425th anniversary of Saarstahl in Neunkirchen
30 million Euro investment presented on Customer Day
28 September 2018
Approximately 200 customers from all over the world were invited to the Customer Day marking the 425th anniversary of the company's founding. It was a successful anniversary celebration for Saarstahl Neunkirchen on September 27th 2018. The focus of the event: the 30 million Euro investment of the modernization of rolling mill 32. The guests got an impressive view of the new high-performance rolling mill at the Saarstahl Neunkirchen plant during lectures, discussions and tours of the site.
Saarland State Premier Tobias Hans was also impressed: “Saarstahl has continuously invested in its equipment in recent years. Rolling mill 32 is a successful example of this. Thanks to the high-performance capabilities of both rolling mills 31 and 32, the highly automated preparation of semifinished products and further processing, adapted specifically to customer requirements, Neunkirchen can today count itself among the world's leading manufacturers of long products, especially for the automotive sector. As a result, the Saarstahl plant in Neunkirchen offers an impressive combination of centuries-old tradition and state-of-the-art production.”
Largest single investment
The modernization of rolling mill 32 is the largest single investment at the Saarstahl site in Neunkirchen since 1991, consisting primarily of the redesign of the high-speed section mill - a project of high technical complexity that also had to be implemented during ongoing production. The latest rolling and cooling technologies have been implemented. This leads to an increase in productivity by accelerating the rolling speed, but first and foremost to a further improvement in the quality parameters with regards to the precision, strength and uniformity of the microstructure.
“The new technology we have now installed enables the manufacture of materials with significantly enhanced properties. For example our customers will in the future be able to use less material for the same application, which means Saarstahl will make a significant contribution to weight reduction in automotive engineering. This will also benefit the environment, since less material also means fewer carbon emissions at the same time,” explains Dr. Klaus Richter, Sales Director at Saarstahl AG. Cold-heading grades, spring steel and free-cutting steel are rolled on the newly modernized line 32. This results in superior quality for screws, fasteners, turned parts and axle springs. In addition, a new 5.5 million Euro high-bay warehouse was built at the beginning of 2018 with 600 compartments, enabling protective storage and flexible transport of the coated wire rod. “This investment further increases the efficiency of our plants and is therefore an advantage for our future and the future of our customers. We benefit here from the knowledge our employees have developed and further enhanced over 425 years," Richter said at the Customer Day opening ceremony.
A Neunkirchen innovation: the Loop
The more than 400-year history of Saarstahl’s Neunkirchen plant is rich with technical innovations by gifted Neunkirchen engineers. One example of a more recent milestone is the “Loop,” which was first conceived in Neunkirchen and has since been copied worldwide. Rolling mill 32 was upgraded for thermomechanical rolling in 1992. This process, which was new at the time, significantly reduced the time required for heat treatment. The problem: the distance between the line’s scaffolding poles was too narrow; there was simply not enough space. After a great deal of tinkering, the solution was found: a 106-meter-long cooling section in the form of – a loop – that crossed over itself. Thermomechanical rolling enables an effective cooling of the wire rod. With the latest modernization, rolling mill 32 has achieved its next quantum leap, enabling Neunkirchen steel to rein a highly sought-after product worldwide.
The Saarstahl plant in Neunkirchen produces around 950,000 tons of rolled products annually with the two rolling mills 31 and 32. About 70 percent of the volume goes to the automotive sector, where it is used for transmission and engine parts, fasteners, vehicle springs and rolling bearings. Other customer industries include machine manufacturing and the electrical industry.
About the Saarstahl Group:
The name Saarstahl has long stood for high-quality, customer-specific steel solutions. The Saarstahl Group, headquartered in Völklingen, Germany, specializes in the manufacture of wire rod, bar steel, semifinished products and forged products in premium qualities. With innovative products and intelligent technologies, Saarstahl is helping find solutions for global challenges like mobility, energy efficiency and safety. Saarstahl products are in demand by the automotive and construction industries, the power engineering industry, the aerospace industry, by general machine manufacturing and other steel processing industries, and they are used in applications that may be subjected to the most extreme conditions.