What do steelmakers in Portugal, India and the United States have in common? All have inked agreements with Paris-based Fives Group to improve their thermal processing operations.

In Portugal, Lusosider Aços Planos S.A, a subsidiary of Brazilian steelmaker CSN, tapped Fives for a furnace revamping.  A producer of flat steel products, Lusosider will ramp up production of its continuous galvanizing line (CGL). Fives will modify the existing horizontal furnace and install an additional jet cooling unit in the cooling area to relieve production bottlenecks. The revamping project is expected to increase the CGL productivity by 10 percent, and it should be completed in December 2016.

In India, Tata Steel entrusted Fives to upgrade the level 1 control system at its existing gas-fired pusher-type reheating furnace. Installed at the merchant mill of Tata's Jamshedpur Works, India, the furnace, with 72 tons/hr capacity, was originally commissioned in 1958. The existing controls consisted of a single-loop controller and instruments for furnace heating control. The complete heating control system changeover will include Fives’ proprietary technologies. The company will design and supervise the erection and commissioning of a PLC-based furnace control system, including logic and HMI development for the heating system.

At the U.S. steelmaker, Fives will replace the existing automation system operating at the slab reheating furnace with its Virtuo, a digital system developed by Fives to optimize furnace’s performance and ensure product quality. The upgrade project will allow the steelmaker to increase the final rolled material quality, reduce yield loss, and cut gas consumption and scale formation, says Fives. The Virtuo system has been developed as an optimized solution for reheating furnaces, strip processing lines and associated services.