Optimum performance and mandrelless transfer upgrade using Hatch Coilbox™

Increased performance in flatness and gauge control with Achieva control systems

Metal coating system engineered to optimize accuracy, reliability, and quality

1500+ IRTC course graduates from 215 companies in 45 countries

Challenges

In a constantly changing metals market, there will always be the need for ongoing investment in production processes to remain competitive. We understand this and support the downstream steel, aluminium, copper, and copper alloy sectors, with growth often associated with value-added products, such as new steel products, automotive coated products, rolled foil products, and more.

With the steadily increasing demand for higher quality and lower production costs, flat metal producers look to technological advancements to gain a competitive advantage. As they evaluate opportunities to improve existing production, producers face several operational and financial challenges:

  • Ensuring a genuine return on capital investments through minimizing capital and operating expenditures on new or upgraded equipment.
  • Developing new products with a wider range of intermediate and finished product sizes.
  • Ensuring minimal disruption to existing production with reduced shut-down schedules.
  • Utilizing accurate computer models and software tools for processes, such as rolling and coating, to promote the highest, most reliable operation and best-quality finished products.
  • Seeking higher process reliability and consistency through selection and use of rugged equipment and systems to handle harsh environments and various product mill conditions.
  • Relying on a changing workforce with limited experience and process knowledge.
  • Expanding rolling mill product range for new ultra-high strength material without major capital spending.
  • Building in enough flexibility to allow operator intervention to take place if needed, complementing the automatic processes.
  • Training new workers and enhancing engineers' and technicians’ knowledge and understanding of their systems and processes.
  • Having a positive impact on society and the environment.
  • Finding new innovations to increase performance.
  • Seeking partners to develop new products and implement production processes.

We can help.

We are experienced in brownfield and greenfield developments, including: casting, rolling; strip processing; and coating and finishing. Our services include full design and supply of equipment and Level 1 and Level 2 process automation systems; process analysis and debottlenecking; production, scheduling, and planning tools; new plant and modernization studies; plant and performance audits; training (remote or on-site); process modeling; and cross-the-board optimization.

Solutions

Our downstream technology includes the following solutions:

Metal coating equipment and coating mass control solutions

Through the use of robust air knives, precise positioning equipment, and an integrated Achieva Coating Control model and software, our coating system for continuous galvanizing lines combines both air knife position and pressure control to achieve a consistent metal coating thickness, resulting in excellent product quality and reduced coating metal usage. In addition to features such as tool-less equipment changeout and built-in calibration, we offer advanced technologies, including the Achieva Passline Shift Compensation (PSC) system and Target Optimization software, to maximize your coating line performance.

Achieva Rolling Mill Automation

With Achieva Automation software on the Allen-Bradley ControlLogix and Siemens S7 platforms, sophisticated model-based algorithms are used for: control of strip shape in cold mills and flatness in hot mills; more accurate predictions of roll bending and work-roll side-shift references; and tighter control of the elongation needed to create material properties or strip-surface finishes. Solutions can be provided with additional tools, including high speed data logging, data historian, scheduling and analysis software. Also, our Force Feed Forward (FFF) system for hot mills provides head-end gauge improvements, gauge control, and reduced tail-end tears with a measurable reduction in the number of width rejects.

Coilbox™ technology

Hatch Coilbox™ systems now lead the class with their fourth generation design. With the highest operating performance level in the industry, the Hatch Coilbox™ design has been installed in many steel mills. The design for retrofits provides minimal foundation changes to convert existing coilboxes to mandrelless coil transfer. The retrofits improve utilization, performance, and maintenance.

The control system for new and upgraded Hatch Coilboxes™ provides improved reliability, higher operational performance, and operator flexibility. Our auditing and troubleshooting services for existing coil boxes can identify improvement opportunities that can optimize your processes and operations.

Electrolytic MacroEtcher

The Electrolytic MacroEtcher was developed to overcome the high temperature, slow process, and safety concerns associated with hot acid etching that is typically employed for macrostructural evaluation of steels. Through an automatic process controlled by a microcomputer, the MacroEtcher uses an electrically activated chemical reaction using cold and diluted hydrochloric acid to selectively etch sample surfaces in a controlled manner providing excellent etch uniformity. Our design reduces both the process time and acid usage to 10% of typical levels, while also greatly reducing labor requirements and fume generation.

Auditing and training, including the International Rolling Technology Course (IRTC)

Maximize your line’s performance by enhancing your operations, maintenance, and productions teams’ knowledge and skills. We offer flexible training opportunities based on many years of process and equipment design knowledge. Options include in-depth classroom-based training, such as the International Rolling Technology Course (IRTC) seminars, and custom training seminars, including remote online and advanced self-paced training modules.

We also offer auditing services and performance reviews of existing coating lines and mills, to help understand existing capabilities and costs, and identify benefits that could be provided through new equipment installation and upgrades to existing assets.

Benefits

  • We design and supply new equipment packages, while also offering partial equipment and control system upgrades and custom modifications, commissioning, and operational support services.
  • Our coating solution couples the Achieva coating control system to the precise set-up and positioning accuracy of the pot equipment to maximize performance, consistently delivering high-quality product while reducing metal coating usage. The control system can also be incorporated on coating lines with existing pot equipment to provide a step change in performance.
  • Simple Coilbox™ upgrades can improve reliability and performance, while upgrades to the mandrelless transfer design improves quality, maintenance, and operations.
  • The Achieva Rolling Mill Automation system offers a multifaceted solution that delivers world-class results, such as: mill set-up models for actuator references; integrated mill activities reporting; controlled strip shape and flatness; control of elongation or roll force; monitored tilt control and mill level; and more.
  • Our team can help troubleshoot your existing operations, mill, or production line and provide root cause analyses of problems.

The stability of the mill likewise manifests itself in the lower cobble rate in the finishing train which is currently at 0.05% … The looper behavior is much more stable when working with the FFF mode of AGC rather than the BISRA mode.

Andres Vigliocco | Ternium Siderar, Argentina

This is my second IRTC in 15 years—a very powerful course. There is something for everyone (equipment supplier, mill manager, mill operator) with hands-on computer tutorials and discussion groups that help you to understand the various mill processes and control information presented by the very experienced lecturers. A great chance to interface with others in the metals industry.

John Wallace | Butech Bliss, USA

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Siddhartha Sengupta

COVID-19 impact on steel commodity markets

Siddhartha Sengupta
In the previous years, there were those that said the worst crisis in the steel industry happened during the financial crisis of 2009. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging that long-held view.
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