Quality conscious customers are demanding for a better quality Steel. Is BIS License on Ingot the solution?

The market today is driven by customers. Long gone the days when consumers were obliged to purchase products in the way company produced. The ever increasing customer awareness and consistent demand to get better quality is not an exception to Ingot and Steel.  In response, Indian Government has been trying to bring steel industry under mandatory BIS specification on Ingot in effect from 1 October, 2013.

BIS Mark Steel

Bureau of Indian Standards well known as BIS is a government body that ensures customers with a standard quality of products for six sectors namely Food, Power, Steel, Automotive, Textiles and Information Technology. The quality policy of the organization is:

  • Harmonious development of standardization, marking and quality certification
  • To provide a new thrust to standardization and quality control
  • To evolve a national strategy for according recognition to standards and integrating them with growth and development of production and exports

Steel 360 tried to understand the scenario in consultation with industrial experts. We tried to discuss the issues associated with specification of BIS on Ingot in the market. Resistance to change is an intervention phase is a well known fact, we observed something similar with secondary steel makers. Many like AIIFA (All India Induction Furnace Association) argued that manufacturing of ingot for steel according to BIS norms is tough, unless better quality of raw materials are available. This argument seems true, because BIS standard requires low Sulphur and Phosphorus content but for those steel makers who follow Induction Furnace route for manufacturing, Sulphur and Phosphorous contents are bound to be present. Our expert Satyendra Kumar Sarna throws some light on some of the the initiatives to fix this problem. He mentions of technology from Electrotherm, ELdFOS furnace that claims to carry out dephosphorization and desulphurization in the same equipment hence helping induction furnace to make good quality ingot. Other solutions discussed were synthetic slags which aid in dephosphorization and desulphurization or adding scrap which is low in sulphur and phosphorous content. Although these are preliminary moves, more optimized solutions will be seen in the future.

The steel players in the market have already taken competitive moves by installing the required setup that comply with BIS. There are companies who have registered with BIS already and the numbers are increasing but at a slow pace. Whether the BIS license will be mandatory from this October or not, we cannot comment on it at the moment. But we hope the future will be in favor of Indian consumers.

The excerpts are extracted from the Steel 360 magazine. Steel 360, in its September issue has the complete list of Steel companies registered under BIS and its response in the market. The technical aspects of steel manufacturing were discussed in greater details in the August Issue.