PSI Blog

ABM Week 2018: Innovative Solutions in the Industry 4.0 Era

17/10/2018 - Industry 4.0, Artificial Intelligence, Technology, Production

PSI Metals team at ABM Week 2018 © PSI Metals
PSI Metals team at ABM Week 2018 © PSI Metals

With a crowdy hall and the presence of important personalities from the metallurgy industry, the ABM Week 2018 from 2 to 4 October took over São Paulo - the financial center of Brazil. More than 1,500 people from all over the world visited Latin America’s largest technical-scientific event in the fields of metallurgy, materials and mining in the modern Pro Magno Center of Events. PSI had the opportunity to participate in the annual event and to contribute to the most important topics in the Latin American metallurgical market.

“The expectation is that we will have the best ABM week in history with record audiences and debates at the highest level,” said Sérgio Neves Monteiro, chairman of ABM’s Board of Directors, at the opening ceremony. “We are very pleased that this edition of the event once again broke last year’s record of technical papers submitted,” he added.

On this historic occasion, PSI had the opportunity to meet Mr. Monteiro for a brief interview to discuss the latest developments at the ABM conference.

From left: Pierre Beghin (PSI Metals), Sérgio Neves Monteiro (ABM), Swetlana Maschinez (PSI Metals) & Carlos Matuck (PSI Metals) © PSI Metals
From left: Pierre Beghin (PSI Metals), Sérgio Neves Monteiro (ABM), Swetlana Maschinez (PSI Metals) & Carlos Matuck (PSI Metals) © PSI Metals

Interview with Sérgio Neves Monteiro, chairman of ABM’s Board of Directors

Mr. Monteiro, for someone who has never heard of ABM Week or ABM in general, how would you describe it in three sentences?

Mr. Monteiro: The Brazilian Association of Metallurgy, Materials and Mining (ABM) was founded 75 years ago under the name Brazilian Association of Metals. Our goal is to be the main institution for the promotion of human resources development, technical and scientific evolution and innovation in processes, products and management in the fields of metallurgy, materials and mining in Latin America. Events such as ABM Week are crucial today to prepare companies for new developments and innovations in the future.

What kind of people can I meet here?

Mr. Monteiro: Here you will find people from different backgrounds, e.g. academics, university students and professionals from different industries. We have a large mix of science professionals and companies from different fields of interest involved in materials, steel making, mining and metallurgy in particular.

In your opening speech you mentioned a historical record of the submissions of technical papers. What encourages the students to submit their papers?

Mr. Monteiro: A large number of ABM Week participants are students from universities who want to share their research results and scientific-technological innovations with companies. And since the ABM Week consists of several small conferences in different areas, they have the possibility to address a broad audience. Giving the voice to the young people and thus building a bridge between academia and the industry – this has been our goal for many years now. 

How does the ABM present itself to the participants? What should they remember most about the conference afterwards?

Mr. Monteiro: I want all participants to experience and remember that ABM belongs to all of us. They should acknowledge that this is not just a conference where you come once and then disappear - we are a big family here, enabling students from universities and managers of big steel mills to meet, exchange information and at best write the future together.  

What topics does ABM Week cover?

Mr. Monteiro: Including PSI, 53 companies are represented at this year’s exposition - most of them large Brazilian steel companies. For this reason, we focus our meetings, conferences and plenary sessions very strongly on topics from all areas of the metallurgical sector, in particular from the area of steel production.  

What topics in the steelmaking area are especially important?

Mr. Monteiro: This year we are increasingly moving away from special interest in topics to general interest and trying to emphasize more than the scientific-technical perspective. This means that we have tried to address topics not only from a technological perspective, but also from a marketing, administrative, etc. perspective. The reason for this is that we want to offer the participating companies added value by selecting the topics that are up-to-date and correspond to their current needs. We want our participants to know how they can make progress in Brazil, and we see this as one of our main goals here at ABM Week.

Industry 4.0 is a very timely topic…

Mr. Monteiro: That is true, yesterday, for example, we had an interesting plenary session in which we discussed the 4th industrial revolution and in which PSI made a very important contribution with Mr. Wolf’s presentation on AI modelling for predictive quality and routing. Industry 4.0 with all these buzzwords like digitization, big data and the Internet of Things is an important issue that we look at in terms of how we should evolve, how we should proceed in the future. We want to help our participants to make things faster, better and cheaper. We believe very strongly in this and we want to go down this road together with all the ABM Week participants.

Process Optimization through Big Data?

Participants of the plenary session “Industry 4.0: Big Data Analytics for Processes Optimization” © ABM
Participants of the plenary session “Industry 4.0: Big Data Analytics for Processes Optimization” © ABM

One of the best-known topics of interest in Brazil and worldwide is the changes triggered by the 4th Industrial Revolution, characterized by the increasing use of advanced digital technologies to improve the way we produce and interact with our customers. Thus, the plenary session “Industry 4.0: Big Data Analytics for Processes Optimization” brought together four experts from industry and science from Brazil and abroad to discuss different ways to lead steel production into a new digital future. One of them was Heiko Wolf, Director PSImetals FutureLab, with his lecture “Using AI Modeling for Predictive Quality and Routing.”

The starting point of the plenary session was that technologies related to Industry 4.0 generate a high volume of data. However, this data is not always properly used to optimize processes, ensure quality and increase business. The market and science are relying on innovative solutions to adapt to the requirements of this new context.

Heiko Wolf presents his lecture "Using AI Modeling for Predictive Quality and Routing" © PSI Metals

Guilherme Lenz, Professor at the Department of Metallurgical Engineering and Materials of the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo, for example, explained that the use of data generated by sensors installed at different stages of the industrial process requires qualified specialists. Nowadays it is easy to measure everything, but the market needs qualified data management and analysis specialists and process engineers to harness this information, he said. In this context, Heiko Wolf addressed the possibilities of modeling artificial intelligence to gain insights from the collected data and predict future trends. According to him, these tools connect the people with the data they need to make better decisions and that are most useful.

The individual presentations were followed by an inspiring Q&A session with questions from the audience.

Short introduction to our innovation platform "PSImetals FutureLab" at the ABM Week.

ABM Week 2018 broke all records

After three intense days, ABM Week 2018 ended with a record number of visitors, a lot of interaction and exchange of knowledge and technical contributions. Once again, the event broke the record for job registration. There were 831 submissions for participation in the eleven events of the Week. Of these, 796 contributions were selected for lectures or posters.

Take a look at our Event Impressions video to see what we experienced this year in São Paulo:

Event impressions from the ABM Week 2018.

Heiko Wolf, Director PSImetals FutureLab

Heiko has been developing software for the Steel and Aluminum industries at PSI Metals for the past 12 years. As the head of the FutureLab project he gets to think about Software Architecture, continous delivery and agile methodologies, and how all of that fits in his industry.

+49 30 2801-1863
hwolf@psi.de