Since the turn of the millennium, world steel capacity has more than doubled. Due to the fact that the steel demand has not increased in accordance with development, steel producers worldwide are facing problem of overcapacity. The Organization for Economic Co-operation of Development (OECD) Steel Committee expects excess capacity of steel to reach 750 million tons, alone in 2016. Consequently, the cost pressure on the plant operators has been growing. However, there are indeed profitable market niches and growth markets. For example, high-strength steel grades for automotive light-weight construction are still much in demand, as well as large-size components for wind power plants or gear components, or special formats, like thicker gage sheet or special long products. Most plant operators have therefore been increasingly concentrating on modernizing their facilities and asking questions like: Which is the best modernization strategy for me to remain competitive? What kind of modifications are needed to maximize the efficiency and sustainability of existing plants?
The future of the plant owners is at stake. Therefore, modernization today is much more than the mere replacement of old parts with new ones. Integrative and foresighted concepts are needed in order to be able to reduce to a minimum the downtimes associated with a revamp, while speeding up the commissioning activities, achieving a fast sms group newsletter 03 / 2016 ramp-up and making the plant “Industry 4.0-ready” with intelligent components, today! SMS group opens up new competitive opportunities for plant operators by implementing targetoriented, customized modernization strategies.