Category Archives: Steel Mill

Stainless steel continuous slab caster modernized by Primetals Technologies started up at Outokumpu in Finland

  • Modernization facilitates production of slabs with a thickness of 200 millimeters
  • High-speed casting of austenitic grades is still possible with the new thickness
  • Production capacity rises

In December 2017, the stainless-steel continuous slab caster modernized by Primetals Technologies was started up at Outokumpu’s production site in Tornio, Finland. The aims of the project were to increase the annual production capacity of slabs and to enable thicker slabs of austenitic grades to be cast at high speed. This involved the machine head of the casting plant to be modified to cast slabs with a thickness of 200 millimeters, and the necessary adaptations were also made in the bending section and to the dummy bar system. The order was awarded to Primetals Technologies in the second quarter of 2017.

Outokumpu is one of the world’s leading stainless steel producers with the widest product portfolio in the industry. The company’s products are used in the civilization’s basic structures and its most famous landmarks as well as products for households and various industries. Primetals Technologies installed the initially stainless steel continuous slab caster, together with an electric arc furnace and an AOD converter, in 2002. Until now, the continuous slab caster has produced slabs in widths from 800 to 1,650 millimeters, with a thickness of 185 millimeters. The caster is also equipped with a range of modern technology packages. For example, the world’s first DynaGap Soft Reduction system was installed here in a continuous slab caster for stainless steels.

Primetals Technologies modernized the machine head to enable slabs to be cast with a thickness of 200 millimeters and so to raise the production capacity. The Smart Mold was equipped with new narrow faces, including lateral foot rollers and a new cover. The bending section was fitted with shims suitable for the new slab thickness and the dummy bar system was also adapted. The existing Dynacs cooling model was parameterized for the new casting thickness. The LevCon mold level control was already upgraded in 2016 to include a function to minimize bulging in order to meet higher demands in the future.

Stainless steel-continuous slab caster at Outokumpu’s stainless steel mill in Tornio, Finland. The caster, modernized by Primetals Technologies, was started up in December 2017.
Stainless steel-continuous slab caster at Outokumpu’s stainless steel mill in Tornio, Finland. The caster, modernized by Primetals Technologies, was started up in December 2017.

Primetals Technologies, Limited headquartered in London, United Kingdom is a worldwide leading engineering, plant-building and lifecycle services partner for the metals industry. The company offers a complete technology, product and service portfolio that includes integrated electrics, automation and environmental solutions. This covers every step of the iron and steel production chain, extending from the raw materials to the finished product – in addition to the latest rolling solutions for the nonferrous metals sector. Primetals Technologies is a joint venture of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Siemens. Mitsubishi-Hitachi Metals Machinery (MHMM) – an MHI consolidated group company with equity participation by Hitachi, Ltd. and the IHI Corporation – holds a 51% stake and Siemens a 49% stake in the joint venture. The company employs around 7,000 employees worldwide. Further information is available on the Internet at

Source: Primetals Technologies

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RINL’s (Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd.) Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) has successfully commissioned the new continuous casting machine in Visakhapatnam, India, which was supplied by SMS Concast, a company of SMS group.

With a casting radius of twelve meters, the five-strand continuous casting machine has a rated capacity of one million tons per year, covering a wide range of steel grades from simple carbon grades to grades for ball bearing and seamless tube applications as well as railway wheels.

The new continuous casting machine is enlarging the product range of Vizag Steel by introducing round bloom sections of 410 and 450 millimeters in diameter in addition to the 200 millimeters square sections. The smoothly commissioned casting machine encom­passes all technological features required to produce steel grades for highest quality demands, including a submerged pouring system with electro-mechanical stopper flow control system, hydraulic mold oscillation, mold and final electromagnetic stirrers as well as a product marking system.

The state-of-the-art Level 1 and Level 2 automation systems ensure efficient operation of the continuous casting machine with minimized personnel requirements, while controlling and monitoring all required process parameters and capturing all key product data for digital production and quality tracking.

With this new state-of-the-art equipment, Vizag Steels will be able to further strengthen its position in the Special Bar Quality (SBQ) market.

“Thanks to the very successful cooperation with SMS Concast, we now operate a continuous casting machine of the latest technology specifically designed to meet our high quality standards,” says Mr. P.C. Mohapatra – Director (Projects) at Vizag Steels.


Source: SMS Group

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Successful Modernization of AOD Converter at SěAH CSS

Reduced maintenance costs thanks to SMS group torque retainer on AOD converter tilt drive

The 100-ton AOD converter at the SěAH CSS stainless steel mill in Changwon, South Korea, was successfully re-commissioned in March 2018, after installation of an electro-hydraulic torque retainer from SMS group.

The purpose of the modernization was to minimize the destructive forces acting on the gears, bearings and converter car during gas injection.

The scope of supply of SMS group comprised an electro-hydraulic torque retainer including electrical equipment and automation systems as well as the supervision of erection and commissioning.

The installation of the torque retainer was performed during a scheduled maintenance standstill and completed within ten days, including cold and hot commissioning. Hot commissioning even took place two days ahead of schedule under regular production conditions. The guaranteed values were fully reached. Thanks to the new electro-hydraulic torque retainer from SMS group, the dynamic loads on the entire converter equipment have been significantly reduced. This is the result of the successful cooperation between the teams from SěAH and SMS group.

Seungheon Lee, General Manager Steelmaking Facility Team: “The new torque retainer from SMS group has significantly reduced the vibrations of the AOD converter. We experience the benefits of this modernization every day. Maintenance costs will be reduced significantly. We are very satisfied.”

SěAH Changwon Integrated Special Steel produces stainless steel, tool steel and carbon steel at a production volume of 1.2 million tons per year. The produced high-tech steel grades are used in a wide range of applications, for example in vehicles, machinery, aircrafts, nuclear power plants, shipbuilding and electronics.

AOD Converter with/without torque retainer
Vibrations of the AOD converter measured over time. Left: without torque retainer, right: with SMS group torque retainer.

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

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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

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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

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Tangshan orders two continuous galvanizing lines from Primetals Technologies

  • Continuous galvanizing lines will expand cold rolling mill supplied by Primetals Technologies
  • Production capacity of high-strength metal sheeting to be increased by 650,000 metric tons per annum
  • Processed grades produced for use in the automotive industry
  • Special aluminum-silicon coating technology package to be installed

Tangshan Iron and Steel Group Co. Ltd., a Chinese steel producer, has awarded Primetals Technologies an order to supply two continuous galvanizing lines to expand cold rolling mill no. 2 at its Tangshan plant in Hebei Province. This will increase the production capacity for high-strength, coated metal sheets by 650,000 metric tons per annum. The sheets will mainly be used by the automotive industry. Continuous galvanizing lines nos. 5 and 6 will be constructed in a new hall alongside the existing cold rolling mill. This was also supplied by Primetals Technologies, and has been in production since the beginning of 2015. The two new continuous galvanizing lines are scheduled to come into operation in 2017. A special aluminum-silicon coating technology package will be implemented on one line.

Tangshan Iron and Steel is part of the Hebei Iron and Steel Group. With an annual production of around 47 million metric tons in 2014, it is the largest steel producer in China. Cold rolling mill no. 2 comprises a coupled tandem pickling line, a continuous annealing line and a galvanizing line. The mill has an annual capacity of 1.8 million metric tons of high-strength cold strip, and also produces high-quality steels for the Chinese automotive industry. The two galvanizing lines now ordered from Primetals Technologies are part of the second expansion stage intended to create production capacities for these high-quality steel grades. The lines will process not only grades for vehicle body parts but also aluminum-coated hot-forming steel.

Primetals Technologies is responsible for the engineering, manufacturing and supply of the mechanical, electrical and process technology equipment for the lines. Galvanizing line no. 5 will have a capacity of some 250,000 metric tons per annum. It will process cold strip in widths ranging from 850 to 1,300 millimeters, and thicknesses from 0.18 to 1.5 millimeters. Galvanizing line no. 6 will be able to galvanize 400,000 metric tons of cold strip per annum in widths ranging from 850 to 1,600 millimeters, and thicknesses from 0.5 to 3 millimeters. There will also be the possibility of coating the cold strip with an aluminum-silicon alloy. The new lines will be integrated into the existing quality control system of the cold rolling mill plant. Primetals Technologies will also supervise the assembly and commissioning of the lines.

The existing galvanizing line supplied by Primetals Technologies in the cold rolling mill of Tangshan Iron and Steel Group Co. Ltd. The company has now ordered two further lines.

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