100 million euros investment at Saarstahl

Work to complete the new continuous casting system S1 is on schedule

20 February 2019

Since the middle of November 2017, construction work on the new continuous casting system S1 in the steel plant of Saarstahl has been running at full speed. The project represents a total investment of 100 million euros and requires that all tasks be coordinated with the greatest precision to ensure that the system can go into operation according to schedule at the end of 2019.

The new S1 is a five-strand circular arc system followed by a comprehensive soft reduction zone. In this zone, the strand in the semi-solid state is defined using upper and lower rolls thus improving the internal microstructure of the steel decisively.

Today, Martin Baues, Chief Technical Officer at Saarstahl, gave representatives of the media a rare look behind the scenes at the ongoing construction work: “This construction site is particularly challenging for us since the new continuous casting plant is the first system in the world designed with mechanical soft reduction (MSR) for casting formats of 180 mm x 180 mm and which is also equipped with the latest automation and communication technology. We are glad and proud that we are precisely on schedule with the construction work.”

The system will be erected in the location where the “old” S1 was decommissioned in 2010. After the dismantling work on the old system and work to build the functional building and in the area of the system pit, now assembly of the main components is being carried out i. e. the continuous casting machine itself and the turnover cooling bed as well as assembly of auxiliary aggregates and the infrastructure. To date, around 125 partner companies have worked on the construction site. Of these, around 70 % are based in the Saarland and in the surrounding area. At the same time, a maximum of around 200 people are working on the construction site at any one time and, in total, 800 people will have been involved in the completion of the project.

Martin Baues highlighted the concept and significance of the system saying, “We are equipping the new continuous casting system S1 with the latest automation and communication technology and we already took the approach of industry 4.0 into account in developing the concept. This will enable us to monitor the processes on the new system even better and to ensure a maximum in quality assurance. As a result, we will be able to manufacture steel solutions tailored to our customers individual requirements even more flexibly and faster in the future.”

Background information on the investment:

The company operates a total of four continuous casting systems in the steel plant. In the systems, the molten crude steel is cast into so-called billets. This primary material is then further processed in the rolling mills. The new, five-strand system with the short name S1 replaces the existing system. With this investment, Saarstahl is strengthening its position in the business fields of spring steel (e.g. chassis springs and coupling springs), cold-heading wire (e. g. for screws, threaded bolts) and free-cutting steel (e. g. for the manufacture of valves, injection elements); products which are primarily used in the automotive industry and in mechanical engineering.

Technical data for the continuous casting plant S1:

  • Format:                                       180 mm x 180 mm
  • Billet length:                                6 m to 13.5 m
  • Casting capacity:                         approx. 180 tonnes per hour
  • Billet output:                               approx. 60 billets per hour
  • Casting radius:                            approx.10 m
  • Number of strands:                      5 strands
  • Length of cooling bed:                 100 m

Environmental protection:

There will also be an investment here of 10 million euros in the environment (e.g. measures for noise reduction in the design of the system, closed water cooling circulation, reduction in the consumption of fresh water, water purification, etc.)

About the Saarstahl Group:

For many years now, the name Saarstahl has been a guarantee of high quality, customized solutions in steel. The Saarstahl group with its headquarters in Völklingen is specialized in the manufacture of wire rod, bar, semi-finished products and forged products in qualities to meet the highest demands. With innovative products and intelligent technologies, Saarstahl is making a contribution to finding the answers to global challenges such as mobility, energy efficiency and safety. Saarstahl products are in demand from the automotive and construction industries, energy engineering, the aviation and aerospace industry, from mechanical engineering and other steel processing industries and they are used in applications where, in some cases, they are subjected to the most extreme conditions.

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Ute Engel

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Impressions from the construction site of the new continuous casting system S1

Impressions from the construction site of the new continuous casting system S1