New plate mill in Inner Mongolia, 10 Asian mills in implementation phase

By Control Engineering Staff February 9, 2006

Erlangen, GermanySiemens Industrial Solutions and Services Group has an order—valued at some€11 million ($13.2 million as of Feb. 8)—for a new plate mill under construction by Baotou Iron & Steel Co. (BSC). The order includes an automation system and parts of the rolling mill’s power and drive systems, with commissioning scheduled for early 2008. BSC’s current hot-rolling mill—equipped by Siemens—together with a tandem cold mill and pickling line began operation a few months ago.

Situated in Baotou—some 700 km northwest of Beijing in the autonomous province of Nei Monggol (Inner Mongolia)—BSC operates an integrated iron-and-steel plant producing both long products and flat steel, the latter via a compact hot strip mill. The new plate mill has a design of approximately 1.4-million metric tons annually; and BSC intends to expand its range to include plates from 5-100 mm thick and widths up to 3,800 mm, as required for gas and oil pipelines, pressure vessels, and bridges. The rolling mill’s first expansion phase comprises a reheating furnace, two plate rolling stands, a rapid cooling facility, and a hot plate leveler.

For the foregoing, Siemens is supplying the automation system, sensors, ac main-drive converters, and the dynamic compensation system. Process computers monitor and control the entire production sequence. The automation system comprises the basic elements including the technological control systems and the HMI equipment. All process parameters held to tight tolerances through a combination of analytical process models and neural networks. Siemens’ solution incorporates functions such as plan view control, thermo-mechanical rolling, and variable thickness plate-production. A rolling-sequence control system enables nested multiple-plate rolling, thereby enhancing rolling mill productivity. The system is flexible, adapting to changes in the range of products or quality requirements. A high-level tracking system ensures the smooth flow of materials and the correct correlation of process data and products at all times.

Siemens is also coordinating the engineering work and installation of the electrical equipment for the entire rolling mill. This also includes integration of automation packages for the heating furnaces, rapid cooling facility, and levelers, which will be provided by other suppliers. All components and systems used are part of Siroll PM, Siemens’ integrated solution for plate mills. Moreover, Siemens is responsible for commissioning and operator training. BSC will provide—from local sources—the majority of the motors and converters, the power distribution system and transformers, as well as the electrical infrastructure, reheating furnaces, and the finishing shop.

Currently, including this project, there are a further 10 Siemens-equipped plate mills that are in the implementation phase: eight in China, and two in India.

Richard Phelps , senior editor, Control Engineering