2015 was probably the most successful and exciting year for Seven Refractories. We exceeded our ambitious goals for this important year, which was marked by our five-year celebrations.
In this short time, our company has grown even faster than we expected.
We now serve more than 200 customers in over 40 countries on 4 continents with a growing portfolio of advanced refractory products.
Our next steps are further expansion, the enlargement of our manufacturing facility as well as laboratory in Divača/Slovenia, and a new production site in Kazakhstan.
The main component for our successful year of 2015 as usual were having the right people on board having great experience, capabilities and right motivation and positive energy.
We would like to thank our customers, cooperation partners, staff and suppliers and wishing to all of you a successful and prosperous new year of 2016.
The external audit by SGS on the 9th of November 2015 in Divača was passed successfully by Seven Refractories. This year the company had to prove itself once again to regain the certificate for organization’s quality management systems (QMS) and processes and the certificate for the management of environmental aspects and impacts.
Customers, consumers and shareholders are increasingly concerned over the environmental impact of their activities, their products and the services they consume.
For Seven Refractories being environmental friendly is one of the main goals. This may pose technological challenges, but it is also an opportunity to demonstrate environmental responsibility.
Improving the company’s’ organization’s Quality Management Systems not only increases reliability, but also boosts profitability. Demonstrating real commitment to product and service quality transforms the corporate culture, with employees actively promoting ongoing improvement.
˝Continuous system improvements and analyzing customer satisfaction helps us to understand and monitor our customers’ needs˝, explains Patrizia Romagna, Seven’s management system representative. ˝For Seven Refractories, the positive external audit is another green light that the quality and environment processes are very well implemented.˝
This recertification is held every three years. Over the course of the next years, Seven Refractories will implement the new version focused on risk-based thinking. This will further strengthen the focus on environmental management within Seven.
Photo of new certificates
With the new brochure „Power Plants and Incinerators“, Seven Refractories dedicates a special publication to the most important technical facts for the application of refractories in boilers and WTE/waste-to-energy plants.
As a response to the world demand of energy and recycling, more and more boilers of different types are constructed. Industrialized nations have realized the benefits of local power generation and the use of renewable fuels, while the modern waste management have resulted in new generation of WTE boilers.
Controlled combustion processes under technically optimized circumstances provide one part of the answer. Refractories play also an important role to ensure efficiency and performance. Seven Refractories has developed a complete range of products to withstand the different conditions and requirement of this kind of application.
„The demands of these applications place on advanced refractories are anything but trivial“, explains Marco Tonidandel – Business Development Manager „We have to consider a wide range of adverse conditions, such as abrasion, thermal shock from sudden and large changes in temperature, heat transfer, attacks from alkali and other chemicals and fuels and finally reliability in the long term.“
The brochure presents a wide range of applications which can be encountered in different type of plants: circulated fluidized bed boilers, bubbling fluidized bed boilers, pulverized coal fired boilers, stoker type and grate combustion incinerators, flares, rotary type incinerators and so on.
A handy table summarizes the relevant product range developed by Seven Refractories.
Photo: Front page of brochure
The yearly Sales – Technical Meeting marks one of the highlights in Seven’s calendar. Technical experts, country managers, and our committed staff meet for a vibrant exchange of ideas and experiences.
Also in 2015, the Sales Technical Meeting hit a record mark. With 51 participants from 13 countries, Seven held the biggest annual meeting to date. Trends in refractory production and installation were an equally hot topic of discussion as recent economic developments in the steel, iron, and cement industries.
Italy was chosen as the meeting place not only due to its undeniable importance to Seven’s daily business, but also there was the exceptional opportunity to visit the EXPO 2015 as a social event.
„In only five years, we have been moving towards an global company delivering products and managing projects worldwide. Our taphole clay has been tested in the most relevant steel production areas in the world“, explains Erik Zobec, Seven’s CEO. „Visiting the EXPO together with colleagues from different nationalities was a beautiful metaphor for our international team and spirit.“
Aside from increased capacity in the production plant in Divaca/Slovenia, Seven is also proud of the new construction site of a factory in Kazakhstan, with the aim to be closer to potential customers. Suitably enough, the next EXPO is scheduled in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana in 2017.
Seven Refractories and its daughter company Refracon Installations completed the repair of hot blast stove in MMK from September, 25th to 28th.
Specialists of both companies led and supervised the installation of 40 tons of Seven Gun 82 NX in the burning chamber/burning duct of hot blast stove n29 – blast furnace 9.
The target of the intervention was to reprofile the original refractory lining which had been damaged due to collapsed bricks. In addition, the open joint of the structure was sealed to prevent gas losses between the refractory lining and the metal shell of the hot blast stoves.
The relining will bring also benefits which will minimise the thermal losses and increase the blowing temperature of the cowper.
Starting from 200 mm thickness in the bottom of the combustion chamber up to 180 mm on the top, a monolithic ring of innovative gunning product was applied in less than 3 days.
The repair carried out in MMK represents the 9th successful completion of such a particular application that Seven has completed in Russia – this time in one of the world’s biggest steel plants.
Nikolay Chayikin, Technical Director of Refracon described his satisfaction in a few words: „We completed the job according to the planned schedule without any noticeable problems, good quality of the gunning material applied, excellent coordination of the team and organisation of the job on site.“
Photo: Installation at MMK with Nikolay Chayikin, Technical Director of Refracon
Vienna/Austria was the host city for this year’s UNITECR conference, where everybody who is anybody in the refractory industry gathered for an exchange of ideas. The biannual conference welcomed close to 1.000 participants from 48 countries.
During the conference, Seven’s CEO Erik Zobec met Liz Gyekye, Chief Reporter at the trade publication Industrial Minerals for an interview. Macro-economic development such as the slowdown of the steel industry and the ensuing consequences for the refractories’ industry were at the core of the discussion.
Renewed focus on energy efficiency is one of the solutions, and Seven was presented as a leading company in the field:
“Slovenia-based, monolithics specialist, Seven Refractories is also noticing a trend for optimising energy efficiencies and minimising resource usage and gas emissions. In response to customer requirements in this area, the company’s CEO, Erik Zobec, told IM that Seven Refractories has worked on developing on the most environmentally-friendly, alumina-based taphole clays available on the market.“
You can read the full interview here.
Read more about the UNITECR 2015 congress here: http://www.unitecr2015.org
Photo: Liz Gyekye, Chief reporter at Industrial Minerals magazine
As early as 2012, Seven Refractories has started activities in Ukraine. The strong commitment to the Ukrainian market continues also in difficult times and has recently been highlighted in an article on the Ukrainian news site www.056ua.
“Today, foreign companies are hesitant to start or prolong activities on the Ukrainian market. The reason is not only the military operation in the Eastern part of the country, but also the unstable economic situation and the complexity of the logistics. All this hinders foreign investment in Ukraine. The example of Seven Refractories Ukraine shows that even today it is possible work successfully and profitably in Ukraine” confirms Oleg Tyshchenko, CEO of Seven Refractories Ukraine.
Seven Refractories not only brings foreign investment to Ukraine, but also advanced technology and modern standards in the production and application of refractory materials. These are crucial for key industries such as steel, iron, and cement production.
“With our partners we have run several highly successful projects. Our clients do not only appreciate the quality of our products, but also our clear service approach. We see it as our goal to perform set-up and maintenance work efficiently to decrease down time and project cost”, explains Oleg. “A highly efficiently run furnace can save up to 30% of the natural gas. This cost saving is extremely relevant.”
The last project was the stack repair of blast furnace no. 3 in Mariupol, Ilyich. The project was done with robotic support applying the refractory materials onto the inner surface of the blast furnace. Given potentially hazardous environment of a gas-powered blast furnace, this modern method considerably increased the safety for the operating personnel.
Link to the original article in Ukrainian language: http://www.056.ua/article/927751
Photo: Oleg Tyshchenko at Ilych
In a recently published interview, the international trade magazine RefWin asked Erik Zobec to give his insight into the refractories industry in general and Seven Refractories in particular.
The interviewer placed special emphasis on the success that Seven Refractories has managed to achieve within only five years after its foundation. In the interview, Erik Zobec pointed to two main levers of growth in the future: On the one hand, geographical expansion beyond the four continents served today, and on the other hand further development of environmentally friendly products that exceed customers’ expectations.
You can read the full interview here.
Photo: 1st page of the RefWin magazine
With immediate effect, the Seven Refractories Austria holding has become the sole owner of the Ukrainian subsidiary. Up to now, a minority share of 49% had been in the hands of Ukrainian joint venture partners.
„Despite a difficult political and macro-economic environment, Seven Ukraine has achieved outstanding results over the last years. With MMK, Azovstal, Ilyich, EVRAZ, and Zaporizhstal we have won sizeable customers and laid the foundation for sustainable growth in the Ukraine. Together with our strong belief in normalization of economic circumstances, this was the reason to acquire full ownership from our previous joint venture partners“, explains Vladimir Bedov, Board VP and Managing Director of Seven Refractories Austria.
Seven Refractories is proud to be fully represented in Ukraine and wishes the Ukrainian team lots of success!
Photo: left – Vladimir Bedov, General Manager Seven Refractories Austria, right – Oleg Tyshchenko, General Manager Seven Refractories Ukraine
The Project commissioned, based on the shotcrete technology using a movable lifting platform, has been performed starting from 3rd of July.
Seven Russia provided the project engineering, product supply, installation and supervising.
Shotcrete refractory has been installed starting from the upper part of tuyeres belt after that the burden has been lowered and capped with insulating castable to ensure safety condition inside the furnace.
During the shut down operation has been found that one complete row of staves has been lost in the upper part of the furnace and missed staves also in other rows below.
Due to the impossibility to install new staves the original project has been revised on site considering to deliver additional 180 tons of shotcrete to rebuilt all the areas without cooling staves.
575 ton of different qualities of Seven Shot have been applied starting from the bosh until the full reconstruction of the upper part of the blast furnace
The additional request of 180 tons one day before the beginning of the installation prove once again the strength and extreme flexibility of our international team, able to produce and deliver the huge amount of material in the shortest possible time from Divaca to Tula. All the refractories has been installed with any delay giving back the furnace, ready to restart operations, two days ahead of the scheduled date.
Luca Folco – TD of Russia Business Unit is keen to stress:
“I’m really proud and satisfied with the work done by our team. Despite the many complications that usually happen in that kind of job, with working conditions sometimes very hard, the team of Seven Russia has shown once again preparation, dedication and extreme expertise.
A praise also to our logistics and plant in Divaca for the performance as Guinness Book of World Records in the production, shipment and delivery of 180 tons in 6 days, ordered the day before the beginning of the installation. ”
BF3 Capital relining is the third successful project carried out in 5 five years by Seven Refractories Russia in Tulachermet. Currently all the 3 blast furnaces in the plant have refractory lining provided by Seven.