Artificial Intelligence for advanced automation: DanCounter for Danieli Automation

Process automation

The Danieli Automation company is part of the Danieli Group specialized in the creation of process automation for iron and steel plants. Founded in 1969 with the aim of supporting the parent company in the design and development of electrical and automation equipment, over the decades it has consolidated as a leader in the international market, with over 400 plants worldwide.


Danieli Automation has expressed the need to enrich its portfolio of products for advanced plant automation. Specifically, the intention was to identify an innovative solution capable of overcoming some critical issues of the pre-existing electromechanical solutions on the market. In fact, these devices are characterized by:

  • Mechanical dimensions;
  • Contact with the material;
  • Production stop at installation;
  • Retooling at production changeover.

Danieli Automation turned to beanTech with the aim of finding a solution that was equally accurate, based on contactless and non-invasive optical technology. Furthermore, the solution had to allow installation without downtime and had to be able to adapt independently to production changes.

Danieli Automation and beanTech have jointly developed an optical solution based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) for real-time counting of bars on the conveyor belt.

It is a hybrid technology, consisting of a camera equipped with Artificial Intelligence algorithms and image processing. The solution is extremely compact, does not require plant shutdowns for installation and can be installed on the production line. DanCounter also allows you to control the automation during separation and, when production changes, the solution reconfigures itself automatically, interfacing with the plant management system.

The main features of the solution are:

  • Bar count;
  • Automatic separation control;
  • Self-diagnosis functionality via AI.


Take the time to find out all details of the solution.

Innovation always presents difficulties! If then the intention is to innovate a solution already consecrated by the satisfaction of customers and the market, then the challenge becomes difficult to manage in complete autonomy. The objective was precisely to generate the conditions for the evolution of the robust, but still perfectible, existing counting technology. The management of complex problems such as the development of the new DanCounter had to foresee a horizontal systemic approach, with an understanding of the problem as a whole; unlike what happens for complicated problems in which the single parts of the problem can be approached/solved individually.

This simple but necessary analysis led to the decision to combine Danieli Automation’s systemic skills in optics, electronics, Machine Vision and the iron and steel process with the deep knowledge of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Vision that make beanTech a technological reference in the field. The challenge was accepted by both and, side by side, we gave birth to the new species of DanCounter non-contact optical counters, ready to face the new challenges that the world of industrial automation poses to solution producers. People, then, even if we talk about Artificial Intelligence, always make the difference. Creating a working group leads to problem solving. Creating a team, on the other hand, wins challenges!

Angelo Lugnan
Instrumentation Business Unit VP, Danieli Automation
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