Modernized process automation for tandem cold mill in Hämeenlinna, Finland

Tandem cold rolling mill in SSAB Hämeenlinna, Finland. The rolling mill is to receive new process automation from Primetals Technologies (Image: courtesy SSAB).

SSAB is a leading manufacturer of advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) and quenched and tempered steels (Q&T), strip, plate and tubular products. SSAB’s works in Finland and Sweden are based on the blast furnace route. The Hämeenlinna works produces strip products for the construction and automotive industries. Its portfolio includes hot-dip galvanized and color-coated coils. The four-stand tandem cold rolling mill can roll widths of between 660 and 1575 millimeters and exit strip gauges from 0.35 to 3.1 millimeters.

The rolling mill’s process automation system is currently equipped with a Unix operating system in a virtual environment, a database solution and a Level 2 operator control and monitoring system. Primetals Technologies will supply new server, operating system and database solutions operated on an ESX hardware platform acting as a virtual machine. Some of the user software will be migrated and the rolling model modernized.

Primetals Technologies’ scope of supply and performance includes replacing the operating system and inter-process communication via a new middleware and modernizing the database solution. The company will also provide a new Level 2 operator control and monitoring system, a test and simulation environment plus testing tools.

This will be supplemented by a switchable rolling model, replacement of the neural networks, modification of the Level 2 software for two-rounds rolling mills, setting improved set-points based on the specification of different strip tensions between end and beginning of the strip in the threading and tailing out operations as well as a new “fault time” server.