MSA Develops Process Benchmarker Platform

PITTSBURGH, PA – November 7, 2011 – Management Science Associates, Inc.’s (MSA) Metals and Advanced Manufacturing Division has received a contract to design and implement a web-based platform and service for benchmarking operational performance metrics for the Technology Committees of the Association for Iron & Steel Technology (AIST). The service, known as the AIST Process Benchmarker (APB), will increase steel producer networking, providing user companies with performance benchmarks to improve technical processes and enhance corporate competitiveness.
The online analytical tool gives steel producer members the ability to generate a variety of reports and comparisons while maintaining security and the desired level of confidentiality. The comparisons may be for a given time period, a correlated look at several operating parameters together, views comparing like facilities or operations, and other options. The ability to aggregate certain data points and compare against them is also provided. 
The APB provides several methods for data viewing and comparative reporting, including a flexible, ad hoc, web-based reporting tool showing charts and graphs based on operator-selectable parameters; technology committee-specific standard reports; a per-user configurable dashboard; and possibly, participant-specific custom reporting.
A beta version of the APB has been released to AIST’s Ironmaking Technology Committee. 
According to Patrick J. Gallagher, MSA Metals and Advanced Manufacturing Division Vice President, “This project provides the opportunity for MSA to further enhance its long history of providing benchmarking services to a variety of industries, including tobacco, consumer packaged goods, confectionary, ferrous scrap and others. We are delighted to be partnering with AIST on this initiative and appreciate the opportunity to assist the participating steelmakers in improving their understanding of their operations.”
The APB is based on MSA’s proprietary Raw Material Data Aggregation Service™ (RMDAS) technology. MSA’s RMDAS program has been providing a ferrous scrap benchmarking service to the metals industry since 2003. 
“MSA’s expertise and experience in secure data management, data analysis and benchmarking services for the steel and other industries made them the natural choice for carrying out this project,” explained Mr. Ron Ashburn, Executive Director of AIST. “We look forward to working with MSA as we roll out the APB to several more of AIST’s Technology Committees.”
AIST President and Nucor Corporation Executive Vice President R. Joseph Stratman stated, “AIST’s Ironmaking Technology Committee, which has a long history of benchmarking North American blast furnace performance metrics, is the first Technology Committee to develop a module for the APB system, with another five process modules to follow thereafter before mid-2012. The APB represents another tool offered by AIST to help producer members identify opportunities for improvement and solve technical challenges.” 
MSA’s Metals and Advanced Manufacturing Division is a Pittsburgh, PA-based group that specializes in providing complete turnkey computer systems, process control and modeling services, system design, and facility-wide management systems to a variety of process and manufacturing industries. It is perhaps best known for its work in automating steel mills, its RMDAS™ service for ferrous scrap and its Blending Optimization Software Suite™ (BOSS), but it also provides services for the chemical process, pulp and paper, and environmental services industries, as well as applications for laboratory information management, business intelligence and e-commerce. The Division has provided such services since 1982.
Management Science Associates, Inc. engineers and commercializes information-based models, processes and systems for industry and government. Since being incorporated in 1963, MSA has partnered with customers to identify areas in which innovative analyses and uses of data can foster growth or drive efficiency. Combining its expertise with the tools of information management, analytics, data management, and software and systems technology, MSA develops, integrates, implements and maintains products and services in various functional and vertical domains. It helps customers put their data to work. With 850 professionals, MSA provides solutions for more than 300 clients, including some of the largest U.S. and foreign corporations and institutions. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, it also has offices in New York; Las Vegas; High Point, NC; Atlanta; Cardiff, United Kingdom; Shanghai, China; and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. More MSA information can be found at
AIST is an international technical association of more than 14,000 professional and student members, representing iron and steel producers, their allied suppliers and related academia. The association is dedicated to advancing the technical development, production, processing and application of iron and steel. More information is available at