PSI Blog

Happy Birthday: 20 Years PSImetals Line Scheduler at SSAB Finland!

24 May 2018 - Production

Coils in hot rolling process © Tähtikuva Oy, Pekka Rötkönen ( & © -slav- -

Last year we celebrated the 20th birthday of PSImetals Line Scheduler at SSAB, a Nordic and US-based steel company. With its help, forty million tons of coils have been scheduled on the hot strip mill over these years. However, due to its broad optimization potential our software still keeps up with the times and constantly guides operation experts through the uncertainties of production in the metals market. 

When it comes to mill scheduling in the metals industry, one faces the complex challenge of balancing several conflicting constraints that all need to be considered:

  • due date requirements
  • technological constraints
  • production flow constraints
  • stock levels, etc. 

Having the right choice available in real time helps the operation experts to manage process exceptions and uncertainties of production.

Smart assistance systems, that offer intelligent decision support and allow an easier reactivity to the changing production environment and market situation, are nowadays an essential part of the metals industry.

PSImetals Line Scheduling as an Interactive Decision Support System

PSImetals Line Scheduling for hot strip mills is an interactive decision support system that creates optimized detailed schedules for rolling mills. It provides the best possible decisions or alternatives at every step of production. The intelligent assistance system increases the hot charging rates, maximizes throughput by a balanced and goal-oriented flow, and optimizes the reheating furnaces. Consequently, PSImetals Line Scheduling system allows prioritization of special quality products and assigns slabs to furnaces considering production restrictions and respecting the current market situation.

PSI Metals Line Scheduling © PSI Metals

Software Products Have Birthdays Too

Our long-term customers, such as SSAB in Finland, benefit from our optimization approach and make a very active use of the software by configuring it themselves and independently adapting many aspects of the Line Scheduler to meet their needs. In fact, last year we celebrated the 20th Birthday of PSImetals Line Scheduler at SSAB in Raahe. 

So let’s wish the PSImetals Line Scheduler at SSAB in Raahe, Finland a very happy Birthday!

Forty million tons of coils have been scheduled on the hot strip mill using the Line Scheduler over these 20 years. Back in 1997, both the product and the customer had different names: the BetaPlanner was in use at Rautaruuki. However, the problems addressed back then were the same—finding the best possible sequence for the individual hot strip mill equipment programs. 

Regular Updates and Changing Requirements

Happy project manager at the PSImetals Usergroup 2017: Pierre Beghin (PSI), Martti Finnila (SSAB), Luc van Nerom (PSI) © PSI Metals

If you are very lucky, or if you develop particularly good software, customers will still be able to use it after years in use, like the users at the Raahe plant. They make a very active use of the software, configure it themselves and independently adapt many aspects of the Line Scheduler to meet their needs. For example, a student trainee at SSAB recently developed a separate model to simulate concrete problems and equipment restrictions even more effectively.

To the Next Twenty Years Together!

This model now supplies the Line Scheduler with Raahe-specific planning requirements on a daily basis. Such a high level of interest and confidence on the part of a customer is what a supplier loves to see, and forms a basis for the best possible leveraging of the software’s huge potential for optimization. 

© Suomen Ilmakuva Oy (

We are looking forward to the next 20 years together achieving longer and higher quality schedules in shorter time, while constantly optimizing and customizing our product!

Jörg Hackmann, Head of Product Development PSI Metals GmbH

The graduate mathematician Jörg Hackmann crossed paths with PSI in 1991. Today Jörg is Director Products & Methodology. Many years of experience and an extensive knowledge base about our product make him the right person to chat with about such topics as PSImetals product, methodology, planning and mobile apps.

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