Converter steelmaking

Shaping the future – converter steelworks from SMS group

Efficient processes. Whether long, low-wear converter campaigns, low-maintenance or even maintenance-free components, perfect yet fast treatment results, quick converter changes - this is how our converters are built to last ... made to perform. Depending on the steel grade or process route in your steelworks, SMS group offers you BOF converters for carbon steel or AOD-L converters for stainless steel.

Alternatively, you can boost your productivity, flexibility, and product quality with a modernization from SMS group. That's because we not only supply you with top-quality mechanical, automation, and electrical components, but also apply special conversion expertise that ensures short downtimes to help you maintain your peace of mind.

BOF design concepts

BOF designs concepts Image

Future-oriented oxygen steelmaking

Maximum efficiency for you

Here is how our customized just-right solutions for your converter steelworks help you set new standards of performance. They help you achieve the perfect balance between the four factors that matter:

  • Problem solving
  • Innovation
  • Cost cutting
  • Productivity growth
Future-oriented stainless steelmaking Image

Future-oriented stainless steelmaking

Low production costs, high productivity

What's special about our process lines is that we tailor your plant to your conditions. Included in these considerations are availability of raw materials, infrastructure, and energy supply.

The upshot is that you can produce high-quality materials at low cost.

Efficient, custom-engineered vacuum converters Refined steels and ferroalloys Image

Efficient, custom-engineered vacuum converters

Combination of AOD and VOD technology

We specially develop vacuum converters for producing stainless, acid-resistant, and heat-resistant steel grades as well as highly alloyed special steels, manganese, and chromium alloys, plus medium and low-carbon ferromanganese and ferrochrome.


Modernizations to boost your utilization rate

All replacements and revamps in your converter steelworks pursue this central goal: the capacity to produce more steel in the same time in your existing factory. Achieving this aim means your steelworks can supply the market with higher capacities - at lower cost.

This creates clear competitive advantages for you, especially in times of high demand. Yet, even when demand stagnates or falls, the cost benefit per ton gives you more flexibility and therefore more security that you can always supply the right market segments.

BOF converter technology – tilt drive Image

Your benefits from manufacturing in our Hilchenbach workshop:

  • State-of-the-art workshop in Hilchenbach/Germany
  • Large number of powerful machines
  • High-capacity machine tools
  • Welding shop and equipment for preassembly of workpieces up to 450 t
  • Blanks exclusively from selected sub-suppliers
  • Stringent requirements of: degree of deformation, material cleanness → guaranteed mechanical properties
  • One of the few manufacturers worldwide capable of producing case-hardened or heat-treated gearwheels up to a diameter of 6,000 mm
  • Fully mechanical submerged-arc welding with 100% ultrasonically tested weld seams
  • Gears cut in numerically controlled hobbing machines
  • Gearboxes leave the SMS group workshop ready assembled with tooth contact pattern adjusted
  • More than 60 converter tilt drive references since 2002
SMSgroup Image
  • Maintenance-free lamellas
  • Thermal expansion in all directions
  • Easy retrofitting into existing converters
  • Continuously improved design over more than 47 years
  • Maximum specific metallurgical volume due to compact design

Selected References

Electrical and automation systems

Future-proof complete solutions from one source

  • Integrated solutions consisting of mechanics, electrics, and automation
  • The benefits of long-term experience with X-Pact® world-leading automation
  • Energy distribution and drive systems
  • The only genuine future-proof automation system
  • Control stations designed around the operator
  • Innovative HMI system for production-centered operation
  • Plug & Work integration test, process and production simulation, near-reality 3D visualization
  • All-inclusive modernization
  • International setup
Electrics and automation systems image

Holistic, efficient, and future-proof

Products and solutions for converter steel plants

Bottom stirring systems
Audio-visual slopping control
Gas cleaning control for primary gas
Gas cleaning assistant (BOF, AOD, VD)
Process models (BOF, LF, AOD, VD)
Valve stations for gas control (BOF, AOD)
Ladle management system
Automatic tapping
Logistic manager
Converter tilting drive controls (BOF, AOD)
In-situ laser gas measurement
Your professional partner for converter steel plants

Our specialists in electrics, automation, technology, and mechanics work hand in hand to ensure your systems function smoothly. That’s how we create intelligent, market-centered solutions that boost your production. Only optimized automation technology enables you to produce a wide range of high- quality steels in your modern steelworks. This saves you both money and resources in the form of raw materials and energy.


The clean lance system

Increasing human safety and equipment lifetime

Oxygen lances covered with built-up skulls are problem cases in steelmaking. These skulls damage the lance and impair the nozzle function. This in turn leads to increased oxygen consumption and prolonged reaction time for the refining process.

The Clean Lance System comprises a spraying device installed directly on the lance dome. The lance is wetted by a viscous liquid via a separate feed system. A lotus effect is created which protects the lance.

All benefits at a glance

  • No skull build-up
  • Reduced costs
  • Enhanced production
  • Human safety
  • Stable and fail-safe functioning
The clean lance system image
The clean lance system image
Skull build-up on a conventional lance
The clean lance systems
Coated lance after more than 60 heats

Long term service agreements

Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, Russia

The cooperation between MMK and SMS on caster No. 6 established a strong team spirit that achieves top plant performance. Together they formed an alliance to which both contribute their respective strengths for joint success.

With regard to costs, the SMS maintenance team realizes a benefit of more than 15% of the life cycle costs in the annual maintenance budget compared to equivalent plants in the MMK group. Therefore in 2014, MMK extended the cooperation on caster No. 6 by three more years.

MMK benefits

  • Trouble-free operation of the continuous caster No. 6 since April 2012 (a unique milestone under given conditions)
  • Ramp-up curve: 33% better than planned 
  • Plant availability: 86%
SMSgroup Image SMSgroup Image
Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works in Russia is happy to concen- trate on its core task and concurrently benefit in the complete maintenance by SMS since 2009.


Clean Lance System
Increased plant availiability - Quick coupling systems for all fluid connections in the steel meltshop
Converter Inspection
Future-proof complete solutions from one source - Electrics and Automation
Ladle Management System
BOF Process Model
Energy-efficient gas cleaning
BOF-Automatic Tapping
Ahead of Times with Plug & Work
X-Pact Vision Operation and visualization
Low-Voltage Frequency Converter
Production Planning and Scheduling


SMSgroup Wilmes, Ronald

Ronald Wilmes

SMS group GmbH
Sales Electrical and Automation Systems Metallurgical Plants and Environmental Technology
Eduard-Schloemann-Straße 4
40237 Düsseldorf

Phone : +49 211 881 6712
Fax : +49 211 881 776712

SMSgroup Bader, Jan

Jan Bader

SMS group GmbH
General Manager Technical Sales Steelmaking
Eduard-Schloemann-Straße 4
40237 Düsseldorf

Phone : +49 211 881 6638
Fax : +49 211 881 776638

SMSgroup Gerike, Uwe

Uwe Gerike

SMS group GmbH
Converters and Special Metallurgy
Eduard-Schloemann-Straße 4
40237 Düsseldorf

Phone : +49 211 881 5856
Fax : +49 211 881 775856


Learn about our plant technology covering the entire process chain for the production of high-quality metals.