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Products and solutions, 2002-04-15, 02:00 AM

New hot-dip galvanizing line in Dortmund

Specializing in the highest demands of the automobile industry

ThyssenKrupp Stahl AG has invested 128 million euros in a new hot-dip coating line at its Dortmund location. "By commissioning this plant we have strengthened our capabilities in the strategically important business of surface coated sheet. At the same time we are following the market trend toward increased demand for hot-dip coated material. This is a further investment in the future of our modern material steel," said Dr. Karl-Ulrich Köhler, Executive Board Chairman of ThyssenKrupp Stahl AG, at the official inauguration.

With a capacity of 450,000 metric tons per year, the new line will boost ThyssenKrupp Stahl`s total capacity for hot-dip galvanized sheet to some 3.8 million tons per year. While specializing in products for interior and outer panels for the automobile industry, the plant will also produce supplies for the construction and domestic appliance industries. The ramp-up phase is going extremely well, with performance exceeding expectations in terms of both volume and quality. Strip is already being produced to the toughest specifications of automobile manufacturers. The new plant is expected to reach full capacity in October 2002.

The design of the new hot-dip galvanizing line incorporates a number of innovative features.

In the entry zone the ends of the cold-rolled coils are joined together by a laser welding unit - a first in hot-dip galvanizing. From there the material is heated to 850 degrees Celsius in a ten-story annealing furnace before being galvanized. In the exit zone an environmentally friendly Chemcoater applies the temporary anti-corrosion coating. The 352 meter long building is fitted out with the latest high-tech equipment. Innovative installations such as fully automatic inspection units and the ground-breaking process control equipment guarantee processes and products of the highest quality. The auto industry demands products with outstanding finishes and mechanical properties to meet the most difficult forming requirements. The plant`s high degree of automation ensures that the products are highly uniform and meet the closest tolerances. In a continuous process strip is produced in widths of 750 to 1,650 millimeters and thicknesses of between 0.3 and 1.5 millimeters. The range extends from standard grades to sophisticated deep drawing grades and high-strength and ultra-high-strength multi-phase steels.

Employing over 100 skilled employees from facilities closed down in Dortmund, the new plant not only features innovative technology it also looks good, thanks to a modern, harmonious color scheme created by industrial designer Friedrich Ernst von Garnier, who helped design the Dortmunder OberflächenCentrum finishing center. "We believe that corporate colors not only establish a company`s image in the public arena, they also directly affect employee motivation and product quality," says Dr. Köhler. "In any event, we have certainly created an architectural highlight in Dortmund."

For more information:
ThyssenKrupp Stahl AG
Dietmar Stamm, Public Relations
Tel: +49 (0)203-52-2 62 67
Fax: +49 (0)203-52-2 57 07

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