Primetals Technologies receives final acceptance for revamping of AOD converter at Valbruna

15 July 2020

In March 2020, Primetals Technologies has received the final acceptance certificates (FAC) from Acciaierie Valbruna for the mechanical and electrical revamping of the AOD converter at its production facility in Bolzano, Italy. One of the main reasons for the revamping was the modernization of the converter trunnion ring and tilting drive including a new shrink fit connection. Further on a new process optimization system (level 2) was installed by Primetals Technologies, and the process control system (level 1) as completion of replacement of mechanical and electrical parts for the trunnion ring and tilting drive. The level 2 system was adjusted and aligned to Valbruna’s production requirements via remote connection by the experts of Primetals Technologies from their offices in Austria. Additionally, the whole existing level-1-system was aligned and updated in cooperation with Valbruna. The revamping has improved the process stability, the production flexibility, and reduced the maintenance efforts for the AOD converter.

New process optimization and updated process control system

After several years of operation, Acciaierie Valbruna decided to install a level-2-system and to modernize the trunnion ring and tilting drive of its AOD converter in Bolzano, Italy. The new level-2-system allows interfacing and integration of the AOD refinement process with the steel plant upstream (arc furnace) and downstream LF as well as continuous casting activities, where another level 2 system of Primetals Technologies is installed. The system also makes it possible to archive, search and elaborate all process data as well as the availability of the necessary reporting according to Valbruna's needs.

In the late summer of 2019, Primetals Technologies completed the mechanical and electrical modernization of AOD by a new trunnion ring and tilting drive gear to enable a shrink fit connection, new support bearings and a complete update of the process control system (level 1). In parallel a new process optimization system (level 2) was installed. Despite a challenging project management for both Primetals Technologies and Valbruna, the work was completed on time and with full customer satisfaction.

Fast project execution and remote support

Upon completion of the installation of the new systems, during normal operation, it was necessary to make further changes to the existing level-1-system to allow correct interface with the new process optimization system (level 2) in order to control and optimize the converter as desired.

This work was done in close cooperation of the local task force of Valbruna and Primetals Technologies´ experts from Italy and Austria. The final adjustment and optimization of the level-2-system according to Valbruna’s requirements was done collaboratively via remote connection to metallurgist and automation experts in Austria. The long-time cooperation of the two companies was one key to the successful project execution. In March, Valbruna issued the final acceptance certificates (FAC) for the mechanical and electrical revamping of the AOD converter. The modernization reduced the maintenance efforts for the converter.

Acciaierie Valbruna – based in Vicenza, Italy – is a market leader in the steel industry, making and supplying stainless steel and special metal alloys. It is a private company with over 2,500 employees and produces more than 200,000 metric tons of high-quality special steels every year. The Bolzano production site specializes in stainless steel and special alloy rods with round and hexagonal cross-sections.

Primetals Technologies revamped the process optimization and the process control systems as well as the trunnion ring and tilting drive of an AOD converter of Valbruna in Italy.

Primetals Technologies, Limited, headquartered in London, United Kingdom, is a pioneer and world leader in the fields of engineering, plant building, and the provision of lifecycle services for the metals industry. The company offers a complete technology, product, and services portfolio that includes integrated electrics and automation, digitalization, and environmental solutions. This covers every step of the iron and steel production chain—from the raw materials to the finished product—and includes the latest rolling solutions for the nonferrous metals sector. Primetals Technologies is a joint venture of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and partners, with around 7,000 employees worldwide. To learn more about Primetals Technologies, visit the company website