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Mohawk College receives research funding to support innovation in steelmaking

$300,000 grant supports applied research project with area steelmaker to develop an imaging and deep learning-based automated system

ArcelorMittal Dofasco and Mohawk College have partnered to develop an automated system for slag-raking at the company’s Ladle Metallurgy Facility in Hamilton.

Announced today, researchers from Mohawk College’s Sensor Systems and Internet of Things (IoT) Lab will design and test an imaging and deep learning-based automated system for the identification and removal of slag, a byproduct of steelmaking.

The two-year project is funded by $300,000 from the National Sciences and Research Council of Canada (NSERC) through an Applied Research and Development Grant. ArcelorMittal Dofasco is also investing in the project with the support of Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen). The work is part of a large portfolio of digital transformation work currently being completed by ArcelorMittal Dofasco.

Slag is produced when molten steel is separated from impurities. For every 300 tons of steel, approximately four tons of slag must be removed. Precision and consistency are an important part of the process. If too little slag is raked off, the quality of the final product is compromised. If too much molten steel is removed when the slag is raked off, the production efficiency is compromised.

Researchers will work with steelmaking specialists to increase the accuracy of its slag-raking system by automating existing technologies and processes using IoT-driven sensor and image processing techniques. The team, led by Dr. Esteve Hassan, National Research Chair for IIoT Applications, will include experts in imagery, instrumentation and software, sensors, advanced manufacturing and process automation.


Jeff McIsaac, Dean, Applied Research“We are grateful to NSERC for its generous support. Mohawk is one of Canada’s top-ranked research colleges, with a nationally recognized team in the area of industrial sensor technology. Through the strength of our partnerships with industry leaders like ArcelorMittal Dofasco, our research students and staff have the opportunity to explore ground-breaking technologies and to help our partners remain at the forefront of their industries.”
- Jeffrey McIsaac, Dean of Applied Research, Mohawk College




Tony Valeri, VP Corporate Affairs, ArcelorMittal DofascoThis project is part of ArcelorMittal’s work with Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster and Next Generation Manufacturing Canada. As a founding partner of the Supercluster, we believe in the collaboration required to achieve a world’s first for digitization at a Ladle Metallurgy Facility. The Mohawk College team’s contribution for an imaging and deep learning-based automated system is a critical component of our larger project portfolio.”
Tony Valeri, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, ArcelorMittal Dofasco




Esteve Hassan, Chair, IIoT Applications“Steel is an essential material in our evolving world and inextricably linked with Canada’s economic growth and prosperity. This project will provide state-of-the-art technology, applying artificial intelligence and deep learning to sufficiently minimize the content of furnace slag in a pouring ladle.”
- Dr. Esteve Hassan, Mohawk’s Industrial Research Chair for IIoT Applications