New software saves 5% raw material in Alumeco

New software saves 5% raw material in Alumeco

Producing new (primary) metal requires a lot of energy, so any reduction in the use of new material makes a big difference for carbon emissions. With a new software on our metal cutting saws, we now use up to 5% less new material in our production.

How the software works

The software from ARDIS calculates the most efficient way to cut a plate from one of three criteria: highest yield, fastest sawing or a combination of the two. 

This ensures that we do not use more material than is actually needed, and the software also catalogues every piece of scrap so they can be found and used later.

Before this software, our sawing operators had to manually figure out the best way to saw each plate, which took a lot of time and was often unprecise. Now, the software takes care of most of the planning, so the operators can focus on the sawing process.

ARDIS has made it much easier to saw our products. We still need to keep track of the orders and keep and eye on the process, but there are significantly fewer mistakes than before.

- Cliff Nielsen, sawing operator

Data is the key

To make the software as intelligent as possible, we have enriched it with a new, data-based scrap policy. The new scrap policy compares any scrap produced from the saw to our order history and decides whether to save the piece or not. If the piece has a size that is rare in our order history, it is not saved.

We expect the new scrap policy alone to help us save 40 ton of aluminium each year.

Because ARDIS is integrated with our ERP-system, the software makes sure that the saved scrap pieces are reused for new orders as they come in.

  • ARDIS uses artificial intelligence to calculate the best use of every plate, balancing both yield and speed. Any scrap from the plate is put back in stock to be reused later.

Sawing operators informed the project

From the very beginning of the project, the sawing operators were included in the development of the software, because it directly impacts their daily work. The operators took part in workshops and weekly meetings during the entire proces to make sure their ideas and input were worked into the solution. After all, the software is meant to make their work easier, so it needs to work for them.

This process helped solve many issues in the early stages og development and made the implementation process more smooth.

Involving everyone in the project was imperative, and it made the implementation easier than expected.

– Brian Strøier, project manager

We were very involved in the development, which meant that we e.g. solved an issue with shavings that got caught in the saw. This meant that the software worked better from day 1.

– Cliff Nielsen, sawing operator

Already up and running

The ARDIS project was launched in April 2021, and by spring 2022 ARDIS was up and running on all saws in Denmark. Next step was to install ARDIS on all the saws in the German warehouse, and be expect to wrap up the project in the fall of 2022.