Electric and power supply company GE Power Conversion was selected by diversified industrial group Thyssenkrupp Steel to modernise the drive and automation system of the Downcoiler 3 and side guides in the Bochum hot rolling mill – with a project volume of over €1.5-million.
The plant is one of Thyssenkrupp Steel’s most efficient hot rolling mills in terms of rolling force and drive power.
Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe is one of the world’s leading suppliers of carbon steel flat products. With about 27 000 employees, the company supplies high-quality steel products for innovative and demanding applications in a range of sectors. The company’s product and service range includes customised material solutions and steel-related services. With a production volume of around 11-million tons a year of crude steel, Thyssenkrupp Steel is Germany’s biggest flat steel producer.
The upgrades provided by GE Power Conversion will secure the productivity of the hot rolling mill as well as the future spare parts and service availability. GE Power Conversion has extensive experience in modernising and revamping drives for steel mills and was awarded the contract owing to its good handling of drive and automation projects in recent years and the successful connection to internal, formerly AEG, Converteam legacy systems.
The project will be realised in three steps. The first step will start this month, when the drive converters of the Downcoiler 3 will be replaced by modern types with higher safety standards. Subsequently, in October this year, the control system of the side guides for the entire downcoiling section will be replaced. Finally, in February next year, the modernisation of the Downcoiler 3 set up and control system will be completed.
The special feature of hot rolling mills is that the downcoiling section detects the incoming material every two minutes at a very high speed of up to 12 m/s. If this fails, hot scrap is produced that must be removed with several hours of downtime. This failure damages up to four other semi-finished products that are in the production process.
It also means that production is delayed. The modernisation by GE Power Conversion will help to significantly reduce this problem, as the new system operates at a much higher productivity level owing to 24/7 availability, allowing faults to be rectified quickly.
“Thyssenkrupp Steel is a visionary player and produces high-quality steel as an innovation driver and essential material for numerous industries – including those that are relevant for a successful climate change. “We are proud to be able to support the modernisation of their plants,” says GE Power Conversion Germany GM Jörg Nuttelmann.
GE Power Conversion and Thyssenkrupp Steel already have a long-standing partnership, which started with the beginnings of Thyssenkrupp’s steel production in the late 1960s. Thanks to this long business relationship, GE Power Conversion has already been able to successfully implement various projects at the Bochum site.