Turkish plant operator Kardemir has partnered up with SMS group to digitalise blast furnace 5 in its Karabük plant. This is an important step in the partnership between SMS group and Kardemir, Türkiye’s oldest blast furnace operator.

The Paul Wurth BFXpert system is a comprehensive package of systems for the chemical and thermal control of blast furnaces. It is an integrated level-2 process control and operator guidance system for superior blast furnace operation, utilising the benefits of artificial intelligence to take process optimisation to the next level and towards a fully autonomous blast furnace. The system combines process know-how with vast expertise in blast furnace design and ironmaking equipment on one common platform. This means that BFXpert takes into account the huge complexity of blast furnace operations and provides a multifaceted, integrated approach to ensuring safe, ecological and economical operation of the metallurgical process. The installation of BFXpert on BF5 at Kardemir also demonstrates the ability of Xpert systems to be integrated seamlessly into both proprietary and non-proprietary Paul Wurth blast furnaces.

SMS group and Kardemir have agreed to strengthen the partnership by continuing to improve the technology. The final acceptance certificate was issued in May 2023.

“This achievement is testament to our commitment to delivering innovative solutions to our valued customers, and we feel honored to be able to collaborate with Kardemir, an important player with an impressive history,” said Nicolas Schlesser, Head of Process Automation Metallurgy at SMS group. “We are proud to support and collaborate with Kardemir in their journey towards a more efficient, sustainable, and profitable future and hope there is much more to come.”

“We are happy to successfully commission the BFXpert system. We believe that this is an important step in Kardemir's digital roadmap. We aim to use the BFXpert system with its strong and secure infrastructure on an ongoing basis. We will continue to enhance our production technologies with further capabilities such as expert systems, the Industrial Internet of Things, and AI,” adds Sefa Çetinkaya, project manager at Kardemir.