The rebuilt blast furnace 'C' at Tata Steel's Jamshedpur works India has been operating with Siemens' new Simetal Gimbal Top charging systems since the end of September. Siemens says that Tata Steel is the first steelmaker to utilize this new charging system on a blast furnace.
From furnace fill, through blow-in, to its current operating level of 2000 tonnes of hot metal per day, the top charging system has completed more than 28,000 skip charges without major interruption. According to Siemens, the Gimbal Top provides Tata Steel with precise material distribution and infinite flexibility in the choice of charging patterns.
Siemens received the order to supply a new top charging system in 2007 as part of a scheduled rebuild of the blast furnace 'C'. 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.
The new Gimbal Top charging system uses a conical distribution chute supported by rings in a gimbal arrangement. The tilting chute is hydraulically driven through the operating shafts, connecting rods, and universal joints to drive the gimbal rings.
"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," said Hemant M. Nerurkar, Managing Director of Tata Steel Ltd. "The technical know-how and dedication of Siemens and Tata Steel have complemented each other ideally in the modernization of the blast furnace."
"We are delighted that, with our support, Tata Steel has successfully achieved start up of 'C' blast furnace incorporating the very latest in charging technology," said Geoff Wingrove, Director of Siemens VAI Metals Technologies UK. "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."