The importance of prediction methods in industry 4.0 on the example of steel industry

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This paper presents the importance of the prediction of steel production in industry 4.0 along with forecasts for steel production in the world until 2022. In the last two decades, the virtual world has been increasingly entering production. Today’s manufacturing systems are becoming faster and more flexible – easily adaptable to new products. Steel is the basic structural material (base material) for many industrial sectors. Industries such as automotive, mechanical engineering, construction and transport use steel in their production processes. Prediction methods in cyber-physical production systems are gaining in importance. The task of prediction is to reduce risk in the decision-making process. In autonomous manufacturing systems in industry 4.0 the role of prediction is more active than passive. Forecasts have the following functions: warning, reaction, prevention, normative, etc. The growing number of customized solutions in industry 4.0 translates into new challenges in the production process. Manufacturers must respond to individual customer needs more quickly, be able to personalize products while reducing energy and resource costs (saving energy and resources can increase the product competitiveness). The modern market becomes increasingly unpredictable. Production prediction under such conditions should be carried out continuously, which is possible because there is more empirical data and access to data. Information from the ongoing monitoring of the company’s production is directly transferred to the prospective evaluation. In view of the contemporary reciprocal use of automation, data processing, data exchange and manufacturing techniques, there is greater access to external data, e.g. on production in different target markets and with global, international, national, regional coverage. Companies can forecast in real time, and the forecasts obtained give the possibility to quickly change their production. Industry 4.0 (from the business objective point of view) aims to provide companies with concrete economic benefits – primarily by reducing manufacturing costs, standardizing and stabilizing quality, increasing productivity. Industry 4.0 aims to create a given autonomous smart factory system in which machines, factory components and services communicate and cooperate with each other, producing a personalized product. The aim of this paper is to present new challenges in the production processes in relation to steel production, as well as to prepare and present forecasts of (quantitative) steel production of territorial, global and temporary range until 2022, taking into account the applied production technologies (BOF and EAF). For forecasting purposes, classic trend models and adaptive trend models were used. This methodology was used to build separate forecasts for: total steel production, BOF steel and EAF steel. Empirical data is world steel production in 2000-2017 (annual production volume in Mt).

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