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Renovation of blast furnace at ArcelorMittal Méditerranée

A digital giant in a human affair

In response to exponential market demand, the annual production capacity at the ArcelorMittal site in Fos-sur-Mer, France, is due to rise from 4.6 to 5.3 million tons of steel. One of the key projects designed to help meet this objective was the refurbishment of blast furnace no 1. The preservation of the colossal piece of production equipment notably called on new measuring instrumentation technologies and the standardized PROFIBUS field network to replace a large proportion of analog signals.

Two Endress+Hauser Service people ©Endress+Hauser

The renovation project in numbers (all trades)

  • 450 000 hours of preparation, 550 000 hours of intervention on site
    and 1 million working hours

  • 95 days of downtime

  • Around a hundred companies

  • 800 people working every day

Philippe Divol - Project Manager at ArcelorMittal

“The success of the refurbishment of the blast furnace firstly depended on a very productive design phase. After that, we simply had to get the best companies in their respective fields on board.”

Mr. Philippe Divol, Project Manager
Alphonse Fabiani - Instrumentation Engineer at ArcelorMittal

“Endress+Hauser was able to answer all our questions about the new configuration of the instrumentation in the fieldbus.”

Mr. Alphonse Fabiani, Instrumentation Engineer
Luc Reibel - Project Manager at Endress+Hauser

“In order to reduce the length of intervention and by extension the exposure to risks, all the measuring instruments were prepared and preset in our workshops.”

Mr. Luc Reibel, Project Manager
Alphonse Fabiani - Instrumentation Engineer at ArcelorMittal

“It will be possible to perform settings and diagnostics remotely. We will have a predictive – rather than a curative – approach to maintenance.”

Mr. Alphonse Fabiani, Instrumentation Engineer
Philippe Divol - Project Manager at ArcelorMittal

“We needed solutions, not people who would trade accusations of responsibility for mistakes.”

Mr. Philippe Divol, Project Manager

Endress+Hauser assumed responsibility for the efficiency of the project for the
instrumentation lot.

The giant is over 80 meters tall with a capacity of 3 000 m3. The temperature inside the
11 meter diameter crucible is +2 000 °C. Controlling this process digitally means exposing the automation system and instrumentation to extreme conditions. Endress+Hauser was involved throughout this huge project, from planning through to commissioning.

A solution to the client’s problems

Long-standing partners, ArcelorMittal and Endress+Hauser worked together. The overall supply of measuring instruments fulfilled all aspects of the prerequisites, but ArcelorMittal also stood to benefit from the expertise and support provided by the Endress+Hauser teams: experienced professionals in engineering for process automation and
project management.

Attentive and jointly liable for the outcome

To satisfy the quality, safety and efficiency requirements when commissioning the instrumentation and the digital network, Endress+Hauser decided to create and enter into
a joint venture with two other well known companies, SNEF and Cegelec. Objective of the joint venture was to consider, supply, install and commission the entire instrumentation
lot within set time-frames.

Teamwork and reciprocal technical or industrial exchanges were at the heart of this consortium.

André Amar, ArcelorMittal Account Manager at Endress+Hauser for more than 26 years, ensured that the changes, sometimes requested by the client at short notice, were implemented quickly.

For genuine support

Specialist technicians at Endress+Hauser commissioned 1 100 sensors directly on the blast furnace and supervised 700 others in the peripheral workshops, such as the gas cleaning system and slag treatment, all connected by the digital network. More than 400 sensors on the blast furnace are connected via PROFIBUS.

The instruments benefit from long-term service contracts. For its operators, the park is easier to manage thanks to dedicated software such as FieldCare and W@M – Life Cycle Management.

For maximum efficiency of the production equipment

The service life of the refractory lining in a blast furnace is 20 years, and over the next 20 years the Mediterranean giant will be operating at full capacity. In fact, Alphonse Fabiani is hoping to draw on all the options made available by the devices connected in the fieldbus.

Many people, one team, one giant

This project is a good example of expertise and teamwork combining to provide a service:
after 95 days of downtime, blast furnace no 1 was given a new lease of life.

Building on this success, Endress+Hauser has partnered ArcelorMittal once again to renovate blast furnace no 2 at the Fos-sur-Mer site.

Endress+Hauser services

  • Endress+Hauser as Main Instrument Vendor (MIV)

  • Project management

  • Implementation of platform tests (field network design, PROFIBUS compliance reports)

  • Design and provision of measuring instruments (flow, pressure, temperature), namely 1800 instruments installed and commissioned and over 60 km of cables laid

  • Fieldbus integration

  • Field network verification

  • Commissioning

  • Training

  • Consignment stock