Excursion to the Stahlwerk Thüringen and the Gas Machine Center

On 03 May 2023, we as the student council EI together with the student council MB and interested students as well as employees of both faculties went to the steel mill Thuringia.

After an interesting introduction to the processes of the steel mill by Christian Güntsch from Human Resources, we were allowed to listen to an interesting presentation by Ronny Kaufmann on the topic of AI in the production of the steel mill. With impressive pictures and a multitude of practical examples, Mr. Kaufmann, himself a graduate of the Technical University of Ilmenau, made it clear to us how important good data management is in today's process landscape - after all, the steel mill's servers receive measured values from the scrap yard to the finished product.

But all theory is gray - after a brief refreshment, the group went inside the steel and rolling mill. Guided by three experienced employees of the steel mill, we were able to get rid of all our questions about steel and its production in the Thuringia steel mill. One highlight was certainly watching and also listening to the induction furnace at work. An electric arc with the power consumption of the size of the city of Jena melts down the steel scrap to be processed and does so at a remarkable speed.

After all these modern processes, we finished the day by visiting the gas machine center in Unterwellenborn, a relic from the days of the old Maxhütte, the forerunner of Thuringia's steel mill. After an interesting film on the origins of the steel mill and its special features, the chairman of the Unterwellenborn cultural association, Mr. Bärnt, guided us through the exhibition with entertaining stories. Even though he was not a Maxhütte miner himself, Mr. Bärnt was able to give us a very vivid impression of the life and hardships of the miners in the old Maxhütte.

With many new impressions we went back to Ilmenau. This was certainly not the last time we visited the steel mill and the gas machine center, which can also be visited privately. A big thank you goes to the sponsoring associations of the faculty EI and MB, which supported the excursion financially.

The faculty councils EI and MB are looking forward to new members who support the organization of excursions or in general.

Casting plant at the Stahlwerk ThüringenCarsten Gatermann
Casting plant at the Stahlwerk Thüringen