28 July, 2023

Leveraging technology in ferro chrome production as a part of industry 4.0


Leveraging technology in Ferro chrome production as a part of Industry 4.0

The ferrochrome industry in India was a significant player in the global market. Ferrochrome is a crucial alloy used in stainless steel production, and India had considerable reserves of chromite ore, a key raw material for ferrochrome production. India is among the top producers of ferrochrome globally, with several ferrochrome plants located in different parts of the country. However, when it comes to the undisputed name in sufficient ferrochrome production and sustainable chrome ore mining, Tata Steel Mining Limited (TSML) tops the list. 

The mining sector in India has always been the prime focus for all negative reasons due to the continuation of conventional practices starting from bombing the mines with dynamite to deploying the laborers in pitch black mines without proper safety measures and any advance reiki of the sites. This scenario is almost the same in every major mining site in the country, making it the most capital and labor-intensive sector with maximum life risks for the ground-level workers and even the local inhabitants. To mitigate these challenges and sustainably transform chrome ore mining, TSML has invested smartly in technology and sustainable mining to make Ferrochrome production a part of Industry 4.0.

From mining to production and delivery and for the holistic protection of nature and improvement of the quality of life, TSML is implementing the best of green technology for cleaner production of ferrochrome. Here is the sneak peek of responsible Ferrochrome production by TSML.

Responsible Mining: Our 3 rich chrome ore reserves at Sukinda, Saruabil, and Kamarda is now equipped with the latest innovations to make mining simpler for our valued workers. Our drone-based mining management ensures optimum safety for our workforce by eliminating manual inspections and conducting surveys at 4X speed.

Zero metallic loss production: We value every bit of the mined resource and hence strive to save every bit of it for manufacturing various products. With the use of the latest technology, we extract even the last part of the metal from slag through jigging, tailing, and slag crushing. Proper waste management was a priority for TSML, so we are now implementing measures to reduce waste generation and recycling or reusing by-products and residues. For example, slag, a by-product of ferrochrome production, is now used as a construction material, minimizing its environmental impact.

Energy-friendly production unit: Our advanced furnace management system at Athagarh saves around 3500 KWH of power/ tonne of ferrochrome for the last 5 years using sustainable smelting operation. 

Fastracking at fingertips: Our GPS-enabled tracking application is designed to gain instant visibility on the consignment, with accurate details on departure, arrival, trip history, and location.

Precise Quality Control: Our quality control labs are equipped with leading-edge technologies to ensure our consistency in delivering only the finest products to our customers.

It's important to note that the journey to becoming an Industry 4.0 enterprise is ongoing and requires continuous innovation and adaptation. Tata Steel and Mining Limited, like other forward-thinking organizations, likely continued to explore and implement newer technologies and strategies beyond the mentioned points to remain at the forefront of the industry. To make ferrochrome production a part of Industry 4.0, TSML will continue investing in research and development to explore more sustainable production processes and technologies. This includes looking into cleaner production methods and alternative raw materials for the holistic well-being of revenue generation and nature conservation.