Fives have launched the Virtuo™-R is an innovative decarb solution, developed for reheating furnaces. It offers fully automatic control to ensure accurate operations at optimal pace and heating points. Automation is appealing to customers because it reduces energy consumption, lessens emissions, decreases scale loss, and maximizes productivity.


North American Stainless (NAS) needed to update reheating furnace to Level 2 due to the amount of manual intervention required for thermal process control. Fives supplied the original reheating furnace in 1997 which produced 200 tons of slabs per hour.

The project targets were to:

  • increase heat efficiency
  • improve energy consumption
  • make the interface more user-friendly

A Virtuo™-R system was installed in 2019 and upgraded remotely during COVID in 2022 to incorporate new features. The upgrade demonstrates a commitment to customized servicing for customer needs.

“This solution has proven to be beneficial for our hot rolling mill at NAS. Virtuo™-R provides better consistency of discharge temperature, gas savings of up to 4%, and faster transitions between different steel grades. We wanted to achieve a stable process and we obtained a great result,” commented Andrea Kent, Process Engineer, HRM at NAS.

The system also enables flexible operation, pace optimization, and bottleneck and delay management.

“Thanks to Virtuo™-R, furnace operation is under fully automatic control,” said Bryan Bond, Operations Group Leader, HRM at NAS. “It is favorable for operators because it frees up their time for other processes. It also provides us the freedom to adjust settings points on our own. This allows for flexible, repetitive, and reliable operation.”