Smart factories are where artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity play an integral role in the vast majority of the company’s operations.
Taking this concept one step closer toward reality are Arkansas-based steel company Big River Steel and San Francisco-based enterprise AI company Noodle.ai. The two companies are collaborating to develop the first smart steel production facility, which will be Big River Steel’s $1.3 billion 1300-acre steel mill in Osceola, Arkansas.
The mill’s primary operations will involve scrap metal recycling and steel production and will be designed to emphasize environmental resourcefulness and technological advancement.
One of the reasons that prompted Big River Steel to begin their plans for constructing the world’s first smart steel mill is so the company can help meet the escalating demand for high-quality steel, while being able to grow a more robust steel manufacturing industry through technological innovation.
“The mill possesses a rich trove of sensor data for our platform to leverage, allowing us to help unlock breakthrough improvements in areas such as maintenance planning, production line scheduling, logistics operations, and environmental protection,” says Stephen Pratt, Noodle.ai’s CEO.
The smart facility’s industrial operations will run on a platform developed by Noodle.ai called the BEAST (Beast Enterprise AI Super Computing Technology). This interface will optimize a variety of functions throughout the mill, using its predictive AI engines.
“Our mill is analogous to a driverless car: The first day, the car doesn’t know how to drive itself but the more it drives the more it learns. The AI algorithms will allow the mill to react to production challenges automatically,” says Dave Stickler, CEO of Big River Steel.