ArcelorMittal SA Vanderbijlpark FFF System Design and Supply

World-class thickness tolerances with highest mill stability

ArcelorMittal South Africa – Vanderbijlpark | South Africa | 2001–2002

Over 98%

thickness tolerances within ¼ of ASTM A568M standard

No change

to finishing mill equipment


mill-stability improvements for rolling thin steel


  • ArcelorMittal wanted to improve the quality and reliability of hot band steel from its wide hot-strip mill in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa.
  • Clients in automotive, pipe-making mills and other specialized industries needed tighter thickness tolerances from the hot rolled steel.
  • The finishing mills had older, screw-down systems driven by electric motors and looper systems. Automatic gauge-control (AGC) upgrading solutions were evaluated based on performance, installation schedule, and capital expenditure.


  • With high performance comparable to best-in-class AGC systems, the Hatch Fast Feed Forward (FFF) system provided the best value to this ArcelorMittal SA hot strip mill.
  • This low capital expenditure had a short implementation time, so no mill shutdown was needed.
  • This maintenance-free AGC system adapts to mill conditions continuously, so it eliminated the need to change any finishing-mill equipment.
  • The FFF system is able to switch between the old AGC and the existing one with a simple operator desk switch.


  • Performance of the hot-strip-mill gauge improved from thickness tolerances in the mid-80% range and less, to over 98% of thickness tolerances within the ¼ ASTM A568M standard.
  • There were noticeable mill-stability improvements, with thinner steel able to be rolled with minimal amounts of operator intervention.
  • Instances of torn tails were reduced by over 40%.
  • A complete turnkey system, it was installed without any interruption in mill operation.
  • The complete project was delivered on schedule within 12 months.

"I feel positive about the system. It is the right way to go for a mill like ours."

Alfred Reid | Level 2 Engineer, ArcelorMittal Steel Vanderbijlpark Works, South Africa

Project numbers

  • 98% of product fell within ¼ of ASTM A568M standard-thickness tolerance.
  • 40% reduction in torn tails
  • 12-month implementation

Services & technologies provided

Iron and Steel

Technology Development

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