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Driving the future of the automotive industry

Vardhman Special Steels, one of India’s leading manufacturers of special and alloy steels, entrusted Fives to design and supply a new reheating furnace for its Ludhiana plant, in the state of Punjab. The new technology will enable the reheating of special steel billets that are rolled into bars for the automotive market.

Reheating technology for new markets

Vardhman Special Steels was experiencing issues with poor billet heating, scale loss, and high emissions from its existing reheating furnace. At the same time, they needed a solution to deliver high-quality products to meet the increasingly demanding requirements of automobile manufacturers.

“Our goal was to supply special steel bars, which are currently being imported, to Indian carmakers to manufacture crankshafts and camshafts locally. We wanted an advanced technology as special steel grade heating requires specific expertise,” says Sachit Jain, Vice Chairman & Managing Director at Vardhman Special Steels.

Fives will provide Vardhman Special Steels with a new walking beam furnace – Stein Digit@l Furnace® – that will reheat billets with a production capacity of 45 tonnes per hour. The new furnace will increase the productivity of the plant to 300,000 tonnes per year and enable the localization of production and expansion of the business portfolio in Asia and Europe. Production of the first billet is scheduled for April 2025.

New generation burners for greater flexibility

The reheating furnace will be equipped with the latest generation AdvanTek® burners, which operate at full power and only for the time necessary to cover the heat demand. This advanced combustion system will provide high environmental performance, ultra-low NOx emissions, uniform heat distribution, and operational flexibility.

“We are proud to support Vardhman Special Steels in this strategic development. Recent advancements in our technology allow us to meet the current needs of steel manufacturers who target new markets, such as the automotive industry. We are committed to providing innovative solutions that contribute to the future of our industry,” said Arup Majumder, Assistant General Manager at Fives Stein India Projects, a subsidiary of Fives Group in India.