Mönchengladbach, October 13, 2020

Digital commissioning of Nucor-Yamato Steel mill stands

Testing and pre-optimization for fast commissioning of mill and quick ROI

The complete automation system for Nucor-Yamato Steel’s three-stand CCS® tandem reversing group for the production of heavy sections was installed in the Mönchengladbach test center as a complex unit for testing and pre-optimization by means of the Plug & Work integration process.

The heavy-section mill of Nucor-Yamato Steel Company is the first ever long-product rolling mill going through an integration test in the EA test center in Mönchengladbach using 3D real-time plant simulation. The SMS group’s proven electrical and automation solutions are summarized under the brand X-Pact®, an acronym standing for Process, Automation, Control and Technology. 

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The Mönchengladbach test center of SMS group.
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Testing takes place with the original control desks and equipment.

Thanks to their high modularity, the X-­Pact® packages can be flexibly combined – a key factor for successfully implemented plants and systems. X-­Pact® assures that the elements of the customers’ plants are perfectly tuned throughout – from power supply and distribution, via drive technology, instrumentation and automation, up to and including production planning. SMS group develops customized solutions, integrating future-oriented technologies in close cooperation with its customers. This enables full-scale automation and digitalization of the entire production chain.

A real-time near-reality 3D plant simulation was performed by means of a functional and technological replica – a Digital Twin – of the CCS® tandem reversing group for H- and I-beam rolling.

More than 100 reference projects of SMS group – including both new plant installations and revamps – have shown that the Plug & Work concept helps mill operators to achieve the ROI significantly faster because with Plug & Work commissioning times can be markedly reduced compared to a conventional commissioning process. Apart from this, SMS group provides remote support during commissioning activities. The X-Pact® Service Portal provides a perfect infrastructure for remote commissioning support. During the commissioning of the modernized rolling mill, software experts and technologists from different SMS locations will be available to Nucor-Yamato Steel and ready to remote-support the commissioning team of SMS group Inc. from Pittsburgh, U.S.A. 

Expansion of product mix is goal of modernization

The revamping project at Nucor-Yamato Steel in Blytheville, Arkansas, U.S.A., includes measures to increase the production capacity of the No. 2 H- and I-beam rolling mill. The project is also aimed at expanding the range of rolled steel grades, to include new high-strength grades. 

SMS group supplied the mechanical equipment, including three new CCS®-1500 mill stands arranged in tandem as a replacement of the previous UR, E and EF stands, and the X-Pact® automation system. Equipment assembly has already begun as scheduled and will be completed shortly. On-site commissioning is scheduled to start soon. Digital commissioning with the Plug & Work integration test is already underway. The test results will be used later on in the remote-supported commissioning phase, efficiently supporting the on-site commissioning team.

With technological knowhow, mechanical equipment, electrical and automation systems, and digitalization technology supplied from a single source, SMS group has the expertise to assure the success of plant revamps and optimizations. Here the future-oriented digital solutions from SMS group, including remote support capabilities, have roved as a key success factor, last but not least in projects to be implemented under challenging conditions.

Nucor-Yamato Steel Company operates two rolling mills in total, with a combined annual capacity of 2.4 tons of finished products. Dr. Thomas Maßmann, Executive Vice President Long Products at SMS group: “With this project, which follows the successful modernization of rolling mill No. 1, we have set the cooperation between Nucor-Yamato Steel and SMS group on an even more solid foundation.”