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Development of an online accounting system for industrial furnaces


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Under the basic program "Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand (ZIM)" of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology celano GmbH is developing:


A configurable online accounting system for industrial furnaces based on optimized setpoint generation, archived through the observation of the whole furnance load and the integration of a simulation for analysis and optimization for the regulation. In indurstrial furnaces material gets heated in preperation for further processing and to archive the wanted material properties. This happens for example in the ceramic industry (bricks during their drying process), in the aluminium industry or in the metal industry during reheating (incandescence).

Different temperature gradients, maximal edge-, heating-, holding- and cooling temperatures are to be considered depending on the requirements. The work load is different in geometrical properties, quality properties as well as the furnance used for heating. In contingent assets, e.g. conveyor systems, rotary hearth furnaces, walking beam furnaces or dryer, the work load can be tranported through the furnance while beeing heated. Or in the case of batch processes the work load can stay at its position during heating.

The work load themperature cannot be meassured with reasonable effort but it can be calculated through the use of a mathematical model. Online management systems get used if either a great reduction in energy consumption, an optimization in process control or higher quality of the working lot is possible.

The total task of such an online management system can be splitted into three subtasks: "Determination of material themperature, setpoint generator and regulation". At the moment the solution to this task is to use a simplified model, thus leading to inaccurate results and a higher effort regarding the determination of empirical correction factors.

Under special circumstances the procedures used for setpoint generation (e.g. The use of fixed set point curves, setpoint generation based on critical material in one or more zones of the furnance) can reduce the output quality as well as energy efficiency. A two-step procedure for setpoint generaton was already presented by celano GmbH at the Steelsim 2007 in Graz. The goal was the prognosis and optimization of the whole furnance load.

The improvement is develeloped for part two and three (setpoint generation and regulation) of the overall task. The required technical knowledge and software based know how which is required for the solution of part one is already aviable at celano GmbH. The temperature distribution in the material can be calculated either one, two or three-dimensional with the help of a modular build software library and the fourier heat equation.

Boundary conditions which are needed for the solution of the differential equation are determined by energy balances. At the moment this procedure is one of the most ambitious solutions on the market. Through steady developement of the procedure which was shown at Steelsim 2007 the subtasks two and three shall be resolved under the ZIM supported science project. The combination of software engineering, optimization techniques and control engineering is inevitable. The optimization of computing time in all three subparts is focus of the observation.


celano GmbH develops and integrates technical solutions based on their own software products. Their range of products includes the draft, implementation and comissioning of customer specific software systems as well as the selection and installation of required hardware. Base for their sollutions is the celCAP-architecture (celano Common Application Platform) which is independent from industry sectors and purposes. celCAP provides a platform which covers basic tasks like data acquisition, storage, communication, visualization, fault processing as well as preperation of reports.