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Greater precision and flexibility in BF charging: Start up at Tata Steel of the Simetal Gimbal Top charging system as part of the re-built ‘C’ blast furnace


Linz, Austria, Since end of September 2009, the re-built blast furnace ‘C’ at Tata Steel Ltd´s Jamshedpur works India has been operating with Siemens new Simetal Gimbal Top charging systems. Tata Steel became the world´s first steelmaker to utilize this new charging system on a blast furnace. From furnace fill, through blow-in to its current operating level of 2,000 tonnes of hot metal per day, the top charging system has already completed in excess of 28,000 skip charges without major interruption. The Gimbal Top provides Tata Steel with precise material distribution and the potential of infinite flexibility in the choice of charging patterns.

With an annual production of 24.4 million tonnes in 2008, Tata Steel Ltd is India’s leading steelmaker and among the world’s top ten and one of the least cost global steel producers. They chose Gimbal charging technology as part of their drive to seek new innovative technologies in Blast Furnace operation. Hemant M. Nerurkar, Managing Director of Tata Steel Ltd., said, “We are convinced that operations at C blast furnace and production as a whole will greatly be enhanced by the implementation of the Gimbal technology. The technical know-how and dedication of Siemens and Tata Steel have complemented each other ideally in the modernization of the blast furnace.” Geoff Wingrove, Director Siemens VAI Metals Technologies UK, added further, "We are delighted that, with our support, Tata Steel have successfully achieved start up of ‘C’ blast furnace incorporating the very latest in charging technology. Blow-in of the upgraded furnace provides the opportunity to demonstrate to our customers the significant cost savings and benefits that can be achieved with the system by improvements in blast furnace operation and maintenance when compared to current market alternatives.”

Siemens received the order to supply a new top charging system in 2007 as part of a scheduled re-build of Tata Steel’s blast furnace ‘C’ at their Jamshedpur Steel Works, located in the State of Jharkand. The capacity of this blast furnace which is one of eight in Jamshedpur has been raised from 400,000 to 700,000 tonnes per annum as part of the modernization. The scope of the project for a new furnace top charging system included the new distributor, material hopper, valves and associated Level 1 automation. This new charging system already proven in high temperature and pressure operations is ideally suited for the blast furnace operation.

The new Gimbal Top charging system utilizes a conical distribution chute supported by rings in a gimbal arrangement. This tilting chute is hydraulically driven through the operating shafts, connecting rods and universal joints in order to drive the gimbal rings. This integrated charging solution provides blast furnace operators with precise material distribution and the potential for an infinite number of charging patterns.

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The Siemens Industry Sector (Erlangen, Germany) is the world’s leading supplier of production, transportation, building and lighting technologies. With integrated automation technologies as well as comprehensive industry-specific solutions, Siemens increases the productivity, efficiency and flexibility of its customers in the fields of industry and infrastructure. The Sector consists of six Divisions: Building Technologies, Drive Technologies, Industry Automation, Industry Solutions, Mobility and Osram. With around 222,000 employees worldwide Siemens Industry posted in fiscal year 2008 a profit of EUR3.86 billion with revenues totaling EUR38

With the business activities of Siemens VAI Metal Technologies, (Linz, Austria), Siemens Water Technologies (Warrendale, Pa., U.S.A.), and Industry Technologies, (Erlangen, Germany), the Siemens Industry Solutions Division (Erlangen, Germany) is one of the world’s leading solution and service providers for industrial and infrastructure facilities. Using its own products, systems and process technologies, Industry Solutions develops and builds plants for end customers, commissions them and provides support during their entire life cycle. With around 31,000 employees worldwide Siemens Industry Solutions achieved an order intake of EUR 8.415 billon in fiscal year 2008.

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