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.
At the Maastricht Service Centre in Feijen, Netherlands, a subsidiary of Tata Steel Nederland, work has begun on the installation of a new state-of-the-art, high-performance levelling and cut to length line with automated packaging. This is part of Tata Steel’s plans to prepare for increasing future demand for abrasion-resistant and high-strength premium steels, particularly in the markets for equipment in construction, mining and agriculture.
Thanks to the new decoiling line, these steels can be processed quicker, 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. The commissioning of the new decoiler, supplied by FIMI, is scheduled for mid-2024.
With the commissioning of this new line, high-tensile coils will be able to be processed even faster and with greater accuracy. In addition, the line will be capable of handling particularly demanding challenges across a wide variety of products: for example, 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 from 1.5 mm up to 13 mm, running up to 40 m/min.
This will make it the most powerful line designed and produced by FIMI for processing ultra-high tensile and yield strength material at high thicknesses.
The result 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 products processed at Feijen include the abrasion-resistant steel Valast® 450 - used in agricultural and construction equipment, tippers and trailers – ultra-high strength steels (UHSS) including Tata Steel’s Ympress® range from S700 to S1100 and higher, and Boron-Manganese (MnB5) steels for applications in farming equipment, for example.
The high finished plate quality will be possible thanks to the power of the new line, but also by a number of automated features, which make the process more sustainable. The new line will be highly automated facilitating high productivity in a very safe manner. The automated functions and applications include: automated loading and threading, an 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 the safety of the operators.
The brushing process for descaling the steel strip includes intelligent extraction and filter system to minimise particulate emissions both 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 2 mm. In addition there will be automated sheet weighing and labelling. Further, the 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.
Thanks to the high performance of the decoiling line and the automation of many of its processing steps, coils with particularly high tensile strength will also be processed and packaged more quickly and in a more sustainable way at Feijen Service Centre. As a result, Tata Steel will be able to offer its customers in agriculture, construction and mining equipment the high quality service they expect and will need in the future while they continue to push boundaries of steel properties in their applications.
At the heart of the line will be FIMI’s levelling technology: FIMI has developed a high-tech levelling process specifically for high-strength carbon steel material, based on utilising all the levellers installed on the line. This system, due to a combination of bending and tension stress on the strip, guarantees a progressive, very efficient levelling performance from the entry to the exit of the line and minimises the load on each single leveller. The set-up and distribution of torque between the levellers is fully automated.
The key factor for levelling ultra-high yield strength materials is FIMI's patented TDDS® (Torque Dynamic Distribution System), which 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 new levelling and cut to length line investment, supplied by equipment brand FIMI, is part of Tata Steel'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, stretching from to steel casting and the hot strip mill and includes the cold mill, galvanising lines and the steel packaging plant. For example, in 2021 Tata Steel commissioned a new continuous caster at the IJmuiden plant.
Stig Eriksen, General Manager of the Service Centre Maastricht in Feijen, says the new decoiling line is of crucial importance: “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."
Maddalena Aime, FIMI Sales Manager, said: “Thanks to its many years of experience in levelling and processing high-strength material, Tata Steel chose FIMI after assessing various potential equipment suppliers. We are able to 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."
FIMI Group specialises in the design, construction and commissioning of plants and machineries for coil processing. FIMI Machinery is the division that deals with the construction of machinery for the processing of a wide range of ferrous and non-ferrous materials. In almost 60 years of business, the company has installed more than 1,500 plants worldwide.
About Tata Steel Nederland
Tata Steel Nederland is one of Europe’s leading steel producers. The company supplies high-quality steel products to the most demanding markets, including construction, automotive, packaging and engineering. Tata Steel Nederland works with customers to develop new steel products that give them a competitive edge. Tata Steel Nederland has sites in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and elsewhere in Europe and is part of the Indian Tata Steel Group, one of the world’s largest steel companies. Tata Steel Nederland recorded a turnover of 4.3 billion euros in the financial year ending 31 March, 2021. Tata Steel Nederland is working on producing steel with zero carbon emissions by 2050. It will do so by switching to producing steel by using hydrogen instead of coal.
Tata Steel: Service Centre Maastricht
Service Centre Maastricht is part of Tata Steel Nederland and consists of two sites: Multisteel and Feijen. Multisteel specialises in steel coils in the thinner gauge segment, such as cold-rolled and galvanised steels, while Feijen processes hot-rolled coils. Both sites mainly process steel coils originating from the Tata Steel plant in IJmuiden, the Netherlands.