Showing posts with label Refractory Industry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Refractory Industry. Show all posts

August 10, 2014

Refractory Industry: Magnezit expanding its production facilities at Liaoning Dalmond Refractories, China

Magnezit Group Liaoning Dalmond Refractories

Magnezit Group has reported the commissioning of its second line for the production of unshaped refractories at Liaoning Dalmond Refractories, its Chinese production facility. 
With the new line, Liaoning Dalmond Refractories will become the biggest of Magnezit Group’s production sites in the country capable of manufacturing the whole range of unshaped refractories as well as oxide-carbon refractory bricks required in Steel and other Non-Ferrous metallurgical plants. 
The new production line occupies an area of more than 10 000 m2 and is intended for production of unshaped refractories for thermal vessels, including refractory masses and concrete products. The production capacity of the line amounts to 1500 MT of concrete products, 10 000 MT of refractory masses, 5000 pcs. of refractory bricks for purging units. The technical plan for the line was created by the Chinese Metallurgical Research Institute, Wuhan. The total investment into the project amounted to 16 million Yuan. 
Magnezit Group owns two production facilities in the People’s Republic of China – Wuxi Nanfang Dalmond Refractories and Liaoning Dalmond Refractories. In 2010 Magnezit Group brought production capacities of Liaoning Dalmond Refractories to the planned level of 100000 MTPA.

(Source: World Cement)

Refractory Industry News: CUMI to acquire Cellaris Refractories India 100 per cent

Murugappa Group firm Carborundum Universal Limited (CUMI) has said that the company is planning to acquire the rest of the 49% stake in its joint venture Cellaris Refractories India Ltd (CRIL), in which CUMI is currently holding 51% and Israel-based Cellaris is holding 49%. According to insider, CUMI has executed a letter of intent with Cellaris, for the purchase of 6,725,250 equity shares representing the remaining 49% of the equity capital held by Cellaris in CRIL subject to necessary approvals. The JV was set up for the production of light weight Alumina Cell for refractory / insulation application.

"Cellaris Refractories India Ltd (CRIL), currently a subsidiary will become a wholly owned subsidiary of CUMI. The change in ownership is expected to speed up scaling up at Cellaris Refractories India Ltd (CRIL) and will ensure continuity of operations and product development," said CUMI announcement to Bombay Stock exchange in the last week. Carborundum Universal Limited (CUMI) is a part of the US $3.03 billion conglomerate Murugappa Group. The group is one of India's largest family promoted, professionally managed ceramic and refractory company with 34,000 employees.

The Company pioneered the manufacture of Coated Abrasives, Bonded Abrasives and super Abrasives in India in addition to the manufacture of Super Refractories, Electro Minerals, Industrial Ceramics and Ceramic Fibers. With strategic global alliances and state- of-the-art manufacturing facilities spanning the Southern Asian region, China, Russia and Africa, CUMI has achieved a reputation for quality and innovation.

June 1, 2014

Refractory Industry News: Orient Refractories reported increase in NP and Sales for the quarter ended March 2014

Orient Refractories Ltd.

Orient Refractories has reported increase in net profit by 16.52 pc to ₹ 13.19 crore for the quarter ended March 2014 as against ₹ 11.32 crore during the previous quarter ended March 2013. While sales rose 17.14% to ₹ 105.03 crore for the quarter ended March 2014 as against ₹ 89.66 crore during the previous quarter ended March 2013.
For the full year ended March 2014, net profit of Orient Refractories rose by 27.69 pc to ₹ 52.85 crore as against ₹ 41.39 crore during the previous year ended March 2013. Sales rose by 12.00 pc to ₹ 403.04 crore in the year ended March 2014 as against ₹ 359.85 crore for the corresponding period last year.
Orient Refractories Ltd (ORL) headquartered in New Delhi, India, is engaged in manufacturing and catering a wide range of Refractory and Monolithic products for the iron and steel industry and enjoy large domestic and international clientele. An in-house R&D facility supports ORL’s product development initiatives.  
Orient Refractories Ltd (ORL) customers include large domestic integrated steel producers and mini steel plants that include Steel Authority of India (SAIL), Mukund Steel, Tata Steel, RINL – Vizag, Sunflag Iron, Lloyd Steel, Usha Martin and the Jindal Group. ORL has significant presence in the global market place with exports to over 35 countries across the globe including Germany, France, Spain, Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, UAE and Greece.
(Source: Capital Market)

June 22, 2012

Refractory Industry News: RHI Refractories to close its Plant in Bonnybridge

RHI Refractories Uk Ltd

RHI Refractories Uk Ltd has announced that it is closing the main production line at its factory in Bonnybridge, Scotland.
In a statement, RHI said: “Confronted with an unfavourable market environment in Europe: uncertain macroeconomic conditions, low economic growth rates as well as overcapacities and reduced demand in its main customer markets, especially the steel industry, create a severe competitive situation within the refractory industry. As a result, the Scottish plant in Bonnybridge, focused on technical refractory products for the steel industry, is running with very low demand therefore, RHI has taken the decision to close a specialized production line at Bonnybridge plant.” 

The Bonnybridge plant of RHI which manufactures parts for the steel industry currently employs 120 staff, out of which around 90 working at the production line to be shut down. The company said that it hopes to transfer and offer job opportunities to some employees to its facility at the nearby RHI Clydebank plant. However, still around 40 people may lose their jobs because of this decision.

It may be recalled that this plant in Bonnybridge, Scotland was acquired by RHI AG, a major player in the market for non-substitutable refractories, from the British Cookson Group plc in 2008. This plant was then manufacturing Carbon Bonded Ceramics (CBC) and was operated by Foseco plc.

January 4, 2009

Indian Refractory Manufacturers: Are They Delivering Customer Delight?

Liberalisation of Indian economy in the nineties decade has many firsts to its credit. Opening up of more than the 125 year old Indian Refractory Industry is one of them. Greater productivity, energy conservation, pollution control and environment friendly refractories suddenly became buzzwords of refractory industry too which, till the previous day was stagnating without proper investment and worn-out technologies.

Since, the number of member countries joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) has also enlarged, the global scenario has changed from protective and monopolistic industrial output to comparative and quality oriented products. Under such circumstances, the trading community and consumers have the opportunity to dictate their terms to the domestic manufacturers in terms of price and quality of the products. Under the new circumstances the refractory manufacturing units also need to improve the quality and produce at globally competitive price as also to understand ISO: 9000 Quality Assurance System. This does not mean to a mere ‘certification’ of ISO system, rather its implementation in real sense is what is required, if a company thinks of creating a niche in the industry.

Like other industries, for refractory industry also the post-liberalisation era brought along with it one more important aspect, which is the need to realize the concept of Customer Delight and, of course, how to deliver the same. First let us understand what the concept of ‘Customer Delight’ is. In today’s highly competitive marketplace, mere satisfaction does not ensure loyalty. To take potential defectors by surprise, you have to move beyond customer expectations - by anticipating her needs and then surpassing them with constantly superior products or service. That is delighting the customer. In a highly-competitive market, where switching costs are low, it makes sense to target the loyalist - the delighted customer - who will keep coming.

How does customer delight transcend customer satisfaction? The product is essentially created by a bundle of benefits that comprises the core - the key elements in a product or service; the ring of expectation - what customer expect; and the ring of enhancement - what companies add to a product or service to surpass customer expectations. As both the core and support elements, the sources of customer satisfaction, become indistinguishable with the diffusion of technology and the replication of efficient systems across organizations, the differentiation moves to the third zone. That’s what creates the zone of difference for companies competing for customer’s mind space and the wallet.

In a nut shell ‘Customer Delight’ means -
  • the fulfillment of latent needs that the customer is yet not aware of
  • a quality of service that she considers is not possible from marketers
  • complete personalization of standardized product or service
  • solutions to problems offered by a company’s personnel at personal initiative

There are many more things like - creating customer delight, measuring delight then preparing to deliver delight. Such an approach to amaze both the customer and the competitors sows the seeds of innovation and corporate imagination. Here innovation in the field of refractories could stem from new Refractory Lining Technology or a new Refractory Product or a similar Service. Or it could be the emergence of a new technology through the convergence of technologies, as is happening in the InfoTech industry, or the miniaturization of technology. Now it is apparent that innovation can not happen without giving thrust to Research and Development activities. Since Refractory industry is no exception so, R & D is a core area where refractory entrepreneurs need to pay a lot of genuine attention. The R & D activities must be targeted not only on improving the quality of materials but also on production of cost effective materials for various applications. The main focus should be on:
  • optimum utilization of indigenous raw materials
  • up-gradation of refractory technologies
  • development of equipment for better refractory application, repairing and lining of furnaces
  • quality control and energy conservation measures
  • development of new refractory products
  • automation and computerization

DELIGHT today is EXPECTATION tomorrow. And EXPECTATION today is basic need tomorrow. To squeeze delight out of this relentless downward spiral, only a high-quality mechanism for listening to the customer and responding instantaneously with genuine attitude will suffice. But many entrepreneurs (I mean those Indian refractory entrepreneurs, who have at least realized the value of Customer Delight) still forget that customer delight does not end at the front office of a company; it begins here. And last but not the least, most companies talk about customer satisfaction, not about employee satisfaction. They must remember that - only happy employees make happy customers. 

October 5, 2008

Refractory Material & Milestones of its Development in India

What are Refractories ?

Refractory items according to any standard dictionary are those materials which are hard to melt, fuse or work even under high pressure. Technically speaking Refractories are a large family of industrial lining and construction materials having melting point around 1200OC (+) and capable to withstand chemical & mechanical erosion, corrosion even under high temperature & pressure. For all high temperature operations, whether metallurgical viz. Steel, Aluminium, Copper, Zinc etc. or non-metallurgical viz. Glass, Fertilizer, Hydrocarbon, Chemicals, Paper, Cement etc. a refractory lining is necessarily required for their continuation with retention of heat in the furnace. For the above reasons refractories find their applications in lining construction of wall of all types of high temperature furnaces, kilns, reactors and other vessels wherever such operations are carried out. So directly or indirectly, virtually each of us is being constantly benefitted from refractories in our daily life.

Refractories used are of both types-

1. Those found as naturally occurring e.g. Basalt, Sillimanite, Carbon etc. and

2. Synthetic i.e. processed with natural or synthetic raw materials.

1. Alumino Silicates
  • High Alumina
  • Low Alumina
2. Silica
3. Basic
  • Magnesite
  • Mag-Chrome
  • Mag-Carbon
  • Forsterite
  • Dolomite
4. Carbon
5. Zirconia
  • Zircon (Acidic)
  • Zirconia (Neutral)
6. Carbides/Nitrides
  • Silicon Carbide
  • Silicon Nitride
  • Boron Carbide
  • Boron Nitride
7. Pure Oxides
  • Ferrites
  • Hofnium Oxides

1. Mortars
2. Castables
  • LCC
  • ULCC
  • NCC
  • SFC
3. Gunning Mass
4. Ramming Mass
5. Filling Mass
6. Fetling Mass
7. Spraying Compound
8. Patching/Coating Mass

Types of Refractories

Refractories are classified into various categories (ref to the above Table). Refer to another article for details on Classification of Refractories.
Milestones in the Development of Refractories in India:
India has an ancient history of ‘Potter’s Wheel’ which has, although remote, a definite link with the usage of refractory. Today India is producing and supplying almost all type of refractories (Shaped & Unshaped) equivalent to the International standard and quality. It took more than a century for India to attain this level by achieving milestones one after another. One such list of major developments (Milestones) which have taken place in the field of refractories in India is represented chronologically hereunder(ref to the Table below)

Milestones Achieved
  • Fireclay Bricks
  • Magnesite Bricks
  • Silica Bricks for Coke Oven
  • Bauxite based High Alumina Bricks for Steel & Cement Industries
  • Mullite Bricks for Glass Industries
  • High Grog Fireclay Bricks for Steel Ladles
  • AZS Electrocast Blocks
  • Magnesia-Carbon Bricks
  • Magnesia based Slide Gate Plates
  • High Alumina Slide Gate Plates
  • Low Cement Castables (LCC) / Monolithics
  • Ceramic Fibres
  • High alumina Bauxite based Ladle Refractories
  • BRN 62 / Similar Blast Furnace Hearth Bricks
  • Bubble Alumina based Insulating Refractory Bricks
  • Dense Silica shapes for Tall Coke Ovens
  • Direct Bonded Mag-Chrome Bricks (DBMC)
  • Unidirectional Gas Purging elements
  • Alumina-Carbon Slide Gate Refractories
  • Alumina-Carbon Torpedo Ladle Refractories
  • Dense Silica shapes for Blast Furnace stoves
  • Mullite Bricks for Blast Furnace stoves
  • Alumina-Carbon continuous casting refractories
  • Dry Basic Ramming Mass
  • Gunning materials for Converters
  • Tundish Spraying Mass
  • Ultra Low Cement Castables (ULCC) / Monolithics
  • Pitch-Bonded tempered Dolomite Bricks
  • Multidirectional (Indicative) Gas Purging Plug
  • Cordierite & Silicon Carbide based Kiln Furniture
  • Spinel based Monolithics for Ladle Lining
  • Alumina-Silicon Carbide-Carbon (ASC) Trough Mass for Blast Furnace
  • Magnesia-Alumina-Zircon Bricks for Cement Rotary Kiln
  • Pumpable Refractories for Petrochemical Industries
  • Alumina-Zirconia / Zircon-Mullite Slide Gate & Continuous Casting Refractories

Glimpses of the Growth of Refractory Industry in India

The Indian Refractory Industry is more than a century old. With the passage of time it has made considerable improvements both in terms of volume of production & quality of products. The strengths of the Indian Refractory Industry are its assets like -
  • Availability of many raw materials in the country itself.
  • Availability of skilled & qualified manpower at a cheap rate.
  • Presence of a continuously increasing, big market within the country itself.
These resources have been fully exploited by the refractory manufacturers to derive maximum benefits from them. According to a recent data at present, the Refractory Industry in India has an installed capacity of 1.7 million metric tons per annum from about 90 refractory units out of which 30 large and medium and 60 small scale units with a capital investment of about Rs.800 crores & providing direct employment to more than 30000 people engaged in manufacturing various grades of refractories as per international standards and qualities. The annual production from these units has been in the range of 0.70 million tons, which implies capacity utilization of less than 50% of the installed capacity. This figure reflects that the trend of refractory production in India is almost comparable with the world trend where total installed capacity of about 2000 companies is roughly 40 million tons and the production is about 20 million tons which is almost 50% of capacity utilization.

Sector wise consumption of Refractories

Refractory Consumption (%)
Although non-ferrous consuming industries of refractories are there in a significant number but the steel industry being the major consumer of the refractory products (ref the ‘Sector wise Refractory Consumption’ Table), the demand - supply pattern of refractories have invariably been influenced by the technological & production changes in the Steel Industry. In India the first Refractory manufacturing unit was set up at Raniganj in 1874 by Burn & Company (now Burn Standard Co. Ltd) to cater to the needs of Ordinance Factory, Railway workshops, Calcutta mint, Foundries etc. With the setting up of Tata Steel and Indian Iron & Steel Company in the beginning of the century the demand of refractories increased. As a result several refractory manufacturing units were set up like - Kumardhubi Fireclay & Silica Works (KFS), Bihar Firebricks, Reliance Firebricks etc. After independence of India a number of integrated steel plants were set up by Hindustan Steel (now SAIL) at Durgapur, Bhilai, Rourkela and Tata Steel also doubled its capacity with technology up-gradation. To meet their requirements Burn & Co. Ltd expanded their manufacturing capacity and set up more units in West Bengal, Bihar, MP and Tamil Nadu. A number of small - medium refractory units came in and around Asansol - Durgapur - Chirkunda - Dhanbad belt viz. Bihar Pottery at Rupnarainpur, National Refractory at Salanpur, Hindustan Refractory at Durgapur, India Refractories (later on Kesoram Refractories & now ORIND Bengal) at Kulti, Harry Refractories at Kalubathan, Maithan Ceramics & Valley Refractories at Chirkunda etc just to name a few. Several large scale refractory plants were set up during this period with latest know-how like - Belpahar Refractories (now Tata Refractories Limited), Orissa Cement (now OCL India Ltd), Orissa Industries (ORIND), ACC Refractories (Ace Refractories Ltd), India Firebricks & Insulation etc. During 70’s with the setting up of Bokaro Steel Plant and modernization / expansion of major steel plants the demand of refractories went up. Few more units came up in private & public sectors like - Ipitata Refractories (now Nilachal Refractories), Raasi Refractories Ltd, Indo Flogate (IFGL), Bharat Refractories etc. Unfortunately with the change in steel technology and demand of better type of refractories by other industries, requirement of conventional refractories reduced considerably resulting in a closure of some of these old Refractory units. The introduction of L.D. converters, continuous casting and secondary steel making processes in India demanded refractory products of a highly sophisticated and resilient kind. From 80’s onwards the demand for sophisticated refractories started to increase as in order to increase their campaign life & reduce cost of production. Besides Steel, other industries like - Cement, Hydrocarbon, Sponge iron, Glass, Aluminium etc also started to opt for such new generation refractories in place of the conventional types. Again, in the new millennium since India has been witnessing a spurt in the growth of steel production by capacity enhancement of most of the Integrated Steel Plants as well as due to the upcoming of quite a few big Integrated Steel Plants in the private sector. Because of this growing demand of Refractories within the country and as a result of post liberalization era (open door business policy taken by the Indian Govt) not only some of the existing large scale Refractory Plants have either made tie-ups with some other international giant or even opted for new acquisitions in another country but also, the Indian Refractory Industry as whole needed to invest further in their R&D activities, improve manufacturing technology both in terms of quality & quantity in tandem with the changes of the consuming industries. Also refer to the artcle Milestones in the Development of Refractories in India.

The Table below presents an account of some of the important events in the growth of the Indian Refractory Industry.

YearImportant Events in the Refractory Industry
1874First Refractory unit by Burn & Company at Raniganj
1905Kumardhubi Fireclay & Silica Works (KFS) at Chirkunda started production.
1934Parashuram Pottery Works at Morvi.
1940Basic Brick production started at Tata Steel.
1949Harry Refractories at Kalubathan near Dhanbad.
1957OCL established with Dr. C. Otto & Co. (WG).
1958Belpahar Refractories in collaboration with Didier Werke (WG).
1962India Refractories established in collaboration with Pragnovist, Czeckoslovakia
1963ORIND with the help of Harbison Waker (USA).
1966Carborundum Unioversal with Carborundum Co (USA)
1973Rajhans Refractories Pvt. Ltd, Katrasgargh.
1974Bharat Refractories (BRL)
1970'sMaithan Ceramics, Valley Refractories, Perfect Refractories, etc.
1980'sIndo Flogates, SNCCIL, IPITATA Refractories, Orient Abrasive, Orient Cerawool, Raasi Refractory, VRW Refract, Castwell, Refractory Specialities, Mahakoshal Ceramics, etc
1990'sVesuvius India Ltd, Katni Tile Works, SKG Refract, Pacific Refract, Sarvesh Refract etc

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