Swiss steelmaker AFV Beltrame Stahl Gerlafingen has recently contracted Primetals Technologies to upgrade its wire rod mill in Gerlafingen, a city in the canton of Solothurn, located in the north-western part of Switzerland. The scope of supply includes an Intelligent Pinch Roll and High Speed Laying Head. This equipment will improve production performance by ensuring uniform packaging of the coils. By improving coil packaging, the reheating furnace can be fully utilized, and the overall coil can be shortened for ease of transportation. The startup of the new high speed pinch roll and laying head assemblies is expected for summer 2023.The wire rod mill produces 600,000 tonnes of coils per year while the bar outlet has an annual capacity of 80,000 tonnes of bars. Both machines are fed from the same roughing and intermediate mill train. The upgrades will lower the vibration levels, which will result in reduced wear. AFV Beltrame Stahl Gerlafingen will also achieve better control of the tail ends and front-end positioning.New AC motors will be supplied for the pinch roll and laying head. The motors are controlled by high performance low voltage variable frequency drives with an active front end rectifier. Technological control will be realized with a Simatic S7-1500 PLC controller.Stahl Gerlafingen is part of the larger AFV Beltrame group, Europe’s leading producer of merchant bars. The largest producer of recycled steel in Switzerland, Stahl Gerlafingen primarily produces rebars for domestic and international markets.