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Blast Furnace
Control System Upgrade

Automation & Controls

A fully integrated steel producer’s blast furnace underwent a major rebuild that included the replacement of obsolete control systems.

JNE Automation was contracted to design replacement PLC/HMI controls for the furnace top, stockhouse and stoves areas. This included the electrical installation package and the development of new control system architecture, P&I Diagrams, PLC/Motor Schematics.

Programming tasks for the furnace top included PLC and HMI development for the furnace hydraulics, equalizing & relief valves, revolving distributor, bell control and the skip travel interface. In the stockhouse area, the automated material/coke system was developed to include bin selection, conveyor sequencing, material screening, weighing and charge delivery to the skip cars.

These two major areas were brought together with a fully automated Charge Master Program that allowed operators to develop, store and execute the charging recipes needed to maintain a correct burden composition.

In the stoves area, JNE developed the automated system that included stove sequencing modes, interface to the Combustion DCS, a pilot burner system and additional gas safety circuits to comply with TSSA Regulations.

In addition to the engineering tasks, JNE provided commissioning and training services to ensure the continued operation of the refurbished blast furnace. All systems were tested and operators were trained to allow a safe start-up. The furnace was successfully “blown-in” without incident.

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