The contract to supply an annealing and pickling line to Belgium-based Aperam has been given to the German plant builder SMS group.

The new line – the fourth SMS group has supplied to Aperam’s Genk site – is destined for the company’s Genk plant and production is scheduled to start in 2020.

According to SMS group, Aperam intends to enlarge its stainless steel strip product range by material grades (both austenitic and ferritic) for the most demanding applications and improve lead time and flexibility to meet market demand.

The equipment being supplied to Aperam is described by SMS group as ‘state-of-the-art and future-oriented plant technology’. The aim is to increase efficiency and cost competitiveness and enhance the impacts on health, safety and environment.

SMS group argues that the line will stand out because of its high degree of automation and resource-saving processes. In addition to a horizontal Drever annealing furnace and a multi-stage pickling section, there is also a four-high skin-pass mill stand and side trimmer.

Technical support during installation and commissioning will also be provided by SMS group.