Russian steelmaker NLMK is the mood for breaking records. The company’s Kaluga long products division has just announced that its next-generation EAF mini-mill – that makes long products for the construction industry – has achieved a record heat series duration of 110 heats in one tundish. The company claims that this is one of the best figures in the world for minimills with comparable EAFs.

The record heat series was set between 18 and 21 May this year when 77 hours and six minutes of continuous casting led to the production of 13,000 billets at an average heat weight of 126.4 tonnes and hourly productivity of 180.6 tonnes.

During the record heat series, specific energy consumption at the EAF was 354.1kW/t of product, which is in line with the best global practices, claims NLMK.

According to NLMK, the heat series is a factor that impacts upon consumption of charge and refractory material as well as overall process stability. The company claims that NLMK Kaluga is working to extend the duration of the heat series through its operational efficiency programme and that the results are proving to be impressive.

Alexander Burayev, NLMK’s group director for long products and metalware, said that extending the duration of the heat series was an important part of NLMK’s operational efficiency programme. “This record reaffirms the professionalism of our workers at NLMK Kaluga; and their commitment to results,” he said, adding that one of the key initiatives was the optimisation of EAF operations at the company’s two sites. “The positive effect of this initiative at NLMK Kaluga over the first four months of 2015 was 27.5 million rubles (US$517,000).

Another key factor behind NLMK Kaluga’s record breaking achievement is the fact that the plant is equipped with processing technology supplied by leading global manufacturers and offering a high level of energy and resource efficiency, the requisite product quality and environmental safety.

NLMK Kaluga relies upon an eight-strand continuous casting machine that enables steel to be continuously cast without stopping for changeover, thus increasing yield to 99%. NLMK Kaluga was the first site in Russia to use this technology.