PaneraTech: Park Cam achieves zero refractory wear in 12 months

SmartMelter® radar technology was used to inspect the furnace at least twice per year

Park Cam recently operated a furnace at full capacity for twelve months with virtually zero wear in critical areas. Working closely with PaneraTech, they were able to make data-driven decisions to target cooling and maximize the operation time before overcoating.

The furnace that achieved this milestone, Furnace 20, began its campaign in September 2013 at Park Cam’s Bozuyuk, Turkey, glass packaging production facility. The company began a multi-year agreement with PaneraTech to monitor their furnace in 2018. SmartMelter® radar technology was used to inspect the furnace at least twice per year. After each inspection, the plant team discussed results and recommended actions with PaneraTech’s team. Because PaneraTech had created a digital model of their furnace, the teams could visually review the measurements of each refractory block.

PaneraTech was able to contribute insights from over half a million refractory measurements and make predictions based on that data. Using this data as a guide, Park Cam increased cooling wind at critical blocks and monitored those areas closely to ensure safe operation. They also collected temperature data on a regular basis on these critical blocks. After each six-month scan, adjustments were made.

“We were able to have confidence in our decisions because of the data PaneraTech provided,” explained Cetin EĞRİ Deputy General Manager of Park Cam. “Because of this, we could carefully manage risk and make good financial decisions at the same time.”

The industry typically overcoats when refractory thickness is 25 mm (1 inch). However, Park Cam was able to operate without overcoating an additional two years after reaching 25 mm. Once the thickness reached 18 mm, the targeted cooling allowed the plant to operate 12 months with virtually no additional wear on these blocks. After this 12-month period, they decided to overcoat the refractory.

“Our experience with Park Cam is a testament to what we have known for a long time; that a manufacturer can run their sidewalls much longer than what they currently do once thicknesses reach critical level,” said Yakup Bayram, president of PaneraTech.

“We have seen the difference that data-driven decisions can make. This is why we have expanded our services to include a full Digital Furnace Monitoring program. Park Cam’s innovative approach has helped to lay the groundwork for this service.”

PaneraTech’s Digital Furnace Monitoring Program includes SmartAudit, regular furnace audits that incorporate an 18-point radar spot check into the standard visual, thermal, and endoscopic evaluations. New technology is also available as part of this program, such as Polaris continuous monitoring sensors. Digital Endoscopy that uses laser technology will be available in 2023. PaneraTech works with manufacturers to create a schedule of services for each year of the campaign life, and condition-based monitoring can be added on a narrow scope as necessary.