Advanced Furnace Control (AFC)
Model-based predictive control replaces traditional control schemes
What is Advanced Furnace Control (AFC)?
In the steel industry, annealing furnaces are used to control the material and surface properties by means of heat treatment. The continuously increasing demand on the product quality is a challenge for temperature control. To achieve the desired product quality, the material has to be heated according to a predefined temperature trajectory. However, due to the high thermal inertia of the furnace, the very few temperature measurements, and an ongoing diversification of product portfolios, heating is a demanding control task, especially in transient furnace operations.
A reasonable control concept for the material temperature that facilitates the consideration of all these challenges is model predictive control. It is suitable for complex nonlinear systems such as annealing furnaces and, it allows the incorporation of secondary control goals like the maximization of the throughput, the minimization of energy consumption, and the minimization of CO2 emissions. The basis for model predictive strip temperature control is a computational inexpensive mathematical model of the furnace that captures the most important nonlinear effects.
ANDRITZ Advanced Furnace Control is fully in line with the Industry 4.0 paradigm, allowing the extraction of more information of the underlying process without measurements. Quality data like the heat-up curve can be integrated in any kind of data mining and analysis system.
- Reduce energy consumption
- Reduce CO2 emissions
- Increase productivity & throughput
- Reduce costs of operation & maintenance
- Constant high product quality and repeatability
- Prevent heat buckles
- Minimize the number of transition coils
- Precise temperature prediction & control also during transitions
- Configure temperature setpoints for furnace locations without measurements
- Fully automatic furnace operation including heating, cooling and line speed
- Prevent overheating of furnace equipment also without local measurement
- Define your own control strategies based on importance of optimization goals
- Graphical visualization of the future furnace conditions for up to 30 minutes
- Intuitive touch-enabled user interface
- Furnace Simulator
- Planning Optimizer to optimize production schedule
- Verification of new products and heating curves in advance
- Virtual operator training
Field of operation
- Direct-fired furnace
- Radiant-tube heating
- Induction Heating
- Continuous galvanizing line furnaces (CGL)
- Continuous annealing line furnaces (CAL)
- Stainless Furnace
- Walking beam furnace
New installations and revamps
Advanced Furnace Control is available for both new installations, and revamping projects. Due to its flexible design the applicable range of Advanced Furnace Control is not limited by age or vendor of the furnace, since it can be easily adapted to the project specific requirements.