If Furnaces Could Talk…
Onex worked closely with our valued client to address a number of critical issues with their walking beam furnace. A walking beam furnace employs a moving beam to literally “walk” the stock through the furnace to ensure controlled heating and reheating.
Our client contacted us due to premature refractory and anchor failure. Onex not only offers refractory and combustion services, we are a furnace manufacturer so it was obvious to our team that the failures were due to a design flaw, not just normal wear and tear. Onex redesigned the anchoring system to allow refractory and metallic anchors to expand and contract properly significantly reducing failure rates. In addition, Onex partnered with a refractory manufacturer to design an improved high temp lining which could withstand the client’s more severe operating conditions…2250F and high pressure.
Things go wrong. When a failure occurs it is critical to minimize downtime. Our client contacted Onex when uneven heating caused a steel casting to warp, break away and expose the refractory hearth which caused damage due to extreme temperatures. The client had to suspend production. Onex responded quickly to the crisis. Onex implemented a rapid response plan to cut downtime dramatically. The clients’ personnel tore out the failed refractory while simultaneously, Onex mobilized our crew to install the new subhearth; form and pour the hearth. While the construction was underway, the client used the opportunity to vacuum the scale from the furnace and get ahead of any future efficiency issues. Through this amazing team effort, we were able to get the client’s furnace back online rapidly so they could beat production records again this month.
Onex is actively working with our client to support proper preventative maintenance practices and to make necessary repairs and upgrades when it is convenient for the client. During the client’s summer outage, we installed a new door system where the peel bar pushes the steel out of the furnace. The new door system allows the furnace to be operated at a lower temperature and pressure which will reduce fuel usage and wear on the internal components. We have also worked with the client to establish good maintenance practices and some simple tips such as not cooling the furnace completely during the weekend and regularly vacuuming out scale when the furnace is cool. Effective maintenance not only prevents failure, it ensures the furnace is operating optimally and profitably.
“These guys stepped up when I really needed them…. We honestly just broke another production record on the mill last Tuesday, so my people really do appreciate Onex’s help and support!!”