Tata Steel has commissioned FIMI to supply a high-performance levelling and cut-to-length line with an automated packaging system designed for high-strength strip steels.
Work has begun on the installation of a new state-of-the-art, high-performance levelling and cut-to-length line with automated packaging at Tata Steel Nederland’s Maastrict service centre in Feijen. Tata has commissioned FIMI to supply the equipment in preparation for increasing future demand for abrasion-resistant and high-strength premium steels – particularly in the construction, mining and agriculture markets. A new decoiling line means that these steels can be processed quicker and more accurately to a wider window and in a more sustainable way. The finished plates will be delivered to customers in Germany, Eastern Europe, the Benelux markets, the UK and to the Nordic region. Commissioning of the new decoiler – also supplied by FIMI – is scheduled for mid-2024.
The commissioning of a new line means that high-tensile coils will be processed faster and with greater accuracy, according to Tata Steel. In addition, the line will be capable of handling particularly demanding challenges across a wide variety of products; it will process coils weighing up to 40 tonnes and a yield strength of up to 1600 N/mm², with the highest hardness levels available, in widths of up to 2150 mm and thicknesses ranging from 1.5 mm to 13 mm, running up to 40 m/min, making it the most powerful line designed and produced by FIMI for the processing of ultra-high tensile and yield strength material at high thicknesses. The end result, says Tata, will be a very high plate quality and the ability to meet the increasing technical requirements of future steel grades. The end-products processed by the line will have high flatness levels of less than 3 mm/m, to very tight dimensional tolerances (less than ± 2.5 mm up to 12,000 mm sheet length).
The premium steel products processed at Feijen include abrasion-resistant Valast® 450 – used in agricultural and construction equipment, tippers and trailers – ultra-high strength steels (UHSS) including Tata’s Ympress® range from S700 to S1100 and higher, and Boron-Manganese (MnB5) steels for applications in farming equipment, for example.
"With this real powerhouse we are ideally positioned for the increasing demands on high-strength premium steels of the future and can grow in our target markets. We aim to continue to meet these market expectations in the future as technical requirements for steel processing continue to rise."Stig Eriksen, general manager of the Service Centre Maastricht in Feijen.
A high finished plate quality will be possible thanks to the power of the new line, but also by a number of automated features, which makes the process more sustainable. The line will be highly automated facilitating high productivity in a very safe manner, says Tata. The automated functions and applications include: automated loading and threading, automated robot destrapping unit and automated thickness and dimensional measurement.
The new decoiling line will include three levellers, by which coil entry can be fully automated with no physical contact, ensuring operator safety. The brushing process for steel strip descaling includes intelligent extraction and filter system to minimise particulate emissions inside and outside the building. Camera-based in-line measurement technology will allow fully automated control of surface quality and plate dimensions. Two stacking stations will allow non-stop operations with a sheet-to-sheet stacking accuracy of 2mm. In addition there will be automated sheet weighing and labelling. Furthermore, advanced stacking technology includes an airbag system for noise reduction and shock absorption ensuring noise emissions are reduced to a maximum of 85 dB when the sheets are stacked on top of each other.
Coils with particularly high tensile strength will be processed and packaged quicker and in a more sustainable way at the Feijen Service Centre. As a result, Tata will be able to offer customers in agriculture, construction and mining equipment the high quality service they expect and will need in the future while they continue to push the boundaries of steel properties in their applications.
FIMI has developed a high-tech levelling process for high-strength carbon steel, based on using all the levellers installed on the line. It is claimed that the system guarantees a progressive, efficient levelling performance from entry to exit of the line and minimises the load on each single leveller. Set-up and distribution of torque between the levellers is fully automated.
Stig Eriksen, general manager of the Service Centre Maastricht in Feijen, commented: “Our demanding customers in agriculture, construction and mining equipment have been working with us for years because we always deliver the consistently high quality they expect. With this real powerhouse we are ideally positioned for the increasing demands on high-strength premium steels of the future and can grow in our target markets. We aim to continue to meet these market expectations in the future as technical requirements for steel processing continue to rise."
“Tata Steel chose FIMI after assessing various potential equipment suppliers. We can meet the technical requirements as well as the performance and quality levels demanded by Tata Steel in the best possible way."Maddalena Aime, FIMI sales director.
FIMI's patented TDDS® (Torque Dynamic Distribution System) is a key factor for levelling ultra-high yield strength materials and is based on the application of special slip couplings on each exit shaft of the drive unit distributor as connecting elements to the shafts which transmit the movement to the levelling rolls.
The entire investment is part of Tata’s strategic investment programme in Europe and the Netherlands, which aims to better position the company to meet future growth in demand for quality steels. The investment programme includes elements of the entire production chain, from casting and the hot strip mill and includes the cold mill, galvanising lines and the steel packaging plant. In 2021 Tata Steel commissioned a new continuous caster at its Ijmuiden facility.
FIMI sales director, Maddalena Aime, commented: “Tata Steel chose FIMI after assessing various potential equipment suppliers. We can meet the technical requirements as well as the performance and quality levels demanded by Tata Steel in the best possible way. Trustworthiness, competence, references and know-how play a decisive role in this. The new levelling and cut-to-length line is an ultra-modern line, designed not only for the present but also for the future. It is capable of processing ultra-high strength material not yet available on the market."