The FurnStar suite of control modules utilises advanced process control to overcome design-related limitations and maximise furnace performance.

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  • Maximise furnace performance.
  • Customisable and phased implementations.
  • Improve power output with lower energy consumption.
  • Reduce electrode consumption and breakages.

FurnStar is an extension of the industry-leading submerged-arc furnace controller Minstral, which is installed on over 100 furnaces in nine countries. FurnStar extends Minstral’s capabilities beyond controlling electrode penetration and power input to the furnace to include a number of submerged-arc electrode management and furnace control tools.

FurnStar’s modular approach ensures the design of a customised solution, specific to the objectives of each plant. Furthermore, it allows for phased implementations that are useful both in assessing the benefit of the system and in allowing plant personnel to be introduced gradually to any changes in operation.

Benefits of FurnStar

Furnstar offers the following benefits:

  • Improved power input (MWh)
  • Lower specific energy consumption (MWh/ton)
  • Improved load factor
  • Reduced electrode consumption
  • Reduced electrode breakages
  • Improved recovery.

Improvements to FurnStar

For those familiar with the more recent versions of the Minstral controller, the following improvements have been incorporated into the FurnStar Minstral: 


FurnStar Minstral utilises Mintek’s generic control platform StarCS as its foundation, which has the following advantages: 

  • Ability to incorporate advanced control tools such as Fuzzy and Rule-based logic 
  • Customisable implementation 
  • SCADA-like user interfaces and trending. 

Electrode Control 

  • Intelligent control by dynamically switching between sets of tuning (response) parameters to handle specific furnace conditions such as electrode baking, furnace tapping, and high asymmetry. 

Power Control

  • Simplified current, MVA, and power limit specification 
  • Improved response to current spike conditions to avoid furnace trips. 

Metering Fault Detection

The FurnStar Minstral includes a Fault Detection module that closely monitors the plant metering and uses redundancy to warn of potential metering faults. 

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