SMS group Press releases2020-11-27T03:05:28+01:00 /typo3conf/ext/bm_atomfeed/Resources/Public/Logo/smsgroup_logo.png <![CDATA[SMS group apprentice crowned champion in her year group]]> 2020-11-20T13:14:15+01:00 2020-11-20T13:11:00+01:00 Laura Kimmel, an apprentice at SMS group has been crowned the best in her year group in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, after completing her industrial management apprenticeship with 98 out of 100 points.

21-year-old Laura Kimmel was modest when asked about the key to her success: “I realized that this industrial management apprenticeship was definitely the right decision for me. The topics were really interesting. I am ambitious, but the company gave me a lot of support and encouragement too.”

Although the coronavirus pandemic meant that this year’s best apprentices from the region could not be given the full celebration they deserved, Kimmel was visibly thrilled with her achievement.

But she is not resting on her laurels. Quite the opposite: she is planning to continue her successful career. Laura Kimmel is now working in SMS group’s controlling department, while also studying for a degree in business administration.

SMS group also received praise for its dedication and high quality in this so-called dual education program, which combines university studies with on-the-job training. The company was once again declared the best training organization by the regional chamber of commerce. Thanks to Laura Kimmel’s excellent achievements this year, SMS group also received a special award in the commercial training category. 

SMS group has always placed great emphasis on vocational training. Alongside the instructors, many employees do their bit as training officers to give apprentices everything they need to get the best possible grades and lay solid foundations for their future careers. SMS group offers a total of ten apprenticeships in industrial, technical and commercial professions at its German sites in Düsseldorf, Hilchenbach, Mönchengladbach and Witten.

<![CDATA[SMS group wins “Economy in Transition” award presented by German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia]]> 2020-11-17T16:03:21+01:00 2020-11-17T15:56:00+01:00 SMS group has come out as one of the three winners in the category “groups & medium-sized businesses” of the competition “Economy in Transition” organized by the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry for Economy, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy. Minister Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart held the laudatory speech in an online ceremony on November 17, 2020. Prof. Dr. Hans Ferkel, Member of the Managing Board of SMS group, accepted the award for SMS group in the virtual ceremony.

SMS group was recognized for its commitment and activities as a company playing a key role in promoting structural change in the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, and making it a future-oriented and future-proof location for business. In total, eleven companies came out as winners in three categories: “start-ups”, “small businesses & trade” and “groups & medium-sized businesses”.

SMS group is world market leader in plant and mechanical engineering for the metals industry. In family-ownership since its foundation, SMS group is going to celebrate its 150th anniversary next year.

Even today, metals have not lost any of their importance as a backbone for the development and safeguarding of modern infrastructures. Yet, environmental awareness has been moving more and more into the focus of the metals producing and processing sector. Climate change and the need to reduce carbon emissions are challenges that call upon the designers of production equipment to think new.

“For us, making a contribution to the production and reliable supply of eco-compliant steel is a social-political responsibility. Conventional steel production releases considerable amounts of CO2. Therefore, we have been channeling our development activities increasingly into the design of eco-friendly and resource-saving plant technologies. Hydrogen plays a pivotal role here. The production of green steel via a hydrogen-supported direct reduction process is one of our key focal areas,” explains Prof. Dr. Hans Ferkel.

SMS group has also been opening up growth opportunities outside its traditional industry focus, last but not least thanks to its New Horizon initiative. Special about this program is that it focuses not only on the development of innovative solutions for the metals industry, but also investigates possibilities of transferring proven SMS group technology from the metals field to other sectors which are faced with similar technological challenges. Thanks to this approach, SMS group has become an increasingly important player in many different sectors – including energy and even port logistics.

SMS group has been active in the recovery and recycling of metals long since. At its German location in Hilchenbach, SMS group is building a pilot plant for the recycling of lithium ion batteries. The new plant will be able to recover – in an ecologically responsible way – valuable and costly raw materials that can be reused in the material cycle.

A highlight project of the New Horizon initiative is the BOXBAY Joint Venture with global port operator DP World ( In Dubai, the JV is constructing the first ever pilot plant of an innovative storage system for seagoing shipping containers – a truly disruptive technology. With the new system, containers are no longer stacked directly on top of one another, which has been common practice for decades, but stored in separate compartments in an eleven-story high-bay store. The new technology provides three times more capacity and a host of other benefits, including faster container handling, higher energy efficiency and safety, and considerably reduced costs.

With the development of new business areas, its product innovations and a second-to-none digitalization offensive, SMS group pursues a growth strategy that will consolidate its leading market position even further in the long run. SMS group supplies innovative services, including in the field of digitalization, and patented plant technologies entirely from a single source. Thanks to its integrated inhouse manufacturing facilities and its know-how of a system supplier, SMS group is able to cover complete process chains for its customers.

In order to continue designing the future with innovations, SMS group broke ground in Mönchengladbach on October 15, 2020 for a new central technology hub – the SMS Campus. Built on the premises of SMS group GmbH, this new technology, service and digitalization center will provide 1,500 modern work places. As from 2023, the new Campus will become home to – according to current plans – five locations in the area.

<![CDATA[HBIS Laoting successfully commissions high-performance hot strip mill supplied by SMS group]]> 2020-11-10T11:55:21+01:00 2020-11-10T11:49:00+01:00 4.1 million tons per year for a wide range of quality flat products

The new high-performance hot strip mill supplied by SMS group has successfully started production at HBIS Laoting Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. in China. With this facility, HBIS Group, a leading steel producer in China, has set up a new, ultra-modern production facility for flat products at the Laoting location.

The high-performance hot strip mill has an annual capacity of 4.1 million tons and produces hot coils with widths of up to 1,900 millimeters. Final thicknesses range between 1.2 and 25.4 millimeters. The product mix includes, besides low-alloy carbon steels, high-strength automotive grades, weather-resistant structural and container steels, pipe grades, boiler and pressure vessel steels and steels for use in ship and bridge construction.

The hot strip mill comprises as main equipment a roughing mill descaler, a slab-sizing press, a two-high reversing roughing mill, a four-high reversing roughing mill with attached edger, a mandrel-less coilbox and a crop shear, and at the finishing end a descaler, a seven-stand finishing mill and a laminar cooling system. Three downcoilers produce straight-edged coils of finished hot strip. Downcoiler No. 3 has been specifically designed for the challenging task of coiling thick, high-strength strips.

The described system configuration provides HBIS Laoting maximum flexibility in planning and production. For example, the slab sizing press in the entry area of the hot-strip roughing mill enables a width reduction of up to 350 millimeters.

The two high-performance roughing stands allow a high degree of flexibility in the distribution of pass reductions. The finishing stands come with rolling forces of 52 MN (F1-F4) and 40 MN (F5-F7). All stands - equipped with hydraulic roll gap adjustment – achieve tightest tolerances.

For optimum profile, contour and flatness of the strip, the stands are equipped with the proven CVC®plus system (Continuously Variable Crown) with integrated work roll bending.

A laminar cooling line of the latest generation in the exit area of the finishing mill provides high flexibility and a wide range of cooling rates in setting the required mechanical properties for all grades and dimensions within narrow tolerances. The higher flow rates in the rear part of the cooling section also facilitate the production of multi-phase steels.

HBIS Laoting Iron & Steel is very satisfied with the rapid commissioning process and the excellent quality of the hot strip mill.

<![CDATA[Primobius enters into MoU with InoBat to operate a commercial lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Eastern Europe]]> 2020-11-04T15:33:14+01:00 2020-11-04T15:15:00+01:00 Lithium battery recycling process designed to generate low CO2 emissions and to deliver high purity chemicals back to the battery manufacturing sector

Primobius GmbH, a joint venture company owned 50:50 by Neometals Ltd, West Perth, Australia, and SMS group GmbH, Germany, is pleased to announce the execution of a non-binding memorandum of understanding with the Slovakian battery manufacturing company, InoBat Auto j.s.a, Bratislava. The agreement represents the first steps to Primobius’ commercial roll-out in Europe and should secure a source for significant volumes of critical plant feed.

The MoU provides an evaluation framework towards a potential Primobius-InoBat cooperation to operate a commercial lithium-ion battery (LiB) recycling facility in Eastern Europe. The commercial shredding operations would be fed by InoBat’s battery production scrap and this is anticipated to be followed by hydrometallurgical refining of the black mass (output of the shredding operations) in a hub facility to generate cathode raw materials.

InoBat aims to accelerate the rapid implementation of electro-mobility solutions in Europe by developing a fully integrated value chain, which will increase the global competitiveness of the European economy and provide a long-term sustainable solution to the automotive market. InoBat is building a ‘gigafactory’ with 10 gw/hr capacity by 2024. It is anticipated that the company will produce 50,000 tons p.a. of new batteries after its full commercial start (expected in 2024).

The agreement comes just one month after finalization of Primobius’ incorporation process and underlines the future-oriented lithium battery recycling process designed to generate low CO2 emissions and to deliver high purity chemicals back to the battery manufacturing sector. Based on the Canadian pilot plant in Lakefield, Primobius is currently setting up a demonstration plant in Hilchenbach, Germany, with planned trials in Q2 2021. In addition to strong progress on its feasibility studies and preparations for the upcoming German recycling demonstration trials, Primobius is currently very active in its endeavours to secure feed sources and offtake partners for potential commercial operations. The Primobius stage one facility for commercial operation is intended to process 20,000 tons per year of input material.

Primobius Managing Director Michael Tamlin commented: “We are very delighted that Primobius and InoBat have commenced business planning activities and will work progressively towards definitive legal agreements for a cooperation. The fact that we aroused the interest of a battery manufacturer with our recycling technology so shortly after the founding of Primobius reflects the status of our project and the industrial scalability of our recycling solution.”

About Primobius

Primobius will commercialize advanced recycling technology, offering a unique and sustainable method for recovering valuable lithium, nickel, cobalt and other materials from expended and scrap electric vehicles and consumer electronics LiB’s (

About InoBat

InoBat is a member of the IPM Group of companies, focusing mainly on infrastructure and technology related investments in Europe, primarily in Slovakia, where it is establishing lithium-ion battery demonstration and production lines with applications in the electric vehicle sector (

<![CDATA[Nucor breaks ground to celebrate the official start of construction of the new heavy-plate production plant]]> 2020-11-04T12:52:38+01:00 2020-11-04T11:37:00+01:00 SMS group to deliver one of the world's largest continuous slab casters as well as heating and heat treatment facilities to Nucor

On October 23, 2020, Nucor Corporation held the groundbreaking ceremony for the new plant at its Brandenburg site in Kentucky, U.S. For this project, SMS group is supplying a single-strand caster for ultra-wide and ultra-thick slabs. It will produce slabs with thicknesses of between 200 and 305 millimeters and widths of up to 3,150 millimeters. This means that Nucor will be operating one of the world's largest continuous casting plants. The vertical bending caster will be equipped with a host of quality-defining technological features, all of which meet Nucor's high standards. In addition, a customized strand guide, an ultra-fast cooling section, and a secondary cutting line will be supplied.

SMS group's scope of supply for the new heavy-plate complex also includes the whole reheating system for slabs and blooms, a heat treatment facility for heavy plate with a thickness of up to 356 millimeters, and a continuous heat treatment facility with MultiFlex-Quench® for heavy plates that are 4.8 to 102 millimeters thick and up to 4,267 millimeters wide.

“We are proud to partner with SMS on our new steel plate mill. This is the largest capital investment project in our company’s history and when it is completed and operational, we’ll be one of only two companies that can produce essentially all of the plate sizes consumed in the U.S. today.” said Johnny Jacobs, Vice President & General Manager, Nucor Steel Brandenburg.

The SMS group congratulates Nucor on the groundbreaking ceremony and looks forward to continued good cooperation.

To give those attending the groundbreaking ceremony an idea of the scale of the new continuous slab caster, SMS group produced an animation film that was played during the festivities.

<![CDATA[One of Russia’s largest heat treatment lines has been successfully commissioned at TMK’s Seversky Pipe Plant]]> 2020-11-03T16:22:42+01:00 2020-11-03T16:16:00+01:00 SMS group’s new development enables targeted heat treatment of very heavy large-diameter pipes

TMK’s Seversky Pipe Plant has awarded SMS group the Final Acceptance Certificate for a heat treatment line for tubes and pipes at its Polevskoy site in Russia’s Sverdlov region. The line is one of the world’s most productive facilities with an annual capacity of up to 300,000 tons of pipes with diameters between 168 and 370 millimeters, a wall thickness of up to 40 millimeters and lengths of up to 13.5 meters.

The line is able to process small batch sizes and different product groups in a highly cost-efficient manner. Seversky Pipe Plant now has a fully automated quenching and tempering heat treatment line satisfying all preconditions in terms of production and final material quality and allows TMK to offer fully finished high-quality pipes for the oil and gas industry. TMK awarded SMS group the certificate following successful hot, cold and performance tests. “Thanks to the quality of the equipment supplied by SMS group and the strong cooperation between TMK and SMS team specialists remotely and on-site, we were able to successfully commission the line in time despite the limitations related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said V. A.Toporov, Technical Director of Seversky Pipe Plant.

The scope of supply included the entire treatment line. Its core is made up of the SMS Quenching Head which features an innovative patented inner quenching lance for tube wall thicknesses of more than 25 millimeters and is an outstanding product of SMS group’s research and development department. The new design of the SMS inner lance, coupled with the SMS Quenching Head, maximizes heat transfer and thus facilitates the successful treatment of very heavy tubes, previously difficult or impossible to process through water tank systems or using earlier versions of internal lances. Moreover, the new trolley-mounted design greatly increases the process speed, boosting production efficiency by about 40 percent compared to the traditional inner cooling systems. In addition, SMS group supplied the complete water treatment system, automation and electrical systems for the entire heat treatment line.

The new heat treatment line from SMS group consolidates TMK as the largest manufacturer and exporter of steel pipes to over 80 countries worldwide. TMK maintains significant steel pipe production capacity in Russia, Romania and Kazakhstan. Its largest share of sales is dedicated to oil country tubular goods (OCTG).

<![CDATA[Hoa Phat successfully commissions the two converter meltshops supplied by SMS group, including environmental technology]]> 2020-10-28T15:39:50+01:00 2020-10-28T15:22:00+01:00 At Hoa Phat Group, Vietnam, a consortium consisting of WISDRI Engineering & Research Incorporation Ltd. and SMS group has successfully completed the commissioning of the last one of a total of four new converters supplied by SMS group. Thanks to comprehensive remote support from SMS group, the commissioning went very smoothly despite the travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic which made it extremely difficult for people to be present on the site. The two converter meltshops last commissioned are designed for an annual production of four million tons of liquid steel.

SMS group has in total supplied four 120-ton BOF converters with oxygen lance systems, sublance systems, refractory lining devices, converter tilt drives, the maintenance-free lamella suspension systems developed by SMS group and P3S pneumatic slag stopper systems. All four of the converters are equipped with an SMS group-designed primary gas dedusting plant using dry electrostatic precipitators (ESP). The converters, trunnion rings, converter tilt drives and parts of the dedusting plant were manufactured in an SMS group workshop. The converter meltshop is equipped with X-Pact® electrical and automation systems.

With X-Pact® Process Guidance (, an intelligent operator guidance system, Hoa Phat has in place a new automation standard developed by SMS group, ensuring uninterrupted operation thanks to the effective process-orientation of the system. The core element of this system is the user interface designed to enable immediate interaction between the user and X-Pact® Process Guidance.

The SMS group scope of supply also included engineering, supervision of erection and commissioning as well as training of the customer's personnel.

Hoa Phat Group, a listed company, is one of the leading manufacturers of structural steel and steel tubes in Vietnam. The new meltshops are part of an expansion program implemented in the Dung Quat Economic Zone close to Da Nang.

<![CDATA[SMS group receives FAC for new heavy-beam mill at Masteel in China]]> 2020-10-26T16:02:24+01:00 2020-10-26T15:23:00+01:00 Masteel puts new heavy section mill for largest beams ever made in China into operation and is now ready to support new infrastructure projects

China-based Maanshan Iron&Steel Co., Ltd. – Masteel – has started production at its site in Ma'anshan on the new heavy-beam mill supplied by SMS group. With this mill, Masteel is now the only Chinese manufacturer capable of producing beams with a root face thickness of up to 1,100 millimeters and a flange width of 500 millimeters, in addition to beams with a flange thickness of up to 130 millimeters. The weight per meter of the heaviest beam produced on the mill is 1,377 kilograms.

The steel mill, which is located around 300 kilometers west of Shanghai, is designed for an annual production of 800,000 tons and has now added a range of larger steel sections to extend Masteel's production capacity. These include a newly developed special section, which up to now could not be manufactured in this way in a rolling process. As a result, previous downstream process stages are no longer required – leading to a higher production output and reduced costs. What's more, with this new mill the company is turning the spotlight on maximum product quality.

SMS group supplied the engineering and the core components for the plant as part of the contract. Among other things, these included the centerpiece of the plant, the CCS® (Compact Cartridge Stand) tandem rolling mill unit with hydraulic adjustment system and fully automatic quick program change function, as well as the CRS® (Compact Roller Straightener) straightening machine, which features a shifting platform for quick and simultaneous changing of all straightening rollers. Both the CCS® stands and the CRS® straightening machine are the largest of their kind in operation anywhere in the world. SMS group also supplied the CCS® Tandem Millstand Control System (TCS), which enables the process to be controlled in real time while ensuring that the roll gap is automatically zeroed and adjusted after each program change.

Thanks to the close collaboration between Masteel and SMS group, the project was completed successfully, including a fast ramp-up, during which the design capacity was not only reached but exceeded. Consequently, the acceptance (FAC - Final Acceptance Certificate) was granted shortly after. Throughout the project, both companies knew they could rely on each other as long-standing partners. Masteel has been operating a heavy-beam mill from SMS group since 1993, and a CSP® (Compact Strip Production) plant supplied in 2005.

Masteel uses the new heavy-beam mill to make products for the bridge and building construction sector, enabling the implementation of new infrastructure projects in China.

<![CDATA[SMS group to build pilot plant for generation of syn-gas from sewage sludge for fuel production]]> 2020-10-26T14:04:01+01:00 2020-10-26T13:52:00+01:00 Value-adding processing of waste as a technology for the future. With a project in Vienna, SMS group is taking the next step in its New Horizon initiative

On September 17, 2020, SMS group received the approval for the construction of a pilot plant in Vienna, Austria. The new plant is to demonstrate the feasibility of eco-friendly and carbon-neutral production of fuels from waste. SMS group’s project partner BEST – Bioenergy and Sustainable Technologies is going to implement an unprecedented process chain for the generation and use of hydrogen-rich syn-gas at industrial scale in the Vienna district of Simmering at the location of a special-waste incineration plant operated by the local utility company Wien Energie. The core element of the facility, a syn-gas generator built by SMS group is scheduled to become operational in mid-2021.

With the construction of this plant, SMS group is adding another item to its list of projects implemented in line with its New Horizon strategy. Inspired by global trends and developments, the momentum from this initiative is felt in idea finding and concept development with partners and customers. Always thinking one step ahead promotes creativity in solution finding and helps finding viable answers to the global challenges of the future. The project is supported by the Austrian Association for the Promotion of Research (FFG Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft). BEST, a K1 Competence Center in the Austrian COMET program, has taken over the project management. Other partners to the project alongside SMS group include the local utility and public transport companies Wien Energie, Wiener Linien GmbH and Wiener Netze GmbH, paper producer Heinzel Paper, and the Austrian Forest Authority. Scientific partnerships for this project have been established with the Technical University of Vienna and the Luleå University of Technology.

The “Waste2Value” project aims at advancing the reuse of waste for the production of hydrogen-rich syn-gas. Initially the focus will be on using sewage sludge, residuals from the pulp and paper industry and mixes of damaged timber as feedstock. In a further process step, the gas will be synthesized into liquid fuels. The main elements of the project, running until 2023, are the construction and the operation of the pilot plant, and thorough analysis and evaluation of the process results. The research activities within the scope of the “Waste2Value” project will cover the entire process chain from the feedstock to the generation, purification and treatment of the gas, and the synthesis processes through to the refining and use of the FT synthetic fuel in a field trial. The facility will be the first ever of its kind in the world to demonstrate the feasibility of this technology along the complete process chain and at a near-industrial scale. The results gained during the project will provide a solid base for assessing the economic and technological viability of the overall process concept and for the planned scale-up to industrial use by utility company Wien Energie.

Versatile uses of the syn-gas generator

The technology implemented by SMS group is based on a thermal transformation process capable of generating a synthetic gas from waste. This gas mixture can be further processed into different types of energy carriers – green fuels, green gas and green hydrogen. If only renewable materials (timber, waste wood, sewage sludge and biogenic waste, for example) are used as feedstock, also the end products will be 100 percent renewable. Another conceivable process option is to add non-renewable waste - non-recyclable plastics, for example - to the feedstock. This would open up recycling opportunities also for this kind of fossil waste materials.

The new technology is extremely versatile, as the wide range of potential end products shows: fuels for those transportation sectors where batteries are difficult to use (e.g. in agriculture, long-distance haulage, and aviation) can be produced with the same technology as, for example, green gas that can be fed into the natural gas grid, or even green hydrogen for future mobility solutions and industrial applications. During the production of syn-fuel – which, by the way, releases significantly lower particulate emissions than fossil Diesel – valuable chemicals needed in the chemical industry arise as by-products. A further value-adding option is the eco-friendly production of alcohols for the chemical industry from synthetically generated gas. Using sewage sludge as input material even provides the potential for phosphorous recovery from the sludge. Phosphorous is an essential ingredient of fertilizers used in agriculture. There are only two phosphorous mining regions worldwide and, according to estimates, the resources will last only for another few decades.

Thermochemical syn-gas generation is an extremely interesting and promising technology set to become a central element on the way towards green economies.


Statement Wien Energie

“For decades, Wien Energie has been producing green electricity and green heat for thousands of households – and in the future maybe also green fuel! We are very pleased that our location in Vienna-Simmering will be the place where this innovative technology will be taken to the next level and that we can complement the research activities with our expertise in waste recovery. Jointly with the other partners to this project, we will deepen our understanding of syn-gas production and, in a second step, the knowhow in green Diesel, green natural gas and even green hydrogen production. These products will be essential in the creation of a future climate-neutral energy system. The pilot plant paves the way for an industrial-scale use of this technology,” said Karl Gruber, Managing Director, Wien Energie GmbH.

Statement SMS

“For SMS group, demonstrating that high-grade synthetic fuels and reducing agents can be produced in an efficient way from a wide range of biomass and residuals via syn-gas produced in a fluidized bed conversion system is another milestone in adapting our portfolio of technologies to the future requirements of customers in our core markets – requirements that are to an increasing extent driven by the need to decarbonize our industries. Especially in hydrogen production – provided that suitable structural conditions exist – we see potential for a significant competitive edge for this technology over other technological routes we are pursuing at the same time,” said Herbert Weissenbaeck, Head Strategic Project Development, SMS group GmbH.

Statement BEST

“At our new location in Vienna-Simmering, we are establishing a world-class syn-gas research and demonstration hub. Here we are investing in a future-viable infrastructure essential for successful applied research into the decarbonization of energy production, into making biomass and residuals conversion a part of the renewable energy sector, and into enabling the production of green chemicals for the chemical industry. In the short term, the new syn-gas hub will serve as a technology lab for the city of Vienna to test under realistic conditions the feasibility of its decarbonization strategy,” said Walter Haslinger, CEO / CSO, BEST – Bioenergy and Sustainable Technologies GmbH.

<![CDATA[JSW optimizes slab yard utilization with SMS digital’s Warehouse Management System]]> 2020-10-22T12:34:14+02:00 2020-10-22T12:21:00+02:00 Efficient digital optimization of planned storage capacities enables higher production

SMS digital, the digital subsidiary of SMS group, has been awarded with the implementation of a new highly automated slab yard management system for JSW Steel Ltd. located in Dolvi, India. The X-Pact® MES 4.0 Warehouse Management System will support the efficient use of limited-sized slab yard space and is an essential factor for a high utilization of the hot mill capacity.

JSW is expanding their Dolvi works by additional five million tons per year capacity with a new steel melt shop, which JSW ordered from SMS group in the end of 2017 and is now under commissioning. A major advantage is the digital connection of third-party equipment to SMS digital’s Warehouse Management software.

Since the slab yard area at JSW is very limited, the Warehouse Management system will help to optimize space utilization with maximum efficiency. The innovative solution for warehousing and materials management is part of the support and optimization module of the production planning system X-Pact® MES 4.0 (Manufacturing Execution System). With the MES 4.0 Warehouse Manager, the cranes, including electric overhead traveling cranes (EOT) and semi gantry cranes, as well as the transport cars at JSW Dolvi will operate automatically, with maximum efficiency to enable optimum vertical networking of the production facilities and units along the whole process chain.

Available storage capacities within the slab yard can be identified quickly and efficiently.

The Warehouse Manager can take the current warehousing and vehicle situation as well as the sequences of casters and hot mill into account and finds the optimum combination to determine the ideal transfer orders. Thus, JSW can reduce costs and increase throughput through optimal warehouse and transport management.

Key factors for the decision to partner with SMS group for digitally connecting the slab yard was the high added value resulting from the strong combination from SMS digital’s know-how of technology, functionality, and user-friendliness as well as the longstanding partnership between JSW and SMS group.

About SMS digital

SMS digital GmbH, the digital subsidiary of SMS group GmbH, is a market leader in the digitalization of plant and machinery used to manufacture and process steel and nonferrous metals.

Working in close collaboration with its customers, SMS digital develops innovative products for the metals industry and benefits from a vast array of state-of-the-art R&D methods, metallurgical process expertise, and specialist technological know-how. With digital applications and the use of artificial intelligence, SMS digital is helping its customers move their plant and equipment successfully into the digital era.

Visit SMS digital to learn more.

<![CDATA[SMS group invests in innovative future with central location in the Rhineland]]> 2020-10-16T11:22:53+02:00 2020-10-15T16:41:00+02:00 Vision of a modern working world is becoming a reality

Construction work on the new SMS group Campus in Mönchengladbach, Germany, has been officially kicked off with a groundbreaking ceremony.

Hans Wilhelm Reiners, Mayor of Mönchengladbach; Heinrich Weiss, Chairman of the Shareholders' Committee of SMS Holding GmbH; Burkhard Dahmen, CEO of SMS group GmbH; Torsten Heising, Member of the Managing Board of SMS group GmbH; and Works Council Chairpersons Elke Paul (Düsseldorf) and Peter Peskes (Mönchengladbach) broke ground together with project manager Marco Kubiak, and architect and general planner Holger P. Hartmann.

Mönchengladbach will be home to a new technology, service and digitalization center built on the SMS premises and providing 1,500 modern workplaces. As from 2023, the competences of five locations in the region will be brought together at this central location in the Rhineland. Today, the company already has over 1,200 employees in Mönchengladbach.

With its innovative Campus, SMS will be able to exploit the full catalyst effect from the growth areas of service and digitalization to expand its pioneering role as a technology provider, explains CEO Burkhard Dahmen: ‟We see huge growth potential from the interaction of technical service and digital solutions. Our Campus will enable us to connect these technologies closely with our product units, bringing together specialists from all over the world to form interdisciplinary teams via virtual infrastructures.”

With the start of the construction work for the new Campus, SMS is setting a new milestone just ahead of the company's 150th anniversary. ‟One of the reasons our company has become the world market leader in metallurgical plant engineering is because we are a reliable partner for our customers and, as a family business, take special care of our employees,” emphasizes Heinrich Weiss. ‟With this new complex we are providing a significantly enhanced working environment, making us an extremely attractive employer for future talent.”

With a modern space concept, the company aims to create an atmosphere that promotes creative and collaborative work, explains Torsten Heising, Member of the Managing Board of SMS: ‟Our recent experience with various forms of mobile working options has shown us that we can actually get our work done wherever we are. For creative processes, though, we still need a shared environment that makes us feel inspired. The open architecture of the new Campus promotes living our corporate culture and enables us as an employer to take into special consideration what our highly skilled workforce expects from a modern workplace.” SMS is currently working with its employees to develop the workplace of the future – including for its location in Hilchenbach. A corresponding employee survey is already underway. The results from this survey will flow into the design of the interior layout and the infrastructure.

The SMS Campus will cover a gross surface area of around 44,000 square meters and consist of five module buildings. The core of the complex will be a covered atrium serving as a meeting and communication area. A membrane-type roof with a diameter of 82 meters will connect all buildings to create a unique campus.

An adjoining staff car park will offer sufficient parking space for cars, motor cycles, and bicycles. It will be equipped with charging stations for electric cars and bicycles. Given the future investments in the infrastructure of the immediate neighborhood by the city of Mönchengladbach, the whole district will be upgraded and the new Campus will become well connected with the local public transport system.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, one could already get an impression of the dimensions of the future Campus from the ring-shaped area of removed ground. In the coming months, around 70,000 cubic meters of soil will be removed, with shell construction work for the five module buildings due to start in the spring of 2021. The shell construction will be completed as early as by the summer of 2022. The Campus will be ready for occupancy in mid/end-2023.

<![CDATA[UACJ awards FAC for HybrEx<sup>®</sup>40 extrusion press line supplied by SMS group]]> 2020-10-12T17:07:20+02:00 2020-10-12T17:00:00+02:00 HybrEx® extrusion technology on the road to success in Japan

UACJ Extrusion Nagoya Corporation, Japan, has awarded SMS group the final acceptance certificate (FAC) for the supplied new HybrEx®40 extrusion press line. With this investment, UACJ is expanding the extrusion capacity at its plant in Nagoya, Japan.

The line's core unit, the HybrEx®40 extrusion press, is one of SMS group's latest-generation presses. The use of hybrid drive technology significantly reduces energy consumption compared to conventional extrusion presses. What's more, the HybrEx® boasts a compact design thanks to the optimized hydraulic system concept. The award-winning press enclosure design eliminates the need for any other safety barrier systems. The HybrEx®40 extrusion press processes 10-inch aluminium billets at a maximum press force of 40 MN and at a speed of up to 21 millimeters per second.

As well as the HybrEx®40, the scope of supply for the extrusion press line includes an induction furnace (TEM-PRO Heater®) from IAS, a subsidiary of SMS group, and an advanced profile handling system including intensive air/water spray cooling quench from SMS group company OMAV.

<![CDATA[Hasçelik banks on SMS group’s experience and orders one of the most powerful combined drawing lines for bright bar]]> 2020-10-07T13:38:34+02:00 2020-10-07T13:28:00+02:00 SMS group receives order from Turkey

Hasçelik San. Ve Tic. A.Ş, based in Gebze, Kocaeli, and operator of the highest production capacities for bright steel bars in Turkey, has placed an order with SMS group for a state-of-the-art combined drawing line (CDL) KZ-RP IIIB/25 to expand both its production range and capacity. The new drawing line, based on the proven Schumag design (bright-steel processing machine designer Schumag merged into SMS group in 2008), comes with optimized features and new developments along the entire process chain.

The SMS group scope of supply includes a coil preparation unit with double coiler, a two-carriage drawing machine, a two-roll straightener, a chamfering machine and the entire electrical and automation system.

With this drawing line, the Turkish company, which has been combined under the roof of Faydasiçok Holding since March 2017, is expanding its production range to include round bars from bar to bar and from coil to bar between 19 and 42 millimeters. In addition, the company will be able to produce hexagons, squares and other sections. The plant will be designed for a maximum drawing force of 250 kN, a maximum speed of 80 meters per minute and a bar length of 2.5 to 6.5 meters. Hasçelik, present in Europe with several sales offices and warehouses, has an overall product portfolio that enables the company to produce drawn bars of up to 100 millimeters, and peeled and ground bars of up to 160 millimeters in diameter.

Commissioning of the drawing line is scheduled for summer 2021.

“We decided in favor of the combined drawing line from SMS group, as it is one of the world's most powerful lines for this diameter range. We bank on an integrated systems supplier who not just delivers the equipment, but also supports us in our work with their technical service,” says Naci Faydasiçok, Chairman of the Board at Hasçelik San. Ve Tic. A.Ş.

“Hasçelik will benefit from the increased quality, safety, maintainability and process transparency of the line, as SMS group has introduced significant improvements and further developments in each individual process step. Thanks to perfectly harmonized interfaces, intelligent individual solutions have been merged into a consistent integrated system that provides a maximum degree of automation, productivity, product quality and safety,” says Falk Rößeler, Vice President Bright Steel Plants and Finishing Lines at SMS group.

Special features of the new line are the new coil preparation unit, the completely revised section straightening machines and the two-roll straightener as well as the innovative measuring technology with its monitoring and analysis options. Overall, the new line from SMS group enables Hasçelik to achieve a productivity increase of around 10 to 20 percent compared to a conventional drawing line operating at the same production speed.

The new coil preparation unit with double coiler increases both performance and safety. For this purpose, a new concept has been developed that provides for maximum operator protection and maximum productivity. The coiling and uncoiling processes are hermetically protected by means of solid components and housings that close automatically. The coil head end is fed to the line by a manipulator via radio remote control. This allows the operator to introduce the coil head end with maximum precision while staying in a safe area. If disturbances such as knots occur during uncoiling, the equipment will be shut off automatically. In contrast to previous lines, all hazards in connection with coil preparation have been eliminated. This means that with this patented solution, the preparation of new coils can take place simultaneously with the ongoing uncoiling process at the other coiler crown. This allows for significantly shorter coil change times and increased productivity.

The tried-and-tested two-carriage drawing machine is equipped with an electro-hydraulic drawing jaw control system and a new gear technology with intelligent drive concept that permanently monitors torque, speed, temperature and wear. For the first time, tools such as an integrated drawing force measurement system enable Hasçelik to take a virtual look into the core process, gaining additional process knowledge. With the automated die adjustment system (ADA), good material straightness downstream of the drawing die can be achieved as early as during the drawing process.

The new pre-straightener and the section straightening machine downstream of the drawing unit are equipped with double-profile rolls and a polygon shaft, thus minimizing changeover times. The settings are made fully automatically and the modular rolls have an optimized pitch. The hydraulic impact shear interacts with the inspection system that detects surface defects. This enables it to define an optimized cutting strategy that increases the output and minimizes scrap. The two-roll straightener comes with a completely new design that focuses on the best achievable straightness: It will be equipped with a hydraulic diameter adjustment system based on SMS group’s PSM® (Precision Sizing Mill) technology, with direct straightening force measurement and with a new plate design frame of enhanced rigidity. The new design enables Hasçelik to change the straightening rolls quickly and easily.

Also the chamfering machine is equipped with a quick tool change device. It has an integrated chip conveyor, followed by a buffer system for finished coils. This guarantees the high performance of the plant also in terms of finish machining.

With the new line from SMS group, Hasçelik follows its vision of being Turkey's leading producer of special steel as well as an important and reliable supplier for its customers worldwide.

<![CDATA[SMS group extends portfolio in extrusion and forging technology]]> 2020-10-06T16:57:40+02:00 2020-10-06T16:51:00+02:00 OMAV and Hydromec become part of SMS group

With the acquisition of Italian companies OMAV S.p.A. and Hydromec S.R.L., SMS group is further expanding its product range in the extrusion plant and forging press sectors. OMAV, a supplier of aluminum extrusion lines, and press manufacturer Hydromec both represent high quality standards and extensive great expertise in their areas of activity, thus strengthening SMS group’s position as a globally active technology leader in mechanical and plant engineering. With its extended product portfolio, SMS group is able to supply complete extrusion lines and forging plants with all upstream and downstream equipment and process technology from a single source – including a high level of automation and integrated digitalization solutions. The two new SMS group companies, located in Brescia, will continue to operate on the market under their own names as subsidiaries of SMS.

‟We welcome all employees of OMAV and Hydromec on board and are very much looking forward to working together. The mutual technology transfer, efficient use of globally well-placed capacities and the strong distribution network of SMS group will increase our competitiveness. Our customers will benefit not only from the joint portfolio of existing products but also from the innovations, developments and worldwide service of SMS group,” says Dr. Thomas Winterfeldt, Business Unit Manager Forging Technology at SMS group.

Founded in 1952, OMAV ( has extensive expertise and a solid reputation in the extrusion industry. Since 2011 already, OMAV and SMS group have been cooperating as strategic business partners in the supply of complete extrusion plants for aluminum. SMS group’s participation in 2017 underlined the success of this productive partnership and has now resulted in a full takeover. OMAV has been a wholly owned subsidiary of SMS group since the end of September.

The acquisition of press manufacturer Hydromec ( was completed immediately afterwards, with OMAV acquiring 70 percent of the Italian company. Hydromec, founded in 1980, specializes in the engineering and construction of forging presses and ring rolling mills for the hot forming of brass, aluminum, and steel. As such, Hydromec has been operating mainly on the European market. OMAV and Hydromec will now increasingly market their extended product portfolio globally via the SMS group network.

‟With a total of around 245 employees, OMAV and Hydromec will bring their extensive know-how into SMS group. Together we have now become even more efficient for our customers worldwide. All components of our turnkey extrusion plants are optimally matched and work highly efficiently thanks to innovative automation and digitization solutions,” says Massimo Marinelli, CEO of OMAV/Hydromec.

<![CDATA[North Star BlueScope relies on SMS group technology and integrates digitalization solutions in its hot flat strip production]]> 2020-10-22T13:32:04+02:00 2020-09-30T15:59:00+02:00 Product optimization through digital plant planning

North Star BlueScope located in Delta, Ohio, awarded SMS digital, a company of SMS group, an order for the digitalization of the hot flat strip production at the Delta site in order to raise it to a new digital level.

Following the order placed with SMS group last year to extend the thin slab caster by a further strand, NSBS is now relying on SMS group’s digitalization competence and is integrating a digitalization package from SMS digital across the entire production process. A major advantage and also a requirement of NSBS is the digital connection of third-party plants.

The digital solution package includes the SMS digital ( production planning system MES 4.0 (Manufacturing Execution System) and the Quality Execution System QES with Process Data Warehouse PDW module containing a data history extension.

Plant data including historical data are processed within the SMS Data Factory, to allow for future extension of machine learning and artificial intelligence Apps, as well as for full plant visualization functions capabilities. In addition, the Smart Alarm App will enhance maintenance insight through the ability to diagnose cause and effect of signals and alerts. NSBS trusts in the long-standing successful cooperation with SMS group and will further expand the partnership with this joint digitalization strategy.

The digitization solutions of SMS group are able to integrate all interfaces of third-party suppliers in order to represent a complete production flow. MES 4.0 is pre-designed for the capability of further future extensions and enhancement. The flexible modularity offers the possibility to directly add additional features, functions and business intelligence to the system. In the context of digitalization, the MES 4.0 can act as a data hub to quality management systems such as the QES, where quality is monitored, graded and certified for release.

SMS digital specializes in transforming data into information and ultimately into added value and can incorporate individual customer requirements into the development of digital solutions. At NSBS, the MES 4.0 will initially be successively tested in shadow mode during ongoing production and then implemented step by step, until finally in mid to late 2021 the second strand of the thin slab casting plant will also be connected to the MES 4.0.

Key factors for the decision to partner with SMS group for digitally connecting the future twin-strand caster was the high added value resulting from the strong combination from SMS digital’s know-how of technology, functionality, and user-friendliness. By incorporating these production planning systems, energy consumption during production can be reduced, rejects minimized and quality increased, thus achieving a faster return on investment.

With this order, NSBS and SMS continue to extend the successful cooperation.

About North Star BlueScope

North Star BlueScope is part of BlueScope, a leading international supplier of flat steel products based in Melbourne, Australia, and provides specialized steel solutions with a strong focus towards the global construction industry. 

About SMS digital

SMS digital GmbH, the digital subsidiary of SMS group GmbH, and SMS group Inc. Digital Solutions are the joint market leader in the digitalization of plant and machinery used to manufacture and process steel and nonferrous metals.

Working in close collaboration with its customers, SMS digital develops innovative products for the metals industry and benefits from a vast array of state-of-the-art R&D methods, metallurgical process expertise, and specialist technological know-how. With digital applications and the use of artificial intelligence, SMS digital is helping its customers move their plant and equipment successfully into the digital era. Visit SMS digital to learn more.

<![CDATA[SMS group supplies Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) for Europe’s first lithium battery chemicals facility]]> 2020-09-25T14:34:34+02:00 2020-09-25T14:28:00+02:00 Geomet s.r.o., a Joint Venture between Australian mineral exploration and development company European Metals (Frankfurt: E861; ASX:EMH; AIM:EMH) and Czech energy giant CEZ (PSE:CEZ; WSE:CEZ), has appointed SMS group as the lead engineer for the minerals processing and lithium battery-grade chemicals production at the Cinovec project in Czech Republic.

The project will be an important cornerstone in advancing import-independent battery production in Europe. The new facility is set to produce – in full compliance with the most stringent environmental standards – about 22,500 tons of lithium carbonate or about 25,000  ons of lithium hydroxide per year (both of battery grade), as well as tin and tungsten concentrates from a by-products recovery circuit.

SMS group is going to provide the process and plant technology for the complete process chain: from ore comminution via logistics for concentrate handling up to and including the extractive metallurgy processes.

Under the FEED agreement, SMS group will provide the following:

  • Full process integration from the point of delivery of ore to the underground crusher through to the delivery of finished battery-grade lithium chemicals for battery and cathode manufacturers.
  • All process steps – comminution, beneficiation, roasting, leaching and purification.
  • The lithium process flowsheet and the tin/tungsten recovery circuit delivering metal concentrates to refineries.

The FEED is intended to deliver a binding fixed-price lump-sum turnkey EPC contract with associated process guarantee and product specification guarantees for battery-grade lithium chemicals.

“In the last few years, we have gained a strong position within the fast-growing segment of technological metals, including those for battery production. We are very familiar with the Cinovec project and take pride in having been chosen by Geomet as lead engineer under this FEED agreement,” said Herbert Weissenbaeck, responsible at SMS group for strategic project development, on the occasion of the contract signing.

Given the situation that in Europe lithium ion battery production capacities equating approx. 200 GWh per year are being planned or currently under construction and the fact that approx. 800 kilograms of lithium carbonate is needed to produce one GWh of battery capacity, the production volume planned by Geomet in the first phase of the project will only cover a small portion of the medium-term demand generated in Europe. This is the reason for SMS group to believe that there will be increasing lithium project activity right on the doorstep within Europe and this FEED contract appointment, at what is Europe’s largest hard-rock lithium resource, will put SMS group at the forefront of this developing industry.

“Especially, as we see that off-the-shelf metallurgical processes are becoming increasingly inadequate for the extraction of valuable metals from non-conventional ores at reasonable costs and with a minimum ecological footprint, we can count on our broad-based portfolio of technologies and our extensive know-how in both pyro and hydrometallurgy, offering our customers in the technological metals sector optimized, integrated solutions.”

After taking the first step into the value chain of battery recycling just recently by acquiring a stake in lithium ion battery recycler Primobius GmbH, SMS group is now further extending its activities to include plant and process engineering for the production of electrolyte used in lithium ion batteries.

<![CDATA[TNG Limited and SMS group bank on turquoise hydrogen (H<sub>2</sub>) produced from methane for carbon-neutral pre-reduction of titanomagnetite ores]]> 2020-09-23T16:48:42+02:00 2020-09-23T16:41:00+02:00 The next step towards a carbon-neutral future

Australian mining corporation TNG Limited, based in Perth, Australia, und SMS group plan to implement a process enabling the production of CO2-neutral hydrogen as they are developing the Mt. Peake titanium/vanadium/iron project in the Northern Territory, Australia. The thus produced turquoise hydrogen will be used as reducing agent to make the production of titanium/vanadium and iron from fine-grained titanomagnetite concentrate carbon-neutral.

TNG Limited and SMS group have now agreed to jointly invest in the development of a complementary hydrogen production technology. On account of the limited availability of green electricity, both companies bank on the production of hydrogen by breaking methane (natural gas or biomethane) down into hydrogen and solid carbon. This process requires just about one third of the electricity consumed by other green hydrogen production routes. The electricity consumption of the new process envisaged by TNG and SMS group is rated at 15 to 18 kWh per kilogram of hydrogen produced. TNG and SMS group plan to construct and bring on stream a Europe-based pilot plant with a hydrogen production capacity of 14 kilograms per hour in the next few years. This will correspond to about 100 tons of carbon-neutral hydrogen per year  ̶  a capacity set to enable the scale-up of the technology to an industrial level.

The process has the potential to become the method of choice for the production of hydrogen and syngas from a wide range of hydrocarbons, including fossil, biogenic and waste materials. For TNG and SMS group, this opens up  ̶  outside their respective core businesses  ̶  new business opportunities in the fast-growing hydrogen and e-fuel sector. The process produces carbon black as a by-product. The current market price of a ton of carbon black is about 1,000 US dollar.

TNG Limited and SMS group have already been working closely with leading institutes and partners from industry with the aim to jointly develop an efficient direct pre-reduction process  ̶  on fluidized bed basis  ̶  for TNG’s fine-grained titanomagnetite concentrate, and have meanwhile successfully demonstrated the feasibility of the process at lab scale.

“TNG’s Mt. Peake project provides perfect conditions for the first industrial-scale application of this technology, thanks to the abundant local availability of methane and the specific characteristics of TNG’s fine-grained concentrate, which are very suitable for a fluidized bed direct reduction process using hydrogen as reducing agent,” said Herbert Weissenbaeck, responsible at SMS group for strategic project development, on the occasion of the announcement of the cooperation agreement.

“We see Australia's industry embarking on a carbon-neutral future and believe our investment will pay off not only for the environment but also for our shareholders in the long term,” said Paul Burton, Managing Director and CEO of TNG Limited.

<![CDATA[JFE upgrades Japanese large-diameter pipe mill with welding technology from SMS group]]> 2020-09-23T12:08:50+02:00 2020-09-23T12:04:00+02:00 Fully digitalized welding process and process data monitoring take pipe welding to the next level

JFE Steel Corporation has produced the first pipe at its Fukuyama works in Japan after the successful revamp of its submerged arc welding (SAW) stands by SMS group. The revamp included five-wire submerged arc welding heads, digital inverter welding current sources (PERFECT arc®), and a measured data recording, monitoring and evaluating system.

JFE's large-diameter pipe mill, located in western Japan, has been in operation since the beginning of the 1970s. As JFE has developed its own proprietary submerged arc welding stands at that mill, the company can today build on welding parameter data and know-how from more than 50 years of operation. Consequently, the current revamp project focused primarily on enhancing the repeatability and furthering the development of the welding parameters.

At the same time, the revamp of the welding technology was aimed at enabling the development of new welding parameters that would make it possible to vary the welding speed and the energy input into the weld seam. These capabilities are particularly important when welding high-strength steels and steel for in-service temperatures well below freezing point (-10°C to -20°C).

To ensure that the revamp fully meets JFE's requirements, prior welding tests were carried out. Jointly with the welding specialists from JFE, SMS group welded longitudinal-seam pipes from material provided by JFE for this purpose on a five-wire submerged arc welding stand at the Technical University of Berlin in Germany. The results of these welding tests showed that the SMS group technology is able to ensure compliance with JFE's exacting demands.

Given the fact that JFE had previously used only four wires in submerged arc welding, the available space for the new five-wire welding heads was another challenging task of the project. SMS group solved this challenge by developing a more compact design for the new five-wire welding heads, without any compromise in terms of stability and ease of welding head adjustment and maintenance.

As well as upgrading the outside welding stands from four-wire to five-wire welding, the old transformer-based welding current sources were replaced with the new PERFECT arc® digital current sources from SMS group.

In addition, SMS group established an interface with JFE's manufacturing execution (MES) and plant monitoring system (PMS). These systems exchange production and process parameters during welding to optimize production evaluation, production planning and quality assurance. A special focus of the data transfer solution was to incorporate the data collected in the past into the new systems.

With this upgrade, JFE is consolidating its position as a technology leader in the global market for large-diameter longitudinally welded pipes. Thanks to the higher welding speed and reduced error rate, the new technology not only boosts productivity but also ensures that, while maintaining the same speed, less heat – in other words, energy - is input into the material. From the latter JFE benefits particularly when welding high-strength steels.

<![CDATA[Full service from SMS group ensures maximum availability of the CSP<sup>®</sup> plant at EZDK]]> 2020-09-22T13:56:29+02:00 2020-09-22T13:39:00+02:00 Al Ezz Dekheila Steel Company (EZDK) based in Alexandria, Egypt, has concluded a full-service contact with SMS group for its CSP® plant (Compact Strip Production). The service contract covers the X-Pact® electrical and automation systems as well as the mechanical equipment, hydraulic systems and process technology. For EZDK, this ensures permanent support and assistance for the complete CSP® plant.

Within the scope of this full-service contract, enquiries from EZDK are centrally addressed to the service team responsible for X-Pact® electrical and automation systems and processed by SMS group experts around the clock. For X-Pact® electrical and automation systems, 90 percent of the support services can be performed via hotline or teleservice. If field service support is required on site, experts from the respective specialist departments will be sent out to the plant.

"A major advantage of our service partnership with SMS group is their quick response time and the ability to provide immediate and unbureaucratic support. The service staff of SMS group knows the plant and also the state-of-the-art technology and can therefore quickly identify and implement smaller optimizations,” says Eng. Ashraf Khamis, Head of Flat Steel Plant at Al Ezz Dekheila Steel Company.

EZDK thus ensures high plant availability and increased plant productivity avoiding time-consuming troubleshooting.

<![CDATA[Outokumpu decides in favor of a powder automatization plant from SMS group to produce base material for 3D metal printing]]> 2020-09-16T14:53:45+02:00 2020-09-16T14:47:00+02:00 Newly developed powder atomization plant for innovative business fields

Outokumpu has selected SMS group to supply an atomization plant for the production of high-quality stainless steel powder used in additive manufacturing. This is the first ever facility SMS group is going to supply under a Subscription contract. While this agreement is new territory for both companies, it will pave the way for a long-term cooperation between the two partners.

Subscription is a business model under which SMS group will remain the owner of the powder atomization plant, while Outokumpu, as operator of the plant, will pay SMS group pro rata of the quantity of stainless steel powder produced.

The atomization plant – scheduled to become operational in early 2022 – will be designed for an annual production of up to 330 tons of stainless steel powder.

Tobias Brune, SMS group, Head of Additive Manufacturing & Powder Metallurgy: “Right from the beginning the whole project has been sailing under the flag of partnership. With this performance-based contract model we, as Leading Partner in the World of Metals, are breaking new ground jointly with our customer which will bring both of us forward. The Subscription contract provides for both companies to concentrate on their respective core competences to be successful in the market.“

Outokumpu is one of the world’s leading producers of high-grade stainless steels. With production facilities in Finland, Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the U.S.A. and Mexico, and a world-spanning network of service centers, Outokumpu supplies a wide range and great diversity of tailored stainless steel products for virtually any application to customers from most different sectors, including architecture, infrastructure, automotive, heavy industries, medical engineering and domestic appliances.

Philip Salfeld, Outokumpu Manager Strategic Investments: “As the inventors of stainless steel, we are aiming to continuously advance innovation in general, and the development and distribution of this highly versatile and sustainable material. In so doing, we are always looking out for innovative applications that will attract new customer segments to our products. Metal powder is one such innovative business field. And we are looking very much forward to developing it jointly with SMS group.”

SMS group’s scope of supply will comprise the powder atomization plant complete with the grading equipment, spare parts service over the duration of the contract, and digital solutions.

The powder atomization plant, which SMS is going to supply, includes the induction melter, the atomizer, two cyclones and filter elements. It will be designed for the complete process to take place in an inert atmosphere. This enables temperature measurements, sample taking and material feeding to be performed without causing any atmospheric variations. The atomizing nozzle is arranged below the distributor, which contains the molten metal. The metal runs through the nozzle, undergoing atomization in the atomization tower by means of inert gas. From there the resulting powder is conveyed – still under inert conditions – to the cyclone unit, separated from the inert gas and collected in containers. Then the metal powder – in its finished condition – is screened and graded.

The atomization plant will be designed to atomize powders of stainless steels, maraging steels, special steels, superalloys, nickel-based alloys, cobalt-chromium alloys and alloys on copper basis, among others.

As feed stock, lumpy material (such as metal scrap, virgin metal and master alloys) or non-specified powder (in fine and coarse fractions) can be used. 

SMS digital, a company of SMS group, is going to supply the Smart Alarm system, which assures quick and straight-forward responses to alarms triggered in production plants. Thanks to intelligent priority scheduling and the direct linking of solution messages, the system supports the operator in increasing plant availability and enhancing the understanding of how the system works by sending out automated notifications.

In parallel with the installation of the plant at Outokumpu, the customer’s staff will be trained at the powder atomization plant operated by SMS group in Mönchengladbach.

At the Metal Additive Manufacturing Conference taking place in Vienna from Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, 2020, our expert Yannik Wilkens will present our activity around the Additive Manufacturing.