Primetals offers new electrode control system for electric arc and ladle furnaces

With „Melt Expert“, Primetals Technologies offers a new electrode control system for operators of electric arc and ladle furnaces. The new system unifies the advantages of previous solutions. Autoadaptive regulation algorithms reduce energy consumption and increase melting efficiency. The system contains automatic melting profiles and adapts process parameters when required. This increases productivity.

To ensure a high degree of reliability in a rough industrial environment, robustness and operational safety were a main focus during development. Amortization of Melt Expert may be achieved within less than nine months.

For existing customers, Primetals Technologies offers upgrade kits to convert Arcos and Simelt systems to the new technology. New features like KPI (key performance indicator) indication, plant monitoring, customer orientated interfaces as well as sophisticated control strategies ensure efficient production.

Acquired data from hydraulics, mechanics and electrics is put in relation to actual operating conditions. In this way the electrode control system itself and its auxiliary systems are permanently monitored. So called health checks are performed automatically in regular intervals in which the functionality of measurement loops and output circuits are verified without disturbing the process. Continuous signal collection in combination with long-term-trend analysis allows the detection of shifts, deviations and creeping in malfunctions in a very early stage with the aim to predict a possible event or damage, before it happens.

Based on actual process conditions, control parameters such as set points or controller gains are automatically adapted by the system. Arc length will be modified according to process needs. This results in a higher melting efficiency and reduced energy consumption. A new algorithm is avoiding arc extinction and increase the power input during boring phase. An integrated loop gain linearization model transforms individual mechanical furnace characteristics and uniforms the control loops. Thus the parameter setup will be simplified which results in faster performance run ups and less time needed for optimization. Standard state of the art protection functions are included as well as more advanced modules like countermeasures against electrode oscillation.

Target group orientated screens provide conditioned information for different user needs like melt shop management, electrical / mechanical maintenance, operators, etc. Designated screens support optimization and parameter tuning for process experts. Regularly revisions are simplified by a special maintenance mode. A novel touch screen design allows simple and fast access to process relevant data and displaying key values such as actual consumption figures, melting time or regulation quality in the form of bench mark reports. Should there be a significant deviation from normal process parameters, related information comes alive and will be indicated. For fully automated process control additional packages like foaming slag control, melt down control and thermal furnace balancing are available.

(Source: Primetals Technologies Ltd.)

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