Money saving sensor

A new sensor developed to facilitate energy conservation in steel production has been proved successful following a one-week prototype trial.

The laser-based system, which measures the composition of gases exiting a steel-melting furnace, was recently installed in an electric arc furnace at The Timken Company’s Faircrest Steel Plant in Ohio.

Timken believe the ability to measure gas composition will allow optimisation of combustion and energy utilisation in the furnace.

‘This new system will be an important tool for the continuous improvement of our steel melting process,’ said Raymond V Fryan. ‘By utilising new technologies to minimise energy consumption, we’re building on the long-standing Timken reputation of protecting our natural resources.’ Timken is hosting plant trials for this energy-reduction project, which is sponsored by the American Iron and Steel Institute and the US Department of Energy.

AISI administers technology research and development projects on behalf of its member companies supporting the DoE’s Industry of the Future vision to advance efficiency, reduce energy consumption and preserve the environment. The projected industry-wide benefits of this new sensor, coupled with computer analysis software applied to a process control system, include a two- percent increase in energy efficiency and a ten- percent improvement in productivity.

The DoE is providing the majority of funding for the two-year, $1.2 million project with IPSCO, Georgetown Steel and North Star Steel joining Timken as industry cost-share providers. Technical leaders like Stantec Global Technologies, Process Metrix, and scientists at Sandia National Laboratory are partnering with Timken to developthis new technology.

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