Siemens to Modernize Rolling Mills

Source: 1/4/2011, Location: Europe

The Siemens Industry Solutions Division has received an order from Bohler Edelstahl GmbH & Co KG, Kapfenberg, an Austrian special steel maker, to install new drive and automation equipment on the continuous rolling mill in the multiline rolling mill and the plate rolling stand of the blooming mill. The goals of the modernization project are to reduce energy and media consumption, widen the range of products, and improve their quality still further. The order has a value of several million euros, and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011.

Bohler Edelstahl's multiline rolling mill in Kapfenberg has been in operation since 1988, at which time it was one of the world's most modern plants. Siemens will install a digital control system with Simatic S7-400 programmable logic controllers to bring the automation in the plant up to the state of the art. A “RollMaster” specially developed for long product rolling mills will handle the generation and management of the pass schedules. This software is the link between the production planning system and the plant automation.

The existing hydraulic drive trains will be replaced by controlled, water-cooled three-phase asynchronous motors, including gearboxes, couplings and cardan shafts. The drives will be fed by frequency converters from the Sinamics product family, configured as multi-motor drives. This will facilitate precise, highly dynamic control of the rolling stands and enable Bohler Edelstahl to extend its range of products and further improve their quality.

The elimination of the hydraulic systems will reduce the cost of maintenance and increase plant availability which, in turn, will also increase the productivity of the rolling lines. The energy requirement will fall by many thousands of megawatt hours per annum, and the consumption of hydraulic oil and cooling water will also fall substantially.

Siemens will also renew the auxiliary drives on the continuous rolling mill, and the uninterruptible power supply (UPS). The scope of the modernization project also includes equipping the plate rolling stand of the blooming mill with a new 3.3 megawatt main drive. All the products and systems used will be drawn from the Siroll LR solution platform for long-product rolling mills. Siemens will also be responsible for the installation of all the electrical systems and the commissioning of the rolling lines.

Bohler Edelstahl GmbH & Co KG is one of the world's most important producers of high-speed steel, tool steel and special materials. The multiline rolling mill produces bar, round and flat steels, as well as wire. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of B?hler Uddeholm AG, Vienna, and has thus been a part of voestalpine AG since 2008.

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