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TMK improves steel quality at PNTZ through advanced technology

TMK has introduced modern technology to optimize production and improve the quality of steel produced at its Pervouralsk Pipe Plant (PNTZ). The project being implemented at the plant comprises initiatives to digitize, automate and robotize production.

During phase one of the project, the Iron Ozone 32 electric arc furnace (EAF) shop digitized steel tapping control by installing a software-enabled thermal imaging camera. The equipment captures images of the molten metal flow as it is poured into the casting ladle. The facility foreman sees the image on the monitor along with data on the percentage of metal and furnace slag when the steel is tapped. Process automation minimized manual labor and reduced the amount of slag coming to the casting ladle at the end of tapping. As a result, the quality of continuously cast billets has improved, ferroalloy consumption was reduced and employee safety was enhanced.

At the next stage of modernization, the EAF complex will be equipped with robotic systems for automatic filling of the refractory mixture into the steel tapping unit, and for removal of by-products, refractories and solidified metal from the tapping channel.

Anton Loskutov, TMK’s Director for Steelmaking Efficiency, said, “TMK is continuously improving the EAF steel production process and introducing the most efficient solutions to meet the highest standards. Following phase one of the project implemented at PNTZ, we expect a significant reduction in production costs as well as an economic benefit of up to RUB 30 million a year. During the next stages, we will fully automate EAF steel production and reduce production time while further improving working conditions at the facility.”

TMK produces steel billets exclusively in electric arc furnaces, which is the most environmentally friendly way to make steel with the smallest carbon footprint. EAF steel is produced at the Company’s five facilities – Volzhsky Pipe Plant (VTZ), Seversky Pipe Plant (STZ), Taganrog Metallurgical Plant (TAGMET), PNTZ, and TMK – Yartsevsky Metzavod (TMK – YMZ).

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