Company: Nucor Steel
Location: Norfolk, Nebraska (Bar Mill Group), Decatur, Alabama (Nucor Steel)
Capacity: 25 million tons per year
Revenue: $19 Billion
Doug Doerr is one of four environmental operators at the Nucor Bar Mill facility in Norfolk, Nebraska. He's also a big fan of Plattco's Double Flap Airlock® Valves-and for good reason.
"As environmental operators, it's our job to handle all environmental issues throughout the plant," Doerr said. "The fact that we have 18 Plattco PCV-Series valves installed in the melt shop baghouse makes our job a lot easier."
The Plattco Pollution Control Valves (PCVSeries) were installed in 1997 when two melt shops at the Norfolk plant were combined into one and a new baghouse was built. According to Doerr, the original baghouses used rotary discharge valves, but when the new, more modern baghouse was designed the decision was made to use Plattco's higher-performance valves.
A similar replacement of rotary valves with Plattco Double Flap valves was done at the Nucor Steel plant in Decatur, Alabama. Steve Lindsey, environmental manager at the Decatur mill, said double flap valves were specifically required as part of a baghouse redesign/ rebuild project at the plant. "Our Plattco valves are used for EAF dust evacuation of our South Baghouse dedicated to our South Furnace and South Canopy," Lindsey said. "In the past we used mechanical conveyance. Changing to pneumatic conveyance has greatly reduced maintenance and clean-up costs. The full port openings on the Plattco valves allow our pneumatic system to pass any clumps through that may have in the past clogged our rotary valves," Lindsey explained.
"In the two years since the new baghouse went on line, the Plattco valves have worked flawlessly," Lindsey said. "This is my first experience with Plattco and I'm very satisfied."
"Going with Plattco valves was a good decision," Doerr said. "The reliability of the Plattco product is excellent. Nothing breaks down on the equipment. In fact, the Plattco valves work so well we don't even put a maintenance cost figure for them in our budget."
Doerr also says that when there is routine maintenance, the simple design of the Plattco valves makes it easy. "I like the simplicity of the design," he says. "We occasionally have to perform routine maintenance on the arms, but there's never been a problem that caused us to have any production downtime," he explains. "I'd say the reliability of Plattco valves is about 99.9% uptime."
Maintaining continuous operation of the baghouse is critical, given the types of products produced at the Norfolk and Decatur facilities and the customers who purchase them. According to Doerr, the Norfolk facility produces 300 grades of steel, which are used to make many high-end bar products that play a critical role for companies in automotive, farm equipment, construction, irrigation, and several other industries. The importance of baghouse uptime is equally important in Decatur, where Nucor produces carbon rolled steel sheets in hot rolled, pickled, cold rolled, galvanized, and galvannealed.
The high performance of the 18 Plattco PCV-Series valves also plays a critical role in the environmental compliance at the Nucor Norfolk facility. "One of our goals is to make sure there are no dust leaks," Doerr says. "Because the Plattco valves function so well they help us meet this goal."
Lindsey concurred. "The Plattco valves do an excellent job of helping us maintain a tight airlock," he said. "With a negative pressure system, the Plattco valve is very environmentally friendly. It requires no clean up underneath the valve and we have not had any leakage. If we had anything else in its place we would be forced to keep cleaning it out and cleaning underneath it due to the leakage of material. The Plattco valve also is very easy to maintain and after two years we haven't had to replace any parts."