thyssenkrupp Steel puts together largest investment package in 20 years
thyssenkrupp Steel puts together largest investment package in 20 years
By investing a high three-digit million euro sum, thyssenkrupp Steel is setting the course for the modernization of its production network at the Duisburg, Bochum, Dortmund and Andernach sites. The aim is to achieve higher-performance products, increased flexibility and greater customer proximity.
With this investment package, thyssenkrupp Steel is underpinning its claim to technology and quality leadership, and strengthening its position in the European market:
The expansion of the existing lines will go hand in hand with increased production capacity, which enhances delivery and schedule reliability.
The modernizations are part of the company's 20-30 strategy, which aims to focus more on profitable and growing markets arising, for example, from the energy turnaround and advancing electric mobility.
The focus is on high-quality steel grades which are required, among other things, for efficient electric mobility solutions in the area of motors and generators: powercore® Traction, for example. Products from the premium surfaces segment such as ZM Ecoprotect® and dual-phase steels, which are required above all for lightweight automotive construction in structural components and for crash-relevant components in the automotive sector, also continue to be of great importance.
The new and rebuilt facilities will enable thyssenkrupp Steel to optimally meet the changing needs of the market, e.g. demand for tighter tolerances as well as thinner and wider products. In principle, the investments in the production sites make an important contribution to the targeted climate-neutral steel production – and thus to the current transformation of thyssenkrupp Steel in general.
Continuous casting line 4 & hot strip mill 4
At the Duisburg site, the existing casting rolling mill will be converted into a continuous casting line with downstream hot strip mill. The project is the largest single construction measure within the investment package. Completion and integration are planned for 2024. The modernization will allow the casting and rolling capacities of the line to be increased and the capacity utilization of the upstream steel mill to be improved. In addition, process-optimized plant technology based on Industry 4.0 solutions allows the portfolio of ultra high-strength steels and premium surfaces to be expanded. Customers can expect significant improvements in quality, more flexible slab production, and sustained positive effects on their schedule and supply security.
Continuous casting line 3
A new continuous caster is planned for Duisburg-Bruckhausen. It replaces continuous casting line 1 and will offer, among other things, significant metallurgical advantages which will be reflected for customers above all in increased productivity and improved surface qualities. The new line is planned to be completed in 2024.
Walking beam furnace 5
In September 2022. the first slab passed through the new walking beam furnace in Duisburg hot strip mill 2. Since then, the state-of-the-art unit has been bringing up to 300 slabs per day to a uniform specified rolling temperature, in an energy-efficient manner, over an area of 54 meters. Different heating zones allow variable temperature control – in this way, the slabs can be provided in advance with special material properties. In addition, because the solid steel blocks are carried through the furnace and not pushed, as opposed to the previous technology, process-related scratches on the underside can be almost completely eliminated.
Impressions of the walking beam furnace
Slab storage yard
thyssenkrupp Steel has ordered a fully automated slab storage yard from Italian plant manufacturer Danieli & C. Officine Meccaniche for a mid-double-digit million euro sum. The most significant special feature of this project is its intelligent logistics control. This enables the real-time synchronization of around 1.7 million metric tons of slabs per year. Some of this is used directly from the continuous caster in the new hot-strip mill 4, or also fed from the new walking beam furnaces. In addition, there are plans for the installation of a warehouse management system which calculates the distribution of the slabs from various sources in real time and optimizes all crane movements.
In addition to the optimum usage of the 19,200 square meter slab storage facility, another advantage lies in improved operational safety, as there will in future be no need for personnel on the ground. The Danieli company is providing four fully automated slab cranes and taking on the construction and installation of the entire steel structure.
Completion is scheduled in two phases: In the first phase, four cranes and crane runways will be commissioned by the end of 2022/beginning of 2023. In the second phase the entire storage facility, including two holding furnaces, will be commissioned by the middle of 2023.
Double reversing stand
On Essener Strasse in Bochum, thyssenkrupp Steel is driving forward the expansion of its plant into a center of excellence for electric mobility. An important milestone was reached with the laying of the foundation stone for a new double reversing stand in October 2022. In the future, this unit, in which thyssenkrupp Steel has invested around 100 million euros, will be used to produce high-quality, non-grain-oriented electrical steel for use in high-efficiency electric drives. The trend towards ever thinner and highly silicized materials places particularly high demands on cold-rolling technology. The new rolling stand is capable of rolling particularly thin materials by means of an arbitrarily controllable number of forward and backward rolling operations – reversing, in other words. The DRG will be put to the test in January 2024, running around the clock for four weeks.
Annealing and isolating line
The Bochum site will receive a newly built annealing and insulation line. The foundation stone was laid in March 2023. The modern and energy-efficient unit will in particular expand capabilities in the production of non-grain-oriented electrical steel in such a way that rising demand for thinner and highly silicified materials can be met in the best possible way. The ramp-up phase of the annealing and isolating line will begin in April 2024, and should be completed about six months later. With the expansion of its Bochum site, thyssenkrupp Steel is helping its customers in the automotive industry meet the growing demand for electric vehicles: More than 220,000 of the new cars registered in Germany in the first half of 2023 were electric cars.
Hot-dip coating line 10
With the startup of the new hot-dip coating line (FBA 10) thyssenkrupp Steel has opened another chapter in the history of the future at its Dortmund location. The line, which is one of the most modern of its kind in the world, serves the increased demand for premium surfaces in wider dimensions. The line, which is around 350 meters long and up to 65 meters high, will in future produce materials for vehicle interior parts and outer panel applications in established hot-dip galvanizing as well as on a highly innovative zinc-magnesium basis, which allows both material and cost savings and is sustainable thanks to its low application thickness. The automotive industry in particular will benefit from the expanded production capacities of up to 600,000 metric tons of steel per year for hot-dip coated premium products from the new FBA 10.
Impressions from the FBA 10
Coating line 13
In fall 2022 thyssenkrupp Rasselstein will start production of special chromium-plated packaging steel at the new coating line 13. The line uses innovative Trivalent Chromium Coating Technology (TCCT®) which is based on chromium(III) in the manufacturing process instead of the chromium(VI) previously used. Thus, the product manufactured on the line fully complies with the requirements of the EU REACH Regulation. The special chromium-plated packaging steel is typically used for the production of lids and bottoms for pet food cans, crown corks, printing ink cans and valve disks. The new coating line also enables the chrome-plating of even wider and thinner sheets.
Impressions from the VA 13
Head of Public & Media Relations, thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG