Fluke’s DATAPAQ tracker system saves fuel for Polish steel manufacturer

Commissioning a new slab reheat furnace, Danieli Centro Combustion capitalized on application-tailored DATAPAQ Furnace Tracker systems from Fluke Process Instruments. Two systems were used to profile slabs in four different production scenarios, to set up the furnace, and fine-tune energy consumption. This validation proved to the customer, a leading global steel manufacturer at their plant in Poland, that steel slabs are heated to the required temperature of 1280 °C throughout. The DATAPAQ TP3 data loggers go through the furnace with the slabs and collect temperature readings from 20 thermocouples attached at various depths inside the product.

Fluke Process Instruments provided a complete solution with engineering advice on how best to set it up. The electronics is protected by a TB4272-type low-height “phased evaporation” insulation system specified to ensure nine hours insulation to be still safe in case of delays in the measurement run. The type K thermocouples were supplied with a Nicrobell sheath which increases their temperature tolerance to above 1300 °C.

Milan-based Danieli Centro Combustion, a manufacturer of heating and reheating furnaces, has been using DATAPAQ systems for many years. In the current project, the company made use of the new DATAPAQ Insight Basic software, which comprises all essential visualization, analysis, and reporting functions. Danieli also used radio telemetry of data for the first time ever, an option that is available for most DATAPAQ applications. It enables parameter adjustments while the process is ongoing and prevents loss of data. Danieli used it to optimize fuel efficiency. Adjusting the furnace, Danieli ensured that the slabs reach the target drop-out temperature just before they leave the furnace after six hours. The furnace processes about 200 tons of steel per hour. Fuel costs amount to several 10K EUR per day. Reducing the fuel consumption by just 1 or 2% means that the DATAPAQ system pays for itself within six months.