Category Archives: Steel Industry News

Daehan Pyeongtaek Modernizes Existing VCC® Mill with New SMS Group Billet Welder and VCC® Line to Produce 5.0-Ton Coils

Daehan Steel Co. Ltd., South Korea, awarded SMS group an order to modernize its existing VCC® (Vertical Compact Coiler) of the rolling mill in its Pyeongtaek plant, which is located in the Seoul area.

The plant produces 450,000 tons per year of compact coils in diameters from 10 to 25 millimeters which is internally processed in the own cut-and-bend facilities or exported to the Far East market.

The modernization project foresees the installation of a new welder at the furnace exit side of the existing rolling mill which will be used to join billets 130 x 130 millimeters or 150 x 150 millimeters to generate an endless feedstock that will be rolled on the existing mill to make a tailor-made coil weight of up to five tons.

The intermediate rolling mill line will be also modified with a relocation of the existing crop shear used for head stock cutting, while a new dividing shear will operate to define the coil weight by cutting endless bar. The modification of the existing water quenching / soft cooling line is foreseen as well to fulfill the requirements of the new process.

The existing VCC® system will be modified to handle the new coil weight of up to five tons by replacing the two coilers and some modifications at the coil handling located downstream. The VCC® line produces compact coils directly coiled in vertical position. Plant operators can therefore eliminate the need for turning manipulators and, at the same time, reduce the process cycle time as all coils are formed in the final position. The coils are ready to be stored immediately once coiling has been completed and the coils have cooled down. Reduced handling also minimizes the overall risk of damaging the coil surface.

From left: Meoung-Jong Jeon, David Maurizio (both SMS group); Sang-Woo Kim, Byoung-Do Kim, Won-li Lee, Hyun-Min Kim (all Daehan Steel Co. Ltd.)
From left: Meoung-Jong Jeon, David Maurizio (both SMS group); Sang-Woo Kim, Byoung-Do Kim, Won-li Lee, Hyun-Min Kim (all Daehan Steel Co. Ltd.)

SMS group, with deep knowledge of the existing plant, will minimize the modification at the existing equipment to reduce the shutdown time of the plant for the erection.

The main target of the modernization is the production of heavier coils which will reduce the downtimes in the cut-and-bend facilities leading to a reduction in production costs.

Daehan Steel places the second order in a row with SMS group, trusting in SMS group’s modernization expertise and strengthening the long-term partnership between both companies.

Source: SMS Group

Global Stainless Steel Trade Plagued by Quotas

Voestalpine Successfully Finishes Repairs to the Large Blast Furnace at the site in Linz

Completing the general renovation of Blast Furnace A has brought the voestalpine Steel Division a further step towards increasing energy and resource efficiency at its steel production site in Linz. After a 111-day period for repairs, the furnace, in which two-thirds of the entire annual pig iron volume of five million tons is produced, today successfully restarted operations. At a total cost of around EUR 180 million, the so-called relining project involved completely replacing the extremely wear-resistant interior lining of the blast furnace, as well as modernizing all other facilities used in operating the blast furnace. At around the same time, interim repairs were carried out on one of the two blast furnaces in Leoben-Donawitz.

“The comprehensive upgrades to Blast Furnace A are important in safeguarding the future of the site in Linz, and that of its about 11,000 employees, for the coming decade. At the same time, the high technical standard of this blast furnace is also the basis for supplying our processing sites with high-quality steel grades.”

Wolfgang Eder, Chairman of the Management Board of voestalpine AG

The relining of the large blast furnace, originally built in 1977 and most recently extensively upgraded in 2004, was undertaken during the period from June to September 2018 and, in addition to replacing the refractory bricks, included the modernization of all peripheral plant and equipment such as the Cowper stove, gas supply, and dedusting systems. The focus also lay in installing new digital measuring and control instruments. By involving the customers at an early stage and consistently building up a stock of the relevant pre-material supplies, it was possible to deliver as usual during the repair phase.

Digitalization for greater resource efficiency

While modernizing Blast Furnace A we upgraded all the process steps to the state-of-the-art in order to achieve even better results in terms of resource conservation and material consumption. We are doing this by using completely new digital capabilities as well.

Herbert Eibensteiner, Member of the Management Board of voestalpine AG and Head of the Steel Division

The applied technologies include 3D radar to determine the optimum distribution of raw materials and automated temperature measurements within the blast furnace. Around 160 employees in the core voestalpine team worked to prepare and realize this major project, while at the same time a total of 1,000 people were employed at the site for over a year. Special simulation software which mapped all the plant and equipment as well as process scenarios was used to plan the relining. In future this tool will also be used during ongoing operations at the blast furnace.

Interim repairs to the blast furnace in Leoben-Donawitz

Parallel to the major project in Linz, one of the two blast furnaces belonging to the Metal Engineering Division in Leoben-Donawitz also underwent interim repairs. After 64 workdays, the furnace, which is responsible for around half of the 1.5 million tons of annual pig iron production at the Styrian site, returned to normal operations this week. The costs for the repairs, which are routinely undertaken on each of the two furnaces at the site once every four years, amounted this time to the comparatively low sum of EUR 14 million.

Source: voestalpine

EU Stainless Steel Prices Forecast to Decline in the Fourth Quarter, Recovery Expected in Early 2019


EU Stainless Steel Prices Forecast to Decline in the Fourth Quarter, Recovery Expected in Early 2019

MEPS predicts that EU stainless steel prices will continue to decline, in the short term. Flat product transaction values fell, in September, mainly due to decreases in alloy surcharges.

EU Stainless Steel

Reductions in alloy surcharges have been announced, for October, and further cuts are expected in November. Many customers will, therefore, delay placing orders. EU stainless steel mills will attempt to limit the impact of the decrease in the cost of alloying extras on their effective selling prices, in the months ahead. However, this may prove difficult under current weak market conditions.

Orders on the EU stainless steel producers are expected to reduce due to excessive inventories in the market. Imports are likely to remain competitive, in the short term. The EC safeguarding quotas for flat products will, almost certainly, remain available at the start of 2019. Transaction values are forecast to rise in the first half of 2019, mainly as a result of increased raw material costs, at that time.


The September average cash nickel price decreased by approximately 6 percent, month-on-month. The ongoing trade war, between China and the US, continues to worry investors. A strengthening in the US dollar added to the negative pressure on nickel prices. Nevertheless, inventories held in LME warehouses fell to below 230,000 tonnes.

The fundamentals remain positive for nickel – with demand outstripping supply. Growing concerns about a slowdown in the Chinese economy are likely to restrict the potential for a significant upward movement in nickel values, in the short term. An upturn in prices is, however, envisaged, in the first half of 2019. A steady increase in nickel demand is anticipated, particularly from the electric vehicle sector. However, significant growth in consumption from that source is expected to take many years to develop. The downward trend in LME inventories is likely to continue in the medium term. This is forecast to have a positive influence on nickel and, subsequently, EU stainless steel prices, in the next twelve months.

Source: MEPS Stainless Steel Review (Premium Forecast Edition) – September 2018

British Steel to upgrade wire rod mill with new Primetals Technologies rod line outlet

In a move to improve the quality and range of wire rod produced in the United Kingdom, British Steel selected Primetals Technologies to design, manufacture and install a new wire rod line and upgrade long rolling equipment in the company’s existing rod mill in Scunthorpe, UK. The expanded size range will enable British Steel to serve new markets. Mechatronic packages and smart sensor systems mark the first step towards Industry 4.0. for this rolling mill.

The project will replace two of the four strands of the existing wire rod mill with a new high production and high-speed rod outlet, plus two prefinishing mill bypass lines that will enable rods to enter a reducing/sizing mill to produce a wider range of sizes.

The contract’s scope of supply includes modifications to the existing mill train, prefinishing mills and high-speed trim shears, with a new 230 Vee prefinishing mill, shear arrangement, a four-stand quick change Morgan Reducing/Sizing Mill, Morgan traversing water boxes and covered troughs, pinch roll and laying head arrangement with a quick change robot, a 10-zone Morgan Stelmor conveyor, the patented stepless reform station for coil forming, and vertical stem pallet system for coil handling. In addition, British Steel has contracted for mechatronic packages for section gauges and a laser gauge speed monitoring system with smart sensors, the first step towards Industry 4.0 digitalization of the rolling mill.

Once commissioned, the upgraded mill will produce 700,000 tons of wire rod per year, with tighter tolerances, better surface quality and microstructures, in sizes up to 28 mm in diameter. The contract also includes site supervision. Designed for a guaranteed maximum speed of 110 meters per second, the mill will run at 153 tons per hour.

The wire rod mill opened in Scunthorpe in 1976 as part of an integrated steelmaking site. The mill produces wire products for the automotive, construction, engineering and consumer goods markets.

British Steel Mill
Morgan Reducing/Sizing Mill

The original British Steel was founded in 1967 by the UK government from the country’s 14 main steel producing companies whose operations dated back to the 19th century. Privatized in 1987, the company merged with Koninklijke Hoogovens in 1999 to form Corus, which Tata Steel purchased in 2007 and renamed Tata Steel. In June 2016, Greybull Capital purchased the European long products business and renamed the new business British Steel. It produces sections, special profiles and wire rod manufacturing across the UK and rail manufacturing in the UK and France, with a network of metal centers and service centers in the UK and Ireland.


Stelmor is a registered trademark of Primetals Technologies, Limited in certain countries.

Source: Primetals Technologies

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Fast startup at Deacero Ramos Arizpe, Mexico

At just three days from hot startup the mill already demonstrated its full potential by rolling at 70% of its maximum capacity (including four strands slitting process) which will lead to a very fast rump-up learning curve.

The rolling mill is designed to produce rebars from #3 to #16, smooth (rounds and squares from 1/2” to 2”, and merchant bars, including angles, channels, flats from 1” to 3”, and T-profiles.
The 20-pass mill is fed with 160- and 180-mm square billets in cold charge and hot charge mode with direct transfer from the conticaster.

The rolling mill is mainly comprised of H, V and H/V convertible cartridge-type stands, with quick stand change system for the intermediate and finishing mills, followed by a QTR-Quenching and Tempering line for rebars.
A 100-m-long cooling bed with layer forming system completes the hot processing line.

The cold finishing area includes an in-line straightening and cold shearing system.

Rebars finishing is performed with three automatic counting and bundling stations, with 11 tying machines for sub-bundles, six tying machines for master bundles, and two tying machines for bent bundles.

Merchant bars and sections are processed in 24-m automatic stacking station with six strapping machines.
The process technology provides for up to 5-strand split rolling of rebars.

Danieli Automation provided fully integrated Lev1 and Lev2 automation and process control systems, and a Hi-Profile for in-line hot measurements of bars size tolerances.

This is the fourth complete Danieli minimill installed at Deacero, for a total eight rolling mills for bars, wire rod and merchant bars.
Another important step in the 50-year successful relationship between two teams with a win-win attitude.

Source: Danieli

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SMS Group Upgrades Rolling Mill of Daehan Sinpyeong with New Quenching and HSD®Lines

South-Korean Daehan Steel Co. Ltd. has placed an order with SMS group for a bar mill modernization. This new order further strengthens the longstanding cooperation between SMS group and Daehan Steel.

The rolling mill in Daehan´s Sinpyeong works located in the Busan area is designed to produce 130 tons per hour of rebar in diameters from 16 to 32 millimeters up to grade SD 500.

The modernization project will comprise the replacement of the existing quenching line with a new one designed with latest technology from SMS group, including systems for precise pressure control and exact setting of the water flow rates. In addition, two dividing shears with associated pinch rolls and a bar braking system will be supplied, as well as a HSD® (High Speed Delivery) line that will be integrated into the existing cooling bed. With this new HSD®system, Daehan will be able to feed bars onto the cooling bed via rotating channels, which are precisely synchronized with the soft bar braking unit, the cooling bed cycle movement and the bar position monitoring system. Furthermore, the bars can be cut to all product sizes at any speed. The shears cut bars in diameters up to 32 millimeters. Due to the dedicated control system, the shears provide very tight cutting tolerances even at maximum speed. The newly supplied equipment will be fully integrated by way of an automation package from SMS group.

The main objective of the modernization is to reduce the ferro-alloys content in the billets, which will result in a substantial cost reduction. The upgrade is also aimed at increasing the product range. With the new SMS group equipment Daehan will be able to add 13 millimeter rebar to the size range and produce new steel grades up to SD600.

This latest reference underpins SMS group’s modernization expertise and strengthens the longstanding partnership with Daehan.

Source: SMS Group

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