Sesa Sterlite Ltd. is an associate company of Vedanta Resources Plc which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, and is part of the FTSE 100. Vedanta is the largest mining and non-ferrous metals company in India with operations in other parts of the world as well.
The aluminum industry is witnessing growing market opportunities. However, for an industry that is among the most capital intensive, the continuous drop in margins has had the worrying effect of forcing plants in mature markets to shut down. Leaders in the industry are pausing to take stock of their manufacturing operations. At the top of their agenda are strategies meant to drive down costs and increase plant asset utilization. To do this, they are seeking reliable operational data - that establishes the relationship between production at the shopfloors, the workforce engaged, quality of materials and costs - to enable better business decisions.
Sesa Sterlite Ltd. has a 1.6 mtpa aluminum smelter complex with modern infrastructure at Jharsuguda, India. The complex consists of a potline production unit used to produce molten metal and a casthouse foundry that turns out products such as wire rods, billets and ingots. The client wanted to ensure that asset utilization was high and costs were kept low. To do this, the client decided to bring digitization to the shopfloor and gain access to accurate plant and operational data, which, in turn, helped improve decision making.
At the core of the digitization plan was a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) linking Operational Technology (from equipment and assets) with Information Technology (automated monitoring systems, rules engines, alert mechanisms, data management, analytics, enterprise systems etc.). The system would replace operators who spent their time working on paper, measuring and making log entries related to production, down-time and equipment condition and later transferring them to spreadsheets. Sesa Sterlite Ltd.’s new MES aimed to turn the shopfloor into a paperless environment.