Part of the Corus Strip Products business unit is the Hoogovens
work unit where Dick Veel has been Project Leader of the
‘Reparatie Hoogoven 07’ (Repairs to Hoogoven 07) project. Hoogoven 07 is one of the two furnaces
of Corus Strip Products IJmuiden for the production of pig
iron. This production process produces two by-products,
namely gas and slag sand. The gas is supplied as a raw material
to the Nuon electricity power station for producing electricity
and the slag sand goes to the ENCI plant for manufacturing
cement. Annually, Hoogoven 07 alone supplies Nuon with
about 8 million tonnes of gas for a pig iron production of 4
‘The average campaign time for both furnaces
at Corus Strip Products varies from 13 to 15 years. After that
large-scale maintenance has to be carried out on the furnace.
In the period from July 2002 to December 2007, it was the
turn of Hoogoven 07. For the last three months of this period,
the furnace was entirely idle in order to carry out the final
work,’ says Veel.
During the revision period for Hoogoven 07, PDM was also busy with the three-year project ‘Rechte
Gietvorm’ (Straight Mould) at Oxygen Steel Plant 2. This
slab caster had a problem that regularly caused gas blisters in
the half-product. To overcome this, we modified the design
of the caster and made it straight. With this ‘straight mould’, the liquid steel runs in at one end and two slabs, cut to size,
emerge at the other. The slabs are then milled in a hot strip
mill into steel rolls with a minimum thickness of 2.5 mm
before proceeding to a cold rolling mill. In this plant, the rolls
are milled again – this time to a few tenths of a millimetre
thick. After that, the steel is ready to be coated with a layer of zinc, paint or tin. Once all of this processing is complete,
the steel is ready to be transported to sectors such as the
automotive or building industries for further processing.
When both projects had been completed, Corus asked PDM
to analyse the approach to the revisions. The aim of this was
to implement possible improvements in the systems and
processes used so that future projects could be carried out even
more effectively and efficiently. PDM began by interviewing
the various employees that were involved in preparation and
We then structured all the information that we gathered with
the aid of our Readiness Review/Analysis tool. After that, we
compared all the information we had obtained with our ‘best
practices’ for turnarounds and then fed back points that
differed too much to the people we had interviewed. Based
on the 9 management aspects developed by PDM, we also made
an improvement proposal with concrete actions for dealing
with these points.
This exercise was very worthwhile.
Learning points emerge every time. For instance, this time it
appeared that we had not paid sufficient attention to assessing
the condition of the plant to be rebuilt. And we had also
overestimated the ability of the contractor that we had hired
for the project, as appeared when the project had started.
Because this contractor worked with a lot of seconded
manpower, the possibilities for upscaling were limited, which
made it difficult to keep to schedule.
Veel also says that they
re-modified particular parts on the basis of PDM’s analysis.
‘Only by looking critically at your work in this way is it
possible to carry out improvements. So it’s important that we,
as the people involved, are always open to this, and that can
only benefit our project,’ says Veel.