Reference Eurocable Group d.d
Saving time with precast
Upcast is continuously thinking about the ways in which to improve and develop, not only new products, but also the existing working solutions in its casting process. One important part of the process involves bricklaying, which normally takes 2–4 weeks depending on the line capacity. Therefore, it is important to weigh up alternatives in its realization, too. Precast lining is clearly a good alternative, writes Ismo Rossi, Customer Service Manager.
After already evaluating and monitoring the quality of precast lining at the company’s own Pilot plant for several years, where no wearing nor penetrations of melt were detected, a decision has been made to use precast lining for all the new single furnace lines and also to offer the solution to the customers when it is time to renew the lining of their existing lines.
The delivery time for the precast materials is about one month shorter than that of bricks and its installation time is about one week in comparison to the 2–3 weeks required for bricklaying.
After the installation there is no need for any drying or preheating measures, but it is immediately ready for the installation and start-up of the inductor, whereas bricks require about 10 days of drying and preheating. In other words, the down time when using precast lining may even be 3 weeks shorter than when using bricklaying. That is a great saving in time!
Also, when we look at the actual delivery of the precast it is certainly more compact and includes less parts and components. All the special tools required for the bricklaying process, such as special brick saws, can be excluded.
The customers are, of course, interested in the overall costs and the possible savings. The greatest savings come from the time saved because the price of the precast, including the labor, is about the same as the price of the bricklaying. The installation can be carried out by Upcast workers on site. The requirement for the customer is to have a good and strong enough crane in the hall – it can be a fixed or a mobile one. The expected life time for the precast lining is about the same as for the brick lining.
One big benefit for the customers preparing their production for the future is that the critical, non-aging components, such as the precast blocks and insulations, can be stored, and when the time for relining gets closer, only the short-delivery-time mass and plaster need to be ordered. Naturally the same process works for the bricks. However, there are much less parts and components in the precast set, which makes the inventory management easier. •
Mr. Tomislav Hren, COO of Eurocable Group explains how they came to the decision to use precast.
“During the winter of 2018, the time of the inductor change was getting closer.
Since the furnace has been in operation for 6.5 years, and for some time the cathode quality was not the best, we began to think about changing the furnace lining.
A few years ago we had a number of small red spots on one side of the furnace due to the melt breakthrough, and although it has been successfully repaired, solidified copper was slightly increasing power dissipation, so it was one more reason to change the furnace lining.
We were not very happy about it, partly because the delivery deadline was extensive (around 10 weeks), but mainly because the bricklaying work was long (around 3 weeks).
We found out from Upcast that besides bricklaying, they also offered precast blocks for furnace relining at a very similar price.
At the last Upcast user meeting in Croatia, there was talk about a new lining design for single furnaces.
In this new design, the inductor cone is blocked to the casting zone and there are six small windows at the bottom of the furnace wall between the melting and casting side instead of one large opening.
This design helps to deal with problems related to bad cathodes.
Finally, because of all the benefits it offers, we chose precast lining with this new design.
This new design is Upcast current standard brick lining for single furnaces.
It is also important to pay attention to early planning of the overhaul, to have Upcast engineers at their disposal for the desired term.
The entire process was performed smoothly and efficiently, thanks to the devoted work of Upcast and Allied Mineral products engineers and technicians and with the support of the Eurocable Group team.” •
Eurocable Group d.d. Nova Ves 11, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
- company founded in 1999
- a joint stock company privately owned by Croatian nationals
- a low voltage power cable manufacturer
- main markets: Germany, Austria, Croatia, the rest of the EU
- 130 employees
- 20 production lines, total capacity 30.000 t/year
- 1 UPCAST line, single furnace, capacity 12.000 t/year
- management: Mrs. Tihana Stupnišek, CEO; Mrs. Irena Križan CFO; Mr. Tomislav Hren, COO