Company News, 2001-04-23, 02:00 AM
Euro150 m `TAKO` project completed
World`s most advanced cold rolling mill in operation in Duisburg
`TAKO`, the most advanced cold rolling mill of its kind in the world, has been in operation at the Duisburg-Beeckerwerth facility of Thyssen Krupp Stahl AG since March 26, 2001. The new mill, which took just under two years to build at a cost of almost euro150 million, was officially inaugurated on April 3, 2001. "This major investment will significantly boost the competitiveness of our Duisburg location and thus Thyssen Krupp Stahl AG as a whole", said TKS chief executive Dr. Wolfgang Kohler before the customers and representatives from the worlds of business and politics invited to the inauguration ceremony. "We are now capable of meeting the most demanding customer specifications for sheet quality and properties. TAKO is therefore an investment in the future of our steel products, in keeping with our motto `Thinking the future of steel`", Kohler continued.
The acronym TAKO stands for the construction of a new high-tech tandem mill which has been linked with an existing pickling line, also modernized as part of the project. The link-up allows continuous production. Hot-rolled coils are joined to form an endless strip which is descaled in the pickling line. The strip is then redirected through 90° into the tandem mill, where it is cold rolled using state-of-the-art technology.
"TAKO represents a technological leap forward", said technical director Dr. Karl-Ulrich Köhler. "The line is designed to achieve the highest possible quality, tolerances and reduction rates." ThyssenKrupp Stahl is now in a position to supply extremely wide and thin cold-rolled strip. The design of the tandem mill allows strip to be produced in widths from 1,000 to 2,040 millimeters and gauges from 0.3 to 4 millimeters. One focus of production will be high-strength multi-phase steels for lightweight automobile construction.
The continuous process minimizes surface defects, while special equipment integrated in the rolling process ensures uniform strip thickness across the entire width. To achieve strip thicknesses accurate to a thousandth of a millimeter, the electrical equipment has control circuits and computer functions to the very highest standards and uses artificial neural networks to create adaptive technical systems. Overall, product tolerances will be less than one percent - another outstanding figure. Experience gathered so far and comparisons with previous rolling facilities indicate that this target is within the company`s grasp.
"The new equipment configuration will increase our sheet rolling capacity by 30,000 metric tons to 172,000 tons/month and thus consolidate our position in the high-value sheet segment", said Kohler. "Also, TAKO will ensure top product quality and a broad range of products and sizes." Kohler saw this as further evidence of TKS`s ability to react flexibly to market requirements and thus maintain a leading position long-term.
Construction work on TAKO began in June 1999. Mechanical and electrical equipment was installed in January 2000, and functional trials commenced a mere eight months later. Cold commissioning - without strip - took place in September 2000, and hot commissioning started in November. The provisional links between pickling line and tandem mill used until March 2001 were finally replaced by the permanent link on March 26. "The ramp-up phase will be completed by the end of June this year", said Köhler.
Duisburg, April 3, 2001