SUPPLY CHAIN PLANNING AT VALE

BACKGROUND

Iron ore is explored in four production systems (SN, SS, SE, SW), each made up of the following steps (chain operations): Mining, Processing Plants, Bunker loading (shipping points), transport (mode: Rail, Road, Sea, Pipeline, Belt), Pelletizing Plant, Blending steps, Port and Overseas DCs. Different end products are obtained from a combination of different types of ore produced.

Required products are distinguished by their physical-chemical properties. The supply will be made up of a blend of various ores and different compositions for the same demand. Moreover, the mixture is usually made up of components from different mines and therefore has different transport lead times or even formation piles. The same mixture can be made with different pile forming sequences.

 

Demand at delivery points, characterized by when and where the mixture should be ready and the characteristics of the end products trigger a decision process involving mines, transport and mixture for a destination.

Throughout the planning period, when the ore arrives at the port you need to make sure that appropriate unloading equipment is available as well as storage space in the bunkers, in turn they require the right-sized equipment to take the ore to the corresponding cradle, and finally make sure of the vessel for the cradle and the CNs needed to load it.
It is important to emphasize the strong interrelation between the different operational plans: mine/mill production, programming arrival of ore, the use of car dumpers, forming piles in the bunkers, pellet production and transportation for clients (mostly shipments).

To decide how best to meet the demands, the planner must define blends and mineral flows, from the mines to the ships, looking for the best result financially for the company.

That is, you must decide how much from each mine will be transported to which destination in which time period (day, month or year), how it will be transported (transport mode), and from which mine products will make up the mixtures to obtain the various final products over the planning horizon (day, month, year or years).

NEED

Implant a decision and support tool to plan the use of the supply chain to meet demand, getting the best performance in terms of combinations of several criteria:

  • Volume
  • Margin
  • Revenue

SOLUTION

RESULTS

Organizational Impact:

  • Improved quality of decisions – safer planning solutions obtained;
  • Greater responsiveness, plan reformulation and appropriateness of new scenarios;
  • More time to review plans and generate various solutions.

More Volume:

  • Reduce the processing plant’s setup losses;
  • Better inventory control.

Less Demurrage:

  • Reduced bar waiting time due to greater control of production processes;
  • Better inventory control at ports.

Service Level:

  • Lower rate of non-compliance;
  • Greater alignment between demand/supply;
  • More timely delivery.
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