Case Study: Bluescope Steel Metform Slitter Upgrade



I S Systems was engaged to design, manufacture, install and commission a new automation system for the ‘Metform’ Slitter at Bluescope Steel’s Chullora Service Centre. The objective was to increase reliability, reduce setup times and to raise the safety and access control systems to Australian (AS4024) and Bluescope Steel standards.

The upgrade included the refurbishment of all the DC motors, replacement of the strip transport DC drives, new PLC hardware and software, introduction of a SCADA system and all new safety equipment including safety PLC, gate locks, sensors and hydraulic block and bleed valves. I S Systems accepted the challenge of the full electro-mechanical scope and assembled a talented team to engineer a turn-key solution.


I S Systems chose to implement the project using Siemens Simoreg DC drives, a Siemens S7-317F Safety PLC and a Siemens WinCC SCADA system. The hardware communicated over a Profinet Industrial Ethernet network. Siemens Profisafe safety communications technology provided a unique advantage in that it was possible to have both safety and normal I/O mounted in single ET200S remote I/O racks located at each piece of equipment; this reduced both component and installation costs and reduced commissioning complexity while maintaining a world class level of safety integrity.

I S Systems used IBA high speed data gathering and analysis software to fine tune the speed and tension control performance of the drives and control system. The IBA system’s ability to record drive performance data from the drives at sampling times as low as 1ms proved to be invaluable to the commissioning engineers.

Client: Bluescope Steel

 Bluescope Metform Slitter

Bluescope Metform Slitter2