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Submerged arc furnace (ferroalloy)

Primary products

Our international experts are passionate about electric smelters and submerged-arc furnaces for the production of ferroalloys, silicon, non-ferrous metals, and minerals. This is a field where SMS group in Düsseldorf and Metix in Johannesburg pool their know-how for your benefit. Our team in Düsseldorf handles all SAF-related projects for electric smelters and submerged-arc furnaces worldwide, except in southern Africa. Metix is not only responsible for all submerged-arc furnace and electric smelter projects in the southern African region, but also supplies feed material pre-heating systems as well as pellet and sinter plants. Paul Wurth provides support with refractory design and tapping/stoking equipment. We join forces with you to work together as a team, always finding the best possible solution. Our team is available at all times to stand by your side and help you get the results you want.


Recent years have been exciting for SMS group. That's because of the many fascinating and challenging projects we implemented or are currently working on. Included here are the world's largest-ever FeNi (Ferronickel) furnace, the first large-scale FeCr (Ferrochrome) production line based on DC technology (Direct Current), silicon plants, FeMn (Ferromanagese) plants, and special alloy furnaces such as FeNb (Ferroniob) furnaces. Here we give you an overview of our latest references in the field of ferro alloys, non-ferrous metals, special applications and liquid pig iron. These technologies form the basis for successful smelting.

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FeNi – Ferronickel

Ferronickel is mainly produced in submerged-arc furnaces by reducing lateritic nickel ores. The process aims to transfer most of the nickel into the metal phase. It starts by charging furnaces with preheated and pre-reduced ores (at temperatures of up to 800 °C).

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FeCr – Ferrochrome

What distinguishes high-carbon ferrochrome is the carbon content of 4 – 8 %. It's usually used in AOD converters to produce alloyed steel grades. Due to environmental restrictions, ferrochrome is commonly produced in closed, stationary furnaces. ...

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FeMn (Ferro-Manganese) and SiMn (Silicon-Manganese)

Ferro-Manganese is usually available on the market in the form of high-carbon (6 – 8% C), medium-carbon (1 – 4 % C), or low-carbon (< 0.4 % C) products. There are also alloys with high Si contents (15 – 20 %) known as Silicon-Manganese. ...


Specialists and high-tech tools

Crucial for our excellent design are our experienced experts, plus a strong R+D department, and advanced engineering tools. All this makes it possible to calculate complex structural furnace parts and intensive thermal areas. These are capabilities even more important for designing large-capacity furnaces. Moreover, FEM calculation (Finite Element Method) is an extra option for cutting electrical losses with alternating magnetic fields.

Our customers have told us again and again that our designs result in reliable and efficient plants. That's because our engineering also ensures long equipment and component service lives. Some SMS group furnaces have been in operation for more than 40 years - and are still running smoothly.

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Portfolio and competencies

Overview products portfolio SAF & electric smelter

We can supply complete processing lines - starting with raw material charging and continuing right through to dispatch of the finished products for the metals and chemical industry.

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  • AC- or DC-based
  • Open design, semi-closed or closed design

Furnace shell types

  • Flat or dished bottom
  • Cylindrical, conical or rectangular 
  • Stationary or rotating
  • Changeable, tiltable
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  • Pre-baked, graphite or self baking 
  • Composite system
  • Hollow electrode system

Furnace shell types

  • Water cooled roofs (steel or copper)
  • Brick roof or cast roof (optional air cooling) 
  • Flat or arched shape
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  • Hot or cold charging
  • Hollow electrode charging 
  • Liquid charging (launder)

Additional competencies

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Every process requires extensive and profound know-how. You benefit from the expertise of our metallurgical specialists, which provides a solid foundation for efficient design and safe and reliable operation of your plants. We work closely together with many operators and renowned institutions worldwide. Over decades, this has resulted in a metallurgical model based on practical and scientific findings.

Our software for complex metallurgical evaluation developed from this, combined with the know-how of our experienced staff, is your guarantee for reliable and achievable figures. Our experts working hand in hand with your metallurgists define the right processes and furnace dimensions for you. This results in the perfect solution for your specific requirements. Intelligent dimensioning not only increases the yield, but also keeps energy consumption low.

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The experts for turnkey plants at SMS group are distinguished by their expertise in planning and supplying complete plants of any size, for example for ferroalloys or non-ferrous metals. As leading partner in consortiums or as plant planning specialists, we offer you comprehensive know-how and a wide spectrum of services. Our full technical service ranges from the planning and project phase to the handover of the turnkey plant. We also provide engineering for individual plant sections that are subsequently combined with other units to build a complete plant. Acting as an EPC/EPCM contractor (Engineering Procurement Construction Maintenance), SMS group has implemented many projects based on these business models:

  • Business model 1: Core equipment delivery (for instance for Barro Alto in Brazil)
  • Business model 2: Turnkey equipment delivery (for instance at Silicium Kazakhstan)
  • Business model 3: Business model 2 + local engineering by SMS group, procurement and construction by customer with SMS group assistance (for example Vale, Brazil or Kazchrome Kazakhstan)
  • Business model 4: Business model 3 + local civil engineering and construction engineering by SMS group (for instance at PCC BakkiSilicon, Iceland)

There is no better indication of the SMS group Johannesburg office's competence in EPC services than the impressive track record of Metix in installing plants with full budget and time responsibility. Metix enjoys an excellent reputation – particularly in Ferrochrome sinter plants (based on Outotec design and technology) and electric smelters. The Sakura project in Malaysia, for instance, to which SMS group contributed the Ferro-Manganese plant, was executed on an EPC contract basis.

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Besides supplying engineering, equipment, and plants, we also provide these services:

  • Operating cost optimization
  • Environmental impact studies
  • De-bottlenecking, plant logistics, process modeling
  • Technical feasibility studies
  • Product optimization programs as well as product change and expansion plans



Digital documentation: First step to a smart plant.

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Equipment check

Regular inspections and maintenance form the basis for safeguarding the efficiency of your equipment.

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Long-term maintenance services

SMS group offers you the full range of services along the value chain, while you can focus entirely on your core competences.

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Reference - Tailor-made warehousing at Kazchrome

SMS spare parts are available in-time for all maintenance activities at melt shop # 4 and its auxiliary plants.

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Safety Locator

Protect your most valuable asset - your employees - with the SMS group Safety Locator!

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Smart Maintenance

Digitalize your maintenance with SMS group!

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Selected References

ReferencesSince 2000

SMS group, a strong partner

SMS group offers a broad product portfolio to processors of ferro-alloys PGM, non-ferrous metals, iron and steel. Over the last 100 years, we have developed many processes for the production of more than 60 different types of metals and slags and have implemented more than 750 projects. Internationally, SMS group ranks among the strongest suppliers in the field of components for melting plants, machinery and plant solutions. Today we are the global leader in metallurgical plant and machines, not least because we integrated top names such as Demag, Krupp, Krupp Technologie, Schloemann, Concast, MAN-GHH, Paul Wurth, and Metix.

SMS group is constantly developing applications for customers all over the world. Our focus is on countries with large raw material reserves or low energy costs.

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Electrical and automation systems

Leakage detection with X-Pact® Sense

Water leakages detection for Submerged arc furnaces

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X-Pact® Electrode Control

Stable melting process - Smaller electrode movements

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X-Pact® HD Monitoring

High-definition refractory lining Monitoring. System and heat flow measurements in SAF lining

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X-Pact® Thyristor Control

Special energy control method for FeNi SAF

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Digital twin

Digital counterpart of a customer-specific plant

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Plug & Work

3D real-time simulation of technology prior to installation

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Product quality analyzer (PQA®)

Solution for smooth process flow and constant high quality

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Remote service

Always at your side, quickly and dependably, worldwide

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Safeguarding plant lifetime

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X-Pact® Business Intelligence

Systematic analysis of data in an electronic form

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X-Pact® Drive

Low voltage frequency converter as integral part of X-Pact®

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X-Pact® Energy Advisor

Energy management for metallurgical plants and rolling mills

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X-Pact® MES 4.0

Production planning and scheduling for all production units in the plant

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X-Pact® Process Condition Analyzer (PCA)

The "transparent" plant

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X-Pact® Process Guidance

New standard for the future automatic control of complex plants

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X-Pact® Sense

Intelligent sensor system and camera-based solutions

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X-Pact® Vision Mobile Operation

Easy access on process results - Full information and control everywhere

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X-Pact® Vision Operation and Visualization

Innovative HMI and new control station

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SMSgroup Nörthemann, Ralf

Ralf Nörthemann

SMS group GmbH
Project Management Steelmaking
Eduard-Schloemann-Straße 4
40237 Düsseldorf

Phone : +49 211 881 6622

SMSgroup Marciniak, Frank

Frank Marciniak

SMS group GmbH
Service Metallurgy/SAF
Ohlerkirchweg 66
41069 Mönchengladbach

Phone : +49 2161 350 3526

SMSgroup Göcoglu, Mesut

Mesut Göcoglu

SMS group GmbH
Head of Sales Electrics/Automation SAF & Non-Ferrous
Eduard-Schloemann-Straße 4
40237 Düsseldorf

Phone : +49 211 8816793