Jiangsu ChangBao Precision Steel Tube Co., Ltd based in Changzhou in Jiangsu Province, China, has awarded SMS group the contract to supply a new, state-of-the-art PQF® (Premium Quality Finishing) seamless tube plant and related automation. Particular highlights of the scope of supply include various performance modules and a KR I 35/45 CNC groove dressing machine. This highly automated plant will enable ChangBao to meet the growing demand for precise, high-strength tubes on the local market.

The PQF® ordered will be used to produce tubes within a diameter range of up to 6 5/8 inches and wall thicknesses of between 4 and 20 millimeters. Its annual capacity is 300,000 tons of tubes. These are used in oil and gas production (OCTG tubes) and must satisfy very high quality and tolerance requirements in accordance with API standards.

With the BCO-type PQF® plant (Bilateral Change-Over), the stands are changed at both sides of the mill. The compact, easily accessible construction enhances the user-friendliness of the plant. The drive is simpler in design and is easier to service. In addition, the hydraulic capsules (hydraulic adjustment) are positively connected to the mill frame. This ensures the rolling forces are distributed symmetrically over the mill, resulting in a further significant improvement in wall thickness variations. This increases both the efficiency and flexibility of the mill.

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The order also includes the full automation of the machinery and plant sections, as well as state-of-the-art laser technology for measuring the wall thicknesses downstream of the PQF®and the stretch reducing mill (SRM). What’s more, the CaliView® measuring system developed by SMS group allows for fast, inline calibration of all rolling mills, and so guarantees the perfect alignment of the mill line over a period of time. A networked, CNC-based groove dressing machine (KR) for high-precision machining of the SRM stands will also be supplied.

The use of LASUS® technology means the otherwise commonly applied radioactive isotope measuring technique can be replaced by a safe laser technology, which is extremely environmentally friendly to operate and ensures monitor control with the PQF®-SecControl-Technology® as well as front and tail end sharpening in real time with the FTS system.

Any yield losses are minimized using the latest modules in the CARTANEO technology system. The well-known functions CEC (Crop End Control for reducing thick ends), WTCA (Wall Thickness Control, Average), and WTCL (Wall Thickness Control, Local) have been significantly improved thanks to self-learning algorithms (Artificial Intelligence, or AI).

With this investment ChangBao is banking on ultra-modern, highly stable tube production. The lower material stress allows the product range to be extended to include even thinner-walled dimensions and higher-alloy steel grades. The high level of digitalization of all equipment was what convinced the customer to be well equipped for the future.

The new seamless tube plant is scheduled to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2020.

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 14,000 employees who generate worldwide sales of about EUR 3 billion. The sole owner of the holding company SMS GmbH is the Familie Weiss Foundation.

Source: SMS Group