Energy Efficiency drives Compressed Air Automation

One of the country’s leading steel suppliers needed to upgrade a continuous caster. This upgrade created a requirement for a larger air mist cooling system and a corresponding increase in the plant’s overall compressed air capacity.

Superior Engineering (S/E) was commissioned to complete an air study to determine the size of the air mist compressor.  S/E provided all electrical and mechanical engineering, construction and demo drawings, utility and process lines and instrumentation, including tie-in and crossover valving. Electrical work also included load studies, relay coordination settings and motor starter recommendations. In addition, S/E supplied the project management and construction management services for this work, including procurement assistance for the major equipment. 

The project was centered on using the clients most productive assets available, along with state-of-the-art control technology. Safety, operating flexibility and maintaining a short two-week outage for the changeover installation where key drivers for the installation portion of this project.

This project was to support the increased compressed air requirements created by an air mist system for the new caster. The focus was to operate the equipment at its most efficient service point based on the actual air demand for the overall operating units. The project team took an all-inclusive approach, utilizing existing air drivers along with the need for new compressors. This integrated system approach led to a combination of equipment, creating peak efficiency curves for each component. Three new compressors each rated at 1250 HP provided the required capacity and backup need to support this process. A state-of-the-art control system was implemented to combine the individual equipment PLC’s with the overall master PLC. This new control system has the ability to evaluate and execute load sharing, including a determination if multiple compressors are needed. The control system will also auto start and stop each of the 5 compressors to continuously maintain system pressures at the set point for the air mist sections.

The project is currently installed and operating as planned.

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Services Provided
  • Structural
  • Civil
  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Instrumentation
  • Process
  • Procurement
  • Construction Support
  • Project Management