DEARBORN – On the ground of former Ford Motor Co. Rouge Steel property, Severstal North America, Barton Malow and the building trades are going full bore on projects to enhance the company’s steel product lines.
In March, we published an article on the topping out of the structural steel of Severstal’s massive hot dip coating line, which will be used for the production of automotive exposed hot-dipped galvanize and galvanneal coatings.
A healthy walk away from that project on Severstal’s grounds, the building trades are even farther along in the construction process on a coupled pickle line and tandem cold rolling mill (PLTCM). The PLTCM will allow Severstal to meet “the highest quality needs of the automotive industry as well as other end-user markets.” The new equipment will allow the mill to to perform steel pickling and rolling in one line, which is the newest and most productive cold rolling technology in the world. The mill will also provide Severstal Dearborn an expanded product capability, which will allow the steelmaker to increase its total output of cold rolled sheet from 1.65 million tons to 2.1 million tons per year.
“These projects are critical to furthering Severstal North America’s leadership position in the production of innovative, high-quality light flat rolled products and strengthening our commitment to the North American steel market,” said Sergei A. Kuznetsov, chief executive officer of Severstal North America. At the conclusion of this project, Severstal will operate three of the seven combined pickling/tandem mills that exist in North America.
The project was re-started last year after the steel business in late 2008 joined nearly every other industry into the nation’s economic nose-dive.
What is a pickle line? Pickling is the first process a hot band steel coil undergoes when it arrives at a coating mill. There it is uncoiled and cleaned in a series of acid baths to ensure the proper surface for galvanizing.
The new PLTCM equipment will be constructed over 320,000 square-feet (plus a 180,000 square-foot staging area), links pickling and rolling in one line that spans nearly 1,600 feet. It will incorporate the newest and most productive cold rolling technology in the world. The result will be a more cost-efficient mill with significant improvements in product quality capability for shape, gauge, surface characteristics and mechanical properties. At the conclusion of this project, Severstal North America will operate three of the seven combined pickling/tandem mills that exist in North America.
Severstal North America is the fourth largest steelmaker in the United States and specializes in a full range of the light flat-rolled products.
Barton Malow is acting as general contractor for both the Pickle Line Tandem Cold Mill and Hot Dip Coating Line projects. The company is performing all civil, concrete, re-steel, mechanical installation of all equipment, as well as boilermaker work for the PLTCM project. Accelerated 10 weeks during construction, the $150 million project will be completed in just 14 months.
THE NEW PICKLE LINE will allow Severstal space to expand its steel product offerings. This area will include equipment that will allow Severstal to “pickle” steel, or give it an acid bath, in preparation for the galvanizing process.
WORKING ON A main steam pipe at Severstal is Rod Rippe of Pipe Fitters Local 636. Behind him is fellow fitter Ted Westphal. They’re working for Progressive Mechanical.