Automazioni Industriali Capitanio (AIC), a global system integrator providing advanced and tailored automation and robotic solutions for the steel industry, has completed the coil-handling modernisation of a wire rod rolling mill at Feralpi Siderurgica in Lonato in Italy.

The Feralpi Group a leading European manufacturer of steel products for the construction industry. Headed by Feralpi Holding SpA, the Group’s development plans have covered the acquisition of major companies in Italy and other European countries. The Group has a workforce of over 1,500 permanent employees across Europe and North Africa and produces over 2Mt/yr of steel and rolled products.

Besides a complete revamping of the wire rod finishing area with electrical and automation supply from laying head exit to coil management, AIC has covered the modernisation and installation of a new coil lowering station and the extension of the plant's coil handling area with a new trimming machine designed in accordance with an upgraded continuous process. The company was involved in the installation, supervision and commissioning phases within the project schedule, which completed in January this year.

The commissioning included:

• New power control panels with ABB drives for the management of the coil cooling conveyor, the laying head and coil handling area;

• Rockwell PLC and safety PLC cabinets, main and local control desks;

• New safety system with safety boxes, released keys and access control functions.

According to AIC, the coil-handling upgrade improves the safety of operators, optimises and increases production capacity and flexibility due to bespoke production of wire rod based on customer requirements.