We are proud to announce that with the successful heat treatment of the first plate a decisive milestone for the "New Heat Treatment Line" has been reached. The managing directors of Ilsenburger Grobblech GmbH were present at this special event and were able to admire “live” the high quality of our new plates with mirror-smooth surface.
The next challenging milestone has been achieved:
The new flatness measuring system of our heat treatment line has passed the two-part suitability test for test equipment capability according to MSA (Measurement System Analysis).
The plates are now fully automatically accurately tested for flatness in accordance with the standard.
Perfectly on time, heat treatment furnace 1 of our "New Heat Treatment Line" has been started up and heated up for the first time since 04 November 2020 and another milestone is reached in the construction of our new production facilities. This step serves to dry the refractory insulation material in the furnace. Within 100 hours, the kiln is gradually heated to its maximum temperature of around 960 °C
In future, heavy plates will be heated flame-free in the heat treatment furnace in a protective gas atmosphere through radiant tubes. This will ensure that we will be able to produce the highest quality plates with mirror-smooth surfaces in the near future.
The shot-blasting unit upstream of heat treatment furnace 1 is used to remove mill scale or annealing scale from the upper and lower surfaces of the plates to be heat treated. It thus cleans the surfaces of the plates. By blasting the plates, a degree of purity of at least SA 2 ½ according to DIN-EN-ISO 8501-1 is achieved. Due to the optimal configuration of the turbines, the highest possible removal rate is achieved and at the same time deformation of the plate is prevented. The processing speed of the blasting machine was perfectly matched to the heat treatment furnace 1, so that a short throughput time can be guaranteed.
This plant component is suitable for plate with the following dimensions:
For the production of heavy plates with mirror-smooth surfaces, it is necessary to heat the plates in an inert gas atmosphere. For this purpose, a new nitrogen supply system was specially constructed for the so-called heat treatment furnace 1 (WBO 1), which feeds the nitrogen into the WBO 1. The protective gas atmosphere thus created prevents scaling during the heating of the plates.
The nitrogen supply facility essentially consists of two storage tanks with a total storage capacity of approx. 75 tonnes of cryogenic liquefied nitrogen and four air vaporisers which convert the cryogenic liquefied nitrogen back into the gas phase. Four truck tankers are required for the complete filling of the storage tanks. 75 tonnes of liquid nitrogen correspond to approx. 64,000 m3 of gaseous nitrogen. Up to 1,300 m3 per hour of gaseous nitrogen can be provided by the plant.
One of the special milestones is the completion of the new water management system. It is one of the core elements of our "New Heat Treatment Line" and will in future supply the MultiFlexQuench® with cooling water for the production of high-strength and wear-resistant plates.
The new water management system is our guarantee for a more sustainable and, thus, more environmentally friendly production. Several pipes with a large nominal diameter (flow) and a service water return channel connect it underground with the quench. Using pumps with multi-stage pressure processes, the MultiFlexQuench® can be supplied with several million liters of water per hour if required.
As early as the beginning of July 2020, the pump house was filled for the first time with make-up water from the Ilse river, which remains permanently in the cooling circuit.
After being used in the cooling process, the so-called service water is first filtered, then cooled and finally cleaned and treated for the next application, thus saving the environment and resources. Only minor evaporation losses have to be compensated by the controlled replenishment of supplementary water from the Ilse before it is fed back into the cooling process as service water.
The new levelling machine is designed for a thickness range of 5-25mm and for a maximum plate temperature of 500 ° C. This complete the existing levelling range of the Ilsenburger Grobblech GmbH. In addition, the levelling machine has a flatness measurement system with an integrated measurement table which allow a fully automatic measurement of the levelled heavy plates.
The workshop complex for the "New Heat Treatment Line" were handed over to the plant engineering company SMS in April 2020. Since then, various equipment of the new production line has been installed inside the approximately 31,000 m² workshop. The assembly of the furnace casing for the two heat-treating furnaces has already been largely completed. While the furnaces lining is still in process, the piping is already attached at the top (see photo).
The groundbreaking ceremony for the "New Heat Treatment Line" project took place in the presence of Saxony-Anhalt’s Minister President Dr. Reiner Haseloff and Prof. Dr. Armin Willingmann, Minister for Economic Affairs, on September 19, 2018. This is the largest single investment in the history of Ilsenburger Grobblech GmbH (ILG), a subsidiary of Salzgitter AG.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heinz Jörg Fuhrmann, Chief Executive Officer of Salzgitter AG, and senior executives of ILG are to present the investment project that will cost in excess of € 150 million. The new heat treatment line is the main project component through which Salzgitter AG concentrates the heavy plate activities of ILG and positions the company securely for future requirements. It comprises two roller-hearth furnaces, a MultiFlex-Quench®, a leveling machine, a blasting facility, a preservation line and a water treatment system. Implementation has been scheduled for the spring of 2020.
Since taking over the site in 1992, the Salzgitter Group has invested more than € 400 million in Ilsenburg. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heinz Jörg Fuhrmann, Chief Executive Officer of Salzgitter AG, made the following statement on the "New Heat Treatment Line" project: "This ground breaking investment evidences the clear commitment of the Salzgitter Group to heavy plate production in Ilsenburg and proves that, with us, restructuring and future-proofing go hand in hand. It is also an expression of the appreciation and the trust that the Executive Board, the Group Management Board and the Supervisory Board have in the motivation, qualification and the loyalty of the workforce in Ilsenburg."
More than 200,000 tons of heavy plate can be annealed and subsequently processed further in the new plant that has been designed for plate in thicknesses between 5 and 175 millimeters, with widths of 600 to 3,500 millimeters. In lengths of between 4 and 24 meters, the plate has a maximum weight of 28 tons.
The energy-efficient heat treatment line fulfills the highest standards placed on quality and energy efficiency. With its extremely flexible cooling-down strategies, the integrated MultiFlex-Quench® enables the production of a broad product portfolio, including particularly sophisticated heavy plate grades. The materials spectrum comprises ultra strength carbon steels, wear resistant steels, steels alloyed with nickel, steels for the offshore construction of wind turbines, steel grades for pressure vessel construction, as well as case-hardened, quenched and tempered steels, to name a few.
The Investment in the "New Heat Treatment Line" with a volume of more than 150 million Euro is currently the biggest single investment in Saxony-Anhalt. It is the next logical step of our product range development of the last years. Hereby, we ensure a long-term top Position of Ilsenburger Grobblech in international competition.