NORDIC STEEL & MINING REVIEW 2016 This is the annual International issue of
No. 7, 2016
• Iron Ore Review 2016 • Metal Markets Survey • Stressometer Flatness Control – on a roll for 50 Years
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Content page photo: Downhole casing and production tubing in corrosion resistant alloys such as duplex stainless steels and nickel alloys. Thanks to Sandvik!
Iron Ore Review, 2016 2015 turned out to be a difficult year for the metals and mining sector
RX roller guide technology for long product rolling mills Balancing stock levels, product delivery times, mill productivity and cost control is not easy, especially in speciality steel long product mills
UTCAS boosts productivity at Outokumpu Avesta This system is an important way to further trim the operational and economic performance in steel making processes
Processing of wood in Steel Industrial Equipment Can wood be processed with steel industrial equipment? And why?
Stressometer flatness control – on a roll for 50 years Collaboration brings considerable rewards and increased profitability to rolling mills
Jernkontoret annals Communication on the circular economy, new handbook in English
Maintenance agreement has given Ovako good results Investment in a service contract with SKF shows very good results
Metal prices Better than expected, in fact it’s rather good
Cover photo: The taphole in a steel ladle is being cleaned with oxygen; Hofors, Gästrikland, 2015. Thanks to Ovako Sweden! Photo by Pia & Hans Nordlander.
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Iron Ore Review, 2016 2015 turned out to be a difficult year for the metals and mining sector in general and iron ore in particular. With lackluster recoveries in Europe, Japan and the United States, slowing demand from China and continued difficulties among emerging countries the industry ended up oversupplying most mined commodities with falling prices as a consequence. Iron ore prices decreased by around 40 per cent during 2015. Most base metals fell as zinc and copper and coal fell by around 20 per cent while nickel only recorded price falls of the same level of magnitude as iron ore.
STEEL MARKETS Although economic growth strengthened somewhat in developed countries in 2015, world crude steel production declined 2.9 per cent, compared with an increase of 1.3 per cent in 201. the decline was particularly severe in north America. For the ﬁrst time in decades china’s crude steel production declined and fell 2.3 per cent in 2015. this decline was primarily due to the shi in china’s economy away from a dominant focus on exports and investments to domestic, less steel-intensive consumption. According to the oecd, the world’s steelmaking capacity increased by 78 mt, from 1,893 mt to 2,371 mt between 2010 and 2015. meanwhile, steel production (according to the world steel Association) over the same period rose 190 mt from 1,33 mt to 1,623 mt. this suggests that the overcapacity has risen
from 60 mt in 2010 to 78 mt in 2015, a growth of almost 63 per cent (288 mt) over the ﬁve-year period. chinese exports increased its share of the world steel trade in 2015, driven by the growing gap between chinese steel production and use. while chinese exports grew 21 per cent in 2015, exports by the rest of the world declined 3 per cent. the surge in chinese exports is a source of concern to many other steel producers, and several countries have introduced trade measures against selected chinese steel products. in 2015, steel prices continued the downward trend started in 2011, with s&P global Platt’s world steel price declining 28 per cent over the year. the combination of weak demand, excess capacity and lower input prices – those of iron ore, coking coal, natural gas and oil have all declined – contributed
to the weak prices. However, prices turned upward in January 2016; the Platt’s world steel price rose 36 per cent during the ﬁrst ﬁve months of the year, bringing it back to the levels at the beginning of 2015. However, the price remains at less than half of the July 2008 peak. IRON ORE MARKET in 2015 the iron ore market shrunk for the ﬁrst time since 2009, following an increase in production of only 0.9 per cent in 201 the global output of iron ore declined 2.5 per cent to 2,015 mt in 2015. See Table 1. output increased in the two most important producing countries; Australia and Brazil, and declined elsewhere. Australia, which saw continued growth of 9 per cent in 2015, to 811 mt, is surging well ahead of Brazil, where output increased 5.8 per cent to 22 mt.
TABLE 1 – CORPORATE CONTROL IN SEABORNE TRADE OF IRON ORE, 2014–2015
Rank 2015 (2014) 1 (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 (6) 7 (7) 8 (9) 9 (8) 10 (11)
Controlling entity Vale BHP Billiton Rio Tinto Fortescue Anglo American CSN Hancock LKAB Mitsui Assmang
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Controlled share of total Seaborne trade (per cent) Country 2015 2014 Brazil 22.5 20.6 United Kingdom/Australia 20.1 18.8 United Kingdom 19.9 17.7 Australia 12.3 11.0 United Kingdom 3.8 3.2 Brazil 1.7 1.9 Australia 1.6 1.6 Sweden 1.6 1.6 Japan 1.6 1.6 Souh Africa 1.0 1.1
Asian production, which reached a peak in 2007 at 67 mt, has declined almost every year since, mainly due to shrinking output in china and india. in china, output (with chinese production converted to a standard 62 per cent Fe, an estimate based on imports and pig iron production) fell 38 per cent in 201 and 36 per cent in 2015, to 123 mt. in india, the trend may have turned, with production increasing slightly in both 201 and 2015 to 12.5 mt, although it is still well below the 2009 peak of 223.6 mt. in europe, including cis, production declined .6 per cent in 2015, to 235 mt. in Africa, production fell 25 per cent to 82 mt in 2015, mainly because of a large decline in sierra leone following the bankruptcy of its two main iron ore miners and a smaller decline in south Africa. the decline in chinese and indian production, together with the expansion in Australia, has led to a notable fall in the portion of world iron ore output accounted for by developing countries: from 55.2 per cent in 2012 to 3.5 per cent in 2015.
dependency has reached new heights of 88.5 per cent. At 951 mt, china accounted for two thirds of world imports in 2015.
supply of iron ore, particularly from the three largest producers (vale, rio tinto and BHP Billiton). together, these three companies added about 50 mt of production (mainly through minor expansions by rio tinto PELLETS global production of pellets in 2015 reaand vale) in 2015. the second factor was the ched 3.9 mt a decrease of . per cent slowdown in chinese demand. the chinese compared to 201. exports of pellets fell pig iron production, which is the best proxy slightly less at 1.3 per cent. for chinese iron ore use, was weak in 201 the share of pellets in total iron ore pro(up 0.8 per cent), and declined by 2.5 per duction has decreased since the late 1990s, cent in 2015. when it ranged from 26 to 27 per cent. over the the combination of these two factors expast several years, however, it has remained plains the rapid decline in global iron ore roughly stable, at 22–23 per cent (21.8 per prices since the end of 2013. market senticent in 2015). developments in recent years ment became increasingly bearish during have underlined the sensitivity of pellet dethe second half of 201 through 2015. An ilmand to world market conditions and prices. lustration of this change in sentiment is that forward iron ore prices, which held up relatively well in 201, declined more rapidly SEABORN IRON ORE TRADE in 2015, the seaborne iron ore trade increain 2015, particularly in march and April. sed 1 per cent to 1,360 mt. As in earlier the present low prices and lack of contango years, the increase was entirely due to higher would appear to indicate that the market chinese imports. does not expect a signiﬁcant change in the supply–demand balance in the short or medium term. the “domestic premium” in china, that is, the diﬀerence in IRON ORE price between locally TRADE the growth in global mined ore and importrade in recent years ted material, has narreﬂects the changed rowed in recent years. composition of prothis declining advanduction, with a consitage of domestic proderable increase in duction has chinese imports as a contributed to the result of closures of closure of more than domestic capacity in 250 mt of chinese the country. However, iron ore mining capaaer several years of city since 2011, of rapid growth in world which 50–75 mt has iron ore trade, global shut since early 2015. exports increased by the impact of the only 1.3 per cent in falling price of iron 2015. world total iron ore on producers has ore exports have albeen somewhat mitiGiven China’s importance in steel supply and demand, any assumptions concerning its performost doubled since gated by declining mance are crucial in determining global market conditions. Therefore, the successful reorientation 2005 and amounted operating and freight of Chinese growth is essential both to the health of the world economy and to continued steel demand growth. Chinese steel demand could retreat 2 per cent in 2016 and 2017, and to level out at to 1,38 mt in 2015. costs. zero growth in 2018. Australia has beneAll iron ore produﬁtted the most from cers and steel mills mine closures in china and its exports conIRON ORE PRICES have abandoned the benchmark pricing syiron ore prices reached a peak of over 180 tinued to increase, reaching 767 mt in 2015, stem, and the more ﬂexible index-based priUsd/t (62 per cent Fe cFr north china) in 7.0 per cent more than in 201. Brazilian excing system has now been widely accepted. early 2008 before collapsing during the gloport growth was however not far behind, rithe latter accounts for 80–90 per cent of bal ﬁnancial crisis. they recovered almost to sing 6.3 per cent in 2015, to 366 mt. south deals, with spot deals accounting for the retheir pre-crisis levels by mid-2011 but have Africa is now the third largest exporter with maining 10–20 per cent while annual prices since been in a ﬁve-year bear market. in de65 mt in 2015. india’s exports have declined have been almost completely abandoned. cember 2015, prices had fallen to around 0 precipitously from the 2009 peak of 117 mt, Both the steel and iron ore industry is graUsd/t, a level that had not been seen since to just over mt in 2015. this is the result dually coming to accept the need for active the benchmark prices. iron ore prices imof government policies, which have incluprice risk management and the use of futuproved substantially during the early ded export taxes on iron ore lumps and res markets. However recent sharp futures months of 2016, rising from below 0 ﬁnes, bans or caps on production in the staprice movements illustrate that these marUsd/t to almost 70 Usd/t in April, before tes of Karnataka, goa and orissa, and action kets are still relatively thinly traded and senfalling back to around 50 Usd/t in may but against illegal mining. sitive to shocks. has since been increasing slowly towards 80 china’s imports of iron ore increased 2.0 Usd/t in november 2016. per cent in 2015, following 13.8 per cent CORPORATE CONCENTRATION the main factor behind the fall in prices growth in 201. with rising imports and falcorporate concentration in the iron ore inwas the faster-than-expected increase in the ling domestic production, chinese import dustry increased in both 201 and 2015. the
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earlier trend of decreasing concentration among the largest producers, seen during the 2005–2008 period, was reversed in 2009. since then, industry concentration has increased steadily, and in 2015, the ten biggest producers accounted for 61.6 per cent of total production (60.8 per cent in 201). the ‘Big 3’ iron ore mining companies (vale, BHP Billiton and rio tinto) have also steadily increased their share of total world iron ore production from 36. per cent (2013) to 39.0 per cent and 3.8 per cent respectively in 201 and 2015. Brazil’s vale remains the world’s largest iron ore producer, with 36 mt of iron ore produced in 2015, up from 332 mt in 201, a new all-time high. All of vale’s mines are located in Brazil and its market share rose from 16.1 per cent in 201 to 17.2 per cent in 2015, compared with its peak share of 18.8 per cent in 2007. BHP Billiton continued in second place in 2015 with a market share of 13.6 per cent (12.3 per cent in 201). except for a joint venture in Brazil with vale, all of BHP Billiton’s mines are in western Australia. rio tinto has been the third largest producer since 2013, when it was overtaken by BHP Billiton. the company produced 263.3 mt in 2015. like BHP Billiton, rio tinto has most of its mines in the Pilbara region in Australia, and in addition controls the iron ore company of canada (ioc) with mines in labrador. See Table 2. However, the measurement of corporate control at the production stage underestimates the real concentration of the iron ore sector, especially by the three largest companies. large portions of total output do not enter the market, but are produced at captive mines or mines which have a protected or restricted market. if measured by the share of leading companies in global seaborne trade, then corporate concentration (the share of the three major companies) is considerably higher. vale alone controls almost 23 per cent of the total world market for seaborne iron ore trade, and the three largest companies in 2015 controlled 62.5 per cent, an increase from 57.1 per cent in 201. See Table 3.
corporate concentration will continue to increase in the current low-price environment as only the low-cost mines of the major producers continue to expand, and unproﬁtable mines around the world are closed. PROJECT PIPELINE overall, about 109 mt of new global iron ore capacity was added in 2015. the lower iron ore prices led to some site-speciﬁc cutbacks, but otherwise permanent closures were limited to 30–50 mt in china, with very little elsewhere. However, this follows on larger permanent close downs in 2013 and 201 of iron ore mines in such countries as sweden, norway and also a host of mines in non-traditional iron ore exporting countries such as Honduras, swaziland, Argentina and others. there are also a number of iron ore mining projects in the investment pipeline, and considerable capacity might be added over the next two to three years. we estimate that at least 115 mt, and maybe as much as 236 mt if all announced projects will go ahead which is highly unlikely, of new capacity will come on stream in the period up to and including 2018. these additional capacity tonnes are almost exclusively located in Brazil and Australia with larger projects, already in the pipeline and commissioned, being ﬁnalized. while some further closures will take place, most of the very high-cost capacity has most likely already been eliminated. this suggests that there will be a net addition to iron ore capacity over the next three years. MARKET OUTLOOK despite the better than expected global continued economic recovery during the ﬁrst ﬁve-six months of 2016 the post UK Brexit vote result had imF revising its projections downward for total 2016 and 2017 by 0.1 percentages, down to a forecasted growth in global gdP of 3.1 per cent 2016 and 3. per cent in 2017. the recovery is projected to strengthen in 2017 and beyond, driven primarily by emerging market and developing economies. But uncertainty has increased, and weaker growth scenarios are becoming more realistic. it is yet to early to say what
the trump victory will mean but fears are for a more restrictive trade policy with lower growth in its wake. chinese gdP growth is continuing its downward trend and the projections from imF suggests that china will reach a gdP growth of 6.6 per cent in 2016. chinese national ﬁgures reports a growth of 6.7 per cent during the ﬁrst nine months of 2016 which seems in line with the imF forecast. the growth in world steel production came to a halt in 2015. so far 2016 points towards a further contraction of steel output. the decisive factor for steel market prospects are the direction of economic change in china. it is not the slowdown in chinese growth per se that would lead the slower steel demand growth over the longer term, but rather the reduced share of investment in chinese gdP. this reduction is now happening more rapidly than many observers have forecast. the world steel Association’s short term forecast for world steel use, presented in october 2016, anticipates an increase in world steel demand by 0.2 per cent in 2016, followed by an increase of 05 per cent in 2017. it is notable that china’s steel demand is expected to decline both in 2016 and in 2017 following a contraction in 2015. However, this do represents a turnaround from earlier predictions of a global contraction in 2016 and a lower growth for 2017. some observers are however marginally more optimistic than the world steel Association. over the next two to three years, global steel use and production could continue to increasing at an annual rate of 0.5–1.0 per cent. the underlying scenario has the following features: • growth in china continues to be redirected towards consumption, with a consequent fall in the growth of capital investment and, therefore, in the growth of steel demand. • growth in the euro zone countries picks up slowly as contractionary macro-economic policies are gradually relaxed, leading to a higher rate of growth in steel demand. Japanese growth also increases slightly, while there is a return to somewhat more solid growth in the United states.
TABLE 2 – WORLD TOP COMPANIES IN IRON ORE, 2015
Rank 2015 (2014) 1 (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 (8) 7 (7) 8 (10) 9 (9) 10 (6)
Company name Vale SA BHP Billiton Group Rio Tinto Group Fortescue Metals Group Ltd ArcelorMittal Anglo American Plc Metalloinvest Holding Company OJSC Metinvest Cliﬀs Natural Resources Inc NMDC
Source: UNCTAD 6
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Controlled production Country 2015 (Mt) Brazil 346.1 Australia 273.8 United Kingdom 263.3 Australia 160.5 United Kingdom 61.0 United Kingdom 44.9 Russia 39.5 Ukraine 37.9 USA 29.8 India 28.9
Share of world 2015 (%) 17.2 13.6 13.1 8.0 3.0 2.2 2.0 1.9 1.5 1.4
• the rest of Asia experiences relatively slow growth, due to slowing chinese demand, which is to some extent oﬀset by both rising domestic consumption and a continued increase in intra-regional trade not involving china. Beyond the next couple of years, growth in this region, especially by india, will become relatively more important for overall world steel demand. • developing countries outside Asia continue to grow reasonably well, mainly due to resumed growth in commodity exports. For the rest of the world, an increase of 2.5 per cent in steel demand in 2016 and 3.0 per cent in both 2017 and 2018 is not impossible. this scenario would yield global growth of 0.5 per cent in 2016, 0.8 per cent in 2017 and 1.7 per cent in 2018. we also assume growth in chinese steel exports is likely to come to a halt, so that changes in steel demand will equate to changes in crude steel production in china and in the rest of the world. if compared to actual ﬁgures from the ﬁrst ten months of 2016 we can see that crude steel production growth for January–october 2016 was stable compared to the same period 2015. However, the ﬁgures have improved considerably and between may to october global production in crude steel
has increased compared to the same period 2015. chinese steel production shows a similar development with total crude steel production growth for January to october up 0.9 per cent compared to the same period last year. the ﬁrst four month shows a decline of 1.9 per cent compared to the same period 2015 while the next four months, may–August, show a growth compared to 2015 of 2.3 per cent and in october the growth was 3.3 per cent year-on-year. in last year’s report, the possibility was raised that the iron ore supply overhang that had developed in 201–2015 was the result of a massive miscalculation on the part of the larger iron ore mining companies. subsequent events appear to have conﬁrmed this hypothesis. the major producers have not been spared from the consequences of low prices and have had to drastically cut costs, cancel investment projects and delay payments to suppliers. meanwhile, the three largest producers strengthened their market positions in 2015 and are continuing to do so in 2016. the main losers are the chinese miners. the volume of iron ore from domestic mines to feed the chinese steel industry has continued to decline, while the share of imports in total iron ore use in china is clearly on a rising trend. the reduction of chinese iron ore production has probably come to an
end and will most likely not continue below 100 mt Assume that the ratio between the use of iron ore and scrap in the chinese steel industry will remain unchanged in 2016–2018, means that iron ore use in china over the next three years will decline at the same rate as the expected decline in demand and production of steel, namely some 2 per cent annually in 2016 and 2017, and be stable in 2018. in the rest of the world, estimates are that iron ore use will grow at the same rate as steel use. the resulting world demand for iron ore would then increase from 2,015 mt in 2015, to 2,025 mt in 2016 and 2,077 mt in 2018. since at least 115 mt of new capacity will come on stream in the period up to and including 2018, the world iron ore market will be characterized by potential or actual oversupply for a few years to come. this will result in weak prices also in 2017 provided the majors do not alter their investment plans. K ▶ ANTON LÖF, MAGNUS ERICSSON ◀
The background material for this article is extracted from the Iron Ore Market 2016 published by UNCTAD. For further details please contact UNCTAD at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or Anton Löf at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TABLE 3 – WORLD IRON ORE PRODUCTION, 2012–2015 (MILLION METRIC TONS) Regions and Major Producing Countries Sweden Sub-total Europe (excluding CIS)
2012 26.5 34.6
2013 27.3 35.6
2014 28.1 36.9
2015 24.6 32.8
CIS Sub-total Europe
Canada United States Brazil Venezuela Sub-total Americas
39.4 54.0 380.1 16.3 529.7
41.8 52.0 391.1 7.8 533.2
44.2 54.3 399.4 5.9 543.5
46 43.1 422.5 8.3 557.8
11.2 59.0 87.3
12.5 60.6 97.8
13.3 66.9 109.8
11.6 61.4 82.3
India Sub-total Asia, excluding China
China* Sub-total Asia
Australia Sub-total Oceania
Mauritania South Africa Sub-total Africa
*Chinese production adjusted to represent tonnage in which iron content is roughly equal to average content in rest of world. Chinese ore production (unadjusted):
Source: UNCTAD nordic
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RX roller guide technology for long product rolling mills Balancing stock levels, product delivery times, mill productivity and cost control is not easy, especially in speciality steel long product mills. Morgårdshammar have developed a new rolling concept and the RX roller guide as a “production system” to optimise these mills by providing greater flexibility, efficiency, quality and safety through a new approach to mill scheduling and the use of an on-line, remotely controlled roller guide.
customer demands for shorter lead times and smaller order quantities leave many hot rolling mills struggling to ﬁnd an economic balance between making for stock and producing solely to order. specialty steel long product (bar and rod) rolling mills tend to work best when rolling large tonnages of the same grade and size, meaning mill settings are not changed too regularly. However, while keeping a stock of rolled products decreases customer lead times it can adversely aﬀect proﬁtability as binding a lot of capital in stock aﬀects the return on capital employed (roce). one way to increase the roce is to employ less capital for the same turnover by rolling the same production volume but with lower stock levels throughout the whole process route. this can be done by rolling smaller batches more frequently. this practice can reduce lead times, but on the negative side, mill set-up time and the scrap rate per tonne produced will increase. this is due to the time needed to accurately set up the mill between size changes. to respond to this conundrum, morgårdshammar have developed a new rolling concept and the Patented rX roller guide as a “production system” to optimise long product rolling mills by providing greater ﬂexibility and eﬃciency. MILL PLANNING Planning philosophy, especially in specialty steel rolling mills, is usually determined either 10
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by temperature or product dimensions. Although there are a few mills which organise their campaigns by rolling temperature (even with extremely long temperature setup times), traditionally dimension is the major determining factor and which prevails when reheat temperature set up times are signiﬁcantly longer than dimension set-up times. if there is a mix of grades (and hence reheat temperatures) the furnace is progressively altered as illustrated. reheating temperature diﬀerences between products/ grades in some speciality mills can be as much as 150 °c and it can take up to 0 minutes to change furnace temperature. smaller batch sizes (aiming to minimise stock inventory) mean more setup time and lower overall equipment eﬃciency (oee). mill speed loss oen also occurs when changing settings as normal routine is that a set-up billet is used to set the dimension in the mill and aer measuring the mill needs adjustment.
would be to group and organise the rolling schedule according to steel grades instead of dimensions, meaning fewer temperature changes and temperature setup time could be cut by 50–80 per cent. Furthermore, when rolling/sorting is done by grades, there may be further advantages in the rolled product annealing operations when such grades have common annealing temperatures. thus batch annealing furnaces can be charged with a number of diﬀerent dimensions from the same steel grade but not the other way around. dispatch scheduling may also be improved. thus in order to beneﬁt from this approach morgårdshammar has developed a new roller guide which is moved and adjusted automatically and facilitates rapid product dimension changes and which will reduce the total change over time (dimension and temperature setup) by up to 30–0 per cent. this applies to specialty steel mills speciﬁcally.
MORGÅRDSHAMMAR ROLLING CONCEPT An approach to reduce set up time in the furnace (assuming pit or other individual furnaces are not used) would be to group products with similar reheating temperature that ﬁnish in the same rolling stand. Analysis of customer order intake normally reveals that certain customers order speciﬁc steel grades in a number of diﬀerent dimensions so one way of loading the mill
THE RX ROLLER GUIDE the key features of the rX roller guide are that it is an on-line and automatic roller guide that is remotely controlled from an Hmi located on the mill ﬂoor or from the main mill control pulpit. the system consists of quick and robust sensors and motorised roller holders in the guide. the complete control system with drives, Plc and associated data base is controlled from the Hmi panel. with a traditional roller
guide groove change and roller guide setting changes takes to 5 minutes whereas the rX guide has roller holder positions that are servo assisted and dimension set-up change can be done in a matter of seconds. All setup data are saved in a database and by one simple mouse click all guides can be changed simultaneously. stock in a rolling mill varies up to 5 per cent in cross section area due to temperature wedge and variable tension along the stock. this causes stresses in a normal guide that is position controlled, i.e. the roller holders are placed in a ﬁxed position. the rX concept has patented force control of the roller holders whereby the position of the holder follows the shape of the bar, eliminating fatigue stress and excessive wear. measurements have revealed that shock loads on the roller holder forces can be reduced by 60–80 per cent. the rX guide also gives feedback regarding dimension variations that could come from excessive bar tension in the mill, vibrations due to marks in rollers or rolls out of round. it is also able to give feedback on the actual position of the rollers when the stock is engaged and provide a dimension
RESULTS the new roller guide has been test run with positive results in three mills, one rolling ball bearing steel grades, one rolling high speed steels and one stainless steel mill. the service interval has extended from one week to weeks and since the force is reduced there is no sticking or adhesion on the guide rollers in the stainless mill. this improves surface quality on the rolled product. By saving the mill set up data from the operator panel (see the rX control system image) in a data base the setting of the ﬁrst billet in the mill can be as optimal as possible for every start up, estimated leading to a reduction of up to 60 per cent in startup rejects. this is particularly beneﬁcial for older mill control systems (>10 years) which oen do not have enough data storage space for a large number of diﬀerent recipes, so placing too much emphasis on operators having to remember too many settings. By using both long time and short time adaption routines when setting up the rolling mill quality can be vastly improved. Further ﬁne tuning of the morgårdshammar wicon soware that is used for mill setup calculations can be made by identifying mill speciﬁc
The RX roller guide.
spread coeﬃcients with an integrated logic in the rX control system. more description of this is available via the morgårdshammar web site in wicon (wicon.se). safety with the new rX concept mill settings are altered from the Hmi which can be moved to a safe location away from the stock. this is great beneﬁt in terms of safety as the operator does not need to enter the rolling mill during rolling and the gaps on the roller guides can be monitored on a screen instead. CONCLUSIONS • morgårdshammar have developed the intelligent rX series of roller guides for long products rolling mills. • Product size changes can be achieved in seconds at the click of a mouse rather than minutes with traditional guides. this improves mill productivity and reduces rejects. • such a signiﬁcant reduction in setup time enables specialty product mills (which have a signiﬁcant reheating temperature range) to roll according to temperature, rather than the traditional dimension approach. this can signiﬁcantly improve oee and hence reduce stocks and also improve delivery performance and roce. • dependence on unique operator skills is minimised and plants ﬂexibility is maximised. • the system is be adaptable to all long products rolling mills but will be especially useful for those that have small campaigns and have relatively many set-ups. • safety for operators is vastly improved as they not need to enter mill area to adjust roller guides • surface quality on the rolled bar is improved since there is no sticking on the guide rollers K ▶ CARL SAHLIN ◀
Carl Sahlin is with Morgårdshammar AB, Smedjebacken, Sweden. firstname.lastname@example.org
measurement. it also detects and gives a warning if the size of the incoming stock is wrong such as from excessive roll wear in the previous stand. For rest-bar mounted roller guide the restbar can also be automatically positioned by means of another servo. where the guide is mounted on a pedestal and the stand is shiable, the same principal applies but here the stand is shied instead. By using this principal the overall guide dimensions have been reduced compared to previous guide series and ﬁt almost any mill. the rX series has been developed to ﬁt roughing, intermediate and ﬁnishing stands of continuous mills and can be used as one guide per stand or in multiples for slitting processes.
The RX control system.
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UTCAS boosts productivity at Outokumpu Avesta outokumpu stainless in Avesta, sweden, placed in April 2016 an order for a new UtcAs® process control system for their Aod and ladle Furnace. the delivery and implementation work by UHt further includes update of the current level 1/Plc for the Aod, as well as a long term system and process support agreement. outokumpu Avestas investments and Project director Ola Modigs concludes: “the UtcAs system is an important way for outokumpu to further trim the operational and economic performance in our steel making processes, which is highly necessary to meet the demand for high quality stainless steel grades combined with an increasing need for operational ﬂexibility while continuously improving our cost eﬃciency. the UtcAs platform also allows us to integrate and create direct and rapid process data communication between the diﬀerent operations themselves and that our process and operator staﬀ will engage with the processes through a common interface, again this will create additional results in our operations.” UHt is a swedish engineering company with roots in the stainless and special steel production delivering complete Aod & clU® converter reﬁning solutions includes the simulation and real-time UtcAs® process control system platform, which today is available for eAF, Aod, vod/vd and lF.
The ladle furnace will in the future have a level 2 UTCAS® system as to reach operational targets.
The UTCAS concept does not only include an eﬀective real-time process control system but also advanced tools for process design and production evaluation and will thereby provide a complete solution for converter process management.
currently there are 20 UtcAs® deliveries worldwide from UHt. K ▶ PER VESTERBERG ◀
Per Vesterberg, Sales Manager UHT email@example.com +46 (0)8 6220887
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We transform … the world of environment-friendly steelworks
All plants from one source Big River Steel located in Osceola, Arkansas, USA on approximately 1,300 acres is one of the country’s most modern and environment-friendly steelworks. Applying innovative, clean, and eﬀective processes, the company will produce high-quality steels for the energy, automotive, oil and gas industry from recycled steel scrap. The plant has an annual capacity of 1.5 million tons of high-grade steel products and specialty steels including: Deep Drawing and Extra Deep Drawing Grades (DS, DDS, EDDS, IF) Commercial Steel (CQ), Medium and High Carbon Grades SMS group GmbH Eduard-Schloemann-Strasse 4 40237 Düsseldorf, Germany
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Processing of wood in Steel Industrial Equipment Can wood be processed with steel industrial equipment? Can automated processing contribute to increased value of the forest as a natural resource? And might it also contribute to jobs in the forest districts?
ABSTRACT this interdiciplinary project involving knowledge exchange between steel and wood researchers showed that wood could eﬃciently be processed in a steel rolling mill. the main purpose of the project was to investigate if wood could be processed in steel industrial equipment. Automated processing can contribute to increased value of the forest as a natural resource and might also contribute to jobs in the forest districts. this work showed that rolling equipment designed for steel could eﬀectively process and compress wooden bars (scots pine). the rolling turned out to be highly productive since speeds at the same level as used in sawmills could be used densifying the wood surface. the hardness was increased 0 per cent even though the processing conditions had not been optimized. the incremental compression in rolling (compared to pressing over a large area) is beneﬁcial for the efﬁciency of the deformation using small power. even though the wooden structure varies over the width and thickness, the rolled wood specimens got an even thickness distribution. it was possible to control compression (densiﬁcation) mainly to a soened (heated) side. Another strong beneﬁt was that the knots could be processed eﬃciently. the mill load history is diﬀerent compared to loads during steel rolling. the load varies with the wooden structure, and the knots result in force and torque peaks. in these tests the conditions on the top and bottom side were diﬀerent since the target was surface densiﬁcation on the heated (roll and material) top side. As the wood is heated, it becomes so due to melting lignin. this lignin smears 16
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on the top work and can act as a lubricant or as glue which results in an asymmetrical torque behaviour. in the tests the heated work roll had to be regularly cleaned from excess lignin. the technique is believed to have potential for densiﬁcation, impregnation, bending and rolling into various shapes. rolling is basically a simple process and when using ordinary equipment made for steel production it has options for fast settings and adjustments and can carry major loads. BACKGROUND the idea to enter wooden planks in a steel rolling mill turned up during steel rolling trials. to investigate and test the idea vinnovas “Bioinnovation” ﬁnanced this project with partners from steel (swerea meFos, rollingmilltech), wood (ltU, träteknik) and forest industry (sveaskog). At project start there was a knowledge exchange within the project group. wood is little known for steel researchers as well as the experts on wood are not familiar with the steel processing routes and equipment. compared to steel the major diﬀerence is in the material structure. the wooden structure is irregular and hollow and collapse during compression and consistency of volume does not apply. the forming temperatures as well as the forces are low. steel is homogenous and elongates and spread and the process power is higher. ROLLING TRIALS TO DENSIFY WOOD in the project it was decided to investigate surface hardening of wood for ﬂoor applications. Hardening is obtained by densiﬁcation
of the wood surface. Practical trials were designed to investigate this matter. designed densifying experiments were performed on 19 scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) samples with a length of 1,000 mm, a width of 0 mm and a thickness of 20 mm. the variables were preheating temperature (130–180 °c), preheating time (90–180 s), work roll temperature (5–150 °c), rolling speed (0.0015–0.3 m/s) and target thickness (15–19 mm). some additional tests were made outside these limitations. the samples were conditioned to a moisture content of 13 per cent before the treatment started. the mean density of the samples before densiﬁcation was 70 +/–100 kg/m3. the densiﬁcation process consisted of two stages: 1 soening during heat treatment 2 densiﬁcation by rolling Heated steel Wood Table
Heated work roll
Densified top surface
• low process loads (rolling force and torque) contribute to a moderate investment cost rolling is incremental and compresses each section eﬃciently which makes it “forgiving” against material variations. the increased load when rolling over knots is clearly seen in the logged data from the rolling mill. the rolling of knots results in much higher rolling forces and torques. due to the limited demands of a mill designed for processing of wood by rolling, the investment cost for the rolling of wood will be considerably lower than for a steel rolling mill.
• low demands for power/torque of motors • low structural loads • limited demands on actuators and control system the new features are • heated work roll • non-water based controlled cooling • compression during the cooling stage
Fig. 1 – Density after rolling. Light colours in the CT image indicate a higher density.
the results were evaluated by measurements of the density and the density proﬁle before and aer rolling. this was done with an Xray computer-tomography (ct) scanner. the density proﬁle was determined by image processing by calibrating grey scale in the range 0 to 1,000kg/m3. An example of a density proﬁle is shown in Fig. 1. light grey areas indicate high-density values, and dark grey areas indicate low-density values. the target to reach a pronounced density peak at the heated surface was obtained. the rolling speed showed some inﬂuence on the density proﬁle, 0.3 m/s gave good results. the density peak decreased slightly when rolling at 1.3 m/s. longer heating time of 180 s gave less pronounced peaks than a heating time of 90 s. this is probably due to deeper soening giving a ﬂatter density proﬁle. this result is in agreement with earlier research. no signiﬁcant interaction between the preheating and the work roll temperature was found. it appeared beneﬁcial to use heating in two stages but it was not possible to draw general conclusions from the tests. the results suggest that a short intense softening stage gives the best results for the
densiﬁcation. the core of the samples with a pronounced density peak was not compressed at all. the average peak density increase in the samples was between 25–0 per cent in spite of an immediate springback of around 50 per cent. the potential for a strong increase in density is high since the spring-back can be reduced by diﬀerent post-treatments. PROCESS EFFICIENCY the rolling of wood had several positive impacts on the quality of the rolled wood. the advantages are: • High production speed (comparable with production-line speed in sawmills) • control of location for the densiﬁcation (through local heating) • eﬃcient processing of knots (branches can be le)
CONCLUSIONS in this project steel production equipment (roller tables, rolling mill, air cooling, furnaces etc.) was used for the eﬃcient hardening of a wooden surface. there is a large potential for designing automated eﬃcient techniques for processing of wood using techniques resembling the ones used in a steel rolling mill. demands on the process equipment are low compared to steel; however there are diﬀerences that will aﬀect the design of the full process. the main advantages are: • High production speed (possible to add a production line in sawmills) • Positioning the compression (on surface or complete) • eﬃcient processing of knots (branches can be le) • low loads (rolling force and torque) contribute to a moderate investment cost ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Bioinnovation is gratefully acknowledged for supporting this work. K ▶ ANNIKA NILSSON1, NILS-GÖRAN JONSSON2, BENEDIKT NEYSES3, OLLE HAGMAN3 ◀ 1
Swerea MEFOS, Box 812, 971 25 Luleå RollingMillTech, Luleå 3 Luleå tekniska universitet, Träteknik 2
SUMMARY OF LOADS DURING ROLLING Maximum load width (at knot) = 40 mm Torque Maximum force
Level 505 Nm 23.5 kN
Scaled width = 100 mm 1,262.5 Nm 59 kN nordic
Maximum capacity of mill 6,000 Nm 500 kN
Percentage of max capacity 21 % 12 %
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Stressometer flatness control – on a roll for 50 years 50 years of innovative collaboration with our customers brings considerable rewards and increased profitability to rolling mills.
WORLD’S FIRST April 1th, 1967 was the date for delivery of the world’s ﬁrst strip ﬂatness measurement system. it was delivered from Asea’s (now ABB’s) factory in västerås in sweden to the canadian aluminum company Alcan (now novelis). it was given the product and trade name stressometer. with more than 1200 systems delivered since 1967, ABB are during 2017 highlighting the 50 year anniversary with a golden jubilee year. the stressometer is just one of many ABB products, originating from break-through technologies at Asea, that over the years have been greatly appreciated by users. other such products are transmission systems for High voltage direct current (Hvdc, since 195), industrial robots (since 197) and Force measurement systems based on Pressductor transducers (since 195). TRANSDUCER TECHNOLOGY the historic background of stressometer originates from the increased demands for ﬂatness of rolled steel, aluminium and ﬂat copper products increased in the 1960s. this raised the interest of ﬁnding some way of measuring ﬂatness during rolling in order to achieve Automatic Flatness control (AFc). so far ﬂatness during rolling was manually controlled through visual and audible observations by the operator. the introduction of Automatic gauge control (Agc) had helped rolling mill operators achieve closer steel strip thickness tolerances, but the problem of strip ﬂatness measurement and control still remained. in the mid-1960s dr. O. G. Sivilotti of Alcan, Kingston ontario, canada, approached Asea to ﬁnd out whether a sensor could be developed to measure strip ﬂatness. 20
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Proceeding from his ideas, a joint development between Asea and Alcan started. decision was taken to base the development on a mill-duty measuring roll with Pressductor sensors. the ﬁrst system was installed in Alcan’s cold rolling mill in Kingston, canada in 1967 where it underwent comprehensive tests. the idea was to control the transversal stress distribution in the strip, thus improving the strip ﬂatness. the assumption was that a controlled strip stress distribution, i.e. strip ﬂatness, would lead to improvements in strip quality and mill productivity. the hypothesis turned out to be correct. Using the stressometer equipment Alcan substantially improved the ﬂatness of the rolled strip and achieved higher yield and less strip breaks. it also meant higher productivity through higher mill speed and shorter pass times. the success was a fact! 50 YEARS OF INNOVATIVE COLLABORATION WITH OUR CUSTOMERS today there is no doubt that eﬃcient ﬂatness control brings considerable rewards and increased proﬁtability to rolling mills. increased quality and productivity also means that the amount of used energy per ton sellable strip will be less. this will considerably reduce the environmental footprint of the strip production. the ﬁrst stressometer installation in 1967 did show the potential, and ﬁnancial impact, of ﬂatness control for the rolling industry. However since then demands of ﬂatness control from strip users and from diﬀerent types of rolling mills have continuously been increasing.
ABB has therefore in collaboration with customers over the last 50 years further developed the stressometer system. this has resulted in safety & developing several breakthrough innovations to further improve and secure strip quality and reduce maintenance costs for rolling mills. these innovations enables mill operators to fully utilize the rolling mill to continuously produce high quality strip with maximum yield while keeping maintenance needs to a minimum. this paper will present some of the innovations that have made it possible to use the stressometer system for sustainable production in all types of rolling mills and for any kind of metal product. the stressometer system of today is designed for both hot and cold rolling and handles thickness and product ranges from 0.005 mm aluminium foil up to 12 mm thick stainless steel. WHERE IS STRESSOMETER CURRENTLY USED? the ﬁrst stressometer system was used in a mill for aluminium strip. since then, the stressometer system has been used for most hot and cold rolled materials including: • aluminium strip • aluminium foil • carbon steel • tinplate • stainless steel • bright annealed stainless steel • silicon steel • copper • copper/nickel alloys • copper foil • titanium • zink • magnesium
the diﬀerent materials above put speciﬁc demands on the diﬀerent rolling mills. many diﬀerent mill types exist with varying number of ﬂatness actuators. the stressometer system uses advanced control technology that enables optimal and simultaneous use of all available mill actuators. STRIP FLATNESS CONTROL IN A ROLLING MILL Flatness control is about controlling the loaded roll gap in the mill so that it exactly matches the thickness proﬁle of the incoming strip. if there is a mismatch then ﬂatness problems will arise, see Fig. 1. the i-unit was introduced by ABB in the 1960’s as a way to quantify ﬂatness. over the years it became the de facto standard unit for ﬂatness. the deﬁnition is explained in Fig 2. HOW DOES THE STRESSOMETER TECHNOLOGY WORK? the introduction of Pressductor ® technology based on the magneto-elasticity eﬀect led to a revolution in the accurate and stable measurement of forces, tensions and loads in the harsh environment occurring in the metals industry. since the installation in 195 of the ﬁrst Pressductor roll force meter on a cold rolling mill, ABB has launched a number of new products for diﬀerent applications. the stressometer system for ﬂatness measurement and control is one of them. the stressometer measuring roll is the key to successful ﬂatness measurement and control. it consists of a solid core with four axial grooves to accommodate a large number of Pressductor sensors. each measurement zone has therefore four sensors. the four sensor principle has been the design base for stressometer since the very ﬁrst roll was designed. this principle implies automatic physical compensation for disturbance forces caused by centrifugal forces, roll deﬂection or temperature changes. therefore no compensation soware is needed and very fast measurement response time is achieved. the roll is divided into 26 or 52 mm measuring zones. A hardened steel ring is shrunk
Fig. 2 – Stressometer measures the force distribution (Fi)on the roll. Using strip tension (T), width (w) and thickness (t) the stress distribution in the strip can be calculated. When this value is divided with the E-module the (un)ﬂatness distribution is achived. The ﬂatness distribution is measured in I-units which correseponds to the relative elongation distribution multiplied with 100,000, i.e. 1 I-unit corresponds to an elongation of 1 mm on a 100 meter long strip.
on to each zone to protect the sensors and transfer the strip forces to the sensors. digital transmission Unit provides the power supply for the sensors and transmits the sensor signals to the signal processing equipment. each zone measures independently the local directed radially force from the strip. Four measurements are obtained for each revolution of the roll at a speed of 0.5 up to ,000 r/min. the stressometer roll measures the entire strip force including the edge stresses. the actual strip ﬂatness is presented in i units. since its introduction, ABB has developed three basic types of measuring roll: • standard roll for general-purpose applications • Foil roll for low-tension applications including the ﬁnishing of aluminium and copper foil • seamless roll, introduced in 200, for applications requiring special strip surface quality such as aluminium and bright annealed stainless steel. the roll has a completely sealed surface of tungsten carbide, which cannot mark the strip. STRESSOMETER INNOVATIONS OVER THE YEARS the sensor technology innovation that made it possible to design the stressometer ﬂatness roll was the Pressductor force transducer. it was invented in 195 and works according to the principle of magneto-elasticity.
Fi.g 1 – A match between the roll gap and the strip means ﬂat strip. If there is a missmatch the elongation across the strip will not be constant and ﬂatness problems will arise.
the stressometer has a large number of such sensors placed along the length of the measurement roll. the roll and ﬂatness system was introduced to the market in 1967. obviously there has been need to further develop the system as mill requirements are increasing and technology evolving. over the past 50 years the development has been led by the following principles: • collaboration with rolling mills are essential in order to ﬁnd best possible solutions • new functionality must strengthen the competitiveness of the rolling mill • new functionality must improve possibilities for a sustainable production with more eﬃcient use of energy and raw materials this focused development has resulted in a lot of innovations in the area of ﬂatness measurement and control to the beneﬁt of rolling mills all over the world. the most important innovations are: • 1967 , world’s ﬁrst ﬂatness system, delivered to Alcan Kingston canada • 1970, improved resolution of measurement; 52 mm zone width used instead of 8 mm • 1976, ﬁrst microprocessor based system (intel 8080) • 1977 world’s ﬁrst digitally closed loop Flatness control (Kobe steel, Japan) • 1980 world’s ﬁrst Flatness control system for a cluster mill (outokumpu) • 1982, further improved resolution of the measurement; 26 mm used instead of 52 mm • 1989, digital color graphic Hmi • 1989, world’s ﬁrst Flatness control based on actuator inﬂuence functions • 1990, new technology for measurement of strip width and edge position – mss (millmate strip scanner) • 1993, measurement and compensation of strip temperature in steel applications • 199, new transducer and roll for foil applications • 1998, world’s ﬁrst web browser based Hmi for industrial applications
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• 2001, new system generation with future safe architecture (FsA) • 2002. seamless roll for surface-critical applications • 2006, Predictive Flatness control • 2007, Foil roll with 26 mm resolution • 2011, Flatness control with automatic process identiﬁcation optimal • 2013, coordinated control through esvd for cluster mills • 201, digital maintenance-free signal transmission (dtU) • 2017, Fully digital system, roHs (restrictions on Hazardous substances) DTU – Digital compliant Transmission Unit. Already in the mid 1960’s it was decided to base the new ﬂatness roll on a number of fundamental and innovative measurement principles. these principles are still valid 50 years later. the inventors established the following six main principles in order to secure a reliable, accurate and fast ﬂatness measurement: 1 the force measurement must be stiﬀ; i.e. the deformation of the force sensor should be negligible. thereby a direct and reliable force measurement is achieved without any stress ﬁltering due to strip deformation. 2 sensors with the same thermal expansion coeﬃcient as the surrounding material must be used. this minimizes inaccuracy due to thermal eﬀects. 3 sensors that can reliably and accurately function for many years in a rolling mill without the need for recalibration e.g. Pressductor sensors using a magneto elastic measurement principle. measurement of the whole force distribution across the strip in one instance, i.e. no force shunting to the roll body. 5 the four sensor principle. this enables measurement of the whole force distribution four times per roll revolution while keeping the measurement signal unaﬀected of temperature changes, roll deﬂection, etc. 6 the signal output from a measurement zone must be directly proportional to the strip coverage degree. this will enable accurate measurement of the strip edges. even if the above principles have remained the same for 50 years, a lot of development has been done in order to improve the stressometer system and its performance. one example is improvement related to the measurement zone width. the ﬁrst roll had 8 mm as zone width, now 52 or 26 mm are used. in 1967 the signal processing was analogue. three circuit boards made the necessary signal processing for one measurement zone. 22
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today the signal processing is completely digital and one signal processing board handles 80 measurement zones. in 1967 the Hmi consisted of a number of analogue instruments. now the Hmi is built on an intranet architecture that enables any computer with a web browser to be used as an operator station. since the same browser technology is used in handheld devices such as mobile phones and tablets. these can also be used to display mill and ﬂatness information. Flatness containing tools for the identiﬁcation of the characteristics of the mill alternators. STRESSOMETER EXPERIENCE – 20,000 YEARS OF ACCUMULATED OPERATION more than 1,200 stressometer systems and 1,500 measurement rolls have been delivered since the ﬁrst system was installed in 1967. this corresponds to an accumulated operation time of the stressometer systems exceeding 20,000 years and a total length of strip rolled every year over a stressometer rolls more than the distance between earth and sun! going back to the 1960’s the rolling mill market were somewhat conservative and not really ready for the break-through innovation that was introduced with the stressometer system. the technology was working but the long-term stability was of course not proven in the beginning. this led to the fact that only 10 systems were sold the ﬁrst 10 years. eventually the market picked up and the interest from rolling mills to invest in ﬂatness control increased dramatically. in the end of the 1980’s more than 10 rolling mills had invested in the stressometer system. in 1989 a new generation of the system was introduced. the success on the market continued and in 1997 the annual delivery rate for the ﬁrst time exceeded 30 systems. in 2001 the present generation of stressometer system was introduced. it paved the way for further expansion. Presently the annual delivery rate is around 50 systems and 80 measurement rolls. close to half of these systems and rolls have china as the ﬁnal destination. HOW CAN STRESSOMETER HELP TODAY’S ROLLING MILLS? the stressometer system is developed in order to fulﬁll rolling requirements better than any other ﬂatness system on the market. For the rolling mill this means an increase of yield, quality and productivity whilst reducing costs, e.g. energy usage and need of maintenance. the stressometer speciﬁc properties to enable this are: • mean time between roll repair exceeding 20 years • system measurement accuracy typically 0.5 i-units • Parallel measurement undisturbed by tension variations
• Unsurpassed measurement density, up to 260 measurement points per meter strip • Four complete measurements per meter strip from 0.5 m/min to ,000 m/min • Accurate edge zone compensation. linear characteristic of measurement zones • maintenance-free, contact-free signal transmission from the roll • Advanced control facilities including esvd (extended singular value decomposition) and adaptive / predictive control. • Flatness control tuning tools for identiﬁcation of mill actuators characteristics. NECESSARY REQUIREMENTS ON A MODERN FLATNESS SYSTEM if the ﬂatness control system shall make a diﬀerence of yield, pass times and number of strip breaks, it must comply with a number of tough requirements. • the most important requirement is reliability. the system must not cause any unplanned stops in the mill. Planned stops could be accepted but best is of course a maintenance-free system where no stops are needed. • Another requirement is accurate measurement. without an accurate measurement of the complete stress distribution no ﬂatness control can do a good job. • the measurement must be unaﬀected by mill disturbances such as variable strip tension. • the measurement must operate equally well at all mill speeds and include edges, head end and tail end of the strip regardless of the strip thickness. • the measurement system must also, within milliseconds and several times per rolled meter of strip provide accurate outputs to the ﬂatness control system. • Furthermore it is essential to exactly visualize the actual ﬂatness for the operator in an intuitive way. • the system must also, without any adjustments, be able to handle a wide range of products and it should never deteriorate the strip surface. • the ﬂatness control system must be able to simultaneously and eﬃciently use all mill actuators during all occasions and for all products. this must be done even if some of the actuators might have similar inﬂuence or be in limit condition. no manual control should be needed. WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES AND POSSIBILITIES IN THE FUTURE FOR FLATNESS CONTROL? the rolling industry has faced many challenges in the past 50 years; yet even more will come in the future. one challenge is to produce products, as previously mentioned, in a sustainable way thus minimizing environmental and climate eﬀects. Another challenge is to have production facilities that can handle the increasing number of products, alloys and dimensions that the market wants.
Yet another challenge, with an increasing importance over the last years, is ﬂexible, customer-oriented production with short delivery times. this makes it necessary to, within seconds, switch from one type of product to a completely diﬀerent one. in a rolling mill this can mean that new coils will have completely diﬀerent properties compared to previous rolled coils. the switching has to be done without deteriorating quality and productivity. the rolling mill productivity is directly affected by mill down time due to strip breaks, achieved yield and pass-times. the ﬁnancial result of the mill (i.e. the bottom line) is very sensitive to these factors. Bottom line sensitivity (Bls) for strip breaks in an aluminium cold mill are typically 10,000 Usd/strip break. Bls for yield is typically 700,000 Usd/0.1 per cent improvement and Bls for pass time is 200,000 Usd/second. the stressometer ﬂatness control system will create possibilities for the rolling mill to improve yield, pass-times and reduce number of strip breaks. even small improvements in these areas will signiﬁcantly improve the bottom line. the eﬀect on the bottom line can easily be calculated by establishing Bls factors for the mill to be examined. SUMMARY AND A LOOK IN THE CRYSTAL BALL the 50 years of stressometer development have been focused to further enhance the
features and performance of the system thereby enhancing it as a tool for rolling mill proﬁtability in a sustainable way. the history of the stressometer system shows that eﬃcient ﬂatness control in cold rolling has great ﬁnancial impact for the rolling mill. the system helps in producing rolled products in a safe, energy eﬃcient way, i.e. improved quality and yield means that less energy is needed per ton of ﬁnished products. the stressometer system has over the 50 years of development followed a consistent path. this path has led to • Use of stressometer for any type of hot or cold rolled product • extremely high roll reliability with mtBr (mean time between repair) ﬁgure of more than 20 years • improvements of resolution, accuracy, response time and visualization of the ﬂatness measurement • improvements of ﬂatness control to a general concept which includes all existing mill types on the market with an optimal use of the available actuators the rolling mill industry has collaborated with ABB to achieve this development. the industry has for 50 years used the stressometer system as a tool to improve both strip quality and mill productivity for a more proﬁtable, sustainable and energy eﬃcient cold rolling. the future winners in the industry are now looking on how quality and productivity
can be taken to the next level. to enable this ﬂatness control will in the future not be limited to the cold rolling mill itself. instead a broader perspective is needed that will include both upstream and downstream operations. this implies also control of the strip proﬁle during hot rolling in order to achieve consistent and controllable ﬂatness downstream. A further increase in advanced ﬂatness control is expected in order to handle the demands from ﬂexible, customer-oriented production. new visualization techniques will improve the possibilities to present relevant information to mill operators. reuse of soware is increasing its importance as the soware content of a ﬂatness control system continuously is growing. this increases the need to use soware architectures that are “future safe”. this means that today’s soware must be possible to run on the computer systems and operating systems of tomorrow. systems in the future will also be securely connected to the so called so called iiot, industrial internet of things. this will enable ABB to remotely assist customers to secure long-term operating performance of the rolling process. K ▶ LARS JONSSON ◀
Global Product Manager, Flatness Systems ABB AB, SE-721 59 Västerås, Sweden
thyssenkrupp Materials Sverige
The leading engineering steel provider in Sweden • • • • • • • •
Stainless steel coils, sheet metal and tubes Tool steel Technical sales offer (cold- and warmformed products) Warehousing – central, regional, local Representing our stainless steel mill AST Representing our carbon steel mill by TKS Europe Value added services (cutting, logistics, heat treatment) ISO 9001-2015 and ISO 14001-2014 certified
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Welcome to ”Framtidens Gruv- och Mineralindustri” at the Grand Hôtel in Stockholm, Sweden, on January 30-31, 2017 - Digital Transformation of the Mining Industry - Innovation, Research and Entrepreneurship - Nordic Exploration – Current Trends and Future Challenges - Finance and Investment of the Mining Industry Example of speakers: Keynote speaker: Robert Schafer, President, Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), Kenneth P. Green, Senior Director of Natural Resource Studies, Fraser Institute, Mikael Damberg, Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications, Jan Moström, CEO, LKAB, Lena Söderberg, General Director, SGU, Håkan Sjögren, Managing Director, Nasdaq Stockholm, Åsa Persson, Chief Mine Inspector, Christian Kopfer, Senior Analyst Materials and Energy, Nordea, Peter Burman, Program Manager Mine Automation, Boliden, Johan
Söderström, Managing Director ABB AB (Sweden), Emma Claesson, Vice President HR & Communications, ÅF, Lena Abrahamsson, Professor, Luleå University of Technology, Thomas Fromhold, Swedish Exploration Manager, Mandalay Resources, Dr Mark Bennett, Founding MD and CEO, S2 Resources, Per Storm, CEO, Copperstone Resources. Three selected highlights: • Pre-seminar workshop ”Mineral Strategy 2.0?” • Round-table discussion and dinner with a Västerbotten theme • Reception at the Embassy of Canada
Minister for Enterprise and Innovation
Vice President HR & Comm., ÅF
General Director, SGU
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Jernkontoret annals Nr 7 • 2016 • Volume 200
Communication on the circular economy the main theme at the Swedish-Finnish conference The Earth’s resources are being overconsumed, and if the world’s population is to continue living as it does today, two planets will be needed by 2050 – and four with Sweden and Finland’s living standards. With this as the backcloth, a two-day, much appreciated seminar in Helsinki on “The Metal Industry: a necessity for circular economy” began its work. The seminar was organised jointly by Metallinjalostaja (the Association of Finnish Steel and Metal Producers) and Jernkontoret (the Swedish Ironmasters’ Association) where questions relating to the metal industry’s impact and the opportunities to contribute to the creation of a circular economy were highlighted. Many – and major – research challenges exist, but many excellent measures with the ability to inspire have already been implemented. The moderator Maria Wetterstrand contributed to the interesting and fruitful discussions through her challenging question formulations. 100 people from industry, academia, research institutes and authorities in Finland and Sweden attended. There are many aspects to how the metal industry can contribute to the development of a circular economy. The development of new materials, the reuse and recycling of materials and products, and the use of waste products from metal production for new products for other sectors than the metal industry, are just some of the examples. Maria Pantsar, SITRA, who was one of the introductory speakers, presented an assessment of the circular economy as having a potential of 2–3 million euros per year in Finland and the ability to provide 75,000 new jobs. 26
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The steel, aluminium, copper, lead and silver industries all have their own individual conditions with which to take care of recycled materials and manage their waste streams and by-products from their own production processes. Many issues were highlighted, and the words “increased communication” ran like a red thread through many of the lectures and discussions.
LEGISLATION NEEDED Communication between politicians, nature conservation agencies and companies appears to be a necessity in order to create a climate that is conducive to the development of a circular economy. To understand industry’s conditions on the global market, where the same environmental rules, in all probability, do not apply to all global players,
The panel debate. From left: Juha Ylimauno (Outokumpu), Maria Pantsar (SITRA), Eva Blixt (Jernkontoret) and Maria Wetterstrand. Not pictured: Jyri Tackle (Kuusakoski).
requires politicians and decision makers to listen actively and to react. The role of politics, however, is to set boundaries and to inspire technological solutions to difficult problems. Legislation is needed, not only to protect the environment in our countries, but also to protect children and others who work with recycling and raw materials in other parts of the world. During the panel discussion it was suggested that ‘interpreters’ between politicians and industry were needed for improved legislation. Maria Wetterstrand pointed out the importance of communicating with all stakeholders; customers, suppliers, researchers and others, and doing what they themselves are best at. It will not work if we wait to begin dealing with the problem until the situation is acute, and many problems still remain to be defined. MAJOR CHALLENGES Lauri Holappa, Aalto University, pointed out that the demand for steel will increase and by 2050, 2.3–3 billion tonnes will be required
to meet the demand. Both virgin and recycled materials will be needed. The world population and the standard of living in the world is increasing, which means that the use of metals is also increasing worldwide. Hans Frisk, Swedish aluminium, said that 75 percent of all aluminum produced so far, is still in use in society. Jyri Tackle, Kuusakoski, spoke about the practical and economic conditions for metal recycling and stated that only a minority of all metallic materials in the world is recycled – and that only a few metals are actually recycled at all. All this means that the real challenges actually still lie ahead of us. GOOD EXAMPLES What then can be done? Never before have so many worked to find solutions to the social challenges we face. In the future, technical and economically-viable solutions will, in all probability, be found much more quickly. There are many good examples to learn from and be inspired by. In the steel industry about 90 percent of the scrap is recycled and 80 percent of the waste products are used.
Kjell Pålsson told us about how steel slag from Ovako is collected and transformed into useful products, such as ballast in asphalt, with significantly improved properties compared to natural stone. Kerstin Konradsson, Boliden, described how plastic is now separated out during the recycling of lead-acid batteries from 4 million cars per year. NEW CONFERENCE 2017 It is important to cooperate over issues that affect companies and businesses in both countries. There is certainly no lack of research challenges and during the second day of the seminar efforts were made to identify possible areas of collaboration between the countries in the form of various projects. The seminar in Helsinki was the second in a series of gatherings arranged by Jernkontoret and its Finnish sister organisation. The first one took place in Stockholm in autumn 2015. A next conference is planned for 2017. // Text and photo: Robert Vikman
The handbook “Industrial Documentation” is now available in English The Swedish handbook “Industridokumentation. Hur och varför?” (“Industrial Documentation. How and why?”) is both a methodological and an inspirational book for the documentation of modern process industries, published by the Historical Metallurgy Group at the Swedish Ironmasters’ Association (Jernkontoret). An English language version of the handbook has recently been published. Both language versions can now be ordered or downloaded from Jernkontoret’s website. The steel industry is undergoing rapid developments, which means that industrial documentation is of ever greater importance. In November 2012 Jernkontoret arranged a seminar which asked: "Is there a needed for a handbook/ inspirational handbook for the documentation of modern processing industries? The response to the seminar was enormous and the proposal from the discussions was to develop a methodological and inspirational handbook for documentation. METHODOLOGICAL AND INSPIRATIONAL HANDBOOK FOR THE DOCUMENTATION OF THE PROCESS INDUSTRIES The Swedish handbook “Industridokumentation. Hur och varför?” was published in 2014.It was produced through collaboration between Jernkontoret, the Technical Museum, the County Museum in Gavleborg,
• How can interest be stimulated for the documentation of contemporary industrial history within broad groups in society? • What can be done to generate enthusiasm among people, not least young people and students, for industrial and technological questions? • How can employers and employees become involved in the documentation work and strengthen the view which sees industrial heritage as a resource for the future? The Project Committee has attached great importance to the documentation of contemporary life for the future, and the work has been aimed at achieving greater synergy between the museums and the business community. Ovako, the Swedish Railway Museum, the National Heritage Board, the Museum of Work, the Centre for Business History and the Swedish Forest Industries Federation. The editors, Anna Lindgren at the Swedish Railway Museum and Peter Du Rietz at the Technical Museum, were supported in part by a project committee within Jernkontoret’s Historical Metallurgy Group, which acted as the steering committee, and partly by a reference group. The starting point for the production of the handbook was a number of questions:
DEMAND FOR AN ENGLISH VERSION OF THE MANUAL When the handbook was presented at various conferences many of those attending asked for an English version. Consequently, during 2016, Jernkontoret together with the Swedish Railway Museum, the County Museum in Gävleborg and the Museum of Technology commissioned a translation of the handbook into English. It is hoped that the translation “Documenting industry. How and Why” will be helpful and provide inspiration for new language groups in their eﬀorts to document modern industry. //
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Maintenance agreement has given Ovako good results Ovako is a leading European provider of engineering steel. Availability requirements for the production equipment are high since tough competition must be overcome. So to increase availability, the steel and rolling mill in Hofors invested a few years ago in a service contract with SKF, with very good results. “It has really helped us in terms of availability. We have recouped our investment three times over,” says Niklas Sohlborg, maintenance manager at Ovako’s steel and rolling mill facility.
the Hofors plant has ancient roots and spreads majestically over almost half of the locality’s total area. niklas sohlborg has worked for ovako since 1988 and started working as an operator in production. For the last 10 years he has held various positions in the maintenance department and now occupies the role of maintenance manager in the steel and rolling mill facility.
measurements to be taken at regular intervals. earlier every vibration measurement generated a purchase order which involved an administrative step for us. i saw a cost savings in entering into an agreement that included a number of measurements without each measurement being treated as a purchase. when sKF presented their oﬀer a whole new world opened up.
“i have myself operated almost 90 per cent of the machines here,” says niklas.” i know how they work and all their idiosyncrasies. it is a great advantage and saves time when troubleshooting and analysing deviations in the operations,” says niclas.
PROACTIVE MAINTENANCE sKF’s Prm agreement, Proactive reliability maintenance programme, is a package solution for operational improvements that includes sKF’s entire knowledge base, their expertise and the products with which to achieve measurable operational improvements in an industrial plant. Johan Almqvist, regional sales manager at sKF, believes that the demand for plant optimisation increases as companies move from a reactive to a more proactive maintenance strategy.
the maintenance department has performed vibration measurements on the equipment with the support of sKF for many years. the measurements were taken at regular intervals. A few years ago, sKF presented a broader oﬀering consisting of condition monitoring, and stock and oil analyses. initially niklas sohlborg saw an administrative advantage with the arrangement. “the closer cooperation was initiated for the simple reason that we needed vibration 28
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“companies want to know when their equipment stops working, and also the solutions which can eliminate the underlying cause of the problem, to prevent it from happening again,” says Johan. “it’s extremely
expensive to run a fan bearing until it breaks down. we have found several defects where we have gone in and taken measures. we have such complex operations. many applications do not contain standard bearings and there is a ﬁxed delivery time on some bearings that we must take into consideration.
The equipment is subjected to great stress when the annealed steel moves through the plant.
we buy what we need in good time, replace parts during planned stops, and thus avoid emergency stops on a saturday night,” says niklas. CONTINUOUS FOLLOW-UP the contents of the agreement have been created through a dialogue. there are continuous exchanges between sKF and niklas and his team about what the measurements show. indications of irregularities in the rotating equipment comes to the department at an early stage. sometimes, actions on a speciﬁc application that shows deviations that may cause an increase the frequency in the measurements, are delayed for several months so as to get a more reliable forecast. “we found a defect in a large gearbox on one of our rollers, but it was not serious enough for us to halt operations. we found the deviation in september, carried out the veriﬁcation and then increased the vibration measurements to be extra vigilant and were then able to change the bearings during the christmas shutdown. if we had not had the vibration measurement on the gearbox and driven it until it broke, then it would have been extremely expensive; spare parts takes several months to get hold of,” says niklas. niklas and his team have also have also performed a number of stock and lubricant analyses on identiﬁed applications. Among others, this includes lubricant analyses in the hydraulic system, and an analysis of a motor which goes through a gearbox to a pair of rollers. they found water in the analysis which worried niklas. “now the upcoming problem that could have cost us dearly was discovered at an early stage. this part of the agreement is more concerned with taking appropriate actions on critical applications before there are any indications from the vibration measurements.”
“Long-term cooperation gives results in the long run,” says Niklas Sohlborg during an inspection tour of with SKF’s Johan Almqvist, on the right in the photo.
IMPROVEMENT AREAS Aer a number of lubricant analyses, areas of improvement have been identiﬁed regarding the lubrication of machines at the plant. “we are beginning to use more automatic lubrication and centralised lubrication systems. this eliminates the risk that there will be either too much or too little lubrication, with resulting breakdowns due to incorrect lubrication.” each quarter, evaluation and follow-up meetings take place for the targets that have developed together through dialogue between the parties. the agreement covers three years and niklas can see already that it can be further developed. “we feel very secure with sKF. we have an open dialogue, which i appreciate. together we review the risks and appropriate methods to use for our equipment with regard to the cost-saving demands. if we discover recurring problems we try to ﬁnd ways of eliminating their causes. i feel that sKF wants to help me. they come up with solutions that are relevant for the problem and which lower my costs. it is not a load of stuﬀ that i don’t need, and i appreciate that,” says niklas. “so far, i feel that we are well in front regarding the agreement and have recouped our investment three times over.” in 2012, the availability of the rolling mill was normally about 60 per cent. today, the availability rate is around 75 per cent with the target being an increase up to 80 per cent. the focus on proactive maintenance, such as the Prm agreement and other activities are parts of the eﬀorts to increase accessibility at the plant. FACTS Ovako Steel in Hofors 1,200 employees at the site, the business including a tube-ring mill, a steel rolling mill and a service unit. the maintenance department
at the steel and rolling mill in Hofors consists of 82 people. This is Ovako ovako is a leading european manufacturer of engineering steel for customers in the ball bearing, transport, and manufacturing industries. Production consists mainly of lowalloy steels in the form of bars, tubes, rings, and components which are oen used in demanding applications such as ball bearings, drive lines, hydraulic cylinders and rock drills. ovako has ten production sites and is represented in more than 30 countries with sales oﬃces in europe, north America and Asia. sales in 2015 amounted to eUr 83 million and the number of employees was 2,905. SKF Proactive Reliability Maintenance Programme PRM sKF provides the resources and tools to support the whole process when switching from reactive to proactive maintenance. the Prm agreement is an innovative package solution for operational improvements which enables companies to take advantage of sKF’s knowledge, engineering services and products to improve the eﬀectiveness of speciﬁc assets or general industrial plants. through the combination of technology and services for condition monitoring, programmes for improvements of operational reliability and optimised logistical services through our distribution network, we help our customers to achieve predetermined business goals, both ﬁnancial and technical, for each tailor-made project. K Reproduction of this article – even in excerpts – may only be made with SKF’s prior written consent. The information in this article has been checked with the greatest care, but SKF cannot accept responsibility for any possible loss or damages, direct, indirect, incurred as a consequence of use of the information contained herein. October 2016
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Better than expected, in fact it’s rather good Gold has surprised the world. The price increase as the Trump victory seemed assured was expected. A five-month low five days later was however not.
GOLD the gold price is down .0 per cent compared to the same time last month at 1,215 Usd/oz. this movement can be explained by reasoning that gold takes its cues from other larger markets, for example interests and bonds etc., and movements in those markets were anticipated to be large and negative come a trump presidency. But the market reaction was hesitant positive backed by the investments promised. And if the market considers that everything is as it should be, then the Fed is likely to pursue its plan to raise the interest rate. the worst-case scenario for the gold price is probably a situation where the Us economy is accelerating despite a Fed rate increase. However, at least part of the market’s reaction assumes that funds for the investments promised will be delivered. considering that congress will vote of these plans and that all earlier attempts to make similar investments, however small, have been either voted down or slimmed down, much points towards a higher gold price in 2017 which could beneﬁt smaller scandinavian juniors like Botnia exploration. COPPER the copper price soared during early november, and is now traded at 5,05 Usd/t, 17 per cent higher than a month ago. the price reacted to the soer dollar in the wake of the Us elections and the promises of higher demand following the spending plans of the new Us president. there is also an expectation that demand from china will rise in the short to mid-term boosted by the chinese President Xi Jinping’s promise to support a free trade area of the Asia-Paciﬁc. caution might however be prudent as the speed of the price hike could result in a short-term backlash. IRON the iron ore price (62 per cent Fe) continued to increase and reached a two-year high at 32
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79.70 Usd/t during november from which it has come back down to 69.80 Usd/t on the 21st. that is still an increase of 25 per cent compared to the same time last month. For lKAB both a content and a pellet premium, the latter at roughly 35 Usd/t currently, which in swedish krona is at very high level if not all time high, is added to the price. while few analysts would argue that these price levels are sustainable considering the fundamentals, the bears have been proved wrong. Prices for a medium quality product are for example roughly twice the 35 Usd/t that goldman sachs predicted for the end of the year and many other analysts and banks are also upgrading their predictions. At the same time rio tinto is planning to cut jobs in its iron ore division in western Australia and the company also announced that it will suspend mining at one of its operations. if this is a reaction to a perceived threat of more material coming onto the market or a reﬂection on one mine’s cash cost is hard to assess. most analyst and mining companies have factored in lower prices than the current 70– 80 Usd/t. with the content premium and a strengthened Us$ compared to the swedish krona one cannot but wonder how the mines in Pajala would have performed. NICKEL the nickel price was 10,768 Usd/t on the 18th of november, a 3.9 per cent increase compared to the same date last month. with increasing stocks, lme stocks increased 9. per cent month on month, we might see a correction downwards of the price short term. during october 2–26 the international nickel study group held its biannual meeting in lisbon. the group that gathers the main nickel producing and consuming countries states that world nickel demand will continue to grow in 2017 due to increased production of austenitic stainless steel grades in all main markets. Further the group expects produc-
tion of primary nickel to be 2,07 mt in 2017 while the world primary nickel demand would reach 2,113 mt. with the nickel Pig iron (nPi) industry in china acting as swing producers there is a limit to the upside of this potential under supply. while the chinese nPi industry has suﬀered from the indonesian export ban, volumes are predicted to increase with alternative exporters.
Zn 65,38 Zinc
ZINC the zinc price has continued to increase and on the 17th of november it was 2,516 Usd/t, an 11 per cent increase compared with last month. At the same time the lme stocks has decreased 2.3 per cent. short term this trend could continue. However, one of the most pressing issues for the zinc price is the plans of glencore. the company idled 500 kt of zinc supply at the end of 2015 and the question is now whether the company will restart these operations. glencore has announced an investor update on december 1st. it would not be surprising if the company addresses this issue during the call. since the potential return of the idled capacity would have such a large impact on the global production one might want to be somewhat careful in regards to zinc price forecasts. K ▶ ANTON LÖF ◀
Independent consultant to the mining cluster. firstname.lastname@example.org
Fe 55,845 Iron
Anton Lรถf, independent commodity expert, has monitored and analyzed the mining industry the last twelve years; private companies, international organizations as UNCTAD, the World Bank Group, government institutions, often with a focus on iron ore.
Zn 65,38 Zinc
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