Increased plant availability due to lower maintenance effort
For Acerinox Europa S.A.U., Los Barrios, Cádiz, Spain, SMS group has successfully commissioned a torque retainer for the 120-ton AOD converter no. 2. The customer issued the final acceptance certificate shortly thereafter.
The aim of the revamp, which was to minimize the destructive forces on the gear unit, bearings, and foundation when operating the AOD converter, was fully achieved in every respect. In addition, the use of the new electrohydraulic torque retainer has significantly reduced uncontrolled vibrations in the gear unit and the converter vessel. The target values in terms of reducing torque were achieved under production conditions shortly after commissioning.
SMS group supplied the torque retainer as a compact electrohydraulic unit. The engineering, installation, supervision of the installation as well as the technical assistance during commissioning were also included in the scope of delivery of SMS group.
Both the cold and hot commissioning were completed jointly with the customer, and the latter was performed while production was underway.
The plant shutdown time was reduced thanks to a new installation concept developed by SMS group especially for Acerinox Europa. The individual units were installed as stand-alone solutions during plant operation, then brought into service during scheduled downtimes or ongoing production. The final assembly was also carried out during a planned plant shutdown and took just one extra day, instead of the usual five days.
Manuel Reberdito, Head of Mechanical Maintenance: "What impressed us was SMS group's flexible response to our operational requirements with its new revamp concept. The torque retainer from SMS group is the right solution, from both a technical and an economical perspective. Acerinox Europa is completely satisfied with the results, especially in terms of the enhanced availability and improved operational reliability of the AOD converter. The maintenance work on the gear unit was also drastically reduced as a result."
The torque retainer from SMS group has already been successfully installed at Acerinox's plants in Columbus Stainless, Middelburg, South Africa (two AOD converters), and at North American Stainless, Kentucky, U.S. (AOD no. 1).
SMS group is a group of companies internationally active in plant construction and mechanical engineering for the steel and nonferrous metals industry. It has some 14,000 employees who generate worldwide sales of more than EUR 2.8 billion. The sole owner of the holding company SMS GmbH is the Familie Weiss Foundation.