Siemens Metals Technologies Shifts Market Focus to Mill Modernization Solutions

Business unit advances from mill engineering services to more lifecycle technologies to reflect a changing market.

Siemens Metals Technologies has begun transitioning from steel mill engineering and project development to focus on offering more lifecycle solutions for the metallurgical industry, said Werner Auer, CEO of the Siemens AG (IW 1000/26) business unit.

With current steel capacity satisfying global demand and a need for asset management at aging facilities, the Linz, Austria-based unit sees increasing opportunities in plant modernization, said Auer at the Siemens Metals Technologies media summit in Mexico City May 22.

The demand for high-quality steel places increasing pressure on steelmakers to upgrade their plants with new automation packages and IT applications, Auer said.

"The change from a manufacturer market to a buyer market has made the global competition in the steel world even tougher and has set new standards for steel production," Auer said.

Siemens has expanded its offerings of predictive maintenance technologies that monitor and provide data about equipment.

Predictive Maintenance Technologies

This includes simulation tools that allow plants to compare ideal conditions to real-world operations, said Andreas Flick, chief technology officer and head of research and development for Siemens VAI Metals Technologies.

"By simulating plants and processes, we can determine the optimum process flow and the associated lever to control complex steel mills better than before," Flick said in a prepared statement. "This also enables us to focus on any weak points that used to appear everywhere during the long lifetime of a plant."

Siemens Metals Technologies announced last week modernization plans at several metals-producing facilities, including Arcelor Mittal SA (IW 1000/40) plants in Dunkirk, France, and Ghent, Belgium, and a hot-rolling mill at an Aluminum Norf GmbH complex in Neuss, Germany.

Siemens will replace existing DC main drives with more powerful AC systems at the Arcelor Mittal plants, the company said.

The Arcelor Mittal projects are part of an overall modernization plan to process steel grades that demand more sophisticated production technology, in addition to boosting productivity and cutting costs, Siemens said.

The sites produce steel for the auto and domestic appliance industries.

Aluminum Norf plans to modernize the drive technology at its No. 2 hot-rolling mill. Siemens will replace all the converter systems of all the main drives at the mill.

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