SMS group Press releases2019-12-07T17:14:53+01:00 /typo3conf/ext/bm_atomfeed/Resources/Public/Logo/smsgroup_logo.png <![CDATA[voestalpine Tubulars commissions SMS group crimping press]]> 2019-12-05T13:28:50+01:00 2019-12-05T13:13:00+01:00 Higher availability and increased yield

voestalpine Tubulars GmbH & Co KG, based in Kindberg, Styria, Austria, has commissioned a three-die crimping press supplied by SMS group. The new press, which replaces a predecessor model supplied by SMS group back in 1998, will assure voestalpine Tubulars an increase in plant availability and higher yield. With the new press, the company will be able to further optimize crimping geometries and reduce set-up times. The entire crimping cycle – performed in combination with the associated auxiliary equipment – has been reduced to just 17 seconds.

Crimping is a process that forms metal plate into a dish without reducing the thickness of the plate.

Thanks to the modern hydraulics and control systems, and the three-way-controlled hydraulic cylinders, the new crimping press in operation at voestalpine Tubulars carries out the crimping centrically at very short cycle times. During this process, no shear stress is being induced into the material and there is no buckle formation in between the crimping dies. This will result in a substantial improvement in the crimping shapes of the wide range of very different hollow geometries.

“SMS group has met our expectations in all respects in terms of technology, delivery deadlines, quality and solution competence. The new crimping press will largely improve the plant performance of our push bench area,” says Heinz Teuschl, Head of Operations at the Kindberg mill.

The new crimping press is part of the CPE (Cross Piercing Elongating) line on which voestalpine Tubulars manufactures high-grade tubular products for a broad application range.

<![CDATA[Constellium Singen again relies on aluminum extrusion technology from SMS group]]> 2019-12-02T15:55:51+01:00 2019-12-02T15:48:00+01:00 EcoDraulic concept to reduce energy consumption

Constellium Singen GmbH has contracted SMS group to supply a 45-MN extrusion press for its largest works in Germany. Based on a long-lasting business relationship, Constellium Singen again counts on the technological expertise of SMS group.

The 45-MN aluminum extrusion press will be installed by SMS group in a newly established production hall at the Singen site. With the new plant, Constellium Singen will be able to increase its production capacity of high-quality aluminum profiles of most different cross-sectional geometries and also to respond to the growing demand by the automotive industry more flexibly. Commissioning is scheduled for summer 2020.

The 45-MN front-loading extrusion press will be built to SMS group’s latest design and be equipped with the highly precise linear guidance system for all moving main components of the press, with servo drive technology for all auxiliary functions as well as the proven EcoDraulic concept to reduce energy consumption of the hydraulic pumps. Using the EcoDraulic system permits energy savings of up to ten percent to be achieved as compared to modern extrusion presses operating without that system. The intelligent start-stop automation deactivates all hydraulic pumps not required for the extrusion process.

Another highlight of the press will be the self-adjusting, moving discard shear which automatically adapts to the height of the tool package and ensures optimum and clean cuts. The scope of supply will include further crucial auxiliaries such as billet loader and dummy block lubrication system. An electrically operated linear billet loader will make sure the aluminum billets are safely and quickly fed to the press and, thanks to its telescopic gripper, will reduce non-productive time. 

For the control and optimization of the production process, the new 45-MN extrusion press will be equipped with the most modern soft- and hardware package. The smart press control system PICOS.NET (Process Information and Control System) visualizes and coordinates the control of the individual plant areas and provides an array of further useful functions, for example billet length optimization, billet recording as well as fault diagnosis. The process software CADEX (Computer Aided Direct Extrusion) serves for the optimization of the extrusion process. It simulates the process and provides best possible extrusion parameters for isothermal and isobaric extruding. The result is an improvement in product quality at optimum utilization of the press force.

<![CDATA[Paul Wurth to design and supply Coke Oven Gas Injection Systems for ROGESA’s Blast Furnaces]]> 2019-11-29T12:10:25+01:00 2019-11-27T16:32:00+01:00 ROGESA Roheisengesellschaft Saar mbH, a joint subsidiary of AG der Dillinger Hüttenwerke und Saarstahl AG, has awarded Paul Wurth with the order to design and supply coke oven gas injection systems for the company’s blast furnaces No. 4 and No. 5 located in Dillingen/Saar, Germany.

With this new technology, coke oven gas will become a metallurgical process gas instead of being used for producing energy at low efficiency level. In its new role, coke oven gas will partially replace both pulverized coal and metallurgical coke as reducing agents in the blast furnace process, thus contributing to reducing the carbon intensity in the blast furnace as well as the carbon footprint of the overall ironmaking operations. ROGESA, Dillinger and Saarstahl consider the application of this technology as a bold step toward the hydrogen based ironmaking of the future.

In preparation of the project, Paul Wurth accompanied the customer in research work and pilot plant trials. Now, the order is being executed on a turn-key basis and includes design and engineering for the two coke oven gas injection sub-plants, supply of technological key items like flow control and check valves, supply and erection of vessels, piping and supporting structure, automation of the plants and integration into the existing process technology and plant configuration.

As per the project schedule, coke oven gas injection shall start in summer 2020 at half of the number of hot blast tuyeres of No. 5 blast furnace with the aim to come to permanent injection at all tuyeres of both furnaces by the end of the same year.

Within Paul Wurth’s strategy to come to a carbon neutral primary metallurgy, coke oven gas injection at tuyere level is a part of the company’s portfolio of readily available solutions for stepwise CO2 emission reduction for existing integrated steel plants.

About Paul Wurth

Headquartered in Luxembourg since its creation in 1870, the Paul Wurth Group is an established technology provider for the primary stage of integrated steelmaking. Paul Wurth is a leading market player for the design and construction of complete blast furnace and coke oven plants. Direct reduction plants, environmental protection solutions and recycling technologies complete Paul Wurth’s product portfolio. With more than 1 500 employees and entities in around 20 countries, the Paul Wurth Group has a strong presence in the significant iron and steel regions of the world.

<![CDATA[Constellium awards contract to SMS group to modernize the exit end of aluminum hot strip mill at Ravenswood]]> 2019-11-27T15:33:59+01:00 2019-11-27T15:26:00+01:00 SMS group has received an order from Constellium Rolled Products Ravenswood, LLC, USA, for the modernization of the 112 inch finishing mill exit end of its aluminum hot strip mill. This modernization of the exit end covers the replacement of two “constant passline” coilers with a single fixed position coiler. The aluminum hot strip mill is a key production unit at Ravenswood and is essential for providing hot rolled coils for further processing by the cold rolling mills. This revamp will provide Constellium with improved equipment reliability and reduced equipment down time.

SMS group’s scope of supply includes a new deflector roll and pinch roll unit that are used with new strip threading guides to direct the strip from the exit end of the finishing mill to the coiler mandrel. The existing coil mandrel assembly with gearing will be disassembled from one of coilers that is being removed and reinstalled into a new coiler gearbox. The new coiler gearbox will be driven through the existing drive train of one of the existing coilers. An additional 500 HP motor is being added to the two existing 500 HP motors of this drive train to provide increased strip tension. An existing beltwrapper is being reinstalled into a new support structure. A new outboard bearing unit and snubber roll unit are also being supplied. The coil will be removed from the coiler mandrel with a new coil car and will be transported to a new coil OD bander. After banding the coil will be transported to the existing exit coil handling equipment.

SMS group has collaborated with Premier Automation to provide the automation of the new exit end equipment and to coordinate this automation with existing control systems.

Extensive equipment preassembly and factory acceptance testing has been undertaken by SMS group at their East Pittsburgh facility to perform as much equipment piping, cabling, functional testing and assembly checking as possible ahead of the equipment installation outage. The functional testing includes actuation of the equipment units from the hydraulic valve stands, which include on-board remote I/O units.

This contract is the continuation of a relationship between SMS group and Constellium that began with a study of the hot strip mill, continued with equipment engineering, and has now resulted in the equipment supply.

<![CDATA[New AOD converter torque retainer from SMS group]]> 2019-11-21T15:06:33+01:00 2019-11-21T14:51:00+01:00 Successful commissioning and quick acceptance at NAS

For North American Stainless (NAS) in Ghent, Kentucky, SMS group has successfully commissioned a torque retainer for the 160-ton AOD converter no. 1. The customer issued the final acceptance certificate shortly thereafter.

The aim of the revamp – which was to reduce the torque that had previously been causing uncontrolled vibrations and damage to the bull gear, bearings, and foundations of the converter drive during AOD converter operation – was fully achieved in every respect. As a result, the uncontrolled vibrations in the gear unit and converter vessel were substantially reduced. The target values were achieved under production conditions shortly after commissioning.

SMS group supplied the torque retainer as a compact electrohydraulic unit. The scope of supply also included the engineering, supervision of the erection and installation work, and technical assistance during commissioning. Both the cold and hot commissioning were completed jointly with the customer, and the latter was performed while production was going on.

This is where NAS put SMS group's proven installation concept into action. Thanks to effective joint planning, it was possible to bring forward the plant shutdown date.

NAS is very satisfied with the results. The availability and operational reliability of the AOD converter have been significantly improved. Gear unit maintenance will also be drastically reduced. This revamp means NAS is able to utilize larger tuyeres and thus increase the blowing rate.

Duncan Bassett, Head of Mechanical Maintenance at NAS: "What impresses us is just how quiet the AOD converter and its entire surroundings are. The integration of the torque retainer in the existing converter went without a hitch, and the electrical and automation systems were adapted especially for us. From a technical and economic perspective, this torque retainer from SMS group is just the right solution."

The torque retainer from SMS group has already been successfully installed in Acerinox's plants in Columbus Stainless, Middelburg, South Africa (two AOD converters), and at Acerinox Europe S.A.U., Los Barrios (Cádiz), Spain.

<![CDATA[Quenching and HSD<sup>®</sup> lines from SMS group successfully commissioned at Daehan Sinpyeong]]> 2019-11-20T14:25:55+01:00 2019-11-20T14:16:00+01:00 Greater flexibility leads to cost reduction through modernization of temperature control and bar mill outlet

South Korean Daehan Steel Co., Ltd. has smoothly re-started production with new SMS group quenching and high-speed lines following the successful modernization of the Sinpyeong bar mill.

The Final Acceptance Certificate (FAC) was signed two months ahead of the original schedule, thanks to the strong cooperation between SMS group and Daehan Steel.

The main target of the modernization was to reduce the ferro-alloys content in the billets, which results in a substantial production cost reduction. The upgrade also aimed to improve the production efficiency with the product range from 16 to 35 millimeters rebar and steel grades up to SD600.

The modernization project was completed within 13 months only and ended to the full satisfaction of both companies.

The scope consisted of the replacement of the existing quenching line with a new one, two dividing shears with associated pinch rolls, bar braking system and an HSD® line (High-Speed Delivery), the unique system to feed bars onto the cooling bed at high speed via rotating channels. Additionally, the supply included an automation package by SMS group for machine and process control.

<![CDATA[SMS group in highly innovative campus in Mönchengladbach from 2023]]> 2019-11-20T09:08:15+01:00 2019-11-20T09:03:00+01:00 •         Investment in the future with a focus on technology, service and digitalization

•        State-of-the-art workplaces with 5G infrastructure

•        Campus character to foster exchange and agile cooperation

SMS group, global market leader in mechanical engineering and plant construction for the steel and nonferrous metals industry, is moving to an innovative campus in 2023. It is being created next to the existing buildings on the Mönchengladbach site.

This decision stems from the long-term wish to unite employees from many different business units under one roof while offering them state-of-the-art workplaces. The SMS Campus will bring together employees who, until recently, had been spread across five locations in the immediate area.

By merging these locations, SMS group is promoting even closer cooperation along the entire value chain. The Technology, Service and Digitalization Campus will enable agile work in a 5G infrastructure and will feature generous social and communication areas. In addition, the modernization of the existing properties in Mönchengladbach will be designed to optimally integrate with the new campus.

Alongside office equipment and traffic concepts, cost aspects were thoroughly analyzed and compared. The SMS Campus in Mönchengladbach represents the most efficient solution overall in these terms. In particular, the costs of the new construction will be offset by avoiding further rental costs and necessary renovations at the existing premises in Düsseldorf and through a sale of this company property.

A building permit has already been granted and the foundation stone will be laid in late summer 2020.

The employees of the affected locations were informed about first details and are invited to actively contribute suggestions and wishes to the set-up of their future workplaces.

<![CDATA[AVIC Shaanxi Hongyuan Aviation Forging celebrates the commissioning of the world's largest clutch-operated screw press from SMS group]]> 2019-11-18T16:04:10+01:00 2019-11-18T15:54:00+01:00 Forging of structural components, aviation discs and turbine blades for the Chinese aviation industry

China-based AVIC Shaanxi Hongyuan Aviation Forging Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of AVIC Heavy Machinery Co., Ltd, in partnership with SMS group, has put the world's largest clutch-operated screw press into operation at its site in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China. The inauguration of the new press was celebrated together with numerous customers and invited guests who had the opportunity to see the impressive technology for themselves.

The SPKA-type clutch-operated screw press, which was supplied by SMS group, has a screw diameter of 1,330 millimeters, a hard-on-hard blow force of 365 MN, a gross power of 27,000 kJ, and a weight of 2,900 tons. It is already the worldwide third clutch-operated screw press of this size supplied by SMS group, and exceeds with its performance data the other two existing presses delivered before.

The clutch-operated screw press from SMS group offers tremendous flexibility when it comes to optimizing the forging process, and requires far less stroke to achieve the preset ram speed than a conventional slipping-wheel screw press. The maximum ram speed is attained after just ten percent of the ram stroke, and remains at a constant level until the ram hits the part being forged.

This type of press is particularly suitable for high-energy forging as typically used for turbine blades or structural aircraft components, for example.

AVIC Shaanxi Hongyuan Aviation Forging is one of the largest manufacturers of structural components, aviation discs and turbine blades for the Chinese aviation industry. By investing in the new press, the company intends to increase its production volume and component portfolio, and supply the aircraft industry with forgings produced on the new press from high-alloy steel, titanium and nickel-based alloys.

<![CDATA[VDMA recognizes Indian workshop of SMS group with Manufacturing Excellence Award]]> 2019-11-13T14:47:55+01:00 2019-11-13T14:40:00+01:00 Award for excellence in working conditions and work safety

SMS group’s Indian manufacturing facility at Bhubaneswar, SMS India Pvt. Ltd., which ranks among the most advanced heavy machinery workshops in the world, has received the Manufacturing Excellence Award 2019 from German Engineering Federation VDMA.

The 8th VDMA Mechanical Engineering Summit, held on September 6, 2019 in Bangalore, India, saw the presentation of the Manufacturing Excellence Award for Working Conditions and Work Safety in the small and medium industries category to SMS group’s manufacturing workshop in Bhubaneswar, India. In a wide range of aspects − such as health and safety of employees, staff facilities, plant administration, environment, and contributions in support of the welfare of neighboring communities − the workshop was recognized as the best in class of German manufacturing companies in India.

Operating with an integrated quality management system to ISO 9001 and 140001 (in the revised version of 2015) and ISO 45001-2018 (in the revised OSHAS version: 18001-2007), the workshop produces high-grade equipment components to global quality and delivery reliability standards.

With over 700 skilled staff, the workshop – in addition to the manufacturing of components – also performs extensive repair and refurbishment services for its customers, promoting the “Make in India” initiative established by the Indian government.

Commenting on the future vision of the workshop, Ulrich Greiner, CEO of SMS India Pvt. Ltd., explained: “To me the most important thing about our workshop’s positioning is the fact that we are the leading supplier in terms of manufacturing quality and customer satisfaction in the Indian manufacturing sector. This is the only viable basis for us to expand our customer base in the primary industries sector, in which we fulfill the extremely exacting requirements of OEMs and provide highly value-adding services. This is a key focal area for us because, while the steel sector in India is currently in a cyclical downturn, other industries require products and services of the kind we can supply.”

The VDMA award honors the company’s excellent order processing performance, which has been rated by numerous SMS group customers as outstanding. In particular, the company’s high dependability, straightforward communication channels, and excellent welding skills are definitely far beyond standard. Also in manufacturing processes involving copper or stainless steel, for example, or in build-up welding of wear-resistant special alloys including subsequent machining, the manufacturing workshop fulfills the most exacting customer requirements.

The workshop’s commitment to the continuous enhancement of its operational excellence has proved to pay off in the form of excellent working conditions and highest occupational safety standards.

Workshop safety initiatives

For SMS group, the health and safety of its employees − throughout the world − has always been a key concern. Therefore, the Bhubaneswar workshop has set up an EHS (Environment, Health and Safety) group which organizes regular safety courses and other specialized training sessions to promote the workforce’s awareness and knowledge of safety regulations.

Safety committee meetings, with participation of the plant management, are held on a monthly basis to discuss safety issues observed and decide on appropriate remedial action. Additionally, a system has been established which ensures that all incidents at the facilities are reported and logged on a daily basis. A safety manual, a safety awareness campaign, and an “on-site emergency plan” have been put in place to ensure general safety of the workers. The prize received for the – on global standards − best Working Conditions and Work Safety testifies to the efficiency of all these measures. As well as the safety award, the workshop also scooped the “Surakshit Sramik Bandhu” (Safe and Dedicated Employees) award for its workers from the government and associated agencies of the state of Odisha.

During a visit of the manufacturing workshop in Bhubaneswar, Dr. Martin Ney, German Ambassador to India, congratulated the SMS group staff on their success: “Thank you for the excellent briefing and the highly interesting tour of the plant. I wish SMS every success as they continue on this impressive path here in Bhubaneswar.”

<![CDATA[Yamato Steel Co. Ltd. orders PROgauge laser measuring system from TBK Automatisierung und Messtechnik]]> 2019-11-12T17:00:38+01:00 2019-11-12T16:49:00+01:00 Japanese steel producers rely increasingly on laser measuring technology from TBK

Yamato Steel Co. Ltd., Japan, has ordered a PROgauge light-section system from TBK Automatisierung und Messtechnik GmbH, Graz, Austria, a company of SMS group, for its Kokyo section mill. The laser gauge will be designed to measure a wide range of medium and heavy sections, including H-beams and channels. The system will also include the SurfTec surface analysis function to detect on-line surface defects in the hot condition directly after the last mill stand. This allows inline detection of defects originating from the rolling process or from defective material, securely rules out the risk of processing defective material, and drastically reduces the frequency of manual inspections. The gauge combines two functions, shape and size measurement and surface analysis, within one unit. The high scanning rate and the great number of measuring points allows the surface to be represented in 3D.

The gauge for Yamato Steel can be retracted from the mill line into a service position. Due the space restrictions, the device will be lifted vertically from the pass line. The system for Yamato Steel will be customized to comply with the local conditions and the requirements of the customer. Due to the in-house design and manufacturing capabilities, TBK is able to comply with such highly specific requirements.

TBK supplied a gauge of similar design to Nucor Yamato Steel, U.S.A., a joint venture company between Yamato Steel and Nucor. The successful project execution, the smooth start-up and the good performance of the gauge at Nucor Yamato were reasons for Yamato Steel to order the gauge from TBK.

Thanks to the good reputation and outstanding performance of TBK gauges and their successful introduction in the Japanese market, five measuring units have been sold to Japanese customers within a period of only 18 months. The first system was sold in Japan in 2016 for the measurement of wire rod after a finishing block. Following that order, further gauges of different designs have been sold to reputed producers of wire rod, medium and large sections, including beams, angles, rails and sheet piles of up to 1,000 millimeters or more.

TBK, a pioneer in measuring technology on the light-section principle, has been active as a supplier of laser measuring systems based on this method for more than 30 years. This technique allows images of the complete sections to be visualized – a feature that plays an increasingly important role in production and for documentation purposes.

The TBK laser measuring system for Yamato Steel will start operation in December 2020.

<![CDATA[ArcelorMittal Asturias commissions SMS group to replace old coke-oven gas burners with hybrid SMS EcoFlame<sup> PLUS </sup> burners in the Aviles hot strip mill]]> 2019-11-21T15:12:23+01:00 2019-11-11T15:47:00+01:00 Modifications will enable ArcelorMittal to drastically reduce CO2 und NOx emissions

ArcelorMittal Asturias, Spain, has awarded SMS group the order to supply a new combustion system for the existing walking beam furnaces 2N, 3N and 4N in the Aviles hot strip mill.

The supply consists of replacing the existing burners with the SMS EcoFlamePLUS dual fuel burners in the zones that will be upgraded and converted to basic oxygen furnace (BOF) gas utilization, instead of the simple replacement of the gas feeding lances. 22 burners will be replaced on each furnace. This solution will guarantee more efficient combustion, an optimal flame mix resulting in a reduction of NOx emissions. These modifications will enable ArcelorMittal to drastically reduce NOx emissions to lower than 150 mg/Nm3 and decrease global CO2 emissions.

The new burners can be fed either with a mix of BOF gas and natural gas (NG) or with BOF gas only. Thus, it is possible to use the gas from the upstream processes, making the works of ArcelorMittal more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Converting the three furnaces to heating and pre-soaking using 100 percent BOF or natural gas (or any mix of the two gases) will maximize the BOF gas flow rate in every operative condition (e.g. utilization of the maximum BOF gas flow rate of 40,000 Nm3/h with two furnaces working at 50 percent of their thermal power). Switching between the two gases will be performed automatically.

<![CDATA[Nucor Corporation awards SMS group order to supply one of the world’s largest continuous casters]]> 2019-11-07T14:02:45+01:00 2019-11-07T13:48:00+01:00 Casting of steel in special sizes

Nucor Corporation has selected SMS group for the supply of a single-strand caster for ultra-wide and thick slabs. Designed for an annual capacity of 1.45 million tons (1.6 million short tons), it will be a core element of the production chain of the Nucor’s new plate mill facility in Brandenburg, Kentucky, U.S.A. The new casting machine will be one of the largest casters worldwide.

”SMS group and Nucor make a good team, and the caster will be essential to the success of our new plate mill facility,” said Johnny Jacobs, Vice President and General Manager of Nucor Brandenburg.

The caster will produce slabs of 8 to 12 inch (200 to 305 millimeter) thickness up to 124 inch (3,150 millimeter) width. Slab lengths vary from 104 to 600 inch (2,642 to 15,240 millimeter).

To meet Nucor’s challenging project objectives, several special technological features will be incorporated into the new vertical bending caster. These include robotic applications on the casting platform and an HD mold with fiber optics and electromagnetic stirring. In addition, a customized roller apron, a quenching unit and a secondary cutting line will also be incorporated. 

Various X-Pact® technological packages like Process Guidance, Solid Control, Tech Assist with Liquid Core Reduction and Dynamic Soft Reduction®, integrated in the SMS Electric & Automation system will support the caster performance. An integration test with virtual 3D production and active participation by Nucor personnel will take place in the SMS test field.

About Nucor

Nucor and its affiliates are manufacturers of steel and steel products, with operating facilities in the U.S. and Canada. Products produced include: carbon and alloy steel − in bars, beams, sheet and plate; hollow structural section tubing; electrical conduit; steel piling; steel joists and joist girders; steel deck; fabricated concrete reinforcing steel; cold finished steel; precision castings; steel fasteners; metal building systems; steel grating; and wire and wire mesh. Nucor, through The David J. Joseph Company, also brokers ferrous and nonferrous metals, pig iron and hot briquetted iron / direct reduced iron; supplies ferro-alloys; and processes ferrous and nonferrous scrap. Nucor is North America's largest recycler.

<![CDATA[First coil at Nucor Steel Gallatin’s pickling and galvanizing line with unique “heat-to-coat” technology by SMS group]]> 2019-11-08T12:43:48+01:00 2019-11-05T14:29:00+01:00 Extended production of processed hot strip in the U.S.A.

Pickling and galvanizing of the first coil in September 2019, marked the production start of the new pickling and galvanizing line at Nucor Steel Gallatin in Ghent, Kentucky, in the U.S.A. SMS group delivered the whole line out of one hand as a system supplier and is responsible for engineering, process technology, furnace technology, pickling and galvanizing technology as well as electrical and automation systems. The “heat-to-coat” technology is characterized by the compact and operator-friendly U-shape design, the turbulence pickling system, the high-power inductive heating system, the FOEN® galvanizing equipment and the Drever after-pot cooling system.

The line is designed to produce 500,000 tons of galvanized hot strip per year with a maximum capacity of 180 tons per hour and a large strip cross section (up to 6.35 millimeter thickness and up to 1,854 millimeter width), which sets a new standard in hot strip galvanizing. There is a broad area of applications for the material, especially in construction, transportation and in the automotive industry and it is possible to substitute galvanized cold strip with hot strip.

The “heat-to-coat” process based on SMS patented technology excels with its high profitability, as all processes take place in a single facility. The process permits the production of galvanized steel strip with durable corrosion protection, an appealing visual appearance, as well as an increased mechanical load-capacity while still maintaining low production and investment costs.

<![CDATA[Global Steel Wire S.A. awards SMS Concast modernization order for a six-strand billet caster]]> 2019-11-08T12:43:59+01:00 2019-10-31T14:58:00+01:00 Celsa Group increases production flexibility

Global Steel Wire S.A. (Celsa Group), located in Santander, Spain, has placed the order for the upgrade of their continuous billet casting machine with SMS Concast, a company of SMS group. Steel production at Global Steel Wire S.A. (GSW) is focused on wire rod in special steel grades for the automotive and special engineering industries. Currently, the existing caster produces roughly 900,000 tons of steel per year in 180 millimeter square sections. The aim of the modernization is to increase the production flexibility by broadening the range of cast formats by the addition of 200 to 240 millimeter square sections, increasing the casting speeds, and consequently enhancing the productivity and the quality of the cast products.

The upgrade is to be implemented with minimized interruption of production. The start-up of the upgraded machine is scheduled for early 2021.

The order includes the installation of CONDRIVE mold oscillation drive systems on all strands. CONDRIVE has already been tested and has been successfully running on one strand at Global Steel Wire since October 2018. Also the powerful electromagnetic mold stirrers, CONSTIR-MEMS are part of the supply in order to achieve the required quality standards. As an additional feature of the stirring system, CONSTIR-MWS (Modulated Wave Stirring) will allow the energy consumption of the stirrers to be reduced by up to 30 percent.

Taking another step towards Industrie 4.0, the CONSAFE thermal mold mapping technology will be implemented in order to help analyze and improve the process conditions to achieve best quality.

<![CDATA[Ningbo Powerway banks on an AMOVA logistics concept for its copper production operations]]> 2019-11-08T12:44:09+01:00 2019-10-29T11:26:00+01:00 Ningbo Powerway Alloy Material Co., Ltd., subsidiary of Ningbo Powerway Group, has contracted AMOVA GmbH, a company of SMS group, to supply a logistics system for the complete works complex at its Yinzhou site in China. Ningbo Powerway Group is one of the most important producers of non-ferrous metals bars, wire rod and strips in the Chinese economic region. The finished products made from these primary materials are used for a wide range of applications in the electrical and electronic industry.

This recent order continues a successful cooperation, which began about five years ago when AMOVA supplied a packaging line for narrow-strip coils to Ningbo Powerway.

AMOVA designs a complete, all-encompassing logistics concept for the facilities in Yinzhou that will assure maximum efficiency of the material flow. AMOVA is going to link all process stages from the raw material storage area down to the dispatch area, including the higher-level materials control and tracking systems. The containers, which are manually filled in the raw material storage area with scrap blends for the different copper alloys, will be transported to the melt shop by means of rail-bound vehicles. There the containers will be stacked for intermediate storage until they are taken to the melting furnace by crane. Operation of the crane will be fully automatic, including the emptying of the containers.

Downstream of the melting and milling shop, the strips are inter­mediately stored in the flat product storage area which will be served by an automatic gantry-type crane. Freely navigating vehicles will transport the strips from there to and between the downstream processing stages – rolling, annealing, cleaning, cutting and slitting – and finally to the buffer store from whether they are taken to the packaging area. The packaged finished products will be inter­mediately stored in an automated high-bay store until they are dispatched.

AMOVA is going to supply two transfer cars, each designed to autonomously pick up or put down three containers at a time and transport the three containers as a set from the filling area to the intermediate storage area of the meltshop. The supply scope additionally includes a fleet of six freely navigating vehicles for the transport of the coils and the scrap containers, two additional buffer storage areas equipped with automatic cranes, a coil stacking device for the annealing plant, and the automated high-bay store, which – depending on the type of stored items − can accommodate up to 2,064 pallets. Also the management software for the various storage areas, including an integrated material flow control system, is part of the supply.

Last but not least, AMOVA will be responsible for the implementation of the Level 1 and Level 2 automation. The WMS (Warehouse Management System) will be set up as a redundant server system with virtualization. Until the MES (Manufacturing Execution System) will have been commissioned, the input terminals of the WMS will be used for the exchange of information with the various processing and cutting lines, and with other important constituents of the production process (e.g. the storage and buffer areas, and the Vehicle Management System of the freely navigating cars). In addition to acquiring process and material data, the WMS performs functions such as material tracking and plant performance analyses, which may be used as a basis for the independent calculation of Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). The use of customized and animated graphics will make the system extremely user-friendly, as a matter of course, also via mobile devices.

Commissioning of the entire works logistics is scheduled to be completed by early 2020.

For more than 30 years, storage and transport systems from AMOVA have been successfully in use in China in aluminum plants, in particular. With this recent order from Ningbo Powerway, AMOVA has now also entered the segment of intralogistics in Chinese copper production and processing facilities, in addition to packaging systems for copper products, which AMOVA has in the past supplied to various customers in China.

AMOVA GmbH, based in Netphen, Germany, previously known as SMS Logistiksysteme or SIEMAG Transplan, specializes in the planning and implementation of logistics concepts and the supply of turnkey intralogistics projects to customers the world over. AMOVA has its expertise and key capabilities in the design of automatic transport, smart storage and customized packaging solutions.

More than 60 years of expertise make AMOVA a highly valuable partner for customers not alone in the steel and NF-metals industry. The company has transferred its knowhow to other fields of application, such as air cargo handling and port logistics, where its solutions are successfully in use.

<![CDATA[North Star BlueScope Steel selects SMS group for supply of new single-strand continuous caster]]> 2019-11-08T12:44:18+01:00 2019-10-28T14:29:00+01:00 North Star BlueScope Steel, located in Delta, Ohio, U.S.A., has selected SMS group as the supplier for its new single-strand thin-slab continuous caster. The new casting machine will have a thickness range of 95 to 110 millimeters and a width range of 900 to 1,595 millimeters. It will allow North Start BlueScope Steel to increase thin-slab production from 2.2 million metric tons (2.4 million short tons) to over 3.3 million metric tons (3.6 million short tons) per year.

The modifications performed by SMS group to the existing casting strand - supplied by another manufacturer - and the ongoing maintenance of this equipment over the last decade differentiated SMS group for the supply of the new casting equipment. SMS group also developed a convincing, cost-efficient design that allows the new casting equipment to be interchangeable with the existing casting strand.

The scope of supply includes the complete cast floor equipment, including the ladle turret, the mold and the vertical-bending containment zone, and a pendulum shear to cut the strand into slabs.

To digitalize the casting process, SMS group is going to supply a range of innovative technology packages. The new casting machine will be equipped with X-Pact® Width Control, X-Pact® Solid Control that includes width-dependent air-mist secondary cooling and solidification control, Level 2 X-Pact® Cast Optimizer and the HD moldTC mold monitoring system.

SMS digital will supply the SMS Data Factory digitalization package. The existing infrastructure will allow for immediate capability of data-driven Business Intelligence at the caster, allowing the caster data to be incorporated for ongoing enhancements in quality, production, and asset cost reductions.

The anticipated start-up of the new casting strand is set for 2021.

North Star BlueScope is owned by BlueScope, a leading international supplier of steel products and building solutions found in the global building and construction industry based in Melbourne, Australia. North Star BlueScope has relied on SMS group‘s cutting edge innovations and know-how for many years. This order marks the next step in a successful cooperation between both companies.

<![CDATA[Ningbo Iron & Steel grants FAC to SMS group for modernization of its hot strip mill cooling section]]> 2019-11-08T12:44:27+01:00 2019-10-16T14:06:00+02:00 Final Acceptance Certificate only 14 months after receipt of order

On 26 September 2019, only 14 months from the placement of the order, steel customer Ningbo Iron & Steel Co., Ltd., China, issued to SMS group the FAC (Final Acceptance Certificate) for the successful execution of the laminar cooling modernization in its HSM.

The ¾-continuously operating HSM is located in the Zhejiang province roughly 200 km south from Shanghai at the bay of the East China Sea. The rolling mill consists of three walking beam furnaces for slab reheating, a two-stand roughing mill, a seven-stand finishing train, the run-out table with the laminar cooling system as well as three down coilers. The mill capacity is 4 million tons per year in the strip thickness range between 1.2 and 19 millimeters and strip widths between 900 and 1,630 millimeters. The rolled steel material are grades for household and building industry applications as well as grades for the automotive industry.

The main targets of the cooling train modernization were on the one hand improved cooling performance with tighter tolerances for the coiling temperature and on the other hand the extension of the product mix by dual phase steel grades DP 600 and DP 800 for automotive purposes, pipe grades X60 and higher as well as non-grain oriented electrical steel. 

The modernization package for the roughly 90 meters cooling train comprised the complete mechanical cooling equipment including six super-reinforced cooling banks at the entry of the cooling section and six reinforced cooling banks in front of the trimming zone. To avoid strip unflatness problems created in the cooling section, SMS group installed the advanced header technology ensuring uniform flow over the complete width. Furthermore, a new cross spraying system with new headers has been installed operating with a pressure of 20 bar to allow highest cooling efficiency.

Besides the mechanical and media equipment, in the area of Electrics & Automation SMS group supplied − for the existing Level 1 and Level 2 systems − the proven X-Pact® system with sophisticated models for set-up calculation of strip cooling and cooling patterns as well as extended cooling strategies.

„With the new cooling train including the new automation system Ningbo Iron & Steel possesses effective and valuable tools for the production of high-strength steel grades for the automotive industry and pipe grades. Due to the new mechanical equipment, the new process models and the new basic automation, the cooling performance increased significantly. From mill stop to re-start it took only 15 days. We thank SMS group for the excellent cooperation. This is one example for the excellent international cooperation between P.R. China and Germany”, comments Han Jianguo, Ningbo, the project.

<![CDATA[Hertwich supplies aluminum multi-chamber melting furnace and continuous homogenization system to Exlabesa]]> 2019-10-10T16:22:18+02:00 2019-10-10T16:14:00+02:00 Exlabesa expands casthouse capacity in La Coruña

Exlabesa, Europe’s largest independent extruder expands the aluminum remelt capacity at its Padrón facility.

In close partnership with Hertwich Engineering, a company of SMS group, Exlabesa put into operation a Hertwich continuous homogenizing plant at its Padrón-based facility in the second half of 2018. Following this investment, Exlabesa has now ordered a PR130 multi-chamber melting furnace, complete with charging unit, which will increase the capacity of the Padrón casthouse to 60,000 tons per year.

The new furnace with a capacity of 130 tons per day will be designed to process a relatively wide range of scrap: production scrap, clean profiles with lengths of up to seven meters, sawing chips, clean and lacquered scrap (shredded or in pieces), ingots and market scrap. To remelt this loose and moderately contaminated scrap, an Ecomelt-PR furnace with preheat ramp, melting chamber and main chamber will be installed. This furnace concept was developed about 20 years ago and since then has proven its worth in many casthouses.

The scrap to be melted is transferred onto a ramp in the preheat chamber by an automatic charging unit. During the charging process the surrounding area is protected from the furnace atmosphere.

In the preheat/melting chamber the material is heated to approx. 500 °C to remove adhering organic compounds. Based on extensive operational experience, this chamber has been designed to optimize heat transfer and reduce preheating time. For a furnace with a daily melting capacity of 130 tons, Hertwich specifies two charging cycles per hour (each with three tons of scrap).

The preheated and decoated material is pushed from the ramp into the melt bath. An electromagnetic liquid metal pump ensures the melt transfer between both furnace chambers and the availability of the required energy for melting in the melting chamber. The melt level in the melting chamber and the melting rate can be adjusted by this liquid metal pump. During the melting process, the scrap remains submerged at all time in order to avoid oxidation losses.

The temperature level in the main chamber from which the melt is tapped for casting is about 1,000 °C, hot enough to burn all pyrolysis gases generated during scrap preheating. The heating system uses the energy in the flue gases to heat the combustion air. In this way, energy consumption values from 450 to 500 kWh/ton are achievable when melting moderately contaminated scrap.

The installation of the new melting furnace will not impair the ongoing casting operation. Commissioning is scheduled for mid-2020. Once this investment has been completed, Exlabesa will own melting, homogenizing and extrusion equipment meeting the latest state of the art.

Exlabesa is a global company that covers the complete aluminum production cycle including extrusion, coating, anodizing, machining, bending and recycling for a wide range of industrial sectors and fields of application. With a total of 22 extrusion lines (press capacities from 13 MN to 65 MN) installed at seven production centers located in the U.S.A., UK, Spain, Germany (Weseralu GmbH & Co), Poland and Morocco, Exlabesa has the capacity to produce up to 176,000 tons of profiles per year.

<![CDATA[2019 QUALITY DAY MEETING DATES ANNOUNCED FOR FLAT METAL MANUFACTURERS]]> 2019-10-02T16:11:27+02:00 2019-10-02T15:08:00+02:00 The Quality Alliance, a network of high-tech companies that develop and supply quality assurance and control systems to the global metals industry, has announced the group’s annual Quality Day meetings will take place in Spain in October.

Designed specifically for flat metal products manufacturers (coils, sheets and plates) to extend their knowledge of modern measurement and quality systems, two individual day-long meetings will take place at Hotel Meliá, Bilbao (Tuesday 22 October) and Hotel NH Valencia Las Artes, Valencia (Thursday 24 October).

Free to register and attend, this year’s meetings have been organized by AMETEK Surface Vision, a world leader in surface inspection and monitoring systems, who will be joined by fellow members; DUMA-BANDZINK GmbH; EMG Automation GmbH; Laser- und Lichtsysteme GmbH; Pauly GmbH & Co. KG; QuinLogic GmbH; Shapeline AB; along with AMETEK Land and Spectro.

Each day-long meeting includes 12 keynote presentations from all Quality Assurance members. Topics under discussion cover the latest thinking, challenges and innovations in modern metals manufacturing; measurement and control systems; quality assurance and execution; and updates on relevant developments in Industry 4.0 technologies. Attendees will also be able to schedule discussions with individual company members following registration.

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. To reserve a place, prospective attendees should register their details at or email, stating preferred event location (Bilbao or Valencia), company name, attendee name, job title, contact email, and any dietary restrictions.

For full details visit

We are looking forward to meeting you in Spain!

<![CDATA[thyssenkrupp Rasselstein has 48-year old tandem cold mill modernized by SMS group]]> 2019-10-02T14:58:36+02:00 2019-10-02T14:50:00+02:00 Process-optimized oil application system will lead to significant quality improvement in production

In March 2019, thyssenkrupp Rasselstein GmbH has awarded SMS group an order covering the modernization of the oil application system of the tandem cold mill No. 2.

With the current modernization, thyssenkrupp Rasselstein wants to adjust the oil application system of the tandem cold mill to the continuously increasing future market requirements regarding product quality and thus further expand its market position.

At the time of commissioning in 1971, the six-stand tandem cold mill No. 2 was considered the latest cold rolling mill of this type in the Federal Republic of Germany. It already had a high degree of automation and achieved very good strip qualities at rolling speeds of up to 2,400 meters per minute.

The modernization is aimed at achieving a high degree of flexibility regarding the control of various process-influencing parameters for the production of state-of-the-art end products.

In addition to providing the required design services and supplying all mechanical equipment as well as the electrical and automation systems, the contracted scope of SMS group and Lux Automation GmbH, a company of SMS group, includes the dismantling of the old systems as well as the erection and commissioning of the new equipment.

The modernization will be implemented in two stages of construction. Commissioning of the second construction phase is scheduled for 2021.

thyssenkrupp Rasselstein GmbH is a subsidiary of thyssenkrupp Steel Europe and ranks among the three largest packaging steel producers in Europe. At the world’s largest production site for packaging steel in Andernach, Germany, thyssenkrupp Rasselstein produces tinned and special chromium-coated thin sheet (tinplate) on the basis of cold-rolled sheet steel.