Aluminium of Greece improves furnace cost and energy efficiency with ABB’s electromagnetic stirring technology

Well-established, proven furnace optimization technology enhances melting furnace operation



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Customer:   Aluminium of Greece, Greece
Customer requirements:  Increase the amount of solid scrap used in the furnace process without increasing cycle time
Scope:  Electromagnetic stirring technology for aluminium furnaces (AL-EMS)
Application:  Aluminium alloying furnace
Customer benefits:
  • 59% increase in solid material ratio
  • 52% shorter cycle time
  • 23% reduction in gas consumption
  • 19% increase in furnace productivity
  • Increased aluminium yield
Commissioning:  2019
MYTILINEOS is a leading global industrial and energy company with presence on all five continents. The firm’s metallurgy business unit, Aluminium of Greece (AOG), selected ABB’s well-established, proven electromagnetic stirring technology for aluminium furnaces (AL-EMS) to enhance operational excellence in its furnace process.

ABB won the project in 2018 and in 2019 the solution was installed at MYTILINEOS furnace located in Viotia, Greece which produces in excess of 190,000 tons of aluminium and 860,000 tons of alumina annually.

Gaining customer confidence with tangible benefits

“We have a longstanding relationship with ABB spanning more than two decades where we have implemented ABB’s control systems and digital solutions, though this was the first time we implemented ABB’s AL-EMS solution. Our main goal with this installation was to significantly increase the amount of solid scrap we use in the furnace without increasing cycle time,” said Anastasios Psarros, Casthouse Process Engineer, at AOG, MYTILINEOS. “The AL-EMS solution showed significant benefits including a 59 percent increase in solid material ratio and a 52 percent shorter cycle time. It also recorded a 23 percent reduction in gas consumption while ensuring a homogenized production process and improved furnace lifecycle”.

Installed under or on the side of the furnace, ABB’s electromagnetic stirrers have no physical contact with the melt, significantly reducing maintenance needs and extending the product lifetime.

Addressing customer pain points with customized performance solution

ABB’s team of experts in Sweden customized a solution as per the customer’s requirements while addressing the pain points and business goals. A Multiple Coil Concept (MCC), offering the advantage of a reduced equipment footprint and related investment costs, was proposed. The MCC solution enables AOG to use just one set of auxiliary equipment, including control system and pump unit, to run two AL-EMS stirrers. These stirrers are installed on two 63 ton furnaces, operated consecutively in AOG’s aluminium manufacturing process.

“The ABB AL-EMS solution has now been running for more than a year. Performance has been even bet-ter than our initial estimates, with an increase in the aluminium yield while ensuring a rapid chemical and temperature homogeneity and a 19 percent increase in furnace productivity,” noted Christos Skarlatakis, Industry Account Manager, ABB.

Customer business priorities dictate ABB’s offering

Today, aluminium producers including AOG have well-defined business priorities such as increasing productivity, reducing costs and contributing to sustainability goals. With over 1,800 electromagnetic stirring (EMS) installations worldwide for furnace and continuous casting processes in both steel and aluminium manufacturing, including 380+ for AL-EMS alone, ABB is the market-leading provider of EMS and braking devices in metals manufacturing processes. AL-EMS from ABB offers side and bottom-mounted stirrers catering to all furnace types including melting, holding, chamber and mixing or alloying. Find out more about how the ABB AL-EMS can improve your aluminium furnace process here.

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