Being mid June, vacations and graduations left us in a position with many veteran maintenance and casting people out of the plant for the week. The Line 3 furnace condition told us we could not wait, so newer employees were trained on ladle operation and maintenance functions of a furnace stick. A great learning and growth opportunity for all.
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A look at the torches in both furnaces. These have been drying and heating the refractory for several days now.
At the same time the ladle pre-heater has been running to get the refractory good and hot in preparation for hot metal being poured into it.
As soon as the ladle is on the crane hook, the guys work to shut the torches off, un-clamp them from the hearth, and move them to the side so they are out of the way for the metal about to be poured into each furnace section's inductors.
Last look down the throat of the TE inductor. One can see the preheat has things pretty darned hot!
The ladle is positioned under the Line 3 spout and the furnace tilted. The Line 3 furnace is crippled due to the installation of the wrong gear ratio in the lift gear box, complicating the pour. Luckily the furnace tilted and pouring began.
Pouring of the first ladle full.
Mike Conley is pouring the first ladle into the throat of the TE inductor. Snapped this photo at just the right time as metal has begun pouring yet not hit the bottom!
Pour is flowing well and right on target. Excellent job for his first time on the ladle. Perfect in fact.
About 1/2 the molten metal is left in the ladle and saved for pouring into the EW furnace inductor. Our crane man is positioning the ladle correctly for pouring into the EW furnace.
Pouring into the EW inductor begins.....
Emptying the ladle.
The pour crew cools off while ladle is being refilled. Ronald Bumgarner on left, Mike Conley next. On the very right is Marty Martin, and William Greene still has his full suit on.
Filling of the next ladle begins.
Again the ladle is positioned for pouring into the TE furnace.
Ronald Bumgarner is on the ladle control this time around.
Bill Brooks is keeping a close eye on the furnace controls, taking care to keep just the right about of kw on the furnace to keep it hot enough, yet not so much as to blow metal out of the inductors at these early shallow metal levels in the furnace.
Another ladle full is poured from Line 3.
And another ladle full added to the Line 4 TE furnace with William Greene on the wheel of the ladle.
One of the most critical jobs is smooth operation of the crane. Since Dan Gold was on vacation, Chris Johnson was selected for this important job. His crane skill was remarkable and there was no ladle swing or unexpected movements. Excellent job Chris!
For practice, a ladle full was poured into the EW side again. It's a much smaller target, giving an opportunity for more training of the newer guys with the ladle.
Pouring into the EW flowing well.....
The last ladle full was poured into the TE side again. In all 6 ladle fulls of copper were transferred to the Line 4 furnace.
A lot of guys in both maintenance and casting did some jobs they had never done before. All went picture perfect and it was a successful stick. Well done all.