H.E.S issues Primetals Technologies with final acceptance for modernized bar mill

  • New rolling stands without housing improve product tolerances
  • Larger roll barrels increase stability and allow multi-strand operation
  • Faster roll change and production start-up

H.E.S. Hennigsdorfer Elektrostahlwerke GmbH (H.E.S), a company in the Riva Group, has issued Primetals Technologies with the final acceptance certificate for a modernized, turnkey bar mill in Hennigsdorf, in the German state of Brandenburg. The modernization project included replacing two existing stands in the roughing mill with new Red Ring stands, which do not have housing. This solution requires less space and has greater rigidity to enable consistently narrow product tolerances to be achieved. The new stands also have larger rolls. This increases the stability of the process and allows multi-strand operation. Primetals Technologies had received the order in May 2015, and commissioning took place during a scheduled plant shutdown at the turn of the year 2015/16 with industrial rolling restored on January 2.

H.E.S. is one of three production locations that the Italian Riva Group has in Germany. The plant converts raw scrap metal provided by Riva Stahl GmbH into steel products, which are then marketed by Riva Stahl GmbH. The range of products includes continuously cast billets, reinforcement steel, and bright steel, which is mainly supplied to the automotive industry and its suppliers.

For the modernization of the bar mill, Primetals Technologies supplied two new type RR564 housingless Red Ring roughing stands with a horizontal configuration. The scope of supply also included couplings, drive spindles and spindle supports. The center line of the rolls can be varied between 480 and 730 millimeters. The roll barrels are 850 millimeters long. A new gear box was also installed on one stand. Stand change parts, a motorized device for roll change operation, and the on-board electrical equipment for the stands completed the scope of supply. Primetals Technologies was also responsible for construction and commissioning.

The bar mill processes billets of carbon steel and low alloy grades with a square cross-sectional area of 140 x 140 millimeters, a length of 12 meters, and a weight of 1.8 metric tons. The final products are rebars with diameters of between 10 and 50 millimeters, and rounds with diameters ranging from 14 to 50 millimeters. The plant can also be run in two-slit mode if the finished products have a diameter of 28 millimeters or less.

Red Ring is a registered trademark of Primetals Technologies in some countries.

Source: Primetals Technologies

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DEVELOPING MARKETS STEEL PRICE ROUNDUP FROM MEPS

According to MEPS, the business environment remains challenging in Brazil. Domestic distributors are extremely reluctant to purchase material in, what they deem as, tricky market conditions.

Price volatility has restricted buying activity in the Russian Federation. Local trading houses have questioned the necessity of the latest round of price hikes. The majority of steel users believe that the latest initiative is unjustified and not supported by underlying demand.

The outlook for India is unchanged. The Joint Plant Committee (JPC) has reported that domestic finished steel consumption in the first eleven months of the fiscal year ending March 2016, totalled 65.93 million tonnes – up 3.6 percent compared with the corresponding period in the previous fiscal year.

The second quarter is expected to be a difficult trading period for the Ukrainian steel industry. The local association of metal producers, Metallurgprom, has forecast that finished steel production in May will reach 2.2 million tonnes – up 0.1 percent compared with March’s daily output.

Business sentiment remains tepid amongst Turkish traders. The majority are worried that their domestic suppliers will ignore market conditions and continue to issue double digit price increases.

Procurement activity remains slower than expected in the United Arab Emirates. Local traders are tightly controlling inventory levels. Purchasing attitudes have been unsettled by the aggressive pricing strategies adopted by foreign suppliers. Emirati rolling mills raised their selling figures for June and July’s production.

The business climate in the Mexican steel market is unchanged. Local distributors are wary of holding too much inventory over the next two months, fearing a price correction.

Source: MEPS – Developing Markets Steel Review – April Edition

ArcelorMittal contracts SMS group for revamp of its Gijón rail rolling mill

ArcelorMittal Espana S.A. has contracted SMS group to revamp its rail rolling mill in Gijón. The modernization project will entail the conversion from conventional two-high rolling to the more economical universal rolling method. The project is also intended to increase the selling length of the rails from 90 to 108 meters.

Rails rolled on universal mills are produced at lower costs, feature improved dimensional accuracy and enhanced surface quality and are the rails of choice for high-speed railway lines.

The central element of the revamp will be the installation of a mill train consisting of a universal stand and an edger, both of which will be designed as CCS® stands (Compact Cartridge Stand). This stand type has been successfully in operation in numerous rail and section mills. Additionally, the existing finishing stand will be replaced by a universal stand. All stands will feature hydraulic screwdown. This ensures a higher rail quality and provides higher availability and flexibility of the rolling mill.

The order scope also includes adaptations to the reversing break-down mill, to the roll shop and to the media supply system. SMS group will install the equipment and adapt the automation system. Also the roll pass design and the mill guides for all stands will be supplied by SMS-technology that has proved highly successful in numerous rail rolling mills.

To minimize the production loss, the modifications to the equipment will be implemented during several scheduled line stoppages of short duration. The main activities will take place in summer 2016.

Worldwide, a total of 16 universal rail rolling mills have been supplied or revamped since 2000. Twelve of those projects were handled by SMS. With this project for ArcelorMittal, SMS group is further strengthening its leading position as suppliers of rail and section rolling mills.

The SMS group is, under the roof of SMS Holding GmbH, a group of companies internationally active in plant construction and mechanical engineering for the steel and nonferrous metals industry. Its 14,000 employees generate sales of over EUR 3,4 bn.

Source: SMS Group

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NORDIC STEEL MARKET ROUNDUP FROM MEPS

According to MEPS, domestic selling figures across the Nordic region increased, in early April. Advances in hot rolled coil selling figures were being driven by rising mill input expenditure. Further hikes are likely in May.

Rising raw material costs put inflationary pressure on hot rolled plate selling values. Furthermore, there was a lack of competitively priced imports from Russia and Eastern Europe. Demand was fair.

Buyers of cold rolled coil have accepted the mills’ argument that higher prices were necessary in April. However, market fundamentals may not support higher selling figures through the summer. Supply chain participants believe that the current, steady level of demand is likely to persist for the foreseeable future.

Prices for galvanised sheet and coil have increased this month and further hikes are likely in the short term. Delivery lead times from regional mills have stretched due to earlier plant outages and strong demand from the automotive sector.

Order volumes for drawing quality wire rod are good, in Scandinavia and northern Europe. Suppliers from Russia and Ukraine have raised their price offers, substantially. Domestic selling figures advanced in April and are expected to rise again in May.

Increases in structural section transaction values have been justified by growing mill input expenditure. Delivery lead times have lengthened by 1 or 2 weeks. Producers are likely to seek further, substantial hikes, in the near future.

Sales volumes of rebar are steady, rather than recording the usual, seasonal pickup. Nonetheless prices have risen, due to growing scrap costs, and fundamentals in the wider European market.

Consumption of merchant bar is relatively stable. Despite this, buyers accepted the steelmakers increased price offers. Further advances are likely, as the mills attempt to reverse recent cuts in selling figures.

Source: European Steel Review Supplement – April Edition

Qingdao Iron and Steel successfully commissions SBQ rolling mill from SMS group

On February 19th, 2016, Qingdao Iron and Steel, based in Qingdao in the Chinese province of Shandong, rolled the first bar on the SBQ (Special Bar Quality) rolling mill supplied by SMS group. The rolling mill is designed to produce premium SBQ products with excellent mechanical properties and optimized microstructure, while complying with most exacting dimensional tolerances. The first bars were already rolled with a diameter tolerance better than 1/6 DIN.The centerpiece of the rolling mill is a 3-roll precision sizing mill, type PSM® 380/5, which is capable of rolling any final diameter between 16 and 100 millimeters.

The hydraulic screwdown under rolling load allows any customized sizes to be economically produced also in small lots. The 3-roll PSM® features a MEERgauge® system for cross-section measurements as well as a Monitor Control Technology module. In addition to these, further modules like the Technological Control System (TCS) and the Controlled Cooling Technology (CCT®) module provide the possibility of online correction of the roll settings and ensure optimized temperature control in the rolling line.

With the newly built SBQ mill, Qingdao Iron and Steel Group is expanding its market leadership and growing its product portfolio into the segment of premium SBQ products. The new mill is designed for an annual capacity of about 700,000 tons of bar steel.

The SMS group is, under the roof of SMS Holding GmbH, a group of companies internationally active in plant construction and mechanical engineering for the steel and nonferrous metals industry. Its 14,000 employees generate sales of over EUR 3,4 bn.

Source: SMS Group

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SUPPLY TIGHTNESS GIVES EU STEEL PRICES POSITIVE MOMENTUM

European flat product prices moved up quite rapidly in early April against a background of domestic output curbs and trade defence measures. Moreover, there was a significant lack of attractively-priced imported material from Brazil, India and Iran, as well as from China. This allowed mills in Europe to push through substantial price advances. Buyers, who were at first reluctant to pay more, have accepted the proposed increases as their options become limited. Should overseas suppliers suddenly reverse their strategies and become more competitive, any steel ordered would not arrive at European ports until autumn, at the earliest. Domestic producers, who will continue to push for additional rises for the remainder of the second quarter, foresee further potential for advances in the third trimester.

In Germany, there were very few offers from third country sources, in April. Buyers were dependent on EU suppliers who ramped up basis values. However, customers complain that underlying demand is not as strong as the mills report. It is ticking over at a similar level to 2015. Service centre stocks are quite low. However, distributors are only ordering normal quantities.

Demand picked up in France as prices started to climb. Distributors had been waiting to place orders until they were sure that basis values had stopped falling. As a result, stocks were low. There is now a flurry of purchasing to refill inventories. Meanwhile, end-user activity continues to show a year-on-year improvement.

Italian prices strengthened significantly on a lack of import offers. The upward movement was rapid as, previously, overseas material had exerted a great deal of negative pressure on the market. New imports from China have stopped completely, providing relief for domestic suppliers. Service centres report increased demand from OEMs over the last two months, especially from the carmakers. There is still Chinese stock at the docks, which arrived early in the year. Competitively-priced South Korean material continues to arrive, much of which was ordered directly by the manufacturers. Stockholders are only buying minimum quantities from local mills, as they keep inventories on the low side.

A great deal of uncertainty exists in the UK market because of the events at Tata Steel. Availability is quite tight. Sourcing has become more difficult. Some mainland European mills have been forced to reduce allocations to UK customers. Substantial ex-mill price rises have been reported during recent negotiations. A number of service centres reported healthy levels of business but others have experienced slightly weaker demand. Resale values are moving up steadily as distributors do their utmost to sell at replacement costs.

A dearth of third country import offers helped domestic producers to lift basis values in Belgium. Service centre sales have picked up significantly. Transport costs, which many distributors had not charged in recent times, are, once again being added to their customers’ invoices. Resale prices have moved up rapidly.

Political uncertainty has had a detrimental effect on the Spanish economy. Steel demand is static, or even falling, because of this. However, basis values have shot up due to a shortage of competitively-priced import offers. Domestic deliveries are now into July. However, buyers warn that, should European prices rise much higher, they will consider ordering overseas material, which is now looking more attractive. Distributors continue to keep inventories low. Their profit margins have improved.

Source: MEPS – European Steel Review – April 2016 Issue