CT) of the Hot Mill 2 (HM2) of the Guerrero Plant took second place in the Kaizen Awards Mexico 2021, in the category Excellence in Productivity.
The Kaizen Awards are granted by the global consulting firm Kaizen Institute, specialized in the training of companies under Kaizen, Lean and Six Sigma methodologies, which this year had 11 participating companies.
The Reduction of Waste of the HM2 project consists of reducing the loss of steel that is generated by producing one ton.
To reduce wastes, the parts were analyzed, such as jams and malfunctioning. Besides, the causes avoiding minimizing them were detected.
The reinforcement of maintenance practices, some specialized training in the operation of the mill, and the knowledge and correct use of buffer time were key to the project’s success.
The initial deviation of the loss was 6.1 lb per ton. However, the Continuous Improvement team reduced it to zero, representing a savings for the company of 1.16 million USD per year.
“We are convinced that continuous improvement is a basic tool for the development of companies. We must always be looking for productivity, the generation of value”, said Alexander Mattey, director of the Guerrero Plant during the award ceremony, held at the beginning of October.
Learn more about this initiative
Learn more about this initiative
How was the project born?
The HM2 team identified that a lot of waste was generated when there was an interruption in the mill.
"We compared our indicator with different Ternium lines and we identified that we were the only line that was not obtaining that result," recalled Francisco Torres, HM2 mechanical engineer.
Based on the scheme of the Hot Steel Mill 2, when there is a failure or interruption in the mill, there is a buffer time, that is, the time the equipment has to react to a problem.
When that buffer time runs out, jams and other failures start happening.
One of the main causes of why the buffer time runs out are jams in the mill, an interruption of the material at the time the line passes. "The casting cannot stop passing slabs, then jams and other failures start happening, that is, it makes one-meter cuts which then go to waste," explained Arturo Medellín, HM2 Production Engineer.
The focus on predictive maintenance and the correct and efficient use of the contingency plan, which provides greater buffer time to solve line problems, helped to achieve the goal, explained César Delgado, head of the HM2 Mechanical Maintenance Sector.
It is the first time that a Ternium team has participated in this competition.
The alarms placed on the line are intended to warn of a potential failure before it happens. "If we have a fault, we have to solve it quickly and if a fault is going to happen, we have to prevent it before it happens," said Israel Arcos, Hot Rolling Manager at the Guerrero Plant.
In addition, a very complete training plan was implemented for new employees, consisting of shadow operators, sample videos and the use of virtual simulators, with the goal that employees manipulate the equipment before making it to the line.
The benefits of this project were not only reflected in economic terms, as the project also had safety benefits, by minimizing the interaction with the mill and the removal of the jams through magnetized equipment, which is now a more efficient and safe activity.