Archives December 2014

Hyundai Steel Awards SMS Group Order For Revamp Of The Heavy Section Mill at Incheon

After successfully completing the commissioning of its new horizontal straightening machine, Hyundai Steel has awarded SMS group a follow-up order for the revamp of its Incheon heavy section mill in South Korea.

With this revamp Hyundai Steel aims to expand its product range towards larger sections with webs of up to 1,100 millimeters and sheet piles up to a system height of 800 millimeters. SMS group takes up this challenge as the leader of a consortium with Hyundai Rotem, a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Group.

As part of the project, various new functions will be added to the existing two-high breakdown mill stand and a new sideguard manipulator will be installed.

The rolling line downstream of the breakdown stand will be replaced by a new CCS®(Compact Cartridge Stands) tandem group and one additional CCS® finishing stand. The stands will feature nominal rolling forces of 12,000 kN for the horizontal rolls and 8,000 kN for the vertical rolls.

The CCS® stands will reduce the maintenance effort, and enable a shorter roll change time and higher rolling speeds, while achieving better tolerances.

Commissioning of the new rolling line is scheduled for October 2020.

With an annual crude steel production of 24 million tons, Hyundai Steel is one of the ten largest steel producers worldwide, supplying its products predominantly to the automotive, shipbuilding and general construction industries.

Source: SMS Group

A steel price report front cover.

Producers Attempt to Reverse Price Trend but Buyers Resist

Industrial activity and steel consumption are stronger, generally, in Scandinavia, than in the rest of Europe. Regional producers attempted to reverse the negative price tendency, and improve their profitability, by introducing increased selling values, for coils, sheets and plates, in June. Buyers, however, took a different view, and small price reductions were recorded, for most products, in the countries surveyed.

The poor regional sales environment kept hot rolled coil prices on a downward trend, in Denmark. Swedish purchasing activity is quite stable. Distributors, in Finland, are reported to be selling cheaply, in an effort to reduce their inventories. In the Netherlands, sales volumes are below forecast levels but transaction values appear to have bottomed out. European mill output cuts are having little effect on the Austrian market. Norwegian domestic sales are strong.

Danish end-user demand for hot rolled plate remains subdued. The Finnish market is quite strong. Demand is solid but unspectacular, in the Netherlands. In Austria, a small decline in transaction values was reported.

Cold rolled coil selling values remain on a negative path, despite European mill production cuts. Market participants believe that increased demand will be needed, to lift prices, following the summer holiday season. Finnish market activity is likely to reduce, significantly, as the summer vacation period approaches. Mill delivery lead times are stretching, in the Netherlands. Buying is weak, in Austria. Purchase volumes, in the Norwegian home market, are good.

Sales of coated sheet and coil to the automotive sectors remain subdued. Prices, in Denmark, continue to be on a downward curve. In Sweden, sales to non-residential building projects are healthy. European mills were unable to lift selling values, this month, in Norway, but increases are expected.

Demand for wire rod, from Swedish end-users, is strong. Orders from manufacturers are less robust, in Finland. Mill delivery lead times are short, and material is plentiful. Low sales volumes are expected, in the third quarter, due to widespread holidays and plant maintenance stoppages. The next tranche of EC steel quota availability will put more imported material onto the market, in July. Demand is inconsistent, in the Netherlands.

Beam prices remain under negative pressure, in Denmark. Steelmakers are reducing their output but Norwegian buyers report capacity available on imminent rolling programmes. Commercial building activity is at a good level, in Sweden. Demand from the building sector, in Finland, is quite weak. Sales volumes are satisfactory, in the Netherlands, and EU mills are pushing for increases. Construction activity is at a low level, in Austria.

Domestic reinforcing bar demand is fair, in Denmark, but regional consumption is weak. Sales, for infrastructure and non-residential building projects, are strong, in Sweden. Transaction values declined, in the Netherlands, in June. Austrian domestic prices decreased, amidst disappointing construction and infrastructure activity.

Danish buyers of merchant bars report modest order loads, on regional mills. Weak demand, in northern Europe, is having a negative effect on selling values. Supply chain participants believe that a substantial upturn in demand would be required to reverse the existing price trend.

Source: MEPS European Steel Review Supplement

steel coils

Cautious Buying Persists as EU Mills Attempt Price Hikes

Attempts, by a number of EU mills, to lift prices for strip mill products, were limited, during the past four weeks. Buyers across northern Europe inform MEPS that they were able to negotiate rollover values, or even small discounts, with regional steel producers. Meanwhile, a small price upturn is noted in the Italian market.

Steelmakers’ profit margins are being squeezed. Nonetheless, the current imbalance between supply and demand is restricting the mills’ ability to lift steel selling figures. Furthermore, several regional steel producers, needing to fill their order books, did not follow the recent price hike initiative of the first tier suppliers.

Many EU steel distributors continue to purchase cautiously, concerned about their own tight resale margins. They lack confidence that they will be able to pass the producers’ proposed price hikes on to their customers. 

Nonetheless, European coil values appear to have reached the bottom of the current cycle. Elevated mill input expenditure should prevent steel prices from falling further. Moreover, steelmakers are actively trying to redress the supply/demand imbalance by cutting production.

ArcelorMittal had previously announced its intention to reduce output from its sites in Italy, Spain and Poland. Subsequently, the company issued details of additional supply restrictions in Spain and production cuts in France and Germany. Other EU steelmakers are, reportedly, reducing output by bringing forward, or extending, summer maintenance programmes at their facilities.

Another factor affecting supply is the European Commission’s import quotas. The EC is currently expediting a scheduled review of the safeguard measures, which was originally intended to be concluded by September 30, 2019. Various groups are lobbying for their own proposed amendments, with the current measures, seemingly, satisfying the requirements of few steel supply chain participants. Some parties wish for the quota allowances, for certain product categories, to be tightened up, and for it to be set country by country, rather than being on a global basis. Others want the reverse of these proposals. 

Although unlikely to be altered, one feature of the EC measures that appears to be to the detriment of the majority of affected groups is the quarterly aspect of the quota system. Having three-month periods encourages buyers to rush to purchase material, which can then languish at the ports waiting for the opening of the new quota allowance. This disrupts the traditional steady flow of material into the market, which is an important feature of the supply chain.

Source: MEPS European Steel Review

Fujian Luoyuan Minguang Iron and Steel Orders Section Mill From SMS Group

Fujian Luoyuan Minguang Iron and Steel Co., Ltd., located in Luoyuan County, member of the Sangang Group, PR China, has awarded SMS group GmbH the order to supply a new section mill for parallel flange beams up to 750 millimeters web height. The new section mill will enable Fujian Luoyuan Minguang Iron and Steel to broaden their product portfolio and to respond to the high demand for beams in the region and in the People’s Republic of China.

The section mill will be designed for an annual capacity of 1.3 million tons and equipped with a state-of-the-art breakdown stand and the latest-generation CCS® universal mill stands in reversing tandem arrangement, featuring hydraulic adjustment systems and automatic quick program change. The new CRS® roller straightening machine, which is also equipped with hydraulic adjustment systems ensures minimal program change time as well as best straightness and minimal residual stress level of the finished products.

Furthermore, SMS group’s scope of supply includes the technology and engineering for the entire rolling mill, the supply of hot and cold saws, the PROGAUGE in-line profile gauge with surface defect detection (SurfTec) and other mechanical key components. The supply will be complemented by the basic automation for the rolling mill as well as electrical main and auxiliaries drives.

The supervision of erection and commissioning as well as the commissioning of the electrical equipment and automation will be done by SMS group. The theoretical training of the customer’s personnel will be held in SMS group training center in Mönchen­gladbach. Further practical training will be provided at site during erection and commissioning by SMS group.

The technological know-how, the proven top equipment and the commissioning expertise were factors in the customer’s decision to select SMS group as partner for this strategic project. Hot commissioning is scheduled for second half of 2020.

Source: SMS Group

SMS group BOF converter, equipped with the maintenance-free lamella converter suspension system.

SAIL Durgapur Awards SMS Group With Turnkey Modernization For New Converters and Environmental Facilities

SAIL (Steel Authority of India Limited) Durgapur, India, has awarded SMS group a turnkey contract for the supply of three new 110-ton converters for its steelmaking plant No. 2 to replace the converters SMS group supplied 25 years ago. The new converters will be rated for ten percent more volume.

Moreover, SMS group will supply secondary dust collecting systems for the three converters. The new systems will be installed in the works for the first time and will more than meet the relevant environmental requirements.

Commissioning of the complete plant is scheduled for September 2020.

The new converters will be equipped with a bottom stirring system for combined blowing, which cuts the stirring and homogenization time, reduces surface vibrations, and minimizes refractory lining wear. The objective is to reduce the use of alloying elements previously required.

Thanks to the maintenance-free lamella converter suspension system developed by SMS group, the converter vessel can be arranged in the trunnion ring without restraint. The use of the lamella suspension system, a larger air gap, and high-quality special-purpose steel grades will ensure the converters are suitably adapted to the thermal loads. This is achieved without additional cooling fluids. Sufficient cooling is ensured by the natural thermal current alone.

The X-Pact® electrical and automation systems for the entire converter shop will ensure cost-effective production and high steel quality.

SMS group’s scope of supply comprises the turnkey installation of the equipment, design and supply of the converters, the bottom stirring system, secondary dust collection systems, and X-Pact® electrical and automation systems, as well as the erection and commissioning work.

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 about EUR 3 billion. The sole owner of the holding company SMS GmbH is the Familie Weiss Foundation.

Source: SMS Group

Furnace at Baosteel

Baosteel Zhanjiang chooses Fives’ furnace for automotive steel production

Fives, a historical and strategical partner of Baosteel, has again been contracted to supply the complete thermal part for the continuous annealing line (CAL) with a production capacity of 630,000 tons per year. The line aims to produce both standard steel grades and advanced high-strength steels. The first coil will be produced by the end of 2021.

Fives’ scope of supply will include detailed design, supply and installation supervision of a Stein Digiflex® furnace and CELES induction heaters.

The Stein Digiflex® furnace includes:

  • The compact and efficient jet preheating furnace 
  • Advantek® combustion system  
  • FlashCooling® system for rapid cooling
  • Waste gas system
  • Virtuo® thermal optimization solution 

Unique expertise

The Fives’ offer is unique in that it consists of two metallurgical paths to rapid cooling: 

  • Dry FlashCooling® with high hydrogen content for high cooling rates
  • Wet FlashCooling® for ultra-rapid cooling rates to produce martensitic grades 

FlashCooling® is a proprietary technology that gives steelmakers total flexibility to reach the optimum cooling pattern. 

Given the importance of environmental responsibility among steelmakers in China, the high energy efficiency and low NOx emissions delivered by the AdvanTek® combustion system are a real boon to Baosteel Zhanjiang. This is further enhanced by the Virtuo®, thermal optimization solution, which optimizes strip temperature control stability, helps to reduce gas consumption, eliminates production faults that lead to downgraded coils and improves productivity. 

The line will be also equipped with CELES induction heaters, serving as in-furnace heating boosters to perform the most stringent thermal cycle required. CELES induction heaters are a versatile, compact and economical solution to reduce energy consumption, which in turn brings down costs and harmful emissions.

Part of Fives’ equipment will be engineered and manufactured in China under the close supervision of Fives’ subsidiary in Shanghai. 

In 2017, Fives designed and supplied an annealing line furnace and a galvanizing line furnace for the 1550 mm cold rolling mill at the Zhanjiang complex, while in 2013 Fives delivered an annealing line furnace for the cold rolling mill N1 at the same complex. 

Source: Fives Group