During a shutdown last year, ArcelorMittal South Africa invested heavily in relining and refurbishing the sole blast furnace and renewed the control system at its plant at Newcastle in the KwaZulu-Natal province.
The investment, one of ArcelorMittal’s largest in South Africa, took two years to plan and six months to carry out. It will increase production from 1.7 million to 1.9 million metric tonnes per year.
The upgraded blast furnace control system has 7,000 I/O points and uses ABB’s System 800xA, with seven redundant AC800M controllers. The system controls the overall blast furnace process including stockhouse and charging, the bell-less top, the casthouse, hot blast stoves, slag treatment, gas cleaning, water cooling system and pulverized coal preparation and injection. The control system includes alarm and asset management, enabling easier operation and maintenance of the blast furnace plant.
The project involved integrating more than 300 Profibus PA devices and 200 HART devices to the System 800xA.
Data for the control system is provided by an extensive suite of ABB instrumentation, consisting of 130 ProcessMaster electromagnetic flow transmitters, 260 temperature transmitters, 150 RTD Sensytemp thermometers, 140, 2600T series pressure transmitters, over 500 thermocouple transmitters and seven level transmitters.
The electrical package includes 200 UMC100 intelligent motor controllers, 15 PST series softstarters and 15 ABB industrial drives, all integrated with the control system’s fieldbus.
As well as supplying the hardware and software, ABB engineers supervised the installation, assisted with the commissioning process and trained the customer’s maintenance personnel. The overall package was fulfilled by a joint team of ABB Croatia and ABB South Africa.