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Company News, 2005-07-04, 09:49 AM

ThyssenKrupp Stahl hot strip mill 1 celebrates anniversary

Almost exactly 50 years ago, the works of today's ThyssenKrupp Stahl AG in Duisburg-Bruckhausen played host to several high-ranking guests: Accompanied by Germany's then economics minister Ludwig Erhard, the interior minister and the prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer visited August Thyssen-Hütte AG in Duisburg on July 11, 1955. The top politicians were there to inaugurate the first fully continuous hot strip mill built in Germany after the war. "A great and impressive plant," said Adenauer at the time. It was the beginning of a success story for flat steel production in Duisburg.

Half a century on and the mill, originally designed to produce 960,000 tons of hot rolled coil a year, is still a state-of-the-art facility, having been continually modernized mechanically and electrically. Today it rolls around 3.1 million tons of steel a year. Roughly speaking, the production process is as follows: First, massive blocks of steel, so-called slabs, are heated to around 1,250 degrees Celsius in a walking-beam furnace. Then the slabs are squeezed under huge pressure in the mill stands and reduced into strips of specified width and thickness. These are then wound into coils and shipped to processors. Processors use the hot rolled coil from ThyssenKrupp Stahl to make products which are used by virtually every end consumer. Almost 80% of all steel products pass through a hot strip mill in the course of their production, including car body panels, for example, and the panels of refrigerators and washing machines. Paint cans and cans made from tinplate, as well as the electrical steel used in electric motors and transformers, are also produced from processed hot rolled coil.

Around 665 people are currently employed in the teams of ThyssenKrupp Stahls Bruckhausen hot strip mill. Most of the employees, including family members as well as many former employees and guests in total around 3,000 people marked the 50th anniversary of the hot strip mill with a family celebration on July 2. The guests of honor included Konrad Adenauer?s grandson, Sven-Georg Adenauer, who is chief administrative officer of Gütersloh district. As a symbolic gesture, he inaugurated the next 50 years of the Bruckhausen hot strip mill.

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