Tata Steel IJmuiden orders new continuous slab caster from Primetals Technologies

  • Technology packages ensure high interior and surface qualityProduction capacity is 2.7 million metric tons of slabs per annum
  • Slabs further processed to make steel products for the automotive industry
  • The IJmuiden plant will be the most modern of its kind

Tata Steel IJmuiden BV, a Dutch steel producer, has awarded Primetals Technologies an order to supply a new continuous slab caster. The plant will be constructed on a “process turnkey” basis. It is designed to produce around 2.7 million metric tons of slabs per annum and will cast high-quality grades for end applications in the automotive industry, for example. A number of technology packages will ensure that the slabs have high interior and surface quality making the caster the currently most modern plant of its kind. The plant is scheduled for commissioning in March 2019.

Tata Steel IJmuiden BV is part of Tata Steel Europe and, with an output of seven million metric tons of steel per annum, is Tata Steel’s largest production site in Europe. IJmuiden produces steels for a large number of applications, but mainly for the automotive, construction and packaging industries. The steel products are also used in batteries, tubes, industrial vehicles and domestic appliances. Primetals Technologies will handle the basic and detailed engineering of the new continuous slab caster and will manufacture core components. The scope of supply and services also includes the complete basic and process automation, the water treatment plant and the erection.

The caster has a machine radius of 9.5 meters and a metallurgical length of around 32.7 meters. It has the possibility to cast slabs with thicknesses between 180 and 305 millimeters in widths ranging from 900 to 2,150 millimeters. The machine processes a wide range of carbon steels, peritectic grades, structural steel and HSLA (high strength low alloy) . The machine is equipped with a straight Smart Mold with electromagnetic stirrers and a number of technology packages. These include LevCon mold level control, a Mold Expert breakout detection system with fiber-optical based temperature measurement, and DynaWidth for setting the width of the slabs during the casting operation. DynaFlex is used as the mold oscillator.

High-temperature-casting (DynaTac)-compatible EcoStar Spiral rollers are used in the segments of the strand-guiding system. The Dynacs 3D process model is used for the secondary cooling system. It dynamically calculates a three-dimensional temperature profile along the whole length of the strand. This enables the setpoints of the secondary cooling and thus the final strand solidification to be determined precisely as functions of the casting speed, slab format and steel grade. DynaGap Soft Reduction 3D improves the interior quality of slabs used to produce high-quality heavy plate. The roller taper is dynamically adjusted during the final solidification in line with the setpoints calculated by Dynacs 3D. The 3D Sprays system has movable nozzles in the segments to ensure uniform, optimal cooling of the slabs over their entire width.

Source: Primetals Technologies

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Qingdao Iron and Steel awards FAC to SMS group for SBQ mill

The Chinese company Qingdao Iron and Steel from Qingdao, Shandong Province, has awarded SMS Group  the FAC for the supplied SBQ (Special Bar Quality) mill.After a short ramp-up phase, the new special mill is now producing a wide range of steel grades with very good mechanical properties and optimized microstructure with tolerances of better than 1/6 DIN. The mill is designed for an annual capacity of around 700,000 tons of bar steel.

The close tolerances are achieved by the 3-roll “PSM® 380/5” (Precision Sizing Mill) sizing block in conjunction with a MEERgauge® cross-section measuring system and monitor control technology. Practically any desired finished sizes in diameters between 16 and 100 millimeters can be rolled.

A large number of different cooling strategies were considered during the design of the mill in order to achieve the very good mechanical properties and the optimized microstructure. These strategies are based on eight movable water boxes and long equalizing sections.

Together with the CCT® program (Controlled Cooling Technology), optimum temperature control in the rolling mill is ensured during production for every dimension and every steel grade.

With the installation of the SBQ mill, the Qingdao Iron and Steel Group has strengthened its position on the market and extended its product portfolio by now being able to also roll high-grade special steels.

The SMS group is 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 3.3 bn.

Source: SMS Group

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EU STEEL PRICES EXPAND AS MILL INPUT COSTS INCREASE

European strip mill product prices continued to escalate, in December, driven by a sharp rise in raw material costs. Moreover, third country import volumes were restricted, due to trade defence measures, on both hot and cold rolled coil, and by Chinese cuts in supply. The threat of an antidumping investigation into galvanised steel imports from China also significantly slowed the placement of new orders with Chinese producers.

Domestic mill order books are healthy and delivery lead times remain extended. Steelmakers, keen to stay ahead of raw material cost developments, announced further price hikes in late November. Buyers expect the mills’ new targets to be achieved shortly and further initiatives cannot be ruled out in the first trimester of 2017.

Strip mill product prices continue to advance, in Germany, as a result of restricted supply, extended delivery lead times and the surging cost of production at the mills. Steel buyers are keen to secure quantities ahead of further rises. They state that a number of producers are controlling volume flow on quarterly contracts. Further price hikes are anticipated.

French steel demand is reasonable going into the last month of 2016. Buyers are pre-empting their future requirements, following the rapid price increases. Mills plan to build on this momentum and continue to lift basis values for deliveries into the beginning of next year. Buyers comment that quotations are only valid for a week to ten days, then revised upwards. Imports are still very limited.

General steel demand, in Italy, is quite flat, with the major exception of the auto industry, which continues to flourish. The mechanical engineering sector is improving. Construction activity continues to stagnate and, following the recent referendum, a new phase of political instability is envisaged, which does not bode well for future investment prospects. Strip mill product basis figures soared in December, as a result of a dearth of imported material, together with higher input costs at the steelmakers. A significant amount of uncertainty exists in the market. Many buyers fear that prices may go down again, as quickly as they have risen. Service centres complain that their profitability is at risk as resale customers are not yet willing to pay more. Consequently, distributors purchase as little as possible.

Several continental European steelmakers are not supplying the UK market, at present. Therefore, customers’ options are limited, leaving them no choice but to pay the substantially higher prices demanded by the domestic mills. They have been told to expect material to be more expensive when April deliveries are negotiated. Service centres are busy and resale values are moving up, enabling them to preserve their profit margins. Distributors complain of a lack of supply from the Far East. At times, deals were put together, only to be subsequently withdrawn, to the frustration of potential buyers.

Belgian demand is relatively brisk. The increased cost of raw materials forced ex-mill steel prices upwards. Very little competition exists from overseas suppliers. European producers are confident that further advances can be secured. A number of buyers have limited the quantities they order because prices are so high.

Spanish manufacturing output continues to grow strongly. Steel demand is satisfactory and forecast to increase a little in the first quarter of 2017. The installation of a new government is expected to create a more positive economic environment. Service centre steel inventories are kept as low as possible for fear of stock losses – should the new, higher prices not stick. Distributors encountered difficulties with passing on the mill hikes to the marketplace. Ongoing constrained supply led to much higher basis numbers, in December.

Source: MEPS – European Steel Review – December 2016 Issue

Primetals Technologies to implement process optimization system for RH plant at Salzgitter Flachstahl

  • RH plant with two treatment lines will be equipped with state-of-the-art Level 2 process optimization system
  • Dynamic process models, such as degassing and decarburization models, ensure optimal process control
  • Modular automation system enables the production of steels with highest quality requirements

Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH, a German steel producer, has commissioned Primetals Technologies to supply and implement a Level 2 process optimization system for a twin RH degassing plant and its two downstream treatment stations. The use of cost-optimized charge control and modern, dynamic process models will minimize the consumption of alloying elements, and support the production of the desired steel grade. A system for recording all relevant process data, variable evaluation options and optimized temperature control are further features of this comprehensive automation system. The new Level 2 process optimization system will be integrated into the existing SMIS (secondary metallurgical information system) automation environment, which was also supplied by Primetals Technologies a few years ago. The new system is scheduled to come on stream in April 2017.

Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH (SZFG) is the largest steelmaking subsidiary of the Salzgitter Corporation. It runs one of the world’s most modern iron and steel works at the Salzgitter site. The company produced around 4.2 million metric tons of crude steel in 2015. The most important consumers of its flat products are vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers, pipe and large-diameter pipe manufacturers, cold rolling mills and the construction industry.

Level 2 process optimization systems from Primetals Technologies have been in successful use on the scrap station, the three 220 metric ton converters, and the secondary metallurgy – which consists of three VD (vacuum degassing) plants, two twin ladle furnaces and one ladle furnace, at Salzgitter Flachstahl since 2007. Primetals Technologies has supported the company for many years under a maintenance service agreement.

The order covers the engineering, documentation, training and commissioning of a Level 2 process optimization system specifically adapted for Salzgitter’s existing plant configuration and automation environment. The RH process optimization system to be installed will monitor and optimize the vacuum treatment system in RH plants, and thus ensure maximum efficiency, quality and productivity of this treatment stage. This modular automation solution allows the production of steels that meet the highest quality requirements. The RH optimization system is used all over the world for the production of the widest range of steel grades, such as micro-alloyed special steel, ULC steel and other special steels. Dynamic process models, such as degassing, decarburization, calcium and cleanliness models, make sure that the desired steel grade is produced cost-effectively. The cyclic predictive calculation determines the most important steel and slag parameters (temperature, analysis and weight) throughout the entire treatment. This enables fast and flexible adjustments to meet changed process situations.

Source: Primetals Technologies

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Primetals Technologies to supply new Minimill with EAF Quantum and WinLink to GPH Ispat in Bangladesh

  • Annual production capacity of 815,000 metric tons of long products and billets
  • World premiere: small investment equips plant with WinLink Flex to achieve virtually uninterrupted twin-roll casting at low running costs
  • EAF Quantum electric arc furnace and WinLink solution substantially reduce conversion costs
  • Products meet national and international standards
  • GPH Ispat set to become one of the country’s leading steel producers

GPH Ispat Ltd., a manufacturer of long products based in Chittagong, Bangladesh, has commissioned Primetals Technologies to supply a minimill with a total annual capacity of 815,000 metric tons of finished products and billets. The order includes an EAF Quantum electric arc furnace, a ladle furnace, a three-strand, high-speed continuous billet caster, and a bar and section mill. WinLink Flex from Primetals Technologies will be installed for the first time worldwide. This concept not only allows virtually uninterrupted casting and rolling of long products, but also reduces investment and operating costs. The new minimill meltshop is scheduled to come into operation early 2018.

GPH Ispat is based in Chittagong in southeast Bangladesh. It produces rebars and profile steels, and has a current annual production capacity of 168,000 metric tons of billets and 150,000 metric tons of finished products. The new minimill will allow the company to substantially increase its capacities, and become one of the country’s leading producers, serving the growing domestic and export markets.

Primetals Technologies will engineer and supply the processing equipment for the complete minimill meltshop. An EAF Quantum electric arc furnace with a tapping weight of 80 metric tons and a tap-to-tap time of 40 minutes will produce steel at a rate of up to 36 heats per day. The EAF Quantum cuts operating costs with energy consumption figures as low as 290 kilowatt hours per metric ton. A special automation solution will be implemented so that the electric arc furnace can be charged with various combinations of diverse mixtures of scrap metal, or with DRI and HBI. Further processing takes place in an 80-metric-ton ladle furnace with a heating rate of 4 °C per minute.

The three-strand continuous billet caster has a machine radius of ten meters, and casts around 815,000 metric tons per annum of billets with diameters ranging from 130 to 180 millimeters. The caster is directly connected to the downstream rolling mill. The high casting speed of up to six meters per minute and the compact size of the WinLink design allow two of the three strands to feed the downstream rolling line almost continuously. This eliminates the need for the usual reheating furnace; instead, an induction furnace heats the billets to the required temperature, again reducing investment and operating costs. The third strand produces billets for subsequent further processing or for sale on the market.

The bar and section mill has an annual production capacity of 640,000 metric tons at a maximum production rate of 120 metric tons per hour and a rolling speed of up to 27 meters per second.. The rolling line has 20 fifth-generation Red Ring stands, including horizontal, vertical, convertible and universal stands. If required, the line can be run in two-slit rolling mode. The scope of supply also includes a system for rapid stand change, water cooling, a system for transferring steel bars at speeds up to 27 meters per second to the cooling bed, which is 78 meters long and 11.2 meters wide, and a multi-strand stretch leveler. Primetals Technologies will also supply hot shears for cropping and dividing, a cold shear, a disk for cutting steel sections, a machine for counting rounds, mechanical and magnetic solutions for stacking and bundling finished products, and a banding station. In addition, there is secondary plant equipment, such as a mill workshop and laboratory, hydraulic and lubrication systems, special mechatronic packages, low-voltage supply, motors and drives, an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), as well as basic automation (Level 1) and process automation (Level 2). Primetals Technologies will also be responsible for supervising installation and commissioning work.

Source: Primetals Technologies

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