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“We needed something with a small footprint that could stand up to the challenges of the production environment, but we couldn’t find any solid state systems that were reasonably priced. Then we found OnLogic. To date, we haven’t had a single failure or flaky operation. We couldn’t be happier with their products and support."Josh Wood, Network Engineer, Steel Dynamics, Inc.
Who is Steel Dynamics?
High Quality, Eco-Friendly Steel Production
Founded in 1993, Steel Dynamics, Inc. is the fifth largest producer of steel in the United States with $7.3 billion in sales in 2012. A Fortune 500 company based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, SDI employs over 6,600 throughout a broad range of ventures that include five steel mills, two iron production facilities, over 70 metals procurement and recycling locations, and six steel fabrication plants. The Flat Roll facility in Butler, Indiana uses mini-mill technology (significantly more efficient and eco-friendly than traditional blast furnaces) to turn iron and scrap steel into flat rolled steel coils. The Butler plant also produces galvanized and painted products and accounts for nearly 60% of the company’s steel shipments.
An Energy-Efficient, Rugged, Solid State Computer
Steel Dynamics approached OnLogic with a need for computers that would accommodate a variety of tasks. In the production environment, the solid state computers are used with equipment ranging from sensitive spectrometers that ensure the quality and composition of the steel, to cranes that hoist 170 ton ladles of molten steel over five stories above the ground.
As an industry leader in safety, Steel Dynamics uses the OnLogic AG150 to calibrate and store data for a number of their personal safety devices. They also use the fanless systems in serial communication applications where measuring rail and freight weights are critical to daily shipping operations.
Though the uses varied, one thing remained constant: The OnLogic systems were a discreet, rugged, versatile solution that exceeded performance expectations in a 24-hour production environment.
The OnLogic Solution
The AG150 Fanless Industrial Control Computer
OnLogic’s Industrial Control Sales Engineer James Floyd worked with OnLogic’s engineering team to configure a custom computer fitted to Steel Dynamics’ needs. It was fanless with a solid state hard drive, which eliminated the mechanical components that typically fail in traditional computers. Several computers were designed with dual NICs so they could communicate with their internal network and proprietary network devices. In addition, they incorporated dual video output, a parallel port, and two COM ports to communicate with a wide array of equipment. Finally, the design was small and easily mountable, so it could function in a limited space without the concern of overheating.
“I felt confident that our systems would prevail where traditional computers fell short,” Floyd says. “But I also knew that if, for whatever reason, they had issues, we’d be easily reachable. It turns out I was right to feel confident; since we’ve been working with Steel Dynamics, there hasn’t been a single failure.”
Reduced Downtime and No More Sleepless Nights
“Ordering these machines has always been a breeze, and we’ve never felt like ordering one or two at a time was any less important than one of their bulk buyers,” says Josh Wood, Network Engineer at Steel Dynamics. “We depend on these systems for a variety of vital tasks, and they’ve been very reliable.”