Category Archives: Automotive

Tata Steel opens new automotive finishing line

Tata Steel has opened a new finishing line at its IJmuiden steelworks in the Netherlands to strengthen the supply of high-value steels to the automotive sector and other markets.
Tata Steel invested 12 million euros in Finishing Line 32, which will process up to 400,000 tonnes of galvanised (corrosion resistant) steel coil a year.

Henrik Adam, Tata Steel’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “This investment will enable us to improve the supply of high-quality steels to customers while also improving delivery times.

“The new finishing line enables us to meet the most stringent quality standards for advanced steels, some of which are used by automotive manufacturers for vehicle body panels and safety-critical components. These steels are often stronger and thinner enabling our automotive customers to produce more fuel-efficient and lighter-weight vehicles.”

The finishing line’s location at the end of the company’s three hot-dip galvanising lines in IJmuiden will increase processing speed and delivery reliability for customers, while also reducing on-site steel movements. Finishing Line 32 enables inspection, cutting to width and length, laser welding, slitting, two sided oiling, marking, coiling and binding of galvanised steel. After the finishing, coils are wrapped and loaded onto trucks or trains for direct delivery to customers.

The new finishing line follows the opening in IJmuiden of the third hot-dip galvanising line in 2009.

Hans Fischer, Tata Steel’s Chief Technical Officer, said: “The combination of our automotive R&D centre and these new production facilities enables us to both develop and manufacture advanced steel products like MagiZinc(R) for car manufacturers and the construction industry.”

MagiZinc is an innovative zinc coating for steel products which incorporates aluminium and magnesium. It offers twice the protection against corrosion which enables thinner coating layers. The coating is also harder, making it easier for car manufacturers to process steel products, leading to a reduction of rejections and manufacturing downtime.

The opening of Finishing Line 32 has also freed up Tata Steel’s Cold Rolling Plant in IJmuiden which was responsible for finishing galvanised steel. This will enable the company to increase the supply of uncoated cold rolled steel to customers.

Source: Tata Steel 

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New format for continuous casting line delivers high-quality forgings for the automotive industry

ArcelorMittal has invested around US$267m in the past four years in its site in Duisburg, Germany, of which US$180m was spent on a state-of-the-art wire rod mill. The new wire rod mill can process high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels, using the latest technologies to enable thermo-mechanical rolling processes. A new factory laboratory has also been installed alongside the rod mill, to assure the quality of the products.

ArcelorMittal continues to invest in the Ruhrort site as well. The changeover to a symmetrical format for continuous casting line two offers customers in the automotive supply sector high-quality steel ingots for producing forgings. For example, these include gearbox parts, which create less vibration in the engine and therefore reduce noise emissions.

“We are investing US$8.6m in the format change in order to adapt the plant to future requirements and to increase our competitiveness. After construction of the new wire rod mill, this is the next step towards securing the future of jobs and steel production in Duisburg,” commented Thorsten Brand, CEO at ArcelorMittal Duisburg.

Higher quality and more environmentally friendly

The planned investments will change the mould format of continuous casting line two from the current 265×385 mm (rectangular) to 320×320 mm (square). At the same time, this will improve the rolling tolerance, which will enhance the quality of the product.

The new format will also extend ArcelorMittal’s product range and increase the flexibility of customers who process the steel to make forged parts such as gearboxes, crankshafts, gear wheels or axles, predominantly for use in commercial vehicles.

The investment will deliver forgings made from semi-products at ArcelorMittal Duisburg which will meet the highest requirements of the strict European guidelines on noise emissions for commercial vehicles.

Preparations for the investment project have already started and the plant refit will take place in mid-2015.

ArcelorMittal’s Duisburg site supplies semi-products for forging, as well as high-strength and ultra-high-strength wire rods for the automotive industry and renewable energy applications (for example offshore wind farms), for fastening elements and machine building.

Source: ArcelorMittal

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