International technology group ANDRITZ received an order from voestalpine Austria Draht, a leading wire manufacturer, for the supply and installation of a new walking-beam furnace for the continuous casting of billets at its Donawitz plant. Start-up is scheduled for the beginning of 2016. The plant will have an annual capacity of 550,000 tons. ANDRITZ Maerz will supply this turnkey plant, which includes steel structure, refractory lining, transport system, combustion system, instrumentation and control equipment, and the mathematical furnace model (level 2) for optimizing the various thermal furnace processes.

The furnace is preceded by two buffer beds with separating systems and a feed conveyor with automatic billet identification and removal of faulty billets. Billets of different dimensions and qualities are heated in the walking-beam furnace and then rolled into wire of different gauges in a new rolling line to be installed at the same time. The heating technology was designed such that scaling and surface decarburization are as low as possible, heat consumption is kept to a minimum in spite of high-temperature uniformity, and the NOx and CO emissions are reduced to the maximum possible extent.