On October 30, 2023, thyssenkrupp Steel, in partnership with Primetals Technologies, inaugurated a new 2-stand reversing cold mill at its plant in Bochum, Germany. The mill aims to produce harder, thinner steel, particularly for electric vehicle motors, despite challenges like the pandemic and the Ukraine conflict affecting its construction.
thyssenkrupp Steel and Primetals Technologies have unveiled a revolutionary 2-stand reversing cold mill in Bochum, Germany. Celebrated with an inauguration ceremony on October 30, 2023, the event highlighted the new era in steel manufacturing, targeting electromobility and high-strength steel markets.
Heike Denecke-Arnold, Chief Operations Officer at thyssenkrupp Steel, expressed the company's ambitious goals. "We are focusing on producing even thinner and stronger sheets to increase the energy efficiency and the range of electric motors," she said. The partnership aims to raise the bar for steel quality, while also focusing on energy-efficient solutions.
The journey to complete this mill was not without its challenges. Both the ongoing pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine impacted supply chains and delivery schedules. However, thanks to strategic project management and effective communication, the project met its milestones. It took a mere six months to complete the mill, including its electrical and automation systems.
The mill features state-of-the-art technology that allows it to produce steel as thin as 0.2 millimeters. But its capabilities are not limited to thin steel; it can also handle heavier gauges that meet the highest strength requirements. Advanced automation solutions and highly skilled operators drive these intricate processes.
According to Hans-Jürgen Zeiher, Head of Electrics and Automation at Primetals Technologies, the need for advanced high-strength steel grades in electric vehicles is projected to skyrocket in the coming decades. "This mill ensures thyssenkrupp Steel is well-prepared to deliver the type of steel required in electric vehicles," he said.
The choice to collaborate with Primetals Technologies was influenced by several factors. One of them was Primetals Technologies' strong market presence, especially in Asia. Their Hyper UCM technology further distinguishes the mill, offering flexibility that can prevent common cracking at the edges of the steel strip.
Automation solutions provided by Primetals Technologies help in optimizing the rolling process. Features like coiler run-out compensation, roll eccentricity, and main drive utilization are integrated into the mill's Level 2 automation system. These features, combined with high-powered tension reels and other technologies, allow for higher reduction levels compared to traditional cold mills.
The inauguration of the 2-stand reversing cold mill marks a significant milestone for both thyssenkrupp Steel and Primetals Technologies. Despite numerous challenges, their collaboration has resulted in a state-of-the-art facility that promises to meet the rising demand for high-quality, energy-efficient steel, particularly in the electric vehicle market. It's a game-changing move that sets a new standard in the steel industry.