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

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

Editorial

Melt Expert is a new electrode control system from Primetals Technologies designed for operators of electric arc and ladle furnaces.

Based on more than 35 years of experience with the Arcos and SIMELT electrode control systems and incorporating all of their advantages, Melt Expert features KPI indication, plant monitoring, customer orientated interfaces as well as sophisticated control strategies to maximise efficient production.

Key benefits of the Melt Expert electrode control system include auto-adaptive regulation algorithms reducing energy consumption and increasing melting efficiency; automatic melting profiles with the system adapting process parameters when required to increase productivity; high degree of reliability in a rough industrial environment, robustness and operational safety ensured; and amortisation achieved within less than nine months.

Existing customers using Arcos and SIMELT systems may use upgrade kits from Primetals Technologies to convert to the new technology.

Melt Expert is based on an embedded controller platform with the system split into a PLC part and a PC part, unifying the advantages of both platforms with regard to flexibility, robustness and computing power, which is necessary for fast and complex calculations as well as high dynamic HMI. Control signal handling is done within the PLC part to simplify the integration into the automation environment. Intelligent signal interface modules ensure very fast and accurate data sampling with onboard signal preconditioning.

Acquired data from hydraulics, mechanics and electrics is put in relation to actual operating conditions. This ensures the electrode control system and its auxiliary systems are permanently monitored. Health checks are performed automatically at regular intervals to verify the functionality of measurement loops and output circuits without disturbing the process. Continuous signal collection in combination with long-term-trend analysis allows the detection of shifts, deviations and creeping in malfunctions at a very early stage, helping 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 resulting in a higher melting efficiency and reduced energy consumption. A new algorithm avoids arc extinction and increases power input during the boring phase. An integrated loop gain linearisation model transforms individual mechanical furnace characteristics and makes the control loops uniform, simplifying the parameter setup, which results in faster performance run ups and less time needed for optimisation.

Key features of Melt Expert electrode control system also include target group orientated screens providing conditioned information for different user needs such as melt shop management, electrical/ mechanical maintenance, operators, etc.; designated screens supporting optimisation and parameter tuning for process experts; revisions simplified regularly by a special maintenance mode; and novel touch screen design allowing 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 benchmark reports.

Additional packages including foaming slag control, melt down control and thermal furnace balancing are available for fully automated process control.

Primetals Technologies is a joint venture of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Siemens.

SIMELT is a trademark of Siemens AG.

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