Sidenor Aceros Especiales S.L. (Sidenor) is the biggest special steel producer in Spain and one of the largest in Europe, as well as being a leader in the European steel industry for the production of special steel long products and one of the main producers of forged and cast pieces. It is also an important supplier of cold finished products in the European market.
The company has production plants throughout Spain, in the Basque Country, Cantabria and Catalonia. Steel production capacity is around one million tonnes per year, destined mainly for the manufacture of components for the automotive, machines and capital equipment, shipbuilding, civil engineering, defense, energy, mining and petrochemical sectors.
In addition, Sidenor has one of the largest R & D centers in the steel industry in Europe; it pursues technological developments to help optimize processes and products in its own facilities as well as in those of customers.
The Sidenor Basauri works were for a long time the hub of modernization ideas within the company but following the 2008 economic crisis, all projects were halted and Sidenor had to wait for recovery of its markets.
Eventually it was decided, in order to strengthen competitiveness in the market, to carry out a substantial project aimed at developing new high added-value products based on a commitment to the highest standards concerning tolerances and surface quality.
Part of the major investment goes into the rolling mill at the company’s Basauri works. The existing reheating furnace capacity is to be extended from 80 t/h to 130 t/h. Furthermore, a new Reducing & Sizing Block (RSB) will be installed downstream of the current 2-high sizing system, whilst the whole cooling bed and finishing area will be replaced by a new cooling bed, two new abrasive saws and a new finishing area. This all comes with an upgrade of the existing Level 2 system.
The entire project is in the hands of one main Spanish contractor who will take care of the EPC element and supply selected key equipment, as well as handling everything to do with electrics and automation.
Without a doubt, the new KOCKS RSB is one of the highlights of the modernization project. The RSB 435/5 is based on the newest 5.0 generation and includes all of the most modern features available, while also covering Sidenor’s complete size range from 20mm to 120mm diameter.
The remote control (RC) ensures fast size changes and provides great flexibility. The Size Control System (SCS) works in a closed loop with the new light section profile gauge, the 4D EAGLE, to ensure closest and constant tolerances. On top of all these features, the RSB is equipped with an extremely nimble stand-changing system as well as a fast roll-changing concept to be installed in the new roll shop area where the setup of the new 3-roll stands and guides takes place offline during production.
While similar RSBs have been installed in recent years in countries with a strong automotive industry such as Japan and the US, the new KOCKS 3-roll block is the first of its kind in Europe.
Clearly, an RSB with this size range opens up great possibilities for the company. Today, no other company in Europe is able to produce a comparable size range, with exemplary flexibility and ensuring best quality, with one 3-roll sizing block.
The new rolling mill concept furthermore makes provision for the future installation of the most modern thermo-mechanical rolling process. Thanks to the outstanding reduction capabilities of the RSB 435++/5, a wide range of low-temperature-rolled dimensions is possible.
The project execution foresees completion by the end of 2020 in several modernization steps.
Whenever a modernization process takes place in an existing plant, the logistics to be considered for a successful execution are extensive and challenging.
However, careful planning, moderate milestones, a reliable supplier team and great cooperation with the Sidenor engineers will ensure project implementation is achieved smoothly, successfully and on time.
This project sees the first RSB 435++ of this generation to be installed in Europe. The wide finishing range of precision rolled rounds from 20mm to 120mm diameter is unique in Europe and will open up market opportunities which can be fed with maximum flexibility and best quality to the most exacting delivery times.
The numerous cutting-edge features included with the newest RSB 5.0 are absolutely in line with today’s Industry 4.0 production philosophy. As a key supplier for rolling mill technology in the field of quality steel, the KOCKS goal is to promote the development of new products with creativity and innovation, to integrate them in their portfolio and to improve their existing products by implementing new ideas.