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Main Caster Hydraulic System Retrofit

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An electric arc furnace steel processor wanted to:

  • Reduce the time of the charging / tapping cycle.
  • Provide for emergency power during an outage.
  • Increase the system pressure capabilities.
  • Improve component duty cycle.


  • An exhaustive study of the application was done. Including all component specifications.
  • The equipment was observed in operation and production and maintenance personnel were consulted as correct operation sequence functions were determined.
  • A course of action which included:
    • Increased flow capacities of main hydraulic system.
      • Control allowances made for:
        • Mass acceleration and deceleration.
        • Electrode engagement.
        • Structural design limits
    • Design dedicated high pressure standby accumulator system.
    • Upgrade filtration.
      • Improved particulate ingression control
      • Lowered cost / gram of  filtered contaminant
    • Synchronized a multiple pump configuration to allow all pumps to respond simultaneously to system pressure and flow demands.


  • In excess of 30 seconds were removed from the existing charge / tapping cycle.
    • The entire cost of the retrofit ($780,000) will be recaptured within one year by profits generated by increased production.
  • Improved component duty cycle.
  • Emergency standby power allows for full system cycle in the event of power loss.
  • System pressure capabilities were raised 20%