Primetals Technologies receives order from voestalpine to modernize automation of continuous annealing line 1

17 November 2020

In September 2020, the Steel Division of voestalpine, an international steel and technology corporation, awarded Primetals Technologies an order to modernize the basic automation systems of the continuous annealing line 1 (KGL1) in the Linz plant in Austria. The replacement of the now obsolete systems will improve the operational safety and availability of the annealing plant as well as increase personal safety. All the sequence controllers will be modernized, and the KGL1 safety concept will be implemented. The project processing is especially challenging because work can only be executed during the ten- to twelve-day plant shutdowns which only take place about every six months.

Modernization of the automation of continuous annealing line 1

The order voestalpine Stahl GmbH awarded to Primetals Technologies in September 2020 to modernize the basic automation systems comprises the replacement of the sequence controllers. In future, the signals will be interconnected via decentralized I/O-systems, which are linked to the automation system by a fieldbus. The existing sensors and actuators will be linked into the newly supplied control cabinets. Some of the local control desks will also be modernized and the central I/O modules of the automation system will be replaced by new decentralized hardware. The aims of the modernization are to improve operational safety and plant availability and increase personal safety in compliance with the machine safety regulation.

The order also includes essential adaptations of the visualization system, modernization of all motor feeders for the fixed-speed drives and power supplies(MCCs), as well as the application of a new safety concept throughout the entire plant, the supply of the door locks and release consoles, and implementation of the safety functions in the existing safety PLC. The scope of services covers the hardware and software engineering, the technical documentation, the manufacturing of the cabinets for the automation and MCC (motor control center), disassembly and erection, commissioning, on-call service, performance and availability tests.

One particular challenge lies in the step-by-step modernization which has to take place during the ten- to twelve-day plant shutdowns which only take place about every six-months.

First modernization phase executed in 2018

Primetals Technologies had previously received an order from voestalpine Stahl GmbH in 2018 to equip all speed-controlled drives with modern drive technology, and bring the software and hardware automation systems for the cleaning section and annealing furnace up to the state-of-the-art. The order also included the implementation of a state-of-the-art safety PLC and some technological expansions and improvements at the furnace section. The newly awarded follow-up order involves modernizing the remaining basic automation systems and implementing the safety concept. The new project can also use the empirical values gained during many years of cooperation between voestalpine Stahl GmbH and Primetals Technologies.

voestalpine Stahl GmbH is the leading company in the Steel Division, the largest of the four voestalpine divisions, and is one of the leading steel producers in Europe. It supplies high-quality hot and cold-rolled, and electrolytically galvanized, hot-dip galvanized and organically coated steel strips and electric strips for the automotive, electrical, domestic appliance and manufacturing industries. voestalpine Stahl GmbH runs a fully integrated iron and steel works in Linz, Austria, with all process stages at one location: coking plant, steel works, hot and cold rolling mill, galvanizing and strip coating. The continuous annealing line 1 (KGL1) at the Linz plant produces annealed steel strip which meets the highest quality and material demands.

Primetals Technologies, Limited, headquartered in London, United Kingdom, is a pioneer and world leader in the fields of engineering, plant building, and the provision of lifecycle services for the metals industry. The company offers a complete technology, product, and services portfolio that includes integrated electrics and automation, digitalization, and environmental solutions. This covers every step of the iron and steel production chain—from the raw materials to the finished product—and includes the latest rolling solutions for the nonferrous metals sector. Primetals Technologies is a joint venture of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and partners, with around 7,000 employees worldwide. To learn more about Primetals Technologies, visit the company website