Swiss Steel AG has placed an order with Siemens Metals Technologies for major modernization work on the company’s electric arc furnace in Emmenbrücke, in the Lucerne canton. The main goals of the project are to shorten process times and cut conversion costs. Production capacity will rise to 650,000 tonnes of steel per year and, at the same time, operating safety will be increased and maintenance costs reduced. The project is due to be completed in August 2013.
Swiss Steel AG operates an electric arc furnace with a tapping weight of 80 tons at its Emmenbrücke plant. Siemens will be modernizing the unit, which was installed in 1999. To this end, a completely new hydraulic system will be installed and the furnace equipped with a new tilting platform and gantry. Thanks to a new portal with prismatic electrode lifting columns, the furnace roof, which will also be new, can in future be swiveled via a single-point suspension system. Moreover, Siemens will be supplying a special ladle car for the existing tapping pit. This will enable Swiss Steel to change the tapping spout, optimize the tapping process and to cut tapping times.
Following modernization, it will be possible to lift the ladle out of the tapping pit with the EAF roof open. All movements of the furnace can be speeded up. The gunning of the EAF can be started while the casting ladle is still in the tapping pit, which will also reduce power off times. In total, thanks to the shortened process times, it will in future be possible to produce over 8,000 heats a year. This corresponds to an annual capacity of 650,000 tonnes of steel. Moreover, the new furnace design will enable lower tapping temperatures. This will shorten the necessary heating times on the ladle furnace. Siemens has already supplied and modernized the ladle furnace and installed new current conducting electrode arms on the electric arc furnace for the electric steel mill in Emmenbrücke.
In the European long products market, Swiss Steel AG is a leading vendor of quality, stainless and machining steels. Steel production in 2011 amounted to around 560,000 tonnes. Principal applications are in the automotive industry and in machine and apparatus construction. The company is part of the Schmolz + Bickenbach Group, the world’s largest manufacturer, processor and distributor of special steel long products.