BERNARD CONTROLS on Arcelor Mittal Steel Plant

Middle of 2015, Bernard Controls, world leader in electric actuation technology, intervened for the retrofitting of electric actuators mounted on dampers of the ventilation system of the plant of Arcelor Mittal Steel Dunkerque (North of France). This site, one of the most efficient in France1, was already equipped with some Bernard Controls actuators.In such application, electric actuators are at the core of industrial safety. Indeed, we can find these directly in the process of ironworks, on ventilation dampers, but also in other parts of the site activities such as industrial waste water treatement and thermal power station.

Customer’s Needs

On this installation and for this job, Arcelor Mittal’s main requirements encompassed:

  • Phase n°1: Four days for the configuration and commissioning of six actuators located on the ground floor of the four tapholes.
  • Phase n°2: Four days for the intervention on the high floor of the blast furnace to operate actuators on valves aiming at ventilating the tank body.

In total, the operation consisted in:

  • The replacement of eight electric actuators on two tapholes (TC41, TC43) in HF4 (blast furnace n°4) -four per taphole,
  • Process of wiring and take off of some existing targeted installation points,
  • Setting and equipment testing, both for local and remote command & control (Profibus protocol).

Bernard Controls’ expertise, commitment to quality and innovative solutions were key elements for success in this operation. Indeed, main customer requirement was the retrofitting of installed explosion proof actuators operating in severe environmental conditions, mainly on dampers of the HVAC. Furthermore, the intervention demanded a highly qualified team, able to process on valves while being surrounded by a hazardous environment. Two other tapholes within the HF4 remained in activity during the intervention therefore creating harsh heat conditions and causing sulphur-containing gas into the working space. 
Therefore, the replacement, commissioning and setting of new actuators were challenging for the team. And a long-distance control was essential to command actuators positioned in hardly accessible places. Only specialized and trained teams with full knowledge of the procedure can work in an explosive and hot area such as blast furnaces.


Reliable Products

In order to satisfy Arcelor Mittal’s requirements, Bernard Controls supplied STX models of explosion proof multi-turn electric actuators with INTELLI+® integrated intelligent controls. The STX range figures the BC Premium Label, which is a guarantee of quality and security for installations in case 
of demanding environmental and operational constraints. There, heat constraints coupled with explosive atmosphere clearly represented harsh conditions.
On the other hand, as there is no access to the crucible, the possibility to install the INTELLI+® in a separated control box was clearly essential to get a long-distance control (20m) over the actuators. These turn-key actuator control solution, adapted to all actuators duties, enables to control & command actuators while avoiding being too close to the crucible. As many functions are already built-in, Bernard Controls offers simplified motorized valve control circuit which makes control easier.
In addition to electric actuators, BC also supplied and set up a Master Station Fieldbus Solution. Fieldbus is used to communicate information and commands with multiple actuators and contactors connected in series on a single pair of wires. For all types of purpose, this system enables to multiply the number of information received from each actuator while reducing the overall cost of wiring on site.

On-Site Support

On this intervention, Bernard Controls team undertook training sessions before being fully able to start the operation & take off of the old materials.
As a first step, BC technicians performed the replacement, configuration and commissioning of six actuators located on the ground floor of the four tapholes (+22m). Through this action, Bernard Controls team brought adequate solutions to modulate and ventilate the HF4 so that the blast fumace could be fully productive again. 
The second step occurred on the high floors (+45m) and (+70m) of the HF4 to operate actuators bound to superheated air nozzles on valves aimed at ventilating the tank body. From a common agreement between Bernard Controls and Arcelor Mittal, it was decided that the second operation would be rescheduled later in the year.

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Explosionproof INTELLI+® Actuators SQX & STX

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