In an effort to comply with a new "energy and environment" initiative designed by the Chinese government to prevent energy supply shortages and slow environmental degradation, Shaogang Iron and Steel Group of China has announced it has been using LonWorks Networking Platform from San Jose, Calif.-based Echelon Corporation, to optimize its energy utilization and process control systems.
Shaogang's first energy optimization application of LonWorks -- covering a 10 square kilometer steel plant -- has resulted in a 10% reduction in operating costs.
"In China, energy costs can be as much as one third of the overall operating costs for a steel plant, which is much higher than our counterparts in the West. Now, the Chinese government is mandating energy cost reductions for heavy industries such as steel plants like ours. Shaogang Iron and Steel Group has quickly learned the technology lessons associated with rapid growth, and we are committed to applying them at the factory and system level to more effectively manage energy, and operate more efficiently," said Mr. Jianmei Huang, head of the information technology department at Shaogang Iron and Steel Group.
With this first installation, Shaogang is hoping to begin the process of establishing a standard method and technology platform for energy saving applications in the Chinese steel production industry. Using this software information from the energy and control system is integrated with the plant's manufacturing execution system (MES) to allow Shaogang to identify best-case use scenarios for energy consumption and production.
"Shaogang's work is a strong indicator of how economic, environmental and policy trends are beginning to drive corporate decisions in China," said Anders Axelsson, Echelon's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "Echelon's infrastructure approach to controls is ideal for Shaogang Iron and Steel Group's energy conservation application because each additional device on the network can improve the overall effectiveness of current and future optimization strategies."
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