Drive technology for the steel industry

Drive technology for the steel industryT
  • Bulk material handling in ports
  • Bulk material handling at the storage site
  • Coking plant
  • Sintering plant
  • Iron and steel production
  • Continuous casting and hot rolling
  • Cold rolling and strip processing lines

Bulk material handling in ports

Gantry crane

Iron ore and coal, the raw materials used for steel production, generally come from overseas. Huge volumes of these bulk materials need to be stored temporarily in the port before onward inland transport. As soon as a ship docks at the quay, the skipper expects it to be unloaded promptly. Everything has to go quickly, because time is money in shipping, too. As a result, several tons of material must be unloaded onto dry land from the ship in the shortest possible time. Drives from SEW-EURODRIVE reliably get grabs and travel/hoist units moving.

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Bulk material handling at the storage site

Production stoppages should be avoided at all costs! Safeguarding operations and the associated prevention of drive failures are top priorities in iron and steel production. This involves a number of special challenges. The drive technology installed in storage site applications must work properly at all times, in dusty environments with temperature variations and constant changes of direction when raw materials are being deposited and retrieved.

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Coking plant

Coal is mined worldwide and transported by sea or overland for further processing. Coke is obtained from coal under the action of heat and in the absence of oxygen in the coking plant. A large number of material handling systems and the associated storage sites ensure a reliable material flow to and from this plant.

The characteristics of our drive solutions make them ideal for fault-free continuous duty under the toughest conditions.

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Sintering plant

During sintering, iron ore and coke dust are mixed and burned. This triggers a melting process, during which the fine material forms into large lumps that are normally referred to as sinter. Before this sinter enters the blast furnace, it undergoes downstream processing with the help of crushers, coolers, and screens. We have the perfect drive solutions for these applications.

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Iron and steel production

Torpedo cars take the liquid steel from the blast furnace to the steelworks for further processing. This is where the actual steel is produced, by reducing the proportion of carbon in the iron. The liquid steel is poured into casting ladles and transported on to the continuous casting plant by crane.

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Continuous casting and hot rolling

The primary product for subsequent shaping is created in the continuous casting plant. The ladle turret places the ladle, which contains up to several hundred tons of ready-to-cast steel, in the casting position. The surface of the liquid steel begins to solidify in the water-cooled mold. Intensive cooling prevents the already solidified "strand shell" from cracking.

During hot rolling, the primary product obtains it shape and specific material properties. After descaling, the slabs, blooms, or billets are rolled in the "roughing mill". The "finishing mill" produces the final dimensions of hot-rolled products. The individual applications such as roller tables, Rolling mill stands, shears, leveling machines, and cooling systems are perfectly coordinated with each other. This requires utmost precision and full availability from drive technology.

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Cold rolling and strip processing lines

Cold rolling mills are used either in combination with a strip processing line – such as a skin-pass rolling mill in a galvanization system or tandem rolling mills in a pickling system – or separately in a reversing cold rolling mill or a Sendzimir rolling mill.

In the case of strip processing lines, the product characteristics are ideally adapted to customer requirements by improving the microstructure or corrosion resistance, for example.

When it comes to these production processes, SEW-EURODRIVE ensures you have the perfect drive technology for reducing thickness and obtaining the optimum strip surface.

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Teamwork between iron and steel producers and SEW-EURODRIVE – we know that machine availability is a top priority for you!

  • Robust and durable solutions that ensure production runs smoothly, day after day
  • The best delivery reliability on the market, preventing any delays to your planned maintenance activities
  • Service life analyses for your existing drives (including third-party products)
  • Solutions for replacing or modernizing existing drive systems, including capacity expansion upon request
  • Damage diagnoses
  • Customized training for your staff
  • Systematic overview of all existing drives at your works, with recommendations for repair and replacement. We continually update this overview and make it available to you online.
  • Suggestions for optimizing your current maintenance strategy – SEW-EURODRIVE delivers high-quality replacement drives and spare parts at short notice, whenever you need them. SEW-EURODRIVE is your partner for gear unit maintenance (including third-party products).
  • Spare parts such as bearings, seals, gear wheels, and pinion shafts
  • We repair your drives by replacing internal components and overhauling housings.
  • Solutions based on our modular products or, if required, customized solutions tailored to your specific needs

The steel industry – a key sector in Europe


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Blast furnace in steel production

Steel is used as a base material in virtually all key industries in the world. The European Union is the second largest steel producer in the world after China. The EU's total production amounts to 177 million metric tons per year, which corresponds to eleven percent of the global volume. The production and further processing of steel is an essential part of the value chains of numerous companies, making this a key industry. The sector's impressive innovative strength and its close interlinking with other branches of industry also contribute to the success of many other sectors. The steel sector supplies around one fifth of the intermediate inputs for the mechanical engineering industry, and twelve percent for the automotive industry. Further important customer sectors are the electrical engineering, construction, steel, and metalworking industries. Given the extreme and challenging conditions in many areas of steel production, high demands are also placed on the drive technology. The reliability of all components really counts in the steel industry, so top-quality, robust gear units and electric drives are a must. Drive technology from SEW-EURODRIVE meets the requirements of steel producers, and you will therefore find our drive units at virtually all stages of production.

Stages of steel production

Stages of steel production

Steel production
Steel production

Steel production is a complex process that requires a great deal of expertise. The main component of steel is iron, which is mined as iron ore (iron oxide) and often transported from overseas in the form of pellets for further processing in steelworks. When these pellets arrive at the steelworks, large material handling systems first store them temporarily on storage yard. In contrast to pellets fine ores cannot be processed in the blast furnace in such a fine-grained form, they are first turned into sinter that is ideal for use in blast furnaces. In a parallel process in the coking plant, coal is baked to produce coke – an essential fuel containing carbon that is later used in the blast furnace. In a blast furnace hot blown air reacts with charged coke and guarantee the high operating temperature where iron oxide is turned into liquid iron. Besides the raw iron, this also creates slag. This slag is processed separately and turned into fine granules that are subsequently used as a base material – in the cement industry, for instance. Following the process in the blast furnace, the raw iron obtained still contains a large proportion of carbon, which makes it too brittle for most applications. That is the reason for the next processing step at the steelworks, which turns the brittle raw iron into strong steel. During this process, the iron – still at a temperature of 1500 degrees – is poured into a converter vessel. Adding oxygen at this point causes the carbon to burn, creating a strong raw steel that can now undergo further processing for all kinds of applications.

No steel without drive solutions

No steel without drive solutions

Blast furnace
Blast furnace

Drive technology used in steel production is subject to extremely high demands. Attributes such as the reliability and quality of motors and gear units are particularly important in this industry. Drive technology used in steel production is subject to extremely high requirements. Beside mechanical and thermal loading the drive solutions need to fulfill the low operating expenditure expectations. Therefore best drive technology is not only reliable but also cost effective for future challenges.It all starts in the port where, day after day, gantry cranes load and unload raw materials transported on ships. These materials continue their journey via conveyor belts and mixing tanks to the coking and sintering plants to the blast furnace. Drive technology is an essential part of steel production and must therefore continuously deliver optimum performance. At SEW-EURODRIVE, we understand your requirements and have tailored our product portfolio perfectly to these needs. Regardless of whether you are looking to operate a gantry crane, transport iron ore on conveyor belts, or fill a blast furnace with raw iron, our drive technology is up to the challenge. What's more, our modular system means you can adapt the performance level of motors and gear units ideally to suit your particular steelworks so that all drive components always meet your requirements.