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Lessons learned at the ArcelorMittal Hackathon Challenge 2017

Top 3 for Zensor in Machine Learning at #Hack4Steel

· Smart Factory,Industry 4,Visualization,AI,User Experience

AI, AR, Visualization, UX,...

Last weekend on September 15, 16 and 17 the first edition of the ArcelorMittal Hackathon Challenge was taking place at Co.Station Ghent. Hans Similion, Thibault Muselle, Jan Molemans and Bert Mortier were the representatives of Zensor. Their object was to learn about the industry needs related to industry digitalisation - and of course, participate for the experience and prizes! The team placed itself at the top 3 in the Artificial Intelligence category, with a model based on material knowledge. In this category there was no jury involved, the results given by the "AI's" of all teams were compared to data from welds which were actually processed at ArcelorMittal.

The themes of the event's challenge were 'Smarty factory' and 'Industry 4.0':

In order to create a continuous process in our cold rolling mill, we weld our steel coils together at the entrance of the mill, thus creating one big chain to continuously feed our rolling mill. In case the weld would break, the entire process should come to a stop, material would be lost and we risk damaging the machine. Something we obviously want to avoid.​ - The Hackathon Challenge

Hans presenting the final product

Pizza, games and no sleep

ArcelorMittal made sure the participating teams were in good hands. They supplied plentiful of food and beverages throughout the entire weekend. Also, the ArcelorMittal crew by walking around was closely involved the two days. They organised workshops, provided 24/7 support to the teams, and made sure there was enough pizza during the early (or late) hours. Thibault: "It was definitely a fun experience. At the event we could compare ourselves to the other developer teams. There was a good presence of teams from different backgrounds. The support of the host was great, a really top notch organisation!"

There were also plenty of leisure activities to distract from the hard work, such as drone racing, pool billiards, table tennis,... These side activities motivated the interaction between the teams. The facilities at Co.Station were surely contributing to the successful weekend as well. The location was perfectly catered for an event like the Hackathon Challenge, with proper sanitary facilities, well-designed office spaces and inviting leisure spaces. Hans: "We received great support from the organisation. The Co.Station Ghent is a pleasant place to work, especially for dynamic teams."

All in all, the major lack of sleep was no downside of this event. It definitely was an enriching experience for everyone involved. And what about the lessons learned this weekend? Know how to play the ‘game’ of the competition. “We attacked the problem with a focus on finding a technical solution. This dive-right-into-it approach was useful to explore different approaches, but at the same time, it drove us away from the aim the competition itself. Given such a short time we learned that it is better to work on a minimal solution that just works first and then only later analyse the technical details in depth.”

Zensor team hard at work at the ArcelorMittal Hackathon Challenge
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