Global steel company NLMK Group has begun to launch its own wireless mobile network (private LTE) at the NLMK Lipetsk integrated steel production site and Stoilensky GOK iron ore mine and beneficiation plant some 350 km away. The Private LTE/5G network is set to be rolled out at all of the group’s production sites in Russia, ensuring secure, stable, and fast transmission of data. More than 90 base stations will be deployed to ensure a stable signal as part of the project. Around 50 towers will be installed at NLMK Lipetsk, and 40 at Stoilensky, which is in Stary Oskol, in the Belgorod region.
The deployment of this network infrastructure will enhance process manageability and information security. Due to full coverage and seamless data transmission, the network will be functional at remote, hard-to-reach areas, enabling the uninterrupted use of data obtained from process equipment in places where they were previously inaccessible for real time transmission. For instance, it will be possible to incorporate remote monitoring of moving objects into the unified digital loop.
Ultimately, transition to the new-generation 5G network standard will ensure faster data exchange for video analytics, unmanned transport, and the development of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and predictive analytics. The private LTE network launch is part of a large-scale infrastructure project aimed at developing existing production digitalisation capabilities in dispatching, environmental control and OHS systems.
Sergey Kazantsev, NLMK Group Vice President for Production Digitalisation, said: “NLMK Group sites currently operate hundreds of digital solutions. In addition to boosting operational efficiency, these solutions help us increase work safety and productivity and reduce our environmental footprint. We are developing platforms and capabilities to help deliver end-to-end digitalization of production processes, to increase adaptability to changes in the order portfolio, raw material quality, and equipment condition. These activities require the strong coverage, speed, and security provided by the Private LTE/5G network.”