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MPT International

A major project featured in MPT International’s first issue of 2019 is being completed for Nucor Steel Gallatin (pp. 20-26). Danieli has been contracted to revamp the hot strip plant in Ghent, Kentucky, USA, with its Quality Strip Production (QSP®) technology. Danieli’s team worked together with Nucor for more than a year to find the best solution. It is the first time a classical compact thin slab casting and rolling facility has been fully reconfigured into an ultra-modern plant.

QSP is designed to work with thicker slabs (up to 130 mm) than other thin slab technologies. This makes it possible to increase production levels up to 3 million t/year with only one casting strand, and produce the highest range of grades using the controlled metallurgical technology. In short, Danieli has supplied the most productive caster ever installed. The first slab is due in September 2020, and the first rolled coil in November of that year. Product quality will also be significantly increased.

According to Paolo Losso, president of Danieli corporation, the plant operates on a “totally different level to serve a highly demanding market.” Other key factors of the benchmark plant include its Industry 4.0 features – e.g., mechatronic technologies and a new meltshop that is “the most modern one in the USA,” according to Danieli.

It will be worth keeping an eye on the anticipated benefits at Nucor Steel Gallatin. Not least because such optimized processes can better protect operators during periods of market uncertainty, as evidenced in ArcelorMittal’s recent announcement (p. 7). The company, which produces about 6% of the world’s steel, is temporarily reducing its annualized European primary steelmaking production by 3 million t.

ArcelorMittal attributes its decision to weakening demand and rising imports, coupled with insufficient European Union (EU) trade protection. While the EU faces a deteriorating trade environment and, of course, doubts over Brexit, steel demand in the USA should continue its growth (as seen in 2017-18) but at a slower rate with the waning effect of fiscal stimulus and a monetary policy normalization, reports the World Steel Association (worldsteel, pp. 18-19).

The advancements at Nucor Steel Gallatin, such as the plant’s aspiration to achieve zero downtime through predictive operations, should bear testament to how technological innovations and effective production planning can help steelmakers remain strong in these uncertain times.

Read in this issue:

Hot rolling
Nucor Steel Tuscaloosa selects Primetals Technologies for plate mill upgrades
The upgrades to Nucor’s plate mill in Alabama, USA, will include a new Power Coiler and Level 1 automation system upgrade. The supplied equipment will enable Nucor to produce heavier line pipe gauges. Completion is scheduled for 2020.

Automation
Reduced handling with a new reel hole fixation robot from Tebulo
After a successful feasibility study, Tebulo Industrial Robotics from Warmenhuizen, North Holland, has engineered a new reel hole fixation robot for the steel industry. The new technology can improve the cold coiling of steels with certain material thicknesses.

Project management
Radical Lead Time Reduction (RLTR) method could halve the construction times of large-scale plants
When building large-scale plants, traditional forward planning methods can negatively impact both time and costs. Instead, maexpartners of Germany has devised a unique RLTR method which, according to the company, can shorten construction times by 40-50%.

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