When arriving on site, the SMS team was able to verify the damage to the output gear wheel on the two-stage main gear unit that tkSE had discovered previously. The side plates had cracks, and the rim toothing had broken off at various points. The very same day, the team started work on a strategy to stabilize the defective gear unit as quickly as possible and so maintain production in the hot rolling mill, because a prolonged shutdown would have been unavoidable due to the lack of spare parts.
The detailed FEM (Finite element method) analysis of the old wheel set provided information on its structural stability. By changing the rolling parameters, and precisely monitoring and continuously analyzing the data from the Genius CM® Condition Monitoring System, it was possible to continue production of the high-quality steel grades rolled in the finishing train at thyssenkrupp Steel Europe.
Within the first five days, the SMS experts developed an engineering concept to manufacture a new output shaft as quickly as possible from available raw material as well as bar material that can be provided at short notice. In addition to a one-to-one replacement of the output shaft, a concept was developed in close cooperation with the customer to offer a complete wheel set as a more effective overall solution. The complete wheel set in SMS group's advanced gear design is capable of transmitting higher torques and thus meets the future requirements of tkSE.
"Without the existing raw materials from our raw materials store, we could never have helped thyssenkrupp Steel so quickly. Manufacturing the wheel set was a team effort involving colleagues in sales, engineering, purchasing, the Hilchenbach workshop, and field service. Huge compliments go to the various teams who did everything they could to get this 90-ton wheel set manufactured in such a short time," adds Patrick Vetter, Project Manager, Service Drive Technology, commenting on the success and commitment of the SMS team.