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JFE Steel Corporation
IBM Japan Ltd.

JFE Steel and IBM Japan to Market J-mAIster® Fault Recovery Support Solution

JFE Steel Corporation and IBM Japan, Ltd. have entered into a partnership to jointly develop and provide J-mAIster®, an equipment fault recovery support solution using an IBM Watson AI system, to customers in Japan and overseas. J-mAIster was originally developed by JFE Steel for its own applications. The two companies have launched marketing activities and aim to help address a range of customers’ issues by making the system widely available.

The JFE Group is working to improve production efficiency and yields and greatly increase labor productivity by adopting new technologies via its digital transformation (DX) initiatives under its Seventh Medium-term Business Plan. Further, the JFE Group has been expanding its solutions business model, through which it provides a wide range of customers with technological, operational, and research expertise surrounding the production of added-value products and the reduction of the environmental impact of their businesses.

The J-mAIster® system facilitates appropriate responses in the event of equipment failures by using AI to provide optimal data sources from among massive amounts of stored data encompassing the history of past failures, response logs, operating manuals, and similar sources. JFE Steel has implemented the system on all of its own production lines since 2018, allowing maintenance workers to efficiently review company-wide data on past incidents and the information required to recover from such incidents, facilitating a quick return to normal operations at any of its production sites. The use of J-mAIster® has proved highly beneficial, successfully reducing recovery times by around 30% in the event of equipment malfunctions, for instance, and the company is also expanding its use of the system to include operation support.


How J-mAIster® is used and system configuration

How J-mAIster® is used and system configuration

At production sites where older generations of skilled workers are retiring, technology succession is a big challenge. Inexperienced workers tend to require more time to respond to incidents, largely due to them often requiring more time to access relevant information on the procedures and actions needed for recovery, and failing to find the most relevant information. By rolling out J-mAIster® with AI-powered search capabilities, JFE Steel has made it possible for workers to quickly and appropriately obtain the right knowledge and know-how, facilitating quick recovery. In addition, JFE Steel is using J-mAIster® as a training tool enabling their employees to acquire insights and know-how regarding incident response from past cases.

Going forward, JFE Steel will make the system more generally applicable to a wide range of customers across the manufacturing sector, offering it in combination with IBM Watson. The two companies will work together to arrange the optimal system configuration for customers. Further, the companies will consider the adoption of a foundation model necessary for realizing this goal, including the use of “watsonx” (see https://www.ibm.com/watsonx)


J-mAIster is a registered trademark of JFE Steel.
IBM, ibm.com, and IBM Watson are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in multiple international locations.


About JFE Steel Corporation

JFE Steel Corporation, one of the world’s leading integrated steel producers, was established through the consolidation of NKK Corporation and Kawasaki Steel Corporation in 2003. The company operates several steelworks in Japan and numerous branch offices and affiliates throughout the world. JFE Steel leverages world-class technologies and know-how to produce a wide range of products based on its “Only One, Number One” strategy of focusing on unique and best-in-class products. The company reported consolidated sales of 2,255 billion yen and consolidated crude steel output of 23.96 million tons in the fiscal year ended March 2021.

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