Lucerne Switzerland based Swiss Steel Group’s special steel bright bar maker Steeltec has invested around EUR 60 million in a new walking beam furnace as well as in other plant technology at their rolling mill in Emmenbrucke and has thus made one of the largest investments in recent years for the company as well as the entire Swiss Steel Group. The new furnace allows the rolling mill and its customers to profit considerably from an increase in efficiency and consistently ensures greater sustainability. Higher ring weights and much more homogenous quality of the rolled steel products are the result. Thanks to greater specialization, the furnace is very efficient in its use of its fuel, gas. It has been in operation since September 2021. Like its predecessor, it is a gas-fired walking beam furnace that continuously heats the billets from Steeltec's own steel mill.With the previous furnace that is over 40 years old Steeltec was only able to process steel billets weighing 1.8 tonne 11 meter long and now with the new plant currently heats billets weighing up to 2.3 tonnes and 13 mete long."Due to the longer and heavier products, there is much less process waste both during rolling as well as for the customer during further processing. The customers' machines also require less adjusting thanks to the longer raw materials with the same material quantity. The annual steel throughput at the rolling mill increases by around 5,000 tonnes due to the longer and heavier billets. Overall, the new furnace can heat a maximum of 150 tonnes of steel to up 1300 degrees every hour. The rolling mill processes almost 200 different steel grades at temperatures between 1100 and 1250 degrees.From an ecological perspective, the new furnace is a considerable advance. Despite increased capacity and larger volumes, it uses almost 13% less gas than the old technology. Process heat from the furnace is first used to preheat the billets once they've entered the furnace. As large a portion of the remaining waste heat as possible is then fed into the local district heating network of the city of Lucerne. In total, Steeltec has reduced their CO2 emissions with the innovations at the rolling mill by about 10% annually.Implementation of the new walking beam furnace has sparked further modernization steps in Emmenbrücke. In addition to the furnace and the new induction technology, Steeltec has procured two new Garrett reels and controlled cooling for the finished rolled wire coils. The diameter of these rolled products in round or hexagonal profiles is up to 50 mm and is wound onto a reel into coils of up to 1440 mm in diameter and a maximum of three tons. In the subsequent controlled cooling section, the rings are subjected to controlled cooling at 16 positions with blown air from below. The cooling process is slow, uniform, controlled and can be adjusted individually for each steel grade.Steeltec produces engineering and free-cutting steel as well as special bright steel for the automotive, machinery, hydraulics and apparatus engineering industries. The largest production site is at Emmenbrücke in Switzerland with steel furnace and rolling mill as well as two bright steel plants. To produce long steel products, Steeltec recycles 650,000 tonnes of steel scrap every year.The Swiss Steel Group today is one of the world's leading providers of individual solutions in the special long steel products sector.