The seven-figure investment this required is paying off: The modernization of the BeTa site in Dortmund ensures higher quality and more flexibility in steel production at thyssenkrupp Steel – one of the world’s largest producers in the steel industry. “Now we are back at the cutting edge in the pickling line,” says team leader Björn Brüne. “Together with the reconstruction work we performed on the tandem mill, we can now pickle and roll a much wider range of materials.”
Steel of uniform grades
Customers, too, benefit from this modernization as they get products with tighter and more uniform tolerances from the company. Brüne says of the process: “The pickled surface is cleaner across the entire strip, despite reduced acid consumption and shorter cycle times.” In short: Thanks to the new automation, customer requirements can be implemented quickly, cleanly, and individually.
Heightened safety for steel production
But this investment wasn’t just about steel quality. “Of course, as part of the conversion of the 130-meter long line, we also made sure that the units meet the latest safety requirements,” says Brüne. As a result, the concept behind steel sheet processing was fundamentally changed: The five pickling tanks are now made entirely of plastic. In addition, the steel substructure and the stacking containers, as well as the pumps and heat exchangers were replaced. The site was further equipped with new electrical and automation technology, and the welding machine, the coil transport, and the acid protection in the loop accumulator were refurbished.
Steel for the automotive industry
In the course of modernizing the facility, the water extinguishing system also had to be renewed. “The modification of our BeTa plant allows a more flexible operation of the unit and significantly enhances the quality of the products,” says Dr. Andreas Igelbüscher, team coordinator in the cold rolling mill. “This represents a clear added value for our customers.” The site mainly produces flat steel for car manufacturers and automotive suppliers.
This modernization helps to secure the future of the 45-year-old facility for the production of high-quality steel sheet. Previously, the hot strip pickling line at thyssenkrupp's southern Duisburg location was modernized in early 2017, bringing another facility for the production of high-strength steel sheet up to date.