Furnaces International March 2020

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PRODUCTS & PROJECTS

FURNACE OF THE FUTURE

ROBOTICS

ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

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MARCH 2020

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Contents

PRODUCTS & PROJECTS

FURNACE OF THE FUTURE

ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

ROBOTICS

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MARCH 2020

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Editor: Nadine Bloxsome nadinebloxsome@quartzltd.com Tel: +44 (0) 1737 855115

Production Editor: Annie Baker

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Managing Director: Tony Crinnion CEO: Steve Diprose

Published by Quartz Business Media Ltd, Quartz House, 20 Clarendon Road, Redhill, Surrey RH1 1QX, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1737 855000. Email: furnaces@quartzltd.com www.furnaces-international.com

Furnaces International is published quarterly and distributed worldwide digitally

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Furnaces International March 2020

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Comment

Welcome to the March issue of Furnaces International Magazine. With the Future Aluminium and Future Steel Forum’s both on the horizon, this issue takes a look at how the furnace sector is adopting digital technologies and what is driving digitalisation. As manufacturing industries face increased environmental pressures over their emissions, we focus on the changing attitudes of glassmakers and what is important to them when 2

Projects and products

choosing their next furnace (page 22). Association feature 10 European Foundry Industry Sentiment, November 2019: Ongoing downward trend Company profile 12 Angolan container glass plant Embalvidro lights furnace Furnace order 18 Universal Alloy Corporation (UAC) takes off, Otto Junker is on board too Environment 22 The furnace of the future?

Robotics and automation are also increasingly playing a part in this ‘Digital Revolution’ and when it comes to furnaces, robotics have a huge role to play in improving safety and good working practice. In an article from Brokk Inc on page 28 the implementation of robotics in the demolition of furnaces is presented. Their use in such hazardous environments speeds up refractory removal and cleanouts compared to alternative equipment for

Robotics 26 Take the Leap. Avoid the Heat. Chip melting furnace 28 High metal yield and low energy costs through modernised recycling of aluminium chips

kilns, ladles, furnaces, castings, cupolas, runners and more. As well as the production processes, innovation is also entering the product market, with Additive Manufacturing a growing trend in the metals industry. An article from Seco

Russia update 30 Russia to conduct large-scale modernisation of domestic furnaces

Warwick on page 32 stresses the importance of choosing the right furnace for this type of production.

Additive manufacturing 32 Improving metal additive manufactured (AM) part quality depends on choosing right furnace Continuous furnace 34 JSC Pervouralsk chose Tenova’s roller hearth continuous furnace

There’s all of this, as well as product and project news, a detailed look into Russian smelter modernisation and the European Foundry Association also provides an update.

Nadine Bloxsome, Editor, Furnaces International, nadinebloxsome@quartzltd.com 1 Furnaces International March 2020


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TWO CHINESE FURNACES CONTRACTS FOR FIVES GROUP Fives has been selected for two strategical contracts to design and supply reheating furnaces to Chinese steelmakers, both with very strict requirements on energy consumption and NOx emissions. In China, local steelmakers are committed to choosing green technologies for non-polluting performance. The first project covers an ultra-low

NOx emission furnace to reheat long products, such as stainless steel bars, coils or wires for Yantai Walsin Stainless Steel, a subsidiary of Walsin Lihwa, a world leading manufacturer of stainless steel. The advanced technology offered by Fives – Stein reheating walking beam furnace – will completely satisfy Walsin’s requirements, claims Fives. The furnace in question will have a capacity

of 85 tons/hr and will be equipped with the latest generation AdvanTek burners, designed in France with the sole intention of guaranteeing energy efficiency and ultra-low NOx emissions – less than 100 mg/m3. The second contract was signed with HBIS SHISTEEL – Shijiazhuang Iron & Steel Company within China’s HBIS Group – for two reheating furnaces,

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UP each with a production capacity of 130 tons/hr. According to Fives, the company chose the Stein Digit@l Furnace walking beam furnace because of its green performance. The furnace operates on natural gas, is equipped with Fives’ patented wide flame burners and a combustion system with individual on/ off control. The wide flame burners are

claimed to improve the crosswise and lengthways temperature profiles of the products, while the individual on-off control allows high thermal efficiency while reducing fuel consumption and NOx emissions. HBIS SHISTEEL is relocating its steelmaking facilities 80km from Shijiazhuang city to set up new

standards for cleaner, more flexible and more efficient steelmaking in China. The scope of both projects on an EPC basis includes engineering, equipment supply, erection and commissioning, which will be carried out by Fives Stein Metallurgical Technology (Shanghai), a Fives’ subsidiary in China.

For additional information contact www.fivesgroup.com

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VERALLIA CELEBRATES FRENCH FURNACE INVESTMENT Container glassmaker Verallia has celebrated the reconstruction of one of its two furnaces at its Lagnieu, France site. The company invested €24million to rebuild the furnace and modernise the production lines, which specialises in the manufacture of glass food containers. The furnace, which produces about two million jars per day, has been completely rebuilt and the five production lines it supplies have been modernised. The reconstruction provided an opportunity to use the latest technologies and more modern materials, in particular to improve the energy performance and environmental impact of the facilities, in line with the

group’s environmental commitments. The new furnace has a new combustion control system that promotes its homogeneity and therefore reduces hot spots, which emit nitrogen oxides. This modernisation also improves the reliability of the installations, the quality of the production and contributes to improving the working conditions of

employees. The work also provided an opportunity to deploy an ambitious training programme me of more than 1,000 hours, organised around the use of modernised machines, occupational safety, production quality and industrial excellence, a Verallia priority.

GERRESHEIMER COMPLETES ESSEN FURNACE REBUILD Pharmaceutical manufacturer Gerresheimer has completed a furnace rebuild at its Essen, Germany site. The facility produces millions of glass containers for the pharmaceutical industry every year. It said the routine renovation of the furnace means it will use less energy and is much more sustainable than its predecessor. It means new capacity is available with immediate effect to satisfy the

high demand for the production of injection and infusion bottles from type II glass for parenteral solutions. New furnace technology, the further enlargement of the clean room as well as the automatisation of the testing and packaging systems safeguards the company’s position. Enlargements will be made to the production hall and the clean room will be increased in size, while testing and packaging technology

will be further automated and brought up to date with the latest technology. By using new technology, the energy efficiency of the new white glass tank can be improved while at the same time reducing specific CO2 emissions. As the Center of Excellence for the production of type II glass, the Essen plant will in future also be able to offer parenteral solutions.

AGC EUROPE PLANS FURNACE REPAIR AT MOUSTIER, BELGIUM PLANT After 18 years of uninterrupted production, one of the four float glass furnaces at AGC Glass Europe in Moustier, Belgium will be shut down to carry out a cold repair. The line produces float glass that is destined mainly for transformation into laminated, coated, silvered, varnished and acid-etched glass products and also serves AGC’s processing and distribution

network. The float line will be refurbished with advanced technologies. AGC said it would substantially improve performance to meet the highest standards in terms of safety, quality and environment. The design improvements will reduce its energy consumption by 20%, 25% less CO2 and 40% less NOx. The cold repair is also aimed at

an increase of productivity and cost competitiveness of the site. The float line is planned to shut down in the last quarter of 2019 and is expected to restart production in the last quarter of 2020.

The Moustier site now houses four float lines, one of which is on hold.

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PRIMETALS TECHNOLOGIES TO SUPPLY STAVES FOR BLAST FURNACE OF CHINA STEEL CORPORATION China Steel Machinery Company (CSMC), a subsidiary of Taiwanese steel producer China Steel Corporation (CSC) has placed an order with Primetals Technologies to supply staves for CSC´s blast furnace 2 at the company´s Kaohsiung plant. The new staves are part of the third rebuild of blast furnace 2. The aim is to extend the furnace´s lifetime by a further 18 years. In future, five out of six blast furnaces operated by CSC and their subsidiary Dragon Steel will operate with equipment from Primetals Technologies. Final delivery is expected for end of June 2020. Blast furnace 2 has a hearth diameter of 12 metres and an inner volume of approximately 3,300 cubic meters. Average production is 6,900 metric tons per day. The third rebuild of blast furnace 2 includes a complete shell and cooling system replacement. The cooling system will be a combination of copper and cast-iron staves from hearth to upper stack. Primetals Technologies

was contracted to supply 9 rows of castiron staves. The installation of the new staves is scheduled to take place during a planned shutdown period in 2020. Blowin of the rebuilt furnace is expected for early 2021.

Computer animated image of a cast-iron stave from Primetals Technologies

CSC is the leading steel producer in Taiwan with an annual production of around 10 million metric tons per year. Around two thirds of the production is for the domestic Taiwanese market, the rest is exported. CSC produces a range of products including plates, bars, wire rods, hot and cold rolled coils, electrogalvanised coils, electrical steel coils, hot-dip galvanised coils, and Ti/Ni-base alloy. The CSC plant in Kaohsiung includes two BOF shops with a total of seven 2-strand slab casters and three 4-strand bloom casters. The slab casters mainly produce carbon and low alloy steels. In addition to supplying BF equipment, Primetals Technologies recently upgraded a continuous slab caster at CSC´s Kaohsiung plant.

ARCELORMITTAL TO RELINE BLAST FURNACE B AT GHENT WORKS ArcelorMittal will take blast furnace B at its Ghent plant in Belgium out of service for a reline in September. The 2.3mn t/yr furnace will be offline for 2-3 months while the work is completed. Before the reline, the company will build up slab supply, removing capacity from the already tightening coil market. The Ghent site can produce over 5.5mn

t/yr of crude steel. Ghent has a wide hot strip mill, two cold rolling mills and three hot-dip galvanising lines, as well as two pickling lines and an organic coating line. The prospect of reduced supply could further support coil prices. Argus’ daily northwest European hot-rolled index had risen to €454.25/t ex-works yesterday from

€439.25/t ex-works on 2 January, with all major mills hiking their offers. The realignment of apparent and real demand, after last year’s destocking, has supported higher offers, as has a lack of import penetration, with imports trading at a premium of about €30/t to domestic coil.

GUJARAT BOROSIL UPGRADES AND EXPANDS ITS BATCH PLANT Indian solar glass company, Gujarat Borosil, based in Jhagadia, Bharuch increased its production capacity at end of 2019 to 460 tonnes/day thanks to a second furnace. Borosil appointed EME to upgrade and

expand its 180 tonnes/day batch plant. The rebuild of dosing-, mixing plant and batch distribution systems was realised under running conditions and the full operation of furnace 1 alongside the Borosil Engineering team.

All parameters in terms of cycle times, batch homogeneity and capacity of the Batch Plant exceed the agreed performance figures.

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ADVANCED FURNACE MANUFACTURER TO MOVE FROM CALIFORNIA TO BUFFALO A Northern California company that makes specialised furnaces to melt titanium and titanium alloy is relocating virtually its entire operation – including its corporate headquarters – to Buffalo’s East Side. It will bring three dozen jobs now with plans to grow to 80, including researchers, engineers, machine operators, finance and administrative personnel. The company, Retech Systems, will occupy 48,934 square feet on the first and fourth floors of the main building at the Northland campus, at 683 Northland Ave., under a lease with an affiliate of the Buffalo Urban Development Corp. The agency’s board approved the 10.5year lease on Tuesday. “This is a very big deal for BUDC and for Buffalo, and for the East Side. We have a business that’s actually relocating from California to Buffalo,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown, who chairs the BUDC board. “This is further affirmation that Buffalo is a great place to invest.” Founded in 1963 and based in Ukiah, Calif., Retech says it’s the world’s leading provider of vacuum and coldhearth melting furnaces used primarily in the aerospace, defense and medical industries. The furnaces – which vary in size and dimensions – use electron beam, plasma and cold wall induction technology, unlike old steel mills. Clients use Retech’s technology and systems to melt, refine and cast titanium, nickel, alloys, “super alloys” and rare

HORN COMPLETES VERALLIA FURNACE REPAIR

earth metals to manufacture parts that are in turn used by other companies, such as Boeing and Airbus. The company is also getting into metal powders that are used in 3D printing. In 2011, the advanced manufacturing firm was acquired by Poland’s SECO/ Warwick Group, a global manufacturer of heat treatment, thermal processing, heat exchange and vacuum metallurgy technologies. The conglomerate operates 10 companies on three continents, with customers in almost 70 countries and production facilities in Poland, the

United States, India and China, plus sales and service offices in other countries. In November 2018, Retech announced that it would move much of its manufacturing and assembly work that was done in California to facilities in Swiebodzin, Poland.

German engineering group Horn has completed the repair of a Verallia furnace at its Essen plant. Its furnace number 3 was drilled and drained by Horn Bau&Service. The furnace was then cooled and completely demolished. The melting tank and chamber were rebuilt in the existing design. Worn steel parts were replaced in the course of the repair. The process tank received a new

design for later extension of line 3-1. The forehearth line 3-3 was adapted and extended for the installation of a triple gob machine. All process tanks and forehearth gas skids were brought up to current safety levels.

The new operation in Buffalo will supplant that, while a sales and service office will remain in California. Retech has had a sales and service office at 6309 Main St. in Williamsville for the past two years, with 12 employees.

The furnace was tempered on schedule after completion of the works and the commissioning of the furnace was carried out successfully.

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FORGLASS DESIGNS U–FLAME FURNACE FOR WATER GLASS PROVIDER The largest producer of water glass (sodium silicate) in Poland, Zakłady Chemiczne Rudniki has appointed Forglass to design and deliver a new furnace with higher pull and lower energy consumption. Zakłady Chemiczne Rudniki wanted to increase its competitive advantage and Forglass has the technology that will allow it to produce more volume, effectively lowering the energy cost per unit of glass. Vitreous sodium silicate is a glass with just about the simplest chemical composition. This simplicity and no need

to remove gas bubbles (which later in the process actually help with dissolving the glass in water) may suggest triviality of the melting process and, therefore, simplified furnace design. But that is an illusion. Reactions of soda with sand have a complex character and the competing issues of efficiency and energy consumption require a highly modified furnace structure. Due to the fact that one of the applications of water glass is in household chemicals, admixtures in the batch are strictly controlled, which practically eliminates the possibility of

using additional ingredients, as chemical boosters. Bearing these limitations in mind, Forglass has developed a furnace design that provides an advantage in the heating rate of the batch when it is fed into the furnace and provides better technological use of the supplied energy, while guaranteeing the highest quality of the melted vitreous sodium silicate. All aspects of this important furnace modernisation, including engineering, delivery, installation, automation and servicing are handled entirely by Forglass.

FORGLASS SUPPLIES FURNACE TO KAMA-VITRUM CONTAINER GLASSWORKS Kama-Vitrum glassworks in Wołczyn, Poland, has expanded its site and increased its production. The company hired Forglass to design and erect a new furnace for melting high

HORN TO CARRY OUT MEXICAN CONTAINER GLASS FURNACE REPAIR

quality flint container glass. Thanks to technology developed by Forglass, the new furnace will achieve greater output of much higher quality glass and will boast reduced energy

consumption. Forglass also modified the production hall to accommodate the larger size of the new furnace, which is to be commissioned in December 2019.

German engineering group Horn is to carry out a furnace repair in Mexico. It will repair a 260 tonnes per day recuperative furnace, named furnace A, at container glassmaker Crown Silices de Veracruz (Sivesa) in its Orizaba plant. Horn has previously supplied a 360 tpd recuperative furnace B for Sivesa in Orizaba and a 450 tpd end fired furnace D for Crown Vichisa in Chihuahua, Mexico.

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SMARTMELTER TECHNOLOGY SUCCESSFULLY SUPPORTS KIOO GLASS FURNACE REPAIR Kioo was able to plan its scheduled rebuild timing more accurately because of SmartMelter monitoring. When the furnace was drained, the conclusions in the SmartMelter report were confirmed. A SmartMelter audit was performed on the furnace in March 2019, with support provided from the SmartMelter team both remotely and on site. The audit was followed by a detailed report and presentation of the findings by the SmartMelter team.

The furnace was shut down on the 30th September 2019 following some delays. However, the SmartMelter technology provided comfort in extending the lifetime of the furnace. When the furnace was dismantled, the furnace condition was found to be consistent with the SmartMelter radar scan. Yakup Bayram, CEO of PaneraTech, said: “We are pleased to find that SmartMelter is allowing glass manufacturers to make

maintenance confidence.”

decisions

with

greater

HAUCK HEAT TREATMENT RECEIVES HIGH VACUUM FURNACE FROM PARENT COMPANY OF NORTH AMERICAN FURNACE MANUFACTURER

Hauck HT plant located in the Netherlands recently received a unique

high vacuum furnace. The all-metal high vacuum furnace from SECO/WARWICK with the working chamber size of 47.2˝x 47.2˝ x 78.7˝ was delivered to Hauck’s newly expanded plant in Eindhoven. At the same time, it is the largest furnace of that type currently in operation in that region. According to Marcus Wendel, Hauck Heat Treatment Executive Director, “The all-metal vacuum furnace with diffusion pump was designed to achieve high vacuum conditions and ensure the highest possible purity of the heat treated parts. Accordingly, we had some special requirements regarding used

components and solutions. All have been implemented by SECO/WARWICK.” Sławomir Wozniak, SECO/WARWICK Group CEO, also commented, “From the very beginning, our company philosophy has been based on meeting the highest expectations of product and technology development for our customers, including first class organizations such as Hauck Heat Treatment Group. This partnership proves that knowledge and experience are not just empty marketing slogans, but valuable features in business.” This was the third furnace delivered there, and the two companies are discussing next steps together.

U.S. STEEL’S FAIRFIELD ELECTRIC ARC FURNACE NEARING COMPLETION As many as 600 contractors have spent the last year getting U.S. Steel’s Fairfield Tubular Steel plant ready for the future. In this case, the future comes in the form of an electric arc furnace, representing a $412 million investment in the plant. When it is up and running at full capacity, the furnace will employ about 150 full-time employees and be able to produce 1.6 million tons of steel

a year. Production should begin in the second half of this year. Electric arc furnaces make steel from melted scrap metal instead of iron ore and can operate with fewer workers. They are also easier to stop and restart than traditional blast furnaces that must operate continuously to avoid damage. “It’s the newest, most modern way to

make steel,” Mat Mathew, plant manager at Fairfield Tubular Steel Operations, said. “It’s flexible. It’s low cost.” Denson Roy, manager of engineering and capital projects, said the EAF project is the first of its kind for U.S. Steel. The electrical needs required new transmission lines from Alabama Power. The furnace should reach full production in 2021.

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Association Feature

European Foundry Industry Sentim November 2019: Ongoing downwar The European Foundry Industry Sentiment fell slightly in November. The European foundries are still not satisfied with their current business situation. Their expectations for the next six months are muted in November. Only the expectations of non-ferrous foundries improved slightly. Also manufacturers in the euro area expect an improvement

in production. Therefore, the Business Climate Indicator remained broadly unchanged in November. The main customers of the foundry industry – automotive and general engineering industry – are still under pressure. Hence, foundries barely plan production expansions for the coming months. Moreover, it is not guaranteed

that trade tensions will ease in the long-term. After countless months of negotiations and additional duties, the US and China both agreed to the “Phase1-Deal” recently, in December. But the US presidential elections are coming up and the “Phase-2-Deal” includes negotiations regarding very controversial issues. Moreover, the decision about 25 percent

EUROPEAN FOUNDRY INDUSTRY SENTIMENT INDICATOR (FISI) AND BUSINESS CLIMATE INDICATOR EURO AREA (BCI) NOVEMBER 2019

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Association Feature

ment, rd trend punitive tariffs on European passenger car and component deliveries to the US has only been postponed by six months. How this environment will affect the foundry business climate at the end of the year will soon become apparent. The FISI – European Foundry Industry Sentiment Indicator – is the earliest available composite indicator providing information on the European foundry

industry performance. It is published by CAEF the European Foundry Association every month and is based on survey responses of the European foundry industry. The CAEF members are asked to give their assessment of the current business situation in the foundry sector and their expectations for the next six months.

THE BCI - BUSINESS CLIMATE INDICATOR

The BCI – Business Climate Indicator – is an indicator published by the European Commission. The BCI evaluates development conditions of the manufacturing sector in the euro area every month and uses five balances of opinion from industry survey: production trends, order books, export order books, stocks and production expectations.

Please see the chart (left) or combined with additional information at www.caef.eu.

Background information on CAEF: CAEF is the umbrella organisation of the national European foundry associations. The organisation, founded in 1953, has 22 European member states and works to promote the economical, technical, legal and social interests of the European foundry industry. At the same time, CAEF implements activities which aim at developing national foundry industries and co-ordinating their shared international interests. The General Secretariat is situated in Düsseldorf since 1997. CAEF represents 4 700 European foundries. Nearly 300 000 employees are generating a turnover of 43 billion Euro. European foundries are recruiting 20 000 workers and engineers per year. The main customer industries are e.g. the automotive, the general engineering and the building industries as well as the electrical engineering industry. No industrial sector exists without using casted components. Further information at www.caef.eu.

CAEF Contact: Sophie Steffen CAEF The European Foundry Association Secretary Commission for Economics & Statistics phone: +49 211 68 71 – 301 sophie.steffen@caef.eu

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Furnaces International March 2020


Company profile: Embalvidro

Angolan container glass plant Emba

The constructed plant is on the outskirts of the capital Luanda.

The world’s latest greenfield container glass plant, built by Angolan group Embalvidro, held its furnace lighting ceremony late in October. The company’s Director, Antonio Ruivo, told Furnace International that it is due to produce its first bottled glass in the middle of November.

A greenfield container glass plant in Angola will help supply the African nation’s glass bottle needs as well as those of surrounding countries. The furnace lighting ceremony for the Embalvidro glass plant took place in late October with the first bottles set for production around the middle of November.

The glass plant will primarily supply beer bottles in green emerald and amber colour to begin with. Early next year, it will then also add flint glass to its portfolio and begin to manufacture soft drinks bottles. The site is equipped with Western technology. The batch plant has been supplied by German engineering group

EME, while its sister company Sorg has provided the 180t/day furnace. The furnace is connected to three 10-section, double gob IS machines from Bucher Emhart Glass, while the annealing lehr and cullet return system is from Portugal’s Vidromecanica. Its compatriot, Icebel, has supplied the production and palletising equipment. French organisation Tiama

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Company profile: Embalvidro

balvidro lights furnace

has supplied the inspection machinery while fellow French group Thimon has supplied the shrink wrapping equipment. For its Director, Antonio Ruivo, the beginning of production marks the culmination of a three-year planning, procurement and construction period. “The construction of a greenfield glass plant does not happen every day in the

industry so I feel really proud to have led and worked with this team.� There has been a willingness to build a second container glass plant in Angola for a long time. A group of investors led by Isabel dos Santos, daughter of ex-President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, decided to go ahead. The country already has one container glass plant - Vidrul,

owned by the French beverage group Castel - but it is operating at full capacity. Three years ago Ms dos Santos decided to proceed with the glass plant and appointed Mr Ruivo to lead the team. Mr Ruivo is an industry veteran and in his 28 years in the sector has worked with BA Glass in his native Portugal as well as in Spain, and has worked with MEG in

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Company profile: Embalvidro

“My dream is for a

European glass company to one day hire these local engineers - then I know my work is done!” The site contains space for a proposed phase 2 and a second furnace.

Egypt. He had never worked in sub-Saharan Africa before but when the offer he jumped at the chance. “An opportunity such as this may not come around again so I accepted it. For

a glassmaker like myself it has always been a dream to work on such a project. In the past, I have always had it in my imagination how a glass plant should look like, so now I have achieved my dream. “It has been tiring but it is also beautiful.

I have worked with a really good team who have supported one another so it has been nice.” The past three years haven’t all been straightforward. The first year was spent planning the glass plant and then

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Company profile: Embalvidro

securing procurement of all the relevant equipment. Construction started in July 2017 and has taken two years, which Mr Ruivo accepts is a long time. “It is not rapid, but this is Africa and it is what it is.�

On top of that, the Angolan economy has been stifled in recent years. After years of growth in the early 2000s, low oil prices meant that Angolan GDP shrank by 1.8% in 2018, with inflation at 17.2% in July 2019.

It means Embalvidro may have to export more glass at first while it rides out the domestic economic crisis. But Mr Ruivo is confident that once the economy picks up, domestic glass consumption will increase and the group

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Company profile: Embalvidro

will grow. Such is its confidence that it already has plans to expand the site with a second, 260t/day furnace with four lines earmarked. For now, Mr Ruivo will focus on the task of training the local workforce. The glassmaking facility is based on a 15-acre site in a special economic industrial zone on the outskirts of capital Luanda and will employ 200 people. A total of 26 staff are expats from Portugal and India while the remainder are locals. Embalvidro provided 26,0000 hours of training to the locals in their first year alone and this will continue intensely as production is ramped up to eventually include two job changes a day. Mr Ruivo said: “It’s good to see local people start learning. It’s not always easy to find the good guys but once you find them you believe in them because they really want to learn. “My dream is for a European glass company to one day hire these local engineers – then I know my work is done!” While Mr Ruivo is an experienced glass engineer he says he has learnt a lot by spending the last three years living in Angola. The transition has been easier as Angola’s national language is Portuguese and much of the food and culture is the same. But while the majority of life is spent either at the glass plant, in the company’s office in downtown Luanda or at home in a gated compound, it is impossible to ignore the poverty faced by the Angolan people.

“The quality of life is very different for the people here. You see people on the streets and families with nothing. People are really struggling and you see hardship every day.” Local conditions are reflected in the type of glassmaking equipment that has been procured for the plant. While many glassmakers are keen to promote their latest, state-of-the-art, Industry 4.0-compatible technology, much of the equipment is more standard than this. “All the technology I have in the plant must not be state-of- the-art, otherwise

I’m going to fail, it will never work. The idea behind it is to have standard well proven equipment that is reliable. “You have to adapt to local conditions here otherwise the glass plant will become a white elephant. It’s a challenge within a challenge.” Angola has vast reserves of gas but no pipeline to transport it to the capital. As a result the furnace will run on heavy oil to begin with but has the capability to be converted to natural gas if need be. The company has invested in some digital software though. Its Tiama inspection equipment is equipped with its IQ analysis software. Mr Ruivo has also appointed a Portuguese software group, Primavera, to integrate all the company data. Although Phase 1 of the Embalvidro project is about to come to an end, Mr Ruivo has no regrets about making the transition to Angola and has enjoyed his time leading the team. “We have all established a close relationship with one another. The glassmaking process is still dependent on operators and being part of a team. You have software today but you still depend on operators and their skill. I know the names of 90% of people here and at weekend we do things together. This makes a huge difference. We feel we are all part of the glassmaking team.”

Embalvidro, Luanda, Angola www.embalvidro.com 16 Furnaces International March 2020

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Universal Alloy Corporation (UAC) takes off, OTTO JUNKER is on board too

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Furnace Order

UAC, one of the leading suppliers of hard alloy extrusions with international orientation, certified according to the latest standards, awarded OTTO JUNKER as supplier for one induction furnace with overhead cross conveyor for a new location in the immediate vicinity of the airport Baia Mare. In the future, extruded aluminium tubes and titanium profiles for the aerospace industry will be produced there. OTTO JUNKER, an experienced supplier of modern billet heating furnaces, makes its contribution to this ambitious project. In future, all extrusion billets in this plant will be heated in an OTTO JUNKER JuDyMC (JunkerDynamicHeater®-MultiCoil) in front of the extrusion press. In addition to high temperature tolerance, flexibility and reliability, this modern billet heater is characterised by its energy-saving design. The division into several independently controllable zones ensures an optimum temperature gradient for isothermal extrusion. The system is connected to a OTTO JUNKER IGBT converter, which offers enor-mous advantages both for the heating process and for reasons of grid stability. OTTO JUNKER will deliver the induction furnace with all necessary auxiliary equipment at the end of 2019, commissioning with a specialist from OTTO JUNKER is planned for the beginning of 2020. Universal Alloy Corperation, one of the leading suppliers of hard alloy extrusions with international orien-tation, certified according to the strict NADCAP, AS9100, ISO and PART 21 POA standards, expands its capacity by another plant in Romania. This will be built in the immediate vicinity of the Romanian international airport Baia Mare and near the European headquarters in Dumbravita/ Maramures. In the future, extruded aluminium tubes and titanium profiles for the aerospace industry will be produced there. This unique location will in future enable

UAC not only to supply the assembled products, but also to carry out service and maintenance for airplanes, directly at the airport, thus extending the value-added chain.

Planned UAC Workshop OTTO JUNKER, an experienced supplier of modern billet heating furnaces, is proud to make its contribution to this ambitious project. In future, all extrusion billets in this plant will be heated in an OTTO JUNKER JuDy-MC (JunkerDynamicHeater®-MultiCoil) in front of the extrusion press. In addition to high temperature tolerance and reliability, this modern inductive billet heating system is characterised by its energy-saving design: Instead of a conventional stainless steel protection tube, a ceramic protection tube is used. In addition to an energy saving this also permits a longer service life and does not store any heat. The billet is transported in front of the furnace by an overhead manipulator and in the furnace by a trough conveyor system. In this way, damages and scratches to the billet are effectively avoided, as is any aluminium abrasion that can adhere to the furnace and cause problems. The division of the single-billet heater into several independently controllable zones ensures an optimum temperature gradient for isothermal extrusion. The system is connected to a state-ofthe-art OTTO JUNKER IGBT converter. This offers enormous advantages both for the heating process and for reasons of grid stability. The furnace behaves like a singlephase mains connection, which means that there is no phase shift leading to temperature drops between the individual coils. In addition, each sub-coil of the inductive billet heating can be infinitely controlled so that a particularly fine temperature gradient can be achieved. By using a particularly short, lowmaintenance field extender, the furnace can be filled flexibly with changing billet lengths. Due to the optimal symmetry, the cosφ=0.99 and the avoidance of any voltage peaks, bet-ter conditions for the energy supplier are also possible. OTTO JUNKER will deliver the induction oven system with all necessary auxiliary equipment at the end of 2019, commissioning with a specialist from OTTO JUNKER is planned for the beginning of 2020.

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Furnaces International March 2020


Furnace Order

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Environment

The furnace of the future? Glassmakers face increased environmental pressure over their emissions during the manufacturing process. Consumer trends and legislation dictate that emissions must be as low as possible. Dr Hartmut Hegeler* discusses some of the options for glassmakers when they choose their next furnace.

*Research and Development Manager, Sorg, Lohr, Germany

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Environment

1) In your experience of talking to glass manufacturers, does the topic of the environment/energy efficiency/emission reduction often crop up when discussing new projects? “This topic crops up in nearly all discussions. The new building or the renewal of a furnace is an investment for about the next 10 years. Of course, every operator endeavours to make futureoriented investments, also because of economic constraints.”

2) Has the topic become much more popular in recent years? “Yes, absolutely. The increasing uncertainty about the boundary conditions such as emissions, energies and especially costs make this necessary. And as the uncertainties tend to become rather more than less, the need for discussion also increases.”

3) Can you describe some of the advances that Sorg has made in this particular topic? “On the one hand, we think that Sorg can give customers good advice on these issues and provide them with suitable solutions. On the other hand, Sorg already has technologies in its portfolio that support the customers. Examples include the proven all-electric furnace VSM or the electrical auxiliary systems for conventional melting furnaces.”

4) Are there any housekeeping tips/quick gains you could suggest to a glassmaker for them to improve the efficiency of their furnaces? “Certainly, there are some points to name. This begins with the energetically optimised melting furnace design, especially the regenerative chambers, with regard to combustion technology, energy consumption and emission efficiency, and also the furnace controls. Furthermore, the optimised insulation of the furnace and the sealing of the system to avoid false air inlets must be named. These are all points that Sorg already takes into account during the furnace design and are thus provided in every Sorg furnace.”

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Furnaces International March 2020


Environment

5) Do you envisage a focus on heat recovery options in the near future, such as a batch or cullet preheaters? “Many years ago, Sorg began to successfully integrate cullet preheaters and then also batch preheaters into the furnace concepts. The systems show energy savings of up to 16%, and therefore also CO2 reductions of this scale. In addition, if the energy is used to increase the melting capacity, the ‘carbon footprint’ improves once again. Another advantage of the preheaters is that the energy is retained in the system, which enables a higher efficiency compared to other systems. So yes, for Sorg, the use of preheaters is an elementary component for energy and CO2 reduction.”

6) European glassmakers in particular have to meet stringent future legislation in regards to emissions by 2050. How can Sorg help glassmakers both prepare and to meet this forthcoming legislation? “Of course, in order to meet the requirements, the initial situation must first be analysed in order to subsequently define the necessary measures. Obviously, this should be compared with the local conditions and possibilities. Customerspecific concepts have to be developed, which, as a basis, include the energetic optimisation of the plant in relation to the entire plant and not just the melting furnace. This is often described by the term ‘housekeeping’ and is carried out by Sorg, but necessarily together with the customer. This has to be seen as a basis for further measures, such as the above-mentioned possibilities of electric melting, electric auxiliary heating and preheaters, to name only the most important topics. In addition to these measures, Sorg has also developed the SORG S Hybrid Melter. Of course, also the use of alternative renewable fuels comes into consideration.”

100% replacement, there is still a long way to go. So nothing speaks against the replacement of ‘conventional’ furnaces by electric furnaces.”

Batch preheater

8) Melting concepts such as syngas, plasmelt and induction have been mentioned at recent glass conferences. What is the likelihood of any of these alternative concepts becoming mainstream? “All these concepts are very interesting. However, most of them have only been operated maximally on a laboratory scale so far and therefore, are still very far away from industrial use in the glass industry. It is definitely worth pursuing these concepts and of course Sorg will track these melting concepts.”

9) Is the future furnace likely to be a hybrid melter? If so, will this type of furnace be restricted by size i.e no larger than 200 t/day? “Sorg currently sees the future of glass melting in the hybrid melter. Years ago, Sorg built the largest electric furnace VSM with 200tpd. For the previous electric furnaces we see the limit of melting performance reached at 200tpd. However, as the market requires tonnages of more than 200tpd for economic reasons, we have developed the SORG S Hybrid Melter. With this furnace, tonnages up to 400tpd for container glass or even up to 600tpd for float glass can be melted. Further developments will certainly make higher melting performances possible in the future. And another important point is listed for the SORG S Hybrid Melter: The previous electric furnaces are limited in terms of glass colours. In the SORG S Hybrid Melter, amber glass can also be melted without any problems!”

7) How do you anticipate furnaces to evolve over the next, say, 10 years? Are we likely to see increased use of electrical furnaces? “At the moment, and on the basis of the current discussion and political situation, it seems clear to go in the direction of electric furnaces. Politicians everywhere are driving forward the expansion of renewable energies in order to replace fossil fuels. But to reach the

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Environment

Sorg’s Hybrid melter

10) In discussions with glassmakers, what steps do you recommend they take when planning their next furnace? Does your recommendation vary on a regional basis and various local conditions? “A general recommendation cannot be given in the current situation. The reason for this is that, although the rough goal of the drastic CO2 reduction is given, the implementation route is still unclear. Which regenerative energies are sufficiently and consistently locally available? What is the price situation? Especially the economic situation has to be clarified with the customers – including the investment costs for the plant adaptation: can prices be maintained or do they increase? And if so, which cost increases approach the end customer? Of course, the recommendation will be heavily dependent on local conditions and possibilities, as local factors are too diverse. But this is already the case today. Only that – due to the CO2 discussion – further variables in the concept development have to be considered. A general recommendation regarding furnace type or heating method will certainly not exist anymore in the future. Customer and site-specific solutions have to be created, which of course means an intensive consultation and concept phase for the furnace manufacturer in cooperation with the customer.”

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Furnaces International March 2020


Robotics

Demolition robots that implement a three-part arm design allow for precision and optimal power during cleanout for kilns, ladles, furnaces, castings, cupolas, runners and more — whether it’s needed straight ahead, above or below the machine.

Take the Leap. Avoid the Heat. By Lars Lindgren, President, Brokk Inc. On the surface, remote-controlled demolition robots can seem like a significant capital expense, but some operations have seen a return on investment after using a machine for just one kiln tear out. The versatile equipment speeds up refractory removal

and cleanouts compared to alternative equipment for kilns, ladles, furnaces, castings, cupolas, runners and more. The machines also improve worker safety and free up resources for more critical operations in the plant. Here are a few reasons foundry and

Remote-controlled demolition machines allow operators to stand safely away from the danger but close enough to have a clear view of what’s going on

mill operations choose to use a remotecontrolled demolition machine: � More than a One Trick Pony: Unlike some specialised, inflexible equipment meant for removing refractory in only specific applications, demolition robots are flexible for a variety of tasks. The machines are equipped with a three-part arm design which allows for precision and optimal power, whether it’s needed straight ahead, above or below the machine. � Free Up Resources While Working Faster: Refractory removal and similar jobs have traditionally been accomplished with handheld tools, such as jackhammers or rivet busters. This type of equipment depends on the person holding it and there’s only so much a laborer can do before tiring out. A demolition robot never tires. Remote-controlled demolition machines also allow operations to complete projects with fewer people, freeing up workers for other tasks. A Midwest foundry removing old refractory lining from iron pouring ladles saw a 75% increase in productivity by switching from handheld tools to a demolition robot. They went from using two workers over a period of 16 hours to a single operator and machine taking two hours. � Save on Workers’ Comp: Injuries happen. But they happen less when you remove workers from dangerous situations. Remote-controlled demolition machines allow operators to stand safely away from the danger but close enough

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ABOUT BROKK to have a clear view of what’s going on. Instead of exposing laborers to the risk of falling debris, a hardened robot takes the impacts. Additionally, demolition robots can endure high temperatures, extreme levels of dust and harsh chemicals. Operations have seen as much as 50% savings in workers’ comp as a result of using robotic demolition machines.

Brokk has been the world’s leading manufacturer of remote-controlled demolition machines and attachments for over 40 years. Through continuous innovation in engineering and design, Brokk is able to offer unique solutions to multiple industries worldwide, including construction, demolition, mining and tunneling, cement and metal processing, nuclear and other specialty applications.

Robotics

When it comes to maintenance equipment for hot applications, remotecontrolled demolition machines might seem like a big investment at first, but the versatility, efficiency and enhanced safety they provide quickly adds up to significant ROI.

For more information: Brokk Inc., 1144 Village Way, Monroe, WA 98272; 800-621-7856; info@brokkinc.com; www.brokk.com; Facebook; YouTube; LinkedIn and Twitter.

A Midwest foundry removing old refractory lining from iron pouring ladles saw a 75% increase in productivity by switching from handheld tools to a demolition robot

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Furnaces International March 2020


Chip Melting Furnace

Cromodora Wheels starts operation of a chip melting furnace supplied by Hertwich Engineering

Cromodora Wheels SPA has installed a chip recycling furnace for wheel production in Ghedi, Italy. The furnace with a capacity of 10,000 tons per year was successfully supplied and commissioned by Hertwich Engineering, a company of the SMS group. Since 1962 Cromodora Wheels has produced cast magnesium wheels used for competition as well as aluminium wheels. Currently the wheels are manufactured in the low-pressure casting process and using flow forming technology. As one of the leading wheel producers, Cromodora Wheels is today an official supplier of the most renown automotive manufacturers in the world, such as BMW, Jaguar-Land Rover, Daimler (including AMG and Smart), Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen, Skoda, Fiat, Maserati and Alfa Romeo. With the Ecomelt melting furnace commissioned by Hertwich, the company is modernising the recycling of its processing scrap. In wheel production, machining chips regularly arise in large quantities in addition to a relatively low portion of piece scrap. Chip recycling is challenging, since the extremely unfavourable ratio of surface area and volume causes a significant material loss through burnoff. The traditional method of recycling chips is to compact the chips before melting, which reduces the metal loss, however it requires an additional work step with considerable consumption of energy. In addition, the chips are frequently contaminated with adhering cooling lubricant. The recycling system developed by Hertwich Engineering therefore offers a more economical solution, provided there is a sufficiently large volume of chips. With the combination of the Ecomelt concept and a special tailormade plant technology, very low metal loss values are achieved during operation. This guarantees by far the most economical solution of this special recycling task, as the previously installed

Hertwich chip melting furnace at Cromodora, Italy

units around the world clearly prove. In addition to the melting furnace, the scope of supply includes a chip pre-treatment with a bypass system for conveying in separate transport containers. During pre-treatment chips are centrifuged. Unfavourable chip shapes are shredded in a chip crusher to ensure stable further processing. Undesirable elements are removed by a separator. The chips prepared in this manner are then fed into the melting furnace. In the first step the charged chips are heated

to approx. 400°C within a few seconds using an intensive hot gas flow. Thereby moisture and organic contaminants are removed. The energy required is provided by hot gas from the melting furnace and the flue gases from the dryer support the heating of the furnace. The preheated and cleaned chips are continually fed into the downward directed melting flow and immediately drawn under the bath surface to the furnace floor. The fast melting almost completely avoids metal loss due to

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Chip Melting Furnace

High metal yield and low energy costs through modernised recycling of aluminium chips

oxidation – as a result, the dross formation is also extremely low. The heat is removed to a very large extent from the flue gases in a regenerative combustion system and thus the combustion air is preheated to approx. 900°C. As result the process is characterized by a series of notable advantages: � Continuous operation: The chip recycling is integrated in the automated in-house material transport � Maximum metal recovery: Metal loss values below 1,0 percent are achieved

during operation. That even exceeds the value of conventional furnace units melting ingots. � Low energy costs: In this regard the furnace profits from the advantages of the Ecomelt technology developed by Hertwich. Values of less than 600 kWh/t / (930 BtU/lb) are achieved (taking into account chip drying and combustion). � Outstanding metal quality: An objective and neutral inspection of the metal quality, that was carried out in terms of the development process,

showed that the untreated melt from the chip recycling furnace with regards to the content of non-metallic inclusions already corresponds to a melt ready for casting. � Low personnel costs: As a result of the high degree of automation, the complete plant with a capcity of 10,000 tons per year can be operated by one operator per shift. � Ecological compatibility: The strict central European emission regulations are met.

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Furnaces International March 2020


RUSSIA UPDATE

Russia to conduct large-scale modernisation of domestic furnace By Eugene Gerden, Russian Correspondent

The Russian government, together with leading local smelters, have announced their plans to conduct a large-scale modernisation of domestic furnaces, which will take place within the next several years, according to recent statements, made by some senior state officials and representatives of producers. It is reported, implementation of these plans will involve decommissioning of old facilities and modernisation of the existing ones across a number of industries. This will be part of the existing state strategy for the reduction of energy intensity of the Russian national GDP. According to a spokesman of Alexander Novak, the Russian Minister of Energy

– at present a significant share of energy consumption in the domestic engineering sector is associated with furnace heat treatment of metal, while one of the ways to reduce it is to complete modernisation of some of the already existing facilities. So far, some works in this field have already been done. For example, on March 2018 operations at the last openhearth furnace in Russia was officially stopped. The furnace was operated on the basis of the Vyksa Metallurgical Plant in the Nizhny Novgorod region and was positioned as Russia’s oldest and one of the largest furnaces. According to a spokesman of the Vyksa plant, the facility began its operations as far back as at the end of XIX century,

while the peak of its operations was observed during the World War II. In the meantime, in addition to Vyksa, representatives of Russia’s largest iron and steel enterprises in recent months have also announced their plans for the modernisation of their furnaces. For example, the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK), one of the largest iron and steel producers in Russia and the world has confirmed its plans to begin reconstruction of its blast furnace No. 2 – one of the largest furnaces, operated by the company at its plant in the city of Magnitogorsk. The furnace has been operating since 1932, while its last reconstruction took place in 2000. At present its internal

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RUSSIA UPDATE

es

Blast furnace production at Novolipetsk

According to the company, that has become one of the key projects, implemented by the company as part of its corporate strategy, designed until 2022 in the last several years. As a result, the capacity of the furnace grew by 8% to 3.4 million tons of pig iron per year. It was equipped with a new air purification systems, which is capable to separate up to 99.9% of dust, providing residual dust content at the level of the best available technologies - 5 mg/m3. All the blast furnace gas, which is formed during the smelting of pig iron, is used to generate electricity at the combined heat and power plant. At the same time most of obtained blast furnace slag is processed into products for the construction industry. The volume of investments in the project amounted to RUB 35 billion (US$600 million). Today, the Novolipetsk Steel has five blast furnaces with the total capacity of 13.8 million tons of pig iron annually. The last furnace, with a capacity of 4.2 million tons per year, which is known as Rossiyanka, was launched by the company in 2011. Finally, Severstal, one of Russia’s leading steel and mining companies, have recently announced its plans for the longterm modernisation of its blast-furnace ironmaking. According to the company, that will take place on the basis of “Cherepovets Steel Mill” – the flagship facility, operated by the company with the use the latest

technical solutions. For this purpose, the company plans to invest about RUB 30 billion (US$500 million) in the construction of a blast furnace No. 3, that will have the design capacity of 2.9 million tons of pig iron and become the the largest investment project, which has been implemented by Severstal in recent years. The furnace is planned to be commissioned in 2021. Thanks to the planned use of some modern production technologies the company plans to significantly reduce its impact on environment and ensured 25-30 years of its operation. Successful implementation of these plans will allow to increase production capacity of the furnace from the current 11.7 million to 14.6 million tons. At the same time, planned modernisation of last furnace No. 5 will be postponed until 2022. “Over the past years, we have invested a lot in modernising the final stages of production and updating rolling facilities. Now our goal is to improve the initial stages of the production chain,” said Alexey Kulichenko, Deputy General Director for Finance and Economics of Severstal Management. In the meantime, the Russian government, from its side, have already promised local smelters to provide assistance during the implementation of their projects. That will be probably in the form of tax, customs and other benefits and exemptions.

Below: Recently closed, last open furnace in Russia at Vyksa plant

volume is 1380 cubic metres, while the capacity is about 3800 tons of pig iron per day. Planned modernisation involves the dismantling and complete replacement of the majority of elements, as well as the modernisation of the cooling system of the furnace. The latter system will be replaced by equipment with horizontal cooling elements, that will be supplied from the Luxembourg company Paul Wurth, which was selected as a result of a recent tender. In the meantime, in addition to MMK, the Novolipetsk Steel, another Russian steel giant, several weeks ago completed modernisation of its blast furnace No. 6 (DP-6).

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Addititve Manufacturing

Improving metal additive manufacture quality depends on choosing the righ The Additive Manufacturing world requires a proactive approach from heat treatment furnace

to keep up. Don’t let heat treatment equipment be ‘the weakest link’ in your production proces Metal additive manufacturing (AM) - a top 10 market trend Metal additive manufacturing (AM), which, according to Gartner, is ‘the capability to create a physical object from a digitally encoded design through the deposition of material via a 3D printing process’, has become a top 10 strategic technology trend for manufacturing industries. The reason? It it is much easier and faster to print necessary elements in-house than to wait till the end of the metal casting process. The 3D printing concept is about 30 years old, and Military and Aerospace sectors were among first industries interested in the potential of such a technology. Years have passed and yet, according to Grand View Research and their Trends Analysis Report, Military and Aerospace sectors along with Medical continue to be the most promising areas for Metal Additive Manufacturing technology development. Over the last few years, the Automotive industry has joined that group due to a new direction of alternative fuel and weight reduction that are main goals for next generation vehicles. As Forbes claims, in 2019 , 51% of enterprises are using 3D printing in the production process, and 80% say that technology allows them to develop innovation faster. Data provided by Markets & Markets concerning this technology confirms that the global size of the 3D printing market is expected to reach about 35 USD billion by 2024, and, in comparison, in 2018 it was only 9.9 USD billion. Although perspectives are undoubtedly promising, it is logical to think there will be growing industry demands in other manufacturing applications to achieve the highest possible quality and durability, since metal parts printing is just a first step in an integrated production process

Heat treatment steps into the spotlight As 3D printing technology expands,

production companies continue to look for technological capabilities to enhance printed product quality, especially due to the nature of sectors interested in the production of complex metal parts with superior mechanical properties. It hasn’t been until relatively recently that heat treatment processes have become quite such an important consideration in the 3D printing technology sector. With regard to the production process’ performance, speed, and costs, more and more insightful data indicate the importance and potential impact of utilizing a heat treatment furnace in the additive manufacturing cycle, putting a brighter spotlight on the significance of heat treatment processes than ever before. A few years ago, having one 3D metal printer was a great accomplishment. According to ‘Additive Post-Printing Survey’ released by Post Process, today more than 50% of 3D printer users have two or three different types of technologies at their disposal. 33% are using four or more printer types in their shops. Yet, apart from becoming affordable, the technology itself must produce quality products in both rapid prototyping and mass production. Accordingly, disadvantages of one technology need to be compensated by advantages of other one, and the furnaces, installed somewhere in between, must accommodate both.

A chain is only as strong as the weakest link It could be said that 3D printing may enhance product development in literally every industry. Bearing in mind that a simple equipmentis not enough to satisfy today’s 3D printing business needs and requirements, a question arises: What furnace will successfully face the challenge? For instance SECO/WARWICK. The company is considered to be oneof the heat treatment industry leaders, began introducing Metal Additive Manufacturing furnace solutions several years ago. As Sławomir Wozniak, SECO/ WARWICK’s CEO says: “As a company, we are constantly searching for solutions that will align with our customers’ current and future needs, and the field of Metal Additive Manufacturing is no exception.” Heat treatment stayed in the shadows of the 3D printing world for a long time; however, more and more users are beginning to realize the beneficial impact that proper heat treatment solutions contribute in terms of process time and costs. Both laser-based and binder jetting 3D printing technologies are characterized by features needed in the industry. Accordingly, the laser based solution is more common, but there is noticeable and growing industry interest in parts printed as a combination of powder and binder (green part). Nevertheless, the final effect is still far

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Feature

ctured (AM) part right furnace

nt furnace producers as 3D printing technology is evolving rapidly and furnace design needs

on process.

from a solid metal piece.

So where is the place for the furnace in either of these technologies? Regardless if the manufacturer uses a high resolution laser-based printer or a fast, economical binder jetting solution, the heat treatment process will have an important impact on the performance of the final part. For example, the binder jetting sintering process uses a binder which needs to be removed. After debinding, the part is put into the furnace where the right sintering recipe makes all the magic. However, if the binder in the printed part comprises about 2%, debinding is no longer needed thanks to innovative solutions. Furnaces with the proper technology and recipes are capable of removing the binder, then starting the sintering process immediately afterward. In the case of laser printed parts, heat treatment furnaces are being used for stress relieving and annealing processes in order to achieve the best possible material homogeneity and quality. Such solutions result in a solid metal part which is comparable to a cased one.

Various needs. One challenge. Taking into consideration the size of laboratory furnaces, they are perfect for small batches and R&D purposes, but for medium and high volume production industrial furnaces are required. S. Wozniak specifies: ”In certain areas printing takes less time than heat treatment itself, and this is the reason why the furnace size needs to be adjusted to match estimated production capacity. Eventually, to achieve final properties required by the end user, printed parts need to be further processed. Dealing with a green part is only a tip of the iceberg, especially considering the importance of current requirements regarding certifications and standardization of printed components. So, having the capability of performing numerous processes in house will become an increasingly valuable benefit.” Aerospace, medical and automotive sectors are main targets for 3D printer producers and those sectors deal mainly with special types of steels and superalloys. Benefits of processing such materials in vacuum heat treatment furnaces are

already well documented, including integrated process controls which directly influence the part’s deformation or shrinkage aspect. Regardless of the binder base technology, this is a great solution.

To be one step ahead Currently, vacuum heat treatment furnaces seem to be the most comprehensive heat treatment solution for 3D printing needs, even as those needs may vary. For instance, one technology requires sintering, while another needs stress relieving. Thus, taking into consideration the manufacturer’s future goals - such as standardization of a furnace, mass production, or constant flow of orders - investment in the right industrial furnace allows companies to avoid most of the obstacles before they even occur. In fact, companies are constantly searching for dedicated solutions for their particular needs, and this is the reason that more and more customers from the 3D metal printing world are turning to heat treatment solutions from SECO/ WARWICK Group.

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Continuous Furnace

ABOUT TENOVA Tenova, a Techint Group company, is a worldwide partner for innovative, reliable and sustainable solutions in metals and mining. Leveraging a workforce of over 2,500 forward-thinking professionals located in 19 countries across 5 continents, Tenova designs technologies and develops services that help companies reduce costs, save energy, limit environmental impact and improve working conditions. For more information, visit

www.tenova.com

JSC Pervouralsk chose Tenova’s roller hearth continuous furnace Tenova LOI Thermprocess receives order from JSC Pervouralsk Pipe Plant, Russia, for a new roller hearth continuous furnace system for bright annealing stainless steel pipes in a 100% H2 atmosphere specific heat treatment lines and continuous roller hearth furnace systems for bright annealing stainless steel pipes in a 100% H2 atmosphere. It was recently awarded an important order from the Joint Stock Company Pervouralsk Pipe Plant, Russia, for the delivery and installation of a continuous roller hearth system for stainless steel pipe. JSC Pervouralsk Pipe Plant is a subsidiary within the ChelPipe Group and specialises in the production of

stainless steel tubes for a wide variety of industrial uses. Tenova LOI Thermprocess roller hearth furnaces for the heat treatment of pipe material are ideal for the continuous production of larger throughputs. This extremely flexible furnace type is characterised by uniform heating, a definable holding time and subsequent material-specific cooling. The high temperature uniformity and the low energy consumption of these systems ensure reproducible processes, which can be precisely adapted to the desired heat treatment of the material. The drive sections can be optimally matched to the respective annealing process.

The heat treatment system for the JSC Pervouralsk Pipe Plant is designed as a roller hearth furnace for the bright annealing of 2,000 kg/h of austenitic stainless steel and nickel-based alloy pipes. The solution annealing of these highalloy steel grades is carried out in the temperature range of max. 1,100 °C to 1,200°C. The tubes are heat-treated in this continuously operating roller hearth system using a 100% hydrogen atmosphere as process gas. In addition to the equipment, the scope of delivery also includes installation and monitoring of commissioning by specialists from Tenova LOI Thermprocess.

34 Furnaces International March 2020

www.furnaces-international.com


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www.fic-uk.com +44 (0) 1736 366 962 , The World s Number One in Furnace Technology FIC (UK) Limited, Long Rock Industrial Estate, Penzance, Cornwall TR20 8HX, United Kingdom

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