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Japan’s steelmakers ramp up AI technology use

  • December 14, 2020
  • English Press

Major steelmakers in Japan are tapping the power of artificial intelligence and other digital technologies, in a bid to maintain their international competitiveness.


Japanese steel firms face the challenge of boosting their productivity to cope with fierce price competition from Chinese and other overseas rivals.


Nippon Steel plans to install AI-based production-monitoring next month at its factory near Tokyo. The system was jointly developed with electronics maker NEC.


Company officials say AI will learn normal operating conditions based on information including electric current, pressure, and control signals. This will allow it to detect the slightest deviations and help prevent production problems.


Hoshino Takeo, a manager responsible for digitalization at Nippon Steel said, “This technology has many applications. So we will expand its use to other steel plants and factories. I hope to introduce it in our overseas facilities too.”


JFE Steel and Kobe Steel are also using AI to monitor production, so they can avoid downtime and defective products.

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