Technology, Flexibility, and People

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KC WoodyChief Operating Officer

Articles by KC
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At Midrex, technology is the foundation, flexibility is essential, and people make it happen. We have built our business on a “renewable technology” concept, a self-sustaining cycle that blends science, engineering, and “real world” experience to constantly re-new and improve the body of MIDREX® technology.

Midrex engineers, technicians, and designers have developed some of the direct reduction industry’s most impressive processes, systems, and equipment over the last 50 years. Our suppliers and construction partners have helped us build MIDREX® Plants, start them up, and attain rated capacity quickly. The MIDREX family of plant owners and operators are the best in the industry, pushing the boundaries of performance and developing innovative operating practices.

Among the recent technology innovations introduced by Midrex are combination plants and on-demand adjustable product carbon, which provide operators flexibility in DRI product forms and carbon content; larger plant capacities (up to 2.5 million tons/year) and advanced process monitoring and control systems for improved operating economics; the use of pure hydrogen as the reductant to reduce the plant’s CO2 footprint; and higher briquetting temperatures to enhance product quality and minimize fines generation…to name a few. And many of these innovations can be implemented at existing plants, as well as included in new plant designs. In addition, we are aggressively enhancing our aftermarket service offerings, including “big data” products and operations assistance.

Engineers appreciate equations, so we like to represent the MIDREX experience as:

Regardless of how it is described, you can count on MIDREX® technology and those who develop, test, design, supply, and service it…Midrex people.

A MIDREX® plant manager once observed, “Ironmaking isn’t only about how many tons you make in an hour; it’s also about how many hours you make tons.” There is a lot of truth in that statement, so much so that we consider availability along with performance and flexibility as the keys to operational success.

Plant production capacity is based on a sustainable hourly tonnage multiplied by an industry standard of 8,000 hours per year. For HBI plants, that number is 7,800 hours to compensate for additional maintenace of briquetting operations. In simplest terms, plant capacity is positively affected by increasing either one or both of these parameters: hourly tonnage and/or operating hours.

DRI plant performance is defined not only by how it performs in peak market conditions but also by how well the plant copes with the inevitable valleys of the global steel industry. MIDREX® Plants have an excellent record of operating well beyond the industry standard by limiting downtime and increasing availability through superior operating practice and excellent maintenance. In 2017, 16 MIDREX® Plants established new annual production records and at least 16 plants established new monthly production records. Twenty MIDREX® Modules operated more than 8,000 hours and 7 exceeded 8,300 hours. Likewise, MIDREX® Plants can operate efficiently at 1/3 of annual capacity to provide the best economics for overall operations in a down market.

At Midrex, our focus is on relentless innovation in products and services to enhance plant performance and value. Critical to this effort is attracting outstanding talent and providing them the tools and training they need to excel. The “Midrex family,” including team members, plant owners and operators, suppliers, and construction partners, are essential to continued progress. Therefore, we see a bright future based on technology, flexibility and people…the perfect combination for success.