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Jul 3, 2017

Improvements in Outotec punching machine design for Pierce Smith (PS) converters

Outotec has developed a punching machine to meet the increasing demand for automation and process control. The development work is based on Outotec’s comprehensive experience of the converting process. The result is a new proprietary punching machine with a number of various possibilities; such as docking of a refractory drilling unit to the machine frame and temperature measurement to increase the operational efficiency.
Outotec Punching Machine
Figure 1: The new generation Outotec Punching Machine


  • Standardized machine that can be easily customized to meet different customer requirements
  • Improved operating safety and easy maintenance work
  • Less brick wear through flexible punching machine strategies
  • The design is optimized for lower manufacturing costs

Main features

New features

  • Variable length of stroke as an option
  • Temperature measurement
  • Drilling unit for refractory can be docked to the machine frame

Heavy duty design:

  • Mechanical and electrical components designed for harsh conditions
  • Compact machine with flexibility in the steel frame to meet customer space requirement
  • High and adjustable impact energy

Intelligent control system:

  • User friendly interface with intelligent operation functions
  • Can be operated manually or automatically from the control room or locally close to the machine
  • Different automatic punching sequences can be selected, based on current process conditions
  • Position of the punching machine is very accurate, within ± 2 mm

Short pay-back time:

  • Control of the punching machine is done by the operator in the control room, no need for dedicated punching machine operators
  • High availability thanks to proven and robust design
Outotec Punching Machine

How it works

The Outotec Punching Machine is operated from a control room to ensure a safe working environment for the operator. The machine moves by a variable speed motor with pulse encoder. The yoke is designed for two different punching bar configurations, one or two bars. Two cameras give the operator visibility of the tuyere zone and the machine area. The control system monitors whether the punch was successful or not. Depending on the outcome the tuyere is assigned a new status in the system. The status is visualized on the operator screen by a color and number system, allowing the operator to constantly monitor the status of all tuyeres. Deleted (permanently plugged) tuyeres will not be punched by the machine.

The control system for the new punching machine is a module based and flexible system running on a Siemens controller. There are three alternatives for controlling the punching machine; either the machine has its own operator station or it is integrated in an existing Siemens PCS7 system or integrated in another system via an OPC server.

Text: Kristina Wiklund, Product manager, Outotec

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