CIVS Team Gains Valuable Insight during Gerdau Reheat Furnace Tour

September 26, 2023

On September 22, CIVS staff and students were invited to Gerdau by Improvement Facilitator Kevin Kondrat to tour the reheating furnace at the Gerdau Special Steel facility in Monroe, Michigan. The group included Associate Director for Operations Armin Silaen and Senior Research Engineer Nicholas Walla from CIVS, as well as Misbah Syed and Abhishek Kolakotla, graduate students from the simulation lab who work directly on SMSVC projects to optimize energy efficiency and reduce pollution emissions for reheat furnace operations.

CIVS members were given an overview of Gerdau Special Steel operations by Kevin Kondrat, Nathan Hough (Rolling Mill Superintendent), and Eduardo Scheid (GSN Technical Consultant). This visit also offered a unique opportunity for staff and students to enter the reheat furnace while it was shut down for scheduled maintenance. They were able to walk inside and view details of the internal structures that were not visible when the reheating furnace was in use. Reheating furnaces are commonly used in the steel industry to bring steel products such as slabs and billets up to high temperatures before rolling and finishing to become products such as rods and coils.

Gerdau is a member of the Steel Manufacturing Simulation & Visualization Consortium (SMSVC). Representatives from Gerdau, Joao Gonzaga, and Kevin Kondrat also serve as key members of the SMSVC board. Kevin Kondrat is also a Purdue University Northwest ME alumni.