On Thursday, the 18th of October, 57 students of PGP 2012-14 batch of Indian Institute of Management Raipur visited Bhilai Steel Plant, the flagship unit of Steel Authority of India Limited. This plant is popularly known for being the sole supplier of the country's longest rail tracks of 260 meters.
Bhilai Steel Plant is located about 35 km from Raipur,the capital city of Chhatisgarh, and is one of the major producers of steel plates, wire rods and other structural parts.
The students had the opportunity of visiting four main sections of the plant namely the rail and structural mill, the blast furnace, the plate mill and the coke ovens.
The seven different products from the rail and structural mill are used by the Indian Railways and various other companies in the business of construction equipment development. In the Plate Mill, heavy and medium plates are rolled out, using continuously cast slabs as input. It was a new experience for the students to find the automated process of heating the steel, converting it into plates and then cooling it for the purpose of quenching and stress relieving. The plates produced here are widely used in the defense sector and ship building processes.
After this the group headed to the Blast Furnace shop and had the opportunity to watch the hot sparkling metal (Pig Iron) flowing and getting collected into containers. There are 6 furnaces in the plant.
The students also visited Coke Oven area where coke is produced, which is the input for the blast furnace and the purest form of coal. From there the group also had the opportunity to visit Merchant Mill, Wire Rod Mill, Steel Melting Shops and Sintering Plant.
The team was accompanied by officer from BSP, Mr. Panna Lal, who provided various insights regarding production of different type of steel products beginning from the processing of iron ore. The session that came to an end with a vote of thanks turned out to be well coordinated. All in all it was a great learning experience – an opportunity to gain knowledge about the technical and managerial work flow and operations of a large manufacturing firm.