Frequently asked questions
What is the ArcSpec system?
ArcSpec is a unique system to monitor and control the EAF process by analyzing real-time local melting conditions inside the Electric Arc Furnace (EAF). The analysis is based on Luxmet’s patented technology for monitoring the light emitted from the EAF process.
The technology is founded on Optical Emission Spectrometry (OES). Our system is result of over decade of research on OES applications and high-temperature metallurgical processes.
What are the benefits of ArcSpec?
ArcSpec measures real-time the scrap melting progression and other information from EAF. This enables dynamic real-time control of EAF. Real-time EAF control leads to a more energy-efficient EAF process, increased productivity, decreased wear of furnace equipment and electrodes.
A more detailed article about the benefits of real-time control can be read here.
Is this an Electrode Regulation System (ERS)?
No. ArcSpec works alongside an electrode regulation system as a real-time measurement solution that analyses the light produced by the EAF in real-time directly from the process, offering a variety of opportunities for process optimization.
Does ArcSpec need a connection to the furnace control system?
Yes, to achieve all the benefits, the connection to the furnace control system is required. We analyze the process data along with the ArcSpec-data to prepare the control signal. The control signal is either presented to the operator or directly sent to the automation system. We use level 2 network control. Typically, ethernet is used and the protocol is discussed case by case.
How long does the installation take?
The installation is done in two parts. Preparation work and the actual installation. These can be done during the usual routine maintenance breaks.
What modifications are needed for the installation of ArcSpec?
Only small modifications are needed. Three 40mm holes must be drilled into the furnace roof. These holes can be easily fitted between the cooling panel gaps. We also have solutions for spray-cooled roofs and other roof types. In addition, protective pipes for the measurement cables need to be installed on the furnace roof.
How much maintenance is needed for the ArcSpec system?
Depending on the furnace some maintenance practices might be needed, but the system designed to require no routine maintenance. The measurement heads are typically changed when the furnace roof is changed.
Other frequently asked Questions
What is optical emission spectrometry?
Optical emission spectrometry (OES) is an analytical technique to break down and examine light. The light’s spectrum contains information about the source of the light and melting phase.
Where can optical emission spectrometry be used?
The method is usually used in detecting different elements in a sample by analyzing the light they emit when excited (with laser/spark). OES can be also applied to hot metallurgical processes where the excitement of elements happens in the process itself. Read more about OES in metallurgy from here.
What are the benefits of optical emission spectrometry against other measuring methods?
OES enables direct measurements from the furnace without delay whereas conventional methods e.g. off-gas analysis and temperature measurements from the cooling panels have a slight delay. These delays prevent maximum optimization of the furnace. OES also gives information about the content of the material that is emitting the light.
Is this Electrode Regulation System (ERS)?
No. ArcSpec works alongside electrode regulation system as a real-time measurement solution that analyses the light produced by the EAF in real-time directly from the process, offering a variety of opportunities for optimization.
We produce carbon/stainless steel, can we use ArcSpec?
Yes. ArcSpec works for all steelmaking processes using an electric arc furnace.
What kind of data the does the system produce?
The system itself produces light’s spectral components that the system analyzes into control signals. These signals are then sent to the furnace control system which makes the actual changes to the process. The system also gives information about the process e.g. scrap melting in different sectors and melt parameters.
Can we get access to the data?
Yes, we are able to provide access to the measurement data.
How does the system work?
ArcSpec collects the light from the EAF process and breaks the light into spectral components. The system analyzes the data and sends signals to process control.
What are the control modules?
We call applications of ArcSpec as control modules. One module controls one step of the process. For example, the BASKET module optimizes the timing of additional scrap baskets. Our basic offer consists of three control modules with the system and these modules are chosen case by case to ensure the best possible option for every furnace.
Does this work for DRI-based furnaces?
DRI applications are still in the testing phase. We hope to launch the new application for optimizing the DRI feed as soon as possible.
Benefits of ArcSpec system
Where do the energy efficiency improvements come from?
Energy efficiency improvements come from a couple of different applications, but the main reasons are the improved timing of the additional scrap loads / DRI feed and optimizing power usage of the furnace based on the scrap melting information.
How does the system improve the productivity of EAF?
When the additional scrap loads are timed optimally, tap-to-tap times shorten. This means that the furnace is capable to melt the batch in a shorter time and the production capacity of the furnace is increased. In addition to optimal timing of scrap charges, optimal control of voltage ramps also decreases the tap-to-tap times with more efficient power use.
Electrode and refractories consumption is decreased with ArcSpec. How is this possible?
ArcSpec is capable to track the melting of the scrap by sides of the furnace. This scrap protects the refractories from the intense heat radiating from the arc. The system lowers the power when it detects that the protecting scrap has melted. The system has also a built-in feature to optimize the voltage and electric current levels to reduce electrode consumption.
Installation and maintenance of ArcSpec
How you are able to handle the extreme conditions inside of EAF?
We have done a lot of effort to make the design as simple and sturdy as possible. In order to ensure the robustness of the system, we have designed it from the start in a real industrial setting. In addition, we don’t actually go inside of the EAF. We collect light through measurement holes in the roof with the measurement heads and transfer the data to safer locations to make the analysis.
There is a lot of dust and smoke in our furnace. Is the system still usable?
Yes, we have tested the system in various different types of furnaces. The system’s suitability for the customer’s furnace is ensured with feasibility tests.
Slag accumulates below the roof of the furnace. Are you able to handle this?
ArcSpec design takes into account the accumulation of slag on the furnace lid and we have a couple of different methods to keep the measurement head clean.
System ramp-up and future updates
Do you provide support during the ramp-up of the system?
Yes, we do. Two weeks of commissioning are provided for the ramp-up phase. Customer support is provided at all times.
Are new applications for the system available in the future?
Yes! We are committed to developing ArcSpec and the technology. There still vast amounts of applications for OES to be developed. Our flexible software platform makes it easy to implement any new applications when they are available.
Acquiring the ArcSpec system
Can we do a trial?
Yes! Monthly based pricing enables short-term trial. The contract can be easily continued after the trial.
Where do you deliver the system?
We deliver worldwide. However, due to the COVID-19 situation, we might have problems to deliver some countries.
What does the service price model mean?
To make the acquisition of the system easier we have developed a monthly payment model. This means that in many cases the acquisition costs of the system can be marked as operating costs and cumbersome investment processes can be avoided. The contract can be canceled with a 1-month notice period.
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