SMS Siemag successfully commissions continuous slab caster at Puyang Steel

SMS Siemag Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd, China,
(www.sms-siemag.com) has successfully put a continuous caster for medium-sized slabs into operation at the Wuan City works of Hebei Puyang Iron and Steel Co., Ltd. (Puyang Steel), China.

Puyang Steel is extending its slab production to include above all high grades, such as peritectic, microalloyed and high-strength steels, high-carbon and boron-alloyed steels, high-quality steels and pipeline grades.

The single-strand continuous slab caster is designed for a yearly production of 1.2 million tons of slabs with thicknesses between 150 and 180 millimeters and widths between 1,000 and 2,300 millimeters. The caster has been prepared for a future retrofit to twin-strand casting (two narrow slabs simultaneously in one strand).

The supply of the continuous casting plant included the complete plant and process technology, as well as X-Pact® electrical and automation systems complete with the technological process models (level 2). The caster is equipped with the technological process models Mold Monitoring System (MMS), Hydraulic Mold Oscillator (HMO), Remote Adjustable Mold (RAM) and dynamic soft reduction. The technology packages make it possible to cast the large variety of steel grades and ensure the manufacture of slabs with high surface and internal quality.

The continuous slab caster was installed in an existing building (brown field). The existing crane systems were retained. Due to the building situation, SMS did not plan a ladle turret, but instead developed a tailor-made ladle car concept. The containment zone has a very small main radius of only 6.5 meters.

The good cooperation with the customer was characterized by straightforwardness, few interfaces and efficient communication.

All this resulted in a steep start-up curve. Already on the fifth production day, 50 heats were cast in one sequence.

“The cooperation with SMS was very positive. The technical know-how impressed us. This was a very good basis for implementing our wishes and demands. This was done in a highly flexible and above all economical way,” says Dr. Cao Liguo, Vice President of Puyang Steel.

Puyang Steel is one of China’s leading private steel makers.

Source: SMS Siemag AG

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NEW IMPETUS FOR COMPLIANCE WITH ANTI POLLUTION MEASURES IN CHINA

The Chinese authorities are, at last, exerting pressure on the steel and other polluting sectors to comply with regulations to improve air and water quality. For too long, they have turned a blind eye to malpractices.

Several factors have forced those responsible for enforcing the rules to be more proactive. The recent meeting, in Beijing, of world leaders prompted the authorities to take action to limit air pollution in the city. This involved the temporary closure of several of the worst offenders, including a number of steel plants.

This brought the problem into focus and led to an intensive campaign on the internet about the need for stricter compliance to regulations on pollution. We understand that the videos have now been withdrawn but, as a result of the extensive publicity and interest generated in the subject, we expect more adherence to the rules in the future.

It is difficult for companies in the heavy industries to be involved in significant expenditure on pollution control because it adds to the cost of the manufacturing process. However, investment is a necessity. Most industrial companies in the developed and emerging nations have been required to observe the regulations for many years.

It is not satisfactory for the Chinese authorities to put regulations in place and then be slow to insist on companies observing them. Now that there is more awareness of the problem, more pressure is likely to be placed on adherence to the rules to minimise pollution in all its forms. This is not specifically a steel industry problem. It applies to many industrial sectors and power generation.

Source: MEPS China Steel Review – March Edition

EVRAZ North America Announces $200 Million Investment in Regina Facility

Regina, Sask. (March 31, 2015) – EVRAZ North America announced today that it will make its largest single investment – approximately $200 million – at its Regina, Sask., facility. Premier of Saskatchewan Brad Wall, Saskatchewan Minister of the Economy Bill Boyd, Regina Mayor Michael Fougere, EVRAZ and Enbridge executives, and local dignitar-ies participated in the announcement event.

“This investment will secure our position as the highest quality, lowest cost integrated producer of large diameter pipe in North America,” said Conrad Winkler, EVRAZ North America President and CEO. “We greatly appreciate the Government of Saskatchewan’s role in working with us on issues facing primary steel production, in helping to create a favourable business environment, and in providing an important tax incentive for new investment in the recent provincial budget. It also allows EVRAZ to provide stability and long-term viability for more than 1,000 employees at the Regina mill as we continue to meet increasingly stringent industry standards and supply our customers with 100% ‘Made in Canada’ pipe.”

“Not only did the budget avoid any tax increases, we also wanted to provide an incentive for new job creation in export manufacturing and processing and so we are very pleased to see EVRAZ respond to these revenue neutral incentives with a $200 million invest-ment that will create about 40 new jobs,” said Premier Brad Wall.

Spanning the next two years the investment, which is being entirely funded by EVRAZ North America, will include installation of a new two-step large diameter line pipe mill (primarily from assets recently purchased from United Spiral Pipe LLC). It will enable the production of larger, thicker-wall pipe and increase annual production capacity by over 100,000 tons. EVRAZ is also making state-of-the-art upgrades in steelmaking including degassing and the ability to make larger steel slab sizes. Additionally, the power and size of its rolling mill will be increased to make thicker, wider steel coils.

EVRAZ and Enbridge also announced that the two companies will partner on a joint re-search and development program to enhance pipeline performance. Along with industry and academic institutions, EVRAZ and Enbridge will help drive continuous improvement with the ultimate aim of optimizing industry-wide safety and reliability.

“EVRAZ has the largest pipe Research and Development Centre in North America and it has played an important role in Canadian steel advances since 1982,” Winkler said. “Now we will combine our experience with that of Enbridge to further augment the per-formance of large diameter pipe.”

“The pipe we put in the ground is at the heart of our business. Over the next three years, we’ll build more than $22 billion of pipelines to open new markets for Canadian produc-ers – that requires certainty of the highest quality steel, available when it’s needed. EVRAZ is a proven partner and we’ve built a long term relationship on our shared com-2 / 2

mitment to making safety and quality the highest priorities, and to investing in communi-ties,” said Al Monaco, President and CEO, Enbridge Inc. “Today’s announcement is a great example of the economic benefits energy infrastructure projects create along the energy value chain and in communities.”

Large diameter line pipe is integral to oil and natural gas distribution, and EVRAZ has produced more than 51,000 kilometres (32,000 miles) of project pipe from millions of tons of recycled metal over its 59 years in Regina. The Regina site and its employees currently contribute about $30 million per year to the federal and provincial economy in direct taxes. EVRAZ also creates another $600 million per year in economic benefit through the purchase of raw materials, goods and services.

Source:  EVRAZ

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JAPAN STEEL MARKET ROUNDUP FROM MEPS INTERNATIONAL LTD

Japanese steel prices decreased, month-on-month, in March according to MEPS. Hot rolled coil suppliers were forced to concede a 3.3 percent cut during negotiations. Overseas business remained competitive.

Large tonnages of imported commodity grade plate continued to keep the lid on selling values. Sales to the construction industry were weak, amidst economic gloom. However, building activity is expected to improve soon. Shipbuilding demand was healthier.

Cold rolled coil producers failed to hold March’s transaction numbers at the previous month’s level, due to keen competition from suppliers elsewhere in the Asian region and shrinking demand from the automakers. However, inventories of cold rolled coil are slowly being reduced in the general market.

Auto output fell by almost 10 percent in January, year-on-year, thus reducing steel requirements from that sector. Orders for coated material from the building industry are also depressed. Imports of hot dipped galvanised coil continued to pose problems for local steelmakers who offered discounts to try to stimulate sales.

Wire rod steel prices moved lower as a result of lower scrap costs. Market values for medium sections and beams were reduced. Inventories at the distributors grew in February by 3.3 percent compared with the previous month.

Rebar transaction numbers posted another decline in March as a result of cheaper scrap and lacklustre sales. Japanese buyers secured further reductions for merchant bar during recent settlements. Weakening sales in the building industry, surplus stocks and cheaper raw materials contributed to the fall.

Source: MEPS International Steel Review – March Issue

Yasuda Metal Industries orders HybrEx extrusion press from SMS Meer

Yasuda Metal Industries, based in Osaka, Japan, has placed an order with SMS Meer for an extrusion press of type HybrEx 14. Yasuda intends to use the press, which can attain a maximum force of 14.5 MN, to produce light-metal sections for windows and facades.

HybrEx is the latest generation of extrusion presses from SMS Meer. In photo: The HybrEx 25. Yasuda Metals has ordered the machine in the version with 14.5 MN maximum press force.
It is capable of processing billets of up to 800 millimeters in length and has a capacity of around 5,000 tons per year. Thanks to the drive technology used in the HybrEx 14, energy savings of up to 55 percent can be achieved compared to conventional presses.

The HybrEx press developed by SMS Meer uses its hydraulic system solely to generate the forming forces required for manufacturing semi-finished long products, with only the auxiliary movements of the extrusion press produced by dynamic, electric servo drives. Compared to the drives used in conventional presses, these drive systems can reach twice the speed, i.e. 1,000 millimeters per second. A reduced non-productive time of just one second means production can be increased by up to 100 tons per year.

In terms of its hydraulic drive, the HybrEx also offers significant operating cost savings. Key factors here include, in particular, the new press cylinder with integrated prefill chamber as well as the air-tight tank with degassing unit. The press is equipped with the new OxiStop technology. The air portion in the oil is thus reduced from ten percent to around one percent, which in turn has a positive influence on the service life of the pumps, valves and other wearing parts. Compared to conventional presses the tank volume is up to 90 percent smaller.

Speaking of the investment in this new extrusion press, Tatsuaki Yasuda, President and Owner of Yasuda Metal Industries, commented: “What convinced me was the basic idea of not just achieving energy savings of up to 55 percent, but also of increasing productivity by up to 20 percent. With this new HybrEx 14 we are keeping our business consistently focused on the future.”

The press is to be brought into service in the third quarter of 2016.

Source: SMS Meer GmbH

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Primetals Technologies to modernize rolling mill drives for AMAG rolling in Austria

  • New drive technology to increase availability
  • Short conversion time minimizes plant shutdown

Primetals Technologies has won an order from AMAG rolling GmbH, located in Ranshofen, Austria, to modernize the entire drive technology on its four-high hot rolling stand. The project includes the supply of the motors, converters and converter transformers, as well as couplings, disk brakes, mechanical adaptations and spare parts. Primetals Technologies is responsible for the layout, engineering, project management and training of the operator’s personnel, and will also handle the dismounting, installation and commissioning of the components. The purpose of the project is to increase plant availability. The modernization is scheduled to take place during a brief plant shutdown at the end of 2015.

AMAG rolling GmbH is a globally active manufacturer of high-quality rolled aluminum products. The company belongs to the Austrian AMAG Group. It is one of the leading premium suppliers of high-quality cast and rolled aluminum products, which are used in a wide range of industries, such as the aircraft, automotive, sports equipment, lighting, mechanical engineering, construction and packaging industries.

Primetals Technologies is implementing a solution for the four-high hot rolling stand that is based on a front motor/rear motor arrangement for the stand, as well as individual motors for the coilers and uncoilers. Sinamics Active Front End converters feed the rugged, water-cooled induction motors. A Sinamics SM150 converter drives the two 3.3 kV rolling motors, each of which has a power of 3,300 kW and a speed ranging from 240 to 600 rpm. Sinamics S120 converters drive the 690 V coiler motors, each of which has a power of 950 kW and a speed ranging from 330 to 1,200 rpm, as well as the driver motors and trimming shear. The new drive technology will replace the existing Siemens DC infeeds and third-party DC motors. The conversion and commissioning is scheduled to take place during a brief plant shutdown at the end of 2015.

Strip production at AMAG rolling GmbH in Ranshofen, Austria. Primetals Technologies is going to modernize the entire drive technology of the four-high hot rolling stand (photo: AMAG rolling GmbH)

Source: Primetals Technologies, Limited

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