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Modernization extends Wuhan Iron and Steel’s range of products: Siemens supplies main drives and new process automation for cold rolling mill


Linz, Austria, Siemens has received an order from Wuhan Iron and Steel (Group) Co. (Wisco), a Chinese steelmaker, to equip a coupled tandem pickling line in cold rolling mill no. 1 with energy-saving main drives. The Siroll CM process automation system will also be modernized. The order is worth several million euros. When the project is completed in September 2010, Wisco will also be able to produce high-strength steel grades in the plant.

Wuhan Iron and Steel (Group) Co. is located in Hubei Province in Central China. In 2008, it produced some 27 million tonnes of iron and steel, making it one of the country’s largest producers. In recent years, Wisco and Siemens have been working together on a number of modernization and capacity expansion projects. Siemens and Voestalpine Industrieanlagenbau had previously modernized the cold rolling line in cold rolling mill no. 1 and coupled it to the pickling line in 2001. The improvements to the automation and drive systems of cold rolling mill no. 1 under this latest modernization project will enable Wisco to extend its range of products to include high-strength grades of steel with yield limits of up to 470 MPa. This means the company can produce steels for high-quality applications, such as those required in the automotive industry.

The coupled tandem pickling line will be equipped with Simovert DC Master circulating-current-free drive systems. This will not only reduce energy consumption, but also increase the productivity of the plant. The faster response time of the new drive equipment will further improve the gauge control using the mass flow concept. Additional control loops will reduce disturbances in the rolling process.

The existing Siroll CM automation system will be brought into line with the latest state of the art. Modernization of the basic automation and the operator control and monitoring system only requires modification of some software modules. The process automation will be fitted with a new operating system and additional process models. These include roll eccentricity compensation (REC) for stands 2 to 4, and a threading-in control system for ultra-thin, especially hard or sensitive types of steel. The scope of supply is rounded off by new emergency operation functions for dealing with any disturbances in the plant. Major reasons behind the decision to award this order to Siemens were the excellent results Wisco had obtained during previous joint projects and Siemens’ ability to integrate the new process models and functions into the existing automation solution.

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The Siemens Industry Sector (Erlangen, Germany) is the world’s leading supplier of production, transportation, building and lighting technologies. With integrated automation technologies as well as comprehensive industry-specific solutions, Siemens increases the productivity, efficiency and flexibility of its customers in the fields of industry and infrastructure. The Sector consists of six Divisions: Building Technologies, Drive Technologies, Industry Automation, Industry Solutions, Mobility and Osram. With around 222,000 employees worldwide Siemens Industry posted in fiscal year 2008 a profit of EUR3.86 billion with revenues totaling EUR38 billion.

With the business activities of Siemens VAI Metals Technologies, (Linz, Austria), Siemens Water Technologies (Warrendale, Pa., U.S.A.), and Industrial Technologies, (Erlangen, Germany), the Siemens Industry Solutions Division (Erlangen, Germany) is one of the world’s leading solution and service providers for industrial and infrastructure facilities. Using its own products, systems and process technologies, Industry Solutions develops and builds plants for end customers, commissions them and provides support during their entire life cycle. With around 31,000 employees worldwide Siemens Industry Solutions achieved an order intake of EUR 8.415 billon in fiscal year 2008.

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