From modernization of a 20 year CSP® plant to service partnership

Alexandria, Egypt – From 1995 to 2022

On the day the Al Ezz Dekheila Steel Company, also known as EZDK, and SMS group decided to cooperate on the construction of a brand new CSP® plant, no one could have imagined how well this partnership would stand the test of time. It did, and very successfully too, as we will find out.

Pioneered by SMS group, CSP® technology revolutionized the world of flat steel production. EZDK recognized the potential and made the right decision.

Fast forward to 2015: Modernization of automation and caster

EZDK’s CSP® plant began production in 1999 and after almost 20 successful years of production, it was time to update the plant to bring it up to speed, to assure its competitiveness in the 21st century. The Egyptian steel producer decided to completely replace the aged automation and drive systems. Technology had made great leaps in the meantime. Leaps in which EZDK were ready to participate in.

“Before the upgrade, we produced one million tons of flat steel per year. We used to produce several steel grades from low- to medium-carbon and HSLA grades and limited quantities of API and dual-phase steel. But our point of excellence is the production of thin gauges which requires highly skilled operators and perfect mill conditions. After the modernization we are looking for more added-value products such as API-X70 thicker material 12.7 millimeters in thickness, silicon steel, dual and multi-phase steel. Moreover, we are planning to produce gauges with 1.0 millimeter thickness as part of commercial production. Currently, the minimum gage is 1.2 millimeters.”

Factors, such as cost, efficiency and quality were certainly important elements, but also expertise and service from a reliable partner were key.

SMS group completes the task

Thanks to the future-proof SMS group technology

…for the CSP® plants and the continuous further development, SMS group was able to offer a modernization solution that not only brought everything up to date, but also replaced all control panels, the local operating units and the HMI system in the CSP® system.

The operating concept of the SMS group is tailored to the latest ergonomic findings, enabling the operator to use it intuitively and to have a clear view of the production process for optimal results.

The X-Pact® electrics and automation

…of the CSP® system was tested and optimized with the tried and tested Plug & Work procedure before it was put into operation. At the SMS group test fields in Hilchenbach, the automation system was tested and optimized before it was installed at the customer's site, with the help of a simulation that depicts the entire mechanics, drive technology and the process.

Utilizing 3D design data of the plant, a simulation is created reproducing the dynamic, kinematic and technological processes in very impressive detail. Simultaneously, SMS group experts trained the EZDK operating staff on the virtual plant via the unique Plug & Work concept.

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The extra benefit of the Plug & Work concept the ability to train operating personnel on the original control desks, long before plant erection or modernization. Taking part in virtual production operations means that employees can learn the plant functions and how to control them in real-life situations. As a result, production and efficient operation can begin almost immediately. Thus Plug & Work actually pays for itself, as it ensures a shorter cold start-up and a faster system start-up.

A 24/7 mechanical service contract

...was also deemed essential and promptly included. Needless to say, things went uniquely smoothly and as planned – almost 20 years after the initial commissioning of the plant. Within a shutdown of a record twenty days, SMS group completed the modernization of the CSP® plant at the Alexandria production site of Al Ezz Dekheila Steel Company (EZDK). The customer was in the position to resume production after a short ramp-up phase, much to the pleasure of all involved.

“It’s one of the key factors for a successful project to have everything from a single source to guarantee the integration of the project”

Mohamed Fouad Emam, the General Manager for Technical Affairs, looked back to the modernization project at EZDK with great satisfaction.

Fast forward to 2020: Full-service contract for CSP® plant

The Al Ezz Dekheila Steel Company decided to enter into a full-service contact with the SMS group for its entire CSP® plant. This was an easy one. Based on the partnership since 1995, EZDK knew SMS group were the ones to provide the permanent support and assistance they required.

After the first years of using the modernized system, EZDK wanted to optimally exploit all possibilities, expanding the service framework – from the new components (X-Pact) of the modernization to the mechanical components and process technology – opening up the capability of carrying out small optimizations in the ongoing process.

The new full-service contract covered the X-Pact® electrics and automation as well as the mechanical equipment, hydraulics and process engineering. As part of this full-service contract, technical inquiries from EZDK can be addressed centrally to the service team responsible for the X-Pact® electrical and automation systems and processed around the clock by experts from SMS group.

90 percent of the support services can be provided via hotline or by tele services. Should the case arise, and field service support is required on site, experts from the respective specialist departments can be detached to the plant immediately. A BI tool was additionally implemented. Business Intelligence (BI) provides a systematic analysis for processes and procedures, gathering, evaluating and visualizing production data 24/7. The idea here is to grasp information that can be used to optimize operative and strategic decision-making in light of corporate goals. An important tool to secure the future, perspective development of the plant.

A major advantage of our service partnership with the SMS group is their quick response time and the ability to provide immediate and unbureaucratic support. The service staff of SMS group know the plant and also the state-of-the-art technology and can therefore quickly identify and implement smaller optimizations

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