30 million euro investment completed – New continuous blooming line successfully put into operation

16 March 2016

In spite of difficult competitive conditions, Saarstahl AG is adhering to its strategic investments. A further milestone has now also been completed in the rolling mill in Völklingen.

Here, a 30 million-euro, ultra-modern, so-called continuous blooming line with seven rolling stands in succession has replaced the old blooming stand. Martin Baues, Chief Technical Officer of Saarstahl AG stated, “We are thus increasing our manufacturing know-how so as also to be able to meet our customer's wishes with regard to quality and flexibility optimally in the future”. The new system is impressive since it offers a broader range of cross-sections for rolling, further improved quality and shorter cycle times.    

After the investment had been approved by the Supervisory Board at Saarstahl (see the press release of 6th June 2014), work on the rolling train began in April 2015. In order to prevent any production losses, the construction measures were carried out while production was running. For this purpose, a “construction site bypass” was set up meaning that specially installed turntables and roller tables guided the billets coming out of the furnace around the construction site to the existing blooming stand. Parallel to this, the foundations for the horizontal and vertical stands of the new system were laid and the media cellar and pump room were completed. Finally, the mechanical and electrical components were installed. The total driving power of the new continuous blooming mill is 11,000 kW. Initial tests carried out in January 2016 ran smoothly and the system was officially put into operation at the beginning of March.

The huge feat of having a major construction site with production running without restrictions was well worth it. On advantage of the new system is that technical progress is achieved in rolling: the greater rolling calibres and better guidance of the billets during rolling improve the mechanical properties and the surface quality of the finish-rolled bar steel yet again. The increased degree of automation in the control technology permits considerably shorter cycle times, faster product changes and therefore increased rolling performance.

With this investment, Saarstahl is reinforcing the business segment of massively formed parts such as crankshafts and drive shafts, wheel hubs, piston pins or other gear components are used foremost in plant construction and vehicle manufacturing and are characterized by their constantly decreasing weights as well as high energy and material efficiency.

The picture shows the seven rolling stands of the roughing mill in a vertical arrangement (4 easily visible drives from above, yellow) and in between 3 horizontal drives. The hot billet (left) will be further processed.