Awaiting new furnaces. The new method will be introduced in Finspång after the replacement of two older furnaces with six new ones. With the colleagues. Anders Johansson, Jennie Bjerner, Niclas Gustafsson, Niklas Peterson and Björn Strand.
Jennie Bjerner works as process engineer at the Finspång facility and is one of the members of the cross functional team assigned to developing suggestions for how Gränges could achieve a more optimized airflow to the annealing furnaces.
The team started working on the task in 2014. Primarily, the goal was to investigate what needed to be done to achieve a more evenly distributed temperature in the coils, and to decrease the material temperature variations, in order to match tighter specification needs from customers.
In recent years, several customers have requested material qualities with coil temperature tolerances of just +/- 5 degrees Celsius. Additionally, the team investigated the furnaces’ capability of ensuring that Gränges fulfills CQI-9, the vehicle industry’s standard for heat treatment system assessment.
“Since 2015 we have together with research institute Sintef performed computer simulations on the annealing furnaces,” says Bjerner.
“In short, the tests have focused on how the coil temperature is affected by different airflow volumes and different air temperatures. We have also conducted additional experiments to validate the simulation model.”
Thanks to these experiments, the team managed to pinpoint the airflow needed to even out the temperature. The new method is already up and running in Shanghai, after the replacement of two older furnaces with new ones. In 2020, there is a plan to implement the method n Finspång, when the facility constructs a new rolling mill with six new annealing furnaces with four coils each. Bjerner says it has been highly stimulating to work across functions with colleagues from Research & Innovation, Process Development, Maintenance and Production Technique. On average, the team has met once a week to discuss improvements.
“Stimulating work”. Jennie Bjerner, a process engineer in Finspång appreciated to work in a cross-functional, cross-border team.