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Quenching wagons in ArcelorMittal Ostrava coke plant newly without human operators

Ostrava, 3 January 2017 - ArcelorMittal Ostrava steelmaker has achieved another success in the field of automation. The Ostrava automation plant has completed its project of unmanned operation of quenching wagons at coke batteries 1 and 2, which was launched at the beginning of last year. During the year, all necessary adjustments were made and testing was under way at the end of the year when unmanned operation was taking place in the presence of machinists for some time. Now the operation of quenching wagons is completely automatic.

"Operators who used to be in charge of the quenching wagons, can now, thanks to their automation, be employed as engine drivers, which is a highly demanded profession in the steel mill nowadays," says Miroslav Hýbl, head of the automation plant.

What does a routine ride of an unmanned quenching wagon look like today? As per plan, the wagon itself calls at a particular chamber at the coke plant where coke is released into the wagon which then continues its ride under a quenching tower where the burning coke is quenched. Then the wagon moves to a ramp where the quenched coke is discharged. The entire process is constantly repeated. Annually, the Ostrava steel mill produces approximately 1.2 million tons of coke, which is used as a batch for the production of hot metal in blast furnaces.

Unmanned operation of quenching wagons is not an only success in the process of automating the coke plant. Others include automation of the benzole store equipment, automation of the biological sewage treatment plant and development of the coke plant’s information system. "Computer systems in the coke plant were handled by an external contractor in the past. The whole plant now runs under a system which we develop ourselves," adds Hýbl.

ArcelorMittal Ostrava a.s. is part of the world’s largest steel and mining group ArcelorMittal. Annually it produces more than 2 million tonnes of steel, which is mainly used in construction and machinery. It is the biggest manufacturer of road safety barriers and the only producer of grain-oriented steel sheets in the Czech Republic. Besides the Czech market the company delivers its products to more than 40 countries around the world. ArcelorMittal Ostrava and its subsidiaries employ 7 250 people. In 2015 average income was CZK 34 615. As a result of the completion of a range of greening technologies the company produces iron and steel with the minimum possible impact on the environment. The sole shareholder is ArcelorMittal S.A.

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News release Barbora Černá Dvořáková - PR manager & Spokesperson >