<Test blast furnace with IRS refractory from Excello. IRS can grasp the temperature, state, and energy loss rate of refractory materials in real time.>


Refractory material may be unfamiliar to the general public. However, it is a huge market worth KRW 1 trillion in Korea and KRW 40 trillion in the global market. We target all industries with facilities that withstand incredibly high temperatures and pressures, such as steel, power generation, glass, and cement.


Refractory material is an inorganic material that does not melt at high temperatures and can withstand high temperatures. It is essential in industries requiring high-temperature heat treatment, such as blast furnaces and incinerators. For example, the steel industry uses more than 80%. Refractory materials installed in a block method inside facilities such as blast furnaces, ladles, and runners can withstand molten iron up to 1600°C.


In an interview with Herald Economics, CEO Sungjae Park of EXCELLO presented a new paradigm of digital transformation of the refractory market and expressed his will to target the global market.


CEO Park, who founded EXCELLO in 2017, succeeded in developing an 'Intelligent Real-time System (IRS) solution,' a refractory monitoring system, and is preparing to enter the market in earnest.


CEO Park, who used to be an IT software developer, worked as a primary supplier for the largest refractory material manufacturer in Korea. He pondered how to solve the problems of existing refractories fundamentally. For the past few decades, the refractory industry has focused only on improving performance, such as properties and strength.


On the other hand, the IRS solution with a self-developed sensor inside the refractory material can monitor the temperature and erosion condition of the refractory material in real-time. EXCELLO is the only company that has perfected this technology in the global refractory market. In particular, EXCELLO can customize the width and size of the refractory material from the general brick form to a maximum of 1.5m. So, any industry that uses refractories can install them in their facilities.


CEO Park said, "If a refractory material is eroded or damaged to a certain extent during use, it must be replaced from time to time. Otherwise, the production equipment will not be able to withstand the high temperature, resulting in damage. It was impossible to check the refractory material's condition properly. So we had no choice but to replace the refractory material even though they could use it longer. Even POSCO, the largest steelmaker in Korea, consumes nearly 1 trillion won of refractory materials annually. By using the IRS solution, it can significantly reduce such inefficiencies by checking the remaining use period and damage."


CEO Park pointed out that the competitiveness of the IRS solution is that it can respond to ESG (environmental, social, and governance) management, which is the most crucial topic in the industry. It is possible to prevent unnecessary equipment replacement by maximizing the use cycle of refractory materials as efficiently as possible. Efficiently managing the facility's temperature can contribute to the realization of carbon neutrality by preventing the wastage of energy required to heat a blast furnace. In addition, CEO Park explained that it is possible to block the risk of human casualties when workers directly inspect high-temperature facilities with the naked eye.


The IRS solution has already finished tests by major domestic steel companies for installation in facilities such as blast furnaces and runners. It is now starting to build full-fledged performance. EXCELLO is discussing business with large domestic companies such as POSCO, Hyundai Steel, Hyundai OCI, and SK Eco Plant. In addition, EXCELLO promotes full-fledged collaboration as technology verification with Paul Wurth, the world's largest blast furnace facility producer.


Recently, he has held business meetings with several European subsidiaries of Arcelor Mittal, the world's largest steel producer, and is focusing on promoting IRS solutions. CEO Park said, "The IRS solution is a tool that monitors refractory materials and high-temperature facilities. It also collects and processes the data generated to enable the digital transformation of industrial production processes. As a result, the competitiveness of sensor-embedded refractories, which no other company in the world has succeeded in, will be highlighted in the global market."


source : 헤럴드경제, “내화물 실시간 모니터링...40조 글로벌시장 공략”