All posts by WSN Admin

TWO ITALIAN COMPANIES– ARLENICO AND FERALPI RELY ON SMS GROUP MEERDRIVE®PLUS TECHNOLOGY FOR THE PRODUCTION OF REBAR AND WIRE ROD

Arlenico SpA and Feralpi Siderurgica SpA, two key Italian wire rod producers, have each ordered a four-stand MEERdrive®PLUS finishing block from SMS group within one week. Both wire-rod finishing blocks will be integrated in the companies’ existing plants.

Arlenico, part of the Duferco Italia Holding, a special quality wire rod producer located beside the Lecco Lake, chose the four-stand MEERdrive®PLUS block to be installed in the existing wire rod line at its Caleotto plant. This will allow the company to serve the market with products of the tightest tolerances ever produced, as thanks to the heavy-duty machine supplied by SMS group and a sophisticated water cooling line included in the project, it will for the first time be able to apply the thermomechanical rolling process.

Feralpi, producer of rebar and wire rod for construction in Italy, located beside the Garda Lake, is investing in the four-stand MEERdrive®PLUS block in order to increase production and the rolling speed and be able to extend the size range produced and achieve enhanced final mechanical properties. Also in this case a sophisticated water cooling line will serve the four-passes wire rod sizing block.

MEERdrive®PLUS is a variant of the MEERdrive® technology, a revolutionary drive concept for modern wire rod production. It uses individual drives with small low-voltage motors for each stand. Since all finished sizes are rolled in the MEERdrive®PLUS block, it is possible to realize “one-family rolling” in the rolling mill reducing the otherwise required mill downtimes for size and ring changing.

The MEERdrive®PLUS blocks, which will both be installed after an existing ten-passes block, will be four-stand “oval-round-round-round” sizing blocks, capable of rolling wire rod diameters from 4.5 milli­meters up to 27 millimeters at speeds up to 120 meters per second – also at a temperature as low as 750 degrees centigrade. Excellent tolerances down to 0.05 millimeters and 50 percent ovality can be achieved.

These two new finishing blocks to be supplied to Arlenico and Feralpi are references number eleven and twelve, documenting the long success story of the MEERdrive® technology which started with block number one supplied to Sinobras in 2007. Arlenico and Feralpi will benefit from a wide range of outstanding economical and operational advantages. For example, it will be possible to reduce the required roll inventory to a minimum.

SMSgroup Image
From left: Marco Giacomuzzi, SMS group Vice President Bar & Wire Rod Mills; Domenico Campanella, Duferco CEO; Nicola Redolfi, SMS group General Manager Sales; Giovanni Dugoni, Duferco CTO; Filippo Verlezza, SMS group Sales Manager.

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 13,500 employees who generate worldwide sales of more than EUR 3 billion. The sole owner of the holding company SMS GmbH is the Familie Weiss Foundation.

Source: SMS Group

People also Read: EU Steel Prices Slip as Purchasing Slows

EU Steel Prices Slip as Purchasing Slows

During June, the European steel market continued to be affected by rising global trade uncertainty. Steel buyers, particularly at the distributors, were, where possible, postponing their purchasing decisions. Moreover, political upheaval, in parts of the region, led to a lack of investment. As buying activity slowed, prices, for strip mill products, registered modest downward movements, in June. Meanwhile, contract negotiations with OEMs, for the second half of 2018, are ongoing, with producers looking for small price increases. Healthy underlying demand supports the proposed hikes, although a softening in raw material costs does not.

Germany

In May, a further slowdown in the pace of German manufacturing growth was recorded. Availability of standard grade strip mill products is good. Steelmakers are well booked into the third quarter. However, a number of buyers note that restrictions on the purchase of additional quantities have abated. Third country imports are rarely competitive. Producers are demanding increased prices, from contract customers, for the second half of 2018. The initiative has met with a degree of resistance. Meanwhile, recent spot market business was negotiated at slightly lower figures than a month ago. Service centres continue to cut their resale values in order to try to stimulate sales and reduce stock levels.

France

French demand for strip mill products continues to be supported by the auto industry. Mills in northern Europe are reporting full order books, with delivery lead times at fourteen weeks, in some instances. Basis values continued to decrease a little, in June. Activity slowed, in May, and the expected pickup has not yet materialised. However, according to distributors, sales volumes remain acceptable, although inventories are relatively high. Moreover, ongoing strikes are adversely affecting transportation.

Italy

Italy’s manufacturing sector continued to expand, in May, albeit at a slower rate than earlier in the year. Spot market prices are under negative pressure as a result of political upheaval, market uncertainty regarding the US Section 232 disruption and reduced purchasing by distributors. Further price falls cannot be ruled out. Underlying consumption is reasonable. However, customers believe that the downward price trend will continue, as a result of weak order intake at the mills.

United Kingdom

UK distributors report that sales activity is slowly recovering. However, their resale margins are still unsatisfactory. Independent service centres complain that mill-owned distributors are selling aggressively, thus lowering customers’ price expectations. Both the auto and construction industries continue to underperform. Basis values quoted by steelmakers are similar to those reported, in May.

Belgium

Small negative price changes were noted, in the Belgian market, in June. The economy is slowing, with growth forecasts revised downwards. Buyers are slow to make purchasing decisions. In general, distributors’ resale prices reflect replacement costs but margins are below recent norms. Service centre stocks are relatively low. Domestic mill quantities are limited. Import pressure is lacking. Overseas deals were on hold, in early June, as buyers awaited the outcome of the Section 232 measures.

Spain

Spanish manufacturing output growth eased downwards, in May. The steel market remains quiet, despite healthy underlying consumption. Expectations of lower prices, in the near future, led to a ‘wait and see’ attitude amongst buyers, especially at the service centres. Distributors reported reasonable sales, in May, but complain that June order books are shortening. Although current import offers are not particularly attractive, overseas material, booked earlier in the year, is now arriving, resulting in high inventories. Domestic price corrections were noted, for all strip mill product categories, this month.

Source: MEPS European Steel Review – June 2018

People also read: Divergent Stainless Steel Price Trends Derive From Section 232

Ruifeng Orders Continuous Hot-Dip Galvanizing Line from SMS Group

350,000 tons per year of galvanized steel strip for the Chinese construction and home appliances industries.

Ruifeng (Shandong Ruifeng Stainless Steel Co.), China, has selected SMS group to supply a continuous hot-dip galvanizing line for steel strip, which is to be erected in Binzhou in the Chinese province of Shandong and is scheduled to start production in the second half of 2019. The new galvanizing line will enable Ruifeng to anneal and galvanize 350,000 tons annually of cold strip that is produced on the company’s own pickling line/tandem mill. To protect it against corrosion the strip will be coated with a layer of zinc or aluminum-zinc. The material will mainly be used for applications in the construction industry and to produce home appliances.

The line is to be completely supplied by SMS group. All mechanical and process-technological components, including furnace and air-knife system, as well as all electrical and automation systems are part of SMS group’s package, too. Also included in the scope of supply is the supervision of erection and commissioning.

The strips to be processed in the line will first run through a cleaning section including electrolytic cleaning segment. Subsequent heat treatment will be accomplished in a horizontal Drever furnace with direct-fired zone and radiant-tube zone. In addition, a DUMA-BANDZINK BASIC Jet air-knife system for the homogeneous and precise thickness setting of the zinc layer will be integrated to meet even extremely high surface quality demands. To be able to coat the strips with both aluminum-zinc or zinc, it is planned to install a change system with two zinc pots. For post-treatment, the line will be equipped with a skin-pass stand, a tension leveler and two vertical roll coaters, as well as an oiling machine in the exit section.

The hot-dip galvanizing line will be designed to process strips up to 1,350 millimeters wide and between 0.30 and 2.0 millimeters thick. The maximum strip speed during the galvanizing process will be 180 meters per minute, whereas in the entry and exit sections maximum speed may reach up to 240 meters per minute. The product range will comprise commercial grades and deep-drawing grades, among others.

Source:  SMS Group

People also read: US Steel Industry Protection Measures are Increasing Domestic Inflation

ANDRITZ greatly improves productivity at the Fuxin Special Steel annealing and pickling line

International technology group ANDRITZ has successfully improved performance of the annealing and pickling line for stainless steel strip at Fuxin Special Steel Co., Ltd, Fujian Province, China.

Based on proven software and algorithms developed by ANDRITZ, the operating and process data of the plant were analyzed, and some bottlenecks were identified. After implementation of the necessary changes, the capacity of the line was increased by 15%, with virtually no additional capital investment. This extraordinary improvement once again demonstrates the expertise and know-how of ANDRITZ in optimizing the production performance of plants in the metals industry, based on digital products and software developed by ANDRITZ.

ANDRITZ has combined all of its digitalization activities under the Metris umbrella brand. Metris encompasses innovative IIoT products largely relating to optimization of plants and processes by combining sensors, complex data analysis, and augmented reality. Smart service offerings, such as an online spare part catalog, as well as research and development work on digital solutions that provide added value to the customer complete the comprehensive ANDRITZ product offerings in the digitalization sector.

Fuxin Special Steel Co., Ltd. is an integrated stainless steel manufacturer that covers steel making, casting, and hot rolling, as well as hot strip annealing and pickling.

 

Source: ANDRITZ

People also read: Divergent Stainless Steel Price Trends Derive From Section 232

SMS Group High-Speed Wire Rod Mills at Guangdong Guoxin

Chinese Guangdong Guoxin Industrial Co., Ltd. has awarded SMS group the Final Acceptance Certificate after successful commissioning of the two single-strand wire rod mills for its Jieyang works, Guangdong province.

Smooth commissioning and safe operation

The works is designed for an annual capacity of 1.4 million tons (700,000 tons per year per wire rod mill). The two single-strand high-speed mills roll wire rod in diameters from 5.5 to 25 millimeters and rebars in diameters between 6 and 14 millimeters. The originally planned rolling speed of up to 105 meters per second has been exceeded; wire rod sizes have already been rolled at speeds of 120 meters per second. The steel grades to be rolled comprise cold-heading, alloyed, spring and stainless steels as well as tire cord and welding wire.

SMS group supplied the high-speed area mechanical equipment starting from the four-stand pre-finishing mill, shear system in front of the finishing block, 6+4-stand finishing block arrangement, pinch roll, loop laying head and all related water boxes. Due to the well proven 6+4-stand arrangement, all final dimensions can be finish-rolled in a maximum of four passes and thus be rolled thermomechanically, i.e. at low temperatures and with close dimensional tolerances.

Besides the mechanical equipment, SMS group provided the electrical and automation system for the complete line (including motors, drives and sensors), and was responsible for the supervision services for erection and commissioning.

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 13,500 employees who generate worldwide sales of more than EUR 3 billion. The sole owner of the holding company SMS GmbH is the Familie Weiss Foundation.

Source: SMS Group

People also read: US Steel Industry Protection Measures are Increasing Domestic Inflation

Divergent Stainless Steel Price Trends Derive From Section 232

Stainless steel markets throughout the world have responded differently to the United States’ announcement, at the beginning of March 2018, of 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent tariffs on aluminium.

Uncertainty persisted as temporary exemptions were granted to supplies from selected countries, until the end of May. A quota arrangement was agreed with South Korea. On May 31, the United States confirmed that tariffs will be imposed on imports from its NAFTA associates, Canada and Mexico, as well as the European Union effective from June 1.

In response, the European Commission has launched a safeguard investigation, in an effort to thwart the redirection of steel supplies, previously destined for the US market, into the European Union. This, like the US Section 232 action, is likely to lead to the imposition of import quotas or tariffs.

While some suppliers in Europe and Asia attempted to maximise shipments to the US, in advance of the application of trade measures, the attitude of most buyers and sellers has been cautious. Exports to the United States have declined. Meanwhile, we have many reports of producers elsewhere making competitive price offers in markets that they have not previously explored.

This has resulted in divergent price trends in the different regions. In the light of reduced import tonnages and the impending introduction of tariffs on future shipments, US domestic suppliers have met little resistance to substantial price hikes, in their home market.

Producers in Europe and Asia, conversely, have struggled, in recent months, to raise selling values, by even enough to cover the rising cost of raw materials.

Between February and May, MEPS’ North American average price, for grade 304 cold rolled coil, increased by 15.5 percent. During the same period, the corresponding Asian average rose by just 1.6 percent, in US dollar equivalent terms, while the EU figure dropped by 2.4 percent.

Source: MEPS – Stainless Steel Review