Mathematics in Industry: How is a Hidden Rule Found from Operation
Nippon Steel Corporation, Advanced Technology Research
Friday, May 25, 2007 15:00-16:00,
Steel company researchers tend to focus on manufacturing processes.
The phenomena are mostly complex, however, observations are limited
because we must operate with high temperature objects and large-scale
equipment. Consequently, we have been trying to find hidden rules from
For example, we use blast furnaces in the main process of iron making.
A blast furnace is a huge reactor with a height of about 40 meters.
In this process, sintered ore and coke are sequentially charged from
the top of the blast furnace while hot air is blasted from the furnace
bottom at a temperature about 1500K. This raises the temperature inside
the blast furnace to a high temperature of more than 2700K, thereby
accelerating the chemical reaction that separates the iron from the
The temperature, measured with the thermo-couples in a brick.
In shutdown operations, production of molten iron is suspended
for one or two days. Although the primary purpose of shutdown
operations is scheduled maintenance, unscheduled shutdown operations
were carried out five times to lower the furnace temperature.
These are enormously damaging in terms of cost. Why do such abnormal
conditions suddenly occur? Is there an effective means of identifying
the signs? These are the issues that concern us.
We also show a map representing the position of these phenomena
in four categories of the manufacturing process: stationary,
non-stationary, linear and nonlinear. Our phenomena fall into
the non-stationary and nonlinear category. However, we don't have
a method by which this area can be analyzed. If mathematical principles
can be applied in this area, we can have direct linkage between
real phenomena and mathematics. This will enable reduced costs,
and innovation in manufacturing processes.
Some topics of a global collaboration by mathematicians
and Nippon Steel Corporation will be discussed.
Building 101, Lecture Room C
Friday, May 25, 2007 13:00-14:00,
Junichi Nakagawa is the Chief Researcher in Nippon Steel Corporation's
Energy and Environment Research Laboratory.
He received his Masters degree in Chemical Engineering from Osaka University
Contact: A. J. Kearsley
Note: Visitors from outside NIST must contact
Robin Bickel; (301) 975-3668;
at least 24 hours in advance.