SMS group Press releases2019-05-21T15:45:54+00:00 /typo3conf/ext/bm_atomfeed/Resources/Public/Logo/smsgroup_logo.png <![CDATA[SMS group received AIST James Farrington Award 2019]]> 2019-05-10T10:04:21+00:00 2019-05-10T11:53:00+00:00 Franck Adjogble and Wolfgang Spies, both SMS group engineers, received the AIST James Farrington Award 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pa., USA, on the 7th of May for their work entitled “Holistic Approach of High Quality Flat Steel Production – Dynamic Production Scheduling in Respect to Process Quality, Control System and Plant Condition”. The AIST James Farrington Award was established in 2005 to honor James Farrington, founder and first president of AISE and his vision for iron and steel companies to join together, present papers, share mutual problems and set standards for the improvement of electrical machinery and processes. The award was presented to the author of the paper Franck Adjogble, and Co-Authors Harald Rackel, Gregor Schneider, Klaus Pronold, Wolfgang Spies, Hans-Georg Jentsch. The paper was judged by the Electrical Applications Technology Committee to be the best technical paper submitted at AIST conference.

SMS group is a global, leading partner for the metal industry. As a family-owned business headquartered in Germany the plant builder is committed to quality and innovation. SMS group’s customers cover the entire value chain of the global metal industry.

As a systems supplier, SMS group supplied all the plants and process know-how for the steel complex of Big River Steel, Osceola in the United States, and has supported Big River Steel during commissioning. Ever since starting operations, Big River Steel has achieved a steep run-up curve in hot strip production. Covering a site of 567 hectares, Big River Steel is North America’s most modern steelworks. In the first construction stage, the plant is designed for 1.6 million tons per year of steel. The steelmaking plant went on stream together with the CSP® plant in December 2016.

The CSP® plant consists of a CSP® continuous caster, a tunnel furnace, a CSP® rolling mill, a laminar cooling section and a downcoiler. Capable of rolling a maximum strip width of 1,930 millimeters, Big River Steel’s CSP® mill is the widest in North America. The hot strip from the CSP® rolling mill is further processed in the coupled pickling/tandem mill. There it is processed into high-quality cold strip. Together with the two downstream strip-processing lines, the tandem mill produces a wide range of products. Also integrated in the continuous process route is an annealing and galvanizing line with an inline skin-pass mill for hot-dip galvanized cold strip. What makes the offline skin-pass mill stand out is its very high rolling force. The X-Pact® electrical and automation systems solution was applied in all process stages from steelmaking to the strip-processing plant. It ensured the steelmaking complex went into production right on schedule in December 2016, then achieved a steep run-up curve. Big River Steel also uses the X-Pact® MES 4.0 which took immediately over production planning and control. Now Big River Steel has the capacity to produce strip in widths of between 914 and 1,880 millimeters and gages of 1.4 to 0.28 millimeters.

To ensure top quality, Big River Steel uses the PQA® (Product Quality Analyzer) system SMS group developed in cooperation with the subsidiary MET/Con Metallurgical Plant & Process Consulting. The PQA® system collects and evaluates quality data of all products produced at all steps as well as quality-relevant process parameters along the entire process chain, from steelmaking to the finished product. Here, the process parameters can consist of measured values and results, but also complex criteria applied for quality analysis.

Big River Steel is mastering flexible production planning with fluctuating and partly small batch sizes while adhering to deadlines supported by this set-up with SMS group’s approach for digitalization or the learning steel mill. It ensures intelligent, largely autonomous steel production. This involves the interconnection and collaboration of humans and machines across the entire value chain in dynamic production processes that adjust to optimum parameters in real time. Digitalization is not an end in itself; it is rather a means to further increase productivity and thus profitability as well as increase the flexibility and the resilience of the installed value chain.

The prevailing architectural view of a Smart Factory considers AI, Data Science and related technologies to be the next higher level, a layer on top of existing conventional plant automation and information systems. In contrast, the SMS’ philosophy, called “Learning Factory”, integrates these new and emerging technologies into a synergy with the conventional, well-established systems.

The paper “Holistic Approach of High Quality Flat Steel Production – Dynamic Production Scheduling in Respect to Process Quality, Control System and Plant Condition” describes the implementation of the Learning steel mill concept at Big River Steel – the world’s first ‘Learning’ Steel Mill.

<![CDATA[Zekelman Industries contracts SMS group for supply of the largest continuous ERW tube mill in the world]]> 2019-05-10T07:56:55+00:00 2019-05-09T11:15:00+00:00 New market opportunities

Zekelman Industries selected SMS group as partner and main supplier for a complete new 28″ ERW tube welding line to be installed at its “Atlas Tube” structural tube division.

With the new 28-inch electric resistance welding line, Zekelmann Industries will be installing the biggest continuous line in the world, capable to produce more than 400,000 tons per year and thus extending its product range and sizes.

The new line will allow Zekelman Industries to produce structural and piling products with diameters ranging from 10 ¾ up to 28 inches (273 to 710 millimeters) and wall thickness up to 1 inch (25.4 millimeters). Furthermore square and rectangular hollows in dimensions from 8 x 8 inches (203 x 203 millimeters) up to 22 x 22 inches (559 x 559 millimeters) or 34 x 10 inches (863 x 254 millimeters) will be produced. All products are mainly intended for demands of the construction and the building sector.

The key aspect of the design and layout development of the new line are the highest requirements for quality and production output. The computer-controlled SMS group CSS Quicksetting® system ensures that the rolls can be adjusted automatically to their working positions after the size change. Further to an operational speed reaching 35 meters per minute, the line offers superior diameter/wall thickness ratio capability which, along with a quick product change-over time, results in great product flexibility.

Zekelman Industries and its structural tube division, Atlas Tube, rely on SMS group´s tube welding technology for years. The company has placed several orders with SMS group for the expansion and improvement of the product spectrum of the ERW lines installed in Harrow, Canada and Blytheville, U.S.A. This latest order marks the next step in a successful cooperation between both companies.

<![CDATA[MEGASA GROUP chooses SMS group reheating technology for its Portuguesa bar mill]]> 2019-04-30T10:05:25+00:00 2019-04-30T12:00:00+00:00 New walking beam furnace with ZeroFlame, DigiMod and SMSPrometheus systems

SMS group has been chosen by MEGASA GROUP for the supply of a new walking beam furnace to be installed in the existing bar mill of SN Seixal Siderurgia Nacional S.A. in Aldeia de Paio Pires, Portugal. The new furnace, rated at 160 tons per hour cold charged and 210 tons per hour hot charged, will include latest technological packages developed by SMS group. Start-up is scheduled for the end of summer 2020.

In particular, MEGASA banks on the SMSPrometheus Level 2 system, the SMS DigiMod combustion management system and SMS ZeroFlame burners. The combination of these three features installed on the sturdy and reliable structure of the SMS furnace will ensure outstanding performance in terms of reductions in fuel consumption, scale formation and pollutant emissions. ZeroFlame, DigiMod and SMSPrometheus will provide reduced NOx emissions down to 90 mg/Nm3, less scale formation down to 0.4 percent, and a decrease in fuel consumption down to less than 27 Nm3 per ton. With this investment, MEGASA will consolidate its leading position in the market of construction steel.

SMS group’s sales and technical teams have found the right technical solution for the wide product range and the requirements of the customer. The furnace will be able to reheat billets starting from as slender as 120 millimeters up to 160 millimeters in various lengths up to 14.5 meters. SMS group will supply the furnace on a turn-key basis, including erection and supervision to commissioning.

<![CDATA[SMS group upgrades walking beam furnace at Sidenor Basauri in Spain]]> 2019-04-29T14:10:18+00:00 2019-04-29T15:58:00+00:00 Increase of bloom reheating capacity for SBQ production from 85 to 130 tons per hour

Sidenor Basauri, Spain, trusts in SMS group also for the stage-2 upgrade of its walking beam furnace, which will increase the furnace’s capacity from currently 85 tons per hour to 130 tons per hour. Supplied by SMS group in 2016, the furnace was originally designed with the provision for a future capacity increase. In the design phase, the SMS engineers had already taken into consideration all civil and mechanical modifications required for the future capacity boost in order to guarantee a short plant shut down and a fast restart. The second start-up after the upgrade is scheduled for the second half of 2020.

The furnace can reheat special steel blooms in sections between 185 and 240 millimeters square. Its state-of-the-art technology will ensure low levels of fuel consumption, scale formation and decarburization also after the modification, helping Sidenor to consolidate its benchmark position in SBQ production. SMS group’s range of supply for the upgrade will include new steel structures with a set of SMS ZeroFlame extra-low NOx burners, which had already been included in stage 1 providing pollutant emissions of less than 100 mg/Nm3 at 1,250 °C, meeting the most stringent of European guidelines.

Since 1997, SMS group has installed 90 reheating furnaces for billets, blooms, slabs and pipes.

<![CDATA[Hitachi Metals grants FAC to SMS group for 90/108 MN open-die forging press]]> 2019-04-25T09:17:35+00:00 2019-04-25T11:12:00+00:00 Fast, precise, and productive

Hitachi Metals, Yasugi, Japan, has granted SMS group the final acceptance certificate (FAC) following the successful commissioning of its 90/108 MN open-die forging press. This is the largest four-column open-die forging press in push-down design that SMS group has built in the last 25 years. The plant operates with a forging force of up to 90 MN and an upsetting force of 108 MN. It forges flat and round bars from ingots quickly and precisely at a maximum starting material weight of 30 tons. Two rail-bound manipulators position the forgings with millimeter precision and move them fully in sync with the press stroke. Hitachi intends to use the new open-die forging press to process temperature-sensitive materials, such as titanium alloys, tool steels, high speed steels, and nickel-based alloys. Forging sophisticated materials is a highly technological process which requires the specified parameters to be precisely maintained. The engineers at SMS group have designed and built an open-die forging press that fully meets the high customer demands.

SMS group has devised a highly efficient, space-saving hydraulic system concept for the four-column, push-down press. High-speed forging is possible thanks to the 18 high-performance hydraulic pumps installed in the press. The twin pump arrangement, i.e. two pumps operated by one motor, makes the hydraulic system require distinctly less space.

The customer had specifically requested the option of performing fast tool changes on the press. So, SMS group developed a tool changing system for this very purpose. With this new concept only the die track needs to be replaced. The entire tool changing process is performed fully automatically. The scope of supply for the press also included a table shifting device, a die shifting device, and a die magazine.

The customer uses the ForgeBase® control software for optimized, reproducible forging results. A variety of forged parts can be produced precisely and cost-efficiently based on predetermined pass schedules. The press operator is able to switch from fully automatic to semi-automatic or manual mode as and when required.

In order to minimize the vibrations emitted into the ground, the open-die forging press was erected on a vibration-isolating foundation, consisting of an intermediate foundation and several vibration dampers. As a result, the residual vibration measured at the reference point meets the customer’s strict specifications. What’s more, the horizontal stoppers installed on the sides give the solid press design extra stability in case of earthquakes.

Another special technical feature is the three-dimensional laser measuring system. It measures the surface temperature and the geometry of the forging in real time, and optimizes the pass schedule for homogeneous forging of the core zone.

<![CDATA[JSIS Sohar and SMS group commission new high-speed billet caster]]> 2019-04-18T11:34:33+00:00 2019-04-18T13:28:00+00:00 Impressive production ramp-up in Oman

Jindal Shadeed Iron & Steel LLC (JSIS), a company of Jindal Group, in Sohar, the Sultanate of Oman and SMS group have successfully put a new high-speed billet caster with six strands into operation. 42 heats in sequence could be cast within just over a month after start-up, which represents an impressive ramp-up curve.

The continuous casting machine was designed and commissioned in cooperation with SMS Concast, a company of SMS group. It is currently operating with six strands and produces rebar billets of 165 millimeters square section at a casting speed of 3.6 meters per minute. However, provision is made for eight strands and square billets with a section range from 130 up to 200 millimeters. These billets shall be produced at casting speeds ranging from 1.0 to 5.0 meters per minute and shall reach an annual capacity of 2,000,000 tons. Apart from the integrated CONVEX mold technology, it is planned to install further technological solutions by SMS Concast in order to enable the production of SBQ steel grades. These grades need a closed casting mode with submerged entry nozzles. In this mode, the future CONFLOW stopper control will optimally ensure a stable steel flow. In order to achieve the desired high-level steel qualities, the application of electromagnetic mold stirrers is on the agenda, too. The integration of CONSTIR-MEMS electromagnetic stirrers permits product quality control to be improved in terms of center segregation and center porosity.

Sanjay Anand, Chief Operating Officer at JSIS Oman, congratulates the team led by Vishnu Vijay, (Head Project & Rolling Mill), and the SMS team on commissioning the project within four months from first major equipment delivery to site: “Thanks to the great cooperation of the project teams, we were able to achieve an impressive ramp-up in production. 42 heats in sequence were cast within 45 days after commissioning.”

<![CDATA[BOXBAY system to create major advantages for greenfield and brownfield terminals]]> 2019-04-17T11:02:12+00:00 2019-04-17T12:58:00+00:00 New High Bay Container Storage system launched as BOXBAY

Today, BOXBAY was launched as the name for the international joint venture that will revolutionize the way that containers are handled in ports. Formed by global trade enabler DP World and industrial engineering specialist SMS group, BOXBAY will realize a new and intelligent High Bay Storage (HBS) system in time for the Dubai Expo 2020 world fair with a pilot project at Jebel Ali Terminal 4.

The patented design and rack structure of the BOXBAY system create unique advantages. As containers can be stored eleven stories high, the BOXBAY technology can deliver the capacity of a conventional terminal in a third of the surface. The fully automated system has direct access to each container, which means there will never be any unpaid and unproductive reshuffling. Furthermore, the BOXBAY system brings significant gains in handling speed, energy efficiency, safety and a major reduction in operating costs.

The BOXBAY joint venture brings together decades of experience in both container terminal logistics from DP World and AMOVA’s high bay storage handling for metal products that weigh as much as 50 tons each in racks as high as 50 meters. AMOVA is an SMS group subsidiary.

At the upcoming Terminal Operator Conference (TOC Europe) in Rotterdam in June, BOXBAY will present its technology and several operator business cases for the first time in public.

Burkhard Dahmen, CEO of SMS group, said: “The BOXBAY system is a direct result of our “New Horizon” strategy, in which SMS group transfers proven technology from the metallurgical sector to other industries.”

Dr. Mathias Dobner, CEO of BOXBAY, said: "With our BOXBAY High Bay Storage technology, we are introducing a revolutionary system that will disrupt global port logistics. Following the world’s operators’ tremendous interest in our joint venture, we are now looking forward to showcase our solution to them in person."

DP World Group Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, said: “DP World continues to explore new technologies that push boundaries, disrupt and add value for our operations and customers. We are excited by the prospects for BOXBAY as handling speed and efficiencies are key aspects of the ports and terminals business and the system is a major development for the sector around the world. We look forward to the technology being installed especially in readiness for Expo 2020.”

TOC Europe will take place from 18th to 20th of June in Rotterdam. The BOXBAY booth (E93) is located in the main hall. Further details and information about BOXBAY and the HBS technology can be found on the new website

<![CDATA[Jiangsu Yonggang Group grants FAC to SMS Concast for four-strand billet caster]]> 2019-04-15T11:43:12+00:00 2019-04-15T13:37:00+00:00 Efficient execution of continuous caster modernization project in China

Jiangsu Yonggang Group Co., Ltd. in Jiangsu Province, China, granted SMS Concast, a company of SMS group, the FAC (Final Acceptance Certificate) for the modernization of a new four-strand SBQ billet caster replacing an old caster at Yonggang in Zhangjiagang, P.R. China. One major aspect of the project was the expansion of Jiangsu Yonggang´s SBQ steel grades portfolio which now includes high-quality bearing and other engineering steel grades.

Only five months from installation start, the new billet caster with a capacity of 540,000 tons per year was commissioned and recently accepted by issuing the FAC. The section sizes include square billets from 150 to 220 millimeters.

The continuous casting machine contains many technological and digital solutions provided by SMS Concast in order to achieve a flawless process, high quality products and increased productivity.

The continuous caster was redesigned for the flying tundish production concept, a method to increase operation time and yield of the caster. Furthermore, the tundishes were equipped with the CONFLOW stopper control assuring a precise and stable steel flow for reliable casting and requiring almost no maintenance. Apart from the standard mold electromagnetic stirrer CONSTIR-MEMS, a final stirrer CONSTIR-FEMS helps achieve the required product quality in terms of center segregation and center porosity. The spray cooling system is equipped with SMS Concast’s AIRMIST spray nozzles enabling a uniform and softer cooling at lower water consumption. Additionally, provision has been made for the future application of DMSR (Dynamic Mechanical Soft Reduction) for bigger sections. This will be possible thanks to SMS Concast’s COOL simulation software which models the temperature profile of the hot steel strand in real time and thus allows the casting process, including spray cooling and DMSR, to be optimized online. Online adjustment of the spray cooling system prevents cracks due to internal reheating. And the dynamic adaption of the withdrawal straightening unit’s application forces (DMSR) improves product quality in terms of center segregation and center porosity.

A further digital solution is heat tracking as part of the level-2 system. This module allows the quality of each heat to be meticulously traced down to single billet slices and thus enables the operator to predict quality events and improve the production yield by cut optimization.

“The great co-operation with SMS Concast AG with a fast and smooth execution of the contract enabled us to commission our new SBQ billet caster within five months from installation start,” says Liu Jinbu, Plant Director of Jiangsu Yonggang Group, Steelmaking Plant.

The Chinese market is continuously moving towards more challenging steel grades and more efficient production. SMS Concast provides the right solutions to meet these challenges. Jiangsu Yonggang Group is looking forward to cooperate with SMS Concast in further potential upgrade projects.

<![CDATA[At METEC 2019, SMS group makes digitalization a live experience]]> 2019-04-10T10:18:42+00:00 2019-04-10T12:13:00+00:00 Every four years, experts from all over the world come to Düsseldorf, Germany, to visit the trade fairs GIFA, METEC, THERMPROCESS in order to get the latest of information about new technologies and solutions in all areas of metallurgy. The three fairs will take place from 25 to 29 June this year under the motto “The Bright World of Metals”. Again, the organizers expect about 80,000 expert visitors to the event. Being one of the leading suppliers of metallurgical systems solutions for the steel and non-ferrous metals industry, SMS group will participate with a trade fair booth covering a total floor space of 1,200 square meters. At SMS group’s METEC booth in hall 5 (5/E22), visitors will get first-hand information about the entire technology and service portfolio offered by SMS group. Additionally, at ESTAD 2019 (European Metallurgical Steel Technology and Application Days), SMS group experts will be presenting new developments and successful reference projects accomplished during the last few years in more than 60 technical papers. The ESTAD 2019 conference will be held at the Congress Centrum Düsseldorf (CCD) from 24 to 28 June 2019.

The digital steel mill has become reality

SMS group is a trailblazer in digitalization for plant and equipment used in steel and NF-metals production and processing. At METEC, the company is going to demonstrate by way of examples of  projects implemented at its customers how networked systems, self-learning process models, smart assistance systems, artificial intelligence and virtual reality have revolutionized engineering, production and maintenance in steelworks and rolling mills and how its customers benefit from a stronger competitive standing as a result. With its holistic approach to process control along all stages of the supply chain – as in the learning steel mill – SMS group builds not only highly efficient new production facilities, but it also upgrades existing ones to a state that compares with that of brand new plants.

Additionally, SMS group is the spearhead of Additive Manufacturing in the industry. SMS group already uses additively manufactured components in its plants and has been strongly promoting the development of highly specialized metal powders. SMS group uses its powder atomization plant in Mönchengladbach, Germany, not only for the production of high-purity metal powders for additive manufacturing applications, but also develops new design and manufacturing methods there.

New horizons

SMS group will be presenting its innovations under the umbrella topic “New Horizon”. In more than 150 years as a player in the metallurgical plant engineering sector, SMS group has accumulated a wealth of expertise based on which it has started to address urgent and future-oriented topics in a concerted approach: How will we be using raw materials in the future, or energy and our environment? How do we go about topics like mobility, urbanization and the communications sector?

According to Burkhard Dahmen, Chairman of the Managing Board of SMS group GmbH, metallic materials are the drivers of the current megatrends: “Metals are essential for our future: high mobility, urban life or intensive communication would be impossible without metals. Therefore, we develop technologies for the complete life cycle of metals. We offer technologies that extract and process metals in an economically efficient and, at the same time, eco-friendly way, and allow them to be recycled virtually endlessly back into the raw material cycle. With our “New Horizon” offensive, SMS group is gearing up for future markets.”

Against the backdrop of constantly decreasing resources of metals that are crucial for the application of new technologies – such as nickel, cobalt, aluminium oxide, titanium, vanadium, lithium or rare earths – SMS group has developed new, profitable processes for the extraction of metals from secondary sources and sources that could only be exploited with limited efficiency in the past. Besides that, SMS group designs resource-saving, integrated plant solutions for primary and secondary process routes in non-ferrous metals production within the joint venture PolyMet Solutions. The Luxembourg SMS group company Paul Wurth develops new CO2-free steelmaking techniques that make for a significantly smaller CO2 footprint of the steel industry. Cooperating with Sunfire, a company based in Dresden, Germany, Paul Wurth is taking a direct reduction process to market maturity, in which the fossil element carbon is substituted with hydrogen, and from which no climate-damaging CO2 arises, only water vapor. In this context, Paul Wurth also engages in the research of systems for the production of green hydrogen, which is produced exclusively with renewable energy. In a cooperation with UrbanGold GmbH from Austria, SMS group has developed an economically efficient process able to recover and feed back into the raw material cycle high-grade, valuable materials previously considered as lost materials from electric and electronic scrap – e.g. gold, silver, platinum, nickel or copper. A first plant for the recycling of electronic circuit boards will be started up shortly.

For Burkhard Dahmen, the SMS group booth at METEC will be above all a forum for talks: “The last few years have seen continual talk of digitalization, Industry 4.0 and additive manufacturing at the steel producers and processors as well as at their suppliers. We already feel the heavy impact of new technologies and new production methods in our world of work. We will see this impact cause even more change at an ever faster pace in the future. Since last METEC we have seen a great many changes taking place in many different areas. Against this background, we look forward to speaking with our customers as the Leading Partner in the World of Metals about the challenges posed by these megatrends – and to proposing possible solutions. In this way, we can help our customers stay competitive in a globalized market environment.”

<![CDATA[SMS group to supply new production facility for spiral-welded pipes to AMERICAN SpiralWeld Pipe]]> 2019-04-03T13:26:26+00:00 2019-04-03T15:19:00+00:00 Resource-efficient spiral pipe production

AMERICAN SpiralWeld Pipe Company LLC. has awarded SMS group an order covering the supply of a new Online Spiral Pipe Mill, to be installed in a new greenfield plant (“Plant 3”) at Paris, Texas, U.S.A.

SMS group will be responsible for the engineering, supply and supervision of erection and commissioning of a coil preparation stand and a spiral pipe machine with submerged-arc welding (PERFECT arc®). SMS group’s PERFECT arc® technology enables energy savings of up to 30 percent compared to competitor plants.

The new spiral-pipe production facility is scheduled to start producing in 2020. Material grades up to X-70 can be processed. The pipes will mainly be produced as water pipes according to AWWA (American Water Works Association) standards. The new line will be designed to make pipes of more than 16 meters (55 feet) length with an outside diameter ranging from 610 to 3,658 millimeters (24 to 144 inches). The maximum wall thickness will be 25.4 millimeters (1.0 inch). The mill will operate in the so-called one-step (“online”) process with submerged-arc welding from the inside and outside taking place directly after spiral pipe forming.

Often the productivity of spiral pipe welding systems is restricted by the welding speeds of submerged arc welding. PERFECT arc® power sources allow an increase in productivity of up to 20 percent, while process stability remains constant. The systems operate with IGBT (Insulated-Gate Bipolar Transistor) power electronics with fully digital welding current control. No transformers are required. As a result, the welding machines can attain an efficiency rate of over 90 percent. Compared to older welding techniques, significant energy savings (up to 30 percent) are possible, depending on the operating point.

This new plant will enable AMERICAN SpiralWeld Pipe to expand its production by a very high tonnage of spiral-welded steel pipes for the municipal water and wastewater transmission markets, industrial, hydroelectric and power markets including large diameter fabrication for treatment plants and pump stations.

<![CDATA[MMPZ-group complements tinplate production complex by innovative X-Pact<sup>®</sup> MES 4.0 system from SMS group]]> 2019-03-28T14:29:56+00:00 2019-03-28T15:21:00+00:00 Digitalized production planning

Belarusian MMPZ-group has awarded an order to SMS group covering the supply of an X-Pact® MES 4.0 production planning and control system for the new tinplate production complex ordered from SMS group for the Miory location in 2017. The X-Pact® MES 4.0 production planning and control system is a perfect addition to the production facility comprising reversing cold mill, electrolytic degreasing line, batch-annealing line, combined double reducing and skin-pass mill, electrolytic tinning line and two packaging lines for sheet stacks and coils. MMPZ-group has decided in favor of the MES system from SMS group as it can smoothly be integrated into the X-Pact® automation for all plants within the works complex.

The production planning system X-Pact® MES 4.0 offers an enormous range of adaptable functions along the complete process chain with regard to plant productivity. Thanks to an advanced software architecture and its modular, extendable structure, the system will provide real economic advantages to a modern and highly productive company like MMPZ-group in times of increasing digitalization.

As an integrated solution, the X-Pact® MES 4.0 system comprises planning, support and optimization, supply and dispatch, quality control and reporting functions. The scope of supply further includes an X-Pact® Warehouse Management system for the complete production complex. Integration of the MES system will make automation consistent from basis automation (Level 1) to process automation (Level 2) and further to the production planning system (Level 3). Coil and sheet storage locations as well as cranes and transport vehicles will be integrated in the system, too.

In addition to the basic system that serves for collecting and saving production data, the MES system for MMPZ-group will include, among others, the following modules: Technical Order Generation to generate from customer orders the corresponding orders for manufacture, Production Sequencing System to determine the optimum sequence for the strips to be produced, Business Intelligence Reporting System to allow for interactive, web-based reporting for gaining information from production data, the Quality App serves for tracking coils and their status/quality, and the Warehouse Management App is used by crane drivers and quality inspectors.

The X-Pact® Automation system ordered from SMS group at an earlier date was supplied to the customer after it had passed an integration test. Commissioning on site will be accomplished together with the later ordered MES system and will include connection to the automation systems (for example X-Pact® Level 2 for the strip processing lines and X-Pact® Level 1 for the rolling mills, coil and sheet packaging lines), to the ERP system and the customer’s laboratory. Commissioning of the new works complex is scheduled to be completed in 2019.

<![CDATA[JSPL Angul and SMS group commission new combi-caster]]> 2019-03-27T13:05:18+00:00 2019-03-27T14:00:00+00:00 Increased productivity with new combi-caster

Jindal Steel & Power Limited (JSPL), Angul, India, and SMS group have successfully commissioned the high-speed seven-strand combi-caster established at the Angul Odisha plant in India. This combi-caster is the largest high-speed billet caster in India and was commissioned within 12 months only from project start.

The combi-caster was designed in cooperation with SMS Concast, a company of SMS group, for the production of low- and high-carbon, ball bearing and free-cutting steel. With a casting radius of nine meters and seven strands (continuous straightening with two unbending points), the casting machine speeds range from 0.6 up to five meters per minute, whereas the maximum capacity is 2.3 million tons per year for 165 x 165-millimeter square billets. The casting formats include billets of 150 x 150 up to 200 x 200 millimeters and provision is made for round sections from Rd. 162 to Rd. 220 millimeters.

Presently, JSPL Angul casts 165 x 165-millimeter square billets on the new combi-caster and, in 100-percent open casting mode, can reach up to 2.3 million tons per year for the production of rebar grade steel. However, for 100-percent closed casting of rebar grade steel, it has a maximum production capacity of 1.8 million tons per year. The maximum open casting speed for 165 x 165-millimeter square billets attains 3.6 meters per minute and the maximum closed casting speed for 165 x 165-millimeter square billets is 2.8 meters per minute.

JSPL is already operating two six-strand (Raigarh) and three eight-strand billet casters from SMS Concast, two thereof in Angul and one at Jindal Shadeed, Oman. The new seven-strand caster at the Angul plant is equipped with ladle turret, tundish car with lifting and lowering device, CONVEX® mold tubes, electromagnetic stirrers and mold oscillators, overhead cross-transfer, turn-over cooling bed and automatic torch cutter. JSPL will benefit from this new high-speed combi-caster with CONVEX® technology by lower operating costs and increased productivity.

“The machine allows us to achieve higher productivity which was topped in December 2018 with 200,000 tons of steel per month,” says Atul Dubey, VP, Steel Melt Shops at Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. in Angul. He congratulates the two project teams led by S.S. Nagi (JSPL) and P.P. Mandape (SMS Concast) for the efficient commissioning 12 months after project start.

JSPL produces a wide range of iron and steel products including plates, parallel-flanged beams, medium sections, rails, rounds, rebars, wire rod and metal products. The company owns steel production plants in Raigarh, Angul and Patratu, India, and in Sohar, Oman.

<![CDATA[Big River Steel again banks on SMS group for the expansion of its North American steel plant]]> 2019-03-25T14:51:37+00:00 2019-03-25T15:40:00+00:00 U.S. steel producer Big River Steel (BRS) has commissioned SMS group with the expansion of its steel plant in Osceola, Arkansas. Since commissioning of the new mill in 2017, Big River Steel has been producing high-quality steels, including tube grade sheet for pipeline construction, silicon steels for a wide variety of energy and electric motor applications, and advanced high-strength steels for the U.S. automotive industry.

SMS group will again supply BRS with mechanical equipment, electrical and automation systems, and digitalization. The expansion will increase the plant’s annual output to about three million tons of steel.

After completion of the next expansion, the steel plant will have two electric arc furnaces and two twin-ladle furnaces. Installation of an additional gas cleaning system will ensure compliance with the strict environmental legislation. A second strand, a second tunnel furnace and a further downcoiler will be added to the CSP® plant. Big River Steel’s CSP® plant produces up to 1,930 millimeters wide coils, making it one of the widest CSP® plants in the world. The hot coil produced in the CSP® plant is processed into high-grade cold strip in the downstream coupled pickling line/tandem cold mill. Also as part of this project, the continuous galvanizing line (CGL) will receive an additional coiler. For all the newly installed plants, SMS group is going to supply the mechanical equipment and the X-Pact® electrical and automation systems, including level 3.

Big River Steel pursues its strong focus on digitalization

Also in the second construction stage, the PQA® (Product Quality Analyzer) system developed by SMS group company MET/Con will be a central module of the process automation system. By capturing and evaluating all relevant production data on a continuous basis, PQA® monitors, documents and assures the product quality down to the finished cold strip along the complete production process. The system uses stored rules defined on the basis of expert knowledge to assess the coil quality in a semi-automatic procedure and, based on these assessments, takes “ship” or “block” decisions for the downstream processing of the strip or its dispatch. The system sends instructions for action to the operators while production continues in order to make them aware of any onset of irregularities within the production process and suggest countermeasures to be taken. This allows the operators to predictively intervene in the process before an incident becomes a problem, dramatically reducing the occurrence of failures along the production process which otherwise might have resulted in poor quality and downtimes. In the long run, the system provides higher yield while increasing the product quality.

The expansion project is rounded out by SMS group’s technical service which includes, among others, spare part management services.

David Stickler, CEO of Big River Steel, commented on the SMS group order, “I have purchased several technologically advanced steel production facilities from SMS over the past twenty years and I am fully confident that SMS group will again deliver a high-quality mill that sets the standard in terms of product capability, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.”

Burkhard Dahmen, Chairman of the Managing Board of SMS group stated, “Working closely with the management and staff of Big River Steel, we have succeeded in digitalizing a highly complex steel plant in a way that meets the targets of stable and resource-saving production. We are very pleased about Big River Steel’s decision to also award us the order for the next expansion stage of the steel plant and to continue on the proven successful way with SMS group as their partner.”

<![CDATA[Daye Special Steel orders hydraulic open-die forging press from SMS group]]> 2019-03-22T15:24:43+00:00 2019-03-22T16:17:00+00:00 Chinese steel and forging company Daye Special Steel Co., Ltd., based in Huangshi City, Hubei, has awarded SMS group the contract for the engineering and delivery of a 50/60 MN, high-speed hydraulic open-die forging press. Once again, the customer is placing its confidence in forging press technology from SMS group: Daye has been using an SMX 800/16 MN radial forging machine, supplied by SMS group, since 2011.

The open-die forging press operates with a forging force of up to 50 MN and an upsetting force of 60 MN. Daye opted for the stable, four-column push-down press with moving crosshead. The high forging frequency of the press not only enables sophisticated materials requiring a narrow temperature range to be forged, it also reduces machining times. During planishing, the new press is capable of reaching a frequency of 103 strokes per minute. Daye Special Steel plans to use the new open-die press to forge a variety of products of high-temperature alloys and special steel.

This open-die forging press to be provided by SMS group to Daye Special Steel can be operated in fully automatic, semi-automatic, or manual mode. Daye Special Steel will be able to forge materials extremely precisely and energy-efficiently in program mode, using pass schedules that are precalculated with the ForgeBase® forging program. In addition, the press will feature a press control and visualization system, which was developed by SMS group and will allow Daye Special Steel to attain maximum reproducible product quality with a forging tolerance of around ±1 millimeter. For fast die changes the machine will be equipped with a forging die changing device.

The open-die forging press is to be installed in the Huangshi plant. Commissioning is scheduled for May 2020.

<![CDATA[ChangBao orders world’s most advanced seamless tube plant from SMS group]]> 2019-03-20T14:31:19+00:00 2019-03-20T15:24:00+00:00 Leading the way with quality and PQF® technology

Jiangsu ChangBao Precision Steel Tube Co., Ltd based in Changzhou in Jiangsu Province, China, has awarded SMS group the contract to supply a new, state-of-the-art PQF® (Premium Quality Finishing) seamless tube plant and related automation. Particular highlights of the scope of supply include various performance modules and a KR I 35/45 CNC groove dressing machine. This highly automated plant will enable ChangBao to meet the growing demand for precise, high-strength tubes on the local market.

The PQF® ordered will be used to produce tubes within a diameter range of up to 6 5/8 inches and wall thicknesses of between 4 and 20 millimeters. Its annual capacity is 300,000 tons of tubes. These are used in oil and gas production (OCTG tubes) and must satisfy very high quality and tolerance requirements in accordance with API standards.

With the BCO-type PQF® plant (Bilateral Change-Over), the stands are changed at both sides of the mill. The compact, easily accessible construction enhances the user-friendliness of the plant. The drive is simpler in design and is easier to service. In addition, the hydraulic capsules (hydraulic adjustment) are positively connected to the mill frame. This ensures the rolling forces are distributed symmetrically over the mill, resulting in a further significant improvement in wall thickness variations. This increases both the efficiency and flexibility of the mill.

The order also includes the full automation of the machinery and plant sections, as well as state-of-the-art laser technology for measuring the wall thicknesses downstream of the PQF® and the stretch reducing mill (SRM). What’s more, the CaliView® measuring system developed by SMS group allows for fast, inline calibration of all rolling mills, and so guarantees the perfect alignment of the mill line over a period of time. A networked, CNC-based groove dressing machine (KR) for high-precision machining of the SRM stands will also be supplied.

The use of LASUS® technology means the otherwise commonly applied radioactive isotope measuring technique can be replaced by a safe laser technology, which is extremely environmentally friendly to operate and ensures monitor control with the PQF®-SecControl-Technology® as well as front and tail end sharpening in real time with the FTS system.

Any yield losses are minimized using the latest modules in the CARTANEO technology system. The well-known functions CEC (Crop End Control for reducing thick ends), WTCA (Wall Thickness Control, Average), and WTCL (Wall Thickness Control, Local) have been significantly improved thanks to self-learning algorithms (Artificial Intelligence, or AI).

With this investment ChangBao is banking on ultra-modern, highly stable tube production. The lower material stress allows the product range to be extended to include even thinner-walled dimensions and higher-alloy steel grades. The high level of digitalization of all equipment was what convinced the customer to be well equipped for the future.

The new seamless tube plant is scheduled to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2020.

<![CDATA[SMS group to modernize gas cleaning systems at POSCO Gwangyang]]> 2019-03-07T10:37:58+00:00 2019-03-07T11:32:00+00:00 SMS group in cooperation with AERIX Co., Ltd., South Korea, has been commissioned to modernize the gas cleaning systems of the three BOF (Blast Oxygen Furnace) converters at the integrated steel mill of POSCO in Gwangyang, South Korea.

Within the scope of a production increase in the converter shop, the gas cleaning systems will be adapted to deal with the higher process gas volumes. Primary gas cleaning is performed by means of easy-to-maintain dry electrostatic precipitators (ESP) which will be extended accordingly.

This will enable the gas cleaning systems to treat higher process gas volumes while, at the same time, their cleaning capacity is improved. The gas cleaning systems will each be designed for a capacity rating of more than 108,000 Nm³ per hour (dry).

The scope of supply of SMS group comprises all basic engineering services and the supply of electrodes.

The first and second electrostatic precipitators have already been extended, and the completion certificate for the first stage was issued to SMS group immediately after successful commissioning. Extension of the third and last ESP is scheduled for the end of 2019.

POSCO (formerly Pohang Iron and Steel Company), a South Korean company based in Pohang, is the world's fourth largest steelmaker. At present, POSCO operates two integrated steel mills in Pohang and Gwangyang.

<![CDATA[Aceros Arequipa orders steel mill and continuous billet caster from SMS group]]> 2019-03-05T14:44:59+00:00 2019-03-05T15:18:00+00:00 Energy-efficient steel and billet production for Peru

Corporación Aceros Arequipa S.A. (CAASA), based in Arequipa, Peru, has awarded SMS group an order covering the supply of mechatronic equipment for a new steel mill and a billet caster with six strands for its Pisco site. The plant is designed for an annual capacity of 1,200,000 tons and will produce billets with sections of 130, 160 and 180 millimeters. Commissioning is scheduled for early 2020.

In terms of the steel mill, SMS group will supply a 120-ton AC electric arc furnace equipped with innovative technology to secure high productivity levels. A CONDOOR automated slag door will reduce downtimes and thus make the process more efficient. The CONSO injection system, in combination with the AEREG electrode controller, will permit over 180 tons of steel to be produced every hour in a steady and continuous process. SMS group’s scope of supply also includes a ladle furnace meeting all requirements with regard to the respective steel composition.

The steel mill will be equipped with a gas cleaning plant capable of processing over 2,200,000 cubic meters of process gas per hour, with the frustum exhaust hood from SMS group permitting the gases produced during furnace charging and tapping to be captured and extracted more effectively. The gas cleaning plant will comply with the strictest environmental regulations.

SMS Concast, an SMS group company, will supply a continuous billet caster with six strands. The caster will have a casting radius of nine meters and be equipped with the proven CONVEX® mold, a technology that is both widespread and well-established on the market. The special inside geometry of the mold allows for a greater transfer of heat across the whole mold, with a uniform degree of solidification in the corners. The efficient strand shell guidance in the mold with maximum symmetrical cooling not only increases the casting speed but, at the same time, improves the quality of the cast product. The CONFLOW tundish stopper is used to ensure a stable flow of steel and a reliable casting process. CONSTIR, an electromagnetic stirrer used as mold and final stirrer, ensures the required metallurgical quality. A new alternating oscillator allows for high flexibility and thus enhanced productivity.

A significant reduction in operating costs will be achieved thanks to the direct connection to the rolling mills. Depending on the desired quality, the billets can either be rolled directly or be taken to the rolling mill after they have slowly cooled down.

SMS group’s scope of supply includes basic and detail engineering, supply of all mechanical and electrical components, the entire electrical and automation system including an integrated process control system (level 2) which monitors the steel quality from the scrap yard to the billet storage area, as well as the supervision of erection and commissioning.

Aceros Arequipa manufactures long and flat steel products, including corrugated iron, wire rod, steel profiles, bars and tubes, as well as steel tools and components for the construction, civil engineering and mining industries. The company supplies the local market and exports to Columbia, Ecuador, and Bolivia.

The new plant will allow Aceros Arequipa to expand its presence on the local market and in South America and to offer higher-quality products.

<![CDATA[Nucor Marion operates the new SMS group walking beam furnace]]> 2019-02-28T13:10:56+00:00 2019-02-28T13:50:00+00:00 The most environment-friendly reheating furnace within the entire Nucor group

Nucor Steel Marion, Inc., based in Marion, Ohio, U.S.A., granted SMS group the Final Acceptance Certificate (FAC) of the supplied walking beam furnace shortly after successful commissioning. The reason for the quick acceptance by Nucor was the achievement of the guaranteed performance values, which were even exceeded by far. With this, Nucor operates the most energy-efficient furnace with the lowest emission values achieved within the Nucor Group. The NOx content of this furnace is close to 25 parts per million. The furnace is designed according to innovative pre-fabrication methods and features proprietary SMS ZEROFlame burners.

The furnace went in service to the existing bar mill, and is capable to deliver a 120 short tons per hour of hot billets at 2,255 degrees Fahrenheit (1,235 degrees Celsius), with less than 1.04 million British thermal units per ton. Scale loss saving has been also pretty remarkable, with a measurement of less than 0.5 percent in weight, compared with the 0.75 percent guaranteed: this represents a very solid performance and a significant cost saving for the process. “We are proud of the results achieved by this furnace. It represents the new industry benchmark in terms of reduced emissions in U.S.A. and in particular inside Nucor group” said Simone Zussino, Vice President Reheating Furnaces and Heat Treatments at SMS group S.p.A. This sentiment was shared by Nucor Marion management, congratulating the joint Nucor-SMS team for the results during the FAC signature.

<![CDATA[Dongfeng Forging orders 5,000-ton eccentric forging press from SMS group]]> 2019-02-27T14:26:33+00:00 2019-02-27T15:11:00+00:00 Dongfeng Forging Co., Ltd., part of the commercial vehicle manufacturer Dongfeng Motor Group, has placed an order with SMS group for the supply of an MP 5000 eccentric forging press with a forging force of 5,000 tons for its plant in Shiyan, Hubei Province, China. Founded in Shiyan in 1969, Dongfeng Forging Co., Ltd. operates a total of 26 forging lines at this site including, among others, a 12,000-ton wedge press supplied by SMS group.

Dongfeng Forging intends to use the new forging press to manufacture light-truck crankshafts with a maximum finished part weight of 21.5 kilograms. The new eccentric press will forge parts precisely, highly efficiently, and fully automatically with a nominal forging force of 50 MN. In addition to the press, the scope of supply includes process development services, sequence-controlled loading and unloading belt conveyors, an electrically operated automatic walking beam for parts handling, and an integrated die spraying system. Also, SMS group will supply a line control system for connecting other equipment units as, for example, the heating system.

The MP 5000 is one of SMS group’s advanced series of eccentric forging presses. Extremely large press windows in the FEM-optimized press housing offer a perfect automation capability and allow for easier changes of die and die holder.

SMS group is continuously working on the optimization of its plants and equipment. And this is why the MP series, too, was extensively redesigned. Numerous different improvements were made to reduce the labor and costs involved in maintenance and inspection work. This primarily includes the use of an almost maintenance-free, low-noise electrohydraulic coupling and brake. The hydraulic single ejectors in the table and ram can be individually operated for each forming station. In addition, the ram adjustment device that, in automatic mode, enables a ram adjustment of 0.1 millimeters between two strokes was improved on the drive side.

Commissioning of the new MP 5000 closed-die forging press is scheduled for the second quarter of 2020.

<![CDATA[Daye Special Steel to utilize pin-type bottom electrode from SMS group in electric arc furnace]]> 2019-02-22T09:59:19+00:00 2019-02-22T10:51:00+00:00 Reduced operating costs and increased productivity

Daye Special Steel Co. Ltd., China, has awarded SMS group the contract to upgrade a 75-ton direct-current electric arc furnace (DC EAF) at its plant in Xinyegang, China.

Commissioning is scheduled for 2019.

As part of the upgrade the existing furnace will be scanned in 3D and the bottom part of the electric arc furnace vessel modified.

SMS group is supplying two new pin-type bottom electrodes and a high-current system with optimized arrangement to reduce deflection of the electric arc. Also the installation and commissioning will be supervised by SMS group.

The upgrade is aimed at reducing operating costs and increasing productivity. The pin-type bottom electrode requires no maintenance, and the condition of the electrode is continually monitored by thermocouples. The needle-shaped electrode boasts a long service life, and the optimized arrangement of the bus bar system means the refractory lining lasts longer. Thanks to the easy connection of the bus bar system, the furnace vessel can be changed in just a short period of time. For the lining, expensive conductive bricks have been replaced with cost-effective ramming mix. Safe working conditions for the operating crew are guaranteed as the bottom electrode is cooled with air and not water.

The DC EAF technology from SMS group offers a host of benefits: less power network interference, lower noise level, reduced electrode and refractory material consumption, and lower energy input.

The direct-current electric arc furnace generates a strong stirring motion in the steel bath, improving not only the temperature and homogenization but also the quality of the tapped liquid steel.