How Steel Mills Transform into Smart Mills: Digital Changes and Development Determinants in the Polish Steel Industry
Purpose: The research question is how do steel mills transform to smart mills. This is the purpose of this paper. Approach/Methodology/Design: Dynamic technological development forces enterprises to introduce changes in production. Enterprises expect digital production to enable them to optimize production more than ever before. The changes concern especially the adaptation and integration of digital technologies. The article is about key areas and determinants of change in the steel industry in Poland on the way of steel mills to digital technologies. The article is a compilation of theory and practice. On the basis of statistical information, data on key areas of change in the steel industry in Poland was presented in the paper. Findings: At the current stage of transformation of the steel industry in Poland to Industry 4.0, steel mills are investing in technologies to process data in real time and acquire IT systems along with computer services to compile solutions (installations), combining steel production technologies with IT applications. Steel production technologies are entwined with IC systems with access to IoT, Big Data and Cloud Computing solutions. Compact OT (operation tech) and IT (informatics) structures are emerging, which in the future will create a cyber-physical steel production system (CPSPS: Cyber-Physical Steel Production System). Practical Implications: The analysis and evaluation carried out in the article shows that a key factor affecting the development of this sector is the way to Industry 4.0. Presented analysis in the paper can be used by companies in the steel sector to build a development strategy towards Industry 4.0. Originality/Value: The topic of the article is very important because it focuses on changes and determinats in the Polish steel Industry unnder the conditions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.