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SDI revamps EF electrode control system in Va.

Keywords: Tags  steel, SDI, Steel Dynamics, Roanoke plant, structural steel, electric-arc furnace, revamp, Siemens VAI Metals Technologies Simetal Simelt

NEW YORK — Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI) is outfitting the 95-ton, three-phase electric-arc furnace (EF) at its Roanoke, Va., structural steel plant with a new electrode control system in a move to cut energy consumption and optimize the melting process.

The planned start-up of the Simetal Simelt AC electrode control system was originally scheduled for year-end 2013, but implementation was delayed due to production requirements.

The system, which is being supplied by Linz, Austria-based Siemens VAI Metals Technologies GmbH, is now slated for installation and tuning in the middle of this month.

"We are hopeful the weather cooperates since we cannot shut down for two days if the temperature stays in the teens," a spokesman for Fort Wayne, Ind.-based SDI told AMM via e-mail.

Simetal Simelt regulates and dynamically adjusts the electric arc’s power to ensure uniform arc radiation, reducing furnace "hot spots," extending refractory life and making the most efficient use of the electrodes servicing the melter.

Siemens noted that the Simetal Simelt, previously only manufactured in Germany, is now also built and supported in the United States. The SDI installation joins an installed base of more than 500 Siemens Technologies electrode regulation systems worldwide, the company said.

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