Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI) of Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA, has awarded SMS group the contract for an expansion of SDI's merchant bar mill at the steelmaker's Roanoke Bar Division in Virginia.

The purpose of the upgrade is to integrate a new reheating furnace and a completely new finishing area into the facility, thereby strengthening the plant's market position and enabling SDI Roanoke to increase its rolled capacity from the current 500kt/yr to over 600kt/yr.

The supply package comprises a high capacity pusher-type reheating furnace designed to process 140 tons of billets per hour. These will be rolled into light sections and reinforcing bars in sizes from 12.7mm to 35.8mm, as well as corresponding round bars.

The new reheating furnace aims not only to increase productivity but also to significantly improve energy efficiency, with the adoption of a smart combustion management system. The heating process will be optimised by SMSPrometheus software and extra low digitally controlled NOx burners to reduce emissions. The furnace will be supplied complete with handling equipment to charge and discharge billets. According to SMS, a key factor in the selection of the full package is lean design, which will allow a swift tie-in with existing mill machines in a one-week shutdown.

The new rebar finishing package includes all the equipment needed from the outlet of the dividing shear up to the finishing area and comprises bar layer transfer devices, bar counter, lance-type bundler, electrical-type tying machines, bundle transfer and temporary storage devices. The lance-type bundler ensures high-quality bundle formation. The bundle length will vary from 6 metres to 18.3 metres and the weight can vary from one to five tons, maximising furnace capacity.

According to Tim Bradley, project manager with SDI Roanoke, “One of the most important advantages of the SMS group concept is a favourable design that utilises current floor space and minimises construction and installation costs. Paired with the short delivery time, we will reach our goals within the shortest possible time.”