1) Shaft savings: fill better, save more
Firstly, it is always better to fill the shaft before starting melting burners as this will put gas to good use right from the start. Charge mix is also important. A 50:50 charge mix ratio of returns and ingots will optimize filling conditions and material distribution within the shaft. Use of smaller ingots is preferable as this will achieve higher surface-to-volume-ratio which benefits heat transfer. Stacking ingots in the same direction within the ingot block can also reduce energy consumption by generating a more homogenous material distribution.
If a 50:50 ratio isn’t possible, for instance if foundries are focused on re-melting bulky returns in line with giant casting trends (bulky parts mean bigger voids), a hot gas baffle to cover the shaft will reduce heat loss considerably. Foundries not already using this feature should do so. We’ve had customers cut their energy consumption by up to 15%.