Steel maker banks on automated casting technologies

Manufacturer of long steel products, Saarstahl, has ordered a five-strand billet caster for its steel plant in Saarland, Germany.


The German steel maker has ordered an automated five-strand billet caster for its steel plant in Völklingen – image courtesy of Saarstahl.

The new casting plant is going to be designed for an annual capacity of 850,000 tons of billets; and the start of operation is planned for the third quarter of 2019, according to Saarstahl.

The new SMS Concast casting machine – to be named S1 – will produce 180mm x 180mm square billets in a wide range of steel grades, including bearing steels, spring steels, cold heading wire rod and free-cutting steels.

Products made of these steel grades are used in the automotive industry and in mechanical engineering applications.

The S1 continuous casting machine will reportedly come equipped with modern equipment such as Convex molds, hydraulic mold oscillator, electromagnetic mold and strand stirrers, mechanical soft reduction and modern automation and communication technology according to Industry 4.0 standards.

Saarstahl is described as being the first steel producer worldwide to apply mechanical soft reduction in billet casting. The investment in a new caster is expected to further strengthen the company’s position in mechanical soft reduction technology.

Saarstahl has a longstanding business relationship with SMS Concast, going back to the year 2002 when SMS Concast supplied a first continuous caster to Saarstahl, followed by the supply of a second one in 2007.

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