Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Steel has identified over 200 digital projects to connect its factories in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, and to enable them become Smart Steel Factories within the next three financial years.
It will execute about 100 digital projects at the Vijayanagar plant in Karnataka, over 90 projects at Dolvi (Maharashtra), and about 10 projects at Salem (Tamil Nadu), covering the breadth of steel-making operations to drive efficiency.
The digital drive comes when the company has embarked on a capex plan of over ₹25,000 crore to augment its combined capacities to 37.5 million tonnes per annum.
JSW Steel launched its pilot digital initiative in 2017 through the implementation of the Athena project to digitise procurement, logistics and project management functions. These initiatives helped JSW Steel drive EBITDA by over ₹1,200 crore as of March 2021 while helping improve margins and boost customer satisfaction.
The first smart factory will become operational at Vijayanagar in FY23, followed by the steel-making facilities at Dolvi and Salem, and the downstream and joint control facilities will be taken up subsequently.
Siddharth Patel, Head of Digital Centre of Excellence, JSW Group, told BusinessLine that the digital team will drive efficiency right from preparation of raw material to the stocking of the goods at the warehouse and delivery to customers.
JSW Steel is exploring the use of digital initiatives to implement predictive and then prescriptive maintenance to improve product quality and safety on the shop floor, Patel said.
The stock yard of the company will operate like Amazon’s fully automated warehouses with labelled steel coils managed by robots, he added.
Of the 1,000 employees who registered for the special digital initiative, the company has selected 75 for a special 12-day data science analytics course, out of whom 25 will be selected for advanced courses. The company will reskill existing workers to employ them gainfully even after digitisation, said Patel.
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