ArcelorMittal announced the recent commissioning of a $60m state-of-the-art heat treat line at its 160” plate facility in Burns Harbor, Indiana, USA.
The re-engineered line produces Burns Harbor’s full range of heat treat products, while enhancing quality, productivity and customer delivery resulting in both cost and energy savings.
The line, which was constructed over the past nine months, will provide high-quality, heat-treated plate products with a reduced cycle time for valued customers in the machinery, mining, and construction industries and steel service centres.
“The market has become increasingly competitive in quality, cycle time and delivery performance,” said John Mengel, chief operating officer, ArcelorMittal USA plate operations. “We invested in our existing operations, which were built in 1966, in order to meet current and future market demand for on-time quality deliveries.
“ArcelorMittal, in partnership with United Steelworkers Local 6787, is pleased with the commitment of its employees and contractors to safely complete the project, positioning ArcelorMittal to be a low-cost, supplier of choice for the plate market,” added Mengel.
The project allowed for the reconfiguration of material flow to provide straight through processing for reduced cycle-time and lower work-in-process, for which full process tracking and automation are key. The cornerstone of this investment is a new, high-capacity leveller, the largest and most sophisticated leveller of its kind in the world. The leveller is designed to handle plate thicknesses from 3/8” to 4” with yield strengths up to 200ksi. Plates are blasted and painted with a “0” volatile organic compounds (VOC) fabrication friendly primer. The new line will deliver the stated quality and delivery goals, along with a 10 percent reduction in fuel consumption per tonne shipped.
The 160" plate mill heat treat line will produce the following three product families:
- normalised plate – provides improved toughness, fracture resistance in structures and puncture resistance in vessels
- quench plate (martensite) – for use in abrasion-resistant applications
- quench and tempered plate (tempered martensite) – tailored to meet customer specifications for high-strength applications
Benefits to the facility’s customers will be increased manufacturability, improved surface, accurate flatness and consistent on-time delivery due to a more predictable supply.
“The upgrades to the 160” heat treat facility demonstrate a desire and commitment in this business to keep abreast of today’s technology, as well as global competition. It demonstrates a confidence in the talent and ethic of the workforce that I have represented for many years,” said Paul Gipson, President, United Steelworkers Local 6787, Burns Harbor.
Project construction for the new heat treat facility began on July 1, 2011. In order to continue to serve customers during the construction phase of the project, production crews were transferred to the Gary facility. It was critical that this transfer of employee talent was seamless to the market so customers would not experience any interruption in service or product quality. Just nine months after the planned outage, on April 2, 2012, the first plate was produced on the new line.