A state-of-the-art steel processing line has been installed in the steel mill at the Linz site. After a project runtime of three and a half years, the secondary metallurgy 4 process line was successfully completed at the end of January 2016.
The new secondary metallurgy 4 is another element in the voestalpine strategy of consistent quality improvements. The downstream metallurgy from voestalpine Stahl GmbH consists of a vacuum degassing plant, a ladle furnace and a conditioning stand, and serves to fine-tune the chemical composition and temperature of the required steel grades. Together with the startup of the new continuous caster (CC8) which is scheduled for mid-2017, the Linz site will be equipped to produce almost 4.5 million tonnes of vacuum-treated steel a year. As a result, 75% of all steel production is vacuum degassed. This guarantees the capacity to meet quantity demands both now and in the future, and customer quality specifications in particular.
The challenge of ongoing operations
All through the project, the challenge has been to avoid disrupting regular production in the steel mill. For example, when clearing the construction site, the entire LD–3 alloy deliveries, energy supply and infrastructure had to be relocated without interfering with production. This required extensive know-how, plant knowledge and a spirit of innovation amongst all those involved. All activities on the construction site, including the transport of production materials to and from the site both by road and rail, also had to take place without constraining production. The Logistik Service GmbH (LogServ) kept transport flowing and ensured operational safety during the entire construction phase.
Ready for the future
After an intensive test phase, the hot startup started with the first batch in mid-November 2015. Continuous production on the line is scheduled from 7 January 2016 onwards, with the effect that the new secondary metallurgy 4 process line will immediately make a significant contribution to supporting the strategic objectives of the Linz site.
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