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 will modernize its existing Process Automation (Level 2) of the tandem cold rolling mill in Hämeenlinna with Primetals Technologies. The Level 2 solution is state of the art and replaces the existing, obsolete process automation. More precisely, coordinated set-points for threading and tailing out reduce off-gauge lengths. The system features ESXi virtualization and is, therefore, hardware neutral. Simulation on virtual machines enables calculations for new steel grades, thus giving the new solution Industry 4.0 capability. The scope of supply includes configuration, installation supervision, system test, and commissioning.

SSAB is a leading manufacturer of advanced high-strength steels (AHSS), quenched and tempered steels (Q&T), strip, plate, and tubular products. SSAB’s operations in Finland and Sweden utilize the blast furnace route. In Hämeenlinna, they produce strip products for the construction and automotive industries. Its portfolio includes hot-dip galvanized and color-coated coils.

NEW PROCESS AUTOMATION

The rolling mill’s current process automation system uses a Unix operating system in a virtual environment, a database solution, and a Level 2 operator control and monitoring system. Primetals Technologies will supply a new server, operating system, and database solutions operating on an ESX hardware platform acting as a virtual machine. They will also migrate some user software, while modernizing the rolling model.

Primetals Technologies’ scope of supply includes replacing the operating system and inter-process communication via a new middleware and modernized database solution. The company will also provide a new Level 2 operator control and monitoring system, testing tools, and a test and simulation environment. This will include a switchable rolling model, the replacement of the neural networks, modification of the Level 2 software for two-rounds rolling mills, and a new “fault time” server. Additionally, set-points based on different strip tensions between the end and beginning of the strip in the threading and tailing out operations will reduce off-gauge lengths.