Coke Ovens Team sets up alternative conveyor & loading system

With internal resources to ensure evacuation of coke from COB 9

Bhilai, Oct 15: A portion of the structure of the gallery that supports two conveyors, K-9-5 and K-9-6 used to transport coke from SAIL-Bhilai Steel Plant’s Coke Oven Battery 9 to Blast Furnace 7 had collapsed at around 8.30 pm on Oct 07, 2020. While no one was injured in the incident, the incident hampered the production of COB 9 and Blast Furnace 7. Steps were taken immediately by the Plant management to keep COB 9 running by making alternative arrangements to shift coke from COB 9 to blast furnaces by road, so that normalcy of production is maintained and the effect of the incident on plant performance is minimised. Necessary instructions were given by Plant management to take up repair work of the gallery on war-footing.
To ensure continuity of COB 9 operations and supply of coke to BF 7, the Coke Ovens team made arrangements for evacuation of coke from three locations with the help of dumpers from the same night that the incident took place. COB 9 however could not be operated to its full potential with this makeshift arrangement. Prior to the breakdown, the pushing rate from COB 9 was 90 ovens per day. After the breakdown, the pushing rate was steadily increased from 21 on the first day after breakdown to 60 per day. Despite the increased rate of pushing, adequate volume of coke could not be transported to BF 7, resulting in restricting performance of both COB 9 and BF 7.
Further, this makeshift arrangement was proving to be both tedious and unsafe. Coke was being transferred to dumpers with the help of shovels. While increased use of dumpers necessitated deployment of additional manpower in all three shifts for supervision of loading, the movement of large number of dumpers posed the risk of road accident taking place in the vicinity of the area.
Since this arrangement prevented COB 9 from being operated to full potential while at the same time posing risk to health of the battery, a team from Coke Ovens got together for a brainstorming session to find out alternate arrangement for faster loading and quicker transportation of greater quantity of coke.
It was strategically decided that the conveyor system in place before the breakdown would have to be bypassed and a new conveyor system would have to be installed. The strategy was worked out under the leadership of GA Rao, CGM, CO & CCD and OP Sharma, GM I/c Coke Ovens and the task of developing alternative loading system through conveyor was entrusted to Vijay Kumar, GM (Mechanical) Coke Ovens and responsibilities for different jobs fixed.
On the night of 7th Oct itself, Vijay Kumar and his team members comprising of KS Thakur, GM (Operations), Lokesh Kushwaha, Dy Mgr (Mech), Virendra Singh, Sr Mgr (Electrical), Sanjiv Bhaskar, Sr Mgr (Electrical) worked out the strategy for putting in place alternative loading system using in-house resources. Having set a deadline of three days to complete the task, the team set upon their respective jobs for installing a new conveyor to bypass the damaged system.
Using internal resources, the team set up an entire deck structure along with drive drum, idle drum etc for conveyor system, charging chute to connect to the discharging chute, matching motor, panels, cable, sway switches, contracts along with interlocking systems. Working round the clock on war-footing, the team completed the task within their deadline of three days and the new alternative conveyor and loading system started working by 7.30 PM on 10th Oct 2020.
With the new system facilitating loading of coke onto both dumpers and rail wagons, the problems being encountered in loading and movement of dumpers have been greatly reduced. With pushing rate of COB 9 going up to 80 per day, adequate volume of coke is being supplied to BF 7 and at the same time, required volumes of coke oven gas is being supplied to other production shops of the Plant.
Praising the team for successfully completing the task, OP Sharma, GM I/c Coke Ovens said it was because of the dedication and single-minded determination of all the team members that resulted in the task being accomplished within the deadline they had set themselves. While it was a total team effort, best utilisation of internal resources has been demonstrated. He thanked the Plant’s Conveyor Belt Maintenance group for extending help regarding belt, mounting, pasting etc.
Commending the promptitude with which the job of evacuation of coke was begun after the breakdown, GA Rao, CGM, CO & CCD said while the Plant Garage team plunged headlong into the job of transportation of coke with the help of dumpers within a few hours after the gallery collapsed, the Transport & Diesel Department has done a good job for transportation of coke through wagons.
Director In Charge, Bhilai Steel Plant, Anirban Dasgupta and Executive Director (Works) Rajeev Sehgal congratulated the team from coke ovens and other agencies involved for the excellent job done.

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