Kielce’s Chemar has got a new furnace

Date of posting: 2022-03-10

On March 10 the Chemar S.A. foundry launched a modernised arc furnace for melting cast steel. The company belongs to Industrial Development Agency JSC

Chemar's main production is steel armature castings for the energy and petrochemical industries. The company also produces castings for the railway industry, such as axle boxes, steering sockets and clamps. It also works with the cement and mining industries.

- In August 2019, we started an in-depth restructuring of Chemar. IDA is determined to make Chemar as successful as another company from the region - Świętokrzyskie Kopalnie Surowców Mineralnych Sp. z o.o., in whose future no one believed either, but today it is one of the most modern companies in the industry. Our market analyses show that our foundry products can successfully compete in global markets. We are behind launching the key investment at this stage - the arc furnace, which will provide the company with much better production possibilities. The foundry has also signed a contract for the construction of a new single-arc furnace, which will allow it to initiate a number of orders with a potential of up to a thousand kilograms as early as 2023. The total value of investments, which will have their finale in 2022, amounts to almost PLN 3 million - says Cezariusz Lesisz, Vice-President of Industrial Development Agency JSC

The arc furnace, which was put into operation in 1961, has not undergone any thorough repairs or modernisation during its 61-year-long operation. The degree of exploitation required an urgent need for modernisation.

In addition to modernising the mechanical part of the furnace, the aim was to apply responsive control and the currently manufactured high-speed drives. The savings achieved are expected to reach 100 KW/tonne of melted metal. In addition, the arc furnace, in cooperation with another investment, the mixing and pouring machine, provides the possibility of producing castings with unit weight of approx. 3 tonnes, which significantly increases the production potential of Chemar SA.

The heat source in the arc furnace is an electric arc between two or three carbon electrodes and metal. The intensity of the current in the arc affects the temperature inside the furnace (change in arc length). The arc furnace provides less scorch. The arc temperature reaches 3000-5000 degrees or even higher. Arc furnaces are powered by alternating current.

In the arc furnace under the influence of high temperature the process of melting of metal takes place, and then thanks to obtaining appropriate physical and chemical parameters the steel is inserted into previously prepared moulds. After cooling down we obtain a casting, which in a further stage undergoes the process of cleaning, heat treatment and mechanical treatment.

-With the start ofownership transformation and the transition of the foundry under the wings of the Industrial Development Agency, an intensive investment programme began, the aim of which is the modernisation and upgrading of the company's machinery park, in order to achieve key production and revenue progress. Commissioning of the furnace is another important stage in the restructuring of Chemar Kielce aimed at improving the efficiency of production and increasing the competitiveness of the company on the market of steel castings. We are looking for new markets, expand exports and undertake the implementation of new technologies in collaboration with the AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow and Kielce University of Technology in the implementation of high-alloy casting technology. With a view to good business relations and cooperation we create synergies with other ARP S.A. Group entities - adds Paweł Kolczyński, Vice-President of IDA JSC.

- Chemar SA is first and foremost a producer of high class castings, often technically very complicated and highly labour intensive, which strongly determines and defines the direction of activities undertaken in the company. In 2021, a newly purchased furnace for heat treatment started working, and a new mixer and pouring machine also started working. Moreover, we have modernised overhead cranes and purchased a new spectrometer and 3D scanner, whose operation affects the acceleration of quality control work and enriches production activities with the possibility of developing reverse engineering processes - says Mariusz Gajowiec, President of Chemar Foundry S.A.

Chemar S.A. and its subsidiary Chemar Odlewnie Sp. z o.o. through mismanagement have been indebted and brought to the brink of bankruptcy - in May 2019, the Board of Directors of Chemar Foundry itself filed for sanction and bankruptcy. In August 2019, the IDA JSC as a proxy of the State Treasury, having analysed the situation, decided to restructure both companies and make a contribution in kind of Chemar S.A. shares to the IDA JSC, which finally took place in January 2020.

At the same time, a detailed restructuring programme was drawn up, which envisages subsidising the company in order to rebuild its production capacity and to modernise production technology and optimise processes in the foundry.

Chemar began foundry production in September 1954.

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