North Star team wins Burns Award

Staff report

North Star BlueScope Steel’s Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) team has won the 2020 Malcolm Burns Award for helping modify and redesign an EAF enhanced slag door.

Before this improvement, team members had to manually clean the slag door tunnel with a fork truck. The newly-enhanced slag door improves safety and increases performance within the EAF. The new improvements also increase slag retention to improve arc stability and reduce refractory wear. North Star’s south EAF furnace team is reviewing the option to add the newly enhanced slag door as well.

Malcolm Burns was president of North Star BlueScope Steel in 1998 when the steel industry market conditions deteriorated significantly. Under Burns’ leadership, North Star made tough decisions to control all costs. The company survived the poor market conditions and developed a continuous improvement culture that is still active today.

Burns was killed in a car accident in 1999. In his honor, the company presents an award each year to the individual or team that has demonstrated outstanding leadership and solutions for achieving continuous improvement. The Senior Management Team and the Continuous Improvement Team select the winner based on participation in the continuous improvement process; leadership in implementing new initiatives; specific successes of the improvements; the complexity of issues resolved; and money saved or earned from continuous improvement initiatives.

Established in 1996, North Star BlueScope Steel uses leading-edge technology and processes to produce more than two million tons of coiled steel every year.

Staff report