The Board of Directors of HarbisonWalker International (HWI) signed an agreement to be acquired by Platinum Equity, a global investment firm operating companies in a broad range of business markets. The acquisition plan ensures HWI’s continued growth in the supply of refractory products and services. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2023. Platinum Equity announced plans in July to acquire Imerys SA’s High Temperature Solutions business (HTS), a provider of refractory solutions serving more than 6,000 customers primarily in Europe and Asia, in a transaction that is expected to close by the end of the year. Once both acquisitions have been completed, HWI and HTS will combine into a global business with increased reach and scale.
RHI Magnesita, a global supplier of refractory products based in Austria, acquired the Indian refractory business of Dalmia Bharat Refractories Ltd. (DBRL). The acquisition will significantly increase RHI Magnesita’s presence in the Indian refractory market, with forecast steel production growth in India of 12% in 2022 and a 7-8% compound annual growth rate until 2030. Through the consolidation of DBRL’s production into RHI Magnesita’s existing operations, significant network optimization synergies will be captured. The company employs approximately 1,200 people in India and produces more than 300,000 tons of refractory annually from five refractory plants and raw-material sites. The acquisition will add production capacities in important industrial regions in the south and west of India where RHI Magnesita currently has no assets.
Refractory maintenance, though vital, can often be a logistical and financial burden. This is especially true for large facilities that rely on kilns, coolers, preheater towers and risers for day-to-day operation. These facilities stand to lose upward of $50,000 a day in production if their refractory can’t stand up to the heat.
Registration is open for IHEA’s Fundamentals of Industrial Process Heating online learning course, which begins October 24 and runs for six weeks. Throughout the online course, students learn safe, efficient operation of industrial heating equipment, how to reduce energy consumption and ways to improve the bottom line. The curriculum includes the basics of heat transfer, fuels and combustion, energy use, furnace design, refractories, automatic control, and atmospheres as applied to industrial process heating.
PRCO America Inc. began production at its refractories manufacturing plant in Mayfield, Ky., in August 2022. At full production, the plant – the company’s first in the United States – will produce 50,000-60,000 tons of resin-bonded refractory products for the steelmaking industry annually and employ approximately 50 people. The facility will produce resin-bonded magnesia carbon, resin-bonded magnesia-alumina-carbon and resin-bonded alumina refractory ceramic shapes used to line steel-processing furnaces.
Challenges facing annealing operations include rising energy and raw material costs, operations crew turnover and supply-chain constraints. How can the virtual world of the IIoT help operators cope with these real-world challenges? This webinar, hosted by Industrial Heating September 15 at 2:00 p.m. (EDT), will discuss how a cloud-based data management and advisory system conserves resources by moving away from a set-it-and-forget-it mode. See how real-time correction of abnormal furnace conditions with algorithms processing furnace data in the cloud optimizes furnace economics.
HarbisonWalker International (HWI) announced that its Alabama One (AL1) manufacturing facility for steel customers in the southern United States is on schedule to open before the end of 2022. HWI is investing approximately $25 million to convert its closed property in Fairfield, Ala., into AL1, a manufacturing, service and distribution hub. Production will initially add approximately 15,000 metric tons annually and ultimately up to 30,000 metric tons as additional equipment is added by 2023. The 200,000-square-foot facility will produce refractories expressly designed for use in low-emission electric-arc furnaces (EAFs). It will produce magnesia-carbon brick for servicing steel ladles, using core raw materials that can be sized accordingly for a full range of steelmaking refractory needs.