Germany’s leading steelmaker Thyssenkrupp Steel has completed a new state-of-the-art walking beam furnace at the Duisburg site in German. The most important advantage of the new unit is a further improvement in the surface quality of premium sheet, such as that required for the outer panels of cars. The new furnace also sets standards in energy consumption and energy efficiency. The new unit was installed by Tenova LOI Thermprocess, the international technology leader for heat treatment processes. Overall dimensions of the furnace: 80 meter long and 20 meter wide Overall dimensions of the heating surface: 54 meter long and 11 meter wide Total weight: 6,700 tonnes Capacity: Approximately 300 slabs per day With the new walking beam furnace, avoiding surface defects starts right from when the slabs are reheated. Only walking beam furnaces are able to move slabs gently through the furnace by means of a lifting and lowering device, without damaging the underside surface of the slab. This virtually eliminates underside damage, and the slab spacing also ensures more homogeneous slab heating. In conventional pusher furnaces, on the other hand, the slabs are pushed through the furnace to be reheated for the rolling process, which can result in scratches. Thanks to the new walking beam furnace, the high and increasingly demanding quality requirements of the automotive industry can continue to be met in the future. Hot strip mill 2 at the Duisburg location is one of the biggest and most modern plants of its kind in Europe. With a capacity of around 5 million tonnes, it mainly serves the European automotive industry with quality flat steels for various applications. The investment volume of this first project to be completed under Strategy 20-30 is in the mid double-digit million range. The Steel Strategy 20-30 focuses on the targeted optimization of the production network and a systematic alignment of the product portfolio to future markets and profitable steel grades. These include, for example, multiphase steels, lightweight steels and grades with high surface quality, as well as steels for electric mobility.