Hot and cold rolling

Rolling mill maintenance services for either rolling of steel, aluminum, or even copper are at the core of business for SMS group.  Our regional workshops, located throughout the USA, specialize in the repair of nearly all process-critical components used in hot and cold rolling.  We offer unparalleled technical support from OEM experts.

Core products serviced in our workshops include work roll and back-up chock fleet management, oil film bearings, AGC Cylinders, reels, mandrels, gearing and gear boxes, drive spindles, and shifting blocks.  We also provide turn-key on-site or off-site roll shop management for both hot and cold rolling mills where we supply labor and capital resources for the roll shop construction and ongoing maintenance. 

In the area of cold rolling, we provided EDT (Electro-Discharge Texturing), roll grinding, and chrome plating services.

Products and services

AGC Cylinders

AGC Cylinders

Because they automatically provide accurate and consistent product gauge control, sophisticated hydraulic Automatic Gauge Control (AGC) cylinders are critical to the performance of a rolling mill. Cylinders that are not working properly can adversely impact strip or bar quality, and a cylinder failure can shut the mill down. Preventative maintenance, accurate testing, and expert repair to restore cylinders to OEM specifications ensure cylinders perform reliably and consistently provide strip or bar product with precise thickness or dimensions, respectively.

With a comprehensive cylinder repair facility and one of the largest computerized cylinder test stands in North America, SMS group can accurately test and precisely repair large AGC cylinders from all manufacturers.

To benchmark performance and identify performance issues, incoming cylinders receive a comprehensive inspection and are tested against OEM specifications throughout their range on our test stand. After disassembly, cylinder components are thoroughly cleaned and inspected both visually and with non-destructive testing methods. All test and inspection results are documented and a diagnostic report is prepared. After the cylinder is repaired to restore it to OEM specifications and tolerances, it is tested again to ensure it will perform like new and downtime will be minimized.

ISO 9001 certified, our repair facility adheres to stringent quality standards throughout the repair process. We can also provide on-site removal and installation support, emergency services, and analyze operating and maintenance conditions to develop a plan to improve cylinder performance and reliability.

BoreGuard™ Electric Arc Wire Spray

BoreGuard™ Electric Arc Wire Spray

BoreGuard™ Electric Arc Wire Spray is an arc formed by two oppositely charged metallic wires. This leads to melting at the tip of the wire material. As this occurs, air atomizes the melted material and is accelerated onto the surface. The product was formulated for increasing bore wear resistance; minimizing distortion on other areas of chocks and component part; reducing repair costs; and decreasing turnaround time during the repair process.

At SMS group Inc.'s Mokena workshop, we have been utilizing the BoreGuard™ process in-house  to repair chocks and chock components since 2010. The workshop has had their coating composition and process tested metallurgically and mechanically for Tensile strength, porosity, coating interface, cracking, globular’s, oxides, uniformity, and overall integrity to ensure that our quality will withstand the duties of a bearing chock.

Hot and Cold Rolling Mill Chock Fleet Management

Hot and Cold Rolling Mill Chock Fleet Management

SMS group Inc. expertly maintains and repairs rolling mill Oil Film Bearing Back Up Roll (BUR) Chocks as well as Roller Bearing BUR Chocks & Work Roll (WR) Chocks for many of the major steel producers globally

As part of our Fleet Management process, we provide turnkey maintenance solutions for entire rolling mill chock fleets. SMS group Inc. offers full-service chock consumable components; inventory management; Oil Film bearing repair and failure analysis; and tracking of chock fleets in operation. Included with chock fleet tracking is the ability for preventative maintenance notification on individual chocks to be pulled from service. With SMS group Inc.'s OEM knowledge of mill stand mechanics, rolling mill operational issues can be identified, repaired, and corrected in a timely manner by inspection the chocks, mill stands, roll gap adjusting equipment, and WR bending/shifting. Experienced craftsmen, know-how, and rigorous procedures insure that chocks we have repaired will have longer service lives and reduced downtime. Plus our innovative processes and methods help reduce long-term chock maintenance costs. 

Roll Chroming

Roll Chroming

We can expertly grind and chrome plate work rolls. Chrome is a superior coating for rolls: it is one of the hardest metals, has excellent corrosion resistance, and low coefficient of friction. That combination results in a very high wear resistance. Our 24/7 maintenance operations is also an effective way to reduce downtime. Often, rolls picked up in the morning for chroming can be back in your mill, ready-to-roll, the same evening.

With more than 60 years of experience applying chrome plating, we have the know-how to chrome rolls so they consistently provide superior performance. Plus rolls that have been pre-treated with our proprietary technology have longer service lives and experience fewer problems.

Electro-Discharge Texturing (EDT)

Electro-Discharge Texturing (EDT)

Sheet producers, under pressure to produce flawless sheet for automotive and other demanding applications, know that texture on work rolls is critical because it's transferred to the sheet being produced. Electro-Discharge Texturing (EDT) is a specialized texturing process that replaces shot blast and provides a superior surface texture on rolls prior to chroming. It produces consistent, repeatable surfaces with tight tolerances from 50-350 Ra, extremely uniform surface with little variance over the surface of the roll and superior textured surfaces on hard work rolls. 

Using proprietary EDT equipment, designed, and manufactured by SMS group, we can uniformly texture the entire roll surface with no gaps on the ends. Our EDT equipment also removes grind chatter while texturing to produce dependable rolls that consistently deliver quality sheet.

Drivetrains and Gearboxes

Drivetrains and Gearboxes

SMS group rebuilds, repairs, and upgrades rolling mill gear boxes and pinion stands off-line. We provide expert service for most OEM manufacturers’ pinion stands, small-to-medium mill drive gear boxes, and ancillary components, like bearings and shafts, from large gear boxes. We provide gear and gear teeth diagnostics and inspections. We can also set and verify gear contact patterns and backlash. 

All repairs begin with a thorough inspection of gear assemblies and teeth, backlash and contact patterns, before and after disassembly, using both visual and non-destructive (NDT) methods. Results of the inspections and testing are documented and included in a detailed report. 

Depending on your needs, gear boxes, gear assemblies, and pinion stands are repaired and reassembled using new, refurbished, or used components. In addition, gear contact patterns are checked and verified by SMS group engineering to ensure they meet exact specifications.

SMS group in Germany is a global supplier of rolling mill drivetrain equipment with extensive engineering and manufacturing expertise. We use strict quality standards throughout the repair process and drivetrain equipment we repair and rebuild provides cost-effective reliable service.

Reels and Mandrels

Reels and Mandrels

SMS group expertly reconditions, restores, rebuilds, maintains, and retrofits spindles, chocks, reels, and mandrels for steel and aluminum hot mills, cold mills, temper mills, and coating lines to the exacting tolerances demanded by today’s sheet and tin producers. We also build new mandrels, provide spare parts for hot and cold mills, and are the sole authorized service provider for SMS group equipment in North America.

Our experienced technicians analyze your operating and maintenance conditions and develop material and lubrication recommendations to improve performance and product quality, maximize yields, extend equipment life, and reduce downtime. Precision machining and assembly work help ensure top performance.

To keep mandrels operating flawlessly longer, SMS group also provides value-added services, including maintaining inventories of crucial components, cost-per-ton agreements, and on-site assistance.

Roll Cladding

Roll Cladding

SMS group provides complete roll rebuilding services utilizing top-quality special alloy RollGuard overlays and state-of-the-art roll technology. Our RollGuard™ overlay technology can extend roll life by improving resistance to cracking, corrosion, wear and pitting. We can clad rolls using any combination of submerged-arc, gas-shielded metal arc, gas-tungsten arc or open-arc overlay technologies. We also use in-house thermal-fatigue simulation testing to insure overlays provide superior performance.

SMS group is also one of a few producers of specialized textured tread-plate rolls. Using our proprietary method, we can produce tread-plate rolls faster and often a lower cost than other producers.

Our comprehensive roll services include: performance analysis tracking; welding, material sciences and metallurgical evaluation; technical and failure analysis; and consulting services. As a value-added service, we provide comprehensive roll tracking programs.



SMS group in North America expertly maintains patented SIEFLEX® Oil-Lubricated Gear-Type Spindles manufactured by SMS group. Our maintenance services can keep mill spindles operating in peak condition while minimizing maintenance costs.

In addition to providing scheduled periodic maintenance, SMS group also provides emergency breakdown service and modifications designed to upgrade existing designs, improve spindle reliability, and lower operating costs.

Because we are the sole authorized service provider for SMS group equipment in North America, we have full and open access to all OEM drawings and SMS group engineers. We can ensure that repairs are in full accordance with original specifications.

To ensure spindle reliability, exact procedures are employed throughout the entire process of inspection, disassembly, testing, repair, reassembly, final checking, and alignment. We also keep detailed histories to help identify operational issues, extend spindle life, and reduce downtime.

X-Roll® Oil Bearing

X-Roll® Oil Bearing

For more reliability, safety, and efficiency 

SMS group has banked 60 years of experience supplying all generations of oil film bearings to rolling mills in the steel and non-ferrous industry worldwide. Today, you can identify our modern and cost-effective roll neck bearings by the SMS group trademark.

Development and Design

It’s standard procedure for us to steadily improve our oil film bearing technology. What’s more, you can rely on our advice for the very best new bearing solutions as well as upgrades and repairs. There is no gamble or guesswork for you here because we focus firmly on your requirements so you get the solutions you want and need. Our design team applies modern CAD software to create 3D models of the bearing complete with the chock and roll neck. Just as crucial is detailed FEM analysis for optimal bearing components and backup roll necks. To validate and update our bearing dimensioning software, we regularly record bearing data under true load conditions in mill stands. Using model techniques, we simulate the fluid flow and physical properties and analyze the elasto-hydrodynamic behavior of the bearing.


It makes sense to revamp and extend older mills so they can handle today’s challenging products. That ensures your long-term competitiveness.

Included in the critical components are the backup roll and bearing unit. To start with, we team up with you to determine the current status of your bearing system. Then we perform a thorough analysis. This is how we identify what optimizations will get the best out of your system.

There is plenty of scope for practical improvements in areas such as safe handling of the bearings or better sealing systems. These can make all the difference.

That’s where our design ideas and systematic improvements come in. They cover all components – from the bearings and their chocks to the roll necks and oil lubrication systems. Our modernizations ensure your bearings achieve the high standards of occupational safety, reliability, and cost-effectiveness to guarantee your success.

Spare Parts and Repair

Whatever brand of oil film bearings you use, whether X-Roll® Oil Bearing or any other type, SMS group supplies first-class spare parts that guarantee efficient plant operation.

Expert repairs of main bearing components:

  • Regrinding roll-neck sleeves
  • Repairing bushings, incl. Babbitt replacement
  • Reconditioning and retrofitting roll chocks

Value-Added Customer Service and Training

While rolling mill operation is going on, the operational change rolls and bearings are machined and prepared in the roll and bearing shop. That boosts your productivity because high-quality and high-performance mill components such as oil film bearings are crucial to meeting ever-higher quality requirements.

Wherever in the world you are, an SMS group service team is only a phone call or a click away. So you can count on rapid, uncomplicated, and flexible support every time.

Our X-Roll® Oil Bearing specialists work with your roll and bearing shop as well as maintenance teams to analyze weak points. Then they initiate the necessary steps so your system works perfectly.

What do you get from our X-Roll® Oil Bearing service:

  • Technical assistance
  • Supervision of installation & commissioning of bearings and hydrostatic systems
  • Bearing damage analysis
  • Troubleshooting for your entire oil bearing system
  • Bearing inspection support
  • Advice on everything from upgrades to the latest bearing technology