Galvanizing line upgrade by SMS group enables Villacero to meet the growing demand for skin-passed strip and coil.

17 December 2020

SMS group and Lamina y Placa Comercial S.A de C.V, part of the Villacero Group, successfully completed the hot commissioning of the revamped galvanizing line in Apodaca, Mexico.

For the project, SMS supplied a new four-high inline skin-pass mill, a new tension leveler, new fluid equipment and new electrical and automation systems. The project consisted of four consecutive phases, starting with the relocation of the existing equipment on a new bridge structure, thus allowing the installation of the new foundations and equipment, including cold commissioning, to be executed in shadow mode with the line in production. Thanks to this solution, the overall shutdown period could be reduced to a minimum.

The revamping of the galvanizing line allows Lamina y Placa Comercial to meet the growing demand for skin-passed products. The company is now able to produce skin-passed strips, galvanized profiled sheet and coils, galvanized steel roof ridge cap, and pre-painted coils and sheet for structural engineering.

Enhanced strip surface quality, improved flatness, and better thickness and elongation accuracy and control are the main benefits of the plant modernization.

The Mexican manufacturer is now in a position to supply the market with galvanized steel SAE 1006, 1008 and 1010 and steel strip products with yield strengths between 210 and 560 MPa, thicknesses from 0.23 up to 2.0 millimeters and widths from 812 to 1,282 millimeters.

The Villacero and SMS project teams jointly managed and implemented the project with successful results: remote connection was applied to all systems and webcams were installed to allow those involved in the project but unable to be present on site, as the technology experts based in Italy, to monitor the available plant data and test results in real time. This guaranteed prompt troubleshooting whenever necessary and 24/7 support during the production ramp up. Video conferences were held on a regular basis to enhance the communication flow among team members and get tangible results from ongoing activities.

All of this stands to demonstrate that, even under the current challenging conditions, projects can be successfully completed provided they are specifically and accurately planned and monitored, large quantities of data are collected and efficiently used, and advanced technologies are employed to enable prompt response by all team members at any time.

Lamina y Placa Comercial is a leading player in the commercial­ization, transformation and logistics of steel products in Mexico, the United States, and the Americas. The company supplies its products to key industries, including civil and infrastructure construction, metalworking and industrial manufacturing, agroindustry and mining, automotive, and distribution in general.

SMS group is a group of companies internationally active in plant construction and mechanical engineering for the steel and nonferrous metals industry. It has some 14,000 employees who generate worldwide sales of more than EUR 2.9 billion. The sole owner of the holding company SMS GmbH is the Familie Weiss Foundation.