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London, January 31, 2024

Primetals Technologies’ Revamp of AOD Converter Shop Ensures Productivity Improvements

  • Upgrade of 40-ton AOD converter shop results in increased productivity, improved product quality, and increased lifetime
  • Startup scheduled for beginning of 2025

Italian special stainless steel producer ASONEXT has tasked Primetals Technologies with the revamp of its 40-ton argon-oxygen decarburization (AOD) converter shop at its facilities in Brescia, Italy. Primetals Technologies previously executed a comprehensive study for ASONEXT on the existing AOD process. The study provided the steel producer with certain pieces of advice that are already resulting in a significant improvement to the production process. As part of the study, Primetals Technologies proposed the revamp of ASONEXT’s AOD converter, which is now about to be realized.

Well-established AOD expertise

As the leading provider of AOD equipment, Primetals Technologies has supplied the majority of the world’s AOD plants. Tried-and-tested expertise related to the AOD process as well as the sound reference base were two reasons behind ASONEXT’s choice of supplier. The startup of the new converter is scheduled for the beginning of 2025. Primetals Technologies is responsible for the engineering, scope of supply of production equipment, and supervision of construction work and implementation.

New geometry results in productivity boost

ASONEXT is targeting small production lots of special stainless steel grades and alloys for high-tech applications. This niche poses a challenge to the production process, including the performance of the AOD converter. Primetals Technologies will design a new type of vessel geometry, resulting in a 30-percent increase of the inner vessel volume. This, in turn, ensures improved vessel lining performance and a 12-percent improvement of the reaction volume. Moreover, a new design of the detachable, reinforced top cone will result in a longer lifetime as well as smoother and more streamlined maintenance. A further benefit for ASONEXT is a productivity boost, which is a result of shorter treatment times. 

Established in 1971, ASONEXT has an annual production capacity of 150,000 tons. The Italian producer serves several markets including the aerospace, ship building, and petrochemical industries. 

The revamped AOD converter from Primetals Technologies ensures increased productivity.

Representatives from Primetals Technologies and ASONEXT at the occasion of the contract signing. From left to right: Johannes Spiess, Head of Sales Converter Plants, Claudio Trungadi, Sales Expert Converter Plants, both with Primetals Technologies, and from ASONEXT: Paola Artioli, President of ASONEXT SPA, Federico Curreli, COO, and Daniele Scalvini, Purchasing Manager.

Primetals Technologies, Limited, headquartered in London, United Kingdom, is a pioneer and world leader in the fields of engineering, plant building, and the provision of lifecycle services for the metals industry. The company offers a complete technology, product, and services portfolio that includes integrated electrics and automation, digitalization, and environmental solutions. This covers every step of the iron and steel production chain—from the raw materials to the finished product—and includes the latest rolling solutions for the nonferrous metals sector. Primetals Technologies is a Group Company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, with around 7,000 employees worldwide. To learn more about Primetals Technologies, visit the company website