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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 furnace projects we implemented or are currently working on. Included here are the world's largest-ever FeNi furnace, the first large-scale FeCr production line based on DC technology, silicon plants, FeMn plants, and special alloy furnaces such as FeNb furnaces. Read on for our latest references in the field of ferroalloys, nonferrous metals, special applications, and hot metal. These references provide the basis for successful smelter operation.

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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 with pre-heated and pre-reduced ores which are hot charged as calcine ...

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

FeMn / SiMn image FeMn / SiMn image FeMn / SiMn image FeMn / SiMn image

FeMn / SiMn

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 silico- manganese. High-carbon ferro-manganese ...


Methods and technology

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

Furnace shell types

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

Furnace shell types

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

Additional competencies

Metallurgical competencies image Metallurgical competencies image Metallurgical competencies image Metallurgical competencies image

Each process requires extensive and in-depth process know-how. You benefit from the expertise of our metallurgical department because it provides a solid basis for efficient design as well as safe and reliable operation of your applications. We also team up with many plant operators and renowned institutes worldwide. What has emerged over decades of development in this field is a metallurgical model founded on practical and scientific data.

Our in-house software for complex metallurgical evaluation combined with our experienced employees are your guarantee for reliable and achievable figures. Working hand in hand with the metallurgical department means our experts define the right processes and furnace dimensions for you. This results in perfect solutions for your specific metallurgical requirements. Plus: intelligent dimensioning gives you higher yield and keeps your consumption low.

Turnkey competencies image Turnkey competencies image Turnkey competencies image Turnkey competencies image

The SMS group turnkey department is noted for its expertise in planning and supplying complete plants of any size for ferroalloys, nonferrous metals, and other products worldwide. As leading partners 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, SMS group has implemented many projects based on these business models:

  • Business model 1: Core equipment delivery (e.g. Barro Alto/Brazil)
  • Business model 2: Turnkey equipment delivery (e.g. Silicium Kazakhstan)
  • Business model 3: Business model 2 + local engineering by SMS group, procurement and construction by customer with SMS group assistance (e.g. Vale/Brazil, Kazchrome/Kazakhstan)
  • Business model 4: Business model 3 + local civil engineering and construction engineering by SMS group (e.g. PCC Bakki/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 FeCr sinter plants (based on Outotec design and technology) and electric smelters. The Sakura project in Malaysia, where SMS group is supplying a complete FeMn-plant, is managed on a full EPC contract basis.

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

  • Operating cost optimization
  • Environmental impact studies
  • De-bottlenecking, plant logistics, process modeling
  • Technical feasibility studies
  • Product optimization programs and product change/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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Upgrades and modernizations

Over the past 35 years, SMS group has modified more than 80 submerged-arc furnaces. Revamping plants is challenging because of the nature of brownfield design. It requires the lowest possible downtime during revamping as well as adapting the existing plant environment. Our smart solutions are designed to achieve higher production levels while retaining the approximate dimensions of both the furnace and the plant. We do this by revamping the electrode columns, side wall cooling system, and thyristor control system, and enlarging the transformer capacity. It’s also possible to boost production with intelligent logistical improvements and charging patterns. The potential capacity expansion from a newly-developed copper cooling system was demonstrated by a rectangular submerged-arc furnace in New Caledonia. Here, we doubled the capacity of each furnace without altering the dimensions.  

Services and spare parts

Maintaining plants at this high level of operation demands sophisticated and efficient spare parts and components management as well as servicing. That’s where our team of specialists comes in – ready to offer you customer support in all spare parts-related issues. Equally important is our commitment to improving the performance of your existing plant units. Total quality management always forms an essential part of our services. Therefore we repair and manufacture wear parts in our workshops worldwide, or source them from our qualified suppliers. Our specialists also assist locally when repair work is necessary. Simply contact our team with any inquiries about effective spare parts management. 

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Selected References

ReferencesSince 2000

SMS group, a strong partner

SMS group supplies a wide product portfolio to end users who process ferroalloys, PGM, NF metals, iron, and steel. Over the last 100 years, we have developed many processes to produce more than 60 different kinds of metals and slags (collecting in excess of 750 references) Internationally, SMS group ranks among the strongest players in the field of all smelter components, equipment, 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 constantly develops applications for all kinds of customers. They are located throughout the world, predominantly in countries with large raw material reserves and/or low energy costs.

SMS group, a strong partner image SMS group, a strong partner image SMS group, a strong partner image SMS group, a strong partner image

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
Fax : +49 211 881 776622

SMSgroup Marciniak, Frank

Frank Marciniak

SMS group GmbH
Service Metallurgy/SAF
Ohlerkirchweg 66
41069 Mönchengladbach

Phone : +49 2161 350 3526
Fax : +49 211 881 776374

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
Fax : +49 211 881 776793