SUMMARY

The interdisciplinary research program bringing together research institutions and companies resulted in a technological breakthrough and the establishment of a new start-up company focusing on online measurement of metallurgical processes.

RESULT

LUXMET is a start-up company offering advanced control systems for high temperature metallurgical processes. The online control system offered by LUXMET enables real time measurements directly from the high temperature metallurgical processes, offering quick and precise process control capabilities. The control system can be used, for example, to monitor the process and in optimization of process speeding up the process, reducing refractory wear and raising energy efficiency.

The story of LUXMET started five years ago from the FIMECC ELEMET program in which the technology was initially developed. ELEMET program brought together actors with different backgrounds from industry and academia offering a great co-creation platform for the new technological breakthrough. In the ELEMET program physicists and process engineers combined their forces to solve real industrial challenge offered by industrial partners of the program. The interdisciplinary research resulted in a totally new approach in measuring and analyzing real time local melting conditions inside the electric arc furnace (EAF) used in steel making. Reliable and real-time online measurement and analyzing enabling process monitoring and controlling had never before been done in this part of metal processing. This was mainly due to extreme and harsh conditions preventing the use of conventional measurement approaches. 

Mikko Jokinen, Managing Director of LUXMET, lists success points affecting technological breakthrough, “FIMECC ELEMET program offered great platform with industry and academic partners from different backgrounds and with right attitude challenging each other. This really made the thing happen. Moreover, the interdisciplinary approach enabled the development of something totally new.” 

MOTIVATION

Online measurements are needed for process monitoring and control. “In process industry the quality of raw materials typically varies. The quality of raw materials affects the process parameters used in the process. At the moment processes are usually run with predetermined parameters and end results are tested after the process. This may result in poor end-product quality and waste, causing losses of energy, time and raw materials.In this case metal processing is not an exception.” Mikko Jokinen explains the need for the online measurement and analysis systems.

The new online measurement model initiated in the FIMECC ELEMET program and further developed by LUXMET enables the adjustments of the process parameter during the metal processing resulting in energy and raw materials savings, reduced wearing of the equipment and decreased process times. 

APPLICATIONS/
IMPACT

After the ELEMET program the technology has been further developed and several feasibility studies have been done in order to generate business out of the technology. LUXMET has, for example, done a lot of software development to analyse the data gathered with the new technology and product development work to create a robust and easy-to-use measurement system.

Luxmet's first two products, an EAF control system and an online temperature measurements system for extreme conditions, have been tested with domestic customers and active international sales activities will start in the beginning of 2016.

LUXMET has a patent in Finland and patent process ongoing for European and USA wide patents. At the moment LUXMET is actively looking for new processes and applications in which the LUXMET technology can be applied. 

MAIN CONTACT

Mikko Jokinen, LUXMET

PROJECT PARTNERS

LUXMET, University of Oulu, VTT, OUTOKUMPU STAINLESS and OUTOTEC

Picture courtesy of Jernkontoret, Stig-Göran Nilsson

AUTHORS

Author missing

Mikko Jokinen

mikko.jokinen(at)nospamluxmet.fi

LUXMET